This section highlights a range of articles, videos, and other resources relevant to the neoliberalisation and privatisation of culture, widely defined as how we are shaped to think and be, in addition to what we make:
On a primary cause of the widening gap between rich and poor, FIAT currency
On the rise of corporate power (US example)
Is US democracy being bought and sold? How corporations, unions and political action committees are shaping the candidate pool. The Stream / Aljazeera.com. 2/2/2012.
On the Myth of Cutting Taxes to Create Jobs
Corporate interference in the democratic process (US example)
For years, the right wing has been trying to stop Black people, other people of color, young people, and the elderly from voting — and now some of America’s biggest companies are helping them do it. These companies have helped pass discriminatory voter ID legislation by funding a right wing policy group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Visit:
Regarding corporate influence over social practice and behaviour (news media, entertainment, product development)
Grinberg, Emanuella. “Sex, lies and media: New wave of activists challenge notions of beauty” in CNN.com. 03/11/2012.
Robin, Corey. “Outsourcing conservatism: Arizona’s new contraception law shows how the private sphere often leads the way for reactionary policies” in Salon.com. 3/14/2012.
Frugaldad.com offers a fantastic infographic explaining what media consolidation looks like, and how it impacts the circulation of information, images and ideas in the public sphere: http://frugaldad.com/2011/11/22/media-consolidation-infographic/
And here’s another one titled “Who owns what you watch on TV?”: https://upworthy-production.s3.amazonaws.com/nugget/500edcb397211a000200041a/attachments/who-owns-tv.png
Regarding the commercialization of childhood
On the privatisation of culture
A feel good article for the 1% about how the “art-collecting passions of the wealthy and discerning” can be made available to the rest of us in a fashion mistaken for philanthropy. The article, of course, fails to acknowledge the reasons for public cultural funding cuts, or the fact that shaping history through the tastes of the rich serves no one except the rich.
Sinclair, Charlotte. “The public-private shift to the art-world dynamic” in HowToSpendIt.com (The Financial Times). 2/17/2012.
“Culture Vulture is our approach to identifying cultural trends. We recommend brands use Culture Vulture as inspiration for creating new ideas for their business and communications. Culture Vulture provides a wealth of ideas that can serve as thoughtstarters for targeted communication strategies, brand positioning, services, packaging and product development studies.”
Mindshare. “Culture Vulture Edition 01: The Entrepreneurial Spirit (Retro Renegades, Art Starters, Expat Exploers and more…)” in MindShareWorld.com. 10/2011.
On Corporate Sponsorship / Brandwashing
Russeth, Andrew. “As OWS Group Calls for End to Whitney Biennial, Fake Exhibition Website Appears” in Gallerist NY. 2/27/2012
Seaton, Matt. “The Whitney Biennial web occupation: An artful web hoax announced the sacking of the Whitney Biennial’s corporate sponsors and apologised to artists for their exploitation. So whodunnit?” in Guardian.co.uk (US News Blog). 2/27/2012.
Who Wins from the “Creative Economy”? Free labour from Artists and Students
Regarding corporate censorship
Abunimah, Ali. “French clothing firm Lacoste censors, expels Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour from prestigious contest” in The Electronic Intifada. 12/20/2011.
Regarding corporate influence over education
Reed Kelly, Alexander. “When Parents Stand Up for Kids and Corporations (Video)” in TruthDig.com. 09/27/2012.
Regarding the corporatization of higher education
University of Winnipeg. “News: Encouraging Commercial Opportunities through UWin Inc.” in UWinnipeg.ca. 02/29/2012.
On the privatisation of public resources (i.e. using tax money to put corportions first)
CBC News. “National Research Council to ‘refocus’ to serve business” in CBC.ca. 3/6/2012.
Regarding government censorship
The Harper Government is privately threatening Canadian charities that are helping people participate in the public hearings about Enbridge’s western pipeline and supertanker project. According to a whistleblower, they are labelling Canadian environmental groups “Enemies of the government of Canada”. LeadNow.ca is coordinating an effort to make Harper stop the threats and ensure fair hearings that let Canadians decide if the project is in our best interests. 01/26/2012. http://www.leadnow.ca/fair-hearings
Franke James, an environmental artist and activist at the heart of a controversy concerning her views about Alberta’s tar sands: http://www.frankejames.com/debate/?page_id=8202
Boesveld, Sarah. “David Suzuki resigns to save foundation from ‘bully’ charitable status threats” in National Post. 04/14/2012.
Regarding censorship affecting media and higher education
”The creed of ‘impartiality’ and ‘objectivity’ that has infected the liberal class teaches, ultimately, the importance of not offending the status quo. The ‘professionalism” demanded in the classroom, in newsprint, in the arts or in political discourse is code for moral disengagement.” — Chis Hedges, Death of the Liberal Class, 2010 (Alfred A. Knopf, Canada)