Wednesday, September 05, 2007

the "f's" of freedom and fanaticism

Two documentary "must sees" - you don't need a TV - over the last half year are:
The Trap: What Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom - Adam Curtis - BBC shown on BBC2 in three parts at 21:00 (UK) on 10,17,24 March 2007 and God's Warriors - Christiane Amanpour - CNN shown on CNN in three parts at 21:00 (USA) on 21, 22, 23 August 2007 in the following order: Jewish, Muslim, Christian.

Having searched for a comparison of the above whether on the net, blogs or commercial source, I am fairly convinced that the following is uncharted territory.

Summarizing these documentaries, Curtis' presentation is based on the idea of "the war coming home", the real world application of the cold war concept of game theory to all of society and its effecting of the emergence of market sovereignity over political choice (read "democracy") leading to the prevalence of freedom from security, dignity and meaning and thus to atomization, selfishness and nihilism (read "negative freedom"), Prozac (and CRM and ERP - my additions). The upshot is a powerpoint spreadsheet statistical and number persuasiveness underlying a newer development of gaming or conning the system bringing about such things as enron, the rich getting much richer and an almost absolute irreversible political corruption (as well as so-called customer service). Amanpour brings the phenomena of religious fanaticism under scrutiny in three flavors and in the following order - Jewish, Muslim and Christian. As this is more emotional territory, there is more blog ranting against her apparent moral relativism and editorial decisons of adding or subtracting material but if you read the August 20 transcript of her interview by Larry King, she places the term "illegitimate" in the right places and so I am led to believe that the programs reflect CNN's own global interests, not necessarily her own.

The programs overlap in the meaning of violence for the perpetrator (is it a transcending freedom or an audition for the world to come?. Or is it repressive or progressive?) and in the failure of politics and in religion's audition to fill that vacuum (except in the Russian Federation where "security, dignity and meaning" are chosen over personal freedom). Overall, the two programs seem to comprise an overall attack upon what I would term the behavioral materialists, were I to make some kind of Weberian joke on Marx. The message seems to be that as much as things spiritual and soul-ish have been disproven or factored out as not numerically significant and so nonexistent on the checklist, they are rebounding big time.

What it means locally may be an explanation of how much Israel is affected by what goes on outside. Making sense now of President Bush's compliment on Israel's democracy, it is supposed to be on the level of a demo freeware lite democracy, expected to be no more than the type built to make (or if need be, force) the world free.

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