Marcuse: German Idealism vs. Fascism

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“German idealism protested the wholesale surrender of the individual to ruling social and political forces. Its exaltation of mind and its insistence on the significance of thought implied, National Socialism correctly saw, an essential opposition to any victimization of the individual. Philosophic idealism was part and parcel of idealist culture. And this culture recognized a realm of truth that was not subject to the authority of the order that is and of the powers that be. Art, philosophy, and religion envisioned a world that challenged the claims of the given reality. Idealist culture is incompatible with Fascist discipline and control.”1

1Herbert Marcuse, Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory (Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 1999 [1940]), 416.

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