What are the basic arguments of Marcuses one-dimensional man thesis To what extent are they useful in analyzing contemporary capitalism - Essay Example

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While a member of the Institute of Societal Research in Frankfurt, Herbert Marcuse developed a model for critical social theory, created a theory of the new stage of state and monopoly capitalism, and described the relationships between philosophy, social theory, and cultural…
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What are the basic arguments of Marcuses one-dimensional man thesis To what extent are they useful in analyzing contemporary capitalism
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Download file to see previous pages wentieth century: “the calling attention to new forms of domination, repression and social control in advanced industrial societies” (Kellner, 1984: 5). Modern man, he contends, has become intellectually and spiritually complacent through his psychological dependence on the accoutrements of consumerism and the consumer society itself (repressive desublimation)—“key notions and images of literature and their fate [through the process of technological rationality [disposes of] oppositional and transcending elements in the "higher culture" (Marcuse, 1964, chapter 3: para. 1)
Marcuse, equally critical of the Soviet system, offers a wide-range of criticism both of contemporary capitalism and the Soviet model of communism as it documents the parallel rise of new forms of social repression in both societies. "...totalitarian" is not only a terroristic political coordination of society, but also a non-terroristic economic-technical coordination which operates through the manipulation of needs by vested interests’ (Marcuse, 1964, chapter 1: para. 5). “Our [western] society distinguishes itself by conquering the centrifugal social forces with Technology rather than Terror, on the dual basis of an overwhelming efficiency and an increasing standard of living” which is not happiness, nor freedom, nor consistent with any social or political reality that, while the system appears reasonable is hardly so and in fact, profoundly irrational.
However, it is western capitalism to which Marcuse directs his strongest and most pointed disapproval. “Herbert Marcus has displayed a prophetic vision that challenges the public to either comprehend the forces that shape their lives or limit their discourse and remain captured in a lesser dimension” (The Search for Freedom, 2001: para. 3). With the spread of capitalism through globalisation of economies, the work, ideas and arguments put forth in The One Dimensional Man are equally and perhaps more relevant, obvious and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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