Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory
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It is of the very definition of any "classic" work that it will not only introduce a new depth and direction of thought, but that its original insights endure. When it first appeared in 1940, Reason and Revolution by Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979) was acclaimed for its profound and undistorted reading of Hegel's social and political theory. Today, the appreciation of Marcuse's work has remained high, more relevant now than ever before.
In the rapidly changing context of post-Cold War political realities, there is no better guide than Marcuse to where we have been and to what we might expect. As he well understood, turbulent and spectacular political events always ran within channels earlier set by political theory; and he equally understood that it was Hegel's often unappreciated and misunderstood theory which actually set a fundamental path of modern political life.
It is a fortunate combination to have a scholar of Marcuse's brilliance and lucid honesty addressing the sources and consequences of Hegel's social theory.
REASON AND REVOLUTION Reason and Revolution HEGEL AND THE RISE OF SOCIAL THEORY HERBERT MARCUSE 2nd Edition with Supplementary Chapter LONDON ROUTLEDGE & KEGAN PAUL LTD BROADWAY HOUSE: te-74 CARTER LANE, E.C.4 First Published in England in 1941 2nd Edition with Supplementary Chapter Reprinted 1955 Printed in the United States of America TO MAX HORKHEIMER AND THE INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL RESEARCH Preface > THE content of a ) ceo c- truly philosophical unchanged with time.
exists in truth. This statement now needs a correction. Hegel does not mean that everything that exists does so in conformity with its potentialities, of but that the mind has attained the self-consciousness its freedom, and become capable of freeing nature and The realization of reason is not a fact but a task. society. The form in which the objects immediately appear is not yet their true form. What is simply given is at first negative, other than its real potentialities. It becomes true
historical world viewed in relation to the rational progress of humanity the historical world not as a chain of acts and events but as a ceaseless struggle to adapt the world to the growing potentialities of mankind. History is organized into different periods, each marking a separate level of development and representing a Each stage is to be grasped and understood as -a whole, through the prevailing ways of thinking and living which characterize it, through its political and social
bears versal The unity of the thing is not only determined but constituted by its relation to other things, and its thinghood consists in this very relation. The salt, for example, is what it is only in relation to our taste, to the food to which it is added, to sugar, and so on. The thing salt, to be sure, is more than the mere 'togetherness* of such relations; it is a unity in and for itself, but a different character. this unity exists only in these relations and is nothing 'behind* or
one comprehensive principle, which is the principle of the actual development of the subject-matter itself. The various states, qualities, and conditions of the subject-matter must appear as its own positive unfolded content. Nothing can be added from outside (any given tions fact, for instance). Dialectical development is not 'the external activity of subjective thought/ but the objective 86 history of the real itself. Hegel is consequently able to say that in dialectical philosophy it is 'not