Socialists today should learn from Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man: in particular, its spirit of protest, its materialist social theory, and its warnings about commodified liberation. But they should leave behind its moralism and despair about change.
Benjamin Serby writes about the intellectual and political history of the postwar United States. He is currently a visiting assistant professor in the Honors College at Adelphi University.
Before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, there was Vito Marcantonio: East Harlem’s socialist congressperson, who fought for justice for Puerto Rico, sweeping civil rights, and a more radical New Deal.