Saturday, 20 September 2008

A Critical Eye On Big Business and Big Media

No doubt the machinations of the global finance crisis will have you thinking about what is really going on in the world. What can you believe, what is certain and who can you trust.

In all probability the scales may be falling from your eyes and you might be taking a much more critical look at the way big business and big media try to socially influence our understanding.

The whole credit crunch is the dire consequence of the manipulation of our consumerist and materialist drivers. These drivers have been skill-fully manipulated for decades.

Herbert Marcuse critical theorist and philosopher pointed out the Big Media was creating a "numbing and homgenizing effect upon the consciousness of the mass of the population that inhibited reflection and normalized conformism" (Alvesson Wilmott - Making Sense of Management p69)

Fellow critical philosopher Eric Fromm also drew attention to the view that mass consumption ensured that we all became passive and unreflective consumers, chasing goods positioned in our minds 'as if' we needed them that were created out of a resource consuming unsustainable and wasteful system.

As anyone who has seen their savings devalued, possibly lost their home, lost their job, the end -game of the excesses of mass consumerism and the rampant materialist excesses of hedge fund managers with their less scrupulous financial cronies are de-humanizing and repressive. These people are the nemesis of the customer and the entrepreneur. They leach off the hard work creativity, risk taking and innovativeness of others.

As Fromm argues; the ever increasing need for goods undermines happiness and continuously spurs us on to feed the habit. A habit that was fed by the 'money pushers'of the last couple of decades.

Jurgen Habermas offers a key to critical thinking when he urges us to remain skepical about ideaology of any sort. He claims that ideologies are 'functional false beliefs' that are so widespread they are widely assumed to be true and we are made to believe they are true too (James Gordon Finlayson - Habermas p11)

Maybe the Credit Crunch will instigate a global consumer re-think and the scales will actually fall of the eyes. How much are you going spend this Christmas? and perhaps more significantly...why?

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