According to Marcuse Essay
According to Marcuse
1) According to Marcuse: “Art cannot change the world but it can contribute to changing consciousness and drives the men and women who could change the world. ” Following Marcuse’s argument, how does art accomplish the primary task of raising human consciousness against the reified world of commodities? We live in a world where the masses are lead by an elitist class; in a world where the masses wake up every day and go to work for 8 to 10 hours straight, so that at the end of every month we can go and fulfill our fake happiness based on commodities.
We work to maintain a system in which our hard work is just to serve this elitist class; which, by manipulating art for their own interest and creating pop art, they can find a way to rule all people. The real purpose of art is lost in this senseless, fake happiness world, which makes us think that everything is perfect. However; Marcuse, after making Adorno’s extremely complicated text easily understood by the masses, or the fittingly called proletariat a more understandable text, created a revolution that was lead by students and the people who were ready to face that reality and happiness wasn’t just a commodity.
These revolutionaries knew that we needed a change, after understanding Marcuse’s many points; the most important one is that no matter what, art by itself will never change the world consciousness. The purpose of art is to reach all human beings around the world (not just the elitist classes); change their consciousness; and, when that is accomplished; when all the masses, the proletariat or better known as the people, understand art, the real art, not just the pop art, they will be able to change the world. When the consciousness is changed for good, the world could be changed for a better place.
The problem of today’s pop art is that it keeps the world in a fake universe; where all the people keep thinking that they are happy when they are not happy in any possible way. According to Marcuse, art takes us to this perfect place, a utopian place in which lives are perfect and people must be able to feel this true happiness. Marcuse’s idea is to try to explain that all is a fake idea and he tries to provoke the people that they are living a fake happiness by following a made-up truth, in which no matter what commodities they have they will never be happy about their own lives.
Lives lived under a repression in which they are surrounded by institutions that manipulate the proletariat ideologies. These ideologies are just fake and short moments of happiness; that no matter what, would never lead us to real happiness. The main problem is that the ideas manipulated by the few people that can essentially understand the real meaning of art are steering people to an unhappy life. That’s the reason that Marcuse shaped this aesthetic appreciation; to convince the people that happiness is beyond these immediate emotions that pop art provide us.
The elitist class who were able to take advantage of the real art, due to their first-class education and their preparation to be able to understand the real art, is holding the real happiness. Nevertheless, Marcuse’s ideas are a perfect beginning to actually start convincing the masses, of studying and understanding that the there is real happiness beyond these commodities that keep masses in an unreal and unconscious happiness.
Although Marcuse’s ideologies might seem communistic, his main goal, is to liberate the masses from the fake and unreal happiness and be able to actually create a revolution, a movement that will educate people enough to understand art and be able to appreciate what is real happiness, being able to leave the unnecessary products in the past and being able to understand what is real happiness, as the major purpose of art. 2. Nietzsche’s philosophy was heavily influenced by Schopenhauer’s theory, yet Nietzsche completely disagreed on two fundamental issues in aesthetics: The role of genius in artistic creations.
On what grounds are these disagreements based? How was Nietzsche able to subvert Schopenhauer’s position? Which perspective do you find more sustainable? When we talk about aesthetics, the first person that comes to mind might be Immanuel Kant, which many consider to be the father of aesthetics; defining aesthetics concepts. Some theories had been growing around these background concepts, but one of the most important are Nietzsche and Schopenhauer’s ideas of aesthetics.
In order to start analyzing the two philosophers in discussion, it is important that we understand the bases of the pyramid Kant developed. Kant had the main idea, the first and most important, before something could be considered a work of art, that work must be created by a genius; after this being stated, to actually have an aesthetic experience with a work of art you must have total disinterest in taking something from that piece of art. These two basic ideas coming from Kant allowed Schopenhauer to have his ideas of what is aesthetical art and how to have an aesthetic experience.
Schopenhauer believed that the world is divided in two parts: the will and the representation; the will being a completely metaphysical place impossible to grasp and the world of representation being the world that all the human beings are trapped into it and ruled by space and time. Nevertheless, Schopenhauer believed there is a way of grasping a part of the metaphysical world through art, and suspending the will, which comes with an aesthetic experience.
However, this aesthetical experience of complete disinterestedness could only be brought by a work of art of a genius. According to Schopenhauer’s philosophy, a genius must be inborn, with the capability of communicating ideas through art. This genius also is complemented by a level of madness, which allows him to have little or no interest about rationality allowing him to go beyond the physical world with his ideas. Schopenhauer, philosophy is totally subverted by Nietzsche; first of all he totally denied the existence of a metaphysical world.
This negation is the basis of his statements, like total disinterestedness for Schopenhauer became total interestedness for Nietzsche. Furthermore, Nietzsche rejects the idea that the only way of being a genius is being born with these geniality attributes. This altering of ideas by Nietzsche changed the purpose of genius and disinterestedness in the aesthetical experience. For Nietzsche, any one that possesses determination, courage and devotion to his goals and, most importantly, has a good education can be a genius.
Art becomes a really important role in the search for true happiness. After analyzing the most important points of view of both philosophers, Nietzsche ideas appear to be more real, and down to earth; he takes the aesthetical experience to a wider group so the masses can grasp the aesthetical experience. Most importantly his philosophy creates a bigger connection between the creation and appreciation of the art, making aesthetics more reachable to any social strata.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 2 June 2017
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