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Originally printed in the New Left Review, no. 64, , pp. Potentialities of communication media “For the first time in history, the media. Media do not produce objects which can be hoarded. Do away with “intellectual property” (Magnus was dead wrong here – battles over IP are. A Theory of the Media. [ Introduction] Constituents of a Theory of the Media “The new media are oriented toward action, not contemplation; toward.

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Enzensberger takes on McLuhan at this point: But fear of handling shit is a luxury a sewer-man cannot necessarily afford. The idea of the self-sufficient work of art collapsed long ago.

That can be demonstrated from the example of the Tupamaros in Uruguay, whose revolutionary practice has implicit in it publicity for their actions. In lieu of normative definitions, here is an incomplete list of new developments which have emerged in the last twenty years: The rules that govern this technique have a normative power attributed to them for which there is no rational basis. It is wrong to regard media equipment as mere means of consumption.

I meant intervene in the sense of analyzing the operation from a Marxist view and offering some insight into enzfnsberger nature of socialist programming. In this sense the electronic media are entirely different from the older media like the book or the easel-painting, the exclusive class character of which is obvious.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Constituents of a Theory of the Media () | Excerpter

The theory of repressive tolerance has also permeated discussion of the media by the Left. This sets its stamp for ever on written communication — on its tone, its syntax, and its whole style.

We never got around to doing fheory analysis, for our school staff showed little interest, and I found myself inadequate enzdnsberger proceed on the project alone. A state of emergency is therefore the only alternative to leakage in the consciousness industry; but it cannot be maintained in the long run.


Enzensberger by R.G. Davis

From a materialistic point of view neither the one nor the other must be suppressed. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here These news-sheets presuppose a structure of party members gheory sympathizers and a situation, where the media are concerned, wnzensberger roughly corresponds to the historical situation in ; they are obviously fixated on the Iskra model.

All these thoughts leads us to the fact that it is important to mobilize the media, which in itself is an important concept. He is therefore partisan from the start.

Constituents of a Theory of the Media

Naturally, such tendencies go against the grain of the structure and the new productive forces not only permit but indeed demand their reversal. Innocents have put themselves in the forefront of the new productive forces on the basis of mere intuitions with which communism — to its detriment — has not wished to concern itself. This article appeared in Modern Occasions Anthology inpp. Any socialist strategy for media firstly need to remove the isolation of the individuals from the learning and production process of the media itself.

The media produce no objects that can be hoarded and auctioned. In terms of structure, they are anti-sectarian — a further reason why the Left, insofar as it is not prepared to re-examine its traditions, has little idea what to do with them.

But the instant the criterion of authenticity ceases to be applicable to artistic production, the total function of art is reversed. In this early formulation Enzensberger is incomplete, and he suggests political actions which may be ineffective. This is further proven in the understanding of media by Marshall McLuhan. The essay asks socialists to re-address snzensberger question of what use the media are, specifically the consciousness industry in advanced industrial constiyuents.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger A Marxist media analysis. Cultural Archaism in the Left Critique.


Unrealizable in this social system, reliable in another these proposals, which are after all, only the natural consequences of technical development help towards the propagation and shaping of that other system. Enzensberger is both picking apart the capitalist use of the media while sniping at the use of the media by socialists, yet within a socialist approach. They do not follow from the structure of the media.

Its social significance, particularly in its most positive form, is inconceivable without its destructive, cathartic aspect, that is, the liquidation of the traditional cojstituents of the cultural heritage. In the productions of the Rolling Stones and in the manner of their production the utopian content is apparent.

Artistic productivity reveals itself to be the extreme marginal case of a much more widespread productivity, and it is socially important only insofar as it surrenders all pretensions to autonomy and recognizes itself to be a marginal case.

See the Communist Manifesto. Written literature has, historically speaking, played a dominant role for only a few centuries. Tape recorders, ordinary cameras and cine cameras, are already extensively owned by wage-earners.

He admittedly did not invent but was the first to formulate explicitly a mystique of the media which dissolves all political problems in smoke — the same smoke as gets in the eyes of his followers. In spite of its provocative idiocy, it betrays more than its author knows.

On top of the damage suffered by the masses comes triumphant mockery because they clearly do not know how to use the media properly. So, the bigger question is not the fact that media are manipulated, but who manipulates them? It is like questioning, how good is good.