In simple terms capitalism is defined as “an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state” (). Capitalism is so embedded in American ideology that few people can see beyond this simple definition; and because teachings of capitalism are often one sided –capitalism promotes free market and private ownership therefore there is less governmental control as opposed to any other means of production– few people question the truth of these claims. Authors Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Slavoj Zizek all go beyond the simple definition of capitalism to point out some flaws that are often unseen but could prove to be detrimental for a democratic society. In his lecture "Society Must Be Defended" Foucault says that the emergence of “population” as a political problem is directly tied to the growth of capitalism. Deleuze’s paper “Society of Control” argues that modern capitalism has mutated greatly from the 19th century “ideal” form of capitalism. And Slavoj Zizek, in his article “Welcome to the Desert of the Real” points out that global capitalism has gone virtually unchallenged until the World Trade Center bombings in 2001. The film “The Matrix” (1999) takes a similar position and argues that modern capitalism is, in fact, the ultimate source of control and will be the downfall of our society. Most people will agree that “The Matrix” is a very trippy and action filled movie but few people will catch the anti-capitalist tone of the film. After all, what could futuristic men in dark clothes and sunglasses possibly say about the state of society today? Using the readings, I will give a deeper analysis of the chara...
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...al problem; in other words, the human population has become the lab rats while the people with power, usually the capitalists, are the scientists (245). The belief – “to take life or let live” – was replaced and transformed in the 19th century by the power to “make” live and “let” die therefore the right to death is more favorable over the right to let live.
Deleuze, Gilles. "Society of Control." Society of Control. L'autre Journal, 25 Nov. 1998. Web.
Foucault, Michel, Mauro Bertani, Alessandro Fontana, François Ewald, and David Macey. Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège De France, 1975-76. New York: Picador, 2003. Print.
The Matrix. Dir. Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski. Warner Bros. Pictures, 1999. DVD.
Zizek, Slavoj. "Welcome to the Desert of the Real." Slavoj Zizek. European Graduate School EGS, 07 Oct. 2001. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
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