Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Advent of Mass Media

Mr. Joefer Maninang
University of Mindanao

The advent of mass media, the rapid development of the means of communication coupled with the advances of information technology, led to the growing awareness of its message, the reality of human struggle and suffering. It began a cultural transformation of the society as people identity themselves towards this alienating reality. It has converted many a people’s stance from being passive into being responsive citizens of the world towards this reality. It unifies men beyond borders.

In other words, mass media has become a tool in showing us a painting of the objective reality of human struggle and suffering, the universal human condition. It has even changed the blind attitude of its audience to a critical one towards art as it employs various art forms including that of the visual and literary kinds which to a greater degree delivers the message. Mass media then evolves as complex art form as it brings people and art together in one piece. It contains all there is in society addressing the whole mankind of its message.

Mass media as a product of the capitalist enterprise has turned over itself to the judgment of every individual modern man as it triggers him to be conscious of his objective existence in society thereby emerging as being conscious of his alienation that he may find. This consciousness is the starting point for man to take into effect his response to the awareness of the social reality that he gains from mass media coupled with the development of information technology.

From here, we can infer that Marx is correct in saying that the Bourgeois or capitalist society is the thesis which is needed in the realization of the historical process as it yields the tools necessary for the realization of the Communist state as the Proletariat emancipates itself after becoming conscious of its alienation. In other words, the capitalist society has produced mass media as a tool in the process of mediation or enlightening every individual in order that he may realize his historical existence, the totality of his position in history.

Though this is possible, along with Lukacs, mass media is prone to false consciousness as it exhibits deception in itself as the society is permeated by the commodity-structure with the capitalist laws permeating within.

Man is situated within the influence of mass media which is a consequence of capitalism. Mass media has given man a wider access to the world with just a push of a button. The radio, television, high-end means of communication, the internet, advertising flicks and many more are all around him, influencing him directly or indirectly in many aspects, may it be politically or economically, socially or aesthetically. In a world overrun by mass media, everything is mixed. Even the capitalist is blind of what it conceals, that is, what Lukacs posits to be the reality of the human condition, the reality of human suffering.

Man is disposed to see this reality as it directly faces him. Mass media is an art since it has brought all there is in society and many forms of art has painted this social reality and thanks for it have slowly or gradually revealed this really real. Capitalism has paved the way for the appreciation of any form of art as popularized by it through mass media.

Mass media may serve as a means for man to be conscious of the content or perspective of the human struggles of real people in their own individual alienations implored in various art forms by the artists within the presence and the utilization of mass media as this epoch according to the realists should be an appreciation of the objective content of any art form as a response to the question of ideology.