Herbert an analysis of the new state of

Herbert
Marcuse, a major Frankfurt theorist, wrote his book One-Dimensional Man in the
1960’s during at the height of the Cold War. One Dimensional Man studied the
emerging ideology of advanced industrial societies. The book One Dimensional
Man was both influential and highly critical of modern industrial capitalism
and as Marcuse believed, its subsequent exploitation of people and nature, as
well as its contribution to modern consumer culture and new forms of social
control. One Dimensional Man offers an analysis of the new state of consumerism
during the 1960’s through a critical lens. This essay will focus on One Dimensional
Man as I explore his view that technological development, alienated labour and
consumerism have distorted affluent societies in creating false needs as well
as perpetuating unfairness through various mediums.

One
Dimensional Man, upon its publication had a great deal of penetration into society.
It critiqued what Marcuse believed to be modern forms of domination. The book
influenced people by showing the effects of capitalist consumer society and its
main vehicle, technology. His theories were considered radical upon the
publication of the book particularly because it called for social
transformation. He argued that human progress with a society was hindered by totalitarianism
and even though individuals within a society were being told, and also telling themselves
that they were free, this was just a fa├žade. From the beginning it is clear he
is critiquing societal order in an advanced industrial society. He poses a grim
outlook on what he calls one-dimensional thought, a way of consciousness that is
affirmative of the status quo and the ways in which a society has been
convinced into buying material comforts and thus supporting the status quo.

He
argues that advanced industrial society created false needs that are superimposed
on individuals. These false needs integrated individuals into the existing
system of production and consumption via media, advertising, industrial
management, and contemporary modes of thought (Marcuse, H., & Kellner, D.
2001). Marcuse makes this judgment of what is true and false based solely on
the fact that society created these needs so therefore they must be false. He
argued that the creation of false needs, although unintentional, has the potential
to create conflict amongst those vying for them. It is important to point out
that needs are socially constructed according to Marcuse. However, he never
addresses what the standards are for defining what is true and false. He also
argues that it is the individual who must ultimately decide this, but at the
same time, the individual does not have the mental capacity to do so (Marcuse,
H. 1968).

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