Beyond the Left

Beyond the Left

The Communist Critique of the Media

  Attacking the cherished assumptions of liberal media criticism, Beyond the Left updates and recharges the Marxist critique of the media.


The ideological distortions of the conservative media, from Fox News to the Daily Mail, are widely acknowledged and often denounced among contemporary critics and commentators. But what if The Guardian newspaper and BBC news, in fact, constitute the most insidious forms of capitalist propaganda? In a wide-ranging and erudite polemic, Beyond the Left analyses capitalist news and current affairs media from a radical perspective. The book rejects the liberal and pluralist paradigms that often underpin critiques of the media, showing how media texts reflect and reinforce the material interests of the ruling class and arguing that the principal ideological menace today is posed not by the right wing, but by the left-liberal media, as it co-opts and obscures radical political positions and reinforces a range of mystifications, from anti-fascism and humanitarian war to green politics. Drawing on the work of radical media critics as well as the writings of revolutionary communist groups and considering the recent reporting of war, industrial action, immigration and the environment, Beyond the Left updates and recharges the Marxist critique of the media. 


Even if you find yourself disagreeing with certain portions of this book -- as I have -- you will find much in it that is well reasoned and historically informed, a valuable critique of how the mainstream media serves the capitalist plutocracy.

~ Michael Parenti, author of The Face of Imperialism and Contrary Notions.

Stephen Harper cuts through mystifying accounts of the media with a steady hand, placing a real left politics firmly at the centre of any productive understanding of the daily circulation of casual idiocies and pernicious ideologies.

~ Nina Power, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Roehampton University

In an accessible and robust polemic Harper shows why we must go beyond the left and embrace a communist critique of both the capitalist media’s news agenda which disempowers and disinforms and the un-reformable system that shapes its ideological universe – the capitalist system itself. In this sense Harper’s book is vulgar, unrealistic and deeply unfashionable: it is in short essential reading in an increasingly insane world.

~ Mike Wayne, Professor of Screen Studies, Brunel University

Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper Stephen was born in Edinburgh and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. He studied English Language and Literature at the University of Glasgow, gra...
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