Marcuse’s vision of a Marxist singularity – where work is no longer slavery, where people use technology to free themselves from the drudgery of survival – is technologically possible. The cost of our current war in Iraq is more than enough to bring the entire world above the dollar a day extreme poverty level. We have the money and technology to treat the other people on this planet humanely.
We have known this for years. We knew it when we saw the image of a dying, starving child stalked by a vulture back in 1993. We know it now; we know about the famine, starvation, and pain. We know that our neighbors and families are suffering from a lack of healthcare.
We do everything we can to ignore it. We concentrate on the personal characteristics of those who tell us. We wonder how many times Marcuse was married instead of what he has to say. We focus on our fears of changing doctors, ignoring that at a corporate whim we can be forced to change anyway. We marginalize what is, so that we do not have to face what might be.
Admit that things are not right – and that we can change them – and then we realize we ought to change them.