[...] The work which audience members perform for the advertisers to whom they have been sold is to learn to buy particular "brands" of consumer goods, and to spend their income accordingly. In short, they work to create the demand for advertised goods which is the purpose of the monopoly capitalist advertisers. While doing this, audience members are simultaneously reproducing their own labour power. [...] As the Chinese emphasized during the Cultural Revolution, if people are spending their time catering to their individual interests and sensitivities, they cannot be using the same time to also overthrow capitalist influence and to build socialism.
[...] labour-power was "home-made" in the absence of dominant brand-name commodities, mass advertising, and the mass media [...] the principal aspect of capitalist production was the alienation of workers from the means of producing commodities-in-general. Now the principal aspect of capitalist production has become the alienation of workers from the means of producing and reproducing themselves. The prevailing western Marxist view today still holds the incorrect assumption that the labourer is an independent commodity producer of labour power which is his to sell.
(in Marx's period)
But is the production and consumption of the audience commodity for advertisers a "productive" activity in Marxian terms? Baran and Sweezy are contradictory in answering this question. They tell us that advertising expenses "...since they are manifestly unrelated to necessary costs of production--however broadly defined--(they) can only be counted as part of aggregate surplus." [...]
Just as advertising [...] do promote and increase sales, and thus act as indispensable props to the level of income and employment [...] The prodigious volume of resources absorbed in all these activities does in fact constitute necessary cost of capitalist production. What should be crystal clear is that an economic system in which such costs are socially necessary has long ceased to be a socially necessry system.
citing the 1966 Monopoly Capitalism
[...] the workplace where people got paid was transformed ideologically. People learned there that work under monopoly capitalism involves competition between individuals whose possessive needs necessarily set them in conflict with each other rather than with the owners of the means of their (concealed) cooperative production. The carrot which systematically motivated them was the pursuit of commodities [...]
not really relevant to the rest of this essay, but a nice way of putting it
[...] Because the consciousness industry produces consumable, saleable spectacles, its product treats both past and future like the present--as blended in the eternal present of a system which was never created and will never end. The society of the spectacle, however, cannot be abstractly contrasted with the "real" world of actual people and things. The two interact. The spectacle inverts the real and is itself produced and is real. Hence, as de Bord says, objective reality is present on both sides. But because of the society of the spectacle is a system which stands the world really on its head, the truth in it is a moment of the false. Because the spectacle monopolizes the power to make mass appearance, it demands and gets passive acceptance by the "real" world. [...]
not really sure what this is saying but it's weirdly pretty (and quite different from the rest of the piece)