Not Saussure

March 4, 2007

One to set the video for?

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 8:12 pm

Via Blairwatch, a new three-part documentary by Adam Curtis, perhaps best-known for The Power of Nightmares and The Century of the Self (links for video at the end of the articles):   a new three-part series, The Trap — What Happened To Our Dream Of Freedom, starts March 11, 21:00 on BBC2.

From the press release:

Individual freedom is the dream of our age. It’s what our leaders promise to give us, it defines how we think of ourselves and, repeatedly, we have gone to war to impose freedom around the world. But if you step back and look at what freedom actually means for us today, it’s a strange and limited kind of freedom. 

Politicians promised to liberate us from the old dead hand of bureaucracy, but they have created an evermore controlling system of social management, driven by targets and numbers. Governments committed to freedom of choice have presided over a rise in inequality and a dramatic collapse in social mobility. And abroad, in Iraq and Afghanistan, the attempt to enforce freedom has led to bloody mayhem and the rise of an authoritarian anti-democratic Islamism. This, in turn, has helped inspire terrorist attacks in Britain. In response, the Government has dismantled long-standing laws designed to protect our freedom.

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  1. If this thesis is as important as it appears to be it needs public discussion, online documentation, a book- it’s frustrating if it’s just left as entertainment. Most shocking to me was a Christian PM (Margaret Thatcher) buying into the theory that benign results will flow from selfish roots (and why no mention of her beloved Adam Smith?), and deliberately dismantling the Christian roots of the Health Service which were based in the notion of service and altruism. A great programme but needs more than the authorial voice (i.e. some proper debate) to make it convincing.

    Comment by David Thistlethwaite — March 12, 2007 @ 11:11 am

  2. I found this a helpful insight into what so many colleagues recognise as “management” today: the mistrust offered employees, the simplistic incentivising and bullying approach as if robots, or rather unreflective Pavlovian dogs not fellow human beings who are being addressed. Maybe this is a model of bad management but it is very common. I feel that this approach so well described here needs to be resisted, exposed and fought for all our sakes.

    Comment by Karin Greenhead — March 12, 2007 @ 11:30 pm

  3. I agree that the program The Trap needs a book and further debate. The program while interesting was a bit fast paced requiring some back ground information to reflect on and at least alternative position.

    Comment by Derek Toyne — March 26, 2007 @ 2:46 am

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