Herbert Marcuse's Irrational Society

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Herbert Marcuse was known to have focused on how technology was used for cultural and social control in what he believed to be our increasingly irrational society. Marcuse considered it irrational because of its destructive nature and its inability to meet the growing number of its people 's basic needs. In many ways, it is not inherently irrational, but the actions of the elites and the oppressive structures in and of themselves may appear to be irrational. It is suggested that as traditional forms of authority, the monarchy, for example, were overthrown and a democratic regime formed and it was believed that individuality began to emerge. It is theorized that the individual would be exempt from external interference and would have the choice to pursue a life based on free-thinking, with society facilitating this critical rationality. Individuality and rationality were intrinsically interwoven and were thus extremely powerful concepts that created sweeping changes. Then, a breaking down of monarchical and aristocratic institutions and people lived "in a state of constant vigilance, apprehension, and criticism, to reject everything that was not true, not justified by free reason" (Marcuse, 1941).…show more content…
Giovanni Gentile, the father of Italian fascism, suggest that the totalitarian state looks to "total representation of the nation and total guidance of national goals" (Appelrouth and Edles, 2012). He indicates that while this control is most obvious and pronounced under a dictatorship, it is not entirely absent in democratic
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