The culture industry, or the mass media, according to Adorno and Horkheimer, has become a tool of manipulation of the general public, they argued that the daily media content the general public is exposed to (radio, television, film, book, magazines) is no longer a form of art, but a “system” or a “factory” producing the same, predictable contents in order to obtain highest profis. With the advance of technology, consumers and audiences are pushed to obtain such mediums as the resource of information. However, except for the similar point of views, in Bernay, Herman and Chomsky’s theories, they argued that the culture and media content is highly controlled and manipulated by those who are in higher powers to filter out information from the real world and force the general public accept their ideas towards the society, a certain matter, even the world.
It’s inevitable the culture industry is becoming a business, with its core people making an income on a single project most everyday civilians impossible to make in a lifetime. Take a look at the industry, everything is based on profit. If a newly released single gets on top of the charts, different version, remixes will be created for more attention, if a movie is successful, sequels, remakes, movies with same content will be released in a short amount of time. For that cartoon Ice Age, there is a total of 7 movies, all similar contents, with different popular stars voicing the characters. As audience, we jump up and down when the new sequel comes out, throw our hard earned money into the box office and ask for a spinoff afterwards. It’s sad how the culture industry becomes an invisible product line, producing endless, but same products, just like Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times.
Bernay argued that how power shifted from the king to masses, and how a small amount of people learned to control and shape the masses, the control manipulation mainly concentrates on how to make the general public to believe in one idea. His opinion towards propaganda focuses on how people in higher powers directly control the rest. An accurate example would be the 1966-1976 Culture Revolution in China. The 10 year chaos cost countless damage in the country and stopped the country for 10 years. It all started with a wrong decision Mao made, indicating “modern communist China” does not need the influence of capitalism and western culture, but an article criticizing a new show published on the most popular newspaper triggered the initial explosion of the event. The article was secretly controlled by the government, the criticism of the show indicates the “correct” direction government wants, it also destroyed several government officials who were against the then communist party. In the rest ten years of the revolution, the government propogandas were strictly instilled deep into everyone’s heart, those who stood up to fight against all faced serious penalty, even death. All institutions and schools were shut down, except for those that only taught Mao spirit and communist spirit. The “Red Army” broke into homes, took away and burn down all the western literatures, arts and spiritual wealth. The twisted propogandas, along with the manipulation through radio, public posters, newspapers, “schools” and parental educations tortured the country for 10 years long. Up to this date, some of the ordere manipulative group of the generation who survived still believe in those propagandas.
It’s very powerful the influence culture industry has towards the general public, propogandas plays the essential role in shaping ideas in the society, just as all the theorists claimed in their works.