Radical Philosophy Review 20 (1):185-213 (2017)

Jeffery Nicholas
Providence College
Today’s Left has inherited and internalized the rift that split the New Left. This split led to Alasdair MacIntyre’s Herbert Marcuse: An Exposition and a Polemic, a book that angered many because of MacIntyre’s harsh treatment of Marcuse. I situate MacIntyre’s engagement with Marcuse against the background of the split in the New Left: on the one side, E. P. Thompson, MacIntyre, and those who then saw the revolutionary class in the proletariat, and on the other side, Perry Anderson, Robin Blackburn, and Marcuse who seemed to put their faith in radical student intellectuals, Third World movements, and identity politics. I examine—without polemics— this rift in search of a new basis for Left unity, particularly as regards the question of radical, working class subjectivity. I argue that we must draw from MacIntyre his concept of revolutionary practices and from Marcuse—in One-Dimensional Man and Eros and Civilization—the analysis of technological rationality, aesthetic reason, phantasy, and imagination.
Keywords Social and Political Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1388-4441
DOI 10.5840/radphilrev201742576
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