13 09 2007

Chart

Wednesday, September 19th in the TA

5:00 PM- Shock Doctrine (7 min)

A short film created by Jonás Cuarón , son of Alfonso Cuaron (Director of ‘Children of Men’) to accompany the release of “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”, a new book by Naomi Klein.

Klein’s thesis is that present-day global capitalism took hold when its advocates learned to exploit disasters. After a disaster (war, tsunami, terrorist attack), you can push your agenda for worsening labor conditions, looser regulation, and pocket-lining exercises (Enron, Halliburton) while the reeling, disaster-struck population of the world has its attention elsewhere.

Klein attributes this technique to Milton Friedman, who is reported to have said that “only a crisis — real or perceived — produces real change.” She connects this idea to the fundamental notion underpinning CIA torture techniques (as reported in CIA interrogation manuals from 1963 and 1983) — to produce a state of shock in which the victim is out of control of her faculties, a “suspended animation” that can be exploited to get victims to do things that violate their own ethics or beliefs.

5:10 PM – Captive Minds (55 min)

“Groups which have all powerful leaders who control the environment, control all information and eventually control the way their followers think, have one basic thing in common : They have found people who are willing to take that essential first step of surrendering to an authority figure they hope has all the answers. Throughout history, many people have taken that first step. Sometimes joining a small group, sometimes a large group. And sometimes, a group that engulfs an entire nation.”

That powerful statement above, concludes this very well naratted documentary that focuses on three case studies to reveal the striking similarities in the indoctrination methods each uses to achieve long-term effects. How do cults hold on to their disciples? How do the Marines command such loyalty? Why do Jesuit priests submit to a lifetime of strict authority? This film explains how long-term conditioning takes place and shows that the indoctrination methods of disparate institutions are surprisingly similar.

It is a film that serves as a reminder that we are all vulnerable to persuasion and long-term conditioning, and one that provokes serious consideration of the far-reaching implications of any form of psychological manipulation.

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