The Industrialization of the Mind  

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"The Industrialization of the Mind" (1962) is an essay by Hans Magnus Enzensberger which coined the term consciousness industry.

In "The Industrialization of the Mind," Enzensberger characterizes mentality as a product of society and elaborates on the phenomena of the mind-making industry as a product of the last 100 years. The industrialization of the mind is achieved through means of induction and reproduction, and although it can be industrially reproduced, it cannot be industrially produced. As a social product, the consciousness industry cannot be understood in terms of machinery, nor in terms of a buyers and sellers market, or production cost. Its main business is not to sell a product, but rather, to sell the existing order, and "to perpetuate the prevailing pattern of man's domination by man, no matter who runs the society, and by what means."

In a modern society, Enzensberger identifies "immaterial exploitation" as a necessary corollary to "material exploitation," whereby material exploitation is no longer sufficient to guarantee the continuity of the system; in order to exploit people's intellectual, moral, and political faculties, they must be developed. The roles of education and mass media then become critical in immaterial exploitation, in fact, Enzensberger identifies education as the most powerful mass media of all. The full realization of the mind industry, however, has hardly begun to be realized. A fully industrialized education system will be characterized by an increasingly centralized curriculum. The growth of the mind industry is faster than that of any other industry.

The consciousness industry identifies the mechanisms through which the human mind is reproduced as a social product. Foremost among these mechanisms are the institutions of mass media and education. According to Enzensberger, the mind industry does not produce anything specific; rather, its main business is to perpetuate the existing order of man's domination over man.

Hans Haacke elaborates on the consciousness industry as it applies to the arts in a wider system of production, distribution, and consumption. Haacke specifically implicates museums as manufacturers of aesthetic perception that fail to acknowledge their intellectual, political, and moral authority: "rather than sponsoring intelligent, critical awareness, museums thus tend to foster appeasement."

See also

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