2014-07-31

Fabulous Guantanamo Torture



The sadistic component that accompanies all power regimes tends to appear in a particular way in Neoliberalism. Indeed, this latter mutation of Capitalism, particularly in ned of making a profit from human pleasures and pains, inevitably leads to an increasingly intense conquest of his dark areas, as is the case of the enjoyment at contemplating others' suffering. This would be not only a prosperous new business niche for mass tourism, but also would offer an effective financing instrument to these increasingly widespread and costly repressive institutions, consistent with the tendency to privatization of this kind of state services, as well.  

Image after Betty Willis' Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign (1959) [fu/fd], Getty Images's Guantanamo Bay detention camp (2002) [fu/fd] and others [ua-fu/fd].

2014-07-25

Politeness of Censorship


Opposed to the traditional censorship, that we can call positive, censorship in our neoliberal regime can be qualified as negative. In contemporary neoliberal pseudo-democracies freedom of speech censorship is, apparently, not so violent; dissenting positions or opinions can still be expressed through alternative and minority media. And yet in the mainstream media, which occupy most of the spectrum, a negative censorship is practiced. Here the advertisers pay (this is the only shareholders' concern) not only to appear in the media but also for the readers' indoctrination in neoliberal ideology, so that they consume their products (Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power. The Indispensable Chomsky, 2002). Thus, it would be at least polemical to place the ad of an oil corporation besides an article highlighting the benefit that wars bring to the oil industry. As a result, neoliberal censorship operates as an abstract, impersonal, anonymous machinery, which suggests --of course, quite politely--, the contents to be politically correct. As in other aspects  concerning the neoliberal imperialism, the violence is thus outsourced to the margins of the system.  

Image after mainstream media's logos [fu/fd].

2014-07-10

Kapital macht frei (Capital makes free)


If the power transition which we are living today can be summarized in the shift from a regime based on productive capital (work) to another based on financial capital, then it would not be unreasonable to adapt the Nazi motto Arbeit macht frei ('work makes free') to its neoliberal version Kapital macht frei ('capital makes free'). In both cases, work and capital are the instrument to, at the same time, liberate and subjugate, the vehicle that articulates the privilege of a few and, at the same time, the extermination of many. This crucial concurrence -this at the same time- is exactly what the systemic propaganda tries by all means to hide.  

Image after Forbes' World's Billionaires.

2014-07-03

Abu Ghraib after Warhol


We believe that one of the keys to understand how power operates as well as its complicity with the media --an increasingly inextricable relation of the second and the fourth power-- is some kind of manipulation of our empathy. This is in fact a two-way mechanism, responsive to the public's reactions but also forced from above. The repeated and ritualized use of images depicting violence, all made accordingly to the priestly know-how of the media experts, gradually undermines our ability of an empathic response, in such a way that, piety is little by little turned into a more or less conscious sadism. Thus, when the contemporary man is having dinner in front of the television, he is also commemorating the sacrificial --and even cannibal-- rituals of their ancestors.

Image after United States Army's images of Abu Ghraib (2004) [pd] and Andy Warhol's works.