Read e-book online An Essay on Liberation PDF

By Herbert Marcuse

During this concise and startling booklet, the writer of One-Dimensional Man argues that the time for utopian hypothesis has come. Marcuse argues that the conventional conceptions of human freedom were rendered out of date by way of the advance of complicated commercial society. Social idea can now not content material itself with repeating the formulation, “from every one in response to his skill, to every in response to his needs,” yet needs to now examine the character of human wishes themselves. Marcuse's declare is that whether creation have been managed and decided via the employees, society may nonetheless be repressive—unless the staff themselves had the wishes and aspirations of loose males. starting from philosophical anthropology to aesthetics An Essay on Liberation makes an attempt to outline—in a hugely speculative and tentative fashion—the new percentages for human liberation.

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Sample text

Let loose suddenly upon mankind; exercising all sorts of influences, social, moral and political; precipitating upon us novel problems which demand immediate solution; banishing the old before the new is half matured to replace it; ... Yet, with the curious hardness of a material age, we rarely regard this new power otherwise than as a money-getting and timesaving machine ... not many of those ... who fondly believe they can control it ever stop to think of it as ... the most tremendous and farreaching engine of social change which has ever blessed or cursed mankind.

This could properly be deemed sufficient reason for a book of this sort. Assessing the significance of the Internet is a transparently important task at the present time. But I have a further aim: to show that despite (or perhaps because of) its ancient lineage, philosophical reasoning in the Socratic tradition is the best means of doing so – to show, in short, that philosophy is of contemporary and not merely antiquarian interest. Both aims can best be served by proceeding with this question: just how new is the Internet?

As Neil Barrett observes, ‘The Web has been described as the “killer application” for the Internet: the application that took the Internet from a relative handful of enthusiasts, into the domain of serious, commercial and governmental users’ (Barrett, p. 26). The combination of these two inventions established the basic components of what I shall simply refer to as the Internet. Once commercial companies became convinced both of its value and its saleability, a truly worldwide Web sprang up and by means of it millions of people and Radically new and merely novel 23 organizations have been enabled to communicate and share digitally stored information.

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