One Dimensional Man’s Liberation


This blog entry was started some time ago and overlaps others on Donald Trump’s one-dimensionality.  Like earlier entries, it uses Herbert Marcuse’s One dimensional Man’s dialectic-analytical framework, to examine the logic of capitalism. First, ‘one-dimensional man’ thought patterns are examined, and extended to groups, organizations, and cultures before examining the energy in this paradigm needed to change civilization toward multi-dimensionality. To demonstrate this phenomenon of one-dimensionality, Donald Trump’s language and behavior, will be used to document this experience and outline the changes required to move into being a multi-dimensional person and from there move forward beyond capitalism. This methodology has been employed in past blog entries and will continue our effort to understand the issues confronting today’s civilization.

I recently went to my bookcase looking for Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren’s book How to Read a Book and started to re-read Chapter 20 The forth level of reading: Syntopical reading – reading two or more book simultaneously on the same topic. I am making use of this chapter while reading Nassim Taleb’s book The Black Swan and Herbert Marcuse’s book One Dimensional Man and attempt to demonstrate how syntopical reading operates as we examine the thesis that Donald Trump’s election as President is a black swan event that electing a one-dimensional man.

Past Blog entries have been experiential, supported with readings, documentaries, and Web content; which were reflected on, adding to our abstract conceptual (AC) knowledge; and then allowing us to write anticipating what is unfolding. Black swan events are coming and by repeating this process we expect to build our understanding of emerging events, but doing this requires two-dimensional thought. This is Kolb”s dialectic learning model underlying this blogging experience. To demonstrate the phenomenon of one-dimensional man, Donald Trump’s thinking processes as demonstrated in his language and behavior, are used to document our experience and outline a change strategy required to move toward multi-dimensionality. This methodology has been employed in past Blog entries and will continue our effort to understand the issue confronting our civilization.

So, as these past blog entries are referenced they re-enter our dialectic-analytical framework of inquiry. The blog entry, Black Swan Trump, begins this trek, which initiated the inquiry into Trump’s election as a black swan event. We add Herbert Marcuse’s book One-dimensional man, to our investigatory tool kit and on this Presidential Inaugural Day, January 20, 2017, we begin following President Donald as the Presidency of the United States. As he delivers his inaugural speech listen carefully to his to word choice, sentence structure, paragraph meaning, and his ‘great ideas’.

What is interesting in Mortimer Adler’s interview below, The Great Ideas is that he can tell by the way a person speaks – the words,  sentences, paragraphs, the themes developed, the speaker’s dimensionality of thought. This is the same thesis in Marcuse’s One-dimensional Man essay that will be presented. This is a Sherlock task – listen carefully to Trump’s rhetoric beginning with his inaugural speech.  An objective is to examine Trump’s words, sentences, paragraphs, we are not sure Trump can think in paragraphs but we will soon see, as we are told he is writing his inaugural speech. As we listen to Trump’s speech, we need to listen with Mortimer’s model in mind. The other Adler book I took down from my bookcase was “How to speak and to listen”.  Okay, this project’s investigation will continue. Enjoy this day!

Herbert Marcuse, “Liberation from the Affluent Society” (1967 lecture in London)

Mortimer J Adler – The Great Ideas

The great ideas Adler mentions are those of justice, freedom, labor, language, law, infinity, mortality, and soul. When Mortimer is then asked by William F. Buckley why these great ideas are not being taught in schools today like they were at the height of the British Empire, Adler’s response is shallow – “they were stupid”.  What has made them stupid, should have next been asked. Marcuse’s more dialectic-analytical response is that the economic capitalism of 1817 has changed – the leaders managing Great Britain’s global empire were taught the Classics in order to think on their own while on the other side of the Globe. It is assumed that we do not need this thinking today – we have an increasingly centralized authoritarian web system that does the thinking for us at the top. All that is needed is to teach labor to fit into the pace of the machine – thinking is not allowed. This is what schools of business do – they do not teach the skill of critical thinking, if they had, we would not have had the 2008 financial crisis or the ones coming.

To begin we can re-listen to Herbert Marcuse introduce this thought, which we will begin to apply to our one dimensional society, with the objective of understanding the processes of critical thinking needed to reach a multi-dimensional society

Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School (1977)

Now let us listen to Donald Trump Press Conference Cold Open – SNL

We now watch the real Donald Trump’s entire CIA speech.

I had been waiting to see how the unfolding events would get me directly into beginning this essay on Trump’s one-dimensionality. It already had a draft underway but the door into this complex topic needed to open more. Then Chuck Todd’s interview with John Lewis gave me the idea, Trump’s Legitimacy. However, Lewis’s logic that Putin’s interference defines illegitimacy is ‘surface illegitimacy’ and likely will never be substantiated – but a lot of time and our money will be spent on its investigation. What is needed is a ‘deep illegitimacy’ that strikes at the core of the United States democracy-capitalism illusion.  Marcuse’s Chapter 4 The closing of the universe of discourse (84-120) is where he presents the logic legitimacy.

Rep. John Lewis: Donald Trump Won’t Be A ‘Legitimate President’ | NBC News

Reading Marcuse requires reading-deep – it is the challenging reading Adler suggests that sharpens our thinking. Marcuse suggests that the logic of legitimacy in the 2016 election emanated from our “one-dimensional society.” He argues that the logical underpinning of U.S. democracy is not only illegitimate, authoritarian, dangerous, but it is also fascist to use Trump’s description of  CNN News.

The title of this blog, One Dimensional Trump I realized would be the first of a series exploring Marcuse thought. The first blogging theme to unfold after this introduction took the title “Trump Legitimacy”. The stimulus for this title comes from Chuck Todd’s interview with Rep. John Lewis saying that Trump is not a legitimate President.

PSS How did you like the image of Arnold freezing Donald?

Black Swan Trump Freezing to Death

The End of Times Trump Begins A Radical Revolution

PSS How did you like the image of Arnold freezing Donald?

Black Swan Trump Freezing to Death

The End of Times Trump Begins A Radical Revolution

What if, after John Lewis, the congressman and civil rights hero, questioned the legitimacy of Trump’s election, Trump hadn’t sneered that Lewis was “all talk, talk, talk” and “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape.” What if Trump instead tweeted: “John Lewis, a great American, let’s walk together through your district and develop a plan to improve people’s lives there. Obama was all talk. I’m all action. Call me Friday after 1 p.m. 202-456-1414. I’ll show you how legit I am.”

Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School (1977)

Donald Trump Press Conference Cold Open – SNL

Mortimer J Adler — Speaks about happiness.

PSS How did you like the image of Arnold freezing Donald?

Herbert Marcuse – The Radical Revolution

Trump legitimacy

Hello Charile, Yes, when you pass though Fargo, we should chat, especially on your work on the Langer’s and ND’s new governor. May I respectfully correct your observation that Burgum has not yet done anything stupid? He moved quickly before his primary opponent to endorse Trump. Before that, I pondered voting for him and immediately junked the thought. The issue I have been working on is that as a corporate CEO millionaire, maybe billionaire, to use Marcuse’s book Burgum is likely a “one-dimensional man”. Stay tuned.

I have been waiting to see how the unfolding news would get me directly into writing the essay, “Trump One Dimensional Man” – it already has a draft going but the door in needs to open more clearly. Then Chuck Todd’s interviewed with John Lewis gave me a new title, “Trump Legitimacy.” However, Lewis’s logic that Putin’s interference defines legitimacy is shaky and very likely will never be substantiated. What Marcuse does, so very well but requires deep reading, is to present the logic of legitimacy in the 2016 election as being “one dimensional.” He argues that this logical view of democracy is not only illegitimate, dangerous, authoritarian, and to use Trump’s term in calling out CNN fascist.

Charlie, your quote from Orwell from his essay on Rudyard Kipling is Marcuse thesis and is a critical logic. When I read this, “All left-wing parties in highly industrialized countries are at bottom a sham, because they make it their business to fight against something which they do not really wish to destroy.” I remembered Slavoj Žižek saying this same thing and then saying it was the role of Marxists to help “left-wing parties” smell the roses. Zizek makes this point at about maker 25.00 in What does it mean to be a revolutionary today? Marxism 2009. His joke about cutting off the balls of capitalists and the only thing noticed is that their voices go up an octave is funny. The challenge is doing this. Just recently, in the back of my mind, is the fact that HPR a “left-wing” capitalist corporation – will just let that percolate.

I watched the Frontline documentary “Divided States of America” these last two nights and now see it supporting Taleb’s book, Black Swan, point – a Black Swan is not seen coming, only with retrospective reflection do we understand it.  It’s Trump’s road to the White House 1.24.2017 will add more to Trump A Black Swan.

Enjoy the inaugural! I hear Trump is writing his own speech. I will get to the reading you sent.

More later, Steven

PS Instead of coffee maybe we can shit together! This is Slavoj Zizek on Donald Trump suggestion, which leads him to address the legitimacy of the election. However, where in mainstream media or in Trump’s cabinet will be see the legitimacy of our economic system openly discussed, when Trump is the deal maker – the ultimate capitalist. I really have opened a document titled “The art of the Lie.”

If we are truly living as Zizek suggests that we are living in the end of times, then we might want to consider Herbert Marcuse’s The Radical Revolution. How is one preparing for the ending?

Living in the End Times According to Slavoj Zizek

The other Adler book I took down from my library was “How to speak and to listen”.

Trump Inauguration Speech (FULL) | ABC News

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