Social Scientist. v 5, no. 57 (April 1977) p. 21.


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SURENDRA MUNSHI

Marcuse Philosophy about the Working Class in Advanced Capitalism

WRITING from Warsaw, Jerzy J Wiatr, though very critical of Herbert Marcuse, admits that his philosophical and political works merit the closest attention in every respect. One of the factors on which the importance of Marcuse's philosophy is based, Wiatr claims, is that it is not merely an abstract manifestation of theoretical thought but also an expression of the social consciousness of considerable segments of the radical intelligentsia., especially of student youth.1 It must be added that Marcuse5 s influence is not uniformly accepted even among radical students in Europe; some are, in fact, positively critical of his theory which is believed to be at best merely ^critical', and, at worst, to say the least, misleading. Yet his importance as an articulator of many commonly held ideas, and as a catalytic agent in strengthening them, cannot be denied.

This article is devoted to understanding Marcuse's position on the working class situation in the ^advanced areas of industrial civilization." To anticipate partially the following discussion, it is argued that Marcuse5 s analysis carries not one but two distinct arguments. These arguments, it is seen, are not presented by Marcuse himself as two distinct lines of reasoning. Instead, they are woven in such a manner that they conceal the basic limitation of his approach. This



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