The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception

Horkheimer and Adorno’s analysis may be a little bit outdated because of the drastic difference between technology in the ’40s compared to now. However, Horkheimer and Adorno do acknowledge that technology shapes culture.

Horkheimer and Adorno say, “For culture now impresses the same stamp on everything”. They talked a lot about the struggle of classifying what real art is and the reaction to art by society determining its receptivity. Does our culture’s emphasis on creating art (being creative and artistic) take away from individual’s within society with true artistic genius? Why do you guys think our culture prioritizes aesthetics so much? Do you think that we could be forcing meaning upon works of art?

Yet, they discuss how “creativity can’t seem to break the barrier of the long-lasting industry”. All industries within the culture industry are intertwined, so it seems that there will always be a subjective influence. They say that ultimately, the culture industry creates ready-made themes (generalized content – ex. genre in film) to be repeated throughout media.

Do you guys agree with their point that “the culture industry cheats us because we are never getting the real point”? (We’re fed with aesthetic sublimation). Or would you say that the movement of technology is democratic and allows us as consumers to schematize media on our own accord?