Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Manufacturing Consent by Michael Burawoy

You may have heard of the book by Noam Chomsky (and Ed Herman) with the same title as this video. But actually the ideas in this video are based on a different book by the same title, "Manufacturing Consent" by Michael Burawoy, which was written in 1979, years before the Chomsky book. Chomsky's book is about the institutional structure of the media and they way this imposes an ideology upon a society.

Burawoy argues that the structure of capitalist social relations generates its own illusions, ideology and consent, prior to the imposition of propaganda through media and schools. I think there is much to be admired about Chomsky's work, but I also think that Burawoy's work sheds some even more important insights into the way ideology is created and consent is "manufactured".

After a viewer mistakenly thought this entire video was an attack on Chomsky, I just want to clarify here: It is not about Chomsky at all. I just mention Chomsky here so that the two "Manufacturing Consents" don't get conflated. When I make a couple comments about "libertarians" in this video I am not referring to Chomsky or those that identify as libertarian-anarchist. I am referring to the right-wing, free-market libertarians.

I have great respect for much of what Chomsky and other anarchist thinkers have added to the left and I would hate for anyone to think this video was an attack upon that tradition. I do sometimes wonder if parts of the anarchist tradition are too mired in the concepts of individual freedom which I question in this video. But I am in no way well-versed enough in anarchist theory to make such a critique in this video.

Brendan Mcooney

See also:http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/manufacturing-consent-25-years-later.html

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