One-dimensional man

one-dimensional man

One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society is a 1964 book by philosopher Herbert Marcuse.

Marcuse argues that “advanced industrial society” created false needs, which integrated individuals into the existing system of production and consumption via mass media, advertising, industrial management, and contemporary modes of thought. This results in a “one-dimensional” universe of thought and behaviour, in which aptitude and ability for critical thought and oppositional behaviour wither away. Against this prevailing climate, Marcuse promotes the “great refusal” (described at length in the book) as the only adequate opposition to all-encompassing methods of control. Much of the book is a defence of “negative thinking” as a disrupting force against the prevailing positivism.

We are just pawns of ideologies and history on a playground indifferent to our individual needs and plans. We take insignificance and de-humanisation as a norm and sell ourselves out to the chimeras of ideologies we have obliviously created, as if  they are transcendent beings that enslaved us by the sole right of their evolutionary supremacy.

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