Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ira Chernus — Love Trumps Domination (Without the Combover)

Another influential thinker of that era was a German-American philosopher, Herbert Marcuse. (Some radicals even marched in rallies carrying signs reading “Marx, Mao, Marcuse.”) For him, the dehumanization of modernity was rooted in the way science and technology led us to view nature as a mere collection of “things” having no inherent relation to us -- things to be analyzed, controlled, and if necessary destroyed for our own benefit.
Capitalists use technology, he explained, to build machines that take charge both of the workers who run them and of aspects of the natural world. The capitalists then treat those workers as so many things, not people. And the same hierarchy -- boss up here, bossed down there -- shows up at every level of society from the nuclear family to the international family of nations (with its nuclear arsenals). In a society riddled with structures of domination, it was no accident that the U.S. was pouring so much lethal effort into devastating Vietnam.
As Marcuse saw it, however, the worst trick those bosses play on us is to manipulate our consciousness, to seduce us into thinking that the whole system makes sense and is for our own good. When those machines are cranking out products that make workers’ lives more comfortable, most of them are willing to embrace and perpetuate a system that treats them as dominated objects....
In every arena, as Marcuse explained back in the 1960s, the system of hierarchy and domination remains self-perpetuating and self-escalating.
What’s the remedy for this malady, now as lethally obvious at home as it once was in Vietnam?
The end of domination [is] the only truly revolutionary exigency,” Marcuse wrote. True freedom, he thought, means freeing humanity from the hierarchical system that locks us into the daily struggle to earn a living by selling our labor. Freedom means liberating our consciousness to search for our own goals and being able to pursue them freely. In Martin Luther King’s words, freedom is “the opportunity to fulfill my total capacity untrammeled by any artificial barrier.”

How to put an end not only to America’s war in Vietnam, but to a whole culture built on domination? King’s answer on that April 4th was deceptively simple: “Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door... The first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word.”
 A call to non-violent revolution.

Tomgram: Ira Chernus, Love Trumps Domination (Without the Combover)
Ira Chernus | professor emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder and author of the online MythicAmerica: Essays

Another view

Um. Grow Up. We Want The Warlords To Rule. The Entire Militia of Them. ;)
Curt Doolittle


Noah Way said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
djrichard said...

We're gladiators! Our bosses revel in our success on the field (of competing against and out-doing our brethren). That's the whole idea in discerning one's calling, so one knows where one can provide evidence of their value. And then proving that on the battle field.

And if you end up losing in those battles, well it's not like true gladiator sport where you're put to death. But you are sacrificed: low men on the totem pole are taken off the playing field. But it's not that bad; think of it as being put on the indian reservation. That can't be that bad, right?


Matt Franko said...

DJ that is textbook Darwin 101 so what is the problem?????

Peter Pan said...

Hope. Sounds kinda submissive.

Matt Franko said...

"Capitalists use technology, he explained, to build machines.. When those machines are cranking out products that make workers’ lives more comfortable...."

And if you think you can get other unqualified people to do this then you get shitty results... witness Soviet Union, Venezuela, turd world generally, etc....

If you want good material results then you have to get these people to do it.... sorry that's the way it is... the left are very incompetent in material terms....