Herbert Marcuse, in his 1964 publication One-Dimensional Man, offers criticism against the hegemony of technological rationality that engrosses people to the labor of earning a livelihood and renders a society vulnerable to totalitarianism. This paper investigates the implications and the possibilities of classics-reading university lectures in a time when the logic of neoliberalism is expanding in higher education. It is often noted that Generation Z students, the homo economicus digital natives, lack deep reading capacities and cognitive patience due to the expansive influence of digital/online cultures. They are also entrepreneurial subjects who bear self-exhaustion with “cruel optimism” and focus on increasing their human capital. Nevertheless, students in a university lecture reading One-Dimensional Man recognized the drawbacks of “immediate identification” in the course of reading and discussing the material, and produced critical analyses on how hypnotic/magical languages close the universe of discourse. They also understood that capitalism and neoliberalism are historically contingent appearances that can not be acknowledged as an ultimate truth or essence. The students portrayed an inclination to withdraw from achieving the pacification of existence because of their precarious chance of survival and internalized passivity. This paper suggests that it is the role of liberal education and classics reading lectures in universities to facilitate students’ realization that an autonomous life is attainable by transcending one’s struggle of existence and practicing negative thinking.