Horkheimer and Adorno’s piece immediately appealed to my youthful, rebellious inclinations to reprimand “the system.” The notion of growing uniformity, brought on by this techonological, consumerist age is especially tempting when one considers the increasing presence of cookie-cutter residential housing projects or suburbs, every building looking the same, with such a low priority on craft, all driven by power, money, and a desire for efficiency. I’ve been through all that before when studying Foucault.
Yet their mention of the change from telephone to radio as being indicative of our inability to be liberal or the subject anymore, but instead only receivers of external lectures and self-interest or power-interest ideals made me wonder. Why must this model of culture be on a chronological continuum? Is it possible to use technology and heightened modes of communication (like video chat) to reverse this regressive process of the human being and actually spur a consciousness enlightenment? – Where outlets for communcation are so free, accessible, etc. that special interest groups and the political underground in a free-trade system of ideas and self-expression have a heightened voice free from advertisers, corporations, and corrupt powers? Where there is almost a rebirth of art and craft that is NOT driven by money and advertisements, but by a genuine interest in shifting our values once we have realized just how much of our daily lives are affected (and controlled) by corporations?
Yet one might in the end chillingly add that once we have reached this point of “being free” to communicate and express ourselves free from commercial strongholds, our actions and choices (either out of rebellion or simple everyday desire) will unwittingly be serving this intangible power structure that thrives and has been birthed from our own culture (consumerism, etc.)