THE CRITIQUE OF DOMINATION: The Origins and Development of Critical Theory by Trent Schroyer

THE CRITIQUE OF DOMINATION: The Origins and Development of Critical Theory

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KIRKUS REVIEW

New Leftists keep searching for the perfect synthesis of radical writers, especially those who stress culture and shy away from vulgar materialism. Schroyer picks Marcuse, Sartre, sociologist Henri Lefebvre and Frankfurt School veteran Jurgen Habermas -- especially Habermas -- upon whom to perform exegeses and qualifications and footnotes. The book's theme of ""domination"" is launched partially through an attack on the manipulative and coercive welfare state, and partially through an attack on Marx, whom Schroyer claims was too ambivalent about social control. Schroyer himself hopes that ""local institutions as the base from which a local politics can be generated are the experiments that may show the way."" He also calls for a ""linguistic theory of communications"" in order to consummate a Marxian theory of culture. In fleeing from the clumpy dialectics of ""official"" Soviet-based Marxism, Schroyer falls into a parody of New Left academicism, lacking the passion of the New Left criticism of C. Wright Mills, Studies on the Left and the now defunct Students for a Democratic Society. Like an architectural style gone stale, this is merely frustrated eclecticism.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1973
Publisher: Braziller