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Crisis and Commonwealth

Marcuse, Marx, McLaren

Edited by Charles Reitz - Contributions by Kevin B. Anderson; David Brodsky; Patricia Pollock Brodsky; Lloyd C. Daniel; Jodi Dean; Douglas Dowd; Arnold L. Farr; Henry A. Giroux; Alfred Kisubi; John Marciano; Peter Marcuse; Peter McLaren; Stephen Spartan; Zvi Tauber and Fred Whitehead

Crisis and Commonwealth: Marcuse, Marx, McLaren advances Marcuse scholarship by presenting four hitherto untranslated and unpublished manuscripts by Herbert Marcuse from the Frankfurt University Archive on themes of economic value theory, socialism, and humanism. Contributors to this edited collection, notably Peter Marcuse, Henry Giroux, Peter McLaren, Zvi Tauber, Arnold L. Farr and editor, Charles Reitz, are deeply engaged with the foundational theories of Marcuse and Marx with regard to a future of freedom, equality, and justice. Douglas Dowd furnishes the critical historical context with regard to U.S. foreign and domestic policy, particularly its features of economic imperialism and militarism. Reitz draws these elements together to show that the writings by Herbert Marcuse and these formidable authors can ably assist a global movement toward intercultural commonwealth.

The collection extends the critical theories of Marcuse and Marx to an analysis of the intensifying inequalities symptomatic of our current economic distress. It presents a collection of essays by radical scholars working in the public interest to develop a critical analysis of recent global economic dislocations. Reitz presents a new foundation for emancipatory practice—a labor theory of ethics and commonwealth, and the collection breaks new ground by constructing a critical theory of wealth and work. A central focus is building a new critical vision for labor, including academic labor. Lessons are drawn to inform transformative political action, as well as the practice of a critical, multicultural pedagogy, supporting a new manifesto for radical educators contributed by Peter McLaren. The collection is intended especially to appeal to contemporary interests of college students and teachers in several interrelated social science disciplines: sociology, social problems, economics, ethics, business ethics, labor education, history, political philosophy, multicultural education, and critical pedagogy.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 332Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-8306-9 • Hardback • August 2013 • $105.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-4985-1535-1 • Paperback • May 2015 • $44.99 • (£29.95)
978-0-7391-8307-6 • eBook • August 2013 • $41.99 • (£27.95)
Charles Reitz retired in 2006 as professor of philosophy and social science at Kansas City Kansas Community College, where he also served as Director of Intercultural Education and President of the Faculty Association (KNEA). He has co-edited a Special Edition of the Radical Philosophy Review on Herbert Marcuse (with Andrew Lamas, Arnold L. Farr, and Douglas Kellner, 2013), and is the author of several publications on the educational and political philosophy of Herbert Marcuse: Art, Alienation, and the Humanities: A Critical Engagement with Herbert Marcuse (SUNY Press, 2000); “Herbert Marcuse and the Humanities: Emancipatory Education and Predatory Culture,” and “Herbert Marcuse and the New Culture Wars,” in Douglas Kellner, Tyson Lewis, Clayton Pierce, K. Daniel Cho, Marcuse’s Challenge to Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009).

Introduction. Crisis and Commonwealth: Politics, Pedagogy, Praxis
Charles Reitz
Chapter 1. The Political Economy of Predation and Counterrevolution: Recalling Marcuse on the Radical Goals of Socialism
Charles Reitz and Stephen Spartan
Chapter 2. Socialism One Sector at a Time
Peter Marcuse
Chapter 3.
Charter 2000: A Transitional Program for Labor
David Brodsky
Chapter 4. “Vote for a Job”?
A Short History of Contemporary Strategic Failure on the Organized Left, with Lessons for the Present
Fred Whitehead
Chapter 5. U.S. Capitalism and Militarism in Crisis? Our Political Work Today
Douglas Dowd
Chapter 6. Empire as a Way of Life:
CourseOutline and Bibliography
John Marciano
Chapter 7. Surplus Over-Appropriation and the Reproduction Crisis in the Western Roman Empire
Stephen Spartan
Chapter 8. An Essay on Repressive Education: Marcuse, Marx, Adorno, and the Future of Emancipatory Learning
Arnold L. Farr
Chapter 9. Can Democratic Education Survive in a Neoliberal Society?
Henry A. Giroux
Chapter 10. Defeating Corporate Blueprints, White Papers, and Blue Ribbon Task Forces:
Academic Labor Reclaims Public Higher Education for the Public
Patricia P. Brodsky
Chapter 11. Art as a Manifestation of the Struggle for Human Emancipation:
A Non-Dogmatic Marxist Position in Aesthetics
Zvi Tauber
Chapter 12. A Labor Theory of Ethics and Commonwealth: Recalling a “New” Marcuse
Charles Reitz
Chapter 13. Diversity, Equality, Empowerment in Politics and Education
Charles Reitz
Chapter 14. Cultural Origins of African Humanism and Socialism (
Alfred T. Kisubi
Chapter 15. The Second Assassination of Dr. King
Lloyd C. Daniel
Chapter 16. Year Two of Arab Revolutions

Kevin Anderson
Chapter 17. Revolutionary Critical Pedagogy for a Socialist Society:
A Manifesto
Peter McLaren
Chapter 18. The Communist Horizon
Jodi Dean
Conclusion. The Commonwealth Counter-Offensive
Charles Reitz
Appendix. Four Manuscripts on Value Theory, Humanism, and Socialism
Herbert Marcuse

Name Index
Subject Index
About the Contributors

No one knows better than Charles Reitz that critical theory—at its best—is a three-legged stool, constructed with great care and attention to political economy, aesthetics, and pedagogy. When any one of these radical elements is missing, critical praxis is impoverished; however, when they are carefully fused together by a scholar and editor of Reitz's stature, then the intellectual legacy of Marx and Marcuse is renewed to work again in our time for projects of resistance, refusal, and liberation. I highly recommend Crisis and Commonwealth: Marcuse, Marx, McLaren.
Andrew T. Lamas, University of Pennsylvania

The numerous social, economic, and military global crises of the last decades not only provoked protest movements throughout the world; they also brought about socio-critical analyses that offer astute examinations of the threats and turmoil in the global economy. Crisis and Commonwealth, edited by Charles Reitz, gathers such radical analyses in the critical intellectual tradition inspired by Marx and Marcuse. In the first chapter, Reitz and his chapter co-editor Stephan Spartan prove that Marcuse’s dialectical method of radical thinking, with its political principle of “liberation”, is still a radical weapon to analyze the crises of today.

Reitz has established himself as one of the finest translators of German critical theorists including Habermas, Honneth, and Marcuse. His translation here of Marcuse's previously quite unknown
Humanism and Humanity is a key contribution to Marcuse scholarship. It is particularly valuable in the context of Reitz's effort to explicate Marcuse's unique approach to socialist humanism as well as his own critical theoretical perspective.

Peter-Erwin Jansen, editor of Herbert Marcuse’s and Leo Löwenthal’s intellectual estate in Germany; professor, University of Applied Sciences, Koblenz

I wholeheartedly embrace this book as a part of the Marcuse Renaissance now underway. In an age where the 99% must struggle needlessly through longer working years and ever more tedious jobs, Marcuse’s call for “a life that is no longer spent in making a living” is more relevant today than ever. These essays help us not only glimpse the horizon of liberation, but move us concretely toward that historical moment when human beings will become masters of their own destiny.
George Katsiaficas, activist and author of "Asia’s Unknown Uprisings"