Read The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV by Paul A. Cantor Online

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Popular culture often champions freedom as the fundamentally American way of life and celebrates the virtues of independence and self-reliance. But film and television have also explored the tension between freedom and other core values, such as order and political stability. What may look like healthy, productive, and creative freedom from one point of view may look likePopular culture often champions freedom as the fundamentally American way of life and celebrates the virtues of independence and self-reliance. But film and television have also explored the tension between freedom and other core values, such as order and political stability. What may look like healthy, productive, and creative freedom from one point of view may look like chaos, anarchy, and a source of destructive conflict from another. Film and television continually pose the question: Can Americans deal with their problems on their own, or must they rely on political elites to manage their lives? In this groundbreaking work, Paul A. Cantor explores the ways in which television shows such as Star Trek, The X-Files, South Park, and Deadwood and films such as The Aviator and Mars Attacks! have portrayed both top-down and bottom-up models of order. Drawing on the works of John Locke, Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, and other proponents of freedom, Cantor contrasts the classical liberal vision of America-particularly its emphasis on the virtues of spontaneous order-with the Marxist understanding of the "culture industry" and the Hobbesian model of absolute state control. The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture concludes with a discussion of the impact of 9/11 on film and television, and the new anxieties emerging in contemporary alien-invasion narratives: the fear of a global technocracy that seeks to destroy the nuclear family, religious faith, local government, and other traditional bulwarks against the absolute state....

Title : The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV
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ISBN : 9780813140827
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 461 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV Reviews

  • Peter Mcloughlin
    2019-03-19 04:43

    This book is about pop culture and media but gets deep into political philosophy. My position in politics would best be described as left-liberal, However I take the libertarian challenge to liberalism (in the modern sense) very seriously. Centralization of power is an issue that is a threat to freedom whatever one believes about the role of government. Being okay, for example with the recent business of the NSA overlooking every aspect of our dealings through every conceivable form digital media should raise concerns about government power even in the hands of "good" liberals in the Obama administration. Government powers of such sorts should make us reconsider the power we give our government. So libertarian warnings about the tyranny of increasing government power and centralization are timely now. Most of the book looks at media's portrayal in shows like "have gun will travel", "star trek" to "south park" and the "x-files" through the libertarian viewpoint on government power and influence. It's criticism of elites out of touch with the people they govern is a very valid point. Also I like the author am often in awe of how invisible hand explanations of self interest can generate good outcomes and order in society. I think a skeptical look at liberal ideas about the states ability to solve our problems and the dangers of tyranny of elites with little knowledge of issues they legislate upon are a serious challenge to idea of government as a protector of the little guy. In a movie like "the Aviator" the author relates the mercantilist tendency of government to protect entrenched economic power at the expense of a challenger (Pan Am vs. TWA). I think if liberals don't answer the very real problems with expanded government and elite accountability they will never have the trust of the American people nor deserve it.

  • The American Conservative
    2019-03-08 00:24

    'As Paul Cantor puts it in his new book, "The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture," critics inside and out of the academy tend to “treat culture as a realm of unfreedom, dwelling on the constraints under which would-be creative people necessarily operate.” Or worse, they hold the view—inherited from poststructuralists or the cultural Marxists of the Frankfurt School—that pop culture is actively deceptive, giving people a false sense of satisfaction while “producing forms of debased entertainment to numb the American people into submission to their capitalist masters.”All that is what Cantor—by day a Shakespeare scholar at the University of Virginia—seeks to refute.'Read the full review, "Screening Liberty," on our website:http://www.theamericanconservative.co...