This short film, in the masterly RSAnimate series, features the ideas of Renata Salecl, a Slovenian social and legal theoretician.
Her key argument is that choice in current society suppresses social change. That burning with the desire to consume in the capitalist system, we develop a critique of self, rather than of society.
Our need to choose and consume, based on a sense of needing to belong, needing to not upset colleagues, friends or other social contacts, leads us to develop a false sense of being in charge of our own lives, but which drives us to feel a sense of failure at our poor choices or inability to acquire what others have.
Notions of class war or class identity, for Salecl, are replaced by inadequacy.
Freud determined that malaise in civilisation is mirrored by malaise in the individual. However, the issue with these over arching conditional statements about communities in the capitalist world, is that they are based on the perception that everyone has choice, that every economic player has the access to the modes of action that allow the fulfillment of choice.
Is this wrong? Does everyone have the same economic and social functionality to act? We think not. Economic power, social status and educational achievement have still not reached par for everyone. It is a structural deficit that inhibits social change not choice.
To see the cake is to recognise confectionary. To have no income, or insufficient income, means that cake today or tomorrow is merely an ideal for many.
Still, another great film. What do you think?
You can see another RSAnimate film on changing educational paradigms on our blog here…