November 17th, 2005

eyes black and white

Excursion in Bollywood

My friend Jay initiated me to Bollywood movies. Here's the deal so far.

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The wrap-up: what's funny about all this kind of indian movies is that traditional culture is so controversial that the authors avoid ever discussing any specific of it, particularly so with two main opposing religions and zillions of sects that could gather violence against the authors of any movie that would go past censorship. This leaves western civilization as the culture by default of indian movie: something neutral, that doesn't force any belief upon you, and is thinly wrapped in little enjoyable bits of local folklore. No, there is no open defense of western civilization, of its actual culture, of its values; it is just civilization winning by corrupting the mores of backwards tribes with the technical advances that liberate individuals.

By trying to be consensual so as to sell more, filmmakers are forced to avoid evil -- to the point of lying in a historical movie. The largest the market, the least evil they can afford, because all evil has victims, and all victims are diminished market. Of course, sometimes, seeking justice against yet unpunished criminals also creates victims of sorts, which means a diminished market, and so movie-makers will never actively seek justice against bad guys; they might just spit on bad guys who have already been punished -- or on good guys too good to make any opposition. Thus, mass-market movies are seldom the vanguard of good, they often partake in some limited insidious evil, but they are mainly the average bulk of a civilizing process. The same can be said of all mass-market things: the average bulk of an immensely good process -- civilization.

eyes black and white

Methodological individualism vs collectivism

To an individualist, society does whatever anyone does. To a collectivist, society does whatever everyone does.

Thus, when he says something could or should be done, an individualist says that someone should do it, and he may not mean anyone in particular but himself: he is actually saying he is ready to contribute to the thing happening.

When he says something should be done, a collectivist says that everyone should be contributing to that thing happening, and he means about everyone but himself: if he sees his role anywhere, it's in telling others who to do, bidding them into subservience by the magic power of his words, helped by the compelling use of public force; in no case does he mean that he himself should contribute any of his own resources.

"How many libertarians does it take to change a lightbulb?"
A- "None, the market will take care of it."
B- "Every one of them and non-libertarians too, because we all are the market."
C- "I'll do it, for a dollar."