In the essay “Repressive Tolerance” (), the Germanborn American critical theorist Herbert Marcuse () of the Franklin School of political theorists . When Herbert Marcuse’s essay entitled “Repressive tolerance” was Keywords: Repressive Tolerance; Herbert Marcuse; Social Organisation of Knowledge. Herbert Marcuse’s resonant and insightful words: “In the contemporary period, the democratic argument for abstract tolerance tends to be.

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The evaluation is ex post, and his list includes opposites Savonarola too would have burned Fra Dolcino. The whole post-fascist period is one of clear and present danger.

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Randall, John Herman Economic Sociology and Political Economy. Retrieved from ” https: From the permissiveness of all sorts of license to the child, to the constant psychological concern with the personal problems of the student, a large-scale movement is under way against the evils of repression and the need for being oneself. However, gepressive lesson is clear: At the time I was struck by just how docile and ineffective the strike seemed.

I have been for forty years listening to you through a crack otlerance the floor. And the representatives of this majority, in ascertaining and executing its will, ascertain and execute the will of the vested interests, which have formed the majority.

Nietzsche on the Stoics. Here are some examp But I have already suggested that repredsive democratic argument implies a necessary condition, namely, that the people must be capable of deliberating and choosing on the basis of knowledge, that they must have access to authentic information, and that, on this.

Herbert Marcuse: Power of Repressive Tolerance | Economic Sociology and Political Economy

Views Read Edit View history. He considered it fortunate that “the means by which he might impose his opinions are not terribly impressive. Heresy by itself, however, herbfrt no token of truth.


In such a society, tolerance is de facto limited on the dual ground of legalized violence or suppression police, armed forces, guards of all sorts and of the privileged position held by the predominant interests and their ‘connections’.

Instead, it encourages non-conformity and letting-go in ways which leave the real engines of repression in the society entirely intact, which even strengthen these engines by substituting the satisfactions of private, and personal rebellion for a more than private and personal, and therefore more authentic, opposition.

The avenues of entrance are closed to the meaning of words and ideas other than the established one–established by the publicity of the powers that be, and verified in their practices.

Such a society does not yet exist; progress toward it is perhaps more than before arrested by violence and suppression on a global scale.

Repressive Tolerance |

I said that, by virtue of its inner logic, withdrawal of tolerance from regressive movements, and discriminatory tolerance in favor of progressive tendencies would be tantamount herbsrt the ‘official’ promotion of subversion. Freedom is liberation, a specific historical process in theory and practice, and as such it has its right and wrong, its truth and falsehood.

The historical calculus of progress which is actually the calculus of the prospective reduction of cruelty, misery, suppression seems to involve the calculated choice between two forms of political violence: In terms of ethics, both forms of violence are inhuman and evil–but since when is history made in accordance with ethical standards?

Surely, no government can be expected to foster its own subversion, but in a democracy such a right is vested in the people i. This process involves at each stage to use the ridiculed terms which here reveal their succinct concreteness the negation of the negation, mediation of the jarcuse, and identity is no more and no less than this process.

New Spaces in the Humanities vol. As deterrents against repdessive war, as police action against subversion, as technical aid in the fight against imperialism and communism, as methods of pacification in neo-colonial massacres, violence and suppression are promulgated, practiced, and defended by democratic and authoritarian governments alike, and the people subjected to these governments are educated to sustain such practices as necessary for the preservation of the status quo.


Herbert Marcuse “Repressive Tolerance”. The forces of emancipation cannot be identified with any social class which, by virtue of its material condition, is free from false consciousness.

Those who stand against the established system are a priori at a disadvantage, which is not removed by the toleration of their ideas, speeches, and newspapers. And the problem of making possible such a harmony between every individual liberty and the other is not that of finding a compromise between competitors, or between freedom and law, between general and individual interest, common and private welfare in an established society, but of creating the society in which man marcsue no longer enslaved by institutions which vitiate self-determination from the beginning.

Human freedom and determinism part one. As such, they have lost their capacity to pursue truth through the free exercise of their individual reason, and, in turn, to create a just and humane society.

Repressive Tolerance

Consequently, persuasion reprfssive discussion and the equal presentation of opposites even where it is really, equal easily lose their liberating force as factors of understanding and learning; they are far more likely to strengthen the established thesis and to repel the alternatives. Consequently, true pacification requires the withdrawal of tolerance before the deed, at the stage of communication in word, print, and picture.

Accessed November 26,