Democracy, Social Change, and One-Dimensionality: Reviving Marcuse

The dialectical conception of change was first elaborated in Hegel’s philosophy. It reversed the traditional logical setting of the problem by taking change as the very form of existence, and by taking existence as a totality of objective contradictions. Every particular form of existence contradicts its content, which can develop only through breaking this form and creating a new one in which the content appears in a liberated and more adequate form.

Social change was no longer an event occurring in or to a more or less static system, but the very modus existentiae of the system, and the question was not how and why changes took place but how and why an at least provisional stability and order was accomplished.

The above passages contain a type of inquiry that is central to all of Marcuse’s work. Every text by Marcuse is an exercise in the above type of dialectic.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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