An Essay on An Essay on Liberation
Marcuse begins his work, An Essay on Liberation, with a critique on the current system, capitalism. He describes the competition that goes on in today’s capitalist society as “aggressiveness, brutality, and ugliness,” and even calls it “debilitating competition.” (Marcuse, pg 5) He believes that this system does not work. Marcuse believes that capitalism’s competition is too much for humans to handle and that it creates a society driven by consumption. While I agree that consumerism is not good for people, I believe that Marcuse’s views on competition are wrong.
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This explains why McGrady stopped being so good as he aged and could not get his team out of the first round of the playoffs during his fifteen year career. Kobe Bryant, on the other hand is one of the most competitive people in the world. He practices for hours on end and finds different ways to score as he ages. Currently in his seventeenth year in the NBA, Kobe has led his team to five NBA championships. Last year, he finished second to the 24 year old Kevin Durant in scoring. Even though his physical ability is declining, Kobe’s competitive drive is what keeps him going. It is the reason why he has had such a successful career and explains why he continues to hone his skills in hopes of achieving future success.
Another problem that Marcuse has with capitalism is that it produces poor and unemployed people. There are countless stories of people who rose up out of poverty to become wealthy, successful people later in life. One example is Shawn Carter, better known by his stage name Jay-Z. Carter was raised by his mother in the housing projects of Brooklyn during the crack epidemic. He dropped out of high-school in order to make money selling drugs, but he never lost sight of his real goal, making it as a rapper. After countless hours in the studio, Jay-Z released his first album “Reasonable Doubt” in 1995. Even after his initial success, Carter never stopped working. Motivated by his competitive drive, he pursued his new goal of becoming the best rapper alive. Since then he has released more than ten award winning albums and his net worth is now estimated to be at least $400 million. Jay-Z is just one example of someone rising up out of poverty, motivated by his competitive drive.
Competition is not an artificial thing created by an oppressive government to keep people focused on money and to take away freedom. Competition has been a driving force in nature for millions of years. Throughout a species, only the best survive. Only the animals who are best suited to succeed in their environment are the ones who survive. In a capitalist society, everyone has the ability to get a good job, because there is a free public school system until high school, and then there are scholarships and student loans that can help people pay for a college education. With a college degree, there are countless jobs that one can get. The problem, therefore, does not lie within the capitalist...