Marcuse View Of Western Culture Analysis

701 Words 3 Pages
Is man enslaved by the establishment or is the establishment enslaved by man? Marcuse concluded that man is enslaved by the Establishment while I contend the Establishment is enslaved by man. Marcuse underlying premise is that man has an insatiable appetite for freedom which produces feelings of anguish, grief, and an unfulfilled meaningless existence if not obtained. Thusly man cannot truly be free and thus happy unless the current Western culture is replaced by a utopian society. I contend that Marcuse view of Western culture is viewed through lenses to push an agenda of a “free society” in the absence of a practical path.
One need to examine the underlying premise of man’s insatiable appetite for freedom as it is the lynchpin and foundation
…show more content…
Marcuse assumes that the 300 million people in America are not happy and only he know the true path and holds the keys. Why does Marcuse assume that man is not in control of his choice, why must he be a puppet on a string lead to dance and play the fool for the establishment? Why can’t man, be not only content but happy in a capitalist society and what make him think that his “free society” is the answer? To answer these question we need to find out a little more about the man himself and the filtered lens he is observing western culture with. Any good science is objectively based on observable specifics. Likewise, sociology depends on observation however this observation can be skewed through mental filters by the observer. Marcuse was born in Germany in 1898 to an upper middle Jewish family and was 16 years old at the start of World War I. Before the war Marcuse would have belonged to the bourgeoisie and would have had relativity little wants or need. He was drafted into the military in 1916 at the age of 18 and it was there that he was introduced to “food riots, strikes, profiteering, and general unrest.”(Mackey 2005) While in the military he joined his first activist party, the Social Democratic Party which would not be his last as he went on to join several other in the span of a few years. During his early twenties, he would meet and befriend Georg Lukacs, Horkheimer, and Edmund Husserl and several other notable intellectuals. He later joined the Frankfurt School and immigrated to the United States in 1934 as the Nazi rose to power in Germany. Between 1943 and 1950 he worked for the government as an analyst for the forerunner to the CIA.

Related Documents