One-Dimensional Man was written in 1964 and can be seen as an
analysis of highly developed societies. In it, Marcuse criticizes both
communist and capitalist countries for their lack of true democratic
processes. Neither type of society creates equal circumstances for its
citizens. Marcuse discusses the factors which inhibit criticism and
analysis of society. He draws on Marx
primarily because his analysis focuses on how the economy limits
potential of people.
Marcuse believes that people are not free because they function
within systems such as the economy. If people were really free, they
would be free from these systems. For example, people would only have to
work as little as possible to provide for their needs, not an
established amount of time. He states that only when people are free
from these systems can they determine what they really need or want.
Because we are not yet free, we have "false needs"...