Is the Social Inherently Political? Marcuse's "One Dimensional Man" and Technocapitalist Politics
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This is a paper detailing the political implications of Herbert Marcuse's classic "One Dimensional Man", which is a critique both of modern (or post-modern) society and of traditional Marxist ways of describing economic systems. The writer explains that Marcuse's theory as expressed in "One Dimensional Man" involves technology as a feature of capitalism, not just a tool, and concerns the political only insofar as it is a co-opted branch of capitalism. The paper formulates a coherent definition of 'political' and describes how Marcuse's theories affect what we mean by political.
From the Paper:"But is Marcuse justified in separating the two elements? Political structures are ostensibly an outgrowth of economic-technical systems as well as a collective desire for improved quality of life and conflict resolution. To properly characterize Marcuse's analysis, we must define what exactly he means by 'politics' and how he differentiates it from the other branch of the capitalist system, 'economic-technical' activities. In Marcuse's theorizing, capital controls the state, media, educational and ideological apparatuses, and social institutions while using them for its ends of maximizing profits and maintaining social control by eliminating opposition and integrating individuals into the capitalist system. It is fair to say that the political organs of society, inasmuch as they can be isolated, are the state, and the ideological apparatuses that produce enthusiasm (both positive and negative) for the activities of the state. In a limited way, the media is a political organ, because it is through the media that capitalist-friendly ideologies are imposed on the working class, and in which capitalist-unfriendly ideologies are co-opted and made harmless. The interrelatedness of social systems like the state, educational and social institutions, and commerce, makes the extrication of 'the political' difficult in the extreme. Since capital controls the state, are the activities of the state political or commercial? What differentiates political actions from economic actions? Marcuse uses the apparent intent of an action as a marker for categorizing these actions. If an action has overt political motivation, e.g. if its intent is to fulfill the responsibilities of the state (protecting its citizens in some way or another), it is a political action. If the overt intent of the action is to create capital, however, it is an economic action (Marx, 46). State apparatuses are not to be considered economic entities in the same way that corporations are, because their actions are overtly for the welfare of their citizens...."
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Is the Social Inherently Political? Marcuse's "One Dimensional Man" and Technocapitalist Politics (2003, October 19) Retrieved April 19, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/is-the-social-inherently-political-marcuse-one-dimensional-man-and-technocapitalist-politics-36734/
"Is the Social Inherently Political? Marcuse's "One Dimensional Man" and Technocapitalist Politics" 19 October 2003. Web. 19 April. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/is-the-social-inherently-political-marcuse-one-dimensional-man-and-technocapitalist-politics-36734/>