The Illusion of Choice: On “Popular” vs. Mass Art

by criticalhit009

The Tiger Manifesto


Commentators and activists with a leftist bent have been raising the alarm over the monopolization of the culture industry for as long as anyone can remember. Neo-liberalized ownership rules and lax regulatory frameworks have allowed a small circle of plutocrats to devour smaller companies left and right. Far too often, these alarms are wedded to the premise that media can be fair or balanced under capitalism if only there are enough small players. Long before the current round of consolidations, the culture industry in capitalist centres made it its business to propagate a desolate, one-dimensional popular culture. What is happening here is just the normal mechanisms of capitalism at work, and we know that “The enormous growth of industry and the remarkably rapid concentration of production in ever-larger enterprises are one of the most characteristic features of capitalism.”¹ Power and wealth concentrate in fewer and fewer hands as the vast majority…

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