"South Africa, October-November 2015. This is not May ‘68. This is neither France, nor Germany or the United States of America. And yet, since the current wave of students protests began – the most significant since Soweto ‘76 – I have returned countless times to the debate that opposed Theodor Adorno to Herbert Marcuse in 1969, as the Western world was engulfed in arguably the most significant student turmoil of the 20th century."
This was originally posted as a way to better understand the nature and consequences of student protests in South Africa. However, read it carefully and you will see that at the heart of the problem is that of the consequences of violence, the possibility of using "democracy" as a flag for oppression, and the possibility of the rise of net-fascisms in the name of the left (or the idea of "freedom").
Think about that for a second... doesn't that sound familiar? These discussions between Adorno and Marcuse were taking place in the context of American student protests in the late 60s, but already some of these discussions describe a 2015 America where, in the name of the individual, freedom and democracy, Republicans and Donald Trump are parading a (not so new) form of fascism that is very popular with large portions of the American public.
Likewise, these discussions also describe very closely the Peruvian Civil War I grew up in in the 1980s, where (mainly) Sendero Luminoso fought the state in the name of a "better society for all" through violence and sectarianism. This is about student protests, but in the larger scale of things it is first and foremost about the delicate nature of power and how, without rational conversations about its possibilities and responsibilities, it can corrupt the most noble of ideals.