Fast Capitalism issue 5.2 2009 Table of Contents

Marcuse In America — Exile as Educator: Deprovincializing One-Dimensional Culture in the U.S.A

Charles Reitz

Immigrants have been an important and creative force in U.S. history [i], as they are also today. Nearly 100 years after the 1848 German Revolution and the Frankfurt Assembly, Herbert Marcuse’s Reason and Revolution (1941) brought the critical social theory of the twentieth century Frankfurt School to the USA, and with it, the spark that would become the New Left and student movements here during the 1960s and 1970s.[ii] In this essay I contend that some key aspects of the development of Marcuse’s critical theory, hitherto quite under-appreciated, can be illumined by focusing on the theme exile as educator, and by stressing Marcuse’s emphasis on the intellectual’s emancipatory role as outsider.

A Jewish-German academic refugee from the Gleichschaltung [enforced poltitical conformity]—and worse—during the German Third Reich, Herbert Marcuse was, in 1934, the first member of the staff of the Frankfurt Institute to arrive in New York City and represent it in exile at Columbia University. Seven years later, the Institute’s self-funded budget was brutally stressed, and Horkheimer strongly encouraged Marcuse to find additional employment and to reduce his reliance on Institute resources. According to Rolf Wiggershaus (1988: 295, 331-32, 338), Horkheimer had in 1941 lowered Marcuse’s salary as a means of pressuring him into finding other sources of income and ultimately into separating himself monetarily from the Institute and its foundation, while continuing to identify intellectually with it.[iii] In this way, Marcuse came to serve with U.S. military intelligence in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during WW II, where he did assiduous intellectual work against fascism. Following the war Marcuse continued to do intelligence research with the U.S. State Department for several years (Kellner 1998; Reitz 2000).[iv]

In an interview with Jürgen Habermas, Marcuse (1978b: 130-31) described his experience in U.S. government service:

MARCUSE: At first I was in the political division of the OSS and then in the Division of Research and Intelligence of the State Department. My main task was to identify groups in Germany with which one could work toward reconstruction after the war, and to identify groups which were to be taken to task as Nazis. There was a major de-Nazification program at the time. Based on exact research, reports, newspaper reading, and whatever, lists were made up of those Nazis who were supposed to assume responsibility for their activity. . .
HABERMAS: Are you of the impression that what you did was of any consequence?
MARCUSE: On the contrary. Those whom we had listed first as “economic war criminals” were very quickly back in the decisive positions of responsibility in the German economy. It would be very easy to name names here.

Unlike Brecht, Eisler, and several academic leftists in America, the central proponents of critical theory, Horkheimer, Adorno, and Marcuse, were never called before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) during the McCarthy period. An outer circle Institute associate, Karl August Wittfogel, actually became a friendly informant to HUAC. Leo Löwenthal became research director for the patriotic Voice of America (1949-1953).

Marcuse was, however, the subject of several FBI background investigations. The earliest was in 1943 in connection with his work for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). A second wave of inquiries, with regard to his loyalty to the U.S. during his 1950s employment by the State Department, discloses that the FBI consulted with HUAC concerning his case. During the 1960s he was also under surveillance in connection with his ties to the New Left and international student movements.[v]

Marcuse’s 1958 Soviet Marxism (SM) was written while working at the Russian Institute of Columbia University and the Russian Research Center at Harvard. It depicted Soviet philosophy and politics as fairly one-dimensional expressions of an untenable bureaucratism, technological rationality, aesthetic realism, etc. Having sharply criticized the Soviet Union, Marcuse did something quite unique and unexpected in Cold-War-fueled political writing: he fearlessly risked censure in the U.S. by comparing U.S. and Soviet culture and finding them both wanting. He saw both the U.S. and Soviet systems as worthy of fundamental social critique. “It has been noted . . . how much the present ‘communist spirit’ resembles the ‘capitalist spirit’ which Max Weber attributed to the rising capitalist civilization” (Marcuse [1958] 1961: 169). Secure in his anti-fascist and anti-Soviet credentials, Marcuse in 1958 did not back away from profound criticisms of U.S. culture in SM that might clearly have led him to be branded as “anti-American.” This was a major departure from the much more cautious politics of the Horkheimer inner circle as well as from the conventional wisdom in the U.S. academic sphere. Marcuse felt confident enough to develop a clearly dialectical perspective in SM, and in this manner SM was crucial in the development of critical theory. Subsequently too Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization (1955) and One-Dimensional Man (1964) would likewise proclaim an incisive new type of criticism of U.S. culture, and Marcuse gradually became a proponent of an activist politics against U.S. war-making and imperialism.[vi]

I wish to focus on how he also specifically criticized American schooling, opposing “. . . the overpowering machine of education and entertainment . . . [which unites us all] . . . in a state of anaesthesia. . . “ (Marcuse [1955] 1966: 104). By the late 1960s Marcuse had become the philosopher of the student revolts and the most prominent intellectual leader of the student movement in the USA. This German-born intellectual, seventy years old, was communicating deftly with disaffected American youth. According to Douglas Kellner (1984: 1) at that time “Herbert Marcuse was more widely discussed than any other living philosopher.” During the events of May 1968, Marcuse spoke to a UNESCO conference in Paris and lent qualified support to the student-worker uprising there. When he returned home to California, he was attacked by the American Legion and conservative politicians, notably then-Governor Ronald Reagan and the Regents of the California System of Higher Education, who opposed the renewal of Marcuse’s contract, though they did not succeed in rescinding it (Kellner 2004; Kātz 1982: 174-75; 186).

Now the work of Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse and their collaborators, will always be rightfully known as the work of the Frankfurt School, but it is interesting also to note in passing that the very concept “critical theory” is a product of the New York period of the Institute in exile. Since its Zeitschrift was published exclusively in German until 1940, it could be argued that it was never intended that critical theory should take effect in the USA. Habermas and Marcuse seem to concede this (Marcuse 1978: 130). The term “critical theory” was not utilized at all in Frankfurt, however, but was first coined in the USA in essays devoted specifically to this concept written by Horkheimer and Marcuse which appeared in the Zeitschrift in 1937. Wiggershaus (1988: 432) has emphasized that Horkheimer, especially, saw himself as a guest in this country that he was naturally sensitive about being seen as promoting “unAmerican ideas.” Martin Jay (1973: 292) has noted the Institute’s use of Aesopean language to disguise its critical social perspective, and that critical theory also severed the necessary connection between radical theory and the proletariat. Clearly a code word for their revision of Marxist social science, critical theory in many ways represented a substantive philosophical shift from economics-based dialectical materialism. Horkheimer and Adorno would also see the U.S. and German student movements as “anti-American,” so they were careful to distance themselves from activist students, and from Marcuse.

I contend that Marcuse developed in the post-WW II era the most radical and advanced critical theory and he does this in the U.S. context. We must credit it to Marcuse that the work of the Frankfurt Institute ultimately became an indispensable part of American academia. Wiggershaus (1988: 676) has already pointed out that in Marcuse one encountered what was lacking in other members of the Frankfurt School: an analysis of advanced industrial society.[vii] While the Institute was housed at Columbia University during the 30s and 40s (through the good graces of Nicholas Murry Butler and Robert S. Lynd), Marcuse wrote several essays developing his version of critical theory (first published in the Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, but republished in 1968 as Negations). So too his 1941 volume, Reason and Revolution, which heralded the need for a transformed revolutionary philosophy where “economic theory would turn into critical theory,” (Marcuse [1941] 1960: 281) was written there. Marcuse’s subsequent work at Brandeis and UC-San Diego, Eros and Civilization, One-Dimensional Man, An Essay on Liberation, and Counterrevolution and Revolt were each published first in the USA and first in English language versions. Marcuse’s American books represented to the world the Frankfurt School’s critical social theory. Also, Marcuse developed the most political version of critical theory, reformulating his critical theory in relation to the vicissitudes of the New Left and other radical movements of the time.[viii] Thus globally, in the 1960s Marcuse became the most renown and influential representative of critical theory.

Deprovincialization and the Recovery of Philosophy in U.S. Higher Education

In 1964, One-Dimensional Man addressed the problems of one-dimensional society and one-dimensional thought in this nation as few philosophers have ever done in U.S. intellectual history. Marcuse wrote of the “. . . comfortable, smooth, reasonable, democratic unfreedom . . . [that] . . . prevails in advanced industrial civilization, a token of technical progress” (1964: 1). Marcuse had the philosophical means—due to his association with the thought of the Frankfurt School, Marxism, and classical German philosophy—and he had the civic courage, precisely as an outsider, to break through paralysis of critique that characterized our one-dimensional society. He had the fortitude to write: “The fact that the vast majority of the population accepts, and is made to accept, this society does not render it less irrational and less reprehensible” (1964: xiii). Following the line of thinking in Eros and Civilization he proposed in One Dimensional Man that the “. . . mobilization and administration of libido may account for much of the voluntary compliance . . . with the established society. Pleasure, thus adjusted, generates submission” (1964: 75). Even more troubling however than the lack of resistance to the established system was his recognition there that “the intellectual and emotional refusal ‘to go along’ appears neurotic and impotent” (1964: 9). And worse: the dominant form of U.S. culture rejects theory as useless—”The intellectual is called on the carpet. What do you mean when you say . . . ? Don’t you conceal something? You talk a language which is suspect. You don’t talk like the rest of us, like the man on the street, but rather like a foreigner who does not belong here” (1964: 192).

I contend that Marcuse has contributed substantially to a deprovincialization of what he saw as the unidimensional technocratic imperative in post-war U.S. culture. “Deprovincialization” is a concept I borrow from Egon Schwarz’s (1992) autobiography about exile also to the Americas during the Nazi period. With regard to the life and theory of Marcuse, I take deprovincialization to mean the general replacement of an essentially single-dimensional view of the world by an analysis of culture and philosophy that is profoundly multi-dimensional. Marcuse understood as single-dimensional, a cultural or philosophical perspective that is oblivious to the problematic nature of prevailing social and economic relations. Sometimes he speaks of one-dimensionality as the triumph of “happy consciousness” in this regard, grounded in the suffocation and repression of life’s internal inconsistencies and contradictions. Marcuse proposes that a genuine philosophy is aware of itself as needing to be more sensitive to questions of complex causality and more skeptical of simplistic visions of the good life or good society. Philosophy must confront “the power of positive thinking” which he holds to be destructive of philosophy with “the power of negative thinking” which illumines “the facts” in terms of the real possibilities which the facts deny. Philosophical reflection as he sees it is thus essentially always multi-dimensional, dialectical, and generative of fuller cultural freedom.

In my estimation, Marcuse’s efforts to deprovincialize U.S. culture have actually led to a recovery of philosophy in the post-60s United States academic context, especially among a new generation of scholars in the humanities and social sciences who are more conscious than ever of issues arising from conflicts involved in the context of our political, moral, and academic culture. After WW II, logical positivism had attained a near monopoly in U.S. graduate schools of philosophy and generally prevailed as the underlying scholarly methodology within the undergraduate curricula as well. European approaches such as phenomenology, existentialism, Marxism, and critical theory tended to be severely marginalized, especially at the most prestigious private and the largest state universities. Although Marcuse died in 1979, for me it is impossible to believe that the philosophical upheavals which developed throughout the 1980s in the American Philosophical Association, for example, splitting “analysts” and “pluralists” were not substantially due to his influence.[ix] My personal supposition is that the APA’s own kind of Positivistenstreit could not have occurred apart from Herbert Marcuse’s immense impact in One-Dimensional Man. This was republished in 1991 with a new introduction by Douglas Kellner: further testimony to its ongoing pertinence to continuing controversies. See also Marcuse’s (1969b) APA address “The Relevance of Reality” which vividly demonstrates his radical and heretical stance vis à vis U.S. academic philosophy. Marcuse called for a rethinking of the relevance of reality in four key areas of philosophy: 1) linguistic analysis, emphasizing a new, more political linguistics; 2) aesthetics, emphasizing the nexus of artwork and society; 3) epistemology, moving towards a historical understanding of transcendent knowledge; and 4) the history of philosophy itself, emphasizing the internal relationships linking theory of knowledge (and hence theory of education) to the theory of government and the theory of politics since Plato: “authentic democracy presupposes equality in the ways, means, and time necessary for acquiring the highest level of knowledge” (Marcuse 1969b).

Art, Alienation, and Education

While Marcuse’s social philosophy has become quite widely known in the USA, his philosophy of education has not. This circumstance is being countered through recent contributions of my own (Reitz 2000, 2009a, 2009b) and Douglas Kellner’s, Tyson E. Lewis, and Clayton Pierce’s book On Marcuse: Critique, Liberation, and Reschooling in the Radical Pedagogy of Herbert Marcuse (2009), and an edited collection Marcuse’s Challenge to Education (Kellner, Cho,. Lewis, and Pierce 2009). Marcuse’s philosophy of protest within higher education criticized the multiversity vision of Clark Kerr (1963). Kerr’s educational philosophical point of view represented a decisive departure from the traditional collegiate self-conception as an autonomous ivory tower or grove of academe, one step removed from the practical realm, and stressed instead a logic of corporate and government involvement in higher education. Institutionalized during the 60s among other places at Columbia, Harvard, Berkeley, and at the State Universities of Wisconsin and New York, this philosophy of the extended, service university has now been implemented almost everywhere in higher education. In the post-Sputnik, early-Vietnam era, critics of the multiversity pointed out that the phenomenal growth of these conglomerate higher education systems was heavily subsidized by grants from the federal government and corporations for research into areas such as aerospace, intelligence, weapons. A massive expansion of Reserve Officer Training Corps programs also occurred. These extra-academic interests characteristically influenced higher educational policy giving priority to many of the needs of the business and military establishments. Many objected also to the dehumanization displayed in the multiversity’s new and increasing commitment to behavioral objectives in teaching and learning and performance-based criteria for intellectual competence, as well as the growing predominance of managerial language and thinking in the organization of higher education. As head of the University of California, Clark Kerr was a major liberal spokesperson who thereafter became chairperson of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. Kerr’s ideological and institutional innovations represented one of the most articulate and authoritative administrative points of view in the intense educational philosophical debates that occurred on this nation’s campuses during the late 1960s, early 1970s. Marcuse on the other hand of course acquired a reputation in the U.S.A. and in Europe as a spokesperson for radical university reform and for the militant new left analysis of (and resistance to) the foreign and domestic policies of the U.S. government and its allies in Europe and Southeast Asia.

There is no question that Marcuse’s original impact was connected closely to the intellectual and political, campus-based turmoil of the 1960s, and derived from his theoretical leadership in the very definition of the cultural and educational issues involved. Marcuse addressed, for example, the questions of science and research in service to the “performance principle” of advanced industrial society. He also spoke to the almost infinite facets of alienation in every day life, i.e., at school, on the job, and in recreational activities, where these were thought to be regulated by a total administration. He stressed the emancipatory potential of a renascent sensuality under the guidance of the most rational and legitimate goals of art (Kellner 2007: 5; Reitz 2000).

Marcuse thus philosophizes about education under conditions of oppression and alienation, and this concern and activity is central to his entire intellectual effort. His work communicates the vibrancy of his German intellectual sources and the essential connection of education to the attainment of the social potential of the human race is an integral part of his general theoretical discourse. Marcuse’s final book, The Aesthetic Dimension (AD), deals importantly with the aesthetic sources of our wisdom and learning and with the theory of literary art. His relatively recently (1978) published doctoral dissertation, The German Artist Novel (originally completed in 1922) is concerned with the education (Bildung) of the artist as this is depicted in modern German fiction.

Marcuse’s continuing merit and appeal stems precisely from his work on the problems of knowledge and the political impacts of education. I find his critique of the prevailing mode of enculturation in the United States as education to alienation and to single-dimensionality to be immensely relevant today. So too, his emphasis on the emancipatory and disalienating potential of art and the humanities. Marcuse stresses the educational or deprovincializing value of the arts because of the qualitative difference he finds between the multi-dimensional kind of knowledge thought to be produced by the aesthetic imagination and the uni-dimensional kind of knowledge attributed to what he describes as the controlled and repressive rationalities of achievement, performance, and domination. Marcuse theorizes that art provides a kind of deeper cognition, not through mimesis or by replicating worldly objects, but by recalling the species-essence of the human race from philosophical oblivion. He contends that the reality of death and human suffering assert themselves as pivotal phenomena in the educative process of recollection, even where the artist and the work of art “draw away” from them in pursuit of an eternity of joy and gratification.

Alienation, in his estimation, is thought to be the result of training people to forget their authentic human nature—its essential internal turmoil and social potential—by educationally eradicating the realm where this knowledge is considered to be best preserved, i.e., the humanities. Marcuse was appalled at what he saw as the displacement of the humanities in the 1970s by a form of higher education that had become mainly scientific and technical and that primarily stood in service to the needs of commerce, industry, and the military. Marcuse’s theory contends that our society is obsessed with efficiency, standardization, mechanization, and specialization, and that this fetish involves aspects of repression, fragmentation, and domination that impede real education and preclude the development of real awareness of ourselves and our world. Alienation is seen as the result of a mis-education or half-education that leads people to accept sensual anaesthetization and social amnesis as normal. Conditioned to a repressive pursuit of affluence, making a living becomes more important than making a life. This aspect of Marcuse’s approach to alienation is explicitly drawn from Schiller’s arguments in favor of art and against crass utilitarianism in Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man (1793).

During his militant middle period, Marcuse, like Schiller, urges education and art as countermovements to alienation: an aesthetic rationality is thought to transcend the prevailing logic of performance and achievement in the one-dimensional society and to teach radical action towards justice and human fulfillment. He even sees a possible reconciliation of the humanistic and technological perspectives via the hypothesis that art may become a social and productive force for material improvement, re-constructing the economy in accordance with aesthetic goals and thus reducing alienation in the future. There is, however, also a “turn” in Marcuse’s theorizing. He finds that the best education (to art through the humanities) can itself be alienating, even if it is also in an essential sense emancipatory. The artistic and cultured individual remains rather permanently separated from the broader social community and is stigmatized as an outsider in a way that precludes close identification with any group. Art, then, may respond to alienation with a more extreme, and higher, form of alienation.

As right wing commentators carry out their culture wars with regard to the literary canon, the place of values in schooling, and the role and function and future of the arts and humanities in higher education, Marcuse’s philosophical insights into art and education become more relevant than ever. Allan Bloom (1987) rather recently sought to “rescue” the humanities from the perils of political protest and value relativism in The Closing of the American Mind. While higher education in the humanities is traditionally thought of as pursuing universally human aims and goals, Bloom is unwilling to admit that a cultural politics of class, a cultural politics of race, and a cultural politics of gender have set very definite constraints upon the actualization of the humane concerns of a liberal arts education. Instead, Bloom attributes a decline of the humanities and U.S. culture in general to the supposedly inane popularization of German philosophy in the United States since the 1960s, especially the ideas of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Marcuse, which are regarded as nihilistic and demoralizing. Bloom argues that we have imported “. . . a clothing of German fabrication for our souls, which. . . cast doubt upon the Americanization of the world on which we had embarked . . .” (Bloom 152). In a typically facile remark, Bloom says of Marcuse: “He ended up here writing trashy culture criticism with a heavy sex interest. . .” (Bloom 226). No hint from him that one of Marcuse’s prime contributions to the critical analysis of American popular culture is his notion of “repressive desublimation”—how the unrestrained use of sex and violence by the corporate mass media and other large scale commercial interests accomplishes social manipulation and control in the interest of capital accumulation. Or that Marcuse (in some ways very much like Bloom) valued high art and the humanities precisely because they teach the sublimation of the powerful urge for pleasure which in other contexts threatens destruction. Marcuse was no sheer advocate of a Bildungshumanismus. He had been more than dubious of the traditionally conservative and politically apologetic or affirmative quality of high-serious German art and education in a 1937 Zeitschrift piece, “On the Affirmative Character of Culture” (AC), but he did believe that the traditional liberal arts philosophy also had a critical dimension. The liberal arts and humanities are not seen simply to transmit or to preserve (or as he says, to “affirm” or apologize for) the dominant culture. They make possible the very development of critical thinking and human intelligence itself. Here the arts relate to higher education and advanced forms of knowledge not merely in terms of “arts instruction,” but as the very basis of a general educational theory (Reitz 2000, 2009a, 2009b; Kellner, Lewis, and Pierce 2009).

In both his earliest and latest writings Marcuse directs special attention to the emancipatory power of the intelligence gained through a study of the humanities. Marcuse’s understanding of the cognitive value of art, particularly the great literatures of classical Greece and modern Europe, thus needs also to be specifically examined. It is within this context that we may perceive the overall unity of his philosophy—in its several, interconnected attempts to extract reason from art and the aesthetic dimension.

Since the venerable liberal arts tradition has been historically (and inseparably) tied to a realistic and normative concept of eidos and essence (as per Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas, Hegel, and Husserl), we should not be surprised to find some modification of classical realism (and not the value relativism the conservative culture warriors claim) in Marcuse’s aesthetics and ontology. Indeed, chapter eight of One-Dimensional Man argues the historical reality of universals, and his third chapter highlights the importance of the aesthetic Form as the dimension where both reality and truth are disclosed. Marcuse also generally shares with Plato and Schiller the philosophical conviction that the most meaningful and beautiful works of art are also the soundest foundation for an education to political justice.

It is clear that Marcuse’s aesthetic and social philosophy is riveted to educational issues. Marcuse’s voice shattered much of the silence structured into the conventional study of philosophy and education in the USA. By introducing students in the social sciences and humanities to the Frankfurt School’s view of critical theory, Marxism, and classical German philosophy, he furnished his readers with a theoretical orientation otherwise largely untaught in U.S. culture. Multidimensionality functions as a restorative presence within Marcuse’s philosophizing, as it should be for all educators, but often does not for those of us trained in the dominant patterns and habits of thought in today’s system of U.S. higher education. This “classical dimension” in Marcuse’s thought enabled him to assess critically the behaviorism, empiricism, and logical positivism still prevalent in many areas of the unreconstructed Anglo-American academy. Marcuse reclaimed elements of the classical philosophical traditions in order to confront the culture of corporate capitalism with an immanent critique of its own philistinism and provincialism.

One would repay Marcuse badly if one took his insights as some kind of scripture. His philosophy must be extended, deepened, negated, and raised to a higher level. By investigating the unique interrelationships forged by Marcuse among the topics of alienation, art, and the humanities, a penetrating critical perspective on his work and ours can be established. The failure to address significant issues in educational theory is responsible for the inadequate status of current scholarship on Marcuse’s general philosophical orientation. The vindication of Marcuse’s theory and the future of critical theorizing hinge upon this educational philosophical effort.


Bloom, Allan. 1987. The Closing of the American Mind. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Jay, Martin. 1973. The Dialectical Imagination Boston: Little, Brown.

Kātz, Barry. 1982. Herbert Marcuse & the Art of Liberation. London: Verso.

Kellner, Douglas, K. Daniel Cho, Tyson E. Lewis, and Clayton Pierce (eds). 2009. Marcuse’s Challenge to Education. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Kellner, Douglas, Tyson E. Lewis, and Clayton Pierce. 2009. On Marcuse: Critique, Liberation, and Reschooling in the Radical Pedagogy of Herbert Marcuse. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Kellner, Douglas (ed.). 2007. Herbert Marcuse. Art and Liberation. Volume Four, Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse. London and New York: Routledge.

_______. 2004. Herbert Marcuse. The New Left and the 1960s. Volume Three, Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse. (London and New York: Routledge, 2004).

_______. 1998. Herbert Marcuse. Technology, War, and Fascism. Volume One, Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse. London and New York: Routledge.

_______. 1984. Herbert Marcuse and the Crisis of Marxism. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Kerr, Clark. 1963. The Uses of the University. New York: Harper & Row.

Marcuse, Herbert. 1978a. The Aesthetic Dimension, Toward a Critique of Marxist Aesthetics. Boston: Beacon.

_______. 1978b. “Theory and Politics: A Discussion with Herbert Marcuse, Jürgen Habermas, Heinz Lubasz, and Tilman Spengler, “ Telos, No. 38.

_______. 1978c [1922]. Schriften I: Der deutsche Künstlerroman; frühe Aufsätze. Frankfurt /M: Suhrkamp.

_______. 1972. Counterrevolution and Revolt. Boston: Beacon.

_______. 1969a. An Essay on Liberation. Boston: Beacon.

_______. 1969b. “The Relevance of Reality” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Association. 1968-69.

_______. 1968 [1937]. “The Affirmative Character of Culture,” Negations, Essays in Critical Theory. Boston: Beacon.

_______. 1968 [1937]. “Philosophy and Critical Theory,” Negations, Essays in Critical Theory. Boston: Beacon.

_______. 1964. One-Dimensional Man, Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. Boston: Beacon.

_______. 1961 [1958]. Soviet Marxism, A Critical Analysis. New York: Vintage.

_______. 1960 [1941]. Reason and Revolution, Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory. Boston: Beacon.

Reitz, Charles. 2009a. “Herbert Marcuse and the Humanities: Emancipatory Education and Predatory Culture,” in Douglas Kellner, et al. (2009a) Marcuse’s Challenge to Education. Rowman & Littlefield.

_______. 2009b. “Herbert Marcuse and the New Culture Wars,” in Douglas Kellner, et al. (2009a) Marcuse’s Challenge to Education. Rowman & Littlefield.

_______. 2000. Art, Alienation, and the Humanities: A Critical Engagement with Herbert Marcuse. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Schwarz, Egon. 1992. Keine Zeit für Eichendorff. Frankfurt: Büchergilder Gutenberg.

Wiggershaus, Rolf. 1988. Die Frankfurter Schule. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.


[i] Charles Reitz, “Horace Greeley and German Forty-Eighters in the Kansas Free State Struggle,” Yearbook of German-American Studies 43 (2008) pp. 1-24.

[ii] This paper is a revised and extended version of a presentation made to the Society for German-American Studies 22nd Annual Meeting at the Indianapolis Deutsches Haus / Atheneum, May 1998. The conference was organized around an appreciation of the 150-year anniversary of the Frankfurt Assembly and the 1848 Revolution. Many thanks to Doug Kellner for constructive comments on an earlier draft of this essay and for recommending it to Fast Capitalism.

[iii] See also Douglas Kellner (ed.) 1998. “Introduction” to Herbert Marcuse. Technology, War, and Fascism. Volume One, Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse]. London and New York: Routledge. Portuguese translation (1999) Herbert Marcuse: Technologia, Guerra e Fasismo. Sao Paolo: UNESP.

[iv] Franz Neumann had even earlier been cut off from Institute funding and completed his massive study of the Nazi system, Behemoth, in 1942 while working for the OSS. See also Kellner (1998).

[v] See especially Stephen Gennaro and Douglas Kellner, “Under Surveillance: Herbert Marcuse and the FBI,” Fast Capitalism, forthcoming.

[vi] For an overview of Marcuse’s postwar politics, see Herbert Marcuse. The New Left and the 1960s. Volume Three, Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse, edited with Introduction by Douglas Kellner. London and New York: Routledge, 2004.

[vii] Marcuse gives the credit to Horkheimer and Adorno for developing critical theory in their work on The Authoritarian Personality (1950). Fromm’s U.S. publications, Escape From Freedom (1941) and Marx’s Concept of Man (1961), might also be considered seminal in this regard.

[viii] See Kellner, (ed.) Herbert Marcuse. The New Left and the 1960s. op. cit.

[ix] “The root of the controversy is the pluralists’ complaint that the association has failed to represent the full range of philosophical interests being pursued in American universities. Instead, they say, the association’s leadership and programs presented at its annual meetings have been dominated by representatives of a single school of philosophical thought, which they term the ‘analytic’ tradition.” Janet Hook, “‘Analytic’ vs. ‘Pluralist’ Debate Splits Philosophical Association,” Chronicle of Higher Education, January 12, 1981, p. 3, and Janet Hook, “Association Officer Calls for ‘Recovery of Philosophy,’” Chronicle of Higher Education, January 13, 1982, p. 8; see also Richard Bernstein, “Philosophical Rift: A Tale of Two Approaches” New York Times, December 29, 1987, p. A1.