All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

série documentaire d'Adam Curtis en 3 épisodes (2011)

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avertissement sur le contenu
  • images de cadavres et de génocide
  • on voit des fermiers faire un trou dans le flanc d'un bison et y enfoncer la main pour récupérer le contenu de sa panse (pas de sang mais c'est un peu dégueulasse)

Curtis commence son récit par évoquer Ayn Rand et son influence aux États-Unis, en faisant intervenir John McCaskey et Kevin O'Connor.

But the project was about more than just the entrepreneurs being Randian heroes. Because an idea was emerging in California, that said that new computer technologies could turn everyone into heroic individuals. It was a vision of society, where the old forms of political control would be unnecessary. Because computer networks could create order in society without center control. (...) It was a cybernetic dream, which said that the feedback of information between all the individuals, connected as nodes in a network, would work to create a self-stabilizing system. The world would be stable, and everyone would be heroic Randian beings, completely free to follow their desires.

À propos d'Alan Greenspan et la baisse des taux d'intérêt :

As Greenspan had predicted, a boom began. And as share prices rose higher and higher, a belief started to grow that this time, the boom would be different. it wouldn't run out of control. And the reason was the computers. The computers allowed the banks to create complex mathematical models, that could predict the risks of making any loan or investment. (...) It was the cybernetic feedback predicted by the Californian ideologists. And the belief arose that America had now entered a new age of stability. It was called the New Economy.


cf. Bardin à propos de la politique états-unienne de l'économie numérique sous Clinton

À propos des frères (Howard et Eugene) Odum et les modélisations d'écosystèmes :

But to make their theory work, what the Odun brothers had done was distort the scientific method. They have taken a metaphor - that the ecosystem worked like a machine. But then, instead of looking at the data they have gathered from the nature world, and try to find out if this is true, the Odum brothers did the opposite. They simplified the data to an extraordinary degree. (...) One of Howard Odum's assistants (?) wrote that what they were really doing was creating a machine-like fantasy of stability. Driven by the desire for prestige, he said, biological reality disappeared. Organisms were expected to behave mechanically in predictable ways. Animals became robots.

À propos des révolutions de couleur

What have been forgotten in the optimism about the revolutions is what had really happened in the original experiments in the communes: they all failed. Most lasted no more than three years, some for less than six months. And what tore them all apart was the very thing that was supposed to have been banished: power. The commune members discovered that some people are more free than others. Strong personalities came to dominate the weaker members of the group, but the rules of the self-organizing system refused to allow any organized opposition to this oppression. (...) In the communes, what was supposed to be systems of negotiation between equal individuals often turned into vicious bullying.

The hippies took out the idea of the network society, because they were disillusioned with politics. They believed that this alternative way of authoring the world was good, because it was based on the underlying order of nature. But this was a fantasy. In reality, what they adopted was an idea taken from the cold and logical world of the machines.

But (Bill) Hamilton's ideas remain powerfully influential on our society. Above all, the idea that human beings are helpless chunks of hardware, controlled by software programs written in their genetic codes. The question is, have we embraced that idea? Because it is a comfort in a world where everything we do, either good or bad, seems to have terrible unforeseen consequences. (...) So instead, we have embraced a fatalistic philosophy, (of us as ?) helpless computing machines, to both excuse and explain our political failure to change the world.

La série mentionne :