March 22, 2015 New York Times Op-Ed columnist, writing in today's issue: "...[G]iven that one in six Americans qualifies for food stamps, it’s clear that there isn’t enough good work to go around... NONE of this is short term, but neither are the robots taking over tomorrow, and it’s safe to say that nearly all the humans on Earth 20 years from now would prefer an economic system that would guarantee a decent life, whether their 'rulers' are heartless robots or merely gazillionaires...[P]erhaps there’s time to reimagine society...It’s not as if this question hasn’t been well considered. There was Karl Marx, whose analysis was largely correct but whose reputation was soiled by the alternatives developed in his name." http://nyti.ms/1FNuRW7
Published in Φιλοσοφια: International
Journal of Philosophy 32:1 (2003), 101-105.
What does it mean to say that Philippine
society is in total crisis? In Alternative to a Dead God, the philosopher
Florentino Timbreza investigates this question. The work interprets
contemporary Filipino values. It analyzes how they have been shaped in part by
the “critique” of traditional Christianity from the standpoint of everyday life
of ordinary people. Finally, Timbreza “tests” the adequacy of philosophic
concepts drawn primarily from the wide-ranging works of the Frankfurt School
theoretician and socialist humanist Erich Fromm.
Includes Russell Rockwell, "Marx's Mature Critical Theory, Marcuse, and Post-Marcuse"
mature critical theory, Marcuse, and post-Marcuse
Critical Theory, at
least in the work of Herbert Marcuse, has always interpreted contemporary
society by analyzing the internal relationship between the actual and the
possible. This has meant determining the social resources that are present or
are in development, which point the way toward freedom in a post-capitalist
society. Recent works by economists, such as Race Against the Machine, and The
Second Machine Age, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAffee, point to a new
stage of digital and robotic technologies, which echoes as today’s reality or
near-reality much of what Herbert Marcuse sketched as a distant but determinate
possibility in the “Prospects of Containment” section of One-Dimensional Man. Moishe Postone, perhaps the most important
theorist among the current generation of Critical Theorists, recognized
Marcuse’s theoretical achievements, which included systematic analyses of the
principal categories of what Postone has termed “Marx’s mature critical
theory”. Hence Marcuse repeatedly interpreted and subjected to careful analysis
in the context of contemporary developments not only Capital, but works unpublished in Marx’s lifetime, i.e. Grundrisse and Critique of the Gotha Programme. Yet, Postone, in revisiting that
all-important relationship of the actual and the possible, critiques Marcuse’s
social theory of one-dimensionality by developing Marx’s concept of an
“intrinsic contradiction”: on the one hand, direct labor as the sole source of value (the specifically capitalist form
of wealth), and on the other, the logic in capitalism for replacing direct
labor through automation, in today’s terms, with digital technology and robots.