14/03/2015

Me, myself and I in the century of the self

We all know that we live within advanced societies of liberal capitalist model, in a profoundly individualistic and consumer society. It is a reality that this society, centered on the individual, freedom and happiness is having costs seamless background for life on the planet, also for the humans out of this advanced and liberal capitalist societies.

Today’s society has also been called the Society of knowledge and information, but today, knowledge of what happens outside not just our house, but also our borders is accessible for everyone, and we are the most immobile and inactive societies against the injustices and horrors outside and inside our closest areas. Only we consume that knowledge. It is the century of the self.

How is started this form of individuality and which one is the utility? How did we get here? How the consumer society was founded? How we become who we are today? How do we are identifyed with things and not with thoughts, with immediate needs and not ideal long term, when we stop being a community to be only us?

Here are some questions to which answers the documentary we propose: The Century of the Self. Directed by Adam Curtis, this is the first of the four parties that make up the entire document. It was published in 2002, and was nominated for numerous awards and winner in the categories of Best Documentary Series Broadcast Awards, and best historical film of the year, Longman History Today Awards.

Adam Curtis delves into the active influence did the theory of psychoanalysis of Freud, imported by Edward Bernays, his nephew, from Europe to the United States. Through knowledge of the theories of Freud, Bernays, a hybrid among the ideologue, publicist and agent of the emerging figure of PR, discovered how through the psyche could change the behavior of people how creating symbols on consumer products could manipulate the preferences of individuals with regard to these. He saw, how they could link feelings to property. He invented the theory of propaganda and persuasion of self to the masses.

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Edward Bernays was inspired by the theories of his uncle Sigmund Freud to turn needs into desires and thus create the consumer society —Image Unknown Author

We are in 20’s, the industry grows, and the fear of overproduction and increase management grows also. Big corporations needed what Bernays offered: a way to transform consumption needs in consumption desires. We are in happy 20’s, followed by the big Crack of 29.

Despite the big drop, from that moment capitalism he has not ceased to become liberal capitalism we know today. There was, after the Great Depression, an intermediate stage of the fight for the intervened and regulated capitalism —how Keynesianism or Roosevelt’s New Deal, which were later called ‘the golden age of capitalism’—. This fight was a tug of war between corporations and private interests against the public interest and the state, which culminated in 1979 with the oil crisis and definitive transformation of the mode of production in its ferocious more liberal version, in England with Thatcher and US with Reagan.

The documentary gives us many of the necessary tools to understand how that process was key, and how the supposed marriage between democracy and liberal capitalism is presented how unshakable, when in fact, as we shall see, is a marriage of convenience, and where the increase of freedom in consumption is at odds with the loss of our rights and freedom in its deepest sense. Those interested in this marriage you will become familiar for you: W. Lippmann, Lehman Brothers, Rockefeller, General Motors… and Edward Bernays, who would be the disseminator —although manipulator should say, because he used science to private interest— ideas, later would be used by Goebbels for the development of techniques of propaganda and ideology in Hitler’s Germany.

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899
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array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1639 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(7102) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2055" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-01-19 14:37:08" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-01-19 13:37:08" ["post_content"]=> string(9145) "En el ámbito de la sociología se denomina masa crítica a la cantidad de personas a partir de la cual un fenómeno concreto tiene lugar y adquiere una dinámica propia que le permite sostenerse y seguir existiendo, incluso crecer. Este concepto tiene su equivalente en física, que considera la masa crítica como la cantidad mínima de material necesaria para que se produzca y mantenga una reacción nuclear en cadena. Cuando una persona se para en la calle y mira hacia el cielo, normalmente no ocurre nada extraordinario y el resto de la gente continúa su camino, ignorándola. Cuando tres personas se paran y miran al cielo, quizá algunas otras se den la vuelta con curiosidad, antes de seguir con lo suyo. Pero existe un número concreto de personas —en este caso dependería de varios factores como la cultura en la que se desarrolla la escena, la hora o el ancho de la calle— que puede hacer que los demás se detengan y miren hacia el cielo también. W_masacritica
Si un número concreto de personas se pone a mirar al cielo a la vez, puede conseguir que los demás se paren y hagan lo mismo —Imagen Unknown Author
Hace mucho tiempo que disciplinas como la biología, la historia, la sociología o las matemáticas se han interesado por el fenómeno, principalmente por su enorme capacidad para generar cambios duraderos o permanentes, como especifica la teoría de las catástrofes, que comparte ámbito con la masa crítica y fue planteada a finales de los años 60 por el matemático francés René Thom y muy difundida después por los estudios de Christopher Zeeman, que la aplicaban a las ciencias humanas. La teoría de las catástrofes es especialmente útil para el estudio de sistemas dinámicos que representan fenómenos naturales —cuyas características no pueden ser descritas de manera exacta por el cálculo diferencial— y representa la propensión de los sistemas estructuralmente estables a manifestar discontinuidad, divergencia e histéresis. La discontinuidad implica que en cualquier sistema pueden producirse cambios repentinos del comportamiento o de los resultados y entonces, al llegar a cierto punto, ya no es posible seguir manteniendo el mismo estado y se sufre un cambio brusco. La divergencia es la tendencia de los pequeños cambios a generar grandes cambios. Si un avión tiene capacidad para 100 pasajeros, una demanda de 101 motivará la necesidad de utilizar otro avión mayor, y quizá la de tener que aterrizar en un aeropuerto distinto. En otras palabras, variaciones muy pequeñas en el punto de partida derivan hacia resultados totalmente alejados. La histéresis es el fenómeno por el que el estado de un material depende de su historia previa. La tendencia de un material es la de conservar sus propiedades incluso en ausencia del estímulo que las ha generado, aunque también es cierto que si los comportamientos varían pueden conducir a que no se vuelva a la situación inicial. Un ejemplo muy simple de un proceso de este tipo es la longitud de una varilla metálica en función de la temperatura: si se superan ciertos grados la varilla metálica se derretirá, se le desprenderá un trozo y ya será imposible volver al estado inicial. W_masacritica2
La esclavitud se remonta a la Edad Antigua —Aristóteles llegó a sostener que era un fenómeno natural— y fue una práctica habitual hasta finales del siglo XVIII —Imagen Unknown Artist
Aunque todos estos términos son muy técnicos y relativamente recientes, en la práctica hace siglos que las partes más intrépidas de la masa social han venido protagonizando actos que han marcado el devenir político y social del mundo, afectando al sistema y llegando en algunos casos a modificar paradigmas: desde la lucha de los plebeyos contra los patricios por sus derechos como ciudadanos de Roma hasta la Revolución francesa, pasando por la rebelión de los esclavos africanos por toda América, por citar sólo unos ejemplos. Después de ellos, el mundo ya no volvió a ser el mismo.In the field of sociology is called critical mass the amount of people from which a particular phenomenon occurs and acquires an own dynamic that allows it to hold itself and continue existing, even grow. This concept has its equivalent in physics, which considers the critical mass as the minimum amount of material needed to produce and maintain a nuclear chain reaction. When a person stands on the street and looks skyward, usually nothing outstanding happens and the rest of the people continues its path, ignoring her. When three people stop and look at the sky, maybe some others look curiously for a moment before continuing with their own. But there is a certain number of people —in this case would depend on several factors such as culture where the scene takes place, weather or width of the street— which can make others stop and look skyward also. W_masacritica
If a specific number of people look at the sky at the same time, they can get others to do the same —Image Unknown Author
Long time that disciplines such as biology, history, sociology or mathematics have been interested in the phenomenon, mainly because of its enormous capacity to generate lasting or permanent changes, as specified by the catastrophe theory, which shares field with the critical mass and was launched in the late 60s by the French mathematician René Thom and widespread later by the Christopher Zeeman studies, which applied it to the human sciences. The catastrophe theory is especially useful for the study of dynamic systems that represent natural phenomena —whose characteristics can not be accurately described by the differential calculus— and represents the propensity of structurally stable systems to manifest discontinuity, divergence and hysteresis. Discontinuity implies that in any system may occur sudden changes in behavior or outcome and then, at a certain point, is no longer possible to maintain the same state and undergoes an abrupt change. Divergence is the tendency of small changes to produce big changes. If a plane can accommodate 100 passengers, a demand of 101 will motivate the need for a larger plane, and perhaps having to land at a different airport. In other words, very small variations in the starting point can derive to results totally divorced. Hysteresis is the phenomenon by which the state of a material depends on its previous history. The tendency of a material is to preserve their properties even in the absence of the stimulus that generated them, although it is true that if the behaviors vary can lead to not return to starting position. A very simple example of a process of this type is the length of a metal rod depending on the temperature: if certain degrees are exceeded the metal rod will melt, a piece come off and it will be impossible to return to the initial state. W_masacritica2
Slavery dates back to Antiquity —Aristotle even claimed that it was a natural phenomenon— and was common practice until the late XVIII century —Image Unknown Artist
Although these terms are very technical and relatively recent, in practice for centuries the most intrepid parts of the social mass have been starred acts that have marked the political and social future of the world, affecting the system and in some cases modifying paradigms: from the struggle of the plebeians against the patricians for their rights as citizens of Rome to the French Revolution, passing through the rebellion of African slaves across all America, to name just a few. After that, the world was never already the same." ["post_title"]=> string(129) "La masa crítica y la teoría de las catástrofesThe critical mass and the catastrophe theory" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(44) "the-critical-mass-and-the-catastrophe-theory" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-06-13 13:31:54" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-06-13 11:31:54" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=7102" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#1636 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2715) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-06-25 00:04:56" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-06-24 22:04:56" ["post_content"]=> string(2119) "La Felicidad Nacional Bruta (FNB) o Felicidad Interior Bruta (FIB) es un indicador que mide la calidad de vida de las personas en términos más holísticos y psicológicos que el tradicional Producto Interior Bruto (PIB). El término fue propuesto en 1972 por Jigme Singye Wangchuck, rey de Bután, como respuesta a las constantes críticas sobre la mala marcha de la economía del país. Las medidas derivadas de este concepto se aplican en la vida cotidiana de los butaneses teniendo en cuenta las peculiaridades de su cultura, basada principalmente en el budismo. Mientras los modelos convencionales observan el crecimiento económico como objetivo principal, el concepto de FNB se basa en la premisa de que el verdadero desarrollo de la sociedad humana se encuentra en la complementación y refuerzo mutuo de los desarrollos material y espiritual. Sus cuatro pilares son la promoción del desarrollo socioeconómico sostenible e igualitario, la preservación y promoción de valores culturales, la conservación del Medio Ambiente y el establecimiento de un buen gobierno.Gross National Happiness (GNH) or Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) its an indicator that measures people's life quality in more holistic and psychological terms than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The term was proposed in 1972 by Jigme Singye Wangchuck, King of Buthan, as an answer to the constant criticism to the bad economy of the country. The measures resulting from this concept are applied in everyday life of the Bhutanese taking into account the peculiarities of their culture, based mainly in Buddhism. While conventional models observed economic growth as its main objective, the concept of GNH is based on the premise that true development of human society is in the complementarity and mutual reinforcement of material and spiritual developments. Its four pillars are: the promotion of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the environment and the establishment of good governance." ["post_title"]=> string(116) "El índice de Felicidad Nacional BrutaThe assessment of Gross National Happiness" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(42) "the-assessment-of-gross-national-happiness" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-03 03:16:53" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-03 02:16:53" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=2715" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#1640 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5593) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2046" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2014-02-03 00:01:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-02-02 23:01:00" ["post_content"]=> string(1677) "Los medios actuales de comunicación en las redes sociales nos permiten moldear una identidad personal a medida, con la que relacionarnos con el mundo. Fotografías, mensajes, referencias, comentarios, vídeos y canciones, estratégicamente seleccionados, responden a un deseo general de mostrarnos y ser aceptados como nos gustaría ser. Sin quererlo, se ha generado un gap entre quiénes somos, con nuestras flaquezas y alegrías, y cómo nos mostramos al mundo en diferido. En la entretela de estas dos bandas separadas por la técnica digital se hacina mucha soledad, de esa que es triste. Estamos conectados con cientos de personas y tal vez más solitarios que nunca. De esto trata 'The innovation of loneliness' —La innovación de la soledad—, una pieza de animación de Shimi Cohen basada en un libro de Sherry Turkle titulado 'Alone together' —Juntos a solas—.The current social networks allow us to mold a personal identity with which we relate to the world. Photos, messages, references, comments, videos and songs, strategically selected, reflect a general desire to show us and be accepted as we would like to be. Unwittingly, it has been created a gap between who we are, with our foibles and joys, and how we show deferred to the world. In the interlining of these two bands separated by digital technology there are much loneliness, that kind of loneliness which is sad. We are connected with hundreds of people and perhaps more lonely than ever. All this is dealt in 'The innovation of loneliness', a piece of animation made by Shimi Cohen, based on a book by Sherry Turkle titled 'Alone together'." ["post_title"]=> string(124) "Juntos a solas, la innovación de la soledadAlone together, the innovation of loneliness" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(43) "alone-together-the-innovation-of-loneliness" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-02-19 00:15:54" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-18 23:15:54" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=5593" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#1788 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(7296) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2019-12-18 21:30:42" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2019-12-18 20:30:42" ["post_content"]=> string(2958) "'El futuro ha de ser, como dicen en Latinoamérica, del buen vivir' —Arcadi Oliveres es economista y profesor universitario de la Universitat Autònoma de Catalunya, participante activo en movimientos sociales desde su juventud y reconocido activista de Justícia i Pau, una organización por la promoción y defensa de los derechos humanos en todo el mundo y de la que desde 2001 es presidente. Conocido por su labor divulgativa en economía política, análisis de las corporaciones y propuestas para el consumir responsable y sostenible, es también especialista en las relaciones económicas norte-sur, deuda externa y precio justo. Gran crítico del sistema capitalista liberal contemporáneo, con su participación activa en el movimiento 15M —en su representación en la acampada de Plaza Catalunya en Barcelona en 2011— sus ideas y discurso se dieron a conocer aún más. Su condición de activista empieza con las luchas estudiantiles contra la dictadura de Franco en los 60 y se consolida con los movimientos antiglobalización y con su defensa de las teorías del decrecimiento. Participó también en la creación del Foro Social Mundial en Porto Alegre y del movimiento de los indignados 15M. Actualmente continúa con su actividad como docente en la UAB y como pensador y divulgador que transforma la economía en política, la política en sociedad y la sociedad en humanidad y justicia.'The future has to be, as they say in Latin America, the good life' —Arcadi Oliveres is a Catalan economist and UAB university professor and an active participant in social movements since his youth. Also is a recognized activist in Justice and Peace, an organization for the promotion and defense of human rights around the world. In this organitzation is the president since 2001. He is known for his divulgative work about political economy, corporate analysis and proposals for responsible and sustainable consumption. Also specializes in North-South relations in international economics, foreign debt and fair price. Great critic of contemporary liberal capitalist system, with its active participation in the 15M movement —in its representation in the camp of Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona 2011— his speech became more known. His activism began in his youth with the student movement against the dictatorship of Franco in the 60s, it was consolidated with the anti-globalization movements and their theoretical conceptualizations and defense theories of degrowth. He also participated in the creation of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre and the Indignados movement (15M). Continues its activities as a teacher at UAB, and activist, thinker and promotor, we hope that his work will not cease, and leave us for many years, this light provided by this economist, where the economy is transformed into politics, politics into society, and society in humanity and justice." 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