Herbert Marcuse (German: [maʀˈkuːzə]; July 19, 1898 – July 29, 1979) was a German-American philosopher, sociologist, and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Born in Berlin, Marcuse studied at the universities of Berlin and then at Freiburg, where he received his Ph.D. He was a prominent figure in the Frankfurt-based Institute for Social Research – what later became known as the Frankfurt School. He was married to Sophie Wertheim (1924–1951), Inge Neumann (1955–1972), and Erica Sherover (1976–1979). In his written works, he criticized capitalism, modern technology, historical materialism and entertainment culture, arguing that they represent new forms of social control.Read about Herbert Marcuse in Wikipedia
When the whole is at stake, there is no crime except that of rejecting the whole, or not defending it. . . . Those who identify themselves with the whole, who are installed as the leaders and defenders of the whole can make mistakes, but they cannot do wrong they are not guilty. They may become guilty again when this identification no longer holds, when they are gone.
The so-called consumer society and the politics of corporate capitalism have created a second nature of man which ties him libidinally and aggressively to the commodity form. The need for possessing, consuming, handling and constantly renewing the gadgets, devices, instruments, engines, offered to and imposed upon the people, for using these wares even at the danger of one’s own destruction, has become a “biological” need.
This mutual dependencies no longer the dialectical relationship between master and servant, which has been broken in the struggle for mutual recognition, but rather a vicious circle which encloses both the master and the servant. Do the technicians rule, or is their rule that of the others, who rely on the technicians as their planners and executors?
Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves. Free choice among a wide variety of goods and services does not signify freedom if these goods and services sustain social controls over a life of toil and fear – that is, if they sustain alienation. And the spontaneous reproduction of superimposed needs by the individual does not establish autonomy; it only testifies to the efficacy of the controls.
The means of communication, the irresistible output of the entertainment and information industry carry with them prescribed attitudes and habits, certain intellectual and emotional reactions which bind the consumers to the producers and, through the latter to the whole social system. The products indoctrinate and manipulate; they promote a false consciousness which is immune against its falsehood. . . Thus emerges a pattern of one-dimensional thought and behavior.