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RSA Animate Choice

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RSA Animate At the end of Communism we had a feeling that sort of rights and choices were finally secured to us and suddenly a possibility of social change might happen. But today that is less and less of a feeling that choice actually related to social change. There has been a lot of current debates in the domain of psychology, behavioral economics and so on why we feel so overwhelmed in front of choices and everyone of you probably has had the same experience of going into supermarket and just being you know horrified by the choices. So psychologists of course have seen that overwhelming choice created the feeling of anxiety in regards to what do i really want? but it also sort of in some ways pacifies people. People are quite often frozen in some kind of a state of undecisiveness. When there are too many choices. So what is happening on the level of society When we have ideology which dominates the idea of choice at every level of our lives. Then suddenly an idea of choice becomes a domineering idea on which capitalism today is based. Not only in regards of consumption, but in regards of perception of life as such. So I remember my law professor, collegue a very successful man once told me that he is totally anxious to choose wine is a restaurant. He said: "I am afraid that people will laugh at me." If I choose too expensive one I will appear as if I am showing cafe (?) if i choose too cheap i will look like i am cheapskate So he always chooses something in the middle. and is this he is paying for it. in order to appeas the anxiety and guilt in regard to this choice. Now, when we say that we are afraid that other people will laugh at us in regard to our choices we invoice the need to be somehow regarded by others and also to be sort of perceived by society as such what in Lacanian psychoanalysis is call Big Other. In a particular way. So choices are anxiety provoking for a couple of reasons: First, we never make simply individual choice, it's not simply us individuals outside of society making choices. But quite often we choose what other people are choosing or we are obsessed with how will other regard us in regards to our choice. That's why anxiety's provoking thing about choice that is very you know social matter Now, the second anxiety provoking thing about choices today is that we try to make ideal choice which is why people are constantly switching telephone providers or you know going from one partner to another and always feel dissatisfied. The third most important thing about choices is that choise always involves a loss So when I choose one direction in life I loose the possibility of another and dealing with loss is something that is highly anxiety provoking today. And of course at the end helas which we all have to face where there is no choice is death. But even with that we try to sort of mastermind it prolong it, try always to control There is also another important layer of anxiety which operates in the way choices presented in society and here i touch the issue of ideology. Now, socialism, especially in Yugoslavia where i was raised. No one believed in communist ideal Even party apparatchiks never read Marx or Lenin It was actually quite dangerous to read them. So the belief in ideology of communism was something that people innerly did not internatlize. But the nonetheless certain logic of belief functioned: the idea that people quite often do not believe in something but they pretend as if they are believing in order not to offend the idea that other people might believe in it. Or in socialism let's say no one believe in communism and no one sort of uttered it with exception of some intellectual dissidents openly. Because they believed in the belief of others or an idealized Big Other which supposedly hold the society together. Now, today this belief in belief still very much functions. Let us look at todays perception of sexuality Not long ago British journalist wrote an essay in which he described honestly that his sexlife is pretty boring. He said that when I compare my sexlife with what's written in Cosmopolitan magazine or other how it should be what are the enjoyments out there possible i am embarassed to admit to anyone that i have never come close to those enjoyments depicted and which is why i keep this secret to myself. But nonetheless when one does not sort of utter it publicly we sort of create a belief in the belief that sexuality can be something of fantastic experiences Now, similarily today we have an ideology and especially this ideology of choice which forces us to perceive ourselves being guilty for the failiers in our lives Especially our professional life. If you loose your job you will first blame yourself and not the corporation which fired you. We also feel ashamed for being poor if even a decade ago there was some kind of identification of being a working class Now, it's more like a feeling of inadequacy of not making it. Now, ideology of captalism from the beginning capitalized on the idea that everyone can make it. And idea of self-made man was the cornerstone of this ideology But today this idea of self-making has been pushed to its utter limits So the idea that everyone can become a celebrity everyone can make it very much dominates today's society. Especially the celebrity thing is very interesting because you know in the past people were you know wanting to be famous for something, for doing something for having some education or some special skills. Now, it's to be famous for just being. You do not need to be anything else but contested in Big Brother or whatever. So psychoanalysis of course has been observing this changes in the society and also in the individual And what interests me is to bring them together. Now, Freud pointed out that malaise in the civilization and the malaise in individual always go together. So one influences the other. Capitatlism is actually creating some kind of a subjectivity which starts in way ruining him or her/self. Capitalism is a system which functions quicker and quicker we work longer hours, we are rushing around and we are constantly consuming but at some point this subject starts believing that he is not simply a proletarian slave but that he is a master That he is in charge of his life And that is very important ideological term which sort of allows the system to go on and create more and more of kind of submission on the side of people that believe that you are actually in charge although you aren't. It's a very important belief also that more and more this overworked subject starts not only consuming constantly around him but also consuming him or herself. Which is why Bulemia, Anorexia, Workoholism, various addictions become so prevalant in today's society. So the turn sort of to oneself the selfcritisism, feeling guilty for ones failiar anxiety over choices and various new symptoms were guiding me at looking at why ideology of choice is actually not so optimistic why it actually prevents social change Now, the political problem why there is such a lack of social changes happening today. Some sociologists who have looked at this matter realized that sometimes this fear is related again with loss. Now, we might have a little You know, we might have a small job, a little pension or whatever and when you have a little you might be so much more afraid of loosing even that little that you have which is why you do not speak out and you do not provoke social change. Or try to organize yourself that would provoke social change So today the problem is actually for me that today's ideology of choice-laid capitalism, idea that everyone is a maker of his or her life which goes very much against the reality of social situation, actually pacifies people and makes us constantly turning criticism to ourselves instead of organizing ourselves and making a critique of society we live in. /* Transcribed by Knowledge Cosumers Society ( */

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 44 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 370
Posted by: dostoyevsky1828 on Jan 24, 2013

RSA Animate Choice

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