Tuesday, March 05, 2013

"Ideology is Destiny"

Never moreso than in a "scientifically socialist" Marxist-Leninist State. The purpose of ideology in such nations is threefold, depict to the masses the coming communist eschaton of peace & plenty, explain in Marxist Leninist terms just why said ideology does not "rule the world" and act as a cost effective means of controlling the masses (see Jacques Ellul's "Propaganda" for more on that aspect). autarchy, the promulgation of a completely internally self sufficient economy exerts a powerful fascination for Totalitarian Nation States of all ideological brands. At various times dictators as diverse as Juan Peron, Benito Mussolini, Francisco Franco, Adolf Hitler Mao ZeDong and Fidel Castro have all made autarchy the central focus of their respective regimes. Autarchy is potentially inflationary and can be ruinously wasteful of public/private resources, tyrants tend to opt for it for strategic military reasons & out of the naive' belief that they can bend the economy to their will they way they have dominated the world of ideas and gotten a stranglehold on mass opinion. Joseph Stalin invented all this virtually single handedly, after a long ruinous civil war in Russia, the death of Lenin, another long ideological civil war with Leon Trotsky and slow realization that the USSR was internationally isolated to a dangerous degree....Stalin proclaimed "Socialism in One Country". Ironically, he stole the idea from his hated rival Leon Trotsky. "Socialism in One Country" literally meant that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was now hell bent to create overnight the very industrial working in whose name the party allegedly ruled! "Socialism in One Country" was bumptious, wasteful and based entirely on the genocidal expropriation of peasantry. But as pure ideology it was a slam-dunk, it lavishly illustrated the coming socialist utopia, neatly explained while "the international balance of forces" did not yet favor said utopia and kept the helots in line...And what the hell, Stalin died in bed while most of the above listed tyrants and dictators swung by their heels in end. This was a fact not lost on the Kim Clan, the Ruling Family in Marxist Leninist North Korea, whose proclaimed doctrine of "Juche" (literally "self reliance") mixes Confucianism and Stalinism in a heady brew that asserts a motivated Marxist North Korean can do anything! In short it is autarchy designed to keep the usual suspects safely in control of the nation, no more no less. Lash the masses on to dig marginally uneconomic iron mines under appalling conditions, because that is North Korea asserting control over it's own Marxist Leninist Destiny! Like I said, heady stuff. So it is will some mirth that Channel Zeroscreen Jim Finn's 2010 mockumentary "The Juche Idea" this Friday Night at 8pm in the micro cinema of the Somerville Theater. Mixing together eye-popping archival footage with deadpan re-enactments, Finn has created a complex docu-fiction that is equally thought-provoking & entertaining. In "The Juche Idea", a sympathetic South Korean filmmaker visits a North Korean artists' colony to bring Juche ideas into the 21st century. She ends up producing hilariously stilted shorts, including a nonsensical sci-fi story and the enigmatic "Dentures of Imperialism." "The Juche Idea" is both sardonic satire and historical excavation, an exuberant collage that reveals the absurdity at the heart of Kim-Jong-il's regime. Friday March 8th at 8pm (Sharp!) The Somerville Theatre, Micro-Cinema 55 Davis Square Somerville Ma 617 625 5700 In Korea and Bulgarian, Subtitled in English Admission $7.50 "Steeped in the obsolete language of revolutionary art, Mr. Finn's meticulous, deadpan mockumentaries often play like unearthed artifacts from an alternate universe..." —Dennis Lim, THE NEW YORK TIMES Tell yer friends, we are at it again!

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