Horkheimer and Adorno on Culture and Advertising

Culture is a paradoxical commodity. It is so completely subject to the law of exchange that it is no longer exchanged; it is so blindly equated with use that it can no longer be used. For this reason it merges with the advertisement. The meaningless the latter appears under monopoly, the more omnipotent culture becomes. Its motives are economic enough. That life could continue without the whole culture industry is too certain; the satiation and apathy it generates among consumers is too great. It can do little to combat this from its own resources. Advertising is its elixir of life.

– Horkheimer and Adorno, The Dialectic of Enlightenment p. 131

Particularly salient in the age of corporations hiring their own content producers and advertisers in one fell swoop.

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