2008 -- film.vtheatre.net [class]
I. ENTERTAINMENT: SHY IDEOLOGIES
II. IGITPROP and THE POPULAR CULTURE MACHINE
III. WATCHING THE NEWS: TECHNIQUES OF IDEOLOGY
IV. ILLEGITIMATE CHILD OF KNOWLEDGE
V. STUDYING AMERICAN LANGUAGE
VI. SOCIETY AS IDEOLOGICAL ORGIES
VII. SOCIETY AS A POLITICAL TARGET OF SOCIETY
1. BIO-POWER (BP): DISCIPLINARY TECHNOLOGY
VIII. THE END OF INTELLECTUAL PROPHECY
Maybe this file doesn't belong to this book, maybe. Maybe it should be in Father-Russia or PostAmeriKa. Maybe it is from the non-existing book, the book I will never write. There are many things I do not know and will never know.
What a strange chapter, another one.
Theory of Spectatorship aDiary + Film-North Album (new)
SummaryI do not have time to explain that so-called "entertainment" is an extreme case of ideological propaganda. If you think that karate or porno movie have no "message" or "thought" (Aristotle), you are dead wrong. Unfortunatelly, the discussion of this isssue would take me to the deep waters of "monologism" and "dialogism" (Bakhtn) and problems of the poetics of ideology.
Notes2007 updates -- pomo.vtheatre.net
Bad Subjects, Wrong Theories
OH, THE SWEET IDEOLOGY!Attractive Data with the Attitude
Key words: Ideology, Propaganda, Agitation, Advertizing, Foucault, Epstein.
PROLOGUE: "THIS SITE IS UNDER DEVELOPMENT"
Why "humanism"? What other perspective do I have? Wait, we must be beyond humanism to insist on our human values. Was our history a process of "humanization"? Why in order to be "multicultural" we have to appeal to humanity as a common denominator? To understand African or Oriental art I have to leave my (Western) state of mind (not fully human?) and enter humanity as ideology. Marxist calls it class conscience; workers = humans. I can't go on through living with an assumption (like Shakespeare or gogol before me) that I am a human. I have to prove my human attributes. The problem is that for me (humanly) relate to blacks I have to overcome my whiteness, but I can't do without defining it. I have to discover white race in me, which wasn't a task for all of them before. Tolstoy wasn't really white (being Russian was more important for him). Of course, Europe saw its progress as the only human achievements and the colonial encounters demonstrated their advantages. The first reaction was to treat the rest of the world as sub-human (barbaric, primitive). Advanced cultures, economies, sciences in pomo age of political correctness have to give right of equality to any "traditional" society, although we state that human nature is a construct in a constant development. We call the majority of nations as "developing countries" but can't say that the people in those nations are under-developed humans. The westerners, the over-developed humans, have to apologize for their superiority, like intellectuals at the time of the cultural revolution (China and Russia). It's the cultural revolution, my friend! Being human is not a process, not a task but entitlement. The abstract humanism was recognized by the marxist as empty, having no criteria.... and replaced by the class definition. Communists saw no problems with abortion: fetus wasn't a worker. The absolute humanization must include everything -- environment, trees, animals, swamps. If before we shaped our sense of being human through differentiation from the world, now we integrating the world into humanity. The forests became parks when we preserved the "wilderness." Non-human has to have human package. At least. Now you see why do we need it -- the ideology.
To be human isn't enough, you must be human on principle!*ideol-ogy* 1. the study of ideas, their nature and source -- Wester defines this (different) wisdom of the utopian mind without any reference to angelic way of thinking. (Aquinas)I have to be careful with "ideology" -- this is not the usual way of man's way of thinking.
[ .... ]
2. thinking or theorizing of an idealistic, abstract, or impractical nature; fanciful speculation
3. the doctrines, opinions, or way of thinking of an individual, class, etc.; specif., the body of ideas on which a particular political, economic, or social system is based.
*ideo-logue* 1. a zealous exponent or advocate of a specified *ideology* 2. a student of or expert in ideology.
*ideo-mo-tor* (Psychol). designating or of an unconscious body movement made in response to an idea.1
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I. ENTERTAINMENT: SHY IDEOLOGIESIn America this name is taboo. Why? "American Dream" isn't an ideological concept? "Democracy" has no negative connotations in American culture (but has a positive meaning); does it mean that this concept includes already a positive value judgement? "Freedom" is an idea, but more important -- a value. Indeed, it has build in some ideological judgement. Ideology of democracy (post-imperialism) represents the man made world where the subjects are open for interpretation because were created for practical purpose by the humans of one group -- the majority. "Tree" doesn't have that much of ideological pre-history, but "airplane" has? Next -- the subjects without objects (freedom, equality, justice, etc.) -- they are concepts, they are nothing but the ideological constructs. Of course, we have to process them before we can consume (experience) them. The Soviet ideological machine didn't like anything which wasn't originated outside it. Everything new was seen as a danger, an alien, aggressive act. Ideology deals with "domesticated" ideas, they have to be tamed.
An ideology is a form of social or political philosophy in which practical elements are as prominent as theoretical ones; it is a system of ideas that aspires both to explain the world and to change it. (Encyclopedia Britannica)
Contradiction to Webster? ("thinking or theorizing of an idealistic, abstract, or impractical nature; fanciful speculation"). And -- practical theory, applied ideas? Could it be both? Ideology is an extreme generalization of knowledge, it's a madness of reason. Christianity, Islam, Marxism, or US Constitution. It has to be. Even math has its virus. To explain and to change the world at the same time? If I can't change it, I wouldn't know how to "explain" it (not the same as "understand")? Does it mean that my desire to control (to change) is the motivation for attention? Ideology is very reactionary, it has no interest in everything outside of its attack. The Soviet marxists included "contractual" aspect of ideology:
Ideology is a system of views and ideas within whose framework people perceive and evaluate both their relations to reality and to each other... (Great Soviet Encyclopedia).
Math is a system, but not an ideology? Math is ideologically (almost) neutral because its laws do not establish moral (human) relations between people. Cultural framework? Perceive and evaluate? Perceive = historicity, relativity. Evaluate is also about our limitations of understanding. Ideology always lived inside such system as culture, which we never considered as "science." We the revolution in general education the ideology swallowed both culture and science. That's why in Sovietology it had titles as "true science" and "real culture."Political ideologies always combine, more or less felicitously, factual propositions and value judgements. They express the outlook on the world and a will oriented towards the future. (Raymond in Epstein, 13)
If ideology by definition is an intellectual contract (grounded in historicity), it must be always POLITICAL. The very birth of it is generated by politics. VALUE judgements are political judgements (not only in marxist interpretation). "Factual" propositions are only the material to reflect, the stimulus of impression? "Depending on the future" -- historical time is always a part of ideology. This quality of ideology is preventing it from being at any moment a science.
II. IGITPROP and THE POPULAR CULTURE MACHINEIdeology is the conversion of ideas into social levers... What gives ideology its force is its passion. Abstract philosophical inquiry4 has always sought to eliminate passion, and the person, to rationalize all ideas. For the ideologue, truth arises in action, and meaning is given to experience by the `transforming moment'. (Daniel Bell)
I have to experience a thought (and reaction to this thought) in order to step in the field of ideology. [Theory of relativity: experience of ideas!] Even if I can't understand algebra I can experience of not understanding it -- and reject it. Algebra becomes "ideological" under the pressure to be included in my world of values. In the USSR the cybernetics became pseudo-science developed to be a weapon against the Soviet people. The same with bionics. Later those "pseudo-sciences" became legitimate sciences, since they worked for the Soviet people. Ideology "changed its mind"?
Ideology could include new concepts without changing its structure? Interesting, this relativity (historicity) makes ideology into ontological (a-historical), myth-like phenomena? Conative significance rules over denotative. "Something" between an opinion (judgement) and a belief (conviction) -- we need it in the world we don't understand. The biggest mystery is the world constructed by us. "Ideological" must be fluid, cloud-like idea with uncertainty principle inside. Ideological concept is ready to reverse its meaning (depending on "party line") -- and ideology as a mechanism allows it.
Ideology as Hidden Dialogue (Epstein)
There are reasons why Newton discovered gravity in his time and Einstein understood relativity in our century. Ideology lets us "understand, or prohibits our understanding. The hard sciences reflect our sense of nature and (indirectly) us within this nature (secondary). Chemistry only "looks" ideologically neutral? There's no Japanese biology but there are stages in biological knowledge which are based on our attitude to knowledge/power. Without history with human raise in self-awareness QM would be impossible. Ideologically we were ready to question the world, the Age of Reason established rights and duties to understand everything. We believe that we could, should and must know everything. This is something new in humanity. Aristotle was curious, it was inquiry of mind. Not anymore, now the knowledge is an obligation. Thus "knowledge" becomes "special" knowledge, something which "explains" even if we don't understand -- we must not lose the state of "understanding." Ideological understanding simulates understanding, imitates knowledge.
We don't know the secrets of nature not because they are not there, but because we don't see them. We're not letting ourselves to understand them, because of our ideological limitations. The century of information likes to use word "data" to indicate ideological neutrality, presupposing that the facts should be INTERPRETED by each receiver differently. But we have to remember that *methods* we use in gathering our "data" are highly ideological. Often I know that I only claim that I want to know when in fact I don't. Why do I play such games with myself? Every new substantial discovery requires total revision of my ideology, which is the basis of my identity. I have to redesign the whole machine, which is ME. It's personal and painful. So, I want to solve my problems without deconstruction and reconstruction of my apparatus. You know the answer.
During the Stalin's time of the primitive (state -- party) ideological communism this notion that EVERYTHING IS IDEOLOGICAL was expressed with childish naive convictions -- a lot of people died because their scholastic ideas were "wrong" for the masses. Cybernetics were "pseudo-science" because it was developed not by the "right" scientists (Soviet), and therefore could be used against "right" people (Soviet) by the wrong people (Americans)... Political Correctness (PC) arrived on American cultural stage at the time when the state ideology experienced its intellectual crisis. The idea of open censorship made it into Federal laws.
Anecdotal treatment of history is the way to become a joke yourself. The Soviet ideological orientation in all its extremes could be ridiculous (and should be ridiculed), unless we want to understand the origins of their silliness. They were dead serious, as the Nazis were serious about their racial superiority. (I hope I don't have to prove this statement at least.) Archeology of knowledge asks us to dig in, and to understand the most important thing -- motivations.
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III. WATCHING THE NEWS: TECHNIQUES OF IDEOLOGY*propa-ganda* [ModL, short for _congregatio de propaganda fide_, congregation for propagating the faith: see PROPAGATE] 1. a committee of cardinals, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, in charge of the foreign missions. 2. any systematic, widespread dissemination or promotion of particular ideas, doctrines, practices, etc. to further one's own cause or to damage an opposing one. 3. ideas, doctrines, or allegations so spread: now often used disparagingly to connote deception or distortion.
*propa-gan-dism* the art, system, or use of propaganda
*propa-gate* 1. to cause (a plant or animal) to reproduce itself; raise or breed.
2. to reproduce (itself); multiply: said of a plant or animal.
3. to transmit (hereditary characteristics) by reproduction.
4. to spread (ideas, customs, etc.) from person or place to another.
5. to transmit (esp. sound waves or electromagnetic radiation) through a medium.
American salesman is a much more sophisticated propagandist than Catholic missionary. CPSU was generating very poor propaganda, boring and stupid. Nobody believed in it, even the Departments of Propaganda and Agitation. You have to have a faith in order to spread, transmit and reproduce. Only in America I witnessed the real art of propaganda.
American media personalities: what are they paid for? News? News are offered by the second nature (media-history) for "free." You don't need a talent to notice big events. They must be paid for _interpreting_ the events, for how to present the events, and how to interpret. They must have an apparatus, methods how to read the data the "right way." Reflections on subject are impossible without a position for interpretation.
Why does the media insists on its objectivity as if it's a science? Because the ideological aspect of reporting is what makes a talented journalist next to an announcer. He has to package the new for us without us noticing the package.
"Direct ideology" is in place only when it's direct interest groups (it's called "advertising"). Even the government stays away from direct propaganda. Because they _represent_ us: why should we fool ourselves?
Subtext => motivation, measuring what was said against what wasn't. Selection of topics, and selection of silencing. Media is power because it represents the power. Who is behind the media? Americans. We, the people, in need of self-indoctrination. By the people, of the people, for the people.
Media belongs to majority and its message expressing the will of majority. Media is liberal because its expressing the ideology of America. In the fifties media represented another public. TV set was a big deal, not for poor. Today's Minority. Conservatives listen, they don't watch. Talk radio, followed by talk-tv.
Why would New Americans want this ideology? Because the seeds of communism were in classical America, equality, freedom, opportunity, etc. What else do you expect from ideology of freedom? French and American revolutions coincide not only in time.
To be "open minded" is an ideology, an attitude to knowledge, it closing on one principle of inclusion of different, even contradictive ideas -- which is ideologically no less restrictive than "closed mind." Knowledge is selective, it accepts one interpretation over another, it's always censored. Choosing one product I'm rejecting the rest. Before the enlightenment the knowing was a matter of cultural identification; everything one knew would come through experiencing the culture. If I live in Europe I have one set of ideas; in China -- another. In global environment without national cultures I'm in situation of isolation within my one "personal culture" (the rest is popular culture). I study instead of learning. A child in a primitive world wasn't an object of intellectual manipulation, he was a part of a family and learnt what adults knew. Our children (and ourselves) have to be prepare to live in the world we don't have yet. We don't know this coming world of tomorrow which will replace my world of today. I have to teach my child (and myself) how to deal with the New. Indoctrination? Negative, again?
Post-pomo: I have to learn how to believe in what I believe today -- and how to reject it later. I need a new apparatus for changing my systems of beliefs, my values, my identity. Our answer is ideology. It's fast, aggressive and temporary. Ideology brings society together quickly and effectively (the success and fall of the German nazism took only a decade).
Ideology is cheap -- cheap morals, values, beliefs. As anything for mass consumption.
Deleuze on corporative culture with motivation seminars and constant relearning process = in Control Society we need to control the knowledge. The mechanism of the knowledge control is an ideology, socially approved, morally processed knowledge.
Censorship is natural to knowledge, it's non-friendly name for knowledge. From the moment I began to write I dealt with the censors. What I and my censor knew was not only the knowledge (product) but also marketing -- knowledge about our costumers. Soviet ideological apparatus acted in a manner of the Federal Food and Drugs Administration. The Party knew what knowledge is good for the people and what product could be harmful. Producing ideas are no less dangerous manufacturing business than food. It's not that the censors knew everything (on the contrary, they knew little in order to protect themselves from contamination), a new novel would find its way into the Soviet society, and even if it's a radical invention the black market tests the new. Than it could bew published in limited edition, a market research, for a special, experimental consumption.
Some books couldn't be published. Nabokov was a Russian writer with the way out of the Socialist Realism methods. If not for his "Russiness" Nabokov would be probably published in the sixties. He himself was in question. (As if Charles Mason would discover a cure for cancer; it must be very good for us to make it available for the general public).
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IV. ILLEGITIMATE CHILD OF KNOWLEDGEIdeas about ideas. Oh!? Secondary sources and second hand ideas must be popular.
Collective authorship (Foucault) had to bring us in the world of ideology: knowledge is contractual. At least on the linguistic level, we have to be agree on how do we talk about nature (?).
Ideology is not a study how ideas do function. Ideology got itself a bad name because we discover that ideas actually could prevent us from getting ideas. That kind of knowledge is the way not to know; ideological education shall be a method of cultivating ignorance. If knowledge is power, this power could be turned into indoctrination, against learning and knowing. The more we know the more dangerous knowledge gets. What if I "feel" that I learn and know and this "feel" ideology supplies.
Knowledge lost its innocence at the age of information. No honor or dignity! Knowing became public activity, a behavior, a test of our loyalty to humanity, our mark of human quality. A test. Galileo faced not a doctrine or science but the agreement to see this truth, as the only way to interpret reality. The church had no problems with Galileo's research if not for the consequences of teaching, the result of thinking. The world has to be redefine according to the new knowledge about the world, and this is the moment of losing control over minds. Even if we come with the new knowledge we have to say that we were wrong before. Who would believe us ever again. Controlling minds = controlled behavior. Ideology is a temporary (relative) true, a new true, for today. Making wisdom short lived, we control the changes, not the unchangeable.
To control the knowing we have to socialize the knowledge. Make it mass knowledge, common place. We have to make education a must for everybody. This is our culture: inner mechanism of disciplined knowledge. Finally, knowledge arrived at moral universe. Knowledge is good, and new knowledge becomes evil when it negates what we know. Good, when liberates us from what we knew. "I give you the truth, and the truth will make you free." Not so simple, sir. We have to resist it, and this is what ideology does: limits our ability to know.
Ideology is "packaging." If a knowledge of law of gravity is a product, our teaching of this law is selling...
Banality -- when all know something -- everything becomes banal....
Well, American Ideology (popular culture) is a prevention from free thinking, which is needed for feeling free in America. Deterrence. Containment. We know the strategy of the Cold War. We don't know that the war is not over. We don't want to know. What would I do if I really could believe in it?....
V. STUDYING AMERICAN LANGUAGEHow does propaganda work? We have to work on the target, you. You have to be ready for our message. We call this art "communication studies" -- most of the message is for agitation. Us. They we want to see ourselves. Not what we are but what we want to be, what we don't have. Listen to the sounds, street voices. Or better see for yourself!
AGITATION OF BODY BY MIND*agit* [L. agita] Pharmacy _shake_ (Webster Dictionary)
For a man, arriving from a land of propaganda, American advertizing has a special attraction. The Soviet universe of shortages had no needs for promotion of products. Redistribution of goods was a social manipulation on white (privileged) and black (punishable) markets. Both "markets" (above and under ground), on the contrary, were avoiding advertising. The best was from the west and even obtaining of "made in" was ideologically negative action. In the country of state materialism anything material was banned. The ideas were promoted. Not all ideas, but the right ones.
Alexander Zinoviev said "once Soviet is always Soviet" and I saw American advertizing with my Soviet eyes.
First, the quantitative shock. The size, the totality of advertizing was something the Politburo only could dream about. Advertizing is everywhere. Everything human has some advertizing attached. I suspect that nothing could actually become public in America without selling something. This is the origins of the birth of anything, the financial power of appearance. There must be money spent in order for anything to materialize for public consumption. Therefore, it has to be paid for somehow. The amount of money behind advertizing in my unprofessional estimate were well above of the Soviet and US military budgets combined. The message must be damn important. I was shaken.
What is this message?
American life (style) advertises itself.
*agi-tate*, to put in motion.
1. to move violently; stir up or shake up,
2. to excite or disturb the feelings of.
3. to keep discussing so as to stir up interest in and support for -vi. to stir up interest and support through speeches and writing so as to produce changes [to _agitate_ for better working conditions] -SYN.* DISTURB
So, the purpose is to change my present situation, to move me from my existing experience into a new, future, unknown one. I have to be shaken of what I am, revolutionized, and thrown into a "better" world. (I was troubled with American love for this word -- "revolution." Every product was "revolutionary." Even if it's an innocent new type of soap the notion of revolution in my life is very disturbing for a Russian mind). American propaganda looking exactly for "violent" excitement, which was in Soviet propaganda only in the past, during the Military Communism, at the very begining of the ideological era. American advertizing looks always as a new begining, it has no age, it has to be fresh -- it doesn't have the monopoly the Soviet propaganda machine had.
*a/gi-ta/to* _Musical Direction_ fast and with excitement
By the time I left the USSR everything was *slow*, including communism advertising. We knew that in material sense we had not arrive (1980 was the year of the begining of communism in Russia, according to Khrushev), and not about to enter the paradise on earth. In New York I got it. It was there, I can see it, I needed only a pass -- money.
*agi-ta-tor* 1. a person who tries to stir up people in support of a social or political cause; often used in an unfavorable sense. 2. an apparatus for shaking or stirring, as in a washing machine.
That was my official duties -- to agitate. I was a member of the Writers Guild and my writings were published on conditions that the effect would be the agitation. As an agitator I was limited by many restrictions. For example, I couldn't use sex for advertising communism or Soviet life. In fact, sex was anti-Soviet subject (pornography was equated by Lenin to anti-Soviet propaganda). Sex was too material, almost food. To apply sex in propaganda of Soviet communism could be a door into "western" anti-communist propaganda. (Of course, anything what wasn't Soviet propaganda was anti-Soviet propaganda. Ideology knows nothing but ideology, everything is ideology; pro or contra.)
Work (virtue) was advertized. Not in America where we work hard. We lie -- that the purpose of this machine. It has to be fake. We advertize something that doesn't exist. Yes, advertizing is about exaggeration. Closeups, unreal view of reality. It's not a blunt lie, it's a socialist realism. Social, ideological truth. Something we do agree to accept as truth.This new mode of ideological thinking has been accurately called `total,' or `totalitarian.' Total ideologies, as distinct from specific ideologies, are not limited to a single set of ideas and therefore are not bound to proclaim the same stable views. The history of totalitarian ideologies is a series of betrayals -- ideology betrays its own prerequisites and its own assertions of yesterday. Totalitarian ideologies must betray and be betrayed in order to maintain their all-encompassing grip on society. Ironically, the `total' ideologies constantly complain that they are betrayed be leaders and followers who deviate from the purity and cohesiveness of the `orthodox' line (which coincides with the will of the absolute leader). (E 73)
Since ideological mind is borne off the politics, our ideological politician have to lie. We, the consumers of ideological world, won't accept non-ideological leader. Clinton must change his word, and he does it better than Bob Dole.
/*agit-prop*/ of or for agitating and propagandizing: a term originally used in the Communist movement.
"... ideology thus become a decisive part of reality even if it [is] used only as an instrument of domination and propaganda." "A decisive" -- main, prime part of reality!
Why America prefers to call its agit-prop "advertising"? Because *ad-vert* (to call attention or turn one's attention; refer or allude) is softer, non-aggressive (never attack your costumer)? Clients -- all of us, humanity.....thus post-communist ideology is universalist rather than totalitarian. Totalitarian ideology incorporates all available ideas and claims to be a unified and coherent system, sharply opposing left and right deviations. Universalist ideology tries to eliminate all oppositions and use the entire range of various ideas as if they were complimentary. (E 80)
"In order to win the world, this ideology is ready to lose its identity." (E 81)... eliminate the dimension of time: "ideology in general has no history... or, what comes to the same thing, is eternal, i.e. omnipresent in its immutable form throughout history."
Ideology as "imaginary relationship of individuals to their real condition of existence." (Althusser 162)
Epstein (81); "ideology is a very specific sphere of consciousness: the doubling and reversal of mental oppositions which cannot be reconciled in purely theoretical terms and therefore need to be permanently evaluated and reevaluated in order to create a hierarchy of values."
"Ideas become indistinguishable not only from reality, but from each other." (E 74-75)
Here we are -- advertising! Next level of ideology!
*ad-ver-tise*, extended stem of _advertir_, to warn, call attention to
1. to tell about or praise (a product, service, etc.) publicly, as through newspapers, handbills, radio, television, etc., so as to make people want to buy it
2. to make known; give notice of --vi.* 1. to call the public's attention to things for sale or rent, help wanted, etc., as by printed or broadcast notices; sponsor advertisements. 2. to ask (for) publicity by printed notice, etc.
Negative advertising? By nature advertising is positive. Praising life: modern praying. Religious nature of advertising is in ancient festivals, celebrations of living. Advertising is a state of mind, a feeling of paradise. We insist: life is good! Think positive.
American propaganda -- the commercials. Full of energy, life, mission.... Lovely.
Any other national knows what "American" is. Except for us, Americans, we don't see ourselves. That's why we don't understand why the rest of the world, even Canadians react to "American" as to propaganda.
Social, moral, ideological components of advertizing. Very patriotic--american, if it salable. Everything that would make them do it. To buy. Buying is the moral activity, good behavior. Credit cards are PM American ideology. No wonder we don't recognize "America."
Panic? Hyper state -- television. 500 channels. Not enough!
Agitation -- motivational America. We require our president to be a spiritual leader (part of being a manager).
Trainer, preacher. Not prophet.
Society of beggars: paradise is a police state. It must be. TV -- house of correction.
Promotion v. propaganda. Or promotion = propaganda?
Coming age of "hot morals" -- political correctness. Everything is political, including my inner relations, my feelings and thoughts. My instincts... My dreams betray me.
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VI. SOCIETY AS IDEOLOGICAL ORGIES"a philosopher of discontinuity."
Foucault avoids discussions of ideology -- perhaps, because there's nothing we know exits outside of ideologies. Every aspect of knowledge is *human* knowledge and we can't produce any data without agenda. Even our natural sciences began progressing only at the times of ideological revolutions. Foucault can afford to stay away from moral evaluation because his subject is moral evaluation -- the ideology..... the idea of justice in itself is an idea which in effect has been invented and put to work in different types of societies as an instrument of a certain political and economic power or as a weapon against that power... one can't, however regrettable it may be, put these notions forward to justify a fight which should... overthrow the very fundaments of our society.14 6 (F. Human Nature 187)
A strange statement, considering that since production of power became a matter of social evolution the *invention* of new forms of justice could change the meaning of this idea to the very opposite. What is important that for social purposes the justice concept will be present, since we have no rulers and not even states to rule. The meaning of justice is very market oriented, what was right yesterday is wrong today. We could abolish and reinstate the death penalty and I have a justification for both. The most important however not to lose the power of this concept over people. The idea rules, its legitimacy can't be question. Right and wrong could be redefined according to our needs, but under no circumstances we shall follow Nietzsche's advise to go beyond god and evil. We would have no power in people minds for them to self-control themselves.Where religions once demanded the sacrifice of bodies, knowledge now calls for experimentation on ourselves, calls us to sacrifice of the subject of knowledge. (F.7)
A few centuries ago Foucault would call "knowledge" by its traditional name -- Devil. We arrived in bodily paradise for one and rather simple reason, we sold our bodies. Our bodies are nationalized and socialized, it should be known to a scholar of clinics and asylums. Not only birth by pregnancy and conception itself is in public domain. My death is a matter of technology and my life is in hands of public. Dr. Death was tried for the third time two days ago (and was acquitted for the third time), the suicide is not as matter of moral judgement anymore. Church would throw my body from the cemetery with Christian (those who died naturally), not the preventive society I live in -- my physical life doesn't belong to me. No surprise, the next step was the expropriation of my soul. "Knowledge is power" -- whose power? Knowledge calls for sacrifice of the subject of knowledge? Or power calls for human sacrificing? Not the knowledge but ideology calls for it, the knowledge of knowledge."...the subject is objectified by a process of division either within himself or from others." (8)
Do we consider any discovery a knowledge before it becomes public? Or an ideas becomes knowledge only after it was processed socially, after it was judged upon, after "acceptance ceremony" by many? Objectivization is a quality of knowledge. Subjective (personal) knowledge we call an opinion, your individual experience. This kind of knowledge has very little power. Newton gave us right to produce the knowledge of gravity by alienating (discovering) his experience into an "idea" -- we tried it on us, eureka! it worked -- and what did we do? We called it the law! The Law of Nature! As if mother-nature rules on legal grounds. Now, if you step out of the window it's not just an accident and death but a violation of law with immediate verdict and execution by the death punishment. Pre-Newtonian world was a place of innocency when I wasn't judged morally in my physical presence. In our century one doctor started a new profession of people who are paid to understand "why" I tripped on the steps of my house -- because nothing! you hear it! nothing is done without inner reason, without my involvement, my doing -- and as you know ignorance of laws doesn't excuse me from the prosecution under the law. My every move become a statement, an act, a moral call. Why do you think we have such enormous interest and achievements in sports? They are (moral) heroes, the idiots with the ball, they are fighting our ideological war on very basic grounds of our own physicality. They are no less ideologists than Foucault or Marx. Of course their propaganda has to have costumes of entertainment. That what "objectivization" is for, culture doesn't like ideas (that's science), it like dramatics of experiencing ideas without even knowing what the hell it was. The best ruler, said Lao, is the one we know nothing about.
"Turning human beings into objectified subjects" (8) is a culturalization, it's actually making them into "human" being. Without being processed through knowledge, submitted to power of society, they are what they are -- just "beings." Life after all is "...the objectivizing of the sheer fact of being alive in natural history or biology." (9) Marx would put it more radical: nothing could exist without being objectivized!
"He aim... was to avoid analyses of discourse (or ideology) as reflections..." (10) In other words, he made discourse an object of his discourse. For a change someone accepted ideology as a serious subject to study (without negative connotations and ideological prejudgments of ideology). Only because Hebbels wanted to grab the gun when he heard word "culture" it doesn't make Dr. Hebbels a barbarian, or an anti-culture advocate. He was aggressively promoting another and did it quite successfully. If the White House has no Central Committee on propaganda and the Congress has no Ministry of Culture, it doesn't made American media and entertainment non-ideological. Without establishing the legitimacy of this subject, which is the most powerful and important mechanism of power in our times, even a conversation about communism in America would be impossible.
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VII. SOCIETY AS A POLITICAL TARGET OF SOCIETYBut I'd like to underline the fact that the state power (and that's one of the reasons for its strength) is both an individualizing and a totalizing form of power. Never, I think, in the history of human societies -- even in the old Chinese society -- has there been such a tricky combination in the same political structures of individualization techniques, and totalization procedures. (F 14)
After the fall of state communism we should add that American democracy proved to be the best ("most economical") form of ideological governing. It made economy speak for the government. "The art of government... is concerned with... how to introduce economy, that is the correct manner of managing individuals, goods and wealth within the family,... how to introduce this meticulous attention of the father towards his family, into management of the state." (15) Marx dreams about this state of communism when society would be self-governed and state as an institution would disappeared forever. Reagan came with a declaration as a head of the state that the state is his target. Republicans and Clinton are disagree only on forms and methods of destruction of the state. The idea of a developed communism to have citizens-communists not a communist government. Society through culture could indoctrinate the populace better than any ministry of propaganda. Commercials are produced by private companies and economically supported by the ones (costumers) who are the subject of indoctrination. American society developed gigantic apparatus of medias to target it population. Infomercials such as anti-smoking, anti-drugs, anti-violence campaigns enter easily the ideological fields of (commercial) agitation. The Politburo in Kremlin only could dream about such wonderful apparatus. Their problem was that the state communists were in a rash and expected a short cut (through "conscience"), instead of appealing to "human" bodies. Body humanity proved to be a better listener than minds. There are no second best in evolutionary struggle of ideas, American communism won the intellectual war for global village minds and souls -- it offered a better instrument of power and governing -- the prosperity.Consequently the things which the government is to be concerned about are men, but men in their relations, their links, their imbrication with those other things which are wealth, resources, means of subsistence, the territory with its specific qualities, climate, irrigation, fertility, etc.; men in their relations to other kinds of things which are customs, habits, ways of doing and thinking, etc.; lastly, men in their relation to that other kind of things which are accidents and misfortunes such as famine, epidemics, death, etc. (F 16)
Totality of historical reality of the present won over powers of futurism. No leaps of cultural revolutions and five-year plans of rapid industrialization could change the inertia (which is mass and energy) of presentism. All the great revolutions served one and only purpose of destruction. The Great Society or Civil Rights Movements hadn't change the actual fabric of society, the only decostructed the old intellectual structure. The creation of new values takes time and not necessarily produces expected results, as we can see it in "objectivization of non-working" and "racial" ideological confrontation.
1. BIO-POWER (BP): DISCIPLINARY TECHNOLOGY
Ideology (the offspring of technology) subordinates to a disciplined logic (negation of non-ideological logic, the logic itself), the truth (or reality) becomes what we WANT its to be, not what it actually is. We even could know nothing about what it actually is. In ideological universe the issue of what reality is (means) is irrelevant (since the reality is only relevant to our interest in reality).
Ideology gained total control because of technology. Print, radio, TV, now -- Internet. Constant self-negation? We call it progress. Ideology has to "change its mind" all the time, keep itself fresh, new, fashionable, recent, current. Technology is an extension of ideological mind. Remember, printing press and free press have reversal relations. We invent or discover because we need it, the idea is always precedes the act (event).Bio-Power "brought life and its mechanisms into the realm of explicit calculations and made knowledge-power an agent of the transformation of human life... Modern man is an animal whose politics places his existence as a living being in question." (17)
Bio-power should be understood as a power of ideology (knowledge) which reached a state of bio-apparatus (has its own independent life). "Age of Information" is not a stage in our history but a new level and layer of life.
Disciplinary control: disciplinary technologies preceded modern capitalism (post-imperialism). Capitalism was possible only because this new system of ideology was install as a culture of majority. We love Internet!"The cell become `small theatres, in which each actor is alone, perfectly individualized and constantly visible.'" (19)Does a position in solitary confinement is an indication of "respect" for individuality or "privacy rights"? -- on the contrary! This individualization prevents each and all from unauthorized group self-organization, increases means of control and seen as a harsher punishment. Oh, the solitude! Electronic technology made enormous progress in this "individualized" totality of power. Not only personal car, but a TV set, recorder, computer, etc. -- all of the tools of PM are liberating from near (actual) community to incorporate you into super-power structure, the humanity. Global becomes your neighborhood, you have no neighbors...
Also, a system for observing and controlling the controllers. Our tolerance is an indication how sophisticated ideology became with adapting form of popular democracy. So called "human rights" have been written into civic laws, and of course they are "human" -- only if they are express "humanity." We agree to tolerate not all possible rights but "human" rights; the strong doesn't have his individual right as before to dominate the weak, this is not human. Our freedoms are ideologically determined. The last Soviet constitution included my individual right to be in good health; we remember 1993 democratic drive for universal health care plan. The only problem is that "individual" freedom defined not by the individual but the society, which interprets "individual" in its own "non-individual" forms.
Knowledge became biological!
What is life? Knowledge.
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2. NORMALIZATIONNormalization, "both organizes and is the result of this controlled distribution. A system of normalization is opposed to a system of law or a system of personal power.... `[The] juridical institution is increasingly incorporated into a continuum of apparatuses (medical, administrative, and so on) whose functions are for the most part regulatory.'" (20)
This normative rationality has gradually undermined and `invested' (like a parasite invests a body) body the excesses of sovereign power and, more important, the procedures of the law (without eliminating either, again like a parasite). (F 20-21)
To be an individual is to be normalized. "Your" car is manufactured. What about you?
"There are two meanings of the word subject," Foucault writes, "subject to someone else by control and dependence, and tied to his own identity by a conscience of self-knowledge. Both meanings suggest a form of power which subjugates and makes subject to." (21)
Since I became a subject of power struggle, the second entity should be the most important; as long as I would control "I" on behalf of somebody's else (society), I could have "independence." The best form of panopticon is to make me a guard of myself, this is total control. That's why an ideology has to be (become) MY beliefs, my convictions. In what sense I am still a "subject" (independent self)? Military communism knew the answer, marxism was a religion for Russian intellectuals.The conclusion would be that the political, ethical, social, philosophical problem of our days is not to try to liberate the individual from the state, and from the state's institutions, but to liberate us both from the state and from the type of individualization which is linked to the state. (22)My "individualism" is borne in resistance to the state and society and it's organized in the same manner -- totalitarian myself. In many ways my individuality is a product of totalitarian ideology, even if in the form of negation of it. True liberation is in ignoring.
I am the tyrant of myself.
That's why we die. To be free.
Not death, but dying is the blessing.
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VIII. THE END OF INTELLECTUAL PROPHECY"The specific intellectual" is "he who, along with handful of others, has at his disposal, whether in the service of the state or against it, powers which can either benefit or irrevocably destroy life. He is no longer the rhapsodist of the eternal, but the strategist of life and death." (23)
That's why we declare the war against Him.
The man. Of course, he is the target of advertising, propaganda, agitation.... He has to be destroyed. Before he is born. Distracted -- and he will destroy himself. Lets teach him how to do it. We will educate him. For free. We will force him to learn ideological way of thinking. We'll make him stupid and happy....
Third type of authorial location: "founders of discursivity" -- "figures who provide a paradigmatic set of terms, images, and concepts which organize thinking and experience about the past, present, and future of society." (25)
Christ, Marx.... You, little man, count the dead. Now, you know who is your enemy -- the great man.
Copyright was the end of freedom of mind.
Hey, it's only natural, considering that we agree on the death of the individual.
Paul Rabinow in his introduction to Foucault didn't stress the fact that Foucault is very post-modern "father of discursivity." Even fifty years ago the domination of ideology was only intellectual, marxism was a novelty, not a routine. Foucault's interest in concrete subjects (prisons, hospitals, sexuality) makes him not only very post-modern in non-systematic way of thinking, but very practical -- he sees our reality for what it is in reality. The recent "collapse" of a state ideology of communism would not be viewed by Foucault as "fundamental" and "revolutionary." State, after all, is only one (and primitive) of many manifestations of society. He understood that power is in popular ideas (Marx's thought). History from this point of view is an evolution of ideas, very true human history. Germany or Russia's evolution from "state controlled" power to societal forms of power distribution didn't mean a "reduction" of power. Power is always increasing, and in that sense transitions of "totalitarian" societies to "democracies" are revolutionary steps into more powerful totalitarism. In that sense, it was an invisible revolution.
* 2008 -- ... 2005 & Aftervideo ...
texts: ... semio
in focus: Tarkovsky, film as philosophy
reading: Film Art (textbook)
Many files in POV are close to PostAmeriKa -- how to make this link in the story?
my old paintings:
@2000-2002+ film-north *
2005-2006 Theatre UAF Season: Four Farces + One Funeral & Godot'06
Film-North * Anatoly Antohin
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