Hans Magnus Enzensberger

CIVIL WAR (1990-1992-1993)

The Great Migration, pp. 111-112

[...] In earlier times, legend and rumour were the media of hope. The Promised Land, Arabia Felix, legendary Atlantis, El Dorado, the New World; these were the magical stories that motivated many to set out. Today it is the high-frequency images which the global media system transmits to the very last village of the poor world. Their reality content is even less than that of the marvellous legends of the early modern period; however, their effects are incomparably more powerful. Advertising, especially, which is effortlessly understood in its wealthy couyntries of origin as a mere sign without real referents, counts in the Second and Third Worlds as a reliable description of a possible way of life. [...]

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