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Worlds apart: Marx, Marcuse and creative engagement

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posted on 23.05.2021, 17:52 by Rebecca van der Post
Marx’s early account of socialism as the simultaneous liberation of mankind and nature holds creativity to be mankind’s defining and trans-historical characteristic and the locus of human freedom. Yet, as I argue, Marx’s creativity is predicated upon subject-object relations of domination that engender a pathological relationship between humans and nature, thereby militating against true freedom. This paper will explore Marcuse’s attempt to rehabilitate Marx’s account and will find that Marcuse fails to resolve the crucial tension between subject and object, while his model of freedom contains the possibility for an escalation in the very violations of nature that his account seeks to overcome. Finally, I argue that creative processes and creative engagement suggest a way to resolve the tension in Marx’s account of human nature, while offering us a vantage point from which to critique and subvert the brutality of our own historical moment.





Master of Arts



Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type