One-Dimensional Man [html] by Herbert Marcuse

By Herbert Marcuse

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Man today can do more than the culture heros and half-gods; he has solved many insoluble problems. But he has also betrayed the hope and destroyed the truth which were preserved in the sublimations of higher culture. To be sure, the higher culture was always in contradiction with social reality, and only a privileged minority enjoyed its blessings and represented its ideals. The two antagonistic spheres of society have always coexisted; the higher culture has always been accommodating, while the reality was rarely disturbed by its ideals and its truth.

5ff. Solomon Barkin, The Decline of the Labor Movement (Santa Barbara, Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, 1961), p. 10 ff 12. See p. 23. 13. ” Gilbert Simondon, loc. , p. 146. 14. Serge Mallet. in Arguments, no. 12-13, Paris 1958, p. 18. 15. Automation and Major Technological Change, loc. , p. 8. 16. Ibid. 17. Charles R. Walker. loc. , p. 97 ff. See also Ely Chinoy, Automobile Workers and the American Dream. (Garden City: Doubleday, 1955) passim. 18. Floyd C. Mann and L. Richard Hoffman, Automation and the Worker.

The music of the soul is also the music of salesmanship. Exchange value, not truth value counts. On it centers the rationality of the status quo, and all alien rationality is bent to It. As the great words of freedom and fulfillment are pronounced by campaigning leaders and politicians, on the screens and radios and stages, they turn into meaningless sounds which obtain meaning only in the context of propaganda, business, discipline, and relaxation. This assimilation of the ideal with reality testifies to the extent to which the ideal has been surpassed.

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