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Change the World

Herbert Marcuse, a very famous and infamous German-American philosopher, had been the leader of the 1968 student revolutions all over the world. He had been struggling his entire life with the idea of changing the world, of getting rid of the actually existing structures, of its capitalistic tendencies.

When on his eighteenth birthday, other philosophers went to congratulate and interview him, he was still thinking in those terms. However, he said that he had started to see that the doctrine of Sigmund Freud is most probably more worth our attention than the one of Karl Marx.

Karl Marx had said that we should change this world and its structures, that we should change its economic system, that we should abolish practically the whole existing situation. He suggested that changes be made in our salary and wage system; the competitive educational system; the marriage customs; the division into national states, and so on.

Sigmund Freud, too, had been thinking about a radical change. However, his idea as to how to promote these changes were different. He had said that, we, in our own hearts and minds have two tendencies--the one to construct and the one to destroy. He also expressed the following in regard to the human mind and its process of thinking in terms of the two-way tendencies: the one to be with others, and the one to assert ourselves; the one in which we love, and the one in which we kill; we have a life wish and a death wish. If only we could be able to change the human person, its forceful destructive power would be put at the service of its life-giving tendencies.

The main mistake we commit is that we don’t build our love by affirming one another, but that we destroy our love by negating each other. If I say "yes" to you, you grow (and so do I). If I say "no" to you, you die (and so do I). Jesus said, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” It is this love that helps to workout change, and to build a new world, a new humanity.

 

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