Sunday, March 26, 2006

Industrial society possesses the instrumentalities for transforming the metaphysical into the physical, the inner into the outer, the adventures of the mind into adventures of technology. The terrible phrases (and realities of) “engineers of the soul,” “head shrinkers,” “scientific management”, “science of consumption”, epitomize (in a miserable form) the progressing rationalization of the irrational, of the “spiritual” – the denial of the idealistic culture. But the consummation of technological rationality, while translating ideology into reality, would also transcend the materialistic: antithesis to this culture. For the translation of values into needs is the twofold process of (1) material satisfaction (materialization of freedom) and (2) the free development of needs on the basis of satisfaction (non-repressive sublimation). In this process, the relation between the material and intellectual faculties and needs undergoes a fundamental change. The free play of thought and imagination assumes a rational and directing function in the realization of a pacified: existence of man and nature. And the ideas of justice, freedom, and humanity then obtain their truth and good conscience on the sole ground on which they could ever have truth and good conscience – the satisfaction of man's material needs, the rational organization of the realm of necessity.
Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man

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