The consciousness industry is a term invented by the author and theory author Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and it defines the mechanisms by which the human mind is reproduced as a social product.
One of the most important of these mechanisms is media and education institutions. According to Enzensberger, the mind industry produces nothing specific, on the contrary, its main activity is to perpetuate the existence of a system of human domination.
The issue of awareness-making has been widely debated throughout history and has been addressed by most material and exemplary intellectuals and philosophers, and there is no dispute about the importance of the awareness industry and its impact on the flourishing or regressive economics of knowledge, along with cultural and cognitive investments.
As for the knowledge awareness industry, it can be said that the existence of a knowledge economy depends on the existence of a knowledge society and can be explained in a way that mathematical equations and conditional logical issues express; we say that the existence of a knowledge society and a conscious environment does not require that the economic system in that society be based on knowledge, however, the opposite is not true.
For the answer to this point, we need to go back to the economic theories in which philosophical theory intervened through the ages and we need to try to reconcile the two views, which differ in that one asserts that it is the environment that creates the consciousness of individuals, while the other confirms that it is awareness that creates or changes reality.
The appropriate way to create a conscious environment and establish a knowledge society, which is linked to the issue of awareness-making and a historical controversy, is embodied in idealism and materialism. Marx says: “It is not people’s awareness that determines their existence, but their social presence that determines their consciousness.”
Marx began by studying human society from the material reality in which he lived. This determined the living reality; it is not the ideas we believe in that determine this, yet there is a complex interaction between physical reality and the ideologies that explain this reality.
Hegel believed that awareness is what makes the educated environment, the ideal reality, and this, for Hegel, has the requirement of raising awareness among individuals.
Because it may take a long time if we want to talk about a knowledge economy without a knowledge society, that is, to talk about investing in knowledge, without knowledge awareness; furthermore, an educated environment (which is balanced in its openness and balanced in its province) is a difficult adventure, like the search for a hat in the world of turbans, especially when the infrastructure of the awareness industry is absent.
Nevertheless, many alternatives can be found to achieve a more aware situation and a more cultural environment. Investment must first include both male and female sexes, with the focus that having any environment for modernity means making them able to create awareness by stimulating awareness and the education of desire, and promoting it using the tools and manifestations of modernization that they possess.
The role of the government, and those in charge of it, is, perhaps extremely important on both sides, as well as making knowledge awareness and raising awareness about artificial intelligence devices involve clarifying the role of the institutions in which they operate and who use them.
The most important challenges that governments must face, if they are to achieve a real knowledge economy system by generating knowledge and creating a knowledge society, are highlighted in the development of the education system at various stages.
The addition of technological sciences, and their inclusion in the curriculum at all stages of school to universities, and institutes to adapt to the data and manifestations of the times, including artificial intelligence devices and all means of cognitive economy, or which come to meet its implications, other than the so-called cognitive content, which is linked to the issues of providing cadres and benefiting from international cooperation within the requirements of the national economy, must occur.
This needs to intensify efforts to build the capacity necessary to absorb and attend knowledge, increase the volume of research and development resources and material and human innovations, expand applied research, innovation, and interest in knowledge.
It all provides a variety of incentives to invest in knowledge-related activities, applying quality standards to improve the quality of work, adopting digital indicators to measure progress; governments will also have to enhance citizen interest in knowledge and its sources, and raise awareness of the importance of teamwork and team spirit, without which it will be difficult to produce modern knowledge.
We are doing well with the great strides that the UAE has begun in these areas, and we are waiting for the rest of the Arab countries to follow suit, and to talk to the rest.
Author : Manahel Thabet
Published November 13, 2018
Al Bayan Newspaper