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Philosophy and Critical Pedagogy

Insurrection and Commonwealth


Charles Reitz

Critical pedagogy, political economics, and aesthetic theory combine with dialectical and materialist understandings of science, society, and revolutionary politics to develop the most radical goals of society and education. In Philosophy and Critical Pedagogy: Insurrection and Commonwealth, Marcuse’s hitherto misunderstood and neglected philosophy of labor is reconsidered, resulting in a labor theory of ethics. This develops commonwealth criteria of judgment regarding the real and enduring economic and political possibilities that concretely encompass all of our engagement and action. Marcuse’s newly discovered 1974 Paris Lectures are examined and the theories of Georg Lukács and Ernest Manheim contextualize the analysis to permit a critical assessment of the nature of dialectical methodology today. Revolutionary strategy and a common-ground political program against intensifying inequalities of class, race, and gender comprise the book’s commonwealth counter-offensive.


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Chapter 5. Herbert Marcuse and the New Culture Wars: Campus Codes, Hate Speech, and the Critique of Pure Tolerance


· 5 · herbert marcuse and the new culture wars Campus Codes, Hate Speech, and the Critique of Pure Tolerance “The contemporary movement that seeks to restrict liberty on campus arose spe- cifically in the provocative work of the late Marxist political and social philoso- pher Herbert Marcuse…” —Alan Charles Kors and Harvey A. Silverglate In recent years highly publicized educational commentators, like David Horowitz (2006a, 2006b, 2000), and Alan Charles Kors and Harvey Silverglate (KS 1998), have been arguing many of the major agenda items for the New Right with regard to higher education policy in the U.S.A. Central among these is the claim of an ostensible racism against whites on the part of a so-called academic Left, and the charge that freedom of speech has been betrayed in the American university by campus codes attempting to regu- late bigoted speech against ethnic minority groups in our society. One key tenet undergirding the New Right’s charge is their assertion of a putative political need for a democratic society to maintain an absolute tolerance of abusive and even assaultive speech—as protected forms of dissent. In sharp contrast to this approach, a strategy for the defense of equal civil rights and solidarity with victims of hate speech has been developed by authors like Dolores Calderón (2009), Christine Sleeter and Dolores Delgado Bernal (2003), Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic (1997), Mari Matsuda, Charles Lawrence, Richard Delgado and Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw (1993), and 106 philosophy & critical pedagogy John K. Wilson (1995). They claim...

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