This event is part of CIDRAL's Public Intellectuals, Popularity and Populism programme.
Christian Fuchs, professor of media and communication studies and Director of the Communication and Media Research Institute, University of Westminster, will deliver a public lecture entitled Capitalism and Communication: Critical Theory in the Age of the Internet and Communicative/Digital Capitalism.
This talk outlines foundations of how to think critically about capitalism and communication in the age of the Internet, the “information society,” and digital technologies.
Critical communication theory is associated with Jürgen Habermas’ work. Habermas’ work is a critical theory, but not a Marxist theory. The approach presented in this talk goes beyond Habermas by outlining foundations of a Marxist-humanist theory of communication. It outlines the basics of Christian Fuchs’ forthcoming book “Communication and Capitalism: A Critical Theory” (University of Westminster Press 2020).
Fuchs draws on and goes beyond elements of the works of authors such as Hegel, Marx, Theodor W. Adorno, Erich Fromm, Lucien Goldmann, David Harvey, Henri Lefebvre, Georg Lukács, Rosa Luxemburg, Edward P. Thompson, Raymond Williams, and others. Fuchs points out foundations of a critical theory of communication that is grounded in Karl Marx’s works and the approach of Marxist humanism. The talk elaborates theoretical foundations having to do with materialism, communication in society, communication in capitalism, communication technologies, alienation, ideology, and class struggles for 21st century socialism.
In the age of the Internet, we need to think about the role of communication in capitalist society. Critical theory needs to reconfigure itself in the context of digital and communicative capitalism. For doing so, a critical theory of communication is needed as a foundation. Whereas Habermas grounded his theory of communication in the works of thinkers such as George Herbert Mead, Jean Piaget and John Searle, there are hidden and forgotten elements and works in Marxist humanism that matter for the construction of a 21st century critical theory of communication.