Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our lives whether in the sphere of politics or business in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.
Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.
If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it.
In his marvelous book, The Emotional Lives of Animals, Marc Bekoff describes the devastating impact on animals of being kept in small cages. US soldier Bradley Manning has been kept illegally in an even smaller cage for eight months with no end in sight. At his press conference on March 11, one reporter found the courage to ask President Obama about the conditions of Manning’s confinement. The great and noble president of the United States replied that he had asked the Pentagon and was assured that the conditions of Manning’s confinement “are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards.” Only a George Orwell could do justice to an American president who thinks that keeping a US soldier in conditions worse than those that drive caged animals insane is “appropriate.”
The US government, which is profligate in its wars, profligate in tax cuts and bailouts for the mega-rich, and profligate in giving unlimited monopoly power to unregulated financial institutions, blames the resulting financial crisis on “handouts” to the poor and “entitlements” to the elderly. Such deception needs more than exposure. It cries out for a 21st century Orwell.
Why didn’t someone tell me Inception was just as boring as Titanic. Inception = Action sequence, then some pointless dialogue about how they need to dream deeply but “Oh it’s never been done!”, action sequence, “oh my wife might show up”, action sequence, “Oops we are so deep in the dream that if we die in dream we go to dream limbo!”, action sequence, on and on. Oh now I get it, the movie is suppose to put you to sleep and then you get incepted. I think I’ll watch season 3 of Ned’s Declassified on Netflix. Much more interesting, especially the episode where Ned and Moze finally hook up on a field trip.
“As for crowdsourcing being a “labor of love” (Shirky primly reminds us that the term “amateur” “derives from the Latin amare—‘to love’”), the governing metaphor here wouldn’t seem to be digital sharecropping so much as the digital plantation. For all too transparent reasons of guilt sublimation, patrician apologists for antebellum slavery also insisted that their uncompensated workers loved their work, and likewise embraced their overseers as virtual family members. This is not, I should caution, to brand Shirky as a latter-day apologist for slavery but rather to note that it’s an exceptionally arrogant tic of privilege to tell one’s economic inferiors, online or off, what they do and do not love, and what the extra-material wellsprings of their motivation are supposed to be. To use an old-fashioned Enlightenment construct, it’s at minimum an intrusion into a digital contributor’s private life—even in the barrier-breaking world of Web 2.0 oversharing and friending. The just and proper rejoinder to any propagandist urging the virtues of uncompensated labor from an empyrean somewhere far above mere “society” is, “You try it, pal.””—
The industrial factory commodified the physical labor of workers and now the digital factory commodifies the attention of web users - our “playful” wanderings over the Internet performed by mere fingers, eyes and consciousness is reminiscent of the strenuous physical movements of arms and legs with large machinery in industrial factories. Both produce value. Furthermore just as the crisis of industrial capital was the question of how to persuade frugal consumers to buy more than they needed - the installation of a voracious desire into consumer’s psyche – so the digital factory needs us all to pay more and more attention to more and more “images”. Where the Fordist economy thrived on endless desire the Post-Fordist digital economy lives on infinite attention to every digitized detail of life. Or what passes for life. - pieto
I’m down with inciting people to hug each other and all, but my hope is that the use of this app will be more in line with the goals and principles of Debord and the Situationist International. Impromptu discussion of class politics with strangers? Sure. Identifying opportunities to increase critical discussion and analysis of mass media and individual notions of the self and self worth? Yes, Yes! And if you’re down with Marx and Adorno, well, I’ll give you a high five and my number if you’re lucky (ha!).
Do I really need to get into iPhone apps and the situationists? I’ll tell you what would be situationist w/ an iPhone. No iPhone! The whole Internet thingy is merely capital’s way of perfecting the total valorisation of attention and the extension of the factory into EVERY aspect of life.
We commence publication of Interactions: Studies in Communication and Culture with a special issue on what we believe is a matter of considerable interest. It begins with a question: ‘Do recent developments in the media – convergence, interactivity, Web 2.0 in short, mean that we need to reassess how we think about the media, how we research into it and how we write and teach about it?’ The guest editor, Paul Taylor, has assembled a very serious and lively exploration of the notion of Media Studies 2.0 which we hope, and fully expect, will lead to further discussion in these pages and elsewhere.
No problem, I hope your friend enjoys tumblr. I usually post mostly gifs and flowers and silly things, I actually do write sometimes, mostly it's after having had too much to drink and I get pretty vile. So I stick to pictures :)
Your comment made my day which included a massive panic attack in a MRI machine. So many thanks. Unfortunately I recently figured out how to make gifs. Drinking, writing and tumbling can be dangerous. There should be a warning label somewhere. Also your tumblr is great.
What is utopian is the partial, merely political revolution, the revolution that leaves the pillars of the house standing. What does a partial, merely political revolution rest on? On the fact that a part of civil society emancipates itself and attains universal dominion, on the fact that a specific class undertakes the general emancipation of society on the basis of its particular situation. This class emancipates all of society, but only on the condition that all of society is in the same position as this class, e.g., that is has money and education or can easily acquire them.
No class in civil society can play this role without arousing a moment [Moment, energizing impulse or element] of enthusiasm in itself and in the masses, a moment which leads it to fraternize and merge with society at large, to identify itself with it, to be regarded and acknowledged as society’s general representative. In this moment of enthusiasm, the demands and rights of the class really become the demands and claims of society itself, of the society of which this class is the social head and social heart. Only in the name of the general rights of society can a particular class pretend to general supremacy. Revolutionary energy and intellectual self-confidence are not themselves sufficient for a class to be able to seize this emancipation position and thus to gain political control over all spheres of society in the interests of its own sphere… For one class to be par excellence the class of emancipation, another must conversely be the obvious class of oppression…
… And more, in every estate there is equally lacking that breadth of soul which identifies itself with the soul of the people, even if only momentarily. There is lacking that genius which inspires material force toward political power, that revolutionary boldness which flings at its adversary the defiant slogan: I am nothing, and I should be everything…
”—Karl Marx, from “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: Introduction” (via avenyc)