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  • Communication and Struggles for Alternatives

    Christian Fuchs

    Chapter from the book: Fuchs, C. 2020. Communication and Capitalism: A Critical Theory.


    This chapter deals with the question of how communication matters in struggles for a commons-based society. First, the notion of praxis communication is introduced. Secondly, the chapter discusses the role of alternative media as critical media in social struggles. Questions of class struggles, communication in class struggles, and struggles for alternative communications form the conclusion to this book; the point is to change the system, which can only be achieved through social struggles. There is no pre-defined role of communication technologies in social struggles. Because capitalism is an antagonistic society, communication technologies often have an antagonistic role. There are potentials for alternative media as critical media to challenge the capitalist organisation of the communication system. Providing access to critical forms and critical content is one of the foundations for critical debate, engagement, and consciousness. Critical media and the use of communications as tools of emancipatory struggles are forms of praxis communication. The history of alternative media is a history of resource precarity and voluntary, self-exploitative labour. Alternative media therefore need to be complemented by public service media as alternatives to capitalist media and require public sources of funding in order to be able to constitute a strong counter-public sphere. In capitalism, the class struggle in the realm of communication is not only between capital and labour but also between capitalist media and commons-based, alternative, critical, and public media on the other. Strengthening critical media must be part of any progressive political agenda.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Fuchs, C. 2020. Communication and Struggles for Alternatives. In: Fuchs, C, Communication and Capitalism. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book45.n

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    Published on May 19, 2020