The Death of Public Knowledge? How Free Markets Destroy the General Intellect

Davis, Aeron, ed. 2017. The Death of Public Knowledge? How Free Markets Destroy the General Intellect. London: Goldsmiths Press. ISBN 978-1-906897-39-0 [Edited Book]

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Abstract or Description

The Death of Public Knowledge argues for the value and importance of shared, publicly accessible knowledge, and suggests that the erosion of its most visible forms, including public service broadcasting, education and the network of public libraries, will have worrying outcomes for democracy.

Written by a mix of activists and academics this collection of short, sharp essays focuses on different aspects of public knowledge, from libraries and education to news media and public policy. Together the contributors record the stresses and strains placed upon public knowledge by funding cuts and austerity, the new digital economy, quantification and target-setting, neoliberal politics and inequality. These pressures, the authors contend, not only hinder democracies, but also undermine markets, economies and social institutions and spaces everywhere.

Covering areas of international public concern, these polemical and accessible essays include reflections on the fate of schools and education, the take-over of public institutions by private, vested interests, and the corruption of news and information in the financial sector. The essays include an account of compromised Greek media during recent EU negotiations, the role played by media and political elites in the Irish property bubble, the compromising of government policy by corporate interests in the US and Korea, as well as the squeeze on public service media in the UK, New Zealand and America.

Individually and collectively these pieces spell out the importance of maintaining public, shared knowledge in all its forms, and offer a rallying cry, asserting the need for strong public financial and regulatory support.

Toril Aalberg, Ian Anstice, Philip Augar, Rodney Benson, Aeron Davis, Des Freedman, Wayne Hope, Ken Jones, Bong-hyun Lee, Colin Leys, Andrew McGettigan, Michael Moran and Karel Williams, Aristotelis Nikolaidis, Justin Schlosberg, Henry Silke, Roger Smith, Peter Thompson, Janine R. Wedel, Kate Wright

Item Type:

Edited Book

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Goldsmiths Press
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre


1 June 2017

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

31 Jan 2017 14:31

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:24


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