An essay on liberation



Preface to the Brazilian edition of the recently published book by Herbert Marcuse


The liberation referred to by Herbert Marcuse is to become free from the coercion with which capitalist society constrains everyone with the primary objective of the accumulation of value and its well-known consequences. Can humanity not satisfy its needs without generating inequality, misery, oppression and barbarism? Barbarism that occurs precisely when men practice violence against each other that is imposed on them by the repressive society into which the capitalist order has become.

This book has double importance: political and theoretical. Politics, because it comes at a very opportune moment in which it demonstrates its great relevance: the defense of freedom today is increasingly rare, in connection with equality, solidarity, cooperation and happiness in another societal project. Freedom has never been talked about so much and it has never been so mischaracterized, vilified and kidnapped in a world dominated by the process of capitalist accumulation, which we must serve and which we do not have the freedom to criticize and replace. This is the true path of servitude!

The book confronts non-freedom, the simulacrum presented as freedom, that of (neo)liberals supported by Mises, Hayek, Friedman, etc.

Liberals imprison freedom as free exploitation and expropriation for economic reason. They imbue women and men with the obligation to produce a surplus and with the individualism of the cult of personal merit, in a repressive – including fascist – social order that the appropriators of the surplus claim to be immutable. Herbert Marcuse cites Mises himself as an example, who states: “capitalism is the only possible order of social relations. […] fascism and all similar dictatorial orientations […] have currently saved the formation of European civilization”.[1]

In its preface and introduction, the work diagnoses and denounces, to continue with the analysis of the foundations and conditions of current domination and reveal the practice possible liberation. In the end, he proposes a new society, averse to oppression and with freedom, whose own dynamics avoid its transfiguration into its repressive opposite in terms of the current liberal ideology.

Furthermore and equally important: the book is a fundamental theoretical contribution, as it enriches philosophical, sociopolitical, economic and cultural reflection with the discussion of problems of relationships with nature, including human nature, needs and sensitivity. Herbert Marcuse seeks to analyze the consequences of the imposition of capitalist society on individuals in terms of changes in “human nature”. The new sensitivity and practice reflect this situation. Universal concepts are understood as social categories finely adjusted to interests and changes, and their truth needs to take this situation into account.

Herbert Marcuse thinks of ideals as needs, linked to the interests they correspond to. He discusses culture, politics, education and philosophy from the perspective of criticism combined with practice sensitive material, to circumvent the traps of both idealism and shallow materialism, often embedded in social transformation projects.

Already quite late in relation to the original 1969 work, the first Portuguese-language version of An Essay on Liberation is from 1977. It appeared in a situation very unfavorable for its adequate understanding during the period of the civil-military dictatorship established by a coup d'état in Brazil.

It is a work about politics as a construction of forms of society, as a transformation of society and ways of life, in other words: of changing relationships between the social and the individual. It refers less to politics as conquest and maintenance of institutional and State power, an understandable priority in the dictatorial period. In the 1970s, it was read as a countercultural and irrationalist libel, even “unravel” apolitical.

Herbert Marcuse would constitute “a stimulus to irrationalism, to counterculture, to the idea of ​​the cult of sensitivity, of reason as an anachronistic thing”[2] to contaminate the left of the time. In line with the communist strategy of the then hegemonic Third International, there was no openness to the apprehension of politics as a (re)construction of society in a new form, as politics as a social transformation, beyond the means of assault and takeover of the State. Nothing strange in a country like Brazil, where the State preceded the establishment of the nation and dictated the capitalist form of society, which to this day demonstrates great institutional and organizational fragility; the challenge is to avoid its perennial repetition with the mere change of hands of the State.

The work went unnoticed as a contribution to political discussion, contrary to the more favorable reception of the first Brazilian version of the one dimensional man, titled Ideology of industrial society, from 1967. On the other hand, on a strictly academic level, Marcuse was disregarded “due to lack of rigor”.[3] Thus, it was excluded from the volume dedicated to Critical Theory in the prestigious Collection The Thinkers, which mobilized engaged intellectuals and was very influential in those years for the studies of philosophy, sociology and related disciplines in the country.

In a sense, the “countercultural” reading got it right. Herbert Marcuse linked the capitalist form of society to the imposition on individuals of a dynamic of interference and change in their “human nature”. In turn, a policy of transforming society should intervene to bring about a critical change in this state of affairs. To achieve this, individuals would have to be “freed” from their imposed “human nature”, to be subject to a transformation of this human nature through habits and values, through another “culture”, which could thus be seen as “counterculture”. .

But he got it partly right: this has nothing to do with “irrationalism” or “unravel” apolitical — on the contrary! Irrational is the capitalist form of society, as it is structured according to purposes imposed by a minority and not universalizable, precisely to obstruct its transformation! Liberation, according to Herbert Marcuse, is necessary because it “must precede”[4] the construction of another society, “rational” as it is subordinated to the purposes of its own members and not the accelerated accumulation of capital.

This benefits only the few who have control and ownership, at the expense of generating a society filled with goods that are false needs. If individuals are released, they may promote a policy contrary to that in progress, which is to conserve the status quo. They can develop policies of transformation and build another society, collectively and publicly, with awareness and new sensitivity to true human material and cultural needs.

Herbert Marcuse was above all a political thinker focused on social dynamics, from the perspective of the movement of societies, their transformation and the modification of their links with individuals, the interaction between them and their links with nature. As Theodor Adorno maintained, “a critical theory, despite all experience of reification and even when externalizing this experience, is guided by the idea of ​​society as a subject, while sociology accepts reification”.[5] Herbert Marcuse is led to be an opponent of capitalism precisely because in this the only movement admitted and reinforced is that of the expanded reproduction of capital; society, in turn, must remain objectified, immobile, static.

Herbert Marcuse's language attests to this point: he mentions “theories of social transformation”, “society without change”, “historical destiny of bourgeois democracy”, etc. The dynamic approach to society sets Marcuse apart in the context of the first Frankfurt generation. The dynamic prism already distinguishes its apprehension of history from Heideggerian historicity and constitutes the core of Philosophy and critical theory, through which he debates the essay Traditional theory and critical theory by Max Horkheimer in Zeitschrift for Social Forschung in 1937.

This text is a relevant contribution, in which Herbert Marcuse discusses the dynamics of “truth” in the passage from its abstract philosophical form to its theoretical-practical function in concrete social trends. To this extent, it can be said that this text would constitute, twenty years later, the theoretical starting point from which Marcuse develops An essay on liberation, in which the truth will be discussed at the level of practice sensitive material, of liberation from the impositions of a “human nature”. Most of the themes are already there, articulated in a similar way: liberation and oppression, utopia and social process, ideas and facts, etc.

“[…] if the development outlined by the theory does not happen, if the forces that should produce the transformation retreat? […]. Critical theory […] speaks against the facts […]. Like philosophy, it opposes the justice of reality, it opposes satisfied positivism. However, unlike philosophy, it always extracts its objectives from existing trends in the social process. […]. To the extent that the truth is not realizable within the existing social order […] it does not speak against, but rather, for the truth. The utopian element was in philosophy the only progressive element: […] clinging to the truth against all appearances”.[6]

“The failure to achieve what is predicted by the theory does not discredit its truth content. The criterion of truth is not pragmatic and determining realism, but social historical and reflective. It is necessary to intervene to effectively realize the “truth” and verify how the current social order should be changed with this objective. But “critical theory has nothing to do with the realization of ideals, brought from outside to social struggles. It recognizes in these struggles, on the one hand, the cause of freedom, on the other, the cause of oppression and barbarism.”[7] Changing this order is not the task of philosophy, whose concepts have their abstract truth, which is only true when not referred to the current social reality. But, due to its “transcendence, it can become an object of critical theory”.[8]

Critical theory's interest in the liberation of humanity links it to certain ancient truths which it needs to preserve. That man can be more than a subject usable in the production process of class society is a conviction that deeply links critical theory to philosophy.[9]

It becomes a progressive and subversive force by making conscious “possibilities for which the situation itself is ripe”.[10] Herbert Marcuse identifies with Rousseau: “Nature commands all animals and the animal obeys. Man suffers the same influence, but recognizes himself free to give in or resist.”[11] The awareness of this freedom indicates, from liberation – that is: from the people – factual situations that go beyond the conditions of the present – ​​that is: the conditions of the sovereign – become anachronistic.

An essay on liberation leads this dynamic, understood at the level of objective reason, to the context of historical trends, deciphering social categories in concepts and deepening the issues learned at the level of needs and sensitivity. Universal aspirations for freedom and solidarity lose their abstract idealistic content to be anchored in human nature as material and sensitive needs truly corresponding to men and women.

Today, the omnipresence of the democratic issue gives importance to what Herbert Marcuse called in this book a “repressive society”.[12] It is precisely the opposite of what should be understood as democracy, but which progressively takes over the current configuration of neoliberal bourgeois “democracy”. This form of democracy, the result of the marriage with capitalism in its metamorphoses, has become “the biggest obstacle to any transformation — except change for the worse. […] its regressive development, its self-conversion into a police and warfare must be discussed […]”.[13] It is necessary to free oneself from this form of society and its implications for human nature, social interactions and the goals of life themselves. There is possible liberation, and the book discusses its conditions of possibility.

The revolution as a conquest of power through the assault on the State, as understood in its classical formulation, is insufficient if it does not result in a redirection at the productive level and a social configuration with equal conditions and public organization of collective life. That is: if liberation does not result in freedom from the form of society. In this case, a sociopolitical continuum is installed, whose contemporary expression is the neoliberal world and its own version of rationality and sensitivity. This is the fundamental problem posed by Marcuse in the Libertarian Manifesto, which is An essay on liberation, a perfect translation of criticism and opposition to the oppressive society averse to everything that is not a mirror.

Contemporary capitalist bourgeois society has managed, through its form, to escape what terrified it: the specter of revolution as practice transformative. The assimilated revolution was one taken only as a product, as a subjective reason and not as involved in a historical trend, of a daily and persistent process of change towards freedom. A practice of liberation is proposed by Herbert Marcuse to reactivate, give new life to the transformation in terms that are completely analogous to those that guided the revolution of the past, as a subjective and objective reason, respecting the effective differences to be contemplated. In particular, the comprehensive scope of the valorization process and advances in material production.

Started in Philosophy and critical theory and developed in An essay on liberation, the project of social transformation and reconstruction based on practice sensitive material aimed at the construction of a non-repressive and happy society finds, according to Marcuse himself, its most complete formulation in Counterrevolution and revolt.

“The new historical pattern of the coming revolution is perhaps best reflected in the role played by a new sensitivity […]. I outlined this new dimension in An essay on liberation; Here I will try to indicate what is at stake, namely, a new relationship between man and nature — his own and external nature. The radical transformation of nature becomes an integral part of the radical transformation of society. Far from being a mere psychological phenomenon [...], the new sensitivity is the means in which social change becomes an individual need, the mediation between the political practice of transforming the world and the impulse for personal liberation”.[14]

Furthermore, this work presents “the effort to find forms of communication that can break the oppressive dominance of language and images that have long become a means of domination”,[15] by introjecting the values ​​of the dominators into the population and reproducing what is in force in their consciences and senses. It is the cultural revolution in a new sense: that of changes in the domain of cultural, not material, vital needs.

“What is at stake in the socialist revolution is not merely the expansion of satisfaction, within the existing universe of needs […] but the break with this universe, the qualitative leap. Revolution involves a radical transformation of one's needs and aspirations, both cultural and material; of consciousness and sensitivity; of the work process and leisure. This transformation appears in the struggle against the fragmentation of work, the need and productivity of stupid performances and stupid commodities, against the acquisitive bourgeois individual, against servitude under the guise of technology, deprivation under the guise of the good life, against pollution as a way of life. Moral and aesthetic needs become basic, vital needs, and drive new relationships between the sexes, between generations, between men and women and nature. Freedom is understood as rooted in the satisfaction of these needs, which are simultaneously sensorial, ethical and rational”.[16]

Needs – needs in English, needs in German – are understood by Herbert Marcuse as social and historical, as done by Marx. Even in his famous motto of Gotha Program: “from each one according to their capabilities; to each one according to their needs”, this clarifies that work itself is not just a means, but becomes one of these vital needs.

Em Counterrevolution and revolt, Marcuse clearly interprets domination as repression of “needs”. As in An essay on liberation, replaces the distinction between “false” and “true” needs with superfluous vital and basic vital needs. Marx is the fundamental reference: “Marx saw in the development and dissemination of superfluous vital needs, beyond basic needs, the level of progress at which capitalism would be ripe for final fall: “The great historical role of capital is to create This surplus labor, superfluous labor from the point of view of simple use-value, mere subsistence, and its historical destiny is consummated as soon as, on the one hand, needs are developed to such an extent that surplus labor itself above what is necessary is a universal necessity. derived from individual needs; on the other hand, universal industriousness through the strict discipline of capital, through which successive generations have passed, is developed as a universal property of the new generation”.[17] The location of the revolution is that phase in which the satisfaction of basic needs generates needs that transcend the society of the capitalist State and the socialist State. In the development of these needs lie the radically new impulses of revolution.[18]

The satisfaction of these needs must be consciously guided by autonomy, by the self-determination of free men and women. They want to build their social life by satisfying their basic vital, material and cultural needs, but according to their own designs, as subjects of their history and not heteronomously determined by capitalist production.

As a “political animal”, for Marx, man is a social animal. “The human being is in the most literal sense, a ζῷον πoλιτικόν (son politician), not only a social animal, but also an animal that can only isolate itself in society.”[19] That is, social life is a human need. Herbert Marcuse precisely takes up this theme when explaining liberation: man is a social animal endowed with freedom. “The human being is and will continue to be an animal, but an animal that satisfies and preserves its animal being by making it part of its eu, of his freedom as a Subject”.[20] The form of society in which man isolates himself must be based on the freedom fully exercised by its emancipated subjects according to their own interests and basic vital needs. After tearing apart the ideological veil, it is necessary to tear down the structure of the world that supports it. Individualize freely, with control over the impositions of society.

The fetishism of the world of commodities, which seems to grow thicker day by day, can only be destroyed by men and women who have torn apart the technological and ideological veil that conceals what is happening, that conceals the insane reality of the whole – men and women who became free to develop their own needs, to build, in solidarity, their own world.[21]


If there is justification for a resumption of interest in Herbert Marcuse's thought, the book in our hands clearly reveals why. All the problems denounced by Marcuse persist in a past that threatens to stop time and remain the only present. His analyzes and proposals for transformation and emancipation also remain so that there is a future for the present.

Created half a century ago, this political-philosophical work seeks to explain and translate the “time” that we go through, in which we are permanently and inevitably an object, but in which, at the same time, we cannot stop being a subject, even if it is a subject subjected, suffered. and cancelled. Strictly speaking, the subject-object duality adds little to confronting the facts, although necessary for their adequate understanding.

Almost everything is already present: even much of what did not yet exist concretely and fully when this book was written parades through its pages. It was completed even before the famous events of May 1968 took place, but it seems that it was the result of these events that shook the world, such was Herbert Marcuse's tune with the spirit of his time. The same goes for neoliberal society: it was in its infancy during the writing of the work, but its ideology of individualistic performance is already included in its analyses.

There is no reason to be surprised. Despite the advances we have made for the survival of the species, the world we live in has not changed in recent times – since the Second World War – except for the worse in everything that affects our control over what happens to us. Thus we progressively experience the effects of the domination of capitalist accumulation over all dimensions of life in the neoliberal form of society. Today everyone is dependent and, in some way, repressed in a world whose objective is rapidly dehumanizing towards global material subjection to value in the most diverse ways, the most macabre consequence of which is glaring inequality. At the same time, “capitalist” politics focuses on freezing the dynamic forces of society to prevent any change, which materializes as an anti-democratic offensive. As a result, there is a widespread anxiety for transformation as well as a willingness to protest and intervene.

Herbert Marcuse deciphers the world as a sequence of conditions and their implications. He is a master of exposing the dynamics of capitalism, whether by unveiling the dark side of the voracity of the accelerated accumulation of omnipresent value corroding humanity, or by pointing out the illuminating horizon spread out in the liberation experiment, the outline of which he presents as a practice and art of transformation anchored in this world. There are signs of this everywhere, signs witnessed in the creative and precise language used, such as, for example, in the multiplicity of finely selected adjectives and qualifications that parade alongside terms such as society, democracy, needs, etc.

Especially in this book, Herbert Marcuse advocates the relevance of both what has always been oppressive or what is a new evil, according to the well-known Benjaminian-Brechtian motto, as well as what is new and good, liberating. To summarize: it seeks to see hope in hopelessness as a challenge, by seeking to bring together criticism and practice, by merging the new sensitivity with intellectual discipline and political organization. This nexus is one of the landmarks of his work since the publication of Philosophy and critical theory, where, as we saw, the practice It even appears when the predictions of critical theory do not occur and it is necessary to implement the social trends that make them happen.

This is a book about democracy. Democracy that cannot sustain itself: it depends on democratic subjectivities. Capitalism, which underpins the democratic form of society in force, strongly affects subjects, subject to the dictates of the ideology of productivist performance and meritocracy at the very level of human nature. This is why the current society is a “pseudodemocracy”[22] or a “semi-democratic” order.[23]

Herbert Marcuse's book discusses consciousness, criticism and practice alternative to this state. This is one of the great contributions of this work among us. It becomes an antidote to extreme individualism and the rationality of competitive merit, imposed on people and supports capitalist inhumanity as rationality and sensitivity in current forms. Everywhere, we can observe the construction of a repressive form of democracy. People end up becoming cogs in the reproduction of this current situation.

For example: the majority of residents on the outskirts of the city of São Paulo believe that the benefits of the well-being society, such as access to education, health and housing, do not develop in the context of public policies at the institutional and social level. State, but they constitute the exclusive result of their own individual merit, of the effort and immediate interest of their work performance under the existing conditions.[24] There is a strong liberal appeal going on, with individualistic entrepreneurship and an opposition to universal social policies and equitable social justice.

This individual consciousness of meritocracy and private solutions results from the obstruction of collective and class consciousness, in terms of reconstructing society in accordance with the current dominant interests. It constitutes an intervention in human nature, generating the need to produce surplus work and obstructing the apprehension of the need for social and collective life. The result is the formation of masses from atomized individuals, kept away from any representations linked to common experience, such as cooperation and solidarity.

Self-interest, individual and apparently immediate, strictly speaking, is mediate and abstract, imposed equally on everyone in the productive sphere and, therefore, open to manipulation, preventing autonomy. This abstract individual interest impedes autonomy which, supported by a “new sensitivity”, can enable the perception of inequality of opportunities in the current capitalist productive system.

It is necessary to think about “new forms of emancipation […]. Firstly, denial: freedom from economic determinations […] that impose forms of struggle for existence that are already obsolete”.[25] The defense of the principle of competitive performance, which is economically obsolete, constitutes behavior that reproduces the established state. Such behavior must be differentiated from truly emancipatory behaviors. Protests and rebellions in this direction are not spontaneous, but supported by understanding and practice of liberation potentials present, although obstructed in the current society.

Thus, it is necessary to “link political formation with imagination”:[26] the radical critique of the principle of performance through the potential for liberation of cooperation and solidarity developed in the developed capitalist society itself. Here there is the necessary relationship with the other, outside the individualism of productivist subjectivity. After all, as seen before, the human being is an animal that can only individualize in society, with others.

Autonomy and freedom cannot be a mere implementation of ideals, but must be supported by trials of liberation from common and collective interests that take into account the conditions in society that enable emancipation. Its social conditions are the forces that lead to a “new rationality” based on a public sphere of discussion and decision-making, beyond the criterion of economic productivity towards the common good. They also refer to a “new sensitivity” capable of perceiving active solidarity and cooperation, beyond mere receptivity in relation to what exists. They are potentially existing, although socially prevented by dominant interests.

Liberation is expressed in multiple voices and in plural dimensions, class, race, gender, cultural, identity, etc., depending on whether it is linked to actually present or even potential conflicts. This would guarantee objective rationality, as a historical trend that is a response to Habermas, who criticizes, in Marcuse, a “strictly subjective” mediation between theory and practice.[27]


This is a book about freedom. Liberation for freedom. It is only possible to refer to it in society as a “subversive impulse”.[28] Awareness of this freedom means the possibility of change. Liberation for new inter-human relationships and between humanity and nature, not based on the accumulation and expropriation of surplus.[29]

Freedom can be a potent means of domination. Perhaps this is the most disconcerting and impactful feature of contemporary bourgeois-liberal society: the voluntary and apparently spontaneous, free acceptance and subjection, the self-blaming submission to what appears in it as oppressive “necessary”. This is the fulcrum of the famous dialectic of enlightenment.

Herbert Marcuse does not attribute this situation to the misuse or distorted use of freedom, nor solely to a repressive universe resulting from the mass media. For him, it is the oppressive yoke of a society marked by the predominance of needs that have become the needs of individuals themselves, of their “human nature” and that pre-condition – like a “second nature” – their behavior with a set of repressive satisfactions. In these terms, the main argument in the one dimensional man, with the diagnosis and exposure of the complex totality of a “repressive society”.

To expose Marcuse's originality, it is worth emphasizing that Adorno and Horkheimer already disqualified false freedom in current society when they stated that “the freedom of choice of ideology, which always reflects economic coercion, reveals itself in all sectors as the freedom of choosing what is always the same thing.”[30] A little ahead, in the “Elements of anti-Semitism” segment, they also highlighted in reference to ideological competition:

The crazier the antagonism, the more rigid the blocks. It is only when total identification with these monstrous powers is imprinted on the people concerned as a second nature and when all the pores of consciousness are blocked are the masses brought to a state of absolute apathy […]. When an appearance of decision is still left to the individual, it is already essentially predetermined. The incompatibility of ideologies, trumpeted by politicians from both blocs, is itself nothing more than the ideology of a blind constellation of power.[31]

They attribute this situation mainly to the effects of the cultural industry and the “total loss of thought” exemplified in the “ticket mentality”.[32] Here the importance of the Marcusean complement is revealed as an advance in relation to the analysis of Dialectic of Enlightenment. For Herbert Marcuse, the very functional organization of repressive society, with its practices and customs of individualization and non-cooperative isolation, imposes the intended consequence as an objective condition, that is, what could be and what is ultimately chosen by individuals as a “need” that his “freedom” determines.

The distinguishing feature of advanced industrial society is its effective capacity to stifle those needs that demand liberation – liberation also from that which is tolerable, rewarding and comfortable – while sustaining and absolving the destructive power and repressive function of the affluent society. Here, social controls require the irresistible need to produce and consume superfluous things; the need for mindless work where it is no longer necessary; the need for modes of relaxation that alleviate and prolong this imbecility; the need to maintain deceptive freedoms such as free competition with administered prices, a free press that self-censors, the free choice between identical brands and useless accessories.[33]

Em Counterrevolution and revolt, this question is directly referred to Marx and his exposition of “surplus labor”, as seen previously. An alienating and imbecile work that is justifiable because, for a certain period of time, it would be necessary to produce material and cultural subsistence. Where there is no longer any reason for “imbecile work”, the need for it is false. Its true content is repressive: keeping the individual under the coercive yoke of imposing oppressive work, exploited at its most valuable, as if it were necessary for the generation and accumulation of value essential to the reproduction of contemporary capitalist bourgeois society.

These are repressive needs that individuals are not aware of, as they identify with the existence that is imposed on them from this social whole: the needs make up a rational context that obstructs any possible critical reason for negative thinking. Under this yoke, men are free to fulfill needs. This is the mechanism of immunization against falsehood, through which all opposition is silenced and reconciled with freedom in society in its present form.

Talking about freedom requires referring to this repressive social context. It is a dynamic nexus: in the current situation, the historical destiny of the current social totality will not be a free society, but its resilient reproduction as a repressive society.

This is the main reason that leads Herbert Marcuse to exclude the direct mention of freedom in the title of the work in our hands. Title in itself remarkable: for starters, it refers to test, but the meaning here is not a genre of philosophical prose. Essay in this title means what precedes an accomplishment and is necessary for it to occur. It is an experiment, a sketched project of what is still possibility, potential. An experimental test to open, clarify and animate achievable perspectives, to be repeated to enable its implementation in effective and objective practice.

Freedom is what should result from this exercise, from the liberation process. This process is mediation to achieve freedom. It has nothing to do with something ideal, abstract, immediately available and to be implemented, but with carrying out a daily practice – better: a praxis – concrete. This justifies the choice of release.

Herbert Marcuse was certainly inspired by Marx and Engels, who in German ideology clarified: “Communism is not for us a state of things that must be established, an ideal towards which reality must be directed. We call communism the real movement that overcomes the current state of affairs. The conditions of this movement result from currently existing assumptions.”[34]

Liberation, as a process of general reconfiguration of the current state of affairs, occupies the position belonging to communism at the time of communist manifesto: ghost, specter lurking around like a frightening immanent harbinger of its end, the installed society, repressive in all its dimensions and which is taken for granted as normal and eternal.


This is a book about politics. Politics as the construction and reproduction of forms of society, as a social condition of domination or liberation. The condition for current domination is social organization supported by the need for surplus work. It is the social basis of exploitation that, as a “reality principle”, penetrates the world as a whole, generating a repressive society. The challenge is to think about politics through the prism of another “reality principle”, not based on needs linked to the perpetuation of what is in force.

In the sixties of the last century, Herbert Marcuse wrote a triad of books with explicit political content, with strong unity between them and with great repercussion: the one dimensional man, 1964; An essay on liberation, 1969 e Counterrevolution and revolt, 1972.

An important and lasting historical political experience, with striking consequences for today, characterized this period in terms of the configuration of politics. It was the rapid development, starting in 1960, of the so-called “New Left”. It refers to the movement of transition from sustained interventions in support of the class struggle practiced mainly in the state context as the primary axis of politics, to actions based on protest or resistance sustained and carried out in a plural way but linked to vital interests in the social sphere itself.

The primacy of actions, with the working class as the practically exclusive main subject and until then centered on the institutional and State level, shifts in the context of society as a whole. It focuses on an expansion in the perception of all those alienated and dominated by the capitalist mode of production, towards the organization of their interests and the functionality of their relationships.

Oskar Negt summarizes the issue in Sixty-eight. Political intellectuals and power: “No later than the mid-sixties (of the previous century) the universe of institutionally defined actions oriented in essence towards macro organizations of state mediation broke down […]. The word “politics” is linked to an emancipatory demand, oriented to the implementation of vital human interests. […] its substance disconnects from state fixation to resume the elaboration of life in the community present in the original meaning of the term politics […]”.[35]

With the rupture of the primordial link between politics and the conquest and maintenance of power, a new form of the ethics of responsibility is configured, which provides a “morally enriched apprehension”[36] of power and politics.

“What is left from now on can no longer be a set of intentions devoid of content, but must express what is necessary to find human solutions to contemporary crises and help generate a rational state of common order […]. The concern with the essence of the common, with outlines and plans for an economy that replaces the omnipotent power of corporate economic rationality – this would be the direction of questions that could be called genuinely left-wing”.[37]

An essay on liberation directly reflects this positioning, a hallmark of the 1968 movement. Given the growing social inequality in contemporary capitalism, the work is highly relevant today. It maintains its strength as a denunciation, reflection and proposal for the transformation of an effective reality of not only consented domination, but of voluntary and active subjection in the current context.

For Herbert Marcuse, the movement was successful: “1968 changed things. Our society is no longer the same. There is a double tendency: the organization of counterrevolution and the internal weakening of social integration.”[38] As a result, possibilities for action opened up: confronting the counterrevolution and taking advantage of the weakened capitalist social integration.

In this sense, the book echoes above all two of the slogans of the May 1968 uprisings: (i) denouncing and combating “repression”, hence the centrality of the theme of “repressive society”; (ii) confront the “principle of bourgeois performance”, characteristic of the continuity of the world in its present form, advocating for a “cultural” revolution.

To the rebels, the two issues appeared to be related: the continuity of the repressive social universe was strongly linked to alienating labor efficiency.

On the other hand, liberation in the “repressive society”, as Herbert Marcuse calls the current social form,[39] it is established through the realization of a qualitatively new “reality principle”, in addition to the one in force. Here there is a difference with eros and civilization, where Herbert Marcuse stood for the “pleasure principle” or enjoyment, beyond the “reality principle”. Like Marx,[40] Marcuse considered it impossible to completely avoid the reality of labor that is painful and not pleasurable for the “socialized man”. To this extent, in the new “reality principle”, emancipation would not be linked to the absence of toil, but to the refusal of capital’s blind control over it. Freedom would be rational regulation with common control, through minimum effort and respect for human nature.

In this sense, it is worth remembering that “The fight against continuum It demands a break with the traditional form of politics. The logics of revolt and revolution are different; the struggle for power fails to release the forces of liberation in late capitalism; the great transformation is no longer thinkable as an assault on the winter palace — the struggle for power reduces liberation to a technical problem, a plane in which the dominant will always be superior. As Marcuse made clear, it is about the construction of a new principle of reality, in which technology stops being an end in itself and becomes a means for men. The romantic opposition to technology no longer has a place in the world beyond the principle of current reality.”[41]

The current principle of reality is no longer necessary, but remains as a remnant of an imposed mode of production, as a necessity. Herbert Marcuse here identifies with Adorno: hunger would no longer be a shortage resulting from a high population increase, as the world produces enough to feed its entire population. If hunger still exists, this misery is socially reproduced at the level of necessary societal connections, as “false” needs, for the perpetuation of the current order in accordance with the interests of the holders of capitalist accumulation.

“Hunger persists on entire continents, although it could be abolished depending on the technical conditions to do so, which is precisely why no one can be truly happy with prosperity. […] humanity does not allow itself to have visibly paid satisfaction at the expense of the misery of the majority”.[42]

It is necessary to change the form of society in which hunger persists. Just as hunger no longer needs to exist, the principle of the oppressive performance of surplus work that generates more value and the resulting accumulation, once explained in the context of a production necessary to humanity, is no longer justified for the necessary increase in the production of wealth. to benefit humanity.

When it appeared eros and civilization, criticism of the performance principle still meant the reduction of industrial production of consumer goods and, therefore, required an anti-consumerist cultural education. If successful, it would lead to the replacement of the reality principle by the pleasure principle. However, starting in the seventies of the last century, the working day could be drastically reduced, without any loss in production results. Today there is a need for a much reduced working day.

Herbert Marcuse changed the focus: he focuses on generating the “need” for productive efficiency as an element of “human nature” that reproduces the value accumulation system. The existence of efficiency and its “rewards” would be a “need” with its “satisfaction”. It is linked to the ideology of individualized self-merit, which favors the perpetuation of the forces of the existing repressive society, by spreading a divisive, individualistic, private and anti-solidarity spirit of competition, obstructing any dynamic of transformation, necessarily collective and public. To this extent, criticism and the movement of transition from a “false” need to a “true” need are necessary. To occur effectively, the transformation itself must be a true “necessity”, for the identification of which a “new sensitivity” is essential, with which we will deal later.

The distinction between “false” and “true” needs and their dynamics was developed inthe one dimensional man and, as we have seen, it was later renamed the difference between “superfluous” vital needs and “basic” vital needs in An essay on liberation e Counterrevolution and revolt.

“False” are those, such as the perpetuation of surplus work, competitiveness, individual performance, which are imposed on the individual by certain interests of social domination. The gratification of their satisfaction serves to prevent the emergence of the ability to recognize these false needs. They carry a function and content imposed on individuals without control over them and serve only the repressive interests of the imposing system and not individual self-interests.

The fact that the vast majority of the population accepts and is led to accept this society does not make it any less irrational or less reprehensible. The distinction between true and false consciousness, real and immediate interests is still significant. But this distinction itself must be validated. Men must come to see it and find the way from false consciousness to true consciousness, from their immediate interest to their real interest. They can only do this if they feel the need to change their way of life, to deny the positive, to refuse. It is precisely this need that established society manages to repress, in the exact proportion in which it is able to “distribute the goods” on an ever-increasing scale and use the scientific conquest of nature for the scientific conquest of man.[43]

The awareness of the distinction between “false” and “true” needs – for which the new sensitivity is decisive – constitutes the central fulcrum of An essay on liberation. Here the “false” or superfluous vital needs and the “true” or basic vital needs are at stake as two “principles of reality”, two forms of society in confrontation. Not only does the political dispute follow other paths and organize itself in different ways, but according to other slogans expressing different needs, aspirations and values.

“[…] politics is not an end in itself, if it does not involve a critique of everyday life and oppression. The revolt against the multiplicity of oppressions — claimed as “fascistization of everyday life” by young people — is neither more nor less than the global critique of industrial civilization […] the most violent critique ever elaborated of a life that is limited to survival” .[44]

Strictly speaking, the dispute is the construction of a qualitatively distinct world from another, supported by it and not external to it. In other words, from now on, politics occurs in the effective clash between the existing, established and perpetuated world and the process of transformation of that world. In other words, it can be said that, in this sense, politics is transformation, as the construction of society and the human world.

For Herbert Marcuse, at the level of this policy, there is the possibility of an encounter, an identity of subject and object, between subjective reason and objective reason. That is: between rationality in the coordination of means to achieve certain ends and the objective determination of these ends itself. Thus, the calculating rationality of the available and mobilizeable means for social construction, politics according to Max Weber for example, can be linked to the rational end of building a rational, harmonious, egalitarian and fraternal society. This is how, for Marx, practice resolves itself socially as practice, according to the famous 8th thesis on Feuerbach: “All social life is essentially practical. All mysteries, which induce mysticism, find their rational solution in practice human and not understand this practice".[45] A practice Humanity is objective and also subjective.

Thus, a project is configured that forms a true revolution in society in its order. This occurs from its productive and reproductive reorganization, guided by criticism of the principle of performance or capitalist productivist maximization, as well as by a practice alternative, governed by another culture, non-individualistic, of technological and rational use in productive relationships, harmonious in the interpersonal context and in connection with nature.

Based on Marx, Herbert Marcuse proposes a “sociopolitics” of which “public policies” are an expression and which interfere in the structure and order of society. “Sociopolitics” is what defines a form of socialization, that is, of individualization in society and forms of society in line with this individualization. It is a “form of society in its power structure”[46]; power is generated in a given social organization, its means and its ends. Thus, for example, the organization of capitalist society as a whole, with its way of life, its demands, its values ​​and its order, has to do with obstructing its transformation, that is, with the conservation of its current way of production and the expropriation of the social majority that this implies. Marcuse explains this change in the social whole.

“The creation of adequate added value requires not only the intensification of work, but also increased investments in superfluous and profitable services […] at the same time that unprofitable public services (transport, education, social security) are neglected and even reduced. Social) […]. Competitive consumption must be constantly increased – which means that the high standard of living perpetuates an existence in increasingly senseless and dehumanizing forms, while the poor remain poor and the number of victims of prosperity increases.”[47]

Today, precisely the potential of this “new” policy, apparent in “social policies”, the mediation for the satisfaction of the true needs arranged by collective social subjects and not imposed on them as individualized, underlies the current resumption of Herbert Marcuse's work. Through public social policies, it is possible to generate conditions that lead to social transformation by interfering with the social whole, making the hegemony that guarantees the current society unfeasible.

In terms of public policies, the book supports the apprehension of politics as a collective construction of a world of solidarity, fraternity and in harmony with its environment. But “solidarity” in its own sense, of self-determination and not in accordance with the standard imposed by the capitalist order, as fascism is also “solidarity”[48] at the same time as it is oppressive. Here it is worth mentioning the issue of the so-called “counterculture”, the transformation of non-material cultural needs.

In this reference, an “other” culture/civilization is at stake, without the repressive imposition of the principle of performance, which would result from a “cultural revolution”, a change in values. It is a political project to transform society, moving it away from oppression and the lack of freedom and equality, including with regard to human nature. In this context, awareness of the necessary liberation in current society can develop.


This is a book about society and its configuration. About the current society, built in order to maintain capitalist accumulation and expropriation and the corresponding class structure. A book about the irrationality of society as a whole, with habits that maintain production with its accumulation of superfluities and lack of satisfaction of basic, true vital needs; with an absence of public policies on education, health and housing.[49] Individualization and competitiveness in this social form generates the impulses for its continued reproduction based on human nature itself. Ultimately, the book is about the potential transformation or revolution of this form of society.

The construction of a new society, with a new principle of reality, with new human relationships, supportive and cooperative both with human nature itself and with external nature, needs a new rationality to not be irrational and a new sensitivity to not be thingified.

The first chapter of the book refers to “human nature”, social and historical. There is no democracy without democrats, without free men to determine the ends of their society, “emancipated” men.[50] But this freedom is subjectively limited. Men can be emancipated, but not in the sense of being ready and prepared; need to change along with society. “Happiness is an objective condition that requires more than subjective feelings […] the validity of this notion depends on the real solidarity of the species ‘man’ […]”.[51]

The qualitative difference between a free society and the current society “affects all needs and satisfactions beyond the animal level, that is, all those that are essential to the human species […] are permeated by the demands of profit and exploitation”.[52] This occurs through technical-scientific development in value-based material production, which leads to an organic adaptation in relation to this state of things.

A new society demands a new human nature. But effective social transformation demands awareness regarding this issue. And also a “new sensitivity” capable of reconstructing science and technology through the creativity of the imagination, in order to intervene in the plan of this organic adaptation – as human nature – and guide it according to truly human needs. There would be a new link between understanding and sensitivity. A new sensitivity as a social form, as a form of society.

“The new sensitivity has become a political factor.”[53] Thus begins the second chapter of An essay on liberation. It is worth adding this component, this dimension to the revolutionary process. “[…] the new sensitivity […] has become practice: it emerges in the fight against violence and exploitation, wherever such combat is undertaken towards essentially new ways and forms of life: the denial of establishment as a whole, of its morality, of its culture; the affirmation of the right to build a society in which the abolition of poverty and toil leads to a universe in which the sensual, the playful, the tranquil and the beautiful become forms of existence and, thus, the Form of society in itself” .[54]

Liberation is a process that relies on these dispositions as conditions in which subjects can acquire autonomy in relation to the impositions of social continuity determinations. Free yourself from an individualistic morality of performance and a culture of competition focused on profitability, which are imposed and in relation to which there is no freedom. The first freedom is a denial that is exercised in relation to these impositions. It is not a question of freeing from the imposition of the economy only rationality, productivity, but also sensitive skills, human receptivity, human nature that instrumental reason coined. The “revolution must be at the same time a revolution in perception”.[55]

Liberation is conditioned not only by the revolution in production relations and the development of productive forces, but also by changes at the level of subjectivity, of human nature, such as the need for repressive surplus work that generates surplus value. Thus there would be social liberation from the uncontrollable domination of the disciplinary, individualistic, surveillance productive apparatus.

The persistence of this productivist subjectivity obstructs the space for others and, in this way, prohibits life in society. It prevents forms of cooperation and solidarity from being emancipatory, as there is no control over them. “[…] the transformation of society is conceivable only as the way in which free men (or, more precisely, men in the act of freeing themselves) shape their lives in solidarity and construct an environment in which the struggle for existence loses its hideous and aggressive attributes. The Form of freedom is not mere self-determination or self-realization but rather the determination and achievement of goals that improve, protect and unite life on Earth. And this autonomy would find expression not only in the mode of production and in productive relations, but also in individual relations between men […]”.[56]

Change requires a union between new sensitivity and new rationality, to result in a (re)education at the level of political economy. By this way of criticizing the separation between agents and patients, it would be possible to build a society that is not divided between those who are intellectual subjects, who decide and appropriate the surplus, on the one hand, and those who feel and carry out the material work. This is “Schiller’s aesthetic state”.[57] In the twentieth century, the great defender of this aesthetic utopia was Herbert Marcuse.

Friedrich Schiller is a reference to Herbert Marcuse when he maintains that the sensitivity of the senses is not passive or merely receptive. The senses play an active role in constituting experience, linking sensitive life to social life. This occurs with the aesthetic impulse towards the play of the imagination. The aesthetic education of man Schiller is oriented in this direction, as revealed by the Letter XXVII: “If necessity already constrains man to society and reason implants social principles in him, it is only beauty that can give him a social character. Only taste allows harmony in society, as it establishes harmony in the individual […]. In the aesthetic State, everyone – even those who are servile instruments – are free citizens who have the same rights as the most noble […] in the realm of aesthetic appearance the Ideal of equality is realized […]”.[58]

Even someone reduced to a servile work instrument is a citizen with full rights. This is the core of the political-philosophical project of An essay on liberation: liberation to confer freedom, to revolutionize society beyond the present of non-freedom and so that it reproduces itself without domination and repression. Giving “freedom through freedom is the fundamental law of this realm (of aesthetic appearance).”[59]

It is important to highlight that the aesthetic experience of freedom is not limited to inner realization, but must acquire political existence as an objective social situation in which freedom and equality would be realized as a universal human purpose. It is worth asking: what are the conditions for the possibility of a society with this harmonious life?

Would there be something in the aesthetic dimension that possessed an essential affinity with freedom not only in its sublimated cultural (artistic) form, but also in its desublimated political, existential form, so that aesthetics could become a gesellschaftliche Produktivkraft: a factor in the technique of production, a horizon under which material and intellectual needs would develop?[60]

Social reproduction is always discussed in connection with the new sensitivity.

Although the senses are shaped and formed by society, they constitute our primary experience of the world and provide the material for both reason and imagination. Nowadays they are socially contained and truncated, so that only an emancipation of the senses and a new sensitivity can generate liberating social change.[61]

Herbert Marcuse assumes this meaning of sensitivity from Marx, as exposed in his Theses on Feuerbach, which are explicitly aimed at differentiation in relation to Feuerbach's vision of anthropological materialism.

Na Thesis 1, Marx explains: “The capital flaw of all materialism up to now (including that of Feuerbach) is to capture the object, the effectiveness, the sensibility only in the form of object or intuition, and not how sensitive human activity, practice; just from a subjective point of view. Hence, in opposition to materialism, the active side is developed, in an abstract way, by idealism, which naturally does not know effective and sensitive activity as such.”[62]

Na Thesis 5, Marx returns to the theme: “Feuerbach […] does not capture sensitivity as a practical, human and sensitive activity”.[63] Na Thesis 9, refers to the social content involved in the issue: “The extreme to which intuitive materialism reaches, namely, materialism that does not understand sensitivity as a practical activity, is the intuition of unique individuals and civil society”.[64]

Na Thesis 10, concludes with the distinction between the two senses of sensitivity, the sensitivity of the current bourgeois society, with its individualism in civil society, and the “new” sensitivity: “The point of view of old materialism is civil society (and individuals unique), that of modern materialism, human society or social humanity”.[65] On the one hand, bourgeois civil society and its “unique individuals”; on the other, “human society” in the sense of the social, objective human condition, to oppose the unique individual.

Sensitivity – Herbert Marcuse uses sensitivity ou sensitivity e sensitivity ou sensuality – term that has a double meaning. On the one hand, it is up to men and women to experience their human nature through sensitivity, activating perception through the senses. On the other hand – the emphasis on Herbert Marcuse – there is the meaning of sensitivity not in accordance with its root sensitize, but at the root sensualitas.[66] In this way, human subjects have the “need” for human beings. In other words: humans become basic vital needs for humans, a very clear political meaning insofar as capitalism exercises social controls precisely to promote individualism and deactivate this sensitivity. The “new” sensitivity already contains the distinctive elements of solidarity and fraternity, cooperation and the common beyond the existing ones. Free social life is a basic vital need.

“Human nature can only be formed and realized if it completes and flourishes in the coexistence of people […]. In the 'new sensitivity' the 'new solidarity' is already present.”[67] The concept of new sensitivity implies more: a “cultural coexistence” between nature and humanity. “The socialist society will have among its flags not only freedom, equality and justice, but also happiness, fraternity and peace”.[68] Furthermore, because it is about human emancipation, “[…] the formation of the “new solidarity” plays a fundamental role in the relationship between men and women. […] firstly, it is a relationship between nature and humanity […] only in communion do men and women form the new generation […]. Secondly, the division of labor through the cultural exploitation of the female role in childbirth and education led to the earliest and most profound exploitation of human nature by the male domination of society.” The struggle for the suppression of this domination leads, thirdly, as Marcuse states, also to the emancipation of feminine sensitivity: “the intelligence with sensitivity that oppressive and aggressive male domination took care to repress”.[69]

Thus, the subjects of liberation, of human emancipation, are all people who are targets of discrimination, oppression, exploitation, barbarism. “[…] their conscience and their objectives make them representatives of a common interest of the oppressed that is very real. Being against the dominance of classes and national interests that suppress this common interest, the revolt against old societies is truly international: the emergence of a new and spontaneous solidarity. This struggle is quite different from the humanist ideal and the Humanitas; it is a struggle for life – life not as masters and slaves, but as men and women.”[70]

*Wolfgang Leo Maar is senior professor at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar).


Herbert Marcuse. An essay on liberation. Translation: Humberto do Amaral. São Paulo, Editora Politeia, 2024, 192 pages. []


[1]   Mises, Ludwig von apoud Marcuse, Herbert, “The Combat against liberalism in the totalitarian conception of the State” [1934], in culture and society, vol. 1, 1997, p. 53.

[2]   Soares, Jorge C., Marcuse in Brazil. Interviews with philosophers, 1999, p. 18

[3]   Arantes, Paulo E., “1968 thirty years later” [1998], in zero left, 2004, p. 156.

[4]   Infra, P. 6.

[5]   Adorno, Theodor W., “Introduction to the controversy over positivism in German sociology” [1969], in Chosen Texts, 1980, p. 233.

[6]   Marcuse, Herbert, “Philosophy and Critical Theory” [1937], in culture and society, vol. 1, 1997, p. 144.

[7]   Ibid., P. 148.

[8]   Ibid., P. 153.

[9]   Ibid., P. 154.

[10]  Ibid., P. 159.

[11]  Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, Discourse on the origin and foundations of inequality among men [1755], 1989, p. 60.

[12]  Infra, P. 78.

[13]  Marcuse, Herbert, “The Historical Fate of Bourgeois Democracy” [1973], in Kellner, Douglas (ed.), Towards a Critical Theory of Society, Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse, vol. 2, 2001, p. 165.

[14]  Marcuse, Herbert, Counterrevolution and revolt [1972], 1981, p. 63.

[15]  Ibid., P. 81.

[16]  Ibid., P. 25.

[17]  Marx, Karl, Grundrisse. Economic manuscripts of 1857–1858, 2011, p. 255.

[18]  Marcuse, Herbert, Counterrevolution and revolt [1972], 1981, p. 26.

[19]  Marx, Karl, Grundrisse. Economic manuscripts of 1857–1858, 2011, p. 40.

[20]  Marcuse, Herbert, Counterrevolution and revolt [1972], 1981, p. 27.

[21]  Ibid., P. 127.

[22]  Infra, P. 7.

[23]  Infra., P. 78.

[24]  Fundação Perseu Abramo, “Perceptions and political values ​​in the outskirts of São Paulo”, 2017.

[25]  Negt, Oskar, “Marcuses dialektisches Verständnis von Demokratie”, in Das Schicksal der bürgerlichen Demokratie, 1999, p. 21.

[26]  Ibid., P. 22.

[27]  Habermas, Jürgen, “Presentación”, in Habermas, Jürgen (org.), Replies to Marcuse [1968], 1969, p. 15.

[28]  Infra, P. 5.

[29]  Marcuse, Herbert, Counterrevolution and revolt [1972], 1981, p. 63.

[30]  Adorno, Theodor W. and Horkheimer, Max, Dialectic of Enlightenment [1947], 1985, p. 156.

[31]  Ibid., P. 191.

[32]  Ibid., P. 194.

[33]  Marcuse, Herbert, the one dimensional man [1964], 2015, p. 46.

[34]  Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich, the german ideology [1845–1846], 2007, p. 38.

[35]  Negt, Oskar, Achtundsechzig. Politische Intellektuelle und die Macht, 1995, p. 208.

[36]  Ibid., P. 194.

[37]  Ibid., P. 369.

[38]  Marcuse, Herbert, “The University and Radical Social Change” [1976], in Transvaluation of Values ​​and Radical Social Change. Five Lectures, 1966–1976, 2017, p. 47.

[39]  Infra, P. 78.

[40]  Marx, Karl, The capital, Book III [1894], 2017, p. 883.

[41]  Claussen, Detlev (org.), Spuren der Befreiung, 1981, p. 40.

[42]  Adorno, Theodor W., “What it means to work through the past” [1959], in Education and Emancipation, 1995, p. 40.

[43]  Marcuse, Herbert, the one dimensional man [1964], 2015, p. 34.

[44]  Palmier, Jean-Michel, Marcuse et la nouvelle gauche, 1973, p. 577.

[45]  Marx, Karl, “Theses against Feuerbach” [1845], in Economic-philosophical manuscripts and other chosen texts, 1974, p. 58.

[46]  Maar, Wolfgang Leo, “Sociopolitics: Marx and Marcuse”, Constellations: critical theory magazine, 2016–2017, p. 182.

[47]  Marcuse, Herbert, Counterrevolution and revolt [1972], 1981, p. 29.

[48]  Infra, pp. 77–78.

[49]  Marcuse, Herbert, Counterrevolution and revolt [1972], 1981, p. 29.

[50]  Adorno, Theodor W., “Education — for what?” [1967], in Education and Emancipation, 1995, p. 142.

[51]  Infra, P. 18.

[52]  Infra, P. 20.

[53]  Infra, P. 27.

[54]  Infra, P. 28.

[55]  Infra, P. 37.

[56]  Infra, pp. 43–44.

[57]  Rancière, Jacques, Sharing the sensitive. Aesthetics and politics [2000], 2009, p. 66

[58]  Schiller, Friedrich, The aesthetic education of man: in a series of letters [1794], 2011, p. 135.

[59]  Ibid., P. 134.

[60]  Infra, P. 29.

[61]  Kellner, Douglas, “Marcuse and the Quest for Radical Subjectivity,” in Abromeit, John and Cobb, W. Mark (ed.), Herbert Marcuse. A Critical Reader, 2004, p. 90.

[62]  Marx, Karl, “Theses against Feuerbach” [1845], in Economic-philosophical manuscripts and other chosen texts, 1974, p. 57.

[63]  Ibid., P. 58.

[64]  Ibid.

[65]  Ibid., P. 59.

[66]  Thürnau, Donatus, “Sinnlichkeit”, in Enzyklopädie Philosophie, 2010, p. 2471.

[67]  Schmied-Kowarzik, Wolfdietrich, “Die 'menschliche Natur'. Zum Naturbegriff bei Herbert Marcuse”, in Schmied-Kowarzik, Wolfdietrich e Flego, Gvozden (org.), Herbert Marcuse. Eros und Emanzipation, 1989, p. 271.

[68]  Ibid., P. 270.

[69]  Ibid., P. 272.

[70]  Infra, P. 49.

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