User:Chen Junyu/Headings/Reading Writing & Research Methodologies/Trim3/Ideology

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[steve notes: here you use the notion of 'ideological glassess' (Zizek's phrase) in They Live as your motif for the text. This allows you to talk about the Marxist notions of 'false consciousness' (they know not what they do) and zizek's reading of 'cynical reason' (they know what they do but they do it anyway). In this way you make it clear to this reader the role desire and fantasy takes in the formation and maintenance of ideology. You also introduce the notion of class - there are a group of people who sanction and approve ideas in the maintainance of ideology. Style/content notes: make citations (in Harvard method) - it is great that you trace ideology back to Marx but you need to give citations - make bibliography. Good work] ALL ABOUT IDEOLOGY

What is ideology?

As Zizek says, ideology is spontaneous relationship to our social world.It always works as an empty container.If we put on the critique-of-ideology glasses, we can recognise the real message behind these illusional concepts. Nevertheless we don’t have these magic glasses in our social life, we can only see the containers— which are open to all possible meanings. It can be the religion which permit and cover your obscene desire, can be the “surprise” of “Kinder Surprise Egg” ,can be the gut feeling when we experience something pathetic …That is to say, it is the secret “ something more” which we desire to get .

How does ideology function on individuals.

Both at the beginning and at the end of the movie<The Act Of Killing>,Anwar and Herman, the two main actors ,are directing and acting for a “fantasy,romantic” film —young and skinny women dance around green mountains and waterfalls,or walk out slightly from a huge fishlike building . This fake and fantastic story is their container of ideology.This container helps them to give their act of killing and torture a reasonable explanation to themselves, therefore they built a detail story of what they have done. They conveyed this “ideology” by one of their victim in their romantic film —the victim took out a golden medal and shook hands with Anwar, then said :” For executing me and send me to haven, I thank you a thousand times, for everything.” The sentence Anwar said afterwards proved he was so engagement —“I never imaged I could make something so great.” Obviously this ideology give them enough enjoyment ,which is not only the original pleasure from violence, also something they think is much deeper and touchable. Fantasy is the central thing our ideology made of. For every ordinary people, we have multiplicity of fears confuses us for the every single evil potential hidden in the society. Sometimes we simply don’t know what is the meaning of all this confusion. It is intricate and complex. How to deal with this complicated confusion and fear surrounding us? Fantasy can give us an easier answer.As Zizek's words, “when you use a single target , such as jewish, replace all the multiple problems,replace other social conflicts,everything become clearly.” It is a favored tactic of leadership. For the case of <Act of Killing>, Jews are replaced by communists. The ideology lead people (especially military )to fight against communists, and it is even not the real communists, what they fight against is illusion and desire. The illusion of that communist is the source of all the social problems and the desire of releasing the desire of violence.

How does ideology function in community

Another example, how the cultural revolution happen in China?After experiencing the absurd Great Leap Forward and the tough three years , people’s insecurity for daily life kept increasing .To reduce this insecurity , the government found a perfect target for most of people : the ruling class in the past —capitalist class, even more, capital itself. That was the easier answer ideology gave to people— capitalism, it was the source of our suffering which happened on proletariat for hundreds years. All the disappointing for life can be traced to the evil of capitalism. Thus people got a concrete target to struggle against,the fever they showed was unbelievable powerful.On one hand their goal was overturning and punishing the ruling class,especially the capitalist class— which is ironically , this red revolution made peole who “contributed” most earned “capital” and people who used to be capitalists were poor than anybody who were torturing them during the revolution.On the other hand people enjoyed and engaged to this grand proletarian ceremony,which was proved to be a totally fantasy for the illusional utopia at the end. We can see this fever in fascism in many wokers movements. In the chapter “Ruling Class and Ruling Ideas”, from The German Ideology, Karl Marx clarified increasingly abstract ideas take on the form of universality. “For each new class which puts itself in the place of one ruling before it, is compelled, merely in order to carry through its aim, to represent its interest as the common interest of all the members of society, that is, expressed in ideal form: it has to give its ideas the form of universality, and represent them as the only rational, universally valid ones. The class making a revolution appears from the very start, if only because it is opposed to a class, not as a class but as the representative of the whole of society; it appears as the whole mass of society confronting the one ruling class. ” That is to say, the fantasy we have is usually controlled by the ruling ideas, for the “target” which is concerned by ruling ideas, is changes by the desire of the ruling class.

Freedom is painful

We can distinguish people in the society who ruled by ideology as two parts: people who know what they are doing and just keep doing —which is cynical ideology functions in the mode of , and people who don’t know what they are doing but still keep doing . In the gap between these two area is those who cannot bare the cynical functioning of ideology—some of them would express their confusion by violence. It is the reaction of people who are totally caught into the predominant ideology but have no ways to realise what this ideology demands of them . Every single movement of violence is a symbol. From Capital Volume One “Sie wissen es nicht, aber sie tun es. ""They don't know what they are doing ,but they are none the less doing it. " From another Marx’s article about ruling class, he mentioned there are only certain people in the ruling class act as “thinkers”,as producers of ideas, and regulate the production and distribution of the ideas of their age: thus their ideas are the ruling ideas of the epoch.Others’ attitude to these ideas and illusions is more passive and receptive,because they are in reality the active members of this class and have less time to make up illusions and ideas about themselves. Go back to the movie <They Live> , the further scene where John Nada tries to force his best friend also put the glassed on.They fight for more or less eight minutes . It is as if he is well aware that spontaneously he lives n a lie. That the glasses will make him see the truth, but that this truth can be painful. Freedom always been painful .Once the truth brokes his ideology to current life, he probably is forced to face the negation to his class.While people can get the enjoyment from fake life, why they still need truth?