In his 1995 book 'Jihad vs. McWorld', Benjamin R. Barber coins the term Infotainment Telesector to refer to what he sees as the most important area of economic activity in the world today, "comprising those who create and control the world of signs and symbols through which all information, communication, and entertainment are mediated". Barber includes writers, intellectuals, computer programmers, advertisers, moviemakers, teachers, politicians, media commentators, religious leaders, and so on.

The infotainment telesector is a sub-part of the service sector, which is widely recognized as the only remaining area for real growth in modern society, since the other two sectors, natural resources and industrial manufacturing, have been fully developed and exploited. Barber sees traditional services (food, transportation, health) as dead ends, with fast food workers equivalent to sweatshop workers. The traditional service sector ministers to the individual person (body) and so can be rewarding by virtue of direct interaction with the consumer. Medical workers admittedly have a foot in both the low end and the information end of the service sector. Those who serve infrastructure are in the middle, and thus serve the corporate body, in Barber's words. These include accountants, lawyers, computer operators, anyone who facilitates systems.

Barber points out that, historically, political power has been with those in economic power - slave owners, as masters of labor, then feudal lords, as masters of the land, then capitalists, as masters of the machinery. In this era, those who control information and communication seem to be cornering the political power, in Barber's view, and they're doing it by persuasion and influence instead of by command and coercion. This is seen as a serious problem since, to the multinational media-conglomerates who control the infotainment telesector, all of that communication power is only a means to ensure that every last person consumes as much product as possible, which "puts whole cultures in harm's way and undermines autonomy in individuals and nations alike". The threat to individuals is that they are turned from citizens into consumers, with the freedom to choose among products providing the illusion of actual freedom (choosing not to consume is highly discouraged). The threat to the power of nation-states is increased by the fact that the reach of infotainment crosses national borders as easily as the wind and that insofar as the "means of production" lie between the ears, states have limited ability to hold on to them over time.

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