Tuesday, March 4, 2008

darwin's nightmare

"The old question, which social and political structure is the best for the world, seems to have been answered. Capitalism has won. The ultimate forms for future societies are "consumer democracies", which are seen as "civilized" and "good". In a Darwinian sense the "good system" won. It won by either convincing its enemies or eliminating them.

It is... incredible that wherever prime raw material is discovered, the locals die in misery, their sons become soldiers, and their daughters are turned into servants and whores."

A Film By Hubert Sauper


Foulweather... said...

Did you rent this film?

I've never read Darwin but its my understanding that he did address the idea that evolution did also occur during incidents of cooperation as well as competition... I don't know.

Peter Kropotkin certainly wrote about it in 'Mutual Aid.'

A lot of Anarchist theory comes from the hypothesis that cooperation is just as likely to accelerate 'evolution' as competition/ conflict...

Gazelle said...

Yeah, got it at Videorama St. Johns.

I haven't read Darwin either but it is my understanding that his theory was that the "right" or "better" sense of order would prevail, whether out of competition or cooperation. I guess this filmmaker's theory is that Darwin would be horrified to see how things have played out in Tanzania.

The dvd also includes an earlier, shorter film called Kisangani Diary - horrifying.

Gazelle said...

Before I returned the disc today, I read the insert (which I hadn't noticed before). Nick Flynn wrote the notes, which discuss the film and its relation to Darwinism. He also contributed to the film project -


ras said...

does this mean the our current form of capitalism is the "right" way since it's on top?

We don;t have anyhting as good as videorama (almost) I'll try to find it though. there's a few clips on YouTube

Daniel said...

Great film. I will resist wading into the murky waters of Darwinism, however.

Gazelle said...

ras -

I don't believe Darwin ever had anything to say about economic systems - his theories applied specifically to biology. It was others who later extended his theories into the realm of socio-economics. Anyway, I don't think our current form of capitalism (ie, the USA) is "right" or "good" at all. I actually feel capitalism is inherently evil because it inevitably invites greed. Our current form of capitalism may be significantly tempered by regulation in individual nations (as in say, Sweden or Norway), but as a global system it has become a nine headed hydra...

I feel like the title of the film is just a starting point for discussion, and that it is indeed a murky area, as Daniel said. But then, the world is becoming a murky place, just like Lake Victoria.