imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news



CopWatch LA


A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv

Authoritarian Capitalism

by Christian Fuchs Wednesday, Mar. 07, 2018 at 4:27 AM

Phenomena like Trump and the new nationalisms confirm the actuality of the theory of the authoritarian personality articulated by Wilhelm Reich, Erich Fromm, and Theodor Adorno. By their structure, capitalist social media encourage narcissism and are not social media


Interview with Christian Fuchs

[This interview published on 2/8/2018 is translated from the German on the Internet. Christian Fuchs is a professor of social media at the University of Westminster and develops a critical theory for the digital age. With "Jungle World," he speaks about the role of media reporting in the authoritarian restructuring of capitalism, Trump's communication, "slow media" and digital policy.]

US president Donald Trump is often described as a "Twitter president." Is he really shifting the place of political events from the seat of government to the platform of social media?

Digital policy occurs as part of material conditions and is not virtual and dematerialized. For Trump, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are the communicative instruments of his right-wing politics organized from the Oval Office. He only uses it more intensively than the others before him.

You sharply criticize established and critical media for their reporting on Donald Trump and reproach them as jointly responsible for his success.

Trump calls liberal media like CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post his chief enemies. At the same time, the same media reproduce political spectacle through their constant reporting by offering him disproportional attention and a platform. Not reporting could often be more effective than pseudo-critical reports and headlines on every Twitter Trump Schmaltz. This is a new phenomenon. In the 1990s, for example, the liberal print media in Austria helped Jorg Haider's ascent. The profit-mongering of the media intensifies the visibility of right-wing ideology. Enlightenment has a negative dialectic under the foundations of capital.

You urge "slow media" against the spectacle. That sounds boring.

Boredom and de-acceleration are progressive principles in the age of capitalist acceleration, superficiality, and sensation-seeking.

Does polarization function online as is commonly explained? Do fear, screaming and hatred strengthen and accelerate in echo-chambers and create completely separated ideas of reality?

The phenomenon of online echo-chambers exists but is often overrated. It is not even realistic to think right-wing extremists can convince through rational arguments in online forums or social media since nationalist ideology operates not rationally but emotionally and ideologically.

Many studies show so-called fake news comes primarily from the right-wing and finds resonance there. Simulating attention plays a role in the process. On Facebook, there is more interaction between polar opposite positions than on Twitter since Twitter makes communication structurally impossible.

You urge calling to account economically the big businesses of social media for spreading false reports, hoaxes and hate commentaries.

The commodity-fetish makes online businesses blind to the contents spread and marketed by algorithms and online publicity since they are only interested in gaining many clicks and high attention rates. Whether it spreads propaganda for fascism or advertising for chocolate cookies makes no difference to the algorithm. It is programmed to maximize profit and attention. It is not realistic for profit-oriented platforms to voluntarily take serious steps against extremist right-wing propaganda.

On the subject of profit, you empirically analyzed Trump's television show "The Apprentice." What do the results tell you about Trump as a politician?

An analysis of Trump's communication on "The Apprentice" and on Twitter confirms the assumption that he has an authoritarian personality structure. He adores hierarchy, militarism and the nation and runs smear campaigns against minorities and political adversaries.

What does the analysis of tweets and speeches of the president say about the state of society and the media?

Phenomena like Trump and new nationalisms confirm the actuality of the theory of the authoritarian personality articulated by Wilhelm Reich, Erich Fromm, and Theodor W. Adorno. By their structure, capitalist social media are often so invested that they encourage individualism, narcissism and the cult of personality and are not social media. They are platforms of the neoliberal self and individualistic media and are not social media. Accumulation through reputation is central. The media structure invites authoritarian personalities to use the platforms for spreading authoritarian ideology.

In your book soon to be published, you tackle the question how far Trump's ideology prevails in society. Should the findings be feared or can an all-clear signal be announced given the many forms of resistance?

Trump is not a single phenomenon but one of many structural manifestations of the reloading of neoliberalism in authoritarian capitalism. Capitalism has always had authoritarian fascist potentials that are striking in crisis situations. Therefore, there cannot be an all-clear signal. In many countries in times of digital capitalism, right-wing authoritarianism now finds great support in the traditional working class that tends to be dissolved and transformed through digital rationalization and automation.

Why do you always explicitly use authoritarian capitalism instead of the authoritarian character as a unit of analysis?

Capitalism is above all a formation of society and not only an economic form. This means authoritarian capitalism can organize potentially on all levels of society. The authoritarian character is the individual and psychological manifestation of authoritarian capitalism. This is multiplayer and does not necessarily appear on all planes to the same extent.

You recently republished an article by Franz L. Neumann from the 1950s. What makes this representative of the Frankfurt School so timely for analyzing politics today?

In the essay (Anxiety and Politics) republished in the journal "Triple C: Communication, Capitalism, and Critique," Neumann combines political economy, ideology criticism and aspects of Freudian psychoanalysis. We are witnessing today what Neumann described as destructive collective anxiety. According to Neumann, this is manifest in right-wing and extremist right-wing movements in the context of economic, political, social and psychological estrangement, destructive competition and the institutionalization of anxiety. The fear of loss of status and the fear of persecution trigger conspiracy theories and identification with a leader.

You also refer to Neumann's chief work "Behemoth: The Structure and Praxis of National Socialism 1933-1944." Hasn't this publication been superseded by later analyses of an authoritarian and total rule?

Franz Neumann is an ignored theoretician of the Frankfurt School. Horkheimer and Adorno did not take his work seriously. The strength of "Behemoth" is combining a political-economic structural analysis with ideology criticism. Neumann also regarded psychoanalytical aspects as important. We need that kind of methodical approach today to adequately understand nationalism.

In "Behemoth," Neumann emphasized several elements that have explanatory power today: the connection of political power and capital, charismatic rule, the Fuhrer principle, nationalist ideology and nationalism to legitimate unequal rights, racist capitalism, the connection of patriarchy and militarism, limitation of the rule of law and so on. Neumann stresses that bureaucratization of the union movement in the 1920s weakened anti-fascism. The neoliberalization of social democracy played a similar role for several decades.

In the German-language area, no one is now accepting the Trump brand. How US-specific is his political strategy?

Authoritarian capitalism represents a crisis of the left. Blinking left and then turning right is the wrong way. Socialist humanism is the only remedy against right-wing demagogy.


Report this post as:

Local News

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

Last of California's nuclear power plants is on its way out J30 3:44PM

Patrisse Khan-Cullors explains why Black Lives Matter J26 7:02PM

Women's March L.A., 2018 J24 4:39PM

The case for US government sanctions on Israel J23 5:36PM

 Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump Photoset 4 J22 9:07PM

Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump Photoset 3 J22 8:24PM

Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump PhotoSet 2 J22 7:36PM

Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump PhotoSet 1 J22 7:14PM

Women's Political Representation & Electoral Reform J21 12:43PM

Trial Starts for Woman with Erb’s Palsy Punched in Face Repeatedly by LAPD Officers J10 1:38PM

Dear District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Prosecute Killer Cops, Signed: Your Constituents J09 10:09PM

Great solidarity action today J06 10:22PM

Chris Ballew beat up by Pasadena police J05 5:01PM

Retired LAPD Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey explains how the LAPD's Board of Rights hearings work J05 3:40PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Stratégie onirique du coup du monde M17 3:03AM

Tour Announcement: Whole Milk's California Cruising Tour 2018 M16 8:41PM

50 years have passed since the Kerner & McCone Commissions M16 6:21PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Crash on the Horizon M16 9:45AM

Caribbean Religious Leaders Call for Debt Relief in Face of Disasters M16 7:28AM

America's judiciary is in collapse M15 8:53PM

Under the Gun in Ireland M15 5:37PM

The Shortwave Report 03/16/18 Listen Globally! M15 4:54PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Travail de l'idéologie M15 12:02AM

Crisis 2.0: A Policy for the 99% M14 2:06AM

How fbi corrupts cjs M13 8:10PM

When Will the Me Too Movement Take on the New Age? M13 8:21AM

La société du plagiat compilateur M13 12:34AM

12 Step Programs Free Me From Addiction M11 1:53PM

Règlements de comptes à O.K. Corral M11 12:42AM

Video: "How Democracies Die," 1 hr 12 min M10 8:05AM

Debt, Corruption and Tax Policies Impact Poverty, Says Vatican at United Nations M09 11:13AM

Séparatisme de l'abîme M09 6:15AM

The Shortwave Report 03/09/18 Listen Globally! M08 4:15PM

Over 35 Years of Work for Individuals in California with Brain Disorders [Metal] M08 4:00PM

February 2018 Honduras Coup Again update M07 12:59PM

Authoritarian Capitalism M07 4:27AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” with Voice Artist Rob Paulsen, Fri. March 30th in Downey, CA M06 2:45PM

Do Germans really want to align themselves with evil? M06 9:56AM

Housing is not just another commodity M06 8:08AM

Cartographie du morcellement unifié M05 11:08PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy