Yes I’d agree that what Shirow portrays through the GitS universe is governed by more or less the same mechanism as you describe above, but then again it’s a form of capitalistic society that’s portrayed there…Purifying Flame of Justic wrote:
Extreme skepticism and blind acceptance are a problem yes. As for a society’s way of dealing with the above problematic as seen in GitS, I think that it is not too surprising as fundamentally capitalism is build upon one relatively small group of people exploiting another larger group of people, this combined with the tendency in politics to, among things, look for shortsighted solutions is damageable for a society as a whole imo.
Yes, capitalism and commercialism have much to answer for when blind acceptance is concerned. People take the word of a large company as 'gospel' and are apathetic when it comes to actually challenging it's validity. I experience a lot of this in the computer industry. Companies like Apple, Sony, Dell, HP, Sun and Microsoft are constantly evangelizing their products as the best this, the greatest that. In actuality all have drawbacks, some are very great, but a lot of people blindly follow the lead of their favorite company because they believe what the Marketing tells them. Few ever bother to compare and contrast products to see what is the best for them. In this sense commercialization drives the speed of technological advancement, the fight to get the 'next great thing' is a battle fought with money and marketed reputation, not actual fact and understanding. Sure a new product will have advantages over an old one, but it might also have significant drawbacks that the adverts 'conveniently' leave out. There's nothing to suggest the same is not the case with the competing corporations turning out cybernetic products in the GiTS universe, in fact I'm very sure Shirow would see this as very much the case.
I recently saw a Danish debate program with an American society critic, Benjamin Barber, where he saw the more and more uncontrolled reign of the market forces in the US as problematic. He asserted that when religion rules a society we call it theocracy we generally view this as bad, religion is saturating through every part of society and have more or less monopoly on the *truth *.
In the same way when politics rules a society it’s called tyrannical (e.g fascism or as the communistic societies deteriorated into in Russia.)
But when the market is ruling it’s called freedom, in the US, Barber asserts that the market functions almost in a tyrannical way, The choice isn’t between a free market or totalitarian state, the choice is between a democratic state or some form of totalitarian state, he speaks for some measure of public choice not only private choice, we can do something individually but we can achieve something greater through public choices made in unison.
While Barber still saw capitalism as the optimum form for a society structure, albeit not its current form in the US, I do not really. I think it’s fundamentally hinder by its optimum view freedom, namely economic freedom. By basing a society on this, it is basically limiting an individual to live their life according to only one recipe of what the good life constitutes namely economical freedom at the expense of new spaces being created and raping its own liberal heritage at the same time.
I like what the contemporary political theorists’ Laclau and Mouffe plays around with concerning their notion radical pluralistic democracy, which ideally should be able to encompass several different ways for living ones life whether you have one view of what the good life is or another. Mixing thoughts from a liberalistic tradition, aiming to create a medium where economics isn’t the leading factor as it is in neoliberalism, and the Marxist tradition. They are though extremely abstract and theoretical about their concept for a structure and are focusing more on how to change the status quo and thus slowly paving the way for the possibility of something akin to their notion of radical pluralistic democracy...
Purifying Flame of Justic wrote:
Pain, suffering and misery etc. on the one hand plus joy, happiness and so on, on the other definitely have an important intrinsic reciprocal function for us. Changing this relationship will have consequences for have we exist in the world and to me it isn’t really desirable, not now anyway maybe later on, I’d see it as too dangerous atm.
'Real Life' is defined by the unexpected, be it bad or good. The element of chance. Make life predictable and it stops being interesting, and loses it;'s element of reality as defined by the human psyche. A large part of 'reality' is the element of random occurrence. Changing that to make it non-random would lead to a situation where people would lose the will to live because they knew the road ahead. No one thrives on monotony, they detest it, and even those who seem to enjoy it deep down have a desire to destroy it.
Purifying Flame of Justic wrote:
Further to pick up the Transhumanist again, I don’t like the way some of them praise chemical means to take the place of psychologist and even psychiatrist, e.g. Simon Young think it’s desirable for us to be able to turn on and off for a surge of enthusiasm, or joy and what not. Somewhat akin to “Happy Pills” (I think they’re called that in English); I don’t like them as they only deal with the problem, in a problematic way in my eyes I’d add, when it is has occurred and not with the reasons to why the problem arose in the first place.
Happy Pills don't make you happy, they just momentarily stop you being sad. Plus the mention of 'Happy Pills' stirs up sinister and dark memories from the back of my own mind about anti-depressants, and the horrible effects they have on the human mental balance.
I’d agree that Happy Pills and the like aren’t desirable. However the capitalistic society pretty much thrives on this kind of, in my eyes unethical, quantitatively accumulation of cash. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that for instance a theoretical school as behaviorism have originated in a, in my eyes extreme, capitalistic society, with its focus on quantitative methods which are easily transferred to fit into a consumer and commerce order, to accumulate cash, and example of this would be the medical industry and for instance happy pills. Capitalism have been frighteningly good at co-opting various discourse such as positivism and utilitarianism to fit their ideal of generating more and more money through milking the majority for the benefit of a few imo.
Sometimes it cross my mind that maybe some form of enlightened oligarchy would be desirable.... But meh.