HomePHAVISMINDA Journalvol. 12 no. 1 (2013)


S. K. Datta



Marx’s critical project reveals an optimistic future for the
emancipation of humanity from the heartless and soulless conditions
of capitalism. His revolutionary spirit, motivated by the hope of
realizing a society free from oppression and alienation, has been
carried from his time to the present. However, as this spirit passes
through history, abounding changes in society have occurred,
changes that allow neo-Marxists like Ernest Mandel to differentiate
early from late capitalism and Antonio Gramsci to demarcate
between the Fordist and the Post-Fordist models. These significant
changes, particularly within the capitalist mode of production, have
allowed for diverse variables to occur that were unforeseen by Marx.
Among these important variables is the rise of mass media. The
importance of mass media in the contemporary times cannot be
underestimated since it is, following McLuhan’s thesis, solely
responsible for the creation of the globalized present. Coming from
this, how does the revolutionary spirit of Marx come to terms with
mass media in contemporary society? Is mass media purely an
ideological apparatus? Can it actually be utilized for the mobilization
of the masses?