Apr 8th, 2007 by Eliot P. Brenner
This is the film that I now want to project onto the sides of buildings in public squares.
I wouldn’t have expected to find out that the BBC showed a three-hour documentary on the telly that covered many of the topics I’ve been thinking about and kicking around in discussion with friends for the past 10 years, but there you have it.* In addition to the philosophy, game theory, economics, politics, it was most interesting to me the way they interwove psychiatry and surveys in the first two episodes (I’m still working on the third episode). The Ladd-Lipset Survey of the American Professorate and how that came about in the late 70s, although it was not mentioned in the documentary, would have also fit into this context. Mathematical measurement of dubious value was a lietmotif of those times.
I can’t helping finding a connection also with the privatization of the US military. One sees simultaneously, dismantling of (the Western) state bureaucracy in the service of expansion of a specious sort of “freedom”. In this case “freedom” devolves into freedom of (US) citizens from actually having to serve their government either in a defensive capacity, or on behalf the foreigners whom the wars in which Blackwater is involved are “liberating”.
Incidentally, the surrendering by the state of one of its more central attributes, namely the supposed “monopoly on the use of force”, fits snugly into the narrative of van Creveld’s, The Rise and Decline of the State, which is one of the more profound books I have (partially) read in the last few years. The connections are endless.
*You don’t need to install Real Player to view the .rm file. Real Alternative will work just fine.del.icio.us |Digg it |ma.gnolia |StumbleUpon |