Independence of thought, autonomy, and the right to political opposition are being deprived of their basic critical function in a society which seems increasingly capable of satisfying the needs of the individuals through the way in which it is organized. If the productive apparatus could be organized and directed toward the satisfaction of the vital needs, its control might well be centralized; such control would not prevent individual autonomy, but render it possible. The distinguishing feature of advanced industrial society is its effective suffocation of those needs which demand liberation-liberation also from that which is tolerable and rewarding and comfortable-while it sustains and absolves the destructive power and repressive function of the affluent society. The efficiency of the system blunts the individuals' recognition that it contains no facts which do not communicate the repressive power of the whole. Today political power asserts itself through its power over the machine process and over the technical organization of the apparatus.