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Birth of the mass society in Europe: a source of progress?

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  1. The tyranny form of government
    1. The concept of power
    2. The tyrant, the sole holder of power
  2. Tyranny, a controversial and transient system
    1. A controversial system
    2. A transient regime

As we discuss mass society in Europe, we must be careful about its boundaries, because the birth of this society of the masses (communication, school, consumption etc) took place in the EU-6 (France, Germany, Italy, and Benelux). "Mass culture requires first, the oldest condition: the existence of mass society." Indeed, the mass culture that amplifies the effect of mass society is possible only through a united society possessing no communication barrier such as languages and literacy. In France, the emergence of the mass society was analogous with the age of paper (which corresponds to the growth of the first newspapers of general circulation in 1860). This is due to several factors including the expansion of the literate public and the installation of a common language.

Nevertheless, the emergence of mass society was not possible for all of Europe after the Second World War. Indeed, the differences between different groups within nations (Germany) were leveled. The media developed greatly (radio, press, cinema) facilitating the emergence of mass society in Europe. But due to the Blum agreements (agreements leading to the cancellation of French debts by United States in exchange for the screening of Hollywood films in French cinema) there was a huge American influence on the Europe through films, TV series and consumer goods that was leading to cultural uniformity and thus a mass society in Europe. Can we say that mass society has instilled a wave of progress in Europe?

European economic development of the postwar period is represented by the war boom. Indeed, in France, from 1947 to 1973, the production was multiplied by 4.5 (average annual high of 5.9%). This strong growth was due to several factors. Much of Europe has benefited from the Marshall Plan in 1947, a plan that provides considerable financial assistance in the reconstruction of Europe. This assistance has, in fact, allowed the reconstruction of homes and infrastructure destroyed, resulting in real economic growth.

But the birth of mass society in Europe also contributed to the economic development of the war boom. Indeed, the birth of mass society with Blum agreements allowed the diffusion of American culture in Europe. This diffusion of American culture has created a strong will within the European society of wanting to catch up with the American lifestyle of the 1920s, thus providing cultural objects through American films and advertising. This intensive transcription of American culture has led to the emergence of mass consumer society in Europe (there is talk of a leisure society).

Indeed, per capita income is growing strongly, which is linked to productivity gains generated by industries and falling prices (deflation). Purchases of durable goods by households are becoming widespread based on the American model with the purchase of heavy equipment, automobiles, appliances and televisions. From an economic perspective, we can say that with a revenue increase, propensity to consume cultural goods will be stronger, which stimulates demand, which is one of the variables of economic growth.

Tags: Blum agreements, Marshall Plan, postwar period

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