Stuff to know Marxism The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains
What was he interested in: • Class control • Ideology is transmitted • Ruling class tries to impose its culture on everybody. • Other classes go along with it.
Subcultures • Subcultures – Marxist perspective. • Not about teenage rebellion (teenage insecurity, not just a phase) • About class struggle • They are rebelling against bourgeoisie, you don’t need to wear suits, speak in a certain way, abide by the law. They are rebelling against the capitalists.
‘Means of Production’ • Capitalist societies – certain people control the means of production. They control it through the economy and politically. • In society today, the ruling class are the government, big companies, organisations controlled by rich people. • Working class were oppressed and controlled by the ruling class.
The Intelligentsia • Matthew Arnold put forward the idea of culture as the pursuit of spiritual (not materialist perfection). • Culture was about training people to respond to the best things in the world that would be uplifting. Critics choose the ‘best things’ and they were nearly all European. • Culture had to be spread – free art galleries, free museums, gothic town halls, free schools.
The idea of culture • There are numerous criticism over video nasties, comics, media studies etc (pop culture) • The bourgeoisie would demand the protection of high culture as it is good for everyone. • Marx would argue it is only good for them. • Why should the tax payer subsidise the opera, art galleries etc • Is this because the ruling class can get their stuff for free.
Althusser • Dominant ideology – society is socialised into this through education and the church, families • Ideological state apparatuses • Police, law and the army – Repressive state apparatuses. • Anti globalisation marches – subvert hegemonic ideology.
Hegomony • Gramsci (1891 – 1937) - Hegemony. • The ability of the dominant class to exercise social and political leadership to maintain power.
We accept being ruled over because we believe: • Natural (hierarchy is an organisation that works) • Fair (we chose our rulers) • Inevitable (you can’t argue with history) • Right (our rulers are cleverer than us) • Common sense (the rich get richer, the poor get poorer)
It seems natural: • The law, education, the media, churches etc are reinforcing the dominant ideology. • Crime doesn’t pay • Buy lots of stuff for Christmas • Terrorists are evil • The media props up capitalism.
The Media • 1.Cultural production is dominated by powerful people (mostly men). Murdoch interferes with the editor. • The main reason behind the production of media is to make money. • Hence they will support capitalists structures.
2. Most newspapers in the UK supported the Conservatives. • 3. Few media products challenge capitalism. • ‘The rich have got their channels in the bedroom of the poor’ Cohen, Tower of Song • 4. Many different Media Companies are owned by the same person (multi- nationals). • 5. The BBC does not need to make profit but still has to justify itself in a commercial environment. • 6. According to Marxists, it is not true to say that we get what we want and that if there is a demand the media will automatically meet it. The Media follow familiar formulae and is unchallenging.