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<nettime> Manipulation of the Unconscious
Newmedia on Mon, 30 Jun 2014 12:23:50 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Manipulation of the Unconscious

"Of course, the cultural industry and mass media are not the only     
places where the manipulation of the unconscious may actively be      
contemplated. The formidable challenge that confronts the cultural    
critic is the scenario where the battlefront of ideology has shifted  
predominantly from the control of political consciousness to the      
technological manipulation of the ineffable unconscious, the latter   
by no means being limited to the use and abuse of mind-altering       
drugs manufactured by big biochemical companies, which critics have   
amply documented and analyzed. In this regard, the insights of the    
Frankfurt School critics prove instructive in helping us rethink      
the conditions of critical imperative, and they are instructive       
precisely by virtue of their rigorous critique of technocracy and     
instrumental reason and their failure to engage with information      
theory and cybernetics in their time. This failure can be crippling   
because, if the unconscious rather than the consciousness has turned  
into the primary field of ideological manipulation by the dominant    
class, what is the future of reason and reasoned critiques?"          

[Lydia H. Liu, "The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of   
the Unconscious," Univ. of Chicago Press, 2010, p.35]                 

Mark  Stahlman
Jersey City Heights

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