11-1 | Desire and Doubt


Desire and Doubt
The Potentials and the Potential Problems of Pursuing Play

Christine Payne


The author takes up Karl Marx’s and Herbert Marcuse’s investigations into the possibilities for expanding freedom and play. She begins with an analysis of the essential questions about labor that need attention before considering theoretical and practical attempts to render necessary work superfluous in the interests of free play. She considers the limits of Marx’s original formulation of such a possibility as well as the problems with Marcuse’s attempts to fuse the spheres of work and play together. Inverting Marcuse’s reading of Sigmund Freud through Marx, she speculates on the irrational character of desire and its relationship to work and play. Key words: capitalism; Critical Theory; desire; play; work