Movie: Thoughts on “Ghost in the Shell”
Edition 3: July 9, 2017
Trailer 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4VmJcZR0Yg
Trailer 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEDctELIm3I
Trailer 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDt4ptlyANM
IMDB Page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/:
Ghost in the Shell (2017)
In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.
Director: Rupert Sanders
Writers: Shirow Masamune (based on the comic “The Ghost in the Shell” by), Jamie Moss (screenplay), William Wheeler (screenplay) and
Ehren Kruger (screenplay)
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, . . .
Ghost in the Shell is very entertaining, the story is quite emotional in some places, and the atmosphere in some scenes is compelling.
However, ethically speaking, the ideas presented are off the charts.
The film presents its story with a type of sugar-coating of old-fashioned, comforting nationalism and patriarchy with the standard Hollywood message that the State is fighting against all odds to provide security to its citizens–despite all evidence to the contrary within the actual story.
In a mostly cosmopolitan and multi-cultural future where the main character is another unrealistic, fantastical warrior princess (women in combat roles being the standard PC doctrine), the political context is that of a nation-state–through its Prime Minister’s Defense Minister–protecting (or NOT PROTECTING) its citizens from a high-tech corporate predator who has been abducting human beings and destroying their bodies so that their minds can be implanted into robotic “shells.”
The wise old, benevolent father-figure, reminiscent of a 1970s television detective in some ways, is basically in charge of the military or State security (I don’t remember “Japan” being mentioned by name). Suddenly, at the end, after everything that happens, he heroically stands up to the villain. And that’s the end of that.
Or no, it’s not the end of it at all.
Because as far as I interpreted what I heard in the narration, the story insists that there are going to be more human-robot projects like Major. “Progress”. Inevitability. More discarded bodies. More mind transplants. But in contradiction to everything that took place already, it will all be above board from now on–without unethical abductions? How? Why? It’s just hinted at that it’s all going to continue. It’s inevitable, but from now on, it will be done right, because the good guys asserted themselves. Everything’s going to be fine. The only bad guy was killed, so that solves that. It will be the same thing, but different. Right. Sure.
An ethically motivated State would end the project altogether, but that’s not the impression given by the movie from what I heard. The tyranny of our belief in technological “progress” says otherwise. She was just the first successful one of her kind.
The big bad corporate guy who ran the project that built Major’s robotic shell, thought of Major’s soul (her independent mind, or ghost, so to speak) as a defect. To him, human beings with a soul are the problem, which is pointing at the real intent, I believe, of the project, which is to remove the soul or independent spirit from the equation. The goal is to create human-like (or human with diminished capacities), semi-intelligent slaves who are lacking the capacity for independent thought.
You can bet that oligarchical powers have already been working on this “problem” and have probably solved it to some degree through one horrendous means or another–probably in much more straightforward ways than portrayed in this film. (See “Additional Information” at the end).
At least two of the methods are portrayed in Brave New World and similar stories: poisoning of the lower-class embryos before artificial birth and poisoning of all classes of humans via drugs (also by entertainment and propaganda).
Another method is portrayed in the recent science fiction film, Morgan, (again with the warrior princesses), in which one of the synthetic (or partially synthetic) life-forms in the film turns out to be a perfectly obedient, conscienceless killing “machine” (or supposed machine).
In Morgan, the creatures look, act and develop like human beings, but have no legal rights–which is ethically horrendous because it waters down the rights of normal human beings–which I think is the main point of humanizing androids in science fiction–and it’s the main point of mixing humans with animal DNA in science fiction (see Jupiter Ascending). However, as with Ghost in the Shell, we are not really talking about androids. I think, even in the fictional world of Morgan, what we are talking about is diminished humans (depleted humans we might say), and for the sake of everyone else’s rights, they should just be considered as human beings with rights–period.
But I really think the point is to muddy the waters with “rights” for bugs, trees, computers, androids, so that ultimately the slave system will function at maximum efficiency, with the regular classes of human beings (modified or not) being treated with the same “equal rights” as machines and animals. Bottom of the barrel rights.
A lot of propaganda is intended to muddy the waters when it comes to the status of human beings and human life.
The Oligarchy sees themselves as having the right to rule and believes in ownership of other human beings. That seems to be the function of international trade agreements–to reduce wages and labor standards and eliminate industry for those countries who have been traditionally able to produce a middle class.
Also, the function of “environmental” agreements, is really about monopolizing control over resources–limiting what is available to the majority of humans. These types of policies especially have gone on for a long time and have been very effectively sold to the public through propaganda about wildlife and climate—but nobody has ever dealt appropriately with real pollutants such as hydrogen fluoride gas and radiation (fluoride waste also being a component in the mass production of metals and atom bombs by the way).
Filtering actual pollutants from coal plants wasn’t good enough for the powers that be. They just wanted to eliminate the use of coal altogether (Ontario is just an example). Coal is too cheap and affordable for power-and-resource monopolists to feel secure in their positions. They want us to become more and more dependent on fewer energy sources and they want to give the impression that energy is a scarce and expensive resource. Now they are busy bringing in their carbon taxes. Everything they want to get rid of they demonize through propaganda.
All of this relates to the devaluation of human life. Less resources are to be available for most human beings. Less concern is to be given to human needs.
Endless wars with trumped up enemies is another important method of power monopoly. The novel, 1984, contains sections from the character Emmanuel Goldstein’s book in which he describes a system of draining the efforts of labor and resource wealth through destroying resources in warfare, in order to enhance the class distinctions, and to make leisure time and the capacity for expanded thought and resistance impossible among the lower classes. Additionally, war was intended to create a psychological state of dependency on the oligarchy, who claim to be the protectors. All of this is going on in our world.
Artificial scarcity and monopoly. Limiting available resources. This is how these people think. It’s as simple as that. It’s always been that way. Nobody in charge of past forms of slavery was ever punished as far as I have heard. Nobody who takes advantage of the current forms of slavery is being punished. No, they die as celebrated, heroic entrepreneurs.
Major, in Ghost in the Shell is certainly considered a human being and seen that way by the audience, but nobody could tell that by examining her robotic shell or her total dependence on the technological systems that she requires for maintenance.
Almost everyone in Ghost in the Shell has been modified into a cyborg to one degree or another. The most stupid and invasive “enhancement” is the data access points in the head (I’m not sure if it’s everyone). This is the type of thing that we are most likely to have to deal with in real life, as it is probably going to be pounded (so to speak) into our heads through marketing as the ultimate “convenient” upgrade for smart phones. Brave fools will lead the way.
Major was obviously alive, as with the earlier victims, when they did the transplant. As the story goes (whether or not it could happen in real life), her mind was saved supposedly, but her body was obviously murdered. She became a sacrifice for this project of interference, this “ascendancy” or apotheosis of Man to god-like status (as Satan promised in the Garden of Eden myth).
To do the transplant, they had to more or less murder her. Obviously in the film, they didn’t have a cover story about “brain death” to allow for the organ harvesting of her mind. No, it wasn’t “voluntary”.
I would like to go on and on about that the implications of that topic, but further research is required, so I’ll leave it with readers for now to ask questions about “brain death” and how you feel about volunteering (or not, depending on the jurisdiction) to donate your organs “after death” (see “Additional Information” below).
An important side issue that I feel was deliberately inserted into this movie is the concept of what it refers to as “lawless zones.” The film has a contradiction about what these are. On the one hand, it’s a place where the young adults like pre–super soldier Major and her boyfriend get to hang out and party in their rough and ready club-house hut. And what do they get to do in the “lawless zone”? The lawless zone is portrayed as a fun place where you get to be free and rebellious. I believe that’s the idea the movie attempted to convey. What are they doing? Making out? Littering? Loitering? Jay-walking? Spitting on the sidewalk? Talking about forbidden anarchist ideas? I’m being sarcastic.
And yet, it’s not really portrayed that way either, because in the lawless zone, that is where they had originally been attacked, assaulted and captured so that their bodies could be murdered and their minds could be transplanted. And at the end of the movie, the corporate dude tries to blow the super-soldier versions of them to hell in the same zone. Hey, that’s more like it. Maybe that’s what the lawless zone is for. It’s a place for preying on the innocent. Why else would there be an area with no laws? So, the State didn’t protect them at all originally.
Just create some huge loophole in the law and sell it to people as some kind of recreation park. It’s conceivable in real life. Maybe. The mercenary media sells all sorts of hoax events to the public now and many people don’t for a second question anything about the events, or about the food they’re eating or the water they’re drinking or the vaccines they’re PROUDLY lining up for.
The elites in this fictional world no doubt know what it’s really about and they love it. The ones who are dumb enough to accept the “lawless zones” marketing and think it’s innocent will let it slide through. The people who know better and object will have a minimum voice when it comes to this new innovation. Any opposition, no doubt, as with other social engineering agendas, will be demonized, distorted and caricatured through various methods (one of them being the use of false opposition actors. In any case, “opposition” to social engineering agendas is usually controlled as much as possible, at least its portrayal in the media.
I believe that “Lawless Zone” corresponds to the concept of “Temporary Autonomous Zone”:
T. A. Z.
The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism
By Hakim Bey
Autonomedia Anti-copyright, 1985, 1991.
. . . “The Temporary Autonomous Zone” was performed at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, and on WBAI-FM in New York City, in 1990. . . .
I believe that by extrapolating from past and future stories about “islands in the net” we may collect evidence to suggest that a certain kind of “free enclave” is not only possible in our time but also existent. All my research and speculation has crystallized around the concept of the TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONE (hereafter abbreviated TAZ). Despite its synthesizing force for my own thinking, however, I don’t intend the TAZ to be taken as more than an essay (“attempt”), a suggestion, almost a poetic fancy. Despite the occasional Ranterish enthusiasm of my language I am not trying to construct political dogma. In fact I have deliberately refrained from defining the TAZ–I circle around the subject, firing off exploratory beams. In the end the TAZ is almost self-explanatory. If the phrase became current it would be understood without difficulty…understood in action.
THE SEA-ROVERS AND CORSAIRS of the 18th century created an “information network” that spanned the globe: primitive and devoted primarily to grim business, the net nevertheless functioned admirably. Scattered throughout the net were islands, remote hideouts where ships could be watered and provisioned, booty traded for luxuries and necessities. Some of these islands supported “intentional communities,” whole mini-societies living consciously outside the law and determined to keep it up, even if only for a short but merry life.
Some years ago I looked through a lot of secondary material on piracy hoping to find a study of these enclaves–but it appeared as if no historian has yet found them worthy of analysis. (William Burroughs has mentioned the subject, as did the late British anarchist Larry Law–but no systematic research has been carried out.) I retreated to primary sources and constructed my own theory, some aspects of which will be discussed in this essay. I called the settlements “Pirate Utopias.”
His essay has a section on “Wild Children,” which he refers to as the “third sex”:
Children whose clarified senses betray them into a brilliant sorcery of beautiful pleasure reflect something feral & smutty in the nature of reality itself: . . .
I don’t want to quote too much of that. What does that sound like to you?
(accessed May 22, 2017)
T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, is a book by anarchist writer and poet Hakim Bey (Peter Lamborn Wilson) published in 1991 by Autonomedia and in 2011 by Pacific Publishing Studio (ISBN 978-1-4609-0177-9). . . .
The book describes the socio-political tactic of creating temporary spaces that elude formal structures of control. . . .
The concept of TAZ was put into practice on a large scale by the Cacophony Society in what they called Trips to the Zone, or Zone Trips. Their co-founder John Law also co-founded Black Rock City, now called the Burning Man Festival
Peter Lamborn Wilson (pseudonym Hakim Bey; born 1945) is an American anarchist author, primarily known for advocating the concept of Temporary Autonomous Zones.
Some writers have been troubled by Bey’s endorsement of children’s sexuality, and its ability to be expressed without the restriction of age.
In his book William S. Burroughs vs. the Qur’an, Michael Muhammad Knight describes his experiences with Peter Lamborn Wilson. Knight befriends Wilson, and is invited to stay at his house; he begins writing a biography of Wilson, on which he hopes Wilson might bestow the label “official”. However, as he learns more about Wilson/Bey’s writings on pederasty, his view of Wilson sours, and with that their friendship. Knight says “writing for NAMBLA amounts to activism in real life. As Hakim Bey, Peter creates a child molester’s liberation theology and then publishes it for an audience of potential offenders”. As Anthony Fiscella summarises the situation, “Knight has disavowed his former mentor due to Wilson’s advocacy of paedophilia/pederasty”
If you read through the reference notes in that Wikipedia article, there are endless rationalizations.
“William S. Burroughs: 20th Century Gnostic Visionary”
By ROBERT GUFFEY
But Burroughs never limited his vision to merely charting out the intricate connections that make up the system of control. Like Huxley before him, who eventually followed his dystopian novel Brave New World with a Utopian counterpoint titled The Island, Burroughs himself attempted to construct his own vision of a Utopia in such novels as The Wild Boys (1971) and Cities of the Red Night (1981).
In both cases, Burroughs seemed to suggest that a Utopia was not possible except within an isolated oasis, what Hakim Bey would call “a temporary autonomous zone.” . . .
Topics Related to the “Ghost” being the “Problem”
When I was referring to efforts to reduce the mental capacities of human beings, I was thinking of actual real-life practices (supposedly just mistaken). I recommend Robert Whitaker’s books Mad in America for the history of psychiatric “treatments” and also his history (more recent) of psychotropic drugs: Anatomy of an Epidemic.
One of the so-called treatments was lobotomy:
. . . It consists of cutting or scraping away most of the connections to and from the prefrontal cortex, the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain.
The procedure, controversial from its inception, was a mainstream procedure in some Western countries for more than two decades (prescribed for psychiatric and occasionally other conditions)
despite general recognition of frequent and serious side effects. . . .
Further Research: Psychiatric History with respect to political control and the United Nations. But I’m afraid it will be endless of course, because of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra.
Again, actual practices rather than just talking about what we think doctors “ought” to do:
Note the level Dr. Cameron was at professionally and politically:
Donald Ewen Cameron (24 December 1901 – 8 September 1967) — known as D. Ewen Cameron or Ewen Cameron — was a Scottish-born psychiatrist who served as President of the American Psychiatric Association (1952–1953), Canadian Psychiatric Association (1958-1959), American Psychopathological Association (1963), Society of Biological Psychiatry (1965) and World Psychiatric Association (1961-1966). Notwithstanding his high professional reputation, he has been criticized for administering electroshock therapy and experimental drugs to patients without their informed consent. Some of this work took place in the context of the Project MKUltra mind control program. . . .
And, speaking of “ghosts”, what did Arthur Koestler write about in 1967? The Ghost in the Machine. The human mind is a political “problem”. It concerns war and peace, don’t you know?
As far as the oligarchy is concerned, all human beings (besides them) are a dangerous pack of crazy animals:
The Ghost in the Machine is a 1967 book about philosophical psychology by Arthur Koestler. The title is a phrase (see ghost in the machine) coined by the Oxford philosopher Gilbert Ryle to describe the Cartesian dualist account of the mind–body relationship. Koestler shares with Ryle the view that the mind of a person is not an independent non-material entity, temporarily inhabiting and governing the body. The work attempts to explain humanity’s tendency towards self-destruction in terms of brain structure, philosophies, and its overarching, cyclical political–historical dynamics, reaching the height of its potential in the nuclear arms arena. . . .
. . . Koestler’s materialistic account argues that the personal experience of duality arises from what Koestler calls a holon. The notion of a holon is that the mind is at once a whole and a part. . . . The streams are fed by the life signals of each and every group member, and this fully participative medley is the spirit of life one senses as a ghost; but this spirit is just a simplified output of a complex knowledge set; it is emergent from the complexity of the group’s rules and strategies. . . .
One of the book’s central concepts is that as the human triune brain has evolved, it has retained and built upon earlier, more primitive brain structures. The head portion of the “ghost in the machine” has, as a consequence of poor, inadequate connections, a rich potential for conflict. The primitive layers can, and may, together, overpower rational logic’s hold. This explains a person’s hate, anger and other such emotional distress.
In other words, Koestler blamed the human brain and its emotions for war and conflict. We’re always getting angry and defensive about things—maybe about being enslaved or sexually abused or being constantly preyed upon by a parasitical class, things like that. Most of us are not involved in planning wars and making nuclear weapons, but never mind. We don’t like to be dominated and abused, and the way we think might lead to nuclear war, yeah right, so somebody better fix our brains to put a stop to that kind of thing. And they have never stopped working on that.
Further Research: What projects was Koestler involved in?
Macy Conferences: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macy_conferences
Question: What motivated these conferences?
The Macy Conferences were a set of meetings of scholars from various disciplines held in New York under the direction of Frank Fremont-Smith at the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation starting in 1941 and ending in 1960. The explicit aim of the conferences was to promote meaningful communication across scientific disciplines, and restore unity to science. . . .
. . .
Cerebral Inhibition Meeting [interesting term]
The Macy Cybernetics Conferences were preceded by the Cerebral Inhibition Meeting, organized by Frank Fremont-Smith in May 1942.
This was an invitation only meeting attended by:
Lawrence K. Frank
There were two topics:
Hypnotism introduced by Milton Erickson
Conditioned reflex introduced by Howard Liddell
The Cybernetics conferences were held between 1946 and 1953, organized by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, motivated by Lawrence K. Frank and Frank Fremont-Smith of the Foundation. As chair of this set of conferences, Warren McCulloch had responsibility to ensure that disciplinary boundaries were not unduly respected. The Cybernetics were particularly complex as a result of bringing together the most diverse group of participants of any of the Macy conferences, so they were the most difficult to organize and maintain.
The principal purpose of these series of conferences was to set the foundations for a general science of the workings of the human mind. These were one of the first organized studies of interdisciplinarity, spawning breakthroughs in systems theory, cybernetics, and what later became known as cognitive science.
First Cybernetics Conference, March 21–22, 1946
Second Cybernetics Conference, October 17–18, 1946
Third Cybernetics Conference, March 13–14, 1947
Fourth Cybernetics Conference, October 23–24, 1947
Fifth Cybernetics Conference, March 18–19, 1948
Sixth Cybernetics Conference, March 24–25, 1949
Seventh Cybernetics Conference, March 23–24, 1950
Eighth Cybernetics Conference, March 15–16, 1951
Ninth Cybernetics Conference, March 20–21, 1952
Tenth Cybernetics Conference, April 22–24, 1953
Participants: (as members or guests) in at least one of the Cybernetics conferences: Harold Alexander Abramson, Ackerman, Vahe E. Amassian, William Ross Ashby, Yehoshua Bar-Hillel, Gregory Bateson, Alex Bavelas, Julian H. Bigelow, Herbert G. Birch, John R. Bowman, Henry W. Brosin, Yuen Ren Chao, Jan Droogleever-Fortuyn, M. Ericsson, Fitch, Lawrence K. Frank, Ralph Waldo Gerard, William Grey Walter, Molly Harrower, George Evelyn Hutchinson, Heinrich Klüver, Lawrence S. Kubie, Paul Lazarsfeld, Kurt Lewin, J. C. R. Licklider, Howard S. Liddell, Donald B. Lindsley, W. K. Livingston, David Lloyd, Rafael Lorente de Nó, R. Duncan Luce, Donald M. MacKay, Donald G. Marquis, Warren S. McCulloch, Turner McLardy, Margaret Mead, Frederick A. Mettier, Marcel Monnier, Oskar Morgenstern, F. S. C. Northrop, Walter Pitts, Henry Quastler, Antoine Remond, I. A. Richards, David McKenzie Rioch, Arturo S. Rosenblueth, Leonard J. Savage, T. C. Schneirla, Claude Shannon, John Stroud, Hans-Lukas Teuber, Mottram Torre, Gerhardt von Bonin, Heinz von Foerster, John von Neumann, Heinz Werner, Norbert Wiener, Jerome B. Wiesner, J. Z. Young.
This is a sampling of the topics discussed each year.
. . .
Some of these names come up in my post and the related film here:
The Net: the planning and building of a scientifically controlled world order
Cybernetics is a transdisciplinary approach for exploring regulatory systems—their structures, constraints, and possibilities. Norbert Wiener defined cybernetics in 1948 as “the scientific study of control and communication in the animal and the machine.” In the 21st century, the term is often used in a rather loose way to imply “control of any system using technology.” . . .
Gregory Bateson: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Bateson
Double Bind: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bind
(I’m very interested in examining this topic in connection with cults).
What are David Price’s accusations about about “Weaponizing Anthropology”?
F-Scale and Frankfurt School: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-scale_(personality_test)
The California F-scale is a 1947 personality test, designed by Theodor W. Adorno and others to measure the authoritarian personality. The “F” stands for “fascist”. . . .
In other words, when human beings stand up for themselves and have a strong society that thrives and protects its members from abuse, it’s a problem for the scientific dictatorship. That’s how I view the F-scale. It’s a projection of the oligarchy’s own thinking and system (fascism) onto their subjects and their natural human instincts. The ways in which World War II was set up and conducted and how the artificially created and funded versions of totalitarian socialism (as per Antony Sutton’s research) created havoc among Europeans leading up to World War II (Nazi and Bolshevik varieties–they leave out one of these because of their biases) was a useful opportunity for trying to beat the lower classes–and the Western public–over the head with “science” (MKUltra being a perfect example, but it was secret so it didn’t exist, right? like the radiation experiments and the syphilis experiments didn’t happen either?) I wouldn’t be surprised if these conferences might have related to the origin and progress of the Cold War also. Worth looking into.
Further reading: The Authoritarian Personality
Further research: Counter Culture and connections with MK-Ultra (Gordon Wasson, etc.)
Further research: Brain Death vs. Previous Criteria of Death and Organ Harvesting
. . . Traditionally, both the legal and medical communities determined death through the permanent end of certain bodily functions in clinical death, especially respiration and heartbeat. With the increasing ability of the medical community to resuscitate people with no respiration, heartbeat, or other external signs of life, the need for another definition of death occurred, raising questions of legal death. This gained greater urgency with the widespread use of life support equipment, as well as rising capabilities and demand for organ transplantation. . . .
The person is kept alive for organ use:
While the diagnosis of brain death has become accepted as a basis for the certification of death for legal purposes, it should be clearly understood that it is a very different state from biological death – the state universally recognized and understood as death. The continuing function of vital organs in the bodies of those diagnosed brain dead, if mechanical ventilation and other life-support measures are continued, provides optimal opportunities for their transplantation . . .
In the United States, if the patient is at or near death, the hospital must notify a transplant organization of the person’s details and maintain the patient while the patient is being evaluated for suitability as a donor. The patient is kept on ventilator support until the organs have been surgically removed. . . .
I think there may be a problem, some kind of contradiction here . .
Questions: I have a lot of questions. How do they know the person is actually dead if they’re not clinically dead–since they’re being kept alive as far as respiration? How do they know the brain is really permanently “dead”? How is that verified? Is pain response tested continually? Could the person just be temporarily unconscious? Why couldn’t the brain revive at any point if the ventilator is operating continually? There are too many “moving parts” and weak links in that process of determining “death” when they have no intention of letting the body die. Is the person dead or not?
Example of Opposition to Social Change (Cultural Impositions)
Just as an example: What is the history of the increase in pornography (and violence in entertainment also) and to the opposition to pornography? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_pornography
Some information on Alfred Kinsey at https://canadianliberty.com/?tag=alfred-kinsey
The Promotion of Vegetarianism and Veganism Are these practices an attack on mental and reproductive capacity? Vegetarianism is promoted in Plato’s scientifically and eugenically organized society, described in The Republic.
*Brain project started under Obama
*Devices that attempt to read thoughts and emotions (as referred to in Orwell’s 1984
*Loyola NBIC conference in early 2000s conducted by Newt Gingrich
*Topic of animal fats/saturated fats propaganda and history of vegetable oils, other substitute foods
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