Today in the early years of twenty-first century if we look our around, we can see that almost all society lives with tending the consumption invariably. This situation is the result of capitalist way of thinking and result of the capitalist economic system as well. At this point The Frankfurt School drew attention this subject that is result of the capitalist system. Max Harkheimer, Thedor W. Adorno, and Herbert Marcuse who have Marxist way of thinking criticized capitalism. According to them, human lost their life in culture industry and they incurred technology, buying the new things constantly and advertising. So, in this essay, I will try to explain culture industry and its effects and give examples of it, and also I will try to connect this concept between our life and Black Mirror Series (Season 1, Episode 2).
According to the thinkers, capitalism say us that there is preference and individual liberty for the people but this idea enslaves the people in the paradigm of modernity which is based on consumption by using communication tools and media. Therefore the capitalism uses technology and science for enslaving the human. Also they think that this ideology generates one-dimensional society that has people who consume continuously and unnecessarily.
We can see all these things that are created by culture industry in our life. For example football industry is like culture industry I think. In the past we don’t have to pay the money when we watch the match in TV, but now we have to pay for it because interest of football have increased rapidly with media effects. The clubs and government are earning a lot of money from football industry with advertising, watching the match, consuming the clubs product etc. Mass of people kills each other for the result of football match and it invades our agenda. I strongly believe that is related with culture industry.
In addition, to give another example for the culture industry today we can see that we are consuming unnecessarily by affecting with advertising for the sake of living modernly like consuming technological product or cloths. All these things are fake necessities that are created by modern and industrial culture. Mass of people has become a tool of technology who consume consistently. If you ask people that ‘Can you think living without the Internet? The answer is generally and absolutely will be like that: certainly no, Internet is a part of my life.’
Advertising is also another weapon of culture industry. We are bombed by advertisement in everywhere like when we watch match, or in cinema, or on the Internet, in every part of daily life. Furthermore, when we enter the any Internet sites like you tube we have to watch the advertising in certain time. There are a lot of brand and product advertising in everywhere and we lose ourselves within them. We are facing the media again in this point because the media is main communication tool for culture industry and capitalism as well and it transmits the message to people directly. For instance, media created the perception of beauty like being fat is not good, if you want to be handsome man you have to have muscles or beautiful women make up and she is liked. Immediately afterwards people go to the gym for making muscles and to give weight and also beauty products advertisements, muscle-enhancing advertisements increase rapidly and all these things are showed us by media in magazines, TV programs etc. All these examples are saying us clearly that we are living in hegemony of culture industry.
So, if we advert the theme of Black Mirror, there are a lot of same thing between in the series life and in our life. We can see that characters are living in hegemony of culture industry like us. Frankfurt School thinkers mentioned that extreme individualism that is created by capitalism will smash the family structure and we can see that in the series how the characters are exposed with loneliness and also they could communicate each other with their technological characters that are avatars and they could transfer their emotions each other with them. Also, we can see that in this series enforcement of advertising and sex films that make people fool. There is strong connection between technology and their life like our life and they have to generate energy for living and they are fulfilling their needs with their earned energy. In addition, we can see clearly that dreams and emotions are fake in the series like our daily life, they are connected with matters. All these things are happening in our life. The end of the movie the man revolted against system but he lost their opinion despairingly because he didn’t have choice. Consequently, I strongly believe that if we don’t aware the system of culture industry in our life and if we continue to consume, eliminate the nature without care, pedal are waiting to generate energy in the future for us.