Althusser, Baldwin, Corbyn: the A B C of media matters

The philosopher Louis Althusser was adamant that the media should be viewed as an Ideological State Apparatus. He was convinced that it served as a non-repressive arm of the capitalist state. However, even significant Conservative politicians like Stanley Baldwin have bemoaned the influence of press barons. Baldwin once bitterly commented that Lord Beaverbrook and Lord Rothermere had obtained:

“power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.”

At the present time, Jeremy Corbyn has been perceived by some as a short-term threat to a few business interests in the UK. He has been on the receiving end of a variety of shrill denunciations in the press. However, it may be wise for radical media critics to remember that journalists can change their mind.

The economic policies advocated by Mr Corbyn are not extreme. If he survives the current media onslaught to make a reshuffle, he could promote the competent Angela Eagle. If she had a major post it might put those who have criticised the composition of the Shadow Cabinet on gender terms in a really awkward position. Such a switch would have to be made without sacrificing hardly any of the populist team’s hostility to austerity because excess moderation could cost them dearly.


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