The Moral Function of Art in the Culture Industry Fight

Document Type : Scientific-research


1 PhD Graduate of Moral Philosophy, Moral Philosophy department, Faculty of Theology, University of Qom, Qom, Iran

2 M.A Graduate of Moral Philosophy, Moral Philosophy department, Faculty of Theology, University of Qom, Qom, Iran.


The ideologues of the Enlightenment Dialectical, using the term Culture Industry, have presented it as a comprehensive description of mass and common deception in the capitalist system; An all-encompassing industry with an amalgam of imprisonment, incitement and deviation of public opinion in a seemingly rational and free society. The Culture Industry integrates all these intellectual and practical anxieties and disturbances in its commercial glamor, and by refining its product - which is a reflection of the directional, deceptive and antielitist propositions of the capitalism - it captures the mentality of society and popular culture. By following the path of cure through the two channels of art and ethics, a plan is inferred that can raise hopes of curbing the waves of the cultural industry, or safety against its pervasive dominance. Analyzing this path from the perspective of the founders of the Frankfurt School, the present article first describes the ideal relationship between art and ethics with the prospect of a successful exit from the fence of the cultural industry. But, and after a critical consideration of the moral-artistic consequences in question, the path drawn in Adorno's and Horkheimer's long reflections as a way out of the cultural industry seems to have failed in practice and even in an unexpected direction. It is self-defeating or contradictory, because: a) to resort to negative ethics and conceptual art will be disconnected from public culture. B) The fruit of this seclusion is limited to agora movements. C) This safe living world, as an integral part of the cultural industry, is still indebted to capitalist relations. This result, which is far from the demands of these philosophers, is the forced result of the relations governing the modern industrial society, which can bring its enemy to the inevitable trading market. In this process, the supply of cultural products is also recognized as part of the consumable distribution network. Works whose claim is to strengthen those with negative morality and (anti) aesthetic uniqueness are also entered in this market. If the preparation of these elitist products does not require exorbitant material costs and does not fall into the box office trap and culture market with an eye on the return of investment, it is at least prone to be imitated and even promoted by the owners of capital marketing. Because the speed of reproduction is a solidifying element for the consolidation of the culture industry. In this way and as a paradoxical situation, just as the inventor or user of environmentally polluting products promotes the use of bicycles to reduce pollution, the agents of the commodification of culture also offer outstanding products of modern art as an alternative to popular art and culture; to benefit from both products.


Main Subjects

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