Tag: Herbert Marcuse

Is the Left More Opposed to Free Speech Today than It Used to Be?

In a sharp take on the left, Freddie deBoer asks, “Is the social justice left really abandoning free speech?” Drawing on this report about an incident at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Freddie answers his own question thus: It’s a question I’ve played around with before. Generally, the response [from the left] is something like “of course not, stop slandering us,” or whatever. But more and more often, I find that the answer from lefties I know in academia or online writing are answering “yes.” And that is, frankly, terrifying and a total betrayal of the fundamental principles we associate with human progress. Freddie goes on to offer a rousing defense of free speech. I don’t want to […]

When Utopia Becomes a Lunch Break

James Livingston is one of the most brilliant historians of the United States. His book Pragmatism and the Political Economy of Cultural Revolution is by far the best book I’ve read all year. In his more recent book, Against Thrift, he makes the claim that advertising is “the last utopian idiom of our time.” If Jim is right, we’re in major trouble. Because, according to this New York Times piece, working conditions have gotten so bad that advertisers can now depict utopia as…taking a lunch break: But marketers are urging workers to commit small acts of so-called rebellion — like taking a vacation, or going on a lunch break. That’s the message McDonald’s sent this spring with a campaign called, “It’s […]