ONE-DIMENSIONAL MAN by Herbert Marcuse

ONE-DIMENSIONAL MAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The overbearing rationale of our society -- technological advance socially controlled to satisfy our needs -- is at its core overwhelmingly, almost inhumanly, irrational. Marcuse sees man as an instrument of the system, subjected to and identified with the productive apparatus with quantitative progress favored; but man as man is unfree and qualitative social change is excluded. Liberty and democracy have become ""the most efficient system of domination"". A ""Happy Consciousness"", believing indefatigably in the existent system, has replaced the impetus behind human progress based on the objective ambiguity of experience, the contradiction between the real and the possible. Society is one-dimensional: artistic alienation is passe, philosophy excludes the historical content of reason, and technology reigns--the supreme vehicle behind the totalitarian ""insanity of the whole"". In these ""Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society"", Marcuse's first-class scholarship and undefeated ability to think outside the limits of the system bring social theory to bear on the modern case. Marxist-oriented, with a concern for the human fate, he examines the various social, political and intellectual spheres and arrives at the somewhat negative proposition of a freedom that permits the essential transcendence within the established social conditions. Here is the ideology to back Vance Packard and William H. Whyte.

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 1963
Publisher: Beacon