HYPERNORMALIZATION (Adam Curtis)
Adam Curtis, 2016
(world orders review)
Hypernormalisation (Documentary Of A Fake World)
“HyperNormalisation” tells the story of how politicians, financiers and “technological utopians” constructed a fake world over the last four decades in an attempt to maintain power and control. Their fake world is simpler than the real world by design, and as a result people went along with it because the simplicity was reassuring.
“Everyone in my country and in America and throughout Europe knows that the system that they are living under isn’t working as it is supposed to; that there is a lot of corruption at the top … "
"There is a sense of everything being slightly unreal; that you fight a war that seems to cost you nothing and it has no consequences at home; that money seems to grow on trees; that goods come from China and don’t seem to cost you anything; that phones make you feel liberated but that maybe they’re manipulating you but you’re not quite sure. It’s all slightly odd and slightly corrupt.
So I was trying to make a film about where that feeling came from … I was just trying to show the same feeling of unreality, and also that those in charge know that we know that they don’t know what’s going on. That same feeling is pervasive in our society, and that’s what the film is about.”2
“HyperNormalisation,” came out in 2016 and is perhaps even more apropos now, as many have the feeling that they’re waking up to an unprecedented, and unreal, world anew each and every day — and so-called fake news is all around. The term “HyperNormalisation” was coined by Alexei Yurchak, a Russian historian.1
The transition began in 1975, when the film describes two world-changing moments that took place in two cities: New York City and Damascus, Syria, which shifted the world away from political control and toward one managed instead by financial services, technology and energy companies. First, New York ceded its power to bankers.
According to Curtis, mass democracy died out in the early ‘90s, only to be replaced by a system that manages people as individuals. Politics requires that people be in groups in order to control them; parties are established and individuals join the groups that are then represented by politicians that the group identifies with.
The advancement of technology has changed this, particularly because computer systems can manage masses of people by understanding the way they act as groups — but the people continue to think they’re acting as individuals. Speaking to The Economist, Curtis said:
“This is the genius of what happened with computer networks. Using feedback loops, pattern matching and pattern recognition, those systems can understand us quite simply. That we are far more similar to each other than we might think, that my desire for an iPhone as a way of expressing my identity is mirrored by millions of other people who feel exactly the same.
We’re not actually that individualistic. We’re very similar to each other and computers know that dirty secret. But because we feel like we’re in control when we hold the magic screen, it allows us to feel like we’re still individuals. And that’s a wonderful way of managing the world.”6
|Category||News & Politics|
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