Are there any fans of Herbert Marcuse and his book One-Dimensional Man out there?
This book was very instrumental in shaping the leftist philosophy of the 1960's. With 1% of the US population about to own the equivalent wealth of the other 90%, and with most Americans struggling to make ends meet---long houras, low wages, I think it is high time we revisit Marcuse's book.
After over 20 years of trickle down economics, One-Dimensional Man is more descriptive of today's society than it was of society back when it was written. We are programmed to fall into the status quo now more than ever. This is not because the status quo forms a more cohesive unified whole as it did in the 1950's but because it is more diversified and all-encompassing. Consider what it takes to be anti-establishment today----you grow a beard-----then continue to work, support the community, and basically do what ever everyone else is doing----could it be any more status quo to grow a beard?
The problem for us is that the dynamic Marcuse calls, 'Repressive Desublimation,' is much more effective in today's world. In other words, drives such as those which, free of cultural programming, would inspire us to rebel and seek a fair, just, and free world, is assimilated by the culture and thereby defused. A good example is that today, one doesn't really need to break free of the mold and be unique, all you really need to do, 'is be a Pepper and drink Dr. Pepper.' And why would one need go through all the risk and danger to fight for a better world, when there is a whole virtual world to escape to with an X-Box or Playstation?
The amazing surplus that exists in the economy, and the amazing efficiencies that has been created by technology over the past few decades, demonstrates that Marcuse was right---that man does have the potential of a more fulfilling less difficult life due to technology (i.e. that we shouldn't be working long hours for less pay). He was also right that the powers that be will continie to squeeze the other classes..