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HERBERT MARCUSE, PHILOSOPHER

OF THE NEW LEFT


By George Walsh

1. Introduction

Western civilization is being forced step by step into a state of civil war
by the rising assaults of a revolutionary movement known as the New Left.
This movement centers in the universities and spreads outward into
every institution of today's society. It spreads in two ways: by indoctrina-
tion of those who are open to indoctrination , and by terrorization of those
whoarenot.
Many observers are bewildered by the fact that the violence and terror
have appeared suddenly in the midst of a scenariQ - written by the liberals
- calling for a new society based on gentleness, tolerance and the humani-
tarian concern of everyone for everyone else's needs. The violence, the
obscenity, the unabashed totalitarianism have burst like a storm upon the
calm of an afternoon tea party.
More bewildering still are two additional factors: the symbols displayed
by the attackers and the strange response of their liberal victims to the bar-
barous attack. The symbols of the attackers have been flowers and other
emblems of life, of love and of peace. And the behavior of the liberal vic-
tims has been hypnotized fascination and submission, akin to the fascina-
tion and submission of drugged human sacrifices in some ancient rite.
The phenomena in question are not merely political: what we are seeing
is a cultural revolution. Its philosophical doctrine is not new : it merely
draws the ultimate logical conclusions from certain very ancient doctrines
that have been part of the intellectual baggage of Western civilization
from its beginning, but have never before been acknowledged explicitly.
These new-old doctrines have become the basic ideology of the army of in-
ternal barbarians now besieging the world's first technological civilization.
The philosophical leader of the New Left is Herbert Marcuse.
Marcuse is not a tactician, and is only in the broadest sense a strate-
gist. His contribution is the base for the tacticians and strategists: he has
given voice to certain concepts which lie half-formed in the minds of all
those who share a certain sense of life, or fundamental emotional attitude
toward life. I shall call this attitude the flight-from-tension syndrome. It
consists in regarding the challenges of life (the conditional character of
life) as not merely an overwhelming and insoluble problem, but as a kind
of persecution by, and even as morally unfair on the part of, reality. Such

SEPTEMBER 1970 7
people share a certain basic belief designed to produce a "final solution
to the reality question," namely: a plan to distribute collectively what they
regard as the intolerable burdens imposed on them by reality. This belief
is based on the wordless assumption that society somehow has the .power
to alter the nature of reality. Marcuse dry-cleans, systematizes and pre-
sents these basic premises explicitly, dressed up in an enormous human-
istic erudition, thus giving the sanction of philosophy to the subconceptual
mentality of the primordial brute.
Herbert Marcuse was born in Berlin in 1898, the offspring of an upper-
class family that had played a prominent role in the German capital since
the eighteenth century. He studied at the Universities of Berlin and Frei-
burg, receiving his doctorate from the latter in 1922. As a student, he
had been a socialist and a left-wing activist during the struggle for power
in the years following the end of the First World War.
In the early 1930s, he became a founding member of the International
Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt. According to one historian of
the period, Professor Peter Gay of Columbia University, this institute was
"securely in the hands of Marxists" and "left Hegelian to the core." 1 Later,
many of its faculty, including Marcuse, ended up in the United States
and accepted positions in American universities or even with the United
States government.
On Marcuse's arrival in the United States, Columbia University sud-
denly sprouted on its campus an Institute for Social Research, at which
Marcuse lectured. During World War II, he served as European intelli-
gence analyst in the Office of Strategic Services. Then, at the beginning of
the cold war, the agency was transferred to the State Department, its name
was changed to the Office of Intelligence Research and its operations be-
came concerned with the Soviet Union and communism. The new chief
of its Central European Section was- Herbert Marcuse. It was Marcuse
who supervised "the garnering and preparation of research studies and
spot intelligence for the Department of State and other interested agencies,
notably the Central Intelligence Agency." 2
Leaving the O.I.R., Marcuse became a research fellow, first at the Rus-
sian Institute at Columbia, then at the Russian Institute at. Harvard. In
1954, he became professor of politics and philosophy at Brandeis Uni-
versity. Since 1965, he has been. professor of philosophy at the University
of California at San Diego.
Marcuse's philosophy is fundamentally a synthesis of the ideas of Marx
and of Freud. The method of synthesis and Marcuse's underlying meta-
physical and epistemological assumptions are derived from Hegel. No
exposition of Marcuse is possible without dealing to some extent with
these three thinkers. Marcuse's characteristic way of presenting his own
position is to speak as an approving historian of ideas. As one critic put it,

8 THE OBJECTIVIST
in Marcuse's wntmgs "it is extremely difficult to distinguish between
simple exposition and analysis on the one hand and critical approval on
the other." 3 (In the present study, unless otherwise indicated, when Mar-
cuse is quoted as expounding his favorite thinkers from Plato onward, the
positions in question are also his own.)
Testimonies are abundant both to Marcuse's intellectual eminence in
the New Left movement and to the messianic role he plays among activist
students in the United States and Western Europe. According to Professor
Andrew Hacker of Cornell University, writing in The New York Times
Book Review of March 10, 1968, Marcuse is a scholar of "old world.
charm and cultivation," whose present eminence in the New Left move-
ment comes as something of a surprise:
"To become the foremost literary symbol of the New Left is no mean
accomplishment; many of the movement's adherents are both informed
and intelligent, and they have had their pick of an impressive literature.
Thus the choice of Marcuse testifies not only to his spirit of engagement,
but also to a profundity and breadth of vision which are lacking in such
otherwise admired authors as C. Wright Mills, Paul Goodman, Norman
0. Brown and Erich Fromm .. . .
"Thus the task of philosophy ... as Marcuse puts it, [is] the 'intellec-
tual subversion' of the established social structure . . . . like the pre-1917
Lenin, Marcuse is .prescribing what is to be done when the propitious
moment arrives .. . .
"The strategy of the New Left is not so much violent or non-violent
as it is simply physical . .. Marcuse is willing to consider not only the
'right of resistance,' but also pushing of that right to 'the point of subver-
sion.' And so are many who are finding moral support in his writings ....
"Marcuse's security stems chiefly from the fact that most of our own
professional patriots have neither the training nor the intellect to under-
stand the implications of his analysis."
In a review of a book by Marcuse, Professor Hacker remarks, in ap-
parent bewilderment that an abstract thinker has somehow managed to
influence the world of practical affairs: "For as recent campus revolu-
tionaries have disrupted and perhaps even overturned established au-
thority, their polemics and placards have all carried paraphrases of the
Marcusian litany."
An activist graduate student at the University of Buffalo, interviewed
in The New York Times of May 5, 1968, stated: "Do you know why the
demonstrations and protest movements succeeded? Because we didn't play
by the rules of the game. Our movement wasn't organized democrati-
cally. We kicked the Dow people off the campus though they had every
right to be there. It was our unrepressed intolerance and thorough anti-
permissiveness that brought our actions success. But who gave us the

SEPTEMBER 1970 9
intellectual courage to be intolerant and unpermissive? I think Herbert
Marcuse more than anyone. He is the New Left's professor."

REFERENCES
1 Peter Gay, "Weimar Culture: the Outsider as Insider" in The Intellectual Migra-
tion, ed. Donald Fleming and Bernard Bailyn (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard Uni-
versity Press, 1969), p. 45.
2 Current Biography Yearbook, 1969, ed. Charles Moritz (New York, H. W. Wilson

Co.): "Herbert Marcuse."


3 Paul A. Robinson, The Freudian Left (New York, Harper Colophon Books, 1969),

p. 154.
Andrew Hacker, review of Negations by Herbert Marcuse, The New York Times
Book Review, June 30, 1968.

2. Marcuse's Metaphysics and Epistemology

According to Marcuse, there are two kinds of philosophies, a bad kind


and a good kind. The bad kind he calls positive or one-dimensional philos-
ophy. The good kind he calls negative, two-dimensional or critical phi-
losophy.
The founder of positive philosophy was Aristotle. 1 The founder of neg-
ative philosophy was Plato. Positive philosophy is the source of science,
technology, capitalism and the achievement-oriented values. Negative
philosophy is the source of the perennial protest against these in the name
of "human values," and the source of recurring Utopian and revolutionary
movements which have tried to supplant Western civilization with a "truly
human society."
The two kinds of philosophies are based on two profoundly different
metaphysical a.nd epistemological positions, according to Marcuse. Posi-
tive or one-dimensional philosophy holds that there is only one reality -
the facts perceived by man's senses and understood by his reason with the
aid of Aristotelian (formal) logic. Negative or two-dimensional philos-
ophy holds that reality exists in two dimensions or layers - a dimension
of facts and a dimension of "essences" or ideal possibilities, which negate
or contradict the facts, and which man should use as standards of value
to criticize the facts. These "essences" are perceived by man's imagination
and conceptualized by a "higher" use of reason with the aid of a special
kind of "logic" known as dialectical logic.
Although Plato was the originator of negative philosophy, Marcuse
holds that it reached its highest development in the thought of Hegel.
Adopting ,Hegel's terminology, Marcuse calls the lower dimension of
reality (the world of facts) appearance, while he refers to the higher
dimension as essence. 2 This implies that the facts of reality have a lower

10 THE OBJECTIVIST
metaphysical status than the realm of essences, and that our knowledge
of the former is insecure and uncertain compared to our knowledge of
the latter.
From Plato onward, Marcuse explains, all negative philosophers have
held that the world of appearance is a world of "multiplicity," 3 "finite," 4
"subject to change," 5 "afflicted with want," 6 "constantly threatened with
destruction," 7 and so on. Because "appearance" (by which they mean
reality) has these characteristics, they criticized it as evil, as what Mar-
cuse calls "bad facticity." By what standard of value did they criticize it?
By the standard of "the one true Being,'' 8 the "authentic Being" 9 - which,
they claimed, is homogeneous, infinite, permanent, self-sufficient and un-
conditionally existent. How did they know that such a being existed? By
means of an " 'authentic,' certain, and secure knowledge." 10 This is the
doctrine of intuition which Marcuse developed into his theory of knowl-
edge via "imagination" or "phantasy."
Negative philosophers, then, reject the world of facts because it does
not measure up to some ineffable intuition of theirs. They make the "Great
Refusal." 11 They refuse to accept reality because it does not live up to
"the dream." What precisely is the nature of this dream?
In the higher world of essence, we shall find - say the negative philos-
ophers - the essences or perfect models of all things. Among these, we
shall discover the essence of man, the perfect model of human life. This
essence will show us a "best life of man qua man." 12 It is a life which is
"complete and independent in itself- free," 13 "a life which is as much as
possible free from toil, dependence, and ugliness." 14 The "insight" of
Plato is "still valid"- "those who devote their lives to earning a living are
incapable of living a human existence." 15 The perfect form of human life
is perfect because it participates in the perfect form of the Good as such,
which is effortless existence.
Marcuse's notion of the good life is effortless life- unconditional, guar-
anteed existence. But this "ideal" of the imagination is contradicted by
what our senses and our reason tell us about reality. When a negative
philosopher discovers that his imagination is contradicted by the facts of
reality, he replies:"' .. . that which is cannot be true.' " 16 In other words,
reality is mere appearance; behind appearance, there is a second dimen-
sion of true and authentic being; this second dimension negates the first.
Such is the meaning (in objective, Aristotelian terms) of a "two-dimen-
sional, negative, critical" philosophy: it holds an invented dream-world as
superior to reality, it negates reality and it criticizes reality- not some
man-made aspect of reality, open to human choice, but reality as such.
This philosophy declares that we live in a "divided world," 17 "a uni-
verse which is broken in itself ... - two dimensional. " 18 Most people,
hearing these declarations, take them to mean political issues, such as rich

SEPTEMBER 1970 11
versus poor, or West versus East; but this is not the case. The declarations
are metaphysical: they mean such issues as reality versus delusion, or
reason versus whim. As evidence, observe the nature of the conflict be-
tween positive philosophy and the civilization it has created, on the one
hand - and the perennial protest of negative philosophy, on the other.
"This conflict," Marcuse says, "dates back to the origins of philosophic
thought itself and finds striking expression in the contrast between Plato's
dialectical logic and the formal logic of the Aristotelian Organon. " 19
Throughout the subsequent history of Western civilization, positive phi-
losophy has been "stabilizing," while negative philosophy has been "sub-
versive." The two "different modes of thought clash with each other; they
belong to different ways of apprehending, organizing, changing society
and nature. The stabilizing tendencies conflict with the subversive ele-
ments of Reason, the power of positive with that of negative thinking,
until the achievements of advanced industrial civilization lead to the tri-
umph of the one-dimensional reality over all contradiction." 20
Bear in mind the basic metaphysical and epistemological position of
positive philosophy. Positive philosophy holds that there is only one real-
ity. There is nothing behind existence. It simply exists. Everything is what
it is. A is A. Facts are facts. There is nothing above the facts, behind the
facts or skulking between the facts. Reality is consistent throughout; it is
completely subject to the laws of formal logic, to the principles of identity,
non-contradiction and excluded middle. Contradictions do not exist,
except in man's mind; they are man's cognitive errors or aberrations; the
attempt to translate them into reality leads to destruction. There can be
no contradiction between the ideal and the real, between the moral and
the practical. Every valid ideal must be based ori reality.
Marcuse concedes that it was the development of this logical approach
to reality that led to science and to technolbgy: "Aristotle's Metaphysics
states the connection between concept and control ... By virtue of the
universal concept, thought attains mastery over the particular cases . . ..
The idea of formal logic itself is a historical event in the development of
the mental and physical instruments for universal control and calcula-
bility .. . . Formal logic is thus the first step on the long road to scientific
thought ... " 21
As used by Marcuse, the phrase "universal control and calculability"
has an ambiguous meaning. It is, in fact, one of his many systematic obfus-
cations. What he means is two things : ( 1) positive philosophy led to
man's control over nature, which is true , and (2) positive philosophy led
to the enslavement of man by man, which is false. Marcuse achieves this
deliberate confusion by associating the concept of control with the
concept of domination as used by Hegel. According to Hegel, men are
inevitably involved in "master-slave relationships," which exemplify

12 THE OBJECTIVIST
"domination.""" In characteristic dialectical fashion, Marcuse employs
this concept to cover both slavery and free trade. He would claim, for
example, that I "dominate" you if I enslave you, or if I sell you a product
at a price higher than you wish to pay, or if I hire you at a wage lower
than you wish to work for. Marcuse muddies this still further by equating
it with man's control over nature, thereby achieving one of the most
blatant equivocations or package deals in intellectual history. Man "dom-
inates" his fellow man by enslaving him or throwing him into a concen-
tration camp; he also "dominates" him by hiring him or trading with
him; he also "dominates" nature by discovering its laws, by producing
inventions, or simply by driving a tractor over a field.
Marcuse claims that we must distinguish between two forms of "domi-
nation," pre-technological and technological. The former corresponds
roughly to the cruder forms of control over nature and man, contempo-
rary with Aristotle; the latter, to the more sophisticated control made
possible by the mathematization of the scientific method at the begin-
ning of the modern era. "Pre-technological and technological modes of
domination are fundamentally different-- as different as slavery is from
free-wage labor, paganism from Christianity, the city state from the
nation, the slaughter of the population of a captured city from the Nazi
concentration camps . However, history is still the history of domination,
and the logic of thought remains the logic of domination." 21
These two sentences telescope the ultimate conclusions of the Marcu-
sian gospel delivered in New Left Newspeak: "The logic of thought is
slavery. Capitalism is freedom which is slavery plus technology. Freedom
is a concentration camp. Freedom is slavery." Mixed in with this dialec-
tical defamation, however, is the admission of an important truth, a truth
all too often ignored by conventional historians who disregard the forest
for the trees: the basic outlook presented in Aristotle's logic is the root
of modern science, technology and capitalism.
To this logic, Marcuse opposes another "logic," the so-called "dialec-
tical" logic. From Plato onward, negative philosophers have claimed that
there are two different functions of reason. The first is the normal function
of reason, which deals with the facts of reality according to the rules of
formal logic. Hegel (who is Marcuse's real master and who derived his
terminology, with some changes, from Kant) refers to this as the "under-
standing." The second is an alleged higher function of reason, which
deals with values and "essences," and which is "above" the laws of formal
logic. In Hegelian terminology, this alleged second function is called "rea-
son." With the aid of this grotesque semantic adjustment, we can listen
with "understanding" to Marcuse's exposition of "dialectical thinking."
Expounding the Hegelian view, Marcuse says: "The operations of the
understanding yield the usual type of thinking that prevails in everyday

SEPTEMBER 1970 13
life as well as in science . ... Understanding, then, conceives a world of
finite entities, governed by the principle of identity and opposition. Every-
thing is identical with itself and with nothing else; it is, by virtue of its
self-identity, opposed to all other things. It can be connected and com-
bined with them in many ways, but it never loses its own identity and
never becomes something other than itself . .. . The operations of under-
standing thus divide the world into numberless polarities . . . As dis-
tinguished from the understanding, reason is motivated by the need 'to
restore the totality.' How can this be done? First, says Hegel, by under-
mining the false security that the perceptions and manipulations of the
understanding provide .. . . [Dialectical thinking] undermines the 'secu-
rity' of common sense and demonstrates that 'what common sense regards
as immediately certain does not have any reality for philosophy.' ... The
form of reality that is immediately given is, then, no final reality. The
system of isolated things in opposition, produced by the operations of
the understanding, must be recognized for what it is: a 'bad' form of
reality, a realm of limitation and bondage .... Whereas common sense
and the understanding had perceived isolated entities that stood opposed
one to the other, reason apprehends 'the identity of the opposites.' It ...
transforms them so that they cease to exist as opposites, although their
content is preserved in a higher and more 'real' form of being. The process
of unifying opposites touches every part of reality and comes to an end
only when reason has 'organized' the whole so that 'every part ~.? Xists only
in relation to the whole,' and 'every individual entity has meaning and
significance only in its relation to the totality.' . .. Reason signifies the
'absolute annihilation' of the common-sense world. For, as we have
already said, the struggle against common sense is the beginning of specu-
lative thinking, and the loss of everyday security is the origin of
philosophy." 24
Observe in this passage: ( 1) that the denial of the law of identity is
essential to Marcuse's whole position and (2) that the undermining of
this law in the minds of others is an essential part of his educational
project.
Marcuse obviously finds the facts of reality intolerable. He finds the
dreams of his particular kind of imagination satisfying. What is his con-
clusion? It is a political one: commitment to the actualization of his ideals
on the field of history. In drawing this conclusion, Marcuse is merely
unrolling the final term of the Hegelian triad:
Thesis: appearance (reality)
Antithesis: essence (fantasy)
Synthesis: actuality (political force)
At this point, Marcuse graduates from his work with Hegel and goes to
study under Marx. The problem is to bring about a change in history so

14 THE OBJECTIVIST
that the "essence" of man (the ideal of an effortless existence) may be
brought into reality by political action. How can this be done? Only by
finding an insertion point in the world of appearance (the present society)
to drive in the wedge of revolution. This insertion point is the whole
system of weaknesses and conflicts in today's mixed economy. This is the
Marcusian parallel to Marx's original concept of "contradictions" in
capitalism. (Just what the wedge of revolution is, will be discussed later,
but the reader need not wait for an answer, especially if he lives on or
near a campus.)
The first step, says Marcuse, is "subversion" of "the given reality." 2 5
And that in turn has two phases, an educational phase and a directly
political phase. The first has been well under way for some time. We are
about to enter the second. Both phases proceed in accordance with the
Platonic-Hegelian dialectic.
In the dialectical method of argument, the basic terms are "methodi-
cally kept open, ambiguous, not fully defined. They have an open horizon,
an entire universe of meaning which is gradually structured in the process
of communication itself, but which is never closed. The propositions are
submitted, developed, and tested in a dialogue, in which the partner is
led to question the normally unquestioned universe of experience and
speech, and to enter a new dimension of discourse ... The laws of
thought ... become the laws of reality if thought understands the truth
of immediate experience as the appearance of another truth, which is
that of the true Forms of reality- of the Ideas. Thus there is contradic-
tion rather than correspondence between dialectical thought and the given
reality; the true judgment judges this reality not in its own terms, but in
terms which envisage its subversion. And in this subversion, reality comes
into its own truth. "za
What does this mean? It means that, in the educational process, the
student is led to question his own rationality. His mind tells him that his
survival and well-being depend on his rational, realistic thinking, his
self-assertion and his industry. He is brought into "dialogue" and his
rationality is subjected to the dialectical process, i.e., it is twisted into
paradoxes, or alleged to be just another optional form of religious faith
or to be "relative to one's culture." This may happen in Philosophy 1-2,
Sociology 1-2 or Anthropology 1-2. The student is then ready for Free
University Literature 1-2 , where he reads in the First Surrealist Mani-
festo that "Imagination alone tells me what can be" 27 and that imagina-
tion alone tells me what "ultimate justice" is. But wasn't the Platonic
dialectic an attempt to find the definition of justice? It certainly was. And
didn't Plato end up by writing a Republic? He certainly did. Let us do
more. Let us subvert the established reality in order to found our own
Republic based on what the imagination declares to be just. Thus, m

SEPTEMBER 1970 15
Marcuse's words: 'The search for the correct definition, for the 'concept'
of virtue, justice, piety, and knowledge becomes a subversive undertaking,
for the concept intends a new polis.""s
Such is the nature of the educational phase advocated by Marcuse.
After he graduates from it, the student - or what is left of him - is ready
for the directly political phase.
(To he continued in our next issue.)

REFERENCES
1 Marcuse is speaking here primarily of Aristotle's basic position as expounded in

the Organon. He recognizes that there are elements of Platonism in Aristotle's work,
and approves highly of those elements.
2 Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man (Boston, Beacon Press, 1964), p. 141.

For the Hegelian source, see G. W. F. Hegel, Science of Logic, trans. W. H. John-
ston and L. G. Struthers (London, Allen and Unwin, 1929), vol. 2, ch. 1, esp. pp.
17-18; also The Logic of Hegel, trans. William Wallace (London, Oxford Univer-
sity Press, 1892), pp. 239-71.
"Herbert Marcuse, "The Concept of Essence" in Negations (Boston, Beacon Press,
1968), p. 45.
40ne-Dimensional Man, p. 127. 5Jbid. Gfbid., p. 125. 7/bid.
SNegations, p. 43. Of bid., p. 45. 10fbid., p. 44.
llHerbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization (Boston, Beacon Press, 1955), p. 149.
This term is taken by Marcuse_from Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Mod-
ern World (New York, Macmillan, 1926), p. 228. Whitehead's usage is much more
abstract.
120ne-Dimensiolllil Man, p. 129. 1 3/bid., p. 127. 14 /bid., p. 126.

'"Ibid., pp. 128, 130. 16/bid. , p. 123. 17 /bid., p. 131. 18 /bid., p. 125.

lOJbid., P- 124. 20fbid. 2'/bid., p. 137.


22 G. W. F. Hegel, The Phenomenology of Mind, trans. J. B. Baillie (London, Mac-

millan, 1931), pp. 228-40.


230ne-Dimensional Man, p. 138.
2 1Herbert Marcuse, Reason and Revolution (New York, Humanities Press, 1954),

pp. 44-48.
250ne-Dimensional Man, pp. 131-32. 26/bid.
2 7 Quoted in Eros and Civilization, p. 149.
zsone-Dimensional Man, p. 134.

Professor Walsh, for fifteen years Chairman of the Philosophy Depart-


ment at Hobart College (Geneva, N. Y), is currently Professor of Philos-
ophy and Coordinator of the Philosophy Program at Eisenhower College
(Seneca Falls, N .Y). Professor Walsh has offered seminars, at both
institutions, on various aspects of the philosophy of Objectivism.

16 THE OBJECTIVIST
(To be continued in our next issue.)

HERBERT MARCUSE, PHILOSOPHER


OF THE NEW LEFT (II)
By George Walsh

3. Marcuse's View of Life and of Man

"Phantasy," according to Marcuse, is man's guide to ethics and politics.


Phantasy or imagination, he claims, is a special mental faculty that per-
ceives- by insight- the second dimension of reality, the world of
"essence." Dressing it in Freudian terminology, he takes this view over
from Plato, who held that the human mind has a type of memory or recol-
lection of a higher world where men lived before birth and where they had
clear knowledge of the Ideas or perfect Forms. After birth, in this lower
world, men retain only a cloudy memory of the ideal Forms, but dialectical
logic helps them to clarify their recollection. Marcuse accepts the "reminis-
cence" aspect of Platonic epistemology. He holds that phantasy or imag-
ination is a form of memory and as such is cognitive in function. Phantasy,
he claims, is man's basic means of knowing how he should live and what
he should regard as a truly human society. Phantasy is "a fundamental,
independent mental process" 1 with "its own laws and truth values."~
But Marcuse rejects Plato's supernaturalistic explanation of "reminis-
cence." A naturalistic explanation, he claims, has been provided by Sig-
mund Freud.

8 THE OBJECTIVIST
According to Freud's doctrine, man's daydreams and phantasies are
disguised memories either of his own childhood or of the childhood of the
human race. Since the occurrence of phantasies is caused by desire, it
follows that they correspond to man's basic desires and needs; since phan-
tasies are tinged with a vague memory of satisfaction, it follows that, at
some time in the past, man experienced a deeper satisfaction of his needs.
And, since his needs must be part of his true nature or "essence," it follows
that one can define man's essence by studying his phantasies.
Other philosophers who based their view of man on mystic fantasy
called it by different names: intuition, revelation, divine illumination and
so on. But Marcuse, as a secularist and a Marxist, seeks to present his
position in naturalistic terms. Having laid the foundation of his philosophy
with materials supplied by Plato and Hegel, Marcuse turns to Freud for
the materials of the structure to be erected on that foundation. He uses
Freudian theory to fill in the details of the abstract model of the perfect
human life supplied by Plato - and thus to garb Platonic metaphysics and
epistemology in contemporary, "scientific" dress. As Marcuse puts it:
"Freud's metapsychology here restores imagination to its rights."
In the words of a friendly critic, Paul A. Robinson, Marcuse began "by
accepting Freud's most extreme, and apparently most pessimistic, psycho-
logical assumptions: the unparalleled importance of sexuality, the primary
significance of the unconscious and repression, and, finally, the hypoth-
esis of a death instinct. " 4
In order to answer the question: "What is the nature of man?" Marc use
tries first to answer the wider question: "What is the nature of life?" He
undertakes both tasks in Eros and Civilization ( 1955), a work that is
sometimes called "the Marcusian Bible."
Marcuse does not attempt to offer an explicit definition of life. Instead,
he tries to formulate a general theory of living behavior. As a Freudian,
he holds that all life is driven by instinct. Instincts are the "primary
'drives' " 5 of the organism. They are a form of behavior which is innate,
although capable of being modified to some extent by historical factors .6
Instinctual behavior is caused by an internal stimulus, such as the secretion
of a hormone; the internal stimulus creates tension, which triggers a
specific type of behavior in order to eliminate the tension and return the
organism to its previous state.
Freud based this doctrine on a theory originally formulated by the
psychophysicist Gustav Fechner (1801-87). According to Fechner, every
organism strives to attain stability, i.e., an equal distribution of energy
within itself, a state of internal quiescence; the behavior of living organisms
is, therefore, essentially an attempt to reduce tension. Freud calls this the
Nirvana principle. Nirvana, the final goal of the Buddhist religion, is the

OCTOBER 1970 9
complete extinction of desire. Freud goes the Buddhists one better: he
claims that all desire seeks its own extinctig11.
- MarcuSefollows Freud in postulating two basic instincts that govern
the behavior of all living organisms: the life instinct and the death instinct.
The life instinct is the source of all behavior aimed at the preservation
and continuation of life. Both Freud and Marcuse are more concerned
with the survival of the species than with the survival of the individual,
and, therefore, they refer to the life instinct as Eros or the love instinct.
Marcuse quotes Freud's statements that Eros is the drive "to combine
organic substances into ever larger unities," and that its manifestations are
"the essence of the group mind." '
The death instinct is an innate drive toward the destruction of life.
According to Freudian theory, every organism has an innate drive toward
self-destruction, which is the basic manifestation of the death instinct. All
living behavior is a continuous seesaw between these two antagonistic
forces, which are about equal in strength.
The notion of a death instinct implies that the organism's own life is
some kind of disturbance to itself which it seeks to eliminate. How can
~ a~Ytilflig bea disturbance to 1tse f? n rational t erms, this is a blatant con-
tradiction. But the notion of a death instinct is perfectly consistent with
the view of life implicit in Freud's instinct theory.
Freud viewed instinct as "a special case of Fechner's principle of the
tendency toward stability." 8 Fechner's principle- according to Dr.
Thomas Szasz, a contemporary psychoanalytical theorist - is "a special
case of the more general second law of thermodynamics ." 9 This law states
that heat tends to become equalized among the bodies within a closed
system, passing from the hotter bodies to the colder, resulting in less energy
available for work (this state is called higher entropy) . At the end of the
nineteenth century, that law was taken to be of cosmic significance. The
universe was regarded as a closed physical system of the type postulated
in the law, and it was widely held that the universe is running down. Freud
accepted the general mechanistic view of life current at the end of the
nineteenth century, and concluded that life is just another physical system.
How, then, does the second law of thermodynamics apply to the behavior
of living entities?
Life is ever seeking its own preservation and enhancement, and thus
"evades the decay to equilibrium," to use the words of the physicist
Schrodinger. 10 This aspect of living organisms indicates that life is some-
thing radically different in character from nonliving matter; but this was
not Freud's conclusion . Clinging to his belief that living matter is organized
in essentially the same way as nonliving matter, he concluded that ali ':!.~
,?rganism is a kind of eddy or backwater in which certain particles of ~

10 THE OBJECTIVIST
ter are momentaril yJ f!!Pr~ and prevented from participating in the
general movement of inorganic matter, which is a running-down process;
the particles thus trapped are constantly trying to escape in order to join
their brothers and sisters in the cosmic mainstream. This is the death
instinct- the desire to escape from the living organism. It is obvious that{
what we are dealing with here is merely another version of Plato's doctrine
that the body is the prison of the soul.
In this view, death is the normal condition, life is the abnormal. Life
is a kind of disease, a pimple on the face of the universe. With such pre-
suppositions, Freud found life not merely unexplained, but inexplicable.
The death instinct is a healthy reaction to this inexplicable disease: "The
attributes of life were at some time evoked in inanimate matter by the ac-
tion of a force of whose nature we can form no conception. The tension
which then arose in what had hitherto been an inanimate substance en-
deavored to cancel itself out. In this way the first instinct came into being,
the instinct to return to the inorganic state." 11
In other words , life is an unnatural state created by an inexplicable
force. Living matter is in a state of tension because it is alive. To be alive
is to be trapped in a living body. Since instinct is the mechanism working
to reduce tension, there must be a death instinct. Freud is thus in the pecu-
liar position of being able to explain the death instinct without being able
to explain the life instinct; indeed, one gains the impression that the former
is more congenial to him than the latter.
Marcuse accepts both the life and the death instincts, but seeks to
improve upon Freud's theory by reducing them to a common source: "The
quest for the common origin of the two basic instincts can no longer be
silenced. "' 2 He finds the basis for such a monistic theory of instinct in a
suggestion put forward by Freud's eminent disciple Otto Fenichel, one of
the leaders of the Marxist faction in the German Psychoanalytic SocietyY
The essence of Fenichel's theory is that both life-enhancing behavior (e.g.,
eating) and life-destructive behaviqr (e.g., suicide) can be explained as
~_s_Qlfl eeln.glrQm tnsion. For instance, the infant's longing
for food is merely a longing for a means "to assuage its hunger and con-
tinue to sleep." Thus all stimuli are bad from the standpoint of the living
a
organism. They are form of _erse9-1tion. Man's earlieSt u rge, Fenichel
goes on, is to destroy the external world, which is bothering him . In this
way, the life instinct can be "derived on genetic-dialectic lines from the
Nirvana princi pie." 14
As to the death instinct, Fenichel's theory holds: "The death instinct is
destructiveness not for its own sake, but for the relief of tension . The de-
scent toward death is an unconscious flight from pain and want. It is an
expression of the eternal struggle against suffering and repression ." 15

OCTOBER 1970 11
According to this Marxist-Freudian "phantasy," nature is man's enemy
because it keeps persecuting him with stimuli. What be really wants in the
deepest part of his being is to get back to sleep. This is every living organ-
ism's basic urge. The living being is in a tragic and desperate situation.
It has one innate goal, one chief value: a guaranteed existence in a dream-
like ecstasy- "silence, sleep, night, paradise." 16 Nature, however, keeps
demanding that the organism wake up and go to work. Living behavior is
simply an attempt to get farther down under the covers. Is there any way
out of this desperate state? There can be only partial alleviation, answers
Marcuse. His proposed partial alleviation requires a union of political and
technological action, which he calls the pacification of nature.
Marcuse sees Aristotelian logic as his enemy, and with good reason.
Logic, as well as the Aristotelian concept of the essence of life as autou
tropheia or self-sustenance (De Anima, Book II), is profoundly opposed
to Marcuse's "negative" philosophical biology. However, to find the full
and systematic antithesis to the Marcusian concept of life, we must turn to
the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Her philosophy, Objectivism, bas brought
the Aristotelian standpoint to full consistency.
The crucial difference between living entities and nonliving matter, Ayn
Rand maintains, is that whereas the existence of nonliving matter is un-
conditional, the existence of a living entity is conditional upon its own
action. (The term action here denotes such living processes as respiration,
digestion, photosynthesis, locomotion, perception, reason and so on, de-
pending upon the species in question.) "It is only a living organism that
faces a constant alternative: the issue of life or death. Life is a process of
self-sustaining and self-generated action. If an organism fails in that action,
it dies; its chemical elements remain, but its life goes out of existence." 17
According to Objectivism, life by its very nature is conditional. This
means that a living being by its very nature has needs, which must be satis-
fied by its own actions. An organism's failure to take such actions threatens
its survival or well-being. In Objectivist theory, the concept of well-being
is logically integrated with the concept of survival: well-being is a function
of survival. To live is to have needs, to be stimulated, to wake up (in the
case of man: to focus), to act to satisfy one's needs and goals, to be self-
sustaining. There is no other way to be alive.
The Marcusian concept is the exact opposite of the Objectivist concept
of life. In the Marcusian view, life by its very nature is in flight from stimu-
lation and tension. This means that it is disturbed by the fact that it
has needs, which means that it is disturbed by the fact that its existence is
not unconditional and guaranteed-and, therefore, that it is disturbed by
reality, which it must seek to "subvert" or "pacify." Reality demands
effortful action, therefore reality is the enemy.

12 THE OBJECTIVIST
Such an attitude is possible only on the premise that the essence of life
is inaction, passivity, stagnation. What does this mean but the tenet that
the essence of life is death? Marcuse is not disturbed by a thought of this
kind. "Never before," he triumphantly announces, speaking of Freud's
original theory, "has death been so consistently taken into the essence of
life; but never before also has death come so close to Eros." 18 Since
Fenichel's theory, which Marcuse espouses, purports to effect a "dialec-
tical synthesis" of life and death, it becomes clear why Marc use's followers
call their sodden, drug-dazed gatherings "festivals of life."
Marcuse's view of the nature of man is consistent with his view of the
nature of life. Following Freud, he asserts that all the other animals are
ruled by the pleasure principle. This principle leads to behavior whose
"governing value system" is "immediate satisfaction, pleasure, joy (play),
receptiveness, a6sence of repression."'" The history of man's development
is largely the history of the repression of the pleasure principle, and its
replacement by a different type of behavior.
The earliest men, Marcuse asserts, were guided wholly by the pleasure
principle. They spent the greater part of their time in sexual activity and
in "relating" to one another by mutual olfactory exploration. But they
soon encountered a basic difficulty: scarcity. Nowhere does Marcuse offer
a definition of scarcity. From his many rambling and evasive statements
on the subject, one can extract only the following: scarcity is that condi-
tion wherein all members of society do not have every whim satJsneo
immediately without any effort on their part.
(This view is not exclusively Marcuse's; the same implied assumption
is involved in the classical concept of "scarcity" held by the original "de-
fenders" of capitalism, and learned from them by the socialists. Both
Marcuse and the socialists view "scarcity" as unnatural and unmaternal
on the part of nature; somehow, things "should" be otherwise.)
Scarcity, Marcuse tells us, means that "the struggle for existence takes
place in a world too poor for the satisfaction of human needs without
constant restraint, renunciation, delay. In other words, whatever satisfac-
tion is possible necessitates work, more or less painful arrangements and
undertakings for the procurement of the means for satisfying needs. For
the duration of work, which occupies practically the entire existence of
the mature individual, pleasure is 'suspended' and pain prevails. And since
the basic instincts strive for the prevalence of pleasure and for the absence
of pain, the pleasure principle is incompatible with reality, and the instincts
have to undergo a repressive regimentation."~"
The necessity of work involves what Marcuse calls basic repression,
which consists in "the 'modifications' of the instincts necessary for the
perpetuation of the human race in civilization.""'. "Freud described this

OCTOBER 1970 13
change as the transformation of the pleasure principle into the reality
principle." 22 This leads to behavior whose "governing value system" is
"delayed satisfaction, restraint of pleasure, toil (work), productiveness,
security." 23 Thus man was expelled from his primitive paradise and
forced to labor by the sweat of his brow.
"Under the reality principle," writes Marcuse, "the human being de-
velops the function of reason: it learns to 'test' the reality, to distinguish
between good and bad, true and false, useful and harmful. Man acquires
the faculties of attention, memory, and judgment. He becomes a con-
scious, thinking subject, geared to a rationality which is imposed upon
him from outside. Only one mode of thought-activity is 'split off' from
the new organization of the mental apparatus and remains free from the
rule of the reality principle: phantasy is 'protected from cultural altera-
tions' and stays committed to the pleasure principle." 24
(Observe that this last, a phantasy free from reality, is what Marcuse
holds as superior to reason and to all the other human capacities listed in
the above paragraph - and that this superior faculty is simultaneously the
voice of a "higher" dimension and of the prehuman, prehistorical brute.)
The pleasure principle is merely repressed, not eliminated. It is forced
back into the unconscious, claims Marcuse, and it forms a second self,
ever at war with the reality principle, ever remembering the primitive
Eden, ever presenting the non-negotiable demand: "Satisfaction now!"
Man, in essence, is a divided being. Three plagues- scarcity, basic repres-
sion, the reality principle - are part of the human situation.
But men should have "alleviated" their situation, Marcuse declares.
They should have come together and instituted a "non-oppressive distri-
bution of scarcity" 25 (!) according to need. This is a "negative" philoso-
her's way of saying that men should have instituted a communist society
in which each person works according to his ability and receives according
to his needs - or, more precisely, works according to what the State
decides is his ability, and receives according to what the State decides are
his needs. Such State action would have been what Marcuse calls a "rational
exercise of authority." But, instead, men instituted a society based on what
Marcuse calls "domination." Domination "is exercised by a particular
group or individual in order to sustain and enhance itself in a privileged
position." 26 ("Privilege" here means the right to own the products of one's
work.) "Domination" means private property. It means capitalism. It
means an exploitative attitude toward nature. It means modern technology.
"Domination" adds to the burdens of the reality principle by placing fur-
ther restrictions on man's behavior. These restrictions are caused by the
performance principle.
The performance principle, says Marcuse, means that "society is strati-

14 THE OBJECTIVIST
fied according to the competitive economic performances of its mem-
bers."27 In other words, a man gets what he earns. This, to Marcuse, is
"repressive." He regards it as a second dose of repression, over and above
basic repression, and calls it surplus repression.
Surplus repression creates the following causes of suffering: (1) A
"hierarchical division of labor." 28 (2) The division of the day into two
parts, work time and free time; 29 during work time, men work resentfully
and mechanically for "the apparatus," and their free time is "regimented"
by the "mass manipulation" of the entertainment industry. 30 ( 3) The
extolling of productivity, which is an example of "the taming of the in-
stincts by exploitative reason." 3 1 (4) The association of individuals pri-
marily on grounds of property and work relations, rather than on grounds
of the pleasure or displeasure they might get from sensory exploration of
one another. 32 (5) The general desexualization of the body in order to
make it a more efficient instrument for both work and reproduction (the
lesser erotogenic zones are repressed in favor of the genital) .33 (6) The
"monogamic-patriarchal family." 34
Marcuse's notion of surplus repression is obviously an echo of Marx's
notion of surplus value. In Marxist economic theory, surplus value is a
I
part of the total value of the manufactured product, which was created by
the worker, but which is withheld from him by the capitalist in the form
of the latter's profit.
The capitalist, according to Marcuse, not only deducts the surplus
value from a man's paycheck on Friday, but gives him a shot of surplus
repression to ruin his weekend.
Observe that this series of elaborate constructs is merely a moderniza-
tion of a hoary myth, like a coat of Marxist paint and Freudian clapboard
over a musty, crumbling tenement. According to Marcusian mythology,
productive man is fallen man. He has fallen from prehistoric communal
grace. He is now in the power of the devil (he is "dominated" by reason,
logic, science, capitalism). That power can be destroyed only by the
sacrifice of man's arrogant mind, by mystic intuition and by the renuncia-
tion- or subversion- of this earth. The devil must first be exorcised (or
criticized) in the name of "human values" taken from another dimension,
then overthrown by fire, brimstone and homemade bombs - and then the
earth will be free to be ruled by pure intuition, true love and brute force.
(To be continued in our next issue.)

REFERENCES
1
Eros and Civilization, p. 143. 2Jbid., p. 141. 3Jbid. , p. 143.
4The Freudian Left, p. 201.
5 Eros and Civilization, p. 8. 6Jbid., passim. 1Jbid., p. 42.

OCTOBER 1970 15
SSigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle in Complete Psych ological Works
(London, Hogarth Press, 1955), vol. 18, pp. 8-10.
9Thomas Szasz, "On the Psychoanalytic Theory of the Instincts," Yearb ook of Psy-
choanalysis (New York, International Universities Press, 1954), p. 61.
IoErwin Schrodinger, What is Life? (New York, Doubleday Anchor Books, 19 -6 ) .
p. 69.
11Beyond the Pleasure Principle, p. 38.
12ros and Civilization, p. 28.
13Cf. Mary Higgins and Chester Raphael, Reich Speaks of Freud (New York, K oon-
day Press, 1967), passim, especially pp. 176-201.
14Qtto Fenichel, Collected Papers (New York, W. W. Norton Co. , 1953 ), Firs
Series, pp. 367-8.
15ros and Civilization, p. 29. 16 /bid., p. 164.
17Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (New York, Random House, 1957), pp. 1012-13.
1Sros and Civilization, pp . 28-9. 19fbid., p. 12. 20fbid., pp. 35-6. The second
italics mine. 2lfbid., p. 35. 22 lbid., p. 12. 23 lbid. 24 /bid., p. 14. 25 /bid. ,
p. 151. Italics mine. 2Bfbid., p. 36. 21/bid. , p. 44. 2Bfbid., pp. 37-8 . 29/ bid.,
p. 47. 30fbid ., p. 48 . 3lfbid., p. 156. 32 /bid., p. 39. 33 /bid., pp. 38-9.
34 /hid., p. 37.
HERBERT MARCUSE, PHILOSOPHER
OF THE NEW LEFT (Ill)
By George Walsh

4. Marcuse's Ethics and Political Philosophy

In Eros and Civilization Marcuse presents a systematic "justification"


of collectivism. However, even though the argument is systematic, it is
presented, like all of Marcuse's arguments, in a very diffuse manner and

8 THE OBJECTIVIST
is, therefore, missed by many readers. This is regrettable because the
argument is a major point in the mythology of the New Left and should not
be obfuscated. The following is an attempt to reorganize it and present
its premises in logical order.
Man, according to Marcuse, is locked in a struggle between his life
and death instincts; the outcome of the struggle is uncertain. 1 Man's only
hope for survival lies in the subordination of the death instinct to the life
instinct. The whole history of civilization up to the present has been an
attempt to tame the death instinct and put it in the service of the life
instinct. But the method used was an improper one, which accounts for
our present desperate situation.
The method consisted in rechanneling the aggressive energy of the death
instinct away from its original goal, self-destruction, to the substitute goal
of self-preservation. Instead of damaging himself, the individual directed
his aggressive energy outward toward other people, entered into compe-
tition with them and "dominated" them. Furthermore, he turned his
aggression into work; he tamed nature and created modern technology.
Still another result of that policy was the formation of man's superego or
conscience. The superego directs aggression back toward the self in the
form of guilt, when the ideals of the ego are not obeyed. In modern society,
rationality, orderliness and productivity were among the chief ideals. In
its time, this was a wise policy: the guilt or "self-aggression" which men
experienced when they failed was an example of the death instinct oper-
ating in the service of life. In Marcuse's words:
"Still, the entire progress of civilization is rendered possible only by
the transformation and utilization of the death instinct or its derivatives.
The diversion of primary destructiveness from the ego to the external
world feeds technological progress, and the use of the death instinct for
the formation of the superego achieves the punitive submission of the
pleasure ego to the reality principle and assures civilized morality .... In
attacking, splitting, changing, pulverizing things and animals (and, peri-
odically, also men), man extends his dominion over the world and
advances to ever richer stages of civilization. But civilization preserves
throughout the mark of its deadly component ... ""
Thus, according to Marcuse, civilization, technological progress and \
civilized morality are in essence expressions of death. But man committed
the sin of becoming moral and civilized because, until quite recently, it
was his only way of reducing tension.
Marcuse's view of the relationship between capitalism and progress is
expressed in the following succinct statement: "Such domination does not
exclude technical, material, and intellectual progress, but only as an un-
avoidable by-product while preserving irrational scarcity, want, and
constraint." 3 In other words, even though capitalism necessarily ("un-

NOVEMBER 1970 9
avoidably") results in progress, it deserves no moral credit, because the
capitalists are intent on their selfish profits rather than on service to
humanity.
>(
~
Behind this opinion, which is common to all leftists, is the hidden meta-
physical premise derived from Kant: the world of causal efficacy and
success is not the world of moral values; the only thing that matters is
good intentions or "good will," and good will cannot be egoistic. (This
premise and this premise alone lends moral security to the leftists' attacks
on capitalism: if capitalism has resulted in progress, they argue, we owe
it no thanks, for this was merely the "unavoidable" result of the amoral
structure of causality.)
Capitalism, claims Marcuse, was a necessary evil in its time. However,
we are now at a turning point in man's history. The technological progress
achieved by capitalism is such that it will soon be possible to guarantee
everybody's basic needs of food, clothing and shelter. This achievement
would be what Marcuse caJls the pacification of nature.4 (He also uses
other terms, such as "the pacification of existence"" and the pacification
of life.) The pacification of nature would be more than a technological
achievement. It would mean the abolition of capitalism, and the estab-
lishment of "collective ownership, collective control and planning of the
means of production and distribution. " 0 This social change would be a
victory for the life instinct over the death instinct.
The other name that Freud gave to the life instinct is Eros or love. Here
Marcuse quotes Freud's words to the effect that the life instinct is the
effort to "establish ever greater unities and to preserve them thus-in short,
to bind together. " Out of Eros-says Marcuse, again quoting Freud with
approval-arise those "emotional ties" that "constitute the essence of the
group mind. " 7 Thus the essence of the life instinct, the essence of love,
demands collectivism. Men can bring the life instinct to a fuller develop-
ment only by instituting a collectivist society.
But wouldn't the death instinct continue to exist and to demand its toll
of destruction? Marcuse's answer is: no-and his argument is the central
thesis of Eros and Civilization.
Marcuse's modification of Freud's theory holds that the life and death
instincts are merely alternate expressions of a more fundamental urge:
to flee from tension. Therefore, the intense satisfaction of one such ex-
pression would reduce the urgency of the other, just as the opening of
one faucet will reduce the water pressure on another faucet connected
to the same pipe. Marcuse's proposed method of reducing the power of
the death instinct is to increase the satisfaction of the life instinct by col-
lectivizing the human species to the maximum extent-which will reduce
tension and, therefore, reduce man's tendency to self-destruction. This
argument is truly a masterpiece of hydraulic engineering.

10 THE OBJECTIVIST
What are the contemporary forces of death against which the forces of
life (love, collectivism) are struggling? Marcuse answers that they are
capitalism, unrestrained technological progress and war. As we approach
the stage of "the pacification of nature," these manifestations of the death
instinct are no longer needed. However, Western civilization is unwilling
to give them up. The problem of production has been solved, but most
people are unwilling to go on to solve the problem of distribution. Why?
Because, says Marcuse, they have become addicted to capitalism, to tech-
nological progress, to "the aggressive performances of 'earning a living.' " 8
Work is a form of aggression. Earning, and rewarding people according
~at they earn, are forms of aggression. Back in the days of the indus-
trial revolution, such policies were excusable, because working and earning
were then necessary. Aggression was then in the service of life. But now,
declares Marcuse, it is no longer necessary to earn a living- and the in-
sistence that people should work is aggression for its own sake rather
than out of love. It is addiction to death. As civilized men race to increase
the gross national product, turning out ever more useless gadgets and
luxury items, "violating nature" by their bulldozers and their pollution,
making war against poor collectivist guerrillas in the jungle who are trying
to protect "their shacks, hospitals, and rice fields" 0 from the capitalist
aggressors, mankind is being carried toward a final conflagration. Such is
th"thlarcusian apocalypse.
What is his solution? It is known to the Marcusians as liberation. The
basic plan of liberation is to release the full power of Eros- i.e., love,
collectivism and the forms of sexuality formerly repressed and regarded
as perverse. The plan calls for the revival of a sexuality that is not focused
on the genital organs and is not tied to male-female differences-a revival
of polymorphous perverse sexuality. 10 This would lead to "libidinal work
relations"; the civilizing function of Eros consists in "the turning from
egoism to altruism"; 11 Eros is "connected to communallabor." 12
The satisfaction of Eros will save mankind from self-destruction-
because the life instinct, as well as the death instinct, is seeking Nirvana:
"The death instinct operates under the Nirvana principle: it tends toward
that state of 'constant gratification' where no tension is felt- a state without
want. ... paradoxically, in terms of the instinct, the conflict between life
and death is the more reduced, the closer life approximates the state of
gratification. Pleasure principle and Nirvana principle then converge ....
the strengthened Eros would, as it were, absorb the objective of the death
instinct. ... As suffering and want recede, the Nirvana principle may be-
come reconciled with the reality principle."' 3
It is on the grounds of such "phantasy" as this that Marcuse and his
followers are seeking to enslave mankind and destroy the world.
Observe that this theory is a debased version of Marx's scheme of

NOVEMBER 1970 11
history. Marx claimed that history proceeds from primitive communis2
through capitalism to communism combined with industrial technolo_:
(via a complex series of dialectical stages). Since Marx's prophecies "~.:
proved, by historical events, to be false and lost popularity (particul~.:
among the working classes and particularly in America), Marcu
attempting to sell the same bill of goods, but in a shoddier wrapper. H::
replaces Marx's economic determinism with Freudian old wives' tal~.
and declares that man's history is determined, not by his means of prod u ~
tion, but by the struggle of two cosmic spooks: the Life and Death In-
stincts. Marcuse's revised dialectical scheme has history start out with
primitive pleasure-worship, proceed to-capitalism's reality principle, an
end with primitive pleasure-worship financed by capitalism's technology.
Marx sought to appeal to the proletariat by proclaiming: "Who does no
toil, shall not eat." Marcuse seeks to appeal to the Lumpenproletaria
(whom Marx despised), to the bums, to those who want to eat withou
toiling.
Without any knowledge of or concern for its sources, basis or validity.
many people have accepted Marcuse's notion of guaranteeing everyone
"basic needs. " This notion is shared today by most "liberals" and by many
"conservatives." It motivates the proposals for a guaranteed annual in-
come and for a "negative income tax."
What is Marcuse's ethical justification of that notion? It is expressed
completely in one terse statement in One-Dimensional Man: "The only
needs that have an unqualified claim for satisfaction are the vital ones-
nourishment, clothing, lodging at the attainable level of culture." 1 4
This, in a nutshell and in Marcuse's own words, is the precise form ula
of the New Parasitism. This is the base of his political philosophy, which
his followers and allies are now trying to impose by force on Western
civilization.
Notice first that Marcuse says that man's vital needs have an unquali-
fied claim to satisfaction. This means that there is some corresponding
obligation on someone to satisfy them and that there can be no question-
ing or limitation of either the claim or the obligation. To whom could
such a bill be presented? Obviously not to nature, because Marcuse ac-
knowledges that nature does not automatically satisfy man's needs. The
answer, therefore, is : to "society." But society consists only of men. And
what Marcuse does not acknowledge is the fact that there are two kinds
of men: those who are able and willing to provide for their own vital
needs, and those who are not. Obviously the first kind is not going to
present any such "unqualified claims" to "society." It is only the second
kind who will- and to say that they will present them to "society" mean
only that they will present them to the first kind of men. Marcuse's prin-
ciple means that those who are able and willing to provide for their O\m

12 THE OBJECTIV IS
-- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - -

vital needs are morally obligated to provide for those who are not.
What does Marcuse mean by "vital needs"?_Notice that these needs are
all passive in character: the need for nourishment, as Marcuse sees it, is
the need to be fed, the need for clothing is the need to be clothed, the need
for lodging is the need to be sheltered. Notice also that the corresponding
psychological attitude is receptive insofar as it awaits satisfaction by some-
one else, and demanding insofar as it erects the need into a claim. Indeed,
Marcuse's works are filled with the glorification of receptivity; he con-
tinually protests against the "resentful defamation of rest, indulgence,
receptivity" 1 5 by the "philistines" who live by the performance principle
(and who are now being called upon to satisfy the "unqualified claims"
of the rest) .
Marcuse's view of man's "vital needs" as passively receptive, proceeds
from his view of life as a flight from tension. It is, in effect, a confession
of the metaphysics behind the whole "liberal" ethic. The flight-from-ten-
sion model is simply the picture of man as a passive, receptive, demanding
infant.
Now notice the closing phrase of Marcuse's formula: "at the attainable
level of culture." ("Attainable"- by whom? No answer.) This refers to the
standard of living demanded for the satisfaction of these needs. That
standard, Marcuse explains, depends upon the available means, namely
upon the goods, the instruments of production and the resources that exist
at a given moment. ("Available"-to whom? No answer.)
To sum up Marcuse's ethical position: The good life for man should
be one of passive enjoyment, and men owe one another mutual guarantees
to this effect.
To implement this ethics, Marcuse seeks to bring about a state of civi-
lization in which surplus repression-i.e., life in accordance with the per-
formance principle- will no longer exist. "The only pertinent question,"
he writes, "is whether a state of civilization can be reasonably envisaged
in which human needs are fulfilled in such a manner and to such an extent
that surplus-repression can be eliminated." 16 There are, he declares, two
historical eras when this state of civilization is possible: the period before
men established private property- and the period after men abolish capi-
talism. In the period before private property- for instance, "in matriarchal
phases of ancient society"- people's needs were simple and, therefore,
their receptive demands could be taken care of quite easily (presumably
by the "concerned" matriarchs). The "prevalent satisfaction of the basic
human needs" at that time was "most primitive," but this was bearable
because there was a "non-oppressive distribution of scarcity" 17 -i.e., there
was no free market, no individual responsibility; production and distribu-
tion were both ruled by force. (In other words, a "non-oppressive" situa-
tion, to Marcuse, is one subject to the rule of force. This model is what
NOVEMBER 1970 13
. Marcuse has in mind when he refers to a "free society" throughout his
works. By "freedom," he means freedom from tension, and the particular
tension he means is the dread of personal choice, personal achievement,
personal responsibility.)
Under capitalism, there is no Marcusian freedom, because the free
market is a form of "domination." When capitalism is abolished, declares
Marcuse, his kind of freedom will be restored and every individual will
receive "according to his needs"" once again. But now the situation will
be different from its prehistoric prototype. By raising the standard of
living, capitalism has created basic needs that are "vastly extended and
refined." The new collectivist society will owe to its citizens a minimum
standard of living far above that of primitive society. But will that standard
of living be as high as it is under capitalism? Marcuse's answer is: no.
Under the "mature industrial civilization" he is proposing, there would
be "reduction of labor time to a minimum."'" Such reduction is "the first
prerequisite for freedom," since "the length of the working day is itself
one of the principal repressive factors imposed upon the pleasure prin-
ciple ... " 2 Freedom in the "new culture" will be freedom to live accord-
ing to the pleasure principle. Production will drop and there will be less
to share, but the ensuing disadvantages will be shared by all equally. The
disadvantages will be "a considerable decrease in the standard of living
prevalent today in the most advanced industrial countries." 2 1 But, de-
clares Marcuse, a high or low standard of living is merely a matter of
definition. Up to the present, men have let the achievers define it: "The
definition of the standard of living in terms of automobiles, television sets,
airplanes, and tractors is that of the performance principle itself." 22 In
the new collectivist society, the standard of living will be "measured by
other criteria: the universal gratification of the basic human needs, and
the freedom from guilt and fear ... " 2 " (What guilt and fear? The fear
of being judged objectively in terms of achievement, the guilt of having
failed to achieve.) Here Marcuse quotes Baudelaire approvingly : "True
civilization does not lie in gas, nor in steam, nor in turntables. It lies in
lj the reduction of the traces of original sin." This, says Marcuse, "is the
definition of progress beyond the rule of the performance principle. " 24
!\ (The original sin, Augustine has told us, was pride - and pride is the
' earned result of achievement.)
Now that capitalism is approaching the pacification of nature, man is
enabled "to reverse the direction of progress," 25 to dispense with the per-
formance principle and to achieve a "new starting point" based on a new
image of man: "man intelligent enough and healthy enough to dispense
with all heroes and heroic virtues, man without the impulse to live dan-
gerously, to meet the challenge; man with the good conscience to make
life an end-in-itself, to live in joy a life without fear." 2 "

14 THE OBJECTIVIST
At this point, let me call to your attention the passage in Ayn Rand's
Atlas Shrugged that describes the meeting in Washington summoned to
discuss the proposed Directive 10-289. That Directive, it will be recalled,
was enacted "in the name of the general welfare, to protect the people's
security, to achieve full equality and total stability." It prohibited any fur-
ther inventions, confiscated all patents and copyrights, forbade anyone
to go out of business or leave his job, froze all prices, wages and profits,
and froze all production at the level of the Basic Year.
"'Well, who'll object?' snapped Lawson.
"Dr. Ferris smiled pointedly and did not answer.
"Lawson looked away. 'To hell with them! Why should we worry about
them? ... It's intelligence that's caused all the troubles of humanity ....
It's the weak, the meek, the sick and the humble that must be the objects
of our concern .... There once was an Age of Reason, but we've progressed
beyond it. This is the Age of Love.' . ..
"'We have the right to do it!' cried Taggart suddenly, in defiance to
the stillness of the room .... 'There's been enough invented already-
enough for everybody's comfort- why should they be allowed to go on in-
venting? .. .We don't need them at all. I wish we'd get rid of that hero
worship! Heroes? They've done nothing but harm, all through history.
They've kept mankind running a wild race, with no breathing spell, no
rest, no ease, no security.' ... He glanced at the window, but looked hastily
away: he did not want to see the white obelisk [the Washington Monu-
ment] in the distance. 'We're through with them. We've won. This is our
age. Our world. We're going to have security-for the first time in cen-
turies- for the first time since the beginning of the industrial revolution!'
"'Well, this, I guess,' said Fred Kinnan, 'is the anti-industrial revolu-
tion.' "
Marcuse, too- as he announces the end of the age of reason (the end
of "the reality principle") and the beginning of the age of Eros, as he
directs the eyes of his followers away from all the white obelisks of his-
tory erected to the memory of the men who "met the challenge"- Marcuse,
too, is proclaiming: "This is the anti-industrial revolution/" 27
(To be concluded in our next issue.)

REFERENCES
1 Eros and Civilization, "Political Preface 1966," passim. 2/bid., pp. 51-2. 3 1bid.,
pp. 36-7. Italics mine.
One-Dimensional Man, p. 16. 5fbid.
0 Herbert Marcuse, An Essay on Liberation (Boston, Beacon Press, 1969), p. 87.

7 Eros and Civilization, p. 42.

BEssay on Liberation, p. 5.

NOVEMBER 1970 15
"Eros and Civilization, p. xvii. IOfbid., ch. 10, passim.
11 Herbert Marcuse, Five L ectures (Boston, Beacon Press, 1970), p. 19.

l 2fbid., p. 20.
1 3Eros and Civilization, pp. 234-5.

HOne-Dimensional Man , p. 5.
1 :;Eros and Civilization, pp. 155-6. 1 6/bid., p. 151. 11
/bid. IBJbid . "' I bid .,
2 2/bid., p. 153.
4
p. 152. 20 fbid. 21 /bid., pp. 152-3 . 23Jbid. 2 /bid.

25/bid. , p. xi. 2 "/bid., p. xiv.

21 Atlas Shrugged, pp. 532-49. Italics mine.


HERBERT MARCUSE, PHILOSOPHER
OF THE NEW LEFT (IV)
By George Walsh
(Conclusion)

5. The Strategy of Revolution

Since most men in the capitalist world reject Marcuse's philosophy,


liberation - he declares - must take the form of revolution against the will
of the majority.
Actually, what he advocates is a counterrevolution against the influence
of Aristotelianism, a counterrevolution openly announcing its intention
to "reverse the direction of progress," abolish the ethics of achievement,
penalize the heroic virtues and subsidize bohemian whims, while lowering
the general standard of living.
Even though Marcuse's sympathies lie with Marxism and with the com-
munist world, he is a so-called "left deviationist." He criticizes orthodox
communism on three grounds: it has been diverted from its original goal
(which, as Marcuse sees it, was to create a model society where the bur-
dens of the reality principle were equally distributed); having failed to
achieve this goal, it can no longer serve as an inspiration to potential
revolutionaries in the West; it also failed to anticipate the eventuality
that capitalism would continue to provide both freedom and a high stand-
ard of living, thus blunting the forces of revolution in the advanced indus-
trial countries.
Marcuse regards this last as a catastrophic failure of orthodox Marxism.
He admits - and resents - the fact that capitalism has raised the workers'
standard of living, and has turned them into satisfied, happily productive
citizens instead of the agents of revolution they were expected to be. To
account for the unforeseen success of capitalism, he asserts, revolutionists
must find a Freudian explanation, since Marx has obviously failed them.
Marcuse's explanation is as follows: even though our technology is now
so advanced that we no longer need capitalism to satisfy people's basic,
receptive needs, capitalism retains its hold because it continues to satisfy
people's aggressive needs. They still enjoy "the aggressive performances
of 'earning a living,' " the market economy and the outmoded institution
of private property. The Establishment continues to accelerate the rate
of production, but it is interested in producing only goods it can sell.
Those who buy the goods are largely men who have already taken care of

6 THE OBJECTIVIST
their basic needs; therefore, these goods, for the most part, satisfy only
superfluous needs - by which Marcuse means the desire for such things as
automobiles, color TV, cosmetics and other "luxury goods."
Since people do not really need these things, he argues, they do not
desire them spontaneously. Consequently, the advertisers have to manipu-
late their minds to make them think they need such "luxuries." This
creates an artificial "second nature of man" 1 that desires these goods.
The resulting frustration among those who cannot have all these things
or who perhaps cannot satisfy even their basic needs generates a "diffused
aggressiveness." 2 This aggressiveness is intensified by the guilt which men
allegedly feel about buying these "luxury products" while some people's
basic needs remain unfulfilled: "the image of the libertarian potential of
advanced industrial society is repressed (and hated) by the managers of
repression and their consumers .. .":l In order to alleviate everybody's
guilt and direct aggression away from those in power, the Establishment
invents artificial enemies, such as the communists, the blacks in the ghet-
tos, the rioting students, the "deprived" people of the "underdeveloped"
countries and so on. This, according to Marcuse, is the psychological
explanation of the cold and hot wars currently being fought by America
against the forces of the "socialist orbit."
Observe the shrinking stature of the collectivist mentality. Marx's
"phantasy" image of mankind's enemy was an evil, powerful, capitalistic
tycoon who exploited and starved the masses . Today, the cosmic enemy is
- TV commercials.
The workers, Marcuse complains, show no sign of rebelling in order to
establish a socialist society. Not only have they satisfied their basic needs,
but they are avidly buying larger automobiles and color TV sets. They
have discovered that capitalism, in Marcuse's words, "delivers the goods";
the working class, both organized and unorganized, has been integrated
"into-the system'of advanced capitalism. " 5
If anyone still believes that collectivists are motivated by the desire
to improve the conditions of the people's existence, let him observe
Marcuse's resentment of the workers' prosperity- and his hatred of pros-
perity as such.
"This society is obscene," he declares, "in producing and indecently
exposing a stifling abundance of wares while depriving its victims abroad
of the necessities of life; obscene in stuffing itself and its garbage cans
while poisoning and burning the scarce foodstuffs in the fields of its
aggression . .. " 6
While still adhering verbally to the Marxist dogma that the agent of
revolution will be "the industrial working class," 7 Marcuse declares that,
in view of the "passivity" of that class, "catalysts outside its ranks" 8 are

DECEMBER 1970 7
required. A new liberation front must be welded on an international
scale, a force which will precipitate the first stages of the revolution. He
includes four elements in this front: (1) the communists of China, Cuba
and Vietnam, (2) the peasants and revolutionary guerrillas of the under-
developed countries, such as Latin America, (3) the blacks in the slums
of the great capitalist "metropoles," and (4) the alienated youth of the
affiuent society (which would presumably include the United States,
Western Europe and Japan). 9
This "front" does not yet exist; it is what Marcuse and his followers
are trying to forge.
Marcuse regards the students as the most important element in the
"internal weakening of the superpower." The international student move-
ment is allied with "quite important sections of the older intelligentsia
and of the non-student population ... in the capitalist countries, the mili-
tant (and apparently increasing) part of the movement is anticapitalist:
socialist or anarchist." 10 Students are part of the opposition in the coun-
tries of the Soviet bloc also, but there their protest is against the bureauc-
racy and not against "the socialist structure of society." 11
Why does Marcuse regard the students as such a powerful force for
revolution? His major reason is that a "new culture" is emerging among
the young in the affiuent society. This new culture renounces the per-
formance principle and approaches the pleasure principle in its way of
life. "Commanding, mastering, directing reason" 12 -Logos-is being aban-
doned for Eros. The heroic virtues are being replaced by the "receptive"
ones. New needs are being recognized as vital, among them "the need for
'undeserved' happiness."13 "Today's .rebels want to see, hear, feel new
things in a new way: they link liberation with the dissolution of ordinary
and orderly perception. The 'trip' involves the dissolution of the ego
shaped by the established society - an artificial and short-lived dissolu-
tion."14
Marcuse objects to the use of drugs: they distract students from his
goals. "Intentionally noncommitted, the withdrawal creates its artificial
paradises within the society from which it withdrew. They thus remain
subject to the law of this society, which punishes the inefficient perfor-
mances ."15 The hippie trips out because he can't stand the reality created
by capitalism. He wants to get away - to the world of the imagination. But
when he returns from his trip, he finds that he is fired from his job or has
failed an examination. Instead of taking drugs, Marcuse advises, he
should join the revolution, which is a movement to abolish the old reality
and reconstruct a new reality which will correspond to the demands of
the imagination. This will be permanent liberation, and it will be public
instead of merely "private." "The imagination becomes productive if it

8 THE OBJECTIVIST
becomes the mediator between sensibility on the one hand, and theoreti-
cal as well as practical reason on the other, and in this harmony of
faculties (in which Kant saw the token of freedom) guides the reconstruc-
tion of society." 16
"What appears as extraneous 'politicalization' of the university by dis-
rupting radicals is today (as it was so often in the past) the 'logical,'
internal dynamic of education: translation of knowledge into reality, of
humanistic values into humane conditions of existence .... Knowledge is
transcendent .. . it is political. . .. The educational demands thus drive the
movement beyond the universities, into the streets, the slums, the 'com-
munity.' And the driving force is the refusal to grow up, to mature, to
perform efficiently and 'normally' in and for a society which compels the
vast majority of the population to 'earn' their living in stupid, inhuman,
and unnecessary jobs ... " 17
" ... the general demands for educational reforms are only the immedi-
ate expression of wider and more fundamental aims,'' 18 which include "the
abolition of capitalism."' 9 But this necessarily means "subversion against
the will and against the prevailing interests of the great majority of the
people." 20 This, in turn, means a revolution brought about by violence
and intolerance.
Marcuse's defense of intolerance is an ideological gem, a classic ex-
ample of chickens coming home to roost. He deduces (correctly) the
principle of intolerance from the basic premises of utilitarian classical
liberalism. Marcuse takes as his text John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. He
points out first that Mill justified freedom of speech and discussion on the
grounds that such freedom is a means to the improvement of mankind
insofar as it facilitates the discovery and propagation of truth. But this
is not always the case, claims Marcuse, quoting Mill: "Liberty, as a
principle, has no application to any state of things anterior to the time
when mankind have become capable of being improved by free and equal
discussion .... despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing
with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement, and the means
justified by actually effecting that end." 21
(If freedom is justified, not on the basis of individual rights, but on the
collectivist basis of "service to mankind," then any potential dictator is
justified, and the squabble is only over different views of what constitutes
"service" or "improvement.")
Taking Mill's position as his major premise, Marcuse adds the minor,
which he has developed ad nauseam in all his works: the majority are
barbarians because their minds have been brainwashed by the media (not
to speak of Aristotelian logic) and their psyches corrupted by artificial
needs created by the advertisers. They should not, therefore, be permitted

DECEMBER 1970 9
to have liberty, and their values should not be allowed an equal hearing
with the "truly human" values. Objectivity or neutrality is spurious because
the game is rigged: "When a magazine prints side by side a negative and
a positive report on the FBI, it fulfills honestly the requirements of objec-
tivity: however, the chances are that the positive wins because the image
of the institution is deeply engraved in the mind of the people. " 22
To reverse the trend, Marcuse declares, people should "get information
slanted in the opposite direction. For the facts are never given immediately
and never accessible immediately; they are established, 'mediated' by
those who made them; the truth, 'the whole truth' surpasses these facts
and requires the rupture with their appearance." 23 (This is the practical
cashing-in on Marcuse's metaphysics: there are no facts; reality is deter-
mined by a "larger whole," which turns out to be those in power.)
Marcuse demands that objectivity be forbidden to the communications
media, that certain doctrines be prohibited and that certain groups be
deprived of the rights of free speech and free assembly. The re-education
of the majority "may require apparently undemocratic means. This would
include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups
and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvin-
ism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose
the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc." 24
(Since Marcuse does not qualify the term "extension," this would leave
only socialists with the rights of free speech and assembly.)
This is what parades under the title of "liberation."
In a postscript to his essay "Repressive Tolerance," Marcuse says that
the policy he advocates cannot be practiced by the state, since this would
presuppose that the revolution has already triumphed; therefore, it can
now be practiced only by a "militantly intolerant" 25 minority.
This policy, he declares, could be carried out in the universities follow-
ing an "upheaval," because it "could conceivably be enforced by the
students and teachers themselves, and thus be self-imposed ... " 26 Accord-
ing to dialectical logic, this intolerance would be a form of tolerance,
liberating tolerance: "Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance
against movements from the Right, and toleration of movements from the
Left .... it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion
and propaganda, of deed as well as of word. " 27 Such liberating tolerance
must include censorship, which would counteract the "false consciousness"
by "stopping the words and images which feed this consciousness." 28
"Moreover, the restoration of freedom of thought may necessitate new
and rigid restrictions on teachings and practices in the educational insti-
tutions which, by their very methods and concepts, serve to enclose the
mind within the established universe of discourse and behavior . . ." 29

10 THE OBJECTIVIST
Marcuse carries his speculation still further: after an unspecified type
of revolution, men would establish the "democratic educational dictator-
ship of free men." 30 (This is Marcuse's substitute for the dictatorship of
the proletariat.) It would be "the dictatorship of an 'elite' over the
people," achieved by means of giving weighted votes to those with higher
education in order to outbalance the majority. Here, too, Marcuse finds
his support in Mill, who argued for "some mode of plural voting which
may assign to education as such the degree of superior influence due to it,
and sufficient as a counterpoise to the numerical weight of the least edu-
cated class ... " 31
It is obvious that the "restructuring" of our universities and the later
assignment of weighted votes to those who have been educated in their
"relevant" (i.e., radicalized) curricula are two neatly coupled links in the
Marcusian strategy of revolution. When the majority has been re-educated,
complete democracy presumably could be restored, at about the time
mankind enters the "humanistic" stage of civilization. (This is Marcuse's
equivalent of the Marxist promise that the state would "wither away.")
The massive barbarian assault on our universities is the logical result of
Marcuse's philosophy. But his philosophy itself is merely the result, the
ultimate consequence, of the philosophic trend of the last two centuries.
The ideas he advocates did not originate with Marcuse. He merely picked
them out of the anti-rational currents of Western civilization, combining
into one synthetic package the mind-destroying elements of Plato's mysti-
cism, Hegel's dialecticism, Marx's totalitarianism and Freud's instinct
theory. He is cashing in on the intellectual paralysis prepared by his col-
leagues and immediate predecessors: he is advocating openly and ex-
plicitly the logical conclusions, drawn from their doctrines, which they
dare not face or identify. And he is proclaiming his message to a genera-
tion eager to hear the call to liberation from reality.
The present generation of students has grown up in a mixed economy.
It is the generation whose parents have transformed a nation of free trade
into a nation of government force and influence peddling. It is a genera-
tion that has been taught that a need - once a spur to activity - is a claim
on "society." It is a generation raised on elaborate "flight from tension"
principles of child-rearing. It is a generation raised to believe that freedom
is freedom from work, that property rights are not "human" rights, that
individualism consists in following one's whims, that a world upsurge of
passive-receptive demands is to be called "the revolution of rising ex-
pectations."
This generation was taught that everyone has a "right" to a college
education, and it expected that, once in college, everyone would be judged
"as a human being" rather than as a student. This generation has sought

DECEMBER 1970 11
"sanctuary" from reality within an ivory tower ruled by an ancient priestly
guild, whose members were predominantly enemies of laissez-faire capi-
talism and of the market economy's principles, but had not gone so far as
to consider outright repeal of the performance principle, at least not on
campus.
The liberals, who had always regarded themselves as the guardians of
the freedom of the universities, are totally disarmed. For decades, they
have been wallowing in relativism, mysticism and other forms of irrational-
ism. They have accepted the dichotomy of "human values" revealed by
"imagination," "intuition" or faith - and scientific knowledge discovered
by reason. They are now suffering the full consequences of their views.
When men renounce reason, they open the way to the rule of brute force.
Egged on by the New Left goon squad in every humanities and social
science department, the militant students have backed the liberal faculty
members against the wall and forced them to accept the logical implica-
tions of their own premises. The surrender to violence of faculties whose
members had either no principles or the wrong principles was a foregone
conclusion; after which, the pleading, handwringing pragmatists in the
administration buildings were pushovers. For decades the basic axiom in
the educational philosophy of the administrators had been to "find which
way the wind is blowing." Only lately a special New Left meteorological
service known as Weathermen, taking its name from a line in Bob Dylan's
"Subterranean Homesick Blues" ("you don't need a weatherman to see
which way the wind blows") ,3 2 has been supplying them with weekly
wind direction reminders.
The goal of the New Left rebels ("restructuring the universities") is,
first, to repeal the performance principle within the ivory tower, and then,
"taking down the walls of the university," to spread the world of the re-
structured ivory tower outward over the whole society.
The destruction of capitalism is their immediate, but not their primary
goal. The primary goal is the destruction of reason - as it has been the
primary goal of all the advocates of savagery in all the dark ages of history.
The lust for power is their immediate, but not ultimate motive. What is
their ultimate motive? A psychological (but not Freudian) explanation
will be found in the following passage from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged:
"The secret of all their esoteric philosophies, of all their dialectics and
super-senses, of their evasive eyes and snarling words, the secret for
which they destroy civilization, language, industries and lives, the secret
for which they pierce their own eyes and eardrums, grind out their senses,
blank out their minds, the purpose for which they dissolve the absolutes
of reason, logic, matter, existence, reality - is to erect upon that plastic
fog a single holy absolute: their Wish." 33

12 THE OBJECTIVIST
REFERENCES
1ssay on Liberation, p. 11. 2Jbid., p. 50. 3Jbid. , p. 51. 4Jbid., p. 86. Sfbid.,
p. 14. Sf bid., pp. 7-8. 7 Ibid., p. 53. Bfbid., p. 54. 9Jbid., p. viii. 10fbid., p. 59.
11 lbid.
1 2Eros and Civilization, p. 125.

13Five L ectures, p. 67.


HEssay on Liberation, p. 37. 1 5Jbid. 16Jbid., pp. 37-8. 17Jbid., pp. 61-2. Italics
mine. lBJbid. , p. 59. 1Hfbid., p. 15. 20fbid., p. I 7.
2 1Herbert Marcuse, "Repressive Tolerance" in A Critique of Pure Tolerance, ed.

Robert Paul Wolff (Boston, Beacon Press, 1969), p. 86. 22 Ibid., p. 98. 23Jbid., p. 99.
24/bid., p. 100. 25/bid., p. 123. 26fbid., p. 101. 27fbid., p. 109. 2Bfbid., p. 111.
29/bid., pp. 100-1. 30/bid., p. 106. 31/bid., p. 121.
3 2The New York Times, October 9, 1969.
33 A tlas Shrugged, pp. 1035-6.