Sunday, 10 July 2011

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

© Copyright 1967 by Richard Brautigan

And this is really all I'm saying, in all these films, to go back to what you were talking about -- the disappointment you shared, is that I'm very sympathetic to a lot of the protest movements and to challenging power in society. But you're not going to do it through self-organizing networks where you all sit 'round and there are no leaders and there is no sort of guiding vision except self-organization. It's a retreat, I think. And in many respects I think it's a cowardly retreat on the part of the Left from confronting the fact that power is getting more and more and more concentrated in our society, but they don't have an alternative. And they retreat, like bureaucrats, like librarians, into process. Processes of organization. Without actually inspiring me with a vision of another kind of way of organizing the world.

I'm really sympathetic to anyone who challenges the vested interests of power, because I think we live in an age where that's increasingly going to have to happen. But self-organizing systems, on their own, are what they say: they're organizing systems. They're managerialism. And managerialism isn't about changing the world. It's a retreat into bureaucracy or is a sort of rearranging things. It is managerialism which is really the prevalent ideology of our time, is that we're all systems. We hold things stable. And what I argue in ALL those revolutions, which if you look at them now have gone backwards, they were incredibly noble, brave... hundreds of thousands of people poured into those squares in places like the Ukraine, challenged those in power and got rid of them. But then, what next? Because it was a brilliant piece of organization. But what next? And they've actually gone backwards. And I just think that what I'm trying to point out in that is not that they're wrong, it's just that this ideology, of systems of which we are all parts and somehow that system stabilizes itself and that's it... is limiting or actually useless when you actually want to really change the world. You have to have a vision of a different way of organization.

Adam Curtis

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