Adorno and Marcuse on the Student Movement

Michael Pugliese debsian at
Tue Nov 30 09:30:45 MST 1999

   Thank you, Dennis, as I am of mine! Although
it did grate on me at the time and since, my immersion into leftism took
place at U.C. Santa Cruz in the early 80's, with it's blend of the New
Age/hippie holdovers, neo-Marxists just getting into the postmodernism
discussion, and student radicalism just beginning to get into the
multiculti/identity politics thing. The housing coop I lived in, would do a
combination of a group hug after the Maoist type crit/self-crit at the end
of meetings. At least in the meetings of the local of the New American
Movement we only did the crit/self-crit and left the touchy-feely stuff for
when we jumped into the hot tub or smoked a joint.
   Now wonder what Adorno would have made California leftism? It seems to
have been part of what led ex-Marxist, Leszek Kolakowski, to
neo-conservativism. Cf. his debate with E.P. Thompson in the pages of the
English Socialist Register back in 1973 and 1974. Kolakowski's response to
E.P. was entitled, "My Correct Views on Everything!"(!!!) Thompson's end can
be found in his volume, "The Poverty of Theory," mostly taken up with his
brilliant and funny polemic against Althusser. I still think that that piece
of Thompson's belongs in the Greatest Hits of Polemical Denunciations, Vol.
2. Volume 1
taken up with Papa Marx'es contributions of course!
                             Michael Pugliese

----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis R Redmond <dredmond at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU>
To: <marxism at>
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 1999 1:06 AM
Subject: Re: Adorno and Marcuse on the Student Movement

> On Sun, 28 Nov 1999, Michael Pugliese wrote:
> > absent any of us actually having been there of course, couldn't Theodor
> > handled this better?
> We're all children of our time. Adorno was a product of 1920's Weimar
> culture, and his personal experience of Fascism was getting booted out of
> the university system, so I'm not surprised he reacted so defensively to a
> perceived threat to the Institute (you have to understand, German culture
> is very crowded, and built upon the use of space: they take physical
> intrusion much more seriously there). I do think it's symptomatic of a
> certain kind of Leftism, though, that these rhetorical gestures seem to
> count for far more than what Adorno wrote and thought about. Jameson, in
> his "Late Marxism", gently parodied this view, mentioning the "undying
> shame" of the calling-of-the-cops incident.
> -- Dennis

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