There is considerable debate over the terms, Cultural Industries and Creative Industries. Toby Miller (2009) and David Hesmondhalgh (2002) argue convincingly for retaining the term Cultural Industries in order to refer to the commercialization of culture in capitalism. The addition of “creative” is, on the one hand, a straightforward conflation with the notion of Creative Economy, such as John Howkins’ The Creative Economy: How People make Money from Ideas (2001). Later on in the essay, I discuss the assumptions underlying the "creative economy" and its relation to the uses of culture in neoliberalism. It is also, with John Hartley (2008), on the other hand, a way to distance from the leftist critique of capitalistic deployment of culture implicit in the Frankfurt School's term, the Culture Industry. UNESCO distinguishes between Creative Industries and Cultural Industries. According to this policy, cultural industries are those whose products can be copyrighted, such as films, music, intellectual property, etc. By creative industries, the policy refers to broader set of activities within which these cultural industries play a major role, for example, advertising or antique/tourist development. In this essay, I choose the term CCI/Creative Cultural Industries Policy because it has become common parlance in India and, I believe, also in East Asia. In India, both the critics and the proponents use the term CCI Policy and it is the suffix, policy, that indicates that there is a programmatic direction in the use of culture by the state. Broadly speaking, the term CCI policy includes both digitally-based intellectual labor (software, info tech) and the traditional arts and crafts, which are then packaged and branded to create a competitive edge for India in the global economy. [return to page 1 of essay]
2. This is a lose translation from the French, Qu'ils mangent de la brioche, i.e., Let them eat brioche. Brioche, unlike plain bread, was enriched bread the wealthy ate, and the queen’s comment indicates her complete incomprehension of the peasants’ impoverished life.
4. David Harvey is one of the best resources for a clear definition of neoliberalism. See most recently, A Short History of Neoliberalism and The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism. You may also see some of the lectures online here:
5. Cited in Derrick Z. Jackson, “A Steeper Ladder for the Have-nots” The Boston Globe. (May 18, 2005)
8. Costa Gavras’ The Axe (2005) is a bitterly ironic rendering of this subjectivity. An executive who is downsized goes about murdering his potential competitors in a bid to get the one remaining job.
9. Outsourced is another TV series on office work whose overtones of race and nation call for a deeper analysis.
10. See India Brand Equity Foundation
15. Martin J. Barbero cited in Canclini. 73
16. Jyotsna Kapur. Ghost of Christmas Past Rising from the Gaps of Capital, Monthly Review Zine, December 25th 2007.
18. Poverty of Philosophy, Chapter 1.
19. Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts [Chapter XVII] Ricardo’s Theory of Accumulation and a Critique of it. (The Very Nature of Capital Leads to Crises).
20. The German Ideology, Chapter Three: Saint Max.
I am indebted to the editors for their thorough review and guidance; Mike Covell for photos of Paducah, Kentucky, and the Surajkund Fair, Delhi; and to the Union for Democratic Communications Conference 2010 where the ideas here were first presented.
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