Quotation: H. Marcuse on the individual’s loss of autonomy

“It is not only the speed and range which distinguishes the means of mass communication from their predecessors. The new quality is introduced by the progressive transfer of power from the human individual to the technical or bureaucratic apparatus, from living to dead labor, from personal to remote control, from a machine or group of machines to a whole mechanized system. I should like to reiterate that I do not yet evaluate this development: it may be progressive or regressive, humanizing or dehumanizing. But what actually occurs in this transfer of power is also a transfer of guilt feeling responsibility. It releases the individual from being an autonomous person in work and in leisure, in his needs and satisfactions, in his thought and emotions.”

Herbert Marcuse, THE INDIVIDUAL IN THE “GREAT SOCIETY”

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