Radical thinkers: Max Horkheimer's Critique of Instrumental Reason
One of the problems with even this kind of critique is that it's no where near radical enough and it doesn't understand that there has, in fact, been a kind of real and viable alternative in the very things that Western academic thinkers reject, out of hand. Of course I'm talking about those aspects of religious life that people like St. Francis, Dorothy Day, and thousands of other nameable people lived. I have, of course, pointed out that the last major thinker of Horkheimer's and Adorno's Frankfurt School, Jurgen Habermas, seems to have come to a conclusion that the only hope for equal justice and freedom is in that kind of thing and not in Horkheimer's and Adorno's program of how to think right about consumption.
As I find so often on the popular left, things like Majority Report, they get somewhere but eventually they stall on exactly those kinds of issues. The neo-liberalsm and classical liberalism that they, rightly, condemn, are just different varieties of the same kind of secular, materialistic view of life that Seder and Brooks and Peck hold as a matter of faith. They haven't even gotten as far as the 1940s when Horkheimer and Adorno were first publishing their critique of the enlightenment, which I think will always tend to cause problems. I can't say that their predictions made then about the consequences of enlightenment-style liberalism are exactly what we are seeing in the collapse of democracy in secular states, predicting a future in detail is hard. But it is interesting to think about.