Herbert Marcuse Contradictions

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Critical Theory aims to scrutinize the notions that are considered apparent by indicating the internal contradictions understood in them. This lets us a people in society to have better understanding of the reasons for problems we experience. In this paper, I will be addressing the contradictions of false and true needs according to Herbert Marcuse. In order to examine these contradictions, I will focus on Marcuse’s central claim that false needs prevent us in society from changing a problem and solving it. Also, I will be discussing his solution for this contradiction that in order to change we need to be aware of things happening to us and not be so one-dimensional. The contradiction Marcuse in “The New Forms of Control” is focusing on…show more content…
In other words, people in society are manipulated by the government in the way we think, we are manipulated to believe that these false needs are want we truly want in our lives. However, Marcuse suggests that these false needs do not provide us with real freedom, or real happiness, it is only gives us temporary happiness, meaning when these needs are satisfied, we gain satisfaction (Marcuse, p.7). The fact that these are not our real needs leads us to a serious issue, in the sense that it prevents us from changing a problem in society, and in our lives solving it. For example, advertising in today’s society can reflect false needs. Merchandise these days are intended to break down after a certain period of time, this keeps demands high. Things are not constructed to maintain their value anymore, and a false economy gives the notion that spending more on an item will make it last longer. These illusions of the world according to Marcuse, becomes our reality (Marcuse, p.13). We tend to forget that there are more dimensions out there and become comfortable in this one-dimension society, where false needs seem to be real needs. The reason why we are blinded in such a one- dimensional manner and cannot really escape is because, these false needs blinds us pleasantly (Marcuse, p.14). The government portrays these false needs as enjoyable and…show more content…
He argues that in order to change something in society, we need to be well-aware and not be one-dimensional. In order to do this, we need to overcome ideology. Marcuse suggests that we need to come to find their way from false to true consciousness; we need to distinguish between our false needs and our true needs (Marcuse, p. 7). One can find true needs by being fully aware of one’s true concerns, this happens by developing a consciousness that is consistent with their class position (Marcuse). In other words, there is a need for human benefits to develop a true understanding of their class location, if their individual and class interests are to be realized

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