mass media between hans magnus enzensberger and jean baudrillard essay sample 1239

The biggest constituent in the argument between Hans-Magnus Enzensberger and Jean Baudrillard is the struggle between different positions on the same topic: The media. Enzensberger believes that the media is a capitalist machine used to do money in a capitalist. elitist society. He doesn’t believe in the communicating side of the mass media as he believes that the media the manner it is at the minute excludes and isolates the bulk. This is because he believes that the signifiers of the media that we have at the minute are sole to merely a few people. Without the proper instruction or resources it’s near impossible to entree the media and pass on your thoughts and points. He believes that this is down to capitalist society and in his thoughts he aims to do media more accessible to the multitudes. Baudrillard. in comparing to this believes that the mass media. be it books. cyberspace. telecasting. etc is an mercantile establishment of mass communicating for society. He believes that the media system is a manner to bridge the spread between the manufacturers and the consumers.

Both of their thoughts contradict each other except for one point where they both believe that we need to simplify our agencies of communicating in order to pass on with the larger multitudes. Enzensberger views the media in a extremist Marxist manner. he believes that capitalist economy controls the media and that they are utilizing it non as a signifier of communicating but as a signifier of capital addition. To Enzensberger. the media is an unstoppable force in footings of revolution. He thinks the lone thing keeping us back is the fact that the capitalists control the mercantile establishment alternatively of the socialists. As he says. “There is no such thing as unmanipulated authorship. cinematography. or airing. The inquiry therefore is non whether the media are manipulated. but who manipulates them. ” ( Enzensberger. 1974 ) This means that no affair what we do the media is traveling to be manipulated. every signifier of communicating is manipulated in some manner. there is no manner to alter that. What Enzensberger suggests is that alternatively of the capitalists pull stringsing the media for their ain capital addition. the socialists take control of it and change over it so that it can be used as a more accessible signifier of world-wide communicating.

He maintains that wireless could be an exceeding signifier of communicating if it was changed from a signifier of distribution to a signifier of communicating this is because it’s such a big inter-connected forum that merely about everybody has entree to and that means that it doesn’t estrange the multitudes from having the information it emits. What Enzensberger wants for the universe is aggregate use of the media. what he wants is for the multitudes to hold complete and arrant control of the media and to pull strings it in ways that it can be used for communicating and revolution. He believes that if capitalists lost control of the media which they have at the minute so the socialist multitudes would hold more of a opportunity to pass on with each other globally. He wants democratic use to go possible so that they can work towards the end of an equal Utopia in the hereafter where censoring doesn’t exist and communicating is openly available to the multitudes. He fears now that the world of censoring will impede the freedom of address that he thinks is owed to the multitudes. With censoring. the multitudes lose the bulk of their freedom and chance to voice their sentiments and thoughts. This censoring comes from the manufacturers of the “consciousness industry” which have begun to accomplish the most power in the kingdom of production.

He accuses the left of holding a defensive. defeatist attitude he proclaims that this will give all the power of use to the enemy. losing any opportunity of power that the Left might hold. He sees the mass media as a radical thought where thoughts and sentiments could be spread by word of oral cavity. With the media we reach a encirclement in which it becomes unaccessible to some of the lower-classes. he wants to get rid of this by utilizing word of oral cavity instead than books. He sees books as being elitist. to read a book you must larn how to read and to compose a book you must larn how to compose. This creates a job for those who aren’t every bit educated as others but may still hold thoughts which are merely every bit of import as those with a more significant instruction. By subjecting our thoughts through word of oral cavity we are get rid ofing an elitist attitude to the media and we are making an unfastened forum which everyone can utilize no affair what criterion of instruction they have received. He connects reading and composing with autocratic ideals instead than democratic.

In a formal environment you have no pick to larn to read and compose. if you don’t you are alienated from society no affair what interesting or of import thoughts you may hold. If we connect through address it is more natural and inclusive as there is no barrier in your communicating. Harmonizing to Enzensberger the media have a “cultural monopoly” due to the autocratic regulations that are enforced as respects instruction and production. The bourgeois civilization control the media and they enforce this educational encirclement against the lower-class where spelling and grammar errors are looked down on and you can’t acquire anyplace in life without a significant instruction. Enzensberger aims to interrupt down this encirclement much to the bitterness of the bourgeois civilization. in order to make a cosmopolitan forum in which everyone can partake and portion. He uses the illustration of the telegraph and the telephone. the telephone is the lone one used in this twenty-four hours because it was a batch more accessible to the wider multitudes.

Enzensberger puts frontward the thought of mobilising the mass media in a manner that it can be used to contend planetary jobs in a more important and flat manner instead than doing it wholly one sided. He besides believes that the bulk of Marxists have a low apprehension of the media and that in fact the unpolitical groups have had more of an consequence on the media than anyone else. One illustration he uses for this is Marshall Mcluhan himself who is an writer whose books on the mass media have been some of the most publicized and influential of all clip. He says about McLuhan that he does non show his theories as a construct but more normally as a concrete reaction to the media. He attempts to get rid of economic ties to the media and prosecute the lower category in a new media by interrupting down barriers and stamp downing the prepossessions that the media have about the lower-class. What Enzensberger feels one of the chief jobs is that the multitudes have an feeling of the media that is wrong. this feeling is that the media is impersonal and will convey any message that they want to acquire across. This of class is wholly untrue being that the media is really near minded and will merely convey messages that they see fit.

The fact that the bulk of media is working on committee brings us once more to the economic factor which means that they will seek and appeal to their coveted audience in an effort to utilize the media for capital addition. Enzensberger doesn’t follow McLuhan’s train of idea. he accuses of him of being incoherent in his theoretical statements. “The medium is the message” is a phrase that he disagrees with stating it may intend that the middle class may hold every possible agencies to convey new messages but that they have nil new to state and are in fact “ideologically sterile” ( Enzensberger. 1974 ) therefore he thinks the media needs a new and interesting entity to take over the bourgeoisie’s topographic point in the media and convey new and fresh thoughts. Baudrillard on the other manus disagrees with Enzensberger as he sees media for the communicating facet that Enzensberger dismisses. He believes that the medium is in fact the message. He believes that the receiving system taking control of the media is a awful thought as he believes that it can non be turned into one monolithic forum in which anyone can portion anything.

He remarks on Enzensberger’s theory of Monopoly capitalist economy stating that it “does little more than signal the practical extension of the trade good signifier to all the spheres of societal life” ( Baudrillard. 1981 ) he besides unsparingly comments that his thoughts are a spot late. about connoting that this makes them redundant. He goes on to state that Enzenberger’s rendering of Marxist beliefs are merely feasible of a traditional Marxist but that the Marxist theory would fall in if it went every bit far as to follow Enzensberger’s train of idea as it is more unpolitical and wholly extremist thought. Baudrillard even goes every bit far as to state that Enzensberger’s theories pose a menace to the radical theory. He is really doubting of Enzensberger’s ideals stating that it’s non possible for the media to be an unfastened forum because if everyone gets a opportunity to voice their sentiments all the clip so they become excess and undistinguished and the most of import and radical thoughts could be lost in a sea of bunk. He believes that the multitudes can non be revolutionarily mobilised merely by opening the media to everyone.

He says that communicating over the media is non personal plenty to truly call up the multitudes. he believes that to truly do a difference we must pass on face to face as media communicating is difficult to people to associate to and to thoroughly acquire their point across. Therefore it’s a flawed construct to open the media to every individual individual as if everyone is utilizing the media as a signifier of communicating so existent thoughts get less and less important. He agrees with Enzensberger on the affair of Orwell’s 1984 holding that it is a pathetic construct. That one big power can non command the media and that telecasting has already achieved the type of isolation that the media has tried to accomplish because it is “social control” by merely being at that place. He goes on to disregard Enzensberger’s claim that the telecasting is an of import facet in a revolutionary’s life. comparing it to a wassailer or another contraption of that sort. He besides speaks about the pupil radical presentations in 1968. his sentiment on it differs from Enzensberger’s on the affair.

He believes that the pupils were better off before the media came along and that the manner they were showing with their marks and posters was more personal and effectual than the intelligence coverage. He besides believes that the fact that the presentations received so much media coverage could be damaging to Ezensberger’s theories as this could show his ideal result as the pupils were deriving a voice in the mass media but it was changed by them to exhibit different significances that the media thought more suited. This hindered their chance to truly do difference to the cause that they were contending for in the first topographic point. After a few hebdomads intelligence coverage of the presentations disappeared wholly go forthing behind no hint of the original thought behind it all. Another job that he has with the mass media is that the more room there is for people to unwrap their separate thoughts. the more condensed their personal thoughts become. One possible result of this is that if the media was unfastened for everyone to show their sentiments. would their sentiments non hold to be streamlined in a manner to make infinite and clip?

Would we stop up with the same humdrum system that we have with canvassing systems and world television show vote etc where all thoughts would be condensed to give a more general sentiment of the multitudes? The job here is that the person can non decently give their sentiment on a affair if they merely have a little infinite in which to show their sentiment. It gives the semblance that it is bridging the spread between the multitudes and the media when in fact it is non making this at all ; it is making a barrier. merely leting a certain sum of the individual’s sentiment to be acknowledged. The argument between Enzensberger and Baudrillard is one that will no uncertainty be argued from both sides for old ages to come. Enzensberger believes that socialists should hold more of an influence over the media and that the media should be an unfastened forum in which everyone can pull strings it and bring forth their ain thoughts.

This is a nice thought to get down with but when you dig deeper it is possible that it could go debatable if it were really put into action. He believes that the media at the minute is run by capitalist greed and is over-run by censoring which is a just point but may be partly necessary. Baudrillard believes that the media can non be used by everyone because it would be over capacity and a batch of of import thoughts could be well drowned out. He believes that alternatively of making a monolithic theoretical account in which every person thought is put into one large system. we should be utilizing more personal agencies of communicating in order to acquire our full point across instead than being condensed into a sea of ageless sentiments and thoughts. Baudrillard’s thought of sharing thoughts through personal contact is a noteworthy thought as in the expansive strategy of things. address is a medium of sharing that is free for all and accessible for all doing it the most effectual signifier of communicating among the multitudes.


Baudrillard. J. . 1981. For a review of the political economic system of the mark. s. l. : Telo Press. Enzensberger. H. -M. . 1974. The Consciousness Industry ; On literature. political relations and media. s. l. : The Seabury Press. Kredell. J. . n. d. The Enzensberger-Baudrillard argument reexamined: Temporal theoretical accounts and the idiom. s. l. : Fiasco Press.

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