Thursday, March 24, 2016

Eros and Civilization for a Jobless Future: Herbert Marcuse and the Abolition of Work

"Surplus-repression and the performance principle compel people to internalize the constant drive to work, compete, and produce. They are also evident in the vehement hostility directed against individuals who refuse to work, appear to be lazy or unproductive, or seem generally free of social constraint. Surplus-repression and the performance principle are most apparent in conservative attacks on the welfare state, and they are well known to protesters who have been yelled at by passersby to “GET A JOB!” Social anxieties about pleasure and freedom proliferate, demanding submission to authoritarian forces of repression: “As the reality principle takes root, even in its most primitive and most brutally enforced form, the pleasure principle becomes something frightful and terrifying; the impulses for free gratification meet with anxiety, and this anxiety calls for protection against them” (Marcuse, 1966; p. 67)."

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