The Cultural Apparatus of Monopoly Capital

The Cultural Apparatus of Monopoly Capital: Critical Views from the 1960s—An Introduction[PDF], (coauthored with Robert W. McChesney, Foster listed first), Monthly Review vol. 64, no. 8 (July-August 2013), pp. 1-32.

The past half-century has been dominated by the rise of media to a commanding position in the social life of most people and nations, to the point where it is banal to regard this as the “information age.” The once-dazzling ascension of television in the 1950s and ‘60s now looks like the horse-and-buggy era when one assesses the Internet, smartphones, and the digital revolution. For social theorists of all stripes communication has moved to center stage. And for those on the left, addressing the role of communication in achieving social change and then maintaining popular rule in the face of reactionary backlash is now a primary concern.… political economists of communication, including one of us, identified themselves as in the tradition of radical political economy, but with a sophisticated appreciation of media that had escaped.… [the stellar critique of journalism produced… by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky]. Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy were occasionally held up by political economists of communication as representing the sort of traditional Marxists who underappreciated the importance of media, communication, and culture.… We were never especially impressed by this criticism. To us, Monopoly Capital, and the broader political economy of Baran and Sweezy, far from ignoring communication, provided key elements for a serious study of the subject.

  • Reprinted in Savaş Çoban, ed., The Media and the Left (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2014), pp. 67-103;
  • Reprinted in Robert W. McChesney, Blowing the Roof Off the Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2014, 188-218.
  • Turkish translation in Monthly Review, Turkish edition (May 2014), pp. 53-68.

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