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16 MARCH 2014

Deleuze Guattari: Societies of Control and Antipsychiatry

"if the energetic machine expressed the disciplinary bourgeoise society of the 18th and 19th centuries, computers, electronic and cybernetic machines express what Deleuze calls the 'society of control.'"

(Jeremy Jae, 2012)

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TAGS

2012anti-capitalismbourgeoise societycapital accumulationcapital flowscapitalismcontrolcultural relativismculture industry • cybernetic feedback • cybernetic machines • digital technologiesexclusionFelix Guattari • fraying • Gilles Deleuzeglobal communities • global networked society • globalisation • human social relations • inclusionJacques Derrida • Jeremy Jae • mass culture • narcissistic necrosis • networked societynew mediaNorbert Wienerrhizome • sameness • smooth spacesocial space • societies of control • society of control • subjectification • technocratic neo-capitalism • technologically manufactured culture • Theodor Adorno • worldwide circulation of electronic information

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 DECEMBER 2012

North Korean 'Propaganda' is the real viral hit of 2012

"Propaganda 2012 is a 95–minute video that presents itself as a North Korean educational video intending to inform the citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea about the dangers of Western propaganda. The video's uploader, known as 'Sabine', reiterates a statement she gave to the Federal Police regarding the movie's origins. She explains how the film was given to her by people claiming to be North Korean defectors whilst she was visiting Seoul. ...

Although the origins of Propaganda 2012 are contentious, its power lies in the fact that much of its content attempts to avoid invented history. Considering the media buzzwords associated with the alleged country of origin, Propaganda 2012 turns a mirror onto the Western world and seeks to criticise its entire history and culture–from the genocide and imperialism of its past, to the interventionism and consumerism of the modern era. The movie's overall attitude seems to express an intention to educate, shock and caution its audience into realising that people in the West are governed by a super–rich ruling class (The one per cent), who do not offer them true democracy; but instead seek to invade and assimilate as many countries as possible, whilst distracting their population with a smokescreen of consumerism, celebrity, and reality television. This message is spread across the video's 17 chapters, which each attempt to focus on specific examples of Western indoctrination and oppression. The film is regularly punctuated by commentary from an anonymous North Korean professor, and quotes from Western thinkers such as Noam Chomsky and Richard Dawkins. ...

Propaganda 2012 is certainly a film where the audience takes from it what they bring to it, and a variety of emotions can be induced upon viewing. Laughter, cynicism, outrage, contemplation and reflection would all be adequate responses to the video's tough, and often graphic, portrayal of the complex world in which we are living. Yet perhaps the most important thing to remember when watching the film is that the video is available to view uncensored, on a largely unregulated world wide web, and merely represents an extreme end of the vast spectrum of free expression. Therefore, during this festive end to an austere year, enjoy Propaganda 2012 as an interesting and beguiling alternative voice that cries loudly against the dangers of religious consumerism, and reminds us to remain humble and reflect on those less fortunate than ourselves."

(Kieran Turner–Dave, 17 December 2012, Independent Arts Blogs)

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TAGS

20129/11anti-capitalism • brainwashing • capitalismCentury of the Selfcommunismconspiracy theoriesconsumer cultureconsumer desireconsumerism • counter-terrorism • criticismcult of celebritycultural imperialismcultural implicationsdemocracydistractiondocumentary • DPRK • emotive manipulation • false flag • fear • fear of communism • fear of terrorism • free expression • Gangnam Style • genocidehalf-baked ideashistory and culture • hysterics • imperialism • indoctrination • interventionism • invented history • Just Do It • Korea • life in the West • likes • manufacturing consent • moralitynarcissismnationalism • neo-imperialist • Noam ChomskyNorth KoreaoppressionOprah WinfreyParis Hiltonpatriotismpolitical educationpropagandaPropaganda (2012)public relationsQuentin Tarantinoreality televisionreligion • religious consumerism • Richard Dawkins • Sabine (pseudonym) • salvation • September 11 2001shockingsmokescreensocialist realismSociety of the Spectacle (Guy Debord)South Koreaspectacle • Survivor (tv series) • terrorism • the one per cent • trust • Tyra Banks • unconscious desireswatching television

CONTRIBUTOR

David Reid
20 OCTOBER 2012

Alain Resnais and Chris Marker's: Les Statues meurent aussi

"Les Statues meurent aussi, co–directed with Alain Resnais. This 30 minute short film has a chequered history of censorship that at one time elevated it to a somewhat mythical status (2), and which prevented it from being brought into the wider public eye until some 16 years after it was completed. After its first screening at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953, and in spite of winning the Prix Jean Vigo in 1954, Les Statues meurent aussi was banned in France by the Centre National de la Cinématographie between 1953 and 1963 owing to its controversial anti–colonialist stance (3). While a truncated version was made available in 1963, the unabridged film only became available in 1968.

Les Statues meurent aussi was commissioned by the literary review and publishing house, Présence Africaine, which was set up in 1947 in Paris as a quarterly literary review for emerging and important African writers. Founded by the Senegalese thinker Alioune Diop, it housed the writings of some of the most important francophone thinkers in the latter half of the 20th century, such as Aimé Césaire, Ousmane Sembene, Léopold Sédar Senghor, in addition to French metropolitan writers such as Jean–Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. The journal also translated groundbreaking works by Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka into French for the first time. Having emerged so soon after the new French Constitution of 1946 had declared a 'French Union', Présence Africaine's publications signalled a new, post–colonial status for French and francophone thought, embracing what was then a key notion: that of négritude (4). It is this notion that the second half of Les Statues meurent aussi engages with most deeply, and perhaps most controversially, especially as it strives to connect the death of the statue with the rise in the commercialisation of African art for the pleasure of the colonial classes. Indeed, it is against the backdrop of a France that had so recently lost its colonial power, but which still retained many of the quasi–Manichean distinctions between white, Western culture and black, African culture, that (and in spite of their claims to the contrary) Resnais and Marker's film projected its passionately anti–colonial, anti–racist, even anti–capitalist audio–visual collage. It is little wonder then that such a film should have been censored until the late 1960s, by which time it might have lost some of its topicality, but none of its political vigour."

(Jenny Chamarette, 14 September 2009, Senses of Cinema)

[1] Sarah Cooper, Chris Marker, Manchester University Press, Manchester and New York, 2008. As Cooper points out, Les Statues meurent aussi is available as an extra on the French DVD release of Resnais' Hiroshima mon amour, Arte France and Argos Films, 2004.

[2] See Roy Armes' entry on Les Statues meurent aussi in his The Cinema of Alain Resnais, A. Zwemmer/A.S. Barnes, London and New York, 1968, p. 34.

[3] This is heavily documented in scholarship on Marker and Resnais. In particular, see Cooper, p. 12; Emma Wilson, Alain Resnais, Manchester University Press, Manchester and New York, 2006, pp. 22–4; Nora M. Alter, Chris Marker, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, Chicago, 2006, pp. 58–9.

[4] For further details see V.Y. Mudimbe (ed.), The Surreptitious Speech: 'Présence Africaine' and the Politics of Otherness, 1947–87, Chicago University Press, Chicago, 1992, pp. 3–4.

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TAGS

1953 • African art • African cultureAlain Resnaisanti-capitalism • anti-colonial • anti-colonialist • anti-racist • audiovisual • audiovisual collage • censorship • Centre National de la Cinematographie • Chris Marker • colonial classes • colonial powercommercialisationcritique • death of the statue • European imperialismfilmfilm essayFranceintercultural • Les Statues meurent aussi • negritude • post-colonial • post-colonialismpostcolonial • Presence Africaine • Senses of Cinema (journal)statue • Statues Also Die • Western culture

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
04 DECEMBER 2011

The rhizomatic nature of the internet allows certain anti-capitalist groups to ward off the capitalist machinery

"The rhizomatic model presents a problem for the dominant systems of capitalism in place in the global economy and the behavior of capitalism in general. According to Deleuze and Guattari, the function of a capitalist system is a schizophrenic behavior which encompasses the 'decoding' and 'deterritorializing flows' of breaking down existing systems of society such as church or family in order to extract the maximum amount of capital and then instigate 'their violent and artificial reterritorialization' through 'ancillary apparatuses' of capitalism such as the government or corporate bureaucracy which reterritorialize grouped elements to extract an even larger share of capital.2 Like any other system within its reach, the capitalist machinery attempts to behave in this schizophrenic manner with regards to the internet. The rhizomatic nature of the internet, however, allows certain anti–capitalist groups to ward off the capitalist machinery on the net due to the particularly advantageous characteristics of the rhizome for these minority factions."

(Amanda Wasielewski)

2). Amanda Wasielewski (2005). 'The Antidote to Capitalist Power: Rhizomatic Networking on the Internet as a Framework for the Success of Anti–Capitalist Minority Groups Against the Schizophrenic Capitalist Machinery'.

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TAGS

al-Qaida • ancillary apparatuses • anti-capitalism • artificial reterritorialisation • behaviour of capitalism • bureaucracycapitalcapitalism • capitalist machinery • capitalist system • church • corporate bureaucracy • decoding • deterritorialising flows • dominant systems of capitalism • Etoy.CORPORATION • familyFelix GuattariflowsGilles Deleuzeglobal economy • government bureaucracy • Internetnetworksreterritorialisation • reterritorialise • rhizomatic model • rhizomatic nature • rhizome • RTMark • schizophrenic behaviour • schizophrenic manner • systems of society • terrorist • terrorist networks • violent reterritorialisation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 OCTOBER 2008

Situationist cinema attempt to critique capitalist consumption practices

"Debord's mode of cinematic situation construction owes much to Marx's understanding of the relationship between production and alienation, especially as articulated in the Economico-Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. For Marx, the commodification of labour in a capitalist society means the loss of reality for the worker; in turn, the subsequently produced commodity ensures her simultaneous loss of and bondage to the object produced. Situationist cinema reverses this trend by refusing to produce any new filmic 'work', any reified artifact for consumption whose potential exchange value might negate the use-value acquired in its spatio-temporal projection and the subsequent construction of an indeterminately meaningful event.

Debord picks up Marxian concepts that the Marxist tradition hitherto had all but ignored, frequently echoing Marx's conclusion that alienation appears as the true induction into civil life, and, even more significantly, his observation and critique of 'commodity fetishism' in capitalist society. (3) The spectacle, Debord argues, thrives on the repetition of commodity form, reinvesting the structure with seemingly new products and images. By compiling image after image of the commodification of life by consumer capitalism (female bodies, political figures, product advertisements, popular films, and so on), his films expose this oppressive repetition and artificial sense of the new, and, as if to help along one of the most problematic concepts in Marx's work, Society of the Spectacle (1973) ponders the commodity's 'metaphysical subtleties' while sequentially imaging automobile showrooms and naked cover girls."

(Ricky Crano, 2007)

Crano, R. (2007). "Guy Debord and the Aesthetics of Cine-Sabotage." Senses of Cinema.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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