User:Mihail Bakalov/Trimester 3/READING, WRITING AND RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES/Essay ideology

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Reading ideology - subjectivity and false consciousness

[Steve: I think the strongest point you have is to do with bureaucrats. You identify the Bureacratic tendency which you could develop more. I think this text is an honest attempt to come to grips with a conplex subject, but here are parts of the text where things aren't clear to me, and there are some places where it doesn't make sense at all - see notes below. My key point to you is, please understand that (in the films we look at) reality and fantasy are not separate - ideology does not oppose fantasy or reality - it is both]

By definition ideology is a set of personal beliefs outlining what one has determined to be the optimal mode of social organization [this is unclear to me- whose definition is thsi?]. Actually what shows the first occurrence of ideology is how it uses some value, moral or belief of the majority of a country. All ideologies need the expression of subjective values - invites the use of law and concieves enforcement of an allegedly "ideal" code. [citation]

The ideology that is described in Enjoy Poverty is the one that makes use of poverty. [no, I think you misunderstand the role of ideology: for martins the aid industry disguises what is really going on, which is the exploitation of resources in the Congo In this project Renzo Martins aims on the issue of documenting some of the main problems about charity and aid for Congo. The movie is insisting that it provides transperancy on the issues, objectively presents it and shows an experimental solution describing the idea of poverty as a commodity. Although there are certain layers of subjectivity which gets like a boundery between its key elements. In his work Renzo is the filmmaker(artist), also is a journalist, who acts as a narrator, but also plays as an actor. So all these parts played by him introduce quite a sophistication which confuses the viewer about Renzo's true self. He looses objectivity(of being a clear-headed person) with implaying the cynical reason which takes over of him. He starts with idea and his thoughts develop through the movie, but the goal in the end changes. It seems like he trades his moral for a partial satisfaction. Renzo insists with sharp uncomfortable questions playing with his arrogance and vanity, he abuses of his distance. Acting the same way as the press agent/photographer/plantation owner with no result for the african people. The film as a representation of reality in an eternal loop of our arrogance upon the other. Zizek states that This ideology of charity is "revealed as basic constituent of our economy", how its operating just to keep the poor alive, so the system can profit from them(by means of labor and charity). Renzo is not far away from the idea of this economy. He plunges into the wild jungle as a samaritan but afterwards seeks refuge to success in the concept of autonomy of art. [ok this is more clear, but you rush it a little- how did he get to' the autonomy of art?]

In the Act of killing the director deals with the concept of objectivity in a different way. In comparison to "Enjoy poverty" there is no external narrator. Letting the gangsters speak for them selfs, reenacting their own past so the viewer can see their previous doing and their present thoughts on them. The surrealistic parts of the film shows another transformation of reality through the subjectivity of the director [I don't agree, the director's subjectivity doesn't enter into it]. They stand there to reproduce the world in the killers heads, it represents the false consciousness inside them. The ideology of this political regime is nothing else than exploiting the people. The same as the communist regime [look at history the communists were never in total power in indonesia], but this one is making use of the free people (gangsters) as their objective of power. These free men are people who work outside the system, but they were the law also. Individuals who oppose to the regime are not perceived as the people. The people who conform, they are mere subjects to the will of the Big other.[explain what the big other is in a few words] Surpressing enemy is a duty (relate here to the big others control). (elaborate on awful facts!!!) [is this a note to yourself?] The past doings of the "free men" , they feel comfortable with the past, and are really excited about doing this film"- which will praise our system. Through ideology, these afwul facts, events and crimes are seen as 'natural', innevitable and part of history. And this same ideology states that not everything true should be made public. Another representation of this false consciousness is that Panascania military youth glorifies all its soldiers as heroes.

Renzo is like the perfect bureaucrat, the characters that he shows while trying to state most objective facts, presenting and discussing problem are quite neutral. Max Weber presents the idea of the perfect bureaucratic machine, which is one who can perform his duty without anger, fondness, anger, zealousness also without love and personal predilection.[give citation and put in bibliography] In his observance of reality he is mean and cruel stating out poverty of the people and abusing of distance. Although Renzo Martins in his film reveals the cynical ideology where one knows the falsehood very well and one is well aware of a particular interest hidden behind an ideological universality although he falls into the cynical reason concept as well. [OK, here you need to explain what cynical reason is- is it a point of view that exposes an ideology?] And even goes further and gets a kick out of it. He stays satisfied with it, because he couldn’t get further on beating the antagonistic character of the social totality. By praising it he is able to back up his project by creating autonomy in it. The autonomy of art provides him the ability to deal with it self while its dealing with the outside world also. The whole movie is a big search, a try out to see if actually the samaritan idea could succeed. By praising this ideology he is just trying to provide a solution which is sufficiently for him. Renzo’s situation is similar to the soldier from Full Metal Jackets, who over identifies with the military ideology. [or is he more like Joker- who operates cynical reason and survives?] Re think this] The same way Renzo over identifies with the idea of poverty as a commodity.[But he doesn't blow his brains out- his relation to the commodity of poverty is, as you suggest, removed and businesslike]. He understands that he is not capable of fighting the antagonistic character nowadays. Here Zizek points out a similar topic how our capitalistic reality is overabundant with self-driven riots, strikes and fights which separate people and thus no one is able to see the bigger problem and unite. [Please explain the connection more clearly I don't see the relation.]

The main characters in the Act of killing can also be a identified as perfect bureaucrats. They could do their duties and cary the burden of them and afterward still go enjoy them selfs. Totally free of self affection, total psychopats, being used by a system taking its main power by people like them. Zizek states that people fall for a believe in a conditional mode, which blinds them, like Renzo. This cynical reason inscribes it self in reality by distorting it. Zizek introduces the problem is similar with cinema in the since that people know its directed and they still fall for it. Although totalitarian ideology has lost its faith from its authors, in the act of killing its still recognizable. Although the social situation has changed the system is still fed around past events. In the Stalinist universe, history is the Big Other. The necessity of history to advance towards its rightful end (communism), and the story in the act of killing is similar to the cynical reason leaving untouched the fundamental level of ideological fantasy, the level on which ideology structures the social reality itself. - continuing on Act Of Killing [OK this makes the most sense- good connection] They don't have anymore communists as enemies In the movie its stated that the communist children are starting to speak up about the past, as like we will have to punish them again. As they are fantasizing how the communist are thanking them for slaying them they build and fall into the false continuousness they create. Totalitarian ideology no longer has this pretension. It is no longer taken seriously even by its authors — its status is just that of means of manipulation, purely external and instrumental; its rule is secured not by its truth-value but by simple extra-ideological violence and promise of gain. They don't only perceive these facts as 'natural', but they justify them selfs with the fantasy world they create.[good point]

The idea of false consciousness introduced by Zizek can be seeing through the development of the main characters in both movies. In the two movies also one can see the suffering from their own excess of selfish desires which leads to their inability dealing with reality. [but reality and fantasy are not separate- the gangsters make their own reality- ideology does not oppose fantasy or reality] In Renzo’s film falling in the cynical reason leads to the autonomy of art which is nothing more then feeding the eternal loop of the violent reality rather then taking up the fight against the antagonistic character of the social totality [I'm lost here, this doesn't make sense to me, please rewrite in a clear way] . Failing to dispatch from their own self and desires are also the main characters in Joshua Oppenheimer’s movie. They are justifying their actions by falling into a fantasy world, slowly realizing the their deeds while reenacting them. Experiencing the belif in a conditional mode, allows them still to live although blind in their own false consciousness. While explaying their doings in the free time the gangsters had after work, they fall into the category of perfect bureaucrats who perform their duties without any human affections and emotions. The presentation of takes on different path in the movies and declares [?}