Irony and Dialectics: One-dimensional Man and 1968

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Martin Jay


[Ironía y dialéctica: El hombre unidimensional y 1968]


In this article, the author analyses the role of irony in one of the texts that had the most influence in the 1968 movements around the world: The One-dimensional Man, by Herbert Marcuse. Understanding irony as an evident sign of human two-dimensionality, and emphasizing its dialectical potential, the author questions the subversive viability and the specific characteristics of every type of irony. To conclude, he focuses in the operability of irony in Marcuse’s work to encourage resilience and increase the possibility of inspiring political engagement through it.


En el presente artículo, el autor analiza el papel que juega la ironía en uno de los textos que más influyeron en los movimientos de 1968 alrededor del mundo: El hombre unidimensional, de Herbert Marcuse. Entendiendo la ironía como una muestra evidente de la bidimensionalidad humana y haciendo énfasis en su potencial dialéctico, el autor se cuestiona sobre la viabilidad subversiva y las características particulares de cada tipo de ironía. Para concluir se centra en la operatividad que tiene la ironía en la obra de Marcuse para fomentar el desarrollo de resiliencia y aumentar la posibilidad de inspirar participación política a través de ella.


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Jay, M. (2018). Irony and Dialectics: One-dimensional Man and 1968. Revista Mexicana De Ciencias Políticas Y Sociales, 63(234).
Biografía del autor/a

Martin Jay, History Department, University of California, Berkeley. E-mail: <>.

MARTIN JAY is the Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. Martin Jay's recent research interests include European intellectual history (19th -20th Century), Marxist theory, visual discourse and culture, lying in politics, and modernist nominalism. His research interests have been groundbreaking in connecting history with other academic and intellectual activities, such as the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, other figures and methods in continental Social Theory, Cultural Criticism, and Historiography, among many others. He is the author of many books, including, most recently: The Virtues of Mendacity: On Lying in Politics (2010); and Essays from the Edge: Parerga and Paralipomena (2011); Reason after Its Eclipse. On Late Critical Theory (2016).


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