3 Answers

  1. I think they chose not with their minds, but with their hearts. The Frankfurt School brought together critics of capitalism who sympathized with Marxism. They argued that the modern state had become a totalitarian system that suppressed the individual and deprived him of his freedom. They saw hope in those who did not agree with the system – outsiders and rebels, as they were in fact themselves. They believed that free-thinking intellectuals could overcome this system and build a more just and free society. A rebel by nature-only he is a critic-can turn history around. (By the way, they referred to themselves as a critical direction, and then they came up with the name “Frankfurt School”)

  2. Not an expert opinion.

    I take it calmly, any action in history is “super important”. The butterfly effect. I perceive everything as something even. I love the topic of such events from the point of view of psychology, something like this statement is similar to “Our boys did not die in vain.

    If you are interested in what it is, I added it from below

  3. The answer to this question should begin with a few caveats: first, revolt does not become a “super-value of culture”, but only acquires a certain significance from the point of view of critical theory, and secondly, this does not happen for all representatives of the Frankfurt school, but only for certain of them. I would even say a certain one. Herbert Marcuse, from this point of view, seems to be the only author among the theorists of the Frankfurt school, in whose works the conceptualization of rebellion takes on a more or less formal form. But about everything in order.

    Critical Theory of Society is a common name for a theoretical project developed by the authors of the Frankfurt School. The critical theory of society emerged as a reaction to certain problems associated with Marxism, its theoretical and historical legacy, in particular, with the failure of a number of Marx's predictions about the course of development of capitalism and the historical role that the latter was supposed to play. One of the goals of the critical theory project was to reanimate Marxism and its critical spirit. It all began with an appeal to previously unknown texts of Marx from the early period of his work – the “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844”, which allowed us to rediscover Marx and get rid of his economism and materialistic version of the philosophy of history. Early Marx, as interpreted by the Frankfurt School of philosophers, is not an economist, but primarily a humanist, whose main claim to capitalism is that it compulsively restrains the development of human potential and a multi-faceted personality. The observation that the working class did not become the bearer of class consciousness, which was supposed to be the starting point of its revolutionary activity, and demonstrated its readiness to exchange revolution for successful social integration, raised a number of ideological questions for the authors of the Frankfurt School. That is why the categories of political economy, which were key to Marx, are replaced by those of other disciplines, in particular Freud's psychoanalysis, which are more suitable for the perspective of criticism that the authors of the Frankfurt School chose. Perhaps the only thing that fundamentally distinguished Marx's project from the Frankfurt project was the political pessimism inherent in the latter. The unity of theory and practice is one of the basic requirements of critical theory for itself, which was not fulfilled the further it went. Thus, by the beginning of the 50s, only Marcuse, who inspired the New Left movement with his ideas, kept attention to the political side of the issue. Marcuse, unlike, say, Adorno and Horkheimer, who were equally disillusioned with the proletariat as a revolutionary force, did not give up trying to find in a given social reality those forces or tendencies that could lead to a change in the social order, or even indicate such a possibility. This is an important requirement, which is responsible for ensuring that the critical project is not utopian: thus, in Marx, the proletariat becomes the force of future changes, which is excluded from the established social order and at the same time represents not a particular class, but the interest of humanity as a whole.

    In his well-known 1955 work Eros and Civilization, he, who by that time was already living in the United States, offers a philosophical critique of civilization, describing the process of its development as a process of increasing social control over the individual and the process of increasing repressive coercion to work, carried out at the expense of suppressing Eros. Moreover, the difficulty lies in the fact that this suppression is not carried out by means of external coercion, but is rooted in the structure of morality itself, which restricts the manifestations of sexuality and asserts the need for reasonable control over feelings. The history of reason, then, is the history of its instrumentalization, the suppression of sexuality or sensuality in favor of increasing productivity and preserving a repressive social order.

    In another famous 1964 work, ” One-dimensional Man. The study of the ideology of a developed industrial society” by Marcuse shows how the ideology of consumption, characteristic of a developed industrial society, dissolves social and class conflicts, eliminates the possibility of resistance, making conformism the most suitable model of behavior for a comfortable existence. This is a fundamental point: the main problem for criticism is the efficiency of the ideology of consumer society, which is responsible for the satisfaction of individual consciousness with its position within the social order, despite its repressiveness, excluding revolutionary tension from the general background of social life. Therefore, emancipation is the main task of critical theory, which in Marx's version presupposes the economic emancipation of the working class, Marcuse understands as emancipation from the shackles of the repressive instrumental mind and the ideology of a developed industrial society, the emancipation of sensuality. It is in “One-Dimensional Man” that Marcuse draws attention to the social forces that can lead to social changes in the conditions of political impotence of the working class. In such a situation, Marcuse suggests relying on those in whose minds there is still a place free from the ideology of a prosperous Western consumer society, that is, on the one hand, on revolutionary students/intellectuals who are able to think critically about the situation and maintain a distance from this ideology, and on the other, on those excluded from this society – racial and national minorities, the unemployed. Therefore, revolt in conditions of the impossibility of revolution becomes something like a political action aimed at discrediting this social order and at the same time demonstrating the possibility of other forms of socialization and life than ideologically approved, for which it receives a positive assessment from Marcuse.

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