Marcuse, Liberation, and Radical Ecology

Herbert Marcuse's late 1970s essay "Ecology and the Critique of Modern Society," written shortly before his death in 1979 and published here for the first time, articulates his vision of liberation and sense of the importance of ecology for the radical project. The essay argues that genuine ecology requires a transformation of human nature, as well as the preservation and protection of external nature from capitalist and state communist pollution and destruction. Rooting his vision of human liberation in the Frankfurt School notion of the embeddedness of human beings in nature, Marcuse believed that until aggression and violence within human beings was diminished, there would necessarily be continued destruction of nature, as well as violence against other human beings. Consequently, Marcuse stressed the importance of radical psychology and transforming inner nature, both to preserve external nature and to diminish violence in society
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