Posts Tagged 'Adam Curtis'

The black and white world of Adam Curtis.

If you don’t know the BBC’s Adam Curtis is, you can use Google, wikipedia and Google video to find out.

I fell in love with Curtis’ analysis in The Power of Nightmares, possibly his most acclaimed work. Being hooked, I trailed my way through most of his other work and began to see a pretty big problem: Curtis sees the world in black and white. No I’m not talking about ‘race’ I mean virtually everything he does is cast as everything consisting of just two opinions.

I began to see this on his program about ‘game theory’ particularly on a statement about JFK and the Cuban missile crisis, and since then I see it a lot. It actually turned me off watching his last programs about the loving machines, and the bi-focus he ‘explains’ the world in, is simply inaccurate.

I’m beginning to think that his bipolar constructions are a reason as to why he gets the acclaim that he does, because people are much much happier when they are offered to chance to see things in a bipolar way. Anything else is confusion.

The world has a lot of bipolar-ism in it, but Curtis’ geopolitical “analysis” that only sees things as one philosophy at loggerheads with another actually cheapens and brings into serious question the things that he says. He also proposes that the whole world is moved by the bipolar spread he lays out. Until he makes another program and then the world actually moved because that that other spread, until that is the next program comes out.

I finally penning an article to this because low and behold, Curtis is at it again…

He’s Behind You
How Colonel Gaddafi and the Western Establishment Created a Pantomime World

By Adam Curtis

Curtis’ work is valuable but quite overinflated and rather formulaic stitched together to hide the seams with some nice interesting music. Here’s a golden ‘oldie’ for you…

Towards understanding and the rejection of ‘the creation of crisis’.

Update: Watch Naomi’s speech (links below). Then read the article (extract supplied) for a better understanding of the pressure applied to Canadas credit rating.

The Terrorists Still at Ground Zero

By Alexander Cockburn, (Posted on ICH, 17/02/08) “Counterpunch

On January 10 Moody’s, in concert with the other main bond rating firm, Standard and Poor’s, gave the United States its top AAA credit rating. The terrorist blackmail threat came in the form of a demand by Moody’s that the U.S. government “reform” Social Security and Medicare: “In the very long term, the rating could come under pressure if reform of Medicare and Social Security is not carried out as these two programs are the largest threats to the long-term financial health of the United States and to the government’s Aaa rating.”

Continue…

— End of Update —


 

 

What we do 5 seconds after thinking about World Poverty

Much is made of the content of PNAC document “Rebuilding Americas Defences”[1] where on page 63 it states: “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.” thereby identifying that crisis can bring about change.

In that infamous document, PNAC identify a drawn out development is disadvantageous to the US. The reason being of course that other countries will legitimately gain the technology and military resilience with the passage of time. Hence the usefulness of the catalyst or accelerant to the ‘cause’, the breadth of which require a very big crisis indeed.

  Aside: It’s the opinions of this author that such a crisis was deliberately brought about to allow the occidental fascism we see today. And just about every bone in my body tells me 7-7 is almost the same. 

Come now to a sliced speech posted on the superb spiderednews[2] website, a site for which my respect grows every passing day. It’s by author Naomi Klein[3], speaking at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a socialist and therefore moral organisation. Yes that’s right, I can make that claim as the conservative or so called neo-liberal (if I understand that term properly) think tanks are a proven failure the world throughout. Naomi has written a book called The Shock Doctrine which I guess covers the same topic.

In her talk, she mentions the rise of people like John Williamson[4] and Milton Friedman[5] – a man for whom rampant capitalism was his god.

Here now is an excerpt I transcribed from Naomi.

“I want to read you a quote from John Williamson, John Williamson, well his claim to fame is simple, he’s the man who invented the ‘Washington consensus’[6]. He thought of that name and also explained what it meant.

He is a, what do you know, he works for a think tank in Washington that is closely aligned to the world bank and the IMF and he has this uncanny knack for verbalising the subconscious of capitalism, that’s why I love him. He said this in 1993, the year of Yeltsins coup. He noticed something in his research which is, that not only did it seem that it was important for there to be crisis in order to impose what he called deep reform, which meant the Washington consensus, but he noticed that the only cases where the Washington Consensus had been imposed were countries that were facing some kind of profound crisis.

So he was musing out loud at one of these gathering where, you know, central bank presidents from Poland and Argentina and ex-finance ministers tend to gather, this is in Washington DC in January 1993, he said “One will have to ask whether it could conceivably make sense to think of deliberately provoking a crisis (textual emphasis assed) so as to remove the political log jam to reform. For example, it has sometimes been suggested in Brazil that it would be worthwhile stoking up a hyper-inflation so as to scare anyone into accepting those changes. Presumably no one with historical foresight would have advocated in the mid 1930’s that Germany or Japan go to war in order to get the benefits of the super-growth that followed their defeat, but could a lesser crisis have served the same function. Is it possible to conceive of a pseudo-crisis that could serve the same positive function without the cost of a real crisis?”

Naomi says later “Here’s the scary news. They’re [the shocks] are not working as well as there used to, so the disasters that they’re taking advantage of are getting bigger”

On the upside she says, “shock is a temporary state, by its very nature…shock wears off” identifying Latin America as being some of the first to come out of shock some 35 years ago.

Crisis manipulation is not new, but it may appear to be so, especially to those young of year and because the study of meaningful history in school suffered a horrific assault from which it has never really recovered. However, thanks to the internet, this disgraceful distortion of history looks every subsequent day to be increasingly useless.

But the most important part of Naomi says, is that of crisis synthesis and then subsequent manipulation.

Praiseworthy her speech may be, I don’t think Naomi goes far enough. Naomi’s spotlighting of the public recognition of John Williamson’s ‘Washington consensus’ {note wikipedia dates it 4 years earlier to 1989}[6] and she did touch upon Milton Friedman and his empowerment by Nixon in being granted a free hand in Chile’s darkest period embodied by the anti-Allende coup on 11th Sept 1973, but the synthesis is much wider and much older.

Both in his book “Confessions of an Economic Him’ and in interviews[7], John Perkins identifies a number of methods to make a country bow in servitude to the United States. The methods are primarily economic thereby synthesizing economic crisis.

Steven Kinzer[8] identifies another whereby the US government created an economic crisis by blocking Hawaiian sugar exports the US thereby encouraging the USan elite sugar plantation “owners” to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy allowing for the country to be absolved in the US. Or the massacre of striking workers protesting against US company United Fruit in 1920’s Colombia[9].

John Pilger has documented the impact of neo-Liberalism on Central and South America over the last 60 years or so in addition to Chile and feature in his numerous writings on the subject as well as his movie documentary ‘The War on Democracy’[10].

A number of political commentators have done well to highlight the 1953 overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iran lead by Mohammed Mosaddeq.

Stage managed crisis and crisis manipulation has been going on for years and thankfully now, mainly due again to the internet lead information new-age, more and more people are bringing such horrors to light with varying degrees of independence to each other.

And it is encouraging that given the extent and funding and power of what I would call this evil element (and those behind it), that when exposed to just a crumb of the truth, then the human spirit can still turn towards goodness and hope, and I believe that spirit lies within us all.

This disgusting elite serving oppression upon mankind and its hegemony must be exposed and opposed. We must share this knowledge, unite together and reject this immense suffering. This involves writing, dialogue as well as actions and boycotts.

Let’s make this a better world.

Key words and shrapnel:

Naomi Klein, The Washington consensus, Neoliberalism, non-Keynesian economics, Milton Friedman, The Chicago Boys, Shock therapy, Bernard Lewis, neoConservatives. John Williamson (the Washington consensus), PNAC, Steven Kinzer, John Pilger, Adam Curtis, John Pilger, hegemony, globalisation, enslavement

Refs and further reading:

  

[1] http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

[2] http://www.spiderednews.com/

 [3] Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine – Part 1 of 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka3Pb_StJn4

 Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine – Part 2 of 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du3mpRkaz8g

 Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine – Part 3 of 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og2gYUVURAI

 Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine – Part 4 of 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRvuGLM_Pe4 

Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine – Part 5 of 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7FcoU0LLUU

 Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine – Part 6 of 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG_xRZW32X0

[4] John Williamson (economist): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Williamson_%28economist%29

 [5] Milton_Friedman: http://pedia.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman 

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Consensus

[7] John Perkins on Amy Goodmans Democracy Now.

http://www.democracynow.org/2004/12/31/confessions_of_an_economic_hit_man

[8] Steven Kinzer Interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now.

http://community.freespeech.org/overthrow_americas_century_of_regime_change_from_hawaii_to_iraq see also: http://www.democracynow.org/2006/5/8/part_ii_overthrow_americas_century_of

[9]  United Fruit Company that occurred on December 6, 1928 in the town of Ciénaga near Santa Marta, Colombia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_massacre

[10] http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2007/08/20/war_on_democracy_pilger.rm
see also http://www.johnpilger.com

The Chicago Boys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Boys

 

    


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