3/5 Marcuse and One-Dimensional Man

Let me run through just a little bit of his basic argument if you wanted to break it down into so-called whirls you'd start this way the inner world we've already discussed that inner space of the self that decart thought he had knew all about well we've already discussed the pathologies that arise in the inner self through its contact with what you might call modern life I and of course you do that when you study Marx fight in Nietzsche too but you also do it we also did it earlier when we discussed hi digger and Sartre the inner world is noted or at least it was because as we move on into the latter part of the 20th century and into the 21st it'll be a real question about whether these inner structures are still intact because they have a both a positive and a negative aliens or significance the inner structures are anxiety for Lauren Nastasia dread despair anxiety and so on those are inner structures now again we have a massive psychology industry to deal with this and then we of course have a society that is massively soaked in drugs I mean I don't know how long American society would hold together if it was not a society of addicts when you think of the leading drugs and all of them are like either valium or Prozac you know and then look at the drugs the kids take look at ghetto drugs look at the normal and official drugs which are very powerful like alcohol and cigarettes the truth of the matter is marks was wrong religion is not the opium of the people today opium is the opium of the people it works better I mean opium works better as opium than religion did so that's that's that's not the inner world and while it cannot be that none of these substances can cure the sicknesses of the self under siege in the late 20th century that we know what all these things can do we know it from drinking they can dull it they could make you forget it for a while I mean my mother was a beautician for years and years and still is occasionally ah and she drank a lot and it was not mushy she really wasn't a drunk it's just that when you work 12 hours a day your inner self feels better numbed a bit so these are not accidental I'm again these are not personal or accidental things they're quite widespread and social a writer about whom you might be interested who I think even though he's a little crazy it's a good novelist about the society being a society of addicts is William Burroughs and naked lunch is a very strange book but it has at least one thing going for it and that's that it shows us as a society of addicts which i think is is not entirely unfair I mean that to me is what's silly about the war on drugs the world drugs must be just a word on a certain group of people doing it in the wrong way and with too many guns because I mean I look sit there and look at the pharmacy what's going out of it and I don't know that many people that aren't stoned on something a handful and they're there what are they doing well they're out eating soybeans and jogging which I consider even sicker I mean if you're doing that you really need help I mean that's when you need to be put on drugs is when you're out there I don't you know jogging and eating soybeans you need two damn drugs ok that's the inner world and I and for the existentialists this was a this was what they focused on with some of these inner world problems in the so-called social world the problems are and I'll lay them out in our use some of the Marxist terms alienation alienation in the Marxist sense is a kind of feeling of separation that is not just a mere mood it's a structure it's a separation from your object that you're producing if it is an object and nowadays in our economy it's probably not an object you're probably not doing a damn thing so then you'd be alienated from nothing but let's say you're producing a product its separation from that product lack of control over the process of making that product lack of meaning in making it and separations from other human beings that come along with that in short what Marx means by alienation is the way the relationship between work and money separates human beings from each other which to me is true and it jesus knew it and most people that know much about money know it true it yeah doesn't mean communism is true just means that that stuff without money's it's Perez right rationalization this is a big word i'll try to demystify quickly for your rationalization there's a great social theorist you could read here that's max labor tells a lot about how the more complex governmental and private enterprises get the more they need to bureaucratized and rationalize but if you really wanted a sense for it i would tell you don't read max labor read Franz Kafka because when you read the trial or the castle you get a real sense for what a bureaucracy feels like for a world rationalized and the outcome being irrational no one likes bureaucracy either I mean you know how it feels you go you know you've your income tax return didn't come so you've got to go get one and say well go to room 107 and you just left room 100 and you show up in room 107 and they say well you didn't pick up form be in room 100 who did you talk to well you don't know them personally you know you're not asking them did you talk to me do you know who I am do you know who you talked to I mean you get that on the phone for my tea from you know the telephone company will go what operator did you speak with and I go ma'am I'm not personally acquainted with all of them I don't I don't know the hell I talked to but no this is the kafka s quality of life as week emerged into the 21st century yeah it's an adventure to get your you know your water hooked up is an adventure with madness like this with utter madness and we're here clean you know very close to Washington DC where I don't need to explain this at all their agencies over there were people who have just come in with the new administration haven't found the bathroom key yet and are still holding their water and it will be months before they find it Ross Perot will be President before they find their bathrooms and by then it will be too late another I'm having fun I'm sorry I should we shouldn't have fun when we do this anyway there's rationalization and I want you to both of these come along with modern life and again if you don't like these arguments that I'm drawing from mark is a look at Charlie Chaplin movies look at modern times and notice how when it was made people could still laugh at the way chaplains motions match the motions of the times because people could remember they didn't always move like that now we'll rent modern times and we'll look at it and go boy I wish we move slow like that now I mean now it looks real slow he's just going with the machine he's not having to run with all these flows of data or anything's he got caught up he caught a break and didn't know it anyway that's rationalization and then the third and this is sort of one of my own if you'll forgive me it's what i'll call banal ization and it's always a danger when you do lectures like the ones I'm doing now and that's to take these fundamentally important things like what does my life mean and surely there must be a better way to organize the world in the way it's organized now surely my life could have more meaning in a different situation in maybe my life's meaning might be change it or whatever but to take any one of these criticisms and treat them as banalities this is the great to me ideological function of television and the movies however extreme the situation TV can find a way to turn it into a banana t let me give you an example it's an old TV show you won't even have to go that far back Laverne surely Laverne and Shirley work in Milwaukee in a beer factory now I would expect that to be a Socialist Realist film no no sitcom they've got two friends that are stupid and ugly they dress funny their life is shit you'll pardon the expression and this is a comedy because all the troubles that such a life involved or just reduce the banality just a common rubble of little one line jokes you follow me it's made by no bite it's finalized that way
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