Zach's Reviews > Consumed - How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults & Swallow Citizens Whole

Consumed - How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults &... by Benjamin R. Barber
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Jun 11, 09

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bookshelves: consumerism-mass-culture, capitalism
Read in June, 2009

Barber has some great things to say about late capitalism's colonization of every part of life and the role of consumerism and advertising in the infantilization of modern life (I would argue that individualization is a more pernicious effect, but still, his point is valid). He is particularly on-point with his discussions of privatization and the decaying public sphere and the sovereignty of the liberal nation-state.


... but then, he lets his grumpy old man side take over. I mean, this guy HATES video games. and ipods. and movies aimed at kids. any time he started discussing specifics instead of larger theory/politics-oriented issues, I had to groan.

but then even his theory made me cringe sometimes-he has this bizarrely reactionary yearning for the "good ol' days" of producerist capitalism. late consumer capitalism, to barber, represents not the logical extreme of the free market, but some kind of aberration that capitalism needs to cleanse itself of.
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