politics

Media and the Spectacular Society by Gillian McIver

in the beginning...

The expansion of industrial capitalism led to the realisation of the consumer society, which creates a society split between leisure and labour, a leisure society in which we work to obtain the instruments of leisure, the machines of pleasure, and this split organises our thoughts in every way. Eventually everything has to be subordinated to the illusion of leisure as information becomes "infotainment" and work becomes almost a luxury, a privilege. In our desperation to free ourselves we rush with open arms to the soothsayers of technical futures, to the Utopias made possible by technology. We, and they, forget that it is purely a human and social decision as to how any technology is used. If, for example, we live in a deregulated monopoly capitalist society, then they way we use technology will serve the interests of that society, unless an effort is made to create the freedom, intellectually and psychologically, to that will allow us to use the technology the way we dream we are able to: to make a better world.

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