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A Dialectical Reading Of Joseph De Maistre By Herbert Marcuse

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows convincing evidence confirming that the real and profound interest of the future theoretician of a libertarian utopia never ceased to embrace the work of a reactionary thinker. Marcuse must have approached Maistre's thought second-hand through the book by the Danish critic Georg Brandes, Die Hauptstrmungen der Literatur des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts(1900). Besides the chapter Gegenrevolution und Restauration, other parts evoke the intellectual heritage bequeathed by the author of De la souveraineté du peuple: as the instigator, together with Saint-Simon and Comte, of sociology, if not positivism; as one of the &t;godfathers of the original philosophies of the Counter-revolution,&t; the other one being Bonald. While contradicting him on the essentials, Marcuse's critical theory owes much more than has been imagined, to the Counter-Enlightenment thinker. The Maistrian word is practically virtual, powerless to express reality in any other way than in theory, in the form of revolt or refusal.

Keywords: Bonald; Comte; Georg Brandes; Herbert Marcuse; Joseph De Maistre; libertarian utopia; Saint-Simon



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