Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

False Needs

In One-Dimensional Man, Herbert Marcuse elaborated on Marx's distinction between true and false needs.

“False” are those which are superimposed upon the individual by particular social interests in his repression: the needs which perpetuate toil, aggressiveness, misery, and injustice. Their satisfaction might be most gratifying to the individual, but this happiness is not a condition which has to be maintained and protected if it serves to arrest the development of the ability (his own and others) to recognize the disease of the whole and grasp the chances of curing the disease. The result then is euphoria in unhappiness. Most of the prevailing needs to relax, to have fun, to behave and consume in accordance with the advertisements, to love and hate what others love and hate, belong to this category of false needs.
In the last analysis, the question of what are true and false needs must be answered by the individuals themselves, but only in the last analysis; that is, if and when they are free to give their own answer.
The optimal goal is the replacement of false needs by true ones, the abandonment of repressive satisfaction.
This discussion of euphoria in unhappiness was brought to mind when I was recently sent this video (not safe for work, btw, or school or home or anywhere, really).

Where does this sort of need come from? Whose social interest is served by creating the scenario in which this particular desire must be urgently tended to? What diabolical coterie came up with the idea of manufacturing this particular pursuit? Wasn't it Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams who said, "if you build the fannyless pterodactyl costume, they will cum?"


  • At 6:41 PM, Blogger Emma B said…

    Wow, Solomon, that video's truly amazing. We are living in a blessed time that we can bear witness to such an unparalleled explosion in culture and understanding. This video makes me happy to be alive.

  • At 7:28 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Did you see that there's a link at the bottom marked "Click Here for MORE Hot Dinosaur Porn!"?

  • At 3:18 PM, Blogger Phoebe Evergreen said…

    Good job. For your next assignment, combine Judith Butler and the Mentos/Diet Coke guys.


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