sábado, 30 de março de 2013

The Crowd (1928) King Vidor: Reshaping Human Values Beyond the Labour Society

When I came to Germany in 1997, I had the opportunity to meet a community leader from Detroit who told me about his experiences with free time for long-term unemployed in a place which is the prototype of the first post-industrial city in our "Brave New World of Work" (Ulrich Beck, 1999). He quoted ironically that old Karl Marx`s tirade, whereby in an emancipated world from shortages and misery, in that so-called "communist utopia", everyone would become a kind of Goethe or Einstein to exercise an unlimited creative potential, as Leon Trotzky totally false understood (“Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser, and subtler; his body will become more harmonious, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above these heights, new peaks will rise.”) and compared this generous counter image with the modest results he witnessed himself in that wilderness of ruins that are the suburbs of the former Auto-Metropole. As he added, Marx formulated this mocking tirade, like many others, which were never understood by his dogmatic disciples, as a sort of Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe" subliminal parody.  Actually, Marx meant, as Hegel 's dialectical disciple, that it was quite exactly the contrary what would really happen. Once one is faced with the blank desert of reality, with his own true and meaningless ego, we, the common people, would eventually recognize that this fallen self is indeed a “last mask”, a last "blanket” of “ideology" and eventually then we would really committee ourselves to the true mundane tasks of everyday life in our "little beach of Happiness" as "humans, all too humans", as Hans Magnus Enzensberger once also sharp formulated in his essay on the revolutionary character of mass tourism. “Philosophy is properly Home-sickness; the wish to be everywhere at home”. (Novalis)

But precisely this prosaic dimension brings us a seed of hope, when the ultimate recognition that we are not geniuses or titans but simple human beings committed to each other, pushes the consciousness to the true and revolutionary measure of our Grandeur. Two years later, I interviewed the sociologist Ulrich Beck in Munich on his new book, on what he called at the time the emergence of a new paradigm of work, namely the so-called “'Brasilianisation' of labour and work in the West”, with the terminal erosion of full-employment at the heart of system for which there is no way back with the reallocation of jobs across the planet. Beck saw in the community work a unique opportunity to reconstruct individual identity, which could no longer be anchored in the old paradigm of full time work, beyond the chains of regulation and bureaucracy. As this old identity disappears forever from the horizon with the end of industrial society what we really testify are not the "virtues" or the new "heights" of human nature, but the administrated vices and new addictions in the misery of digital life and its autistic loneliness.

The Crowd (1928) by King Vidor is an extraordinary parable of this "turning point", when the couple loses their little child and the individual cry can no longer be heard in the crowd. What is at stake today is not the future of what still remains of the old Welfare State, or even to be the “last soldier of the New Deal” or of the "Great Society", but just  the reinvention of the most fundamental values ​​that define what is a human being in his solitude: love and freedom and the “wish to be everywhere home”.

The Crowd (1928) - John wins $500

The Crowd (1928) - Introduction to New York

Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário