Douglas Ayling

LLRO 510 Introduction to Literary Criticism

Alternatives to Marx: an overview of models for ideological influence

All art is profoundly influenced, often in ways which are difficult for the artist – or the audience – to realise, by the society in which it is produced. This premise seems uncontroversial, however this paper serves as an overview which seeks to trace a development of models for describing and explaining such a postulated influence, and thereby to arrive at more complex and possibly more sophisticated explanations than those of our starting point – Marx. The nature of the influence examined in this paper is ideological. I broadly define ideology in the following manner, drawing heavily from Althusser: an ideology is a value system motivated by the human need to attach significance to, and promote faith in, our own lives. Furthermore, I distinguish ideology as those value systems which have attained a significant dynamic force: ideology should derive a coercive and normative power though our inclination as social animals towards gaining affirmation by virtue of our belonging to a community in consensus, a community living out “established” truths.

Ideology from the modes of production

In The Communist Manifesto, Marx describes the processes of globalisation which he was witnessing in the mid-nineteenth century, and observes the effect that such a force is having upon the manner in which people think. “It compels all nations, on pain

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Douglas Ayling of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image”1. With particular reference here to the First Opium War, Marx is describing a manifestation of his claim that “The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class”2. With vehemence, Marx accuses his opponents with the invective, “your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property”3. Marx’s economic determinist model would propose a strong link between the base – consisting of the material means of production, distribution and exchange – and the superstructure, which is the “cultural world of ideas, art, religion, law, and so on”4. Although Marx enjoyed classical art, and Engels would go as far as to argue that revolutionary art should not be overtly didactic for reasons of taste5, Marx’s position as laid out in The Communist Manifesto underscores the significance he ascribes to the material conditions and social relations of one’s age: “Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man’s ideas, views and conceptions, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life?” 6 . Such an entrenched influence whereby a cultural superstructure is “determined”7 by the influence which permeates from a material and

Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, ed. Frederic L. Bender, (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1988), p.59 ibid., p.73 3 id., p.71 4 Peter Barry, Beginning Theory: an introduction to literary and cultural theory, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995), p.158 5 In a letter to the English novelist Margaret Harkness in April 1888, Engels writes, “The more the opinions of the author remain hidden, the better the work of art”. Quoted here from Peter Barry, Beginning Theory: an introduction to literary and cultural theory, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995), p.158 6 Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, ed. Frederic L. Bender, (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1988), p.73 7 Peter Barry, Beginning Theory: an introduction to literary and cultural theory, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995), p.158


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You know before you even glance at his work what he was really doing: shoring up the ruling class. derides the fundamental underpinnings of the base/superstructure model. we can observe a situation in Leninist Russia when the ideas of the age generally were those of its ruling class. Lenin argued that “Literature must become Party literature … literature must become part of the organized. Vol. p.9 Ideology as Political Collaboration Whilst The Economist rejects class as an increasingly untenable analytical framework and questions what the ideas of the ruling classes have become. and as Frederic Bender argues. the right to private property. and whilst crediting him with much. p.28 ‘Marx after communism’.Douglas Ayling economic base.8304. rather than simply to specific technologies of production8. architect or philosopher thought he was doing. for instance. No. … Never ask what a painter.19 page 3 . he is referring to the class antagonisms arising from the manner by which production divides society and distributes wealth. December 21st 2002 – January 3rd 2003. playwright. leaves less room for the artist’s freedom of imagination than one would like to believe. … The result is a withering away not of the state but of opportunities for intelligent conversation and of confidence that young people might receive a decent liberal education. The idea that such rights have a deeper moral underpinning is an illusion. The Economist points to Marx’s legacy some one hundred and fifty years after the Manifesto was penned. and unified labours of the 8 9 id. whenever Marx uses the term “modes of production”. In 1905. Despite these matters.. The core idea that economic structure determines everything has been especially pernicious. The base/superstructure model is admittedly a simplification of Marx’s writings. 365. The same can be said for every other right or civil liberty one finds in society. The Economist. methodical. According to this view. exists only because it serves bourgeois relations of production.

artists have a degree of relative autonomy within which to express ideas as distinct from the ideas of the ruling class.294 page 4 . and that on condition the subjects recognize what they are and behave 10 Peter Barry.303 15 id.160 11 id.. Using the terms “overdeterminism” 11 and “relative autonomy”12... This development within nominally communist states thematically foreshadows Althusser’s development upon the Marxist model – that of ideological influence via state apparatus. Althusser writes that “ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence”15 and further argues that we are complicit in such an act since it allows us “the absolute guarantee that everything really is so. and certain beliefs as acceptable truths: “it imposes (without appearing to do so since these are “obviousnesses”) obviousnesses as obviousnesses. Beginning Theory: an introduction to literary and cultural theory. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Inc. 1995). Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs) secure our assent and interpellate us as citizens in more thorough ways than sheer material power can. Althusserian theory sees ideology as emanating from the state.300 14 id. not merely economic causes. Althusser argued that a number of interacting causes gives rise to the structure of our systems of meaning. ed.. p. p. (Manchester: Manchester University Press. Nonetheless. Ideological influence enforces certain assumptions as social norms. ‘“Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses”’. Literary Theory: An Anthology. p. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. Furthermore. 1998).Douglas Ayling social-democratic party” 10 . 13 Louis Althusser. p. The effect of Althusser’s development of the Marxist model is to alloy economic influences (“the reproduction of the relations of production is to be assured”14) with the political structures sustaining them in a manner that is both more willed and more insidiously pervasive.163 12 id. which we cannot fail to recognise”13. p.

and a modulation of this view of politically controlled ideology is suggested by Freud’s analysis of the nature of anxiety in Beyond the Pleasure Principle.. children repeat everything that has made a great impression on them in real life. It is not only by agreeing to our real conditions of existence as described by the state.8 20 id. W.. make themselves the master of the id. once interpellated. Norton & Company.9 17 16 page 5 . p. ed.Douglas Ayling accordingly. ‘Discipline and Punish’. everything will be alright: Amen”16. As Foucault would write of the subject who has internalised discipline. Literary Theory: An Anthology.. Freud’s interpretation is that this represents a renarration of the child’s own experience of the disconcertingly uncontrollable absences of his mother. and ed.302 id. Such a validity – and the unspoken threat of its withdrawal – ensures that the subject. as one might put it. p. “he becomes the principle of his own subjection”18. 1998). by James Strachey. correctness and a validity. Freud links this behaviour to wider observations of children’s play: “in their play.303 18 Michel Foucault. p. p. p. Freud writes of a boy who would dismiss objects with an “‘o-o-o-o’” 19 – representative of the German “fort” [gone] 20 – casting them away from him.. that we are able to assure ourselves of respectability. but also by agreeing to the imaginary representation of our free acceptance to such subjectification. trans. will work “all by himself”17. Ideology as the repressed Overdeterminism was originally Freud’s term for a number of factors underlying a psychological disturbance. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. and that in doing so they abreact the strength of the impression and. (New York: W. 1961). (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Inc.471 19 Sigmund Freud. Beyond the Pleasure Principle.

p.13 23 id. As the visible world loses its ambiguities.... We use don’t [sic] shut ourselves in our apartments and discuss the things we couldn’t read in the papers. and the point remains – the political system can be said to pervade the psyche of the cultural text. in her book The Future of Nostalgia relates one account of postcommunist central Europe which exhibits this seemingly paradoxical yearning after the comfort of the unheimlich. (New York: Basic Books. a cultural compulsion to repeat and renarrate those forms of social repression to which one has been habituated. but the social repression remains. Other forms of government such as representative democracies cultivate different forms of social repression. Boym. now nostalgically romanticised: We have left the gate of an imaginary extermination camp. p. 21 22 id. p. and could beneficially acclimatise us to situations of uncertainty – “There is something about anxiety that protects its subject against fright and so against fright-neuroses”23.246 page 6 . sad. to renarrate. will now be our own doing.7 24 Svetlana Boym. This can result in a “‘compulsion to repeat’”22.24 Not only would the pleasure principle suggest that the conflicts and anxieties of an artwork represent an unconscious self-defence mechanism repeating the repressed fears of a given social structure in the present.10 – 11 id. pinching ourselves in disbelief … The kind of life we live – peaceful. 2001). our antiworld as it were. we are growing as boring as we in fact are. pp. Freud uses the pleasure principle to explain how we are driven to release the tension that arises whenever the repressed surfaces. The Future of Nostalgia. but the political system can be said here to have ideological repercussions whose unwilled cultural echoes go on being heard long after the fall of its statues. Less danger.Douglas Ayling situation”21. more responsibility … We have less time for one another.

Douglas Ayling Ideology as culturally perpetuated We have so far moved from visions of art as mirror to the modes of production and the ruling class.9 28 id. Mythologies.. in the decorative display of what-goes-without-saying. The shift is a lessening of degree in the literal political mapping of the ruling ideas of an age onto its cultural productions. to art as complicit self-(mis)recognition.. he refers to “the essential enemy (the bourgeois norm)”25. Annette Lavers. one novel)”28 the tally of child production stands both as 25 26 Roland Barthes. This fundamental suspicion of the “mystification which transforms petit-bourgeois culture into a universal culture”27. Marina Grey (one son. 1972). trans. In the manner by which we are introduced to the women in the Elle feature “Jacqueline Lenoir (two daughters. and in his original 1957 preface he retrospectively explains that his task has been to “to track down. p. A model which ascribes ideological confinement and influence upon art as culturally emergent arises from parts of Barthes’ writing.11 27 id. the emphasis shifts from political imposition to cultural emergence. p.50 page 7 . in my view. is hidden there”26. In the subsequent models. to art as indicative of the compulsive anxieties bred by the manifest psychological ambience of a given political system. His analysis of Elle magazine in the essay ‘Novels and Children’ purports to expose the ideas of the ruling class – specifically the bourgeois patriarchy – actively reinforcing its ideals of womanhood-as-motherhood even whilst progressively championing women novelists.. p. (New York: Hill and Wang. the ideological abuse which. one novel).9 id. justifies and rewards its own exercise within the context of Barthes’ writing. p. In his preface to the 1970 edition of Mythologies.

The marketing of ‘Soap-powders and Detergents’.Douglas Ayling testament to the individual woman’s achievement. a sense of the communal observance and social shame encapsulated in the idiom “washing one’s dirty linen in public” 31 .37 31 American English: “airing one’s dirty linen in public”. similarly speaks to class aspirations whilst exploiting the cultural archetype of the dutiful housewife. and thereby reinforcing an aspirational competitiveness.. Barthes notes of the commercial test for effectiveness. Barthes also alludes to the manner by which this mass-produced chemical commodity is fetishised into a luxury by the targeted insistence upon its foaminess. or at its more extreme. p. this technique invokes and elicits at its mildest a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. page 8 . “it calls into play vanity. The distinction to be made between the above two cultural deconstructions and the Althusserian model would be that whereas the above forms of ideological influence prey upon conditioned insecurities in order to sell their goods. In Barthes’ words. p. By assuming.51 id. by offering for comparison two objects. but also as an integral repudiation of her womanhood. the rules of successful womanhood are implicitly clear – if a woman is successful but childless – or even unmarried. Within the culture endorsed and promulgated by Elle’s sexually and socially aspirational readership. playing on.. a social concern with appearances. one must only smile knowingly as at the accomplished but homosexual actor. it denotes “your freedom is a luxury. and although they both involve a complicit misidentification. one of which is whiter than the other”30. is possible only if you first acknowledge the obligations of your nature”29. Barthes sees their origin as being “the bourgeois 29 30 id. in the eponymous essay.

(New York: Hill and Wang. future cultural production can be said to be ideologically structured by the folklore and the myth of its ancestors. by the market and for the readership and the consumer.. we can draw from Lévi-Strauss’ The Structural Study of Myth. 1986). Annette Lavers. we may see them as purely the surviving memes of a selection process of age and memory and thereby detach their longevity from their artistic legitimacy. ed. Hazard Adams and Leroy Searle. instinctual fears and social concerns to which a people has for sustained periods been especially susceptible. To aspire to luxury. The individual artist is in sway to the call of the cultural archetypes which resonated with Roland Barthes. This model would therefore be one which regards ideological influences upon art as the manifestation of socio-cultural patterns.9 id.810 – 821 33 32 page 9 . pp. ‘The Structural Study of Myth’. or as the basis of ritual … the purpose of myth is to provide a logical model capable of overcoming a contradiction”34. 1972). If we regard myth as representative of those stories which a given tribe or race will co-author and popularise. p. Critical Theory Since 1965. Mythologies. to retain patriarchal bonds. Regarding myth as a playing out of social conflicts. (Tallahassee: Florida State University Press. Less politically propagated than socially and culturally emergent.11 34 Claude Levi-Strauss. their ideological influence within the culture is self-medicated.Douglas Ayling norm” 32 and its mythologised universalisation as “naturalness” 33 . to derive pride from cleanliness or motherhood – whatever the social traditions. p. myths can be taken to be indicative of the endemic ideological tendencies. trans. to aspire to “progress”. the commodities of Barthes’ Mythologies represent an aspiration to somehow become acceptable by the hypothesised standards of bourgeois culture. as the outcome of a kind of esthetic play. His prognosis that while “Myths are still widely interpreted in conflicting ways: as collective dreams. In this light. To consider cultural influence upon ideology and thus on art from a deeper origin.

hidden from sight 38 .220 – 226. in language. duplicitous. 1986). Beginning Theory: an introduction to literary and cultural theory. As Terry Eagleton argued from a Marxist position. 1964). “shared definitions and regularities of grammar both reflect and help to constitute. XVII. p. 37 id. ed. ‘The ‘Uncanny’’. William Shakespeare. The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. it is possible to observe an uncomfortable social tension embedded at the level of the signifier – between heimlich as representing all things homely. intimate and friendly37. 1995). James Strachey. Derrida has shown that Saussure’s comments on language can be extended to provide insight into the difficulties of subjectivity and the sign. and yet also meaning that which is deliberately concealed. p. Ideology from language At a deeper level than cultural self-prescription and proscription.1.222 38 id. Saussure’s conception of language has important consequences when applied to Karl Marx. As Marx would have it. In Freud’s etymological studies of the word “Heimlich” 36 . tame. quoted here from http://www.. pp. The Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. quoted here from Peter Barry. (Oxford: B. (London: Hogarth “The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living”35. is founded a model of ideological restriction and construction in art that posits language as the root of ideological structures. yet at a more immediate level. Vol.223 39 Terry Eagleton. Blackwell.158 36 35 page 10 . p. This conflict between privacy as safe and secrecy as disturbing – perhaps stemming from the anxiety surrounding any social stance on intercourse – illuminates the ideological weight of language. a well-ordered political state”39.htm Sigmund Freud. as does an example such as “host” which shares a Latin root with the word “hostile”. (Manchester: Manchester University Press.Douglas Ayling mysterious tenacity in the minds of his forebears. p.

it being an effect of its existence as a language that it necessarily answers all needs”44. e. 1988).120 id. 1966). yet if we accept that language determines the very conceptual terms within which we are able to think. indeed it would necessitate expression of our perceptions only within existing terms. To this already hegemonic view of language’s ideological influence.g. (London: Longman... Course in General Linguistics. Lacan would argue that these linguistic categories and values become the assumed limits of our universe as language creates an impression through selfreferentiality and the obvious silencing of the ineffable. Modern Criticism and Theory: a reader. but only conceptual and phonic differences that have issued from the system”40.108 43 id. He writes. p. Derrida adds the following assertion.Douglas Ayling ideology. (New York: McGraw-Hill. “Instead of pre-existing ideas then. p.. its location with respect to other streets”43. it is based on certain conditions that are distinct from the material that fit the conditions. we find in all the foregoing examples values emanating from the system” 41 . Saussure’s example is of a street completely rebuilt which can yet “still be the same”42 because its existence as a named street “does not constitute a purely material entity. that “there is no language in existence for which there is any question of its inability to cover the whole field of the signified. “language has neither ideas nor sounds that existed before the linguistic system. ‘The insistence of the letter in the unconscious’. pp.117 id. p. ed. it would follow that our thought must be channelled in such a way that. This would tend to encourage our interpretation of reality to conform to the categories we have. David Lodge.83 41 42 40 page 11 .108 – 109 44 Jacques Lacan. to borrow Saussure’s words. He points out that Saussure’s position – ““language [which Ferdinand de Saussure. p. Saussure writes of linguistic and conceptual value as issuing from the system.

p. the subjectivity of the self arises from the difference between “meant” and “expressed”. (New York: Simon and Schuster. becomes a speaking subject only by making its speech conform … to the system of the rules of language as a system of differences”46. Margins of Philosophy.Douglas Ayling only consists of differences] is not a function of the speaking subject””45 – implies that “the subject … is inscribed in language. trans. ‘Différance’. These causes would then be said to underpin the ideas with which art speaks.44 page 12 . He characterises this as “opposite sides of the same experience”47: The separation of the workplace from the household – although older than capitalism – raised capitalism to a degree of impersonality not possible under agrarian or feudal familism. The material and social consequences of developments of the market can be used to illustrate a shifting ideological permeation – one which assumes differing norms of what humanity is. 45 46 Jacques Derrida. is a “function” of language. 1982). The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism. p. 47 Michael Novak. which the use of language throws up and confronts one with.15 id. we arrive at a model in which the text of art is limited and structured by the need to ascribe meaning in certain proportions as is determined by material and technological causes. Ideology from material development Having linked a progression of models for the ideological structuring of art from the economically reflective. to the politically constructed. a man is not born into his station. Under capitalism. This suggests that in order to gain subjectivity we must first submit to language and that furthermore. Michael Novak describes a process at once heralded as liberation and lamented as alienation. to the culturally and then linguistically emergent. 1982). (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Alan Bass.

An example might be that as the technologies of work become increasingly impersonal and competitive.. the emphasis of what is held to be valuable would.48 In as much as that the culture has shifted into greater impersonality. and in general such a development might lead to less reference to the past and more consciousness of the present. As exchange on the market becomes impersonal. irrelevant. or that less social discourse is given over to personal emotional reflection and response. Benedict Anderson. What links the near-simultaneous events of a front page and the cast of characters within a novel is their “presentation of simultaneity within ‘the steady onward clocking of homogeneous. and nationality become less relevant. empty time’” 49 and also their status as belonging in some significant way to a “community in anonymity”50.33 50 id. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Benedict Anderson draws an analogy between the co-emergent newspaper and the novel. This permits nationhood to develop as 48 49 id.Douglas Ayling questions about his life history became. in a sense. p. A purchaser of goods or services often does not know the seller or the maker. race. arguably art must also be bound by an altered assumption about the manner by which it is typical for human beings to interrelate. lead to depersonalisation. religion. shift. The economic system stands outside the older cultural system. The economic contract does not absorb his entire life. when carried through to their fullest extent. Given that within this context individuals must still strive to ascribe a meaning to their existence. more to purposive statements of consensus. (New York: Verso. people come to derive more pride from their professionalism than from their parentage. I suggest. 1991). This duality opens up a psychological gap in the life of individuals … Emotionally it brings costs as well as gains.36 page 13 . both of which represent and propound new modes of perceiving time and community. It follows from Novak’s assessment that the practical application of the tenets of free market capitalism. p.

ideas) which spread its effects in shockwaves of previously unthinkable reach. The Communist Manifesto. (New York: W.pdf. fast-frozen relations with their train of venerable prejudices and opinions are swept away.2 54 id. ed. Feinman. North America. satisfied by the productions of the country. ‘Globalisation: Déjà Vu?’. railways. p. canals. The unrelenting search for new markets is part of the logic of global capitalism which some have argued is structured so deeply around the assumption of growth and innovation that a status quo causes economic stagnation and recession.25 Karl Marx. page 14 .58 – 59 53 Joshua N. the 19th century saw a vast increase in the quantity of international trade wherein the mass-production enabled by the industrial revolution coincided with an advent of new technologies for communication (of products.ifecorp. And as in material.52 During the relative peace after the Napoleonic Wars. The material and technological causes of print-capitalism develop into a system with its own undefiable logic: the global market. Bender. all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify … In place of the old wants. uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions … All fixed. including post-isolation Japan 54 . and (usually allied with imperialism as in the Opium Wars) into Asia. available from http://www. 1988). Institute for Fiduciary Education (IFE).Douglas Ayling an “imagined community” and to become a tangible bond emerging through printcapitalism in the form of a highly systemised “‘meanwhile’”51. telegraph lines and telephones53. W. requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes … universal inter-dependence of nations. the creation of 51 52 id. were reinforced by a simultaneous liberalisation of trade policy throughout Europe.. Late-capitalism and the second globalisation closely mirror the period in which Marx saw that logic of capitalism would drive forward a relentless innovation: Constant revolutionising of production. The unfurling webs of steamship lines. Frederic L. so also in intellectual production. the creation of “new wants” in place of the old. p. pp. Regardless of this premise. we find new wants. Norton & Company. with refrigeration prolonging the reach of perishable goods.

1972). marketing – is a vital and often the largest part of the annual spending of multinational companies. The child brought up with miniaturized operating theatres. When Barthes sentimentally romanticises the “familiar and poetic substance”55 of wooden children’s toys which have been superseded by plastic toys. trans. page 15 .Douglas Ayling value by fetishising products and stimulating desire. arguably we are not observing a triumph of the ruling ideas of the petit-bourgeoisie. never as 55 56 Roland Barthes. they are supplied to him ready-made”56. hair salons and petrol stations. In Barthes’ examples. “is turned into a little stay-at-home householder who does not even have to invent the mainsprings of adult causality. Values which are championed by the bourgeoisie certainly. Mythologies. than by a systematic stimulation of desire. which then dissimulates its obviousness: “children play with toy soldiers” becomes.54 id. Annette Lavers. (New York: Hill and Wang. Barthes writes. increasing consumption – in other words. the mechanics of consumption are reproduced in the developmental phase of childhood by perceived need. but values which arise less from the class subjugation required by a particular mode of production. and “Why don’t you buy him a toy car to play with”. but the values are arguably more precisely those of the market. Such an argument would see “new wants” as leveraged around existing class-bound aspirations. Barthes writes “the child can only identify himself as owner. would become “I need an SUV”. Barthes may see children’s toys as priming the future consumer for his bourgeois existence. yet ultimately driven by a distinct and indefatigable logic. p. as user. The child is sold a red Citroën or an army of soldiers out of a demand created by its supply. “this country is on the brink of war”.

p. promotes a voyeuristic and mercantile approach to the performance of others. Hannah Arendt.. The proliferation of the screen behind which we may judge and comment from afar without being seen. and so in common practice – with leave id. the audience is able “take the position of a critic”60. In consequence. an unambiguous product already pre-fetishised in its existing adult size.228 60 id. 58 59 57 page 16 . 1969). The move from stage to screen is one of alienation from the corporal presence of the actor: “The artistic performance of a stage actor is definitely presented to the public by the actor in person. Wooden blocks may offer more creative freedom and may stimulate the child’s imagination.Douglas Ayling creator”57 and he describes the dearth of toys which offer dynamic forms such as wooden blocks58. In this respect. which can spill over into real life interrelations. Walter Benjamin’s essay. (New York: Schocken Books. a new and better version. ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’. trans. If our attention is waning. Illuminations. that of the screen actor. for where imagination and creativity are required by the child. we may change channels instantaneously if the person in front of us is not expressing an opinion we understand. but “new wants” could never be so basic. the market can step in to supply a service. p. As with cinema. Harry Zohn. id. a tendency of mass-market capitalism is to atrophy the improvisational imagination in favour of deliverable product. is presented by a camera”59. so with television. however. outside the round – rather than with the person. to distance itself from “personal contact”61 with the individual before them and therefore to identify with the camera – as a voyeur. 61 id. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction brings to light those aspects of our conception of ourselves which could be said to have been altered fundamentally by technological changes.53 Walter Benjamin. ed. we may leave the cinema without anybody taking offence.

and in a footnote.238 page 17 . linguistic and technological – represent a shift away from the left and away from a conspiracist view of ideological influence. these six models of ideological influence – base. these forms of 62 63 id. ISA.246 64 id. p. with tact and with patience – our behaviour towards others is likely to be altered by the dominant technological modes. Benjamin writes that the approach of the audience becomes that of “testing” 62 . Benjamin describes as symptomatic of “profound changes in apperception” 64 . the shift from concentrated contemplation to distracted consideration which is consolidated by the movement of art into the medium of film. p. My thoughts have been replaced by moving images”65. cultural. p.240 65 id. In terms of art. repression. and although this by no means suggests that the model one is left with will be more accurate. observes how vocational aptitude tests similarly allow the “segmental performances of the individual”63 to come before the eye of the examiner-as-director. “I can no longer think what I want to think. it may serve to sustain a more positive outlook upon ideological influence.... It is possible to decouple the oppressive and sinister connotations from theories of ideological influence. Conclusion To conclude.Douglas Ayling taking. p. We might infer that this attitudinal shift is one now more generally expedited by the ubiquity of fluid visual media.229 id.. Benjamin quotes Duhamel’s protest. so it must follow that the nature of art will also change. As the texture of thought changes under the influence of technology.

then ultimately we concur with Marx in arguing that “man’s ideas. The Economist. Frederic L. 365. Bender. we note that the last model “Ideology from material development” represents in one respect a return to Marx – albeit without the class considerations. p. p. changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence”67. Finally. man’s consciousness.19 Karl Marx. 1988). No. (New York: W. Vol. 66 67 ‘Marx after communism’. If we are to argue that it is shifts in prevailing technology which most profoundly alter our view of ourselves and others. W.73 page 18 . views and conceptions. December 21st 2002 – January 3rd 2003. The Communist Manifesto. in one word.Douglas Ayling ideological influence circumscribe more complex attributions of the undercurrents of hidden thought than the response “he was … shoring up the ruling class” 66. Norton & Company. ed.8304.

Beginning Theory: an introduction to literary and cultural theory. 1998) Anderson. 2000) Lacan. Alan Bass. Literary Theory: An Anthology. by James Strachey. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Inc. ‘“Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses”’. (New York: W. Michel. ed. ‘The Structural Study of Myth’. Annette Lavers.. Critical Theory Since 1965. Hazard Adams and Leroy Searle. available from http://www. trans. Peter. 2001) de Saussure. trans. No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies.pdf Foucault. 1972) Benjamin. The Future of Nostalgia. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. 1988) Levi-Strauss. (New York: Basic Books. Sigmund. (Tallahassee: Florida State University Press. Claude. (New York: McGraw-Hill. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Sigmund. Joshua N. (New York: Verso. Jacques. Mythologies. 1969) Boym. Harry Zohn. ‘The ‘Uncanny’’. ed. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Inc. Illuminations. ‘Différance’. W. Vol. 1964) Freud. ‘The insistence of the letter in the unconscious’. Naomi. 1995) Barthes. ed. Louis. Margins of 1991) Barry. 1966) Derrida. Literary Theory: An Anthology. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Institute for Fiduciary Education (IFE). ‘Globalisation: Déjà Vu?’. The Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. and ed. (London: Longman. Svetlana. ed. XVII. Roland. (Manchester: Manchester University Press. (New York: Schocken Books.ifecorp. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. trans. Course in General Linguistics. 1986) page 19 . Norton & Company. Hannah Arendt. David Lodge. ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. Walter. trans. ed. (London: Hogarth Press. 1998) Freud. 1982) Feinman.Douglas Ayling Bibliography Althusser.. (New York: Picador. Modern Criticism and Theory: a reader. Benedict.. ‘Discipline and Punish’. (New York: Hill and Wang. ed. Jacques. 1961) Klein. Ferdinand. James Strachey.

365.17 – 19. December 21st 2002 – January 3rd 2003. No. The Economist. ed. The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism.Douglas Ayling ‘Marx after communism’. W. (New York: W. 1988) Novak. Frederic L. Karl. Michael. (New York: Pantheon Books. The Communist Manifesto. Vol. Marx. Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny. 2000) page 20 . pp. (New York: Simon and Schuster. Norton & Company. Bender. 1982) Wright.8304. Robert.