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Electronic media under socialism

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Soviet cogitations: 25
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Jan 2014, 00:40
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 18 Nov 2014, 14:52
How do comrades imagine the electronic media should look like under socialism today?

Public computer networks in the form of nationalised 'walled gardens', like the Kwangmyong Intranet in DPRK, to protect from foreign psy-ops? Foreign content presented in the manner of Der schwarze Kanal? Or a more 'pro-market' approach?

How would the media be controlled? Would it be directly controlled by the Party, or separated? How would 'letters to the editor' and other public debate be handled?

Film, television and radio in socialist realist style? Or a more individualised artistic license?

Discuss.
— Crìsdean R.

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Soviet cogitations: 6396
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Sep 2005, 13:48
Embalmed
Post 18 Nov 2014, 16:36
Quote:
Public computer networks in the form of nationalised 'walled gardens', like the Kwangmyong Intranet in DPRK,


I hope not. I don't believe there should be any form of censorship under socialism. I've always found the argument of needing to protect socialism from western, fascist propaganda a weak one. Most of us here grew up and live daily in that very propaganda, but here we are.

If there are more individual "freedoms" to be found in capitalist societies than socialist ones then something has seriously fragged up.
Now what is this…
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 18 Nov 2014, 20:40
Quote:
Public computer networks in the form of nationalised 'walled gardens', like the Kwangmyong Intranet in DPRK, to protect from foreign psy-ops?


Maybe for the military? I think there MUST be a constant connection of the general population to the global population via the internet. That is a basic prerequisite for democracy nowadays. I want our people to make fun of conservatards on facebook.

Quote:
Foreign content presented in the manner of Der schwarze Kanal?


I guess on our state media we could comment on some very fragged up stuff they say, but it's much more important to teach them, at school and in the party, to see through it.

Quote:
How would the media be controlled?


By the workers directly and by some democratically elected committee, I would imagine.

Quote:
Would it be directly controlled by the Party, or separated?


I guess the party would own some media, like a website, a bunch of newspapers (as long as those still exist) and maybe a TV network (as long as those still exist). There needs to be much more than that though.

Quote:
How would 'letters to the editor' and other public debate be handled?


"Letters to the editor" were an extremely important part of public discourse in the GDR, because it was a way for people to freely criticize pretty much anything and expect a response from a cadre. This kind of public debate was probably the most important democratic feature of the GDR (yes, it is kinda pathetic, but all the more important considering it existed in a context of an open one party dictatorship).

Nowadays we have the internet, so...

Quote:
Film, television and radio in socialist realist style?


Unless we decide to rebroadcast Stalinist media, I see no reason at all to force a certain style on artists.

Quote:
Or a more individualised artistic license?


What do you mean by "license"? With modern information technology, everyone is a potential artist.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 4764
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Forum Commissar
Post 19 Nov 2014, 08:08
I always point at Hans Magnum Eenzenberger's Constituents of a Theory of a Media as a good socialist analysis of what media should resemble under socialism:

link to article

Quote:
George Orwell’s bogey of a monolithic consciousness industry derives from a view of the media which is undialectical and obsolete. The possibility of total control of such a system at a central point belongs not to the future but to the past. With the aid of systems theory, a discipline which is part of bourgeois science -- using, that is to say, categories which are immanent in the system -- it can be demonstrated that a linked series of communications or, to use the technical term, switchable network, to the degree that it exceeds a certain critical size, can no longer be centrally controlled but only dealt with statistically. This basic ‘leakiness’ of stochastic systems admittedly allows the calculation of probabilities based on sampling and extrapolations; but blanket supervision would demand a monitor that was bigger than the system itself. The monitoring of all telephone conversations, for instance, postulates an apparatus which would need to be n times more extensive and more complicated than that of the present telephone system. A censor’s office, which carried out its work extensively, would of necessity become the largest branch of industry in its society.

[...]

The problem of censorship thus enters a new historical stage. The struggle for the freedom of the press and freedom of ideas has, up till now, been mainly an argument within the bourgeoisie itself; for the masses, freedom to express opinions was a fiction since they were, from the beginning, barred from the means of production -- above all from the press -- and thus were unable to join in freedom of expression from the start. Today censorship is threatened by the productive forces of the consciousness industry which is already, to some extent, gaining the upper hand over the prevailing relations of production. Long before the latter are overthrown, the contradiction between what is possible and what actually exists will become acute.

[...]

If the socialist movement writes off the new productive forces of the consciousness industry and relegates work on the media to a subculture, then we have a vicious circle. For the Underground may be increasingly aware of the technical and aesthetic possibilities of the disc, of videotape, of the electronic camera, and so on, and is systematically exploring the terrain, but it has no political viewpoint of its own and therefore mostly falls a helpless victim to commercialism. The politically active groups then point to such cases with smug Schadenfreude. A process of un-learning is the result and both sides are the losers. Capitalism alone benefits from the Left’s antagonism to the media, as it does from the de-politicization of the counter-culture.

[...]

manipulation -- etymologically, handling -- means technical treatment of a given material with a particular goal in mind. When the technical intervention is of immediate social relevance, then manipulation is a political act. In the case of the media industry that is by definition the case.

Thus every use of the media presupposes manipulation. The most elementary processes in media production, from the choice of the medium itself to shooting, cutting, synchronization, dubbing, right up to distribution, are all operations carried out on the raw material. There is no such thing as unmanipulated writing, filming, or broadcasting. The question is therefore not whether the media are manipulated, but who manipulates them. A revolutionary plan should not require the manipulators to disappear; on the contrary, it must make everyone a manipulator.

[...]

Any socialist strategy for the media must, on the contrary, strive to end the isolation of the individual participants from the social learning and production process. This is impossible unless those concerned organize themselves. This is the political core of the question of the media. It is over this point that socialist concepts part company with the neo-liberal and technocratic ones. Anyone who expects to be emancipated by technological hardware, or by a system of hardware however structured, is the victim of an obscure belief in progress. Anyone who imagines that freedom for the media will be established if only everyone is busy transmitting and receiving is the dupe of a liberalism which, decked out in contemporary colors, merely peddles the faded concepts of a pre-ordained harmony of social interests.

[...]

An all too widely disseminated thesis maintains that present-day capitalism lives by the exploitation of unreal needs. That is at best a half-truth. The results obtained by popular American sociologists like Vance Packard are not unuseful but limited. What they have to say about the stimulation of needs through advertising and artificial obsolescence can in any case not be adequately explained by the hypnotic pull exerted on the wage-earners by mass consumption. The hypothesis of ‘consumer terror’ corresponds to the prejudices of a middle class, which considers itself politically enlightened, against the allegedly integrated proletariat, which has become petty-bourgeois and corrupt. The attractive power of mass consumption is based not on the dictates of false needs, but on the falsification and exploitation of quite real and legitimate ones without which the parasitic process of advertising would be redundant. A socialist movement ought not to denounce these needs, but take them seriously, investigate them and make them politically productive.

[...]

That the Marxist Left should argue theoretically and act practically from the standpoint of the most advanced productive forces in their society, that they should develop in depth all the liberating factors immanent in these forces and use them strategically, is no academic expectation but a political necessity. However, with a single great exception, that of Walter Benjamin (and in his footsteps, Brecht), Marxists have not understood the consciousness industry and have been aware only of its bourgeois-capitalist dark side and not of its socialist possibilities. An author like Georg Lukács is a perfect example of this theoretical and practical backwardness. Nor are the works of Horkheimer and Adorno free of a nostalgia which clings to early bourgeois media.


Sorry for the long quote, but the core of the question is better explained there than anything that I could have written.
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Soviet cogitations: 2
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 May 2015, 12:22
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 09 May 2015, 13:00
An all too widely disseminated thesis maintains that present-day capitalism lives by the exploitation of unreal needs. That is at best a half-truth. The results obtained by popular American sociologists like Vance Packard are not unuseful but limited. What they have to say about the stimulation of needs through advertising and artificial obsolescence can in any case not be adequately explained by the hypnotic pull exerted on the wage-earners by mass consumption. The hypothesis of ‘consumer terror’ corresponds to the prejudices of a middle class, which considers itself politically enlightened, against the allegedly integrated proletariat, which has become petty-bourgeois and corrupt. The attractive power of mass consumption is based not on the dictates of false needs, but on the falsification and exploitation of quite real and legitimate ones without which the parasitic process of advertising would be redundant. A socialist movement ought not to denounce these needs, but take them seriously, investigate them and make them politically productive.
NOOR
Soviet cogitations: 3
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Jul 2015, 04:14
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 11 Jul 2015, 05:20
This is a pretty complicated issue.
There is not really a universal answer to what media under socialism looks like. It all depends on the conditions the socialist state is in.
Socialism liberates people, not enslaves them. People should be given more freedom of speech, supposedly. But how?
State media always play an important role. Media organisations are owned by the state (since there are not capitalists to own them) and they must be Marxist and pro-socialist in the first place. Then they can be given some freedom to express certain opinions while the official press of party and state will still be absolutely loyal to their parent organisations. However, those given freedom should not cross the line, e.g, they should not publish fabricated stories or statistics to mislead the people.
then there is the internet. people should be given the freedom to express themselves on the internet. however, those posts that have inappropriate contend like pornography will be deleted. Those posts involving false or only half-true stories or statistics to mislead the people should be deleted.
about foreign/capitalism media. it is not necessary to block them because firstly it is actually difficult to really entirely bock them unless you set up a nationalized network and restrict travelling abroad. also people, especially when they are highly educated, are likely to suspect the state when all foreign media are blocked. so they should not be blocked. to counter the adverse effect of the foreign media, state owned press can publish editorials to argue against the foreign media and reveal to the people what information in the foreign media are false. people may also take initiative to protect the socialist ideology.
however, what i have said above is conditional. if this is during war time or near a war, when the socialist republic is just set up and is still unstable and the people are still confused, the western media are overwhelming or there are too many enemy agents on the internet to mislead the people, greater restriction should be implemented on the freedom of press and freedom of speech to protect the socialist state and the people.
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