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<The more people who know more, the better, and I believe there are
> business models that support this. It's called open-book management, I
Habermas' point, put very crudely, is that this enlightenment goal
of open dissemination of views/ideas etc. is not what in fact has occured
through the course of the development of capitalist, mass democracy. The
evidence for this is extensive, based primarily upon the machinery of news
management used by governments, and the economic control of 'mass media by
states and the private sector, to the point where citizens' are
disenfranchised from the information flows that dominate our lives.
Habermas calls it the refeudalisation of the public sphere.
Some critics say one problem with the model is that there has never
been a really existing version of Habermas' ideal public sphere (a space
where all have access to information, and the capacity to contribute to
rational debate) as even his idealised enlightenment period was exclusionary
(particularly to women and the working classes). Nonetheless he does argue
quite well that contemporary society is fundamentally distinct, due to the
predominance of the mass media becoming the primary means of information
dissemination, and the mass media are, structurally, far removed from
Even if you want to give people particular information, it is very
difficult within the constraints of the structures of ownership and control
of mass media. This is one of the reasons there's been so much hype about
the internet, precisely because it, in its early days, subverts those
structures of ownership and control.
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