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Summary of Eros and Civilization: Marcuse

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Essay title: Summary of Eros and Civilization: Marcuse

Eros and civilization:

Xi Break fatal union of productivity and destruction, liberty and repression.rational for continued acceptance of domination, scarcity artificially perpetuated. Strengthened by even more efficient forms of social control: very forces that rendered society capable of pacifying struggle for existence served to repress in the individuals the need for such liberation. High standards of living reconcile people with their life and rulers + social engineering of the soul and science of human relations provide libidinal cathexis. Xii Scientific managment of instinctual needs has become a vital factor in the reproduction of the system: merchandise which has to be bought and used is made into objects of the libido; national Ennemy distorted that he can activate and satisfy aggressivness in the depth dimension of the unconscious. Mass democracy as pol paraphernalia for effectuating this introjection of the Reality Principle (pleasure postponed or diminished, when reasonably taken environment into account). Masters dissapear behind technological veil of productive and destructive apparatus which they control. Collaboration: concealed costs of benefits:xiii introjected heteronomy price for freedom. Liberation (no sense if belong not to oppressed minority) surplus repression (no sense because sexuaul liberty) But this freedom and satisfaction: hell. Pockets of poverty in a growing society capable of eliminating them gradually and without catastrophe.eliminated at what cost (human lives). Pov and exploitation products of eco freedom. New liberty (from masters) turns out to be submission not to the rule of law but to the rule of law of the others. �voluntary servitude’ increasingly rewarding and palatable. Xiv increasing closing of other possible ways of life. This union of freedom and servitude has become natural and a vehicle for progress. Prosperity as prerequisite and by-product of a self-propelling productivity seeking new outlets for consumption and for destruction, in outer and inner space while being restrained from overflowing in the areas of misery-at home and abroad. Image of human freedom is dilocated:becomes project of subversion of this sort of progress. Liberation from �asocial’ autonomous Eros presupposes liberation from repressive affluence: a reversal in the direction of progress. Man could avoid fate of Welfare-Through-Welfare State only by achieving a new starting point where he could reconstruct the productive apparatus without that innerworldly asceticism which provided the mental basis for domination. Negation of Nietzsche’s superman: man conscious to make life an end in itself. Xv Polymorphous sexuality: new direction of progress depends on opportunity to activate repressed or arrested organic , biological needs: make human body instrument of pleasure rather than labor. Emergence of new, qualitatively diff needs and faculties seemed to be prerequisite, content of liberation. Material preconditions for new Reality Principle were established in advanced industrial societies. Translation of technical capabilities in reality would mean a revolution. Scope and effectiveness of democratic introjection suppressed real historical subject: free people not in need of liberation, suppressed not strong enough. Lib more realistic, but most effectively repressed. Productivity reached a level where masses participate in its benefits, where opposition is democratically contained then conflict between master and slave is also effectively contained, changed social location: xvi it exists in the revolt of backward countries against intolerable heritage of colonialism and prolongation by neo-colonialism. Marx: Agents who are free from blessings of cap could become agents of liberation (full validity in intern) external forces of rebellion became enemy within system. But not like Marxist proletariat representatives of freedom. Revolt in backward countries response in advanced countries: youth is in protest against repression in affluence and war abroad. Instinctual solidarity between two facets of protest. Xvii At home:impulsive as nausea cause dby way of life, revolt as a matter of physical and mental hygiene. Revolt against machine which has taken over mechanism (pol, corporate, cultural and educational) which has welded blessing and curse into one rational whole. Body against machine (unconquered, primitive, elemental forces?) guerilla warfare as revolution of our time? Historical backwardness may become hist chance of turning the wheel of progress to another direction. The �accidents’ reveal substance; tear techn veil behind which real powers

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