Thursday, August 14, 2014

Herbert Marcuse's - One Dimensional Man

Marcuse strongly criticizes consumerism, arguing that it is a form of social control. He suggests that the system we live in may claim to be democratic, but it is actually authoritarian in that a few individuals dictate our perceptions of freedom by only allowing us choices to buy for happiness. In this state of "unfreedom", consumers act irrationally by working more than they are required to in order to fulfill actual basic needs, by ignoring the psychologically destructive effects, by ignoring the waste and environmental damage it causes, and by searching for social connection through material items.

It is even more irrational in the sense that the creation of new products, calling for the disposal of old products, fuels the economy and encourages the need to work more to buy more. An individual loses his or her humanity and becomes a tool in the industrial machine and a cog in the consumer machine. Additionally, advertising sustains consumerism, which disintegrates societal demeanor, delivered in bulk and informing the masses that happiness can be bought, an idea that is psychologically damaging.

There are other alternatives to counter the consumer lifestyle. Anti-consumerism is a lifestyle that demotes any unnecessary consumption, as well as unnecessary work, waste, etc. But even this alternative is complicated by the extreme interpenetration of advertising and commodification because everything is a commodity, even those things that are actual needs.
from Wikipedia
The Consumption-Driven Lifestyle?

3 comments:

FreeThinke said...

SHFEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEUTT!!!

-FJ said...

Don't say that... it's one of the few things Marcuse ever got right.

FreeThinke said...

No one is wrong all the time. The law of averages precludes it, and as we know, even a stopped clock tells the correct time twice a day. So what?

I'm one of those dreadful people who is NOT willing to give the Devil his due. Sorry!