Such a practice involves a break with the familiar, the routine ways of seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding things so that the organism may become receptive to the potential forms of a non-aggressive, non-exploitative world.
When these limits are reached, the Establishment may initiate a new order of totalitarian suppression. Just as Cartesian materialism branches into natural science, so the other tendency of French materialism merges directly into socialism and communism. Beyond the limits and beyond the power of repressive reason now appears the prospect for a new relationship between sensibility and reason, namely, the harmony between sensibility and a radical consciousness: rational faculties capable of projecting and defining the objective material conditions of freedom, its real limits and chances.
The qualitative difference between the existing societies and a free society affects all needs and satisfactions beyond the animal level, that is to say, all those which are essential to the human species, man as rational animal.
We have repeatedly referred to such tendencies: first of all the growing technological character of the process of production, with the reduction of the required physical energy and its replacement by mental energy — dematerialization of labor. The real progenitor of English materialism and of all modern experimental science is Bacon.
One name may be applied to several phantoms. In the name of free trade, it had knocked down national boundaries, lowered prices, made the planet interdependent and cosmopolitan. Hobbes, as Bacon's continuator, argues that if the senses furnish men with all knowledge, then concepts and ideas are nothing but phantoms of the material world more or less divested of their sensual forms.
This productive power was also the rise and fall of an economic structure according to how progression is supported and downcast.