Glossary of Broken Dreams (2018) - full transcript

Puppets. Pixels. Anime. Live action. Stock footage. - Lumpennerd Johannes Grenzfurthner gives an ideotaining cinematic revue about important political concepts. Everyone is talking about ...

(light flickering)

(engine bursting)


(light electronic music)

- My name is Johannes,
and I have a condition.

I am human.

I first realized that
when I fell on my face

on a concrete slab on a beach in Italy.

I was four, and it was clear to me,

beaches cannot be trusted,

I hated Italy, and dreams can be broken.

The human is a narrative being.

We construct emotional
machines, so-called stories,

to communicate, to share
the world in which we live

and make it collectively experienceable.

And we are pretty good at doing that.

Since the primordial soup
mendelized into primate brains,

we have either been fleeing from big cats

or telling others about our
escapes from the clutches

of big cats.

Sitting around a campfire,

interpreting and breaking down the world,

charging it with meaning,

regardless of whether the tales
hold up to a Wikipedia check

or not.

The human is also a political being,

although many members of my
species don't like that idea.

(Wilhelm scream)

Get used to it.

You can't avoid being political.

The moment you choose to
buy a sugar free Red Bull

at Walmart, you commit a political act.

Same is true when you drag a
royalty-free hip-hop version

of Pachelbel's Canon in D
into your shopping basket

Politics is the practice
of distribution of power

and resources within a given community,

as well as the interrelationship
between communities.


(gun firing)

We project a certain story onto the world.

The story differs if you
are leftist, a progressive,

or conservative.

But be assured, most people
I know who call themselves

anarchists are just stupid libertarians.

We communicate our
views by using narrative

and conceptual shortcuts.

Abbreviated terms like
'freedom' or 'privacy,' and so on.

These shortcuts are important.

If someone had called 'global
warming' something different,

let's say 'atmosphere cancer,'

we wouldn't have problems
explaining why it's a bad thing.

I always wanted to create a glossary

of all-important terms,
because, Jesus fucking McChrist,

they are always used and
abused in comment sections

on the World Wide Web.

I wanted to give some of these
Golden Calves of Discourse

a second look, to explain, re-evaluate,

and maybe even sacrifice them.

I teamed up with my
good friend Ishan Raval,

who definitely matches me
in my political nerdiness.

I mean, look, we both
have hands on our chins

in our Google profile pics.

- [Man] Wahooo!

- Pompous little fucks we are.

And because I know a lot
of creative performers

who would do pretty much
anything for almost nothing,

I decided to make this film.

- How much longer do I
have to hold this shit?

It's heavy.

- You can put it in your resume!

Come on, a little bit longer.

- And we use my car.

- You're the head of
transportation fleet, okay?

So, well, never forget:

You don't hate Italy,
you hate capitalism.

What a big word.

So big.

(tone beeping)

One of the biggest words I know.

And I know a lot of words.

There's market, too,
(tone beeping)

but that one sounds a bit too mystical

Oh, I think that's Brian Ewok!

- [Brian Voiceover] Good
to have a comfy seat

at my favorite hipster coffee shop

and wine bar, enjoying
free wifi from a network

whose password is Helvetica.

I'm just minding my own business

when I get spotted by Madame Juju,

the friendly hipster coffee
shop and wine bar owner

who does sweat yoga.

- [Juju] Hello, how can I help you?

A double eggnog frappuccino
with tofu-breaded halibut?

- [Brian] There's a sticker

for the Green Party
candidate behind the bar.

- [Juju] Oh, I love the Greens!

So friendly, so caring, so cuddly!

- [Brian] Marx once called the State

a committee for managing
the common affairs

of the whole bourgeoisie.

Thank the non-existing God for it,

because where management is possible,

so also is mismanagement,

and some parts of the bourgeoisie,

especially those who do sweat yoga

and keep their hearts
wholesome, might be persuaded

to use that committee
against their interests.

Basically, there are people

who own the means of production,

let's say fancy coffee machines or servers

or farms or server farms.

That's the bourgeoisie.

And then there are people who don't own

the means of production or capital,

so they have to sell
their work: the workers.

That's all the baristas
and sandwich artists

and RyanAir check-in personnel.

But even if the bourgeoisie,
which includes Madame Juju,

might not be united in
its political allegiances,

they play the same purpose.

It isn't her fault.

- [Juju] It isn't my fault!

- [Brian] In all corners
and cortices of her brain,

she might just regard this as her job,

an innocent livelihood and
even a community service.

- [Juju] Oh absolutely!

People love me!

I am the Maggie Gyllenhaal of
saffron-based cale frosting!

- [Brian] All of that it might be.

But capitalism is bigger than
any of our lives and wills.

It produces net effects some
capitalists don't realize.

Madame Juju's heart may
not be driven by profit,

but her business must be.

Money must make more money.

More money must be made

so that it can keep up
with competing coffee shops

and wine bars, which
are constantly coming up

and trying to outperform Madame Juju.

- [Juju] It makes me cry!

It's not even enough for
me to earn back the money

I invested.

There has to be a good
return on investment!

- [Brian] Investment?

- [Juju] There have to be upgrades

to match the latest
speedy-spicy-sprinkle trends,

or to keep paying an increasing rent

so that the coffee doesn't
get more expensive,

otherwise everyone will go to

Monsieur Dudu's down the street!

- [Brian] It's true.

His coffee is okay,

but his wine selection
is out of this world!

So Madame Juju is forced to cut costs

by not protecting the environment,

or by paying super-low wages.

- [Juju] It is so very sad,

but I donate to Amnesty International!

- [Brian] Overall, the wealth of the world

increases on the side of the capital,

be it money uninvested and stagnant--

- [Juju] There are some
trillions of dollars

around like that today!

- [Brian] or the things
required for and by business.

And wealth decreases on
the side of the world

where costs are cut,

people working for wages
and the world itself!

Take atmosphere cancer.

Sadly, it's not capitalism's side effect,

but a sign of its normal functioning.

The system was, for the last 100 years,

running on cheap oil and
making a huge profit with it.

Money still needs to make more money,

so more and more things have
to be exchangeable for money.

Everything from gummy
bears to DNA sequences

to carbon dioxide emissions.

- [Juju] But Friedman
says that economic freedom

is a precondition for political freedom.

- Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

Not so fast, Madame Juju!

Well, freedom is a huge
word too, yes, yes.

But in a capitalist society,
there's only one freedom,

the freedom of the market.

(grand orchestral music)

- [Brian] At its root, capitalism is based

on three simple things.

Working for a wage, private ownership

or control of the means of production,

and production for exchange and profit.

And it's all sold with
the promise of liberty.

- [Juju] But that has been true

since the beginning of time!

- [Brian] Capitalism didn't arise

according to natural laws
that stem from human nature,

it was spread by organized violence.

The concept of private land
and means of production

might seem like the natural
state of things now,

however we should remember
it is a human concept.

First, in places like England,

enclosures drove self-sufficient peasants

from communal land into the cities

to work in factories.

Under the reign of Henry VIII alone,

72,000 people were
executed for vagabondage.

Is that freedom?

Later capitalism was spread
rapidly and violently

around the globe.

Do you remember that
nice little girl Alice?

- [Juju] Oh yes, certainly!


- [Brian] She fell into Wonderland,

used its resources, and
was highly judgemental

of the natives.

A spoiled British imperialist brat.

But the Germans weren't much better.

- It's the year 1880.

Powerful German merchants
started to profit

from overseas commerce in Asia and Africa.

The German Empire supported this expansion

by conquering large amounts of land

and established so-called 'protectorates.'

With fraud, Bible, alcohol, and violence,

the German Empire grew
to a staggering 2.6 million

square kilometers, five
times the size of Germany,

reaching the third place in colonial power

right after England and France.

The following sarcastic folk song,

written in 1890,

has its own perspective on the matter.

("Bibel und Flinte")

(light electronic music)

- [Juju] But wait, I like black people!

They got the rhythm!

Equality and justice for everyone!

I don't like the super-rich!

The middle-class is under attack!

The goddamn politicians are to blame!

- [Brian] Most liberal-cosmopolitan folks

lack faith in public institutions,
ideals, and politicians.

The notoriety of left-leaning authors,

like Michael Moore or


Noam Chomsky shows that our fellow humans

know very well what Moore
claims is the awful truth,

but they act as if they don't know.

We have to realize that
everyone is part of the problem.

It's our habits, our procedures
that keep the game going.

There is no good or bad capitalism.

Inequality is an integral
part of capitalism.

Everything, including humans,
is treated as mere resource.

- [Juju] I like punk rock!

I make my own sweaters!

I recycle plastic bottles!

I enjoy books by Terry Pratchett!

I am a Buddhist!

- [Brian] That is nice of you,

but remember that market driven capitalism

musters the quasi-scientific
discourses of marketing

and public relations, and
increasingly, Eastern religion,

to recommend products to consumers

as necessary means in the
liberal pursuit of happiness,

self-fulfilment, and personal freedom.

- [Johannes] Sometimes there's
so much beauty in the world,

I feel like I can't take it.

- [Juju] Well, capitalism
has its downsides!

But it's way better than communism!

That's really bad!

It killed people!

Even worse, it didn't work.

- [Brian] Let us quote Marx himself.

- "The categorical imperative

"is to overthrow all relations
in which man is a debased,

"enslaved, forsaken, despicable being."

- [Brian] This imperative
is true for all conditions,

even the ones created by
perverted misinterpretations

of his writings.

State communism killed a ton of people,

and the sad truth is that it
was based on the principle

of a state, it created forms of property,

it had banks, police, even a market.

State communism was a badly adapted,

botched version of the
rules of capitalism.

We shouldn't shed a tear for it.

- [Juju] True!

And socialism penalizes high achievers,

rewards laziness, cuts
freedom, and stifles choice.

Ayn Rand says--

- [Brian] Ayn Rand died on welfare!

- [Juju] But socialism
stifles competition,

impeding technological progress!

- May I jump in and remark

that one of the largest
cooperative projects

and planned economies was,


the Apollo project

to put a middle-class American

on the moon.

So, let's have a broader look

at technology and


(grand orchestral music)

Aaaaah, I'm at 6 g.

Excuse me for a moment.

(stertorous breathing)

- [Cerebral Cortex] This
is Hans Platzgaumer.

He enjoys craft beer and gory movies

in the Italian tradition.

- Oh.

- [Cerebral Cortex] And
he is a passionate gamer.

- Jesus.


You're going to need
some lube and a tow truck

to pull my boot out of your ass.


- [Cerebral Cortex] Do you have a minute

to talk about something important?

- Huh, where is that voice coming from?

- [Cerebral Cortex] I
am your cerebral cortex.


- That's weird.

- [Cerebral Cortex] Through the dark

and not so dark millennia
of human history,

we have organized ourselves
into adversarial cliques,

communities, and nations.

World events were like
deadly ping pong balls

hurdling towards us, and
these groups were the paddles

whose goal it was to knock the ball

into someone else's court.

- What a crazy-ass metaphor.

- [Cerebral Cortex] Add military might

as the means to hold in
place a lopsided system

of distribution, in which
workers create more and more

economic value for wages
that never quite grow

at the same rate, and lo,
competition became the fabric

in which everyday life was dressed.

The technology necessary

for global cooperation did not exist.

(phone ringing)

Competition was thus established

as the default way of
interacting with the world.

In its genteel form, competition
meant nobody got killed.

Gladiators turned to soccer
or turned to table tennis.

By 1972, computers became advanced enough

to simulate competitive
games, and PONG was born.



- [Cerebral Cortex] Humans
are a competitive species,

but we shouldn't forget that
cooperation and altruism

are as much hardwired into our brains.

- But what does that have to do

with that old school video game?

- [Cerebral Cortex] If we
don't want the PONG ball

to go off the table, we
can program the computer

to control the paddles
better than any human can.

Our desire to play competitive PONG

versus other humans through
obsolete hand operation

is nothing but a vain
show of one-upmanship.

There's no other point
to competitive gaming

in the computer age.

- What the actual fuck!

Fuck! FUCK!

- [Cerebral Cortex] That's
just your limbic system

trying to interfere.

Pay attention to me!

Technology could save us if we'd let it.

There is enough material wealth
for everyone on the planet

to have a sturdy home
and a steady food supply,

if we stop competing and
use our global communication

and computation capabilities
to level the playing field.

- But competition is wonderful!

I have come here to chew
bubblegum and kick ass

and I'm all out of bubblegum.

- [Cerebral Cortex] Competitive systems,

such as evolution and capitalism,

are terrific at creating
unpredictable change very quickly.

It's the trial-by-error system.

If you're looking for a
wide variety of output,

competitive systems are the best.

Not only will the product of such systems

tend to improve over time,
they'll fill just about any niche

available to them.

A competitive system, such as a market,

also has its merits as a
sensor in approximating

what and how much people want.

- See, see!

It's a good thing!

- [Cerebral Cortex] Competition
can be a great inspiration

to develop skills related to the goal,

which is great if inspiration is needed

and the skills are useful ones.

In a system like PONG however,
(glass smashing)

you just wind up getting
better at playing PONG.

A competitive system also is great

for ensuring that people
who are ahead in the game

get exactly what they
want when they want it.

(rock whistling)

A hawk uses highly evolved vision

to catch its prey,
(phone ringing)

and first-worlders use
their superior buying power

to get iPads.

- Hey, hey!

Don't speak about Steve
Jobs' products in vain!

You are making me very angry!

- [Cerebral Cortex]
Although competitive systems

produce good things, such as
human beings and diet cola,

we also wind up with things,

such as wooly mammoths
and guided missiles.

It's a horribly inefficient
way of producing things

people need.

Most energy in a competitive system

is spent not in producing a product,

but in staying competitive.

In evolution, this waste manifests

in a less than desirable cycle
of predator-prey adaptation

escalation, where more energy is spent

surviving than enjoying life.

In capitalism, it results in the
same sort of relationship,

except between those with
capital value and those without.

People who don't have capital value

are trapped working for those who do,

and their energy is directed

towards keeping their team competitive.

- I'm a team player!

- [Cerebral Cortex] In
our competitive system,

(gun firing)

most of our energy uses
are redundant and wasteful.

Redundancy is the result
of the wasted overhead

when multiple people are
working on the same problem

in different teams.

Team Coke and Team Pepsi are both working

on the cola problem, but
each spends huge amounts

of resources battling the other.

Even within a supposedly
cooperative society,

most businesses exist in order
to support other businesses.

How much would the production
of our essential goods

decrease if we laid off our accountants,

and all the people who
supply computers to them,

and all the people who print brochures

for the computer salesman,
and the people who produce

the ink for those brochures,

and the people who make
packaged food for the truckers

who drive those materials around.

We have seen a ballooning
of what David Graeber

calls 'bullshit jobs.'


- Bullshit jobs?

- [Cerebral Cortex] Services
like financial stuff

or telemarketing, even
ancillary industries

like dog-washers and
all-night pizza delivery,

exist only because everyone
else is spending so much

of their time working
in all the other ones.

In PONG, the fact that your
opponent keeps hitting the ball

at you means you must spend your resources

defending your goal,

instead of using your time
for more noble endeavors.

- That sounds like propaganda!


(record scratching)

Can we watch a splatter film instead?

(heavy metal music)


(sinister laughing)

Boring, can we listen to propaganda again?

(light electronic music)

- [Cerebral Cortex]
Evolution and capitalism

have brought us to the
point where it's possible

to propel ourselves out of
our current state of affairs.

Things that used to be competitive games

should now be cooperative
ones, or not games at all.

We have the computational power needed

to ensure basic goods are produced

and distributed optimally.

We can wisely respond to global crises.

By breaking market dependency,

we could create an economy of complexity,

unpredictability and genuine freedom

that capitalism has enabled,
but also constrained.

In the new world, we will be able to relax

and let technology do the job.

Try it!

- I control the ball and
it doesn't let me lose!

(ball beeping)


- [Cerebral Cortex] The PONG ball

will never fall off the table again!

(slow clapping)

- A fresh idea, isn't it?

So neat, so different, so countercultural!

It's the early 19th century.

The Catholic township of
Oberstetten in Württemberg,

now part of Germany, announces
to the neighboring commune

of Bernloch that the cows of Bernloch

will no longer be mounted
by the bull of Oberstetten.

Bernloch had voted to become protestant.

Some creative contemporaries,

well... they write a song about the case.


(singing in foreign language)

(singing in foreign language)

(singing in foreign language)

(singing in foreign language)

(light electronic music)

- [Customer] Hello, I
would like to exchange

50 euros to dollars.

- [Bank] Okay, here is your receipt.

The dollars.

- [Customer] Thank you very much.

And now, I would like to
exchange these to euros.

- [Bank] We can cancel that.

- [Customer] No.

- [Bank] But you'll take a loss on that.

- [Customer] Well, that's
the nature of things.

- [Bank] 44 euros, there you are.

- [Customer] Ah, the leftovers.

- [Bank] So, this is your 35 dollars.

- [Customer] Fine, I'll have
these exchanged to euros then.

- [Bank] Uh-huh.

So, there's the 31.35 for you.

- [Customer] I'll
exchange them for dollars.

- [Bank] Have you got some change left?

I need 87 cents.

- [Customer] Okay.

- [Bank] Okay, you get 27.

- [Customer] Well, can you
exchange them for euros then?

- [Bank] 23 euros 59.

- [Customer] Fine by me.

All right, let's exchange
that for dollars.

What will that be?

- [Bank] I need 23.50.

- [Customer] That was 19, okay.

Can I get euros for this, please?

And I'll have dollars for that.

- [Bank] 11 dollars.

- [Customer] I see, fine.

In euros please.


- [Bank] Let's have a look.

- [Customer] I'd like
these exchanged to dollars.

- [Bank] We'll be done in no time now.

- [Customer] I'll have these
4 exchanged then, please.

- [Bank] 40 cents.

- [Customer] You can't change this?

- [Bank] No.

- [Customer] Okay, I will
bid you thanks, then.

- [Bank] You're welcome.

(cash register ringing)

- The worldwide amount of
cash, in coins and banknotes,

is 20 trillion euros.

So, imagine to change that
amount, from euros to dollars

to euros to dollars, back
and forth, back and forth.

How many times would it take

for fees to eat up all that cash?

Well, guess.

Here is the formula.

We put it into an Excel sheet.

And the answer is 849 times,

18 cents remain.

And 2 cents get eaten by
Microsoft Excel rounding errors.

(computer blipping)

But Microsoft always gets its fair share.

I need a break.

(light electronic music)

I don't know why I keep
returning to coffee shops.

I don't even like coffee.

I'm a bad Austrian.

Well, at least this one
is a hipster-free zone.

- Waiter!

Hello, Herr Walter, I'd
like one scandal, please.

- Certainly, Frau Schlammpeitzinger.

We have a prescription drug
scandal, a healthcare scandal,

or a corruption scandal.

Each topped with whipped cream.

- No art scandal?

- No, madame.

- Oh, what a disappointment!

How I would love an art scandal!

- That might be a little
difficult, madame.

We no longer live in the '60s.

- Oh please!

Just a couple of years ago
there was one in Salzburg,

the one with the plasticine
penis on that horse!

And what about Sargnagel!

- And that is what madame

would consider a proper art scandal?


If madame would allow me a remark,

the longevity of such a
scandal is negligible,

on a par with a mere second on Twitter.

We'll catch hell from
the health department

if we serve you something like that.

A poor excuse for an art scandal.

- Come on.

This may be the last time I am in Vienna,

and I want my art scandal,
like old times, 1968,

'Uniferkelei'... you know, when
the Viennese Actionists

shat on a desk at the university.

Something risqué.

I'm an elderly woman and
I am used to a certain level

of artistic extravagance!

- I see, I see.

However, if that is what you're after,

you'd have to live in
a disciplinary society

and you're in the wrong place for that.

- Would you kindly explain,
the last philosopher

I read was Habermas in 1975!

- Let's explain discipline.

In the course of a lifetime,

an individual switches
from one closed framework

of confinement to another,

where each one operates
according to its own laws,

from the family to the school,

then to university or
factory or the military,

from time to time to the hospital

and eventually to the
quintessential framework

of confinement, the prison.

The function is always clear,
discipline and punishment.

- And how does one go about escaping?

I can imagine that must be difficult.

- It is indeed difficult as
you say, but not impossible.

Discipline and punishment
are certainly effective,

yet at least they produce
an inner resistance,

as well as the possibility
to avoid either.

It's hard to monitor in absolute terms,

and there are always ways of avoiding,

if not hacking and ridiculing
these mechanisms of control.

Let's take work as an example.

You hate your boss, he
commands you all the time,

he doesn't pay you enough,

so you look for loopholes and niches

like long trips to the toilet,
theft of work materials,

misuse of hard and software, sick leave,

pretending to look busy,

playing dumb.

- I want my art scandal?

- Forgive me, madame, you
don't seem to understand.

We are not really living in a
disciplinary society anymore.

The world is changing
into a control society.

For example, surveillance
cameras now have stickers on them

that read: "Smile, you are on camera!"

It's friendly and embracing!

Or, Google created a free
augmented reality game

called INGRESS that is played and loved

by millions of people.

The players don't realize that
they are actually entering

geographical information
that Google uses and sells.

Google turned expensive,
labor-intensive data entry

into a game, and now
people work for them free,

without even knowing.

One of the best examples
is my old religious studies

book from the 1980s.

It propagated a responsible
treatment of sexuality,

instead of the age-old catechistic way.

Masturbation was suddenly okay,

but you had to do it in a 'responsible' way.

Madame, I hope you can understand

that it isn't possible to
maintain a 'responsible' erection!

It was all a perfidious
trick to internalize control.

- Smiling, playing, masturbating?

- The moment a person
internalizes the control,

making it an integral part
of their psychological makeup

and their thinking, it becomes absolute.

There is no longer anything
external to that control.

You don't have to be
told to behave anymore.

You want to behave because
you think it's good for you.

And it is very hard to subvert yourself.

This is especially perfidious
for your bread-winning job.

Your boss is your friend nowadays,

because it makes it easier to exploit you.

Workers, now called employees,

begin to identify with
the corporate identity

of the firm itself, resulting in a kind of

spiritual share in the company.

Did you know that many corporations now

have their own anthems?

Look, here is the one of Gazprom,

performed by Vladimir Tumayev.

(light acoustic music)

- Neoliberal Russian drinking songs!

This is too much!

I don't even like rum in my tea!

My doctor tells me I don't
have much longer to live,

and just once more I
would love to experience

a genuine art scandal!

- Where there are distinct boundaries,

where there are established social codes,

that's where one can effectively
take action against them.

Where there is a wall,
there is a hammer that fits.

Cast your mind back.

The police once arrested members
of the Viennese Actionists

for painting with blood or similar things.

The outrage, a great word, of the public.

Now, if you will consider the context

of the 1960s.
(tone beeping)

A substantial Catholic
society living in Austria!

Nowadays, if you want to put on

a blood-painting performance,
you would probably

not even come up on the Facebook timeline

of a Slovak tourist.

- But waiter, that's still no excuse!

If one looks for it,
one can find a boundary.

There are always boundaries.

Because look, say I were to grab a pretzel

and stick it in my rather
old cunt for all to see.

I think that's a case in which

one might call it a transgression.

- Naturally, you could do that.

But the boundaries that you are
transgressing are arbitrary.

And as far as Austria is concerned,

and I mean Austria as a social entity,

I think it couldn't care less.

(siren wailing)

- I am fading!

- Calm down, madame,
drink a glass of water!

A scandal must involve
an outrage in the sense

of a moral and passionate response.

In a world of micro-societies
and niche capital,

it is hard to hold a mirror to society.

- But waiter, that would be horrible!

- Madame, you are right.

But I refer you to an ORF interview

with the German hip-hop
maverick Jan Delay,

where he says that he wouldn't think twice

about calling the Pope gay,

but mocking Islam is
something he would never do,

out of too much respect.

What a coward!

- In other words, as long
as people have boundaries

of respect, there will be scandals?

- Yes, more or less.

But these boundaries of respect

are becoming progressively
smaller and smaller.

- Punk is dead.

- So what am I to do?

- Simply seek out a new
geographical focus for your life.

- You're saying I should
leave beautiful Austria?

- Don't get nostalgic!

There would be no Ai Weiwei

without the wonderfully disciplined

People's Republic of China.

And Iran is also pretty.

By all accounts, the
weather there is idyllic

and every day people are
offed because of their,

for example their views and
their sexual orientation.

- Thank you!

Then I think I'll give
the menu another glance.

- As madame wishes.

Call me when you've selected
something to your liking.

- Waiter.

- Yes, madame!

- Could you at least give me the recipe

for a real art scandal.

I'm just a nostalgic type of person.

- I'm sorry, but our old cook passed away

the year before last.

However, I could bring you an event,

and some say you can't
even taste the difference.

(light electronic music)

- [Woman] Oh, it's a birth simulator!

- [Young Woman] I blame society
for Zack Snyder's career.

- In 1914, the German
Empire declared war against

Russia and France, effectively
starting World War I.

The elite wanted a German
Reich from Brittany

to Saint Petersburg.

A lot of walking for simple soldiers.

("Das Schleppen ist des Landsers Last")

(singing in foreign language)

(singing in foreign language)

(speaking foreign language)

(light synth music)

- [Johannes] How can this be the future?

That's not what Blade Runner promised me!

(electronic blipping)

- [TV Host] Global
communication is organized

and institutionalized by
interconnected machines

that we call the media.

Satellite dishes, YouTube
channels, SnapChat,

the Guardian, the Onion,
Tinder, you get the point.

- [Pundit] I would emphasize
the fiber-optic cables

that traverse the whole globe,

not only holding together the
current information economy,

but scrambling our
system of nation-states!

- [TV Host] Such a smart-ass

(laser zapping)

- [Pundit] Aaaaah!


- [TV Host] Bottom-line, media
is the strongest political,

economic, and heuristic
power in the modern world.

Media is always owned.

I own some, you own some,
but most of it is owned by,

well, someone else.

- [Johannes] Recently, I
asked my friend David Fine

to do a research study on his lunch break.

His results suggested 35% of the media

is owned by Mark Zuckerberg.

I first offered him 25 euros

if he could find that
it's actually 45%,

but he said nobody would believe that.

We agreed on 35% for 20 euros.

David Fine completed his
study in under two minutes.

Five stars.

Would buy again.

- [TV Host] You see, it's
redundant to talk about fake news,

because news is by definition fake.

Ask the constructivist.

- [Correspondent] That's right!

- [TV Host] News is fake
because it is created

and edited in a specific way,
for a specific target group,

for a specific purpose.

The idea of freedom of the press

and journalistic objectivity
is strange in a world

so obviously based on power relationships.

(bell dinging)

Facts used to be a driving force

and selling point of journalism.

But research is expensive
and market forces

don't care if you sell something

because it's researched
well or faked well.

- [Activist] Free speech,
free speech, free speech.

- [TV Host] Freeze peach?

- [Activist] Free speech,
free speech, free speech.

- [TV Host] Shut your piehole!

Who or what do people imagine delivers

the right to free speech?

The question should not be,
do you believe in free speech?

The question should be,

who in our bourgeois democracy
really has free speech?

Defending the free speech of Nazis

doesn't guarantee the free
speech of anti-fascists.

The content of speech, or any right to it,

isn't what's important.

The provision of labor power

and social inclusion
determines the affordance

anyone's speech is given.

- [Pundit] But that
means we have to uphold

the ideal of free speech for all,

otherwise the bourgeois state
and forces of domination

have an excuse to--

- [TV Host] Smart-ass again.

(laser zapping)

- [Pundit] Ouch!

- [TV Host] Let's not act
as if we live in a world

where everyone has the same free speech.

There was no freedom of
speech in Eastern Germany,

yet there were very active
communication channels,

pamphlets, and discussions,

all beneath the radar of the state.

The open media world of liberal societies

always encouraged free-ish speech,

but in a way of calming down dissent.

- [Pundit] But comedy
functions as an important--

(laser zapping)

- [Pundit] Ouch!

Goddamn it!

- [TV Host] The oh-so-wonderful
heroes of liberals,

the comedians and satirists,
never really changed anything.

A naked emperor is still an emperor.

- [Activist] Free speech,
free speech, free speech!

We are a free society!

You can say whatever you
want, whenever you want,

on whatever channels you want!

- [TV Host] Sure.

But it's irrelevant, and we all know it.

How can we find a way to communicate

when no one wants to listen?

The totality and power of the media

is an ongoing negotiation.

Normality and reality are
created within its structure.

To attack normality and reality

would also mean to attack this structure,

something folks have referred to

as the semiotics of reality
or social semiotics.

- [Stefanie] Have you heard
about the Bechdel test?

- [Katharina] No, what's that?

- [Stefanie] It's a test for movies.

A movie has to have at
least two women in it,

who talk to each other about
something besides a man.

- [Katharina] Oh, I see.

So this film passes the test now.

- [Stefanie] Yes, we are
the token conversation.

- [Katharina] Oh, that's very nice then.

- [TV Host] It's important to analyze

how something is represented,
and what is not represented

or how it lacks representation.

It's not Zuckerberg, whose
assholishness is not in dispute,

we should attack,

but rather the cultural
grammar of the public space.

Power is formed within such a grammar.

Access and non-access to everything

is regulated in its realm.

Meanings are negotiated there.

Good and evil are determined.

It is a common reflex for people to think

they are helpless against
almighty governments

and corporate powers.

But power is more like an icky jellyfish

than a solid brick wall.

Play with it!

- [Pundit] Y-y-yes, madame!

- [TV Host] That's how I like my pundits.

(calm piano music)

(ducks chirping)

(dogs barking)

We live in a paradoxical world.

The largest phone providers
own no telco infrastructure,

the most popular media
owner creates no content,

world's largest media
house owns no cinema,

the largest software vendors
create no apps, and so on.

- [Wizard] What is this sorcery?

- [TV Host] Yet, we obviously live

in a highly material world.

Our freedom of yada-yada-yada
seems a bit sketchy

when you consider that all our lovely

'Pepe the Frog' fan blogs and
anarcho-syndicalist forums

would be gone in a heartbeat
if just one company decides

to shut down their


Or imagine if our home
country wants to pull an Egypt

or Turkey on us.

- [Teknomator] I know now why you cry.

But it's something I can never do.

- [TV Host] Prost!

There is no freedom of information until,

let's put it in simple terms,

you can download your hardware.

Not gonna happen.

Even the wonderful DIY
revolution can't change that.

All our hacker gadgets and
Arduinos and Linux notebooks

are made from the same raw materials

as the corporate hardware,

mined under horrific conditions
by 21st century slaves,

assembled by folks with a similar fate.

Here is a crazy, yet strangely
compelling piece of music,

first presented at the German
Evangelical Church Assembly

in 1975.

A mixture of Christian revival attitude

and left-leaning agitprop.

Quite something, isn't it, Pontius?

("Du kleine Löterin")

- [Johannes] I am useless as an artist.

There is nothing left to do.

Oh, a video filter that
makes videos look like

they are really old.

This changes everything.

(light guitar music)

(tone beeping)

- [Narrator] Hey, you.

Yeah, you.


Is someone there, you're asking?

Someone watching you?

Of course there is.

But don't be scared.

You are my big brother,
the modern subject.

I know you haven't known me personally,

since our parents, Father
Honor and Mother Concern,

sent you away to the Boarding
School of Bourgeois Privacy

when you were young.

But those years of your life are over.

I am here to pick you up and
guide you into a new tomorrow!

Let me give you a hug!


You miss Bourgeois Privacy?

My, my!

Don't cry!

You say your liberty
was protected in there?

You felt safe having a personal space

that felt hidden from outside curiosities,

views, and disapproval?

You don't understand, big brother!

The privacy you've had so far
is a historical contingency,

not a universal fact.

You can't stay in school forever.

It's a stage in the life
of a subject like you.

See, privacy, as we think of
it, is only 300 years old.

It doesn't exist in its
precise Western bourgeois form

in Eastern cultures.

But as common goods came
to be held in few hands,

creating separate private
and public spheres,

an ever more tightly defined family

protected itself and its
wealth against the street,

against the remaining population.

Bourgeois mores of propriety,

depending upon an
infrastructure of privacy,

served to legitimize the
bourgeoisie against other classes.

The bourgeoisie often
defined its moral superiority

over the masses of workers through

the latter's lack of proper privacy,

although the workers
simply couldn't afford

adequate living conditions.

- Heinrich Heine wrote this
lovely revolutionary ditty

just a couple of weeks after the uprising

of the weavers of
Langenbielau and Peterswaldau

in Silesia in 1844.

("Die schlesischen Weber")

(singing in foreign language)

(singing in foreign language)

(singing in foreign language)

(singing in foreign language)

- [Narrator] They were
weaving and weaving,

and their bosses had money,

spare time and privacy.

But privacy was already being undermined!

The technological advances toward the end

of the 19th century were
discussed just as much

as today's are.

The telephone was dangerous

for opening the home's
safe space to faraway ears.

X-rays were a weapon to peek beyond walls

into the most private quarters.


Calls for strong laws to protect privacy

against such threats emerged,

most famously in the 1890
essay The Right to Privacy,

which is still prevalent in
privacy legislation debates.

The problems were not
limited to the intrusions

into individuals' lives.

Disrespect the line
between public and private,

and you set poor moral examples

and degenerate proper public discourse.

For example, the authors warned
against newspaper stories

leading to improper public
discussions of private matters.

Such stories could matter to the demos,

and become a matter of politics.


In the 20th Century, liberal democracies

promoted privacy as a liberal counter

against populist doctrines,
be they communist or fascist.

This period was also when
the welfare capitalism

of liberal democracies,

through their surpluses from
colonialism or imperialism,

raised the living standards
of most of their populace.

The so-called middle
class had privacy, too.

But these very economic conditions

enabled marginalized
parts of bourgeois society

to think about the good
and the bad of privacy.

Feminist activists used
drastic publicity tactics

to start discussions of
issues formerly hidden

by privacy and taboo.

For example, in France and Germany,

they started public mass confessions

involving prominent women, stating:

"We had abortions."

Similar tactics were used
by homosexual activists.

Oh, I got carried away.

What did you say, big brother?

Oh, it's not all bad.

Especially for marginalized groups,

it is useful to have space
free from authoritarian eyes.

But privacy is under attack.

This time, the troubles might be terminal,

along with probably so many other troubles

of bourgeois political economy.

Dear big brother, put in your earbuds!

Here is an interesting
song from the 1970s.

It's called 'Die Nummer'
by Info Music Bamberg.

This song is a great example
of middle-class angst

♪ At the dawning of
the age of computerus ♪

Sorry, just listen to the song.

(singing in foreign language)

- [Narrator] Our lives are being rewired

to form one global infrastructure

that works on the basis
of our information.

(chickens clucking)

Privacy is not under attack
by some evil outside forces.

It's under attack by our
own collective behavior.

These trends could be stopped
only by massive efforts.

People wouldn't be able
to share stuff online!

- Mongolian barbecue is
neither Mongolian nor barbecue.

- [Narrator] We would have
to get rid of the Internet

as we know it.

But you don't want to do that, right?

You'd make the right choice,
wouldn't you, big brother?

You wouldn't sacrifice memes and porn

for bourgeois privacy, right?

Our information is out there.

It's not by choice.

It's a necessary entanglement,

and it's adding up to
something big and beautiful,

presupposing we take the right actions.

If nice things are being made on the basis

of mass data collection and utilization,

we should have those things.

The problem isn't data.

It's the power relations
that lie behind the data

and its use.

Our liberty depends on
factors other than the secrecy

of our actions.

You wouldn't hide your
weed from Father Honor

and Mother Concern if they didn't still

have some power over you, right?

Institutions might be forced
into greater efficiency

and honesty if all
corruption were to leak out.

Actually, this process
is already starting.

Think of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden.

- There is a cool game. It's
called 'Don't Think About

Julian Assange Molesting a Chicken.'

You lost.

- I got the weirdest boner.

(rooster crowing)

- [Narrator] A democratization
of surveillance

would allow it to be turned
against the powerful.

Post-privacy will be difficult, though,

if the playing field isn't level,

if information is released
but the same groups

have the power.

But if we hold the information,
if we decide how it's used,

given how important it is to
everything that happens today,

we can settle historical power imbalances.

See, I'm not the state, or Wall Street,

or the servers of Silicon Valley.

I'm Little Brother.

I own no means of production,

except all the information I have

about you and your friends.

What we need today is a network, platform,

or some equivalent institution
of Little Brothers like me,

who have no monopoly over violence,

power over your credit rating,
or ownership of your debt.

My sole power rests on
having all this data.

But I'm not alienated from you.

I'm on your side!

So let's attack the
forces that make us fear

for the loss of privacy at their roots,

because we have the core productive force

of the day in our hands.

We can take these forces on together!

(computer blipping)

(light electronic music)

- [Johannes] I once met a
pansexual German paratrooper

who thought Michael Haneke
is totally overrated.

Clever fellow.

He invited me to check out

Vienna's Museum of Natural History.

I joined him and he told
me an interesting story.

In 1952, Austrian big-game hunter

and Africa 'researcher' Ernst Zwilling,

a colonial revisionist and
member of the Nazi party,

brought a male chimpanzee
from Cameroon to Schönbrunn,

the Viennese zoo.

In his African home, Honzo had reportedly

been a friendly and likeable animal,

but in the zoo he began
to show a violent temper.

Due to his choleric outbreaks,

poor Honzo was kept in
solitary confinement.

The chimpanzee was given
beer and cigarettes.

He got addicted and died an
alcoholic and chain smoker.

After his death, the chimp was taxidermied

and put into the Museum
of Natural History.

Now people from all over
the world stare at him.

That's gotta be an allegory of something.

(tone beeping)

- Hello, Politics!

Your reputation precedes you.

- It has been a wild few
millennia, but, these days--

- My God, what happened to your voice,

the fabled vox populi?

- Yes, that's why I'm here.

I'm not sure, frankly, who I am!

- But you are Politics!

- Yes, but who am I really?

I mean listen to this voice!

And I feel different!

It's not just aging, it's
a different existence.

Maybe I'm dying.

- Now, no hasty conclusions.

Let's start with what we can see.

This voice, who's voice is it?

What is the subject,
the subject of Politics?

- Well, I've been talking to my family.

They tell me I've changed.

They're worried about me.

They say I'm getting carried
away by the whims of the age,

not representing what I have in the past.

But I can't tell.

I'm just going with the flow.

- What do you mean going with the flow?

Who are you speaking for?

- That's the confusion!

One moment I speak for
women, another for men,

another for genderqueer people.

The next day I get called TERFy,

and then I speak for trans
people, then black people,

then white people.

Kids these days treat me like God,

as if I can solve all their problems.

Now I see how God feels,
responding to prayers all the time.

- Wait.

You don't speak for the people?

- That's what my friend
Philosophy keeps telling me to do,

but Neil deGrasse Tyson said
philosophy is a distraction,

and Neil's a person-of-color,

a voice that has been
historically sidelined, so--

- Hmm, no wonder the
vox populi is damaged.

Right now, yours is the vox grex!

But you're still Politics?

- I'm not sure!

- Well, tell me what you do
to represent your subject.

- Well, right before I came here,

I was a Tumblr post that
said 'Writing class notes

in glitter pen is nonbinary culture.'

Just before that, I banned Halloween

at an elementary school, since
Halloween isn't inclusive

and can be awkward for some children.

Before that, I was in
alt-right incel form,

saying I'd rather stick a razor up my ass

than share a planet with women.

I spent all last night as J. K. Rowling,

arguing as an enlightened radical centrist

against Corbynites.

Yesterday, I was on Twitter,
calling out Chelsea Manning

for advocating NO BORDERS.

I've been Richard Spencer a lot,

saying the U.S. should be a safe space

for people of European descent!

I don't know who I am at all.

- Let's see, what does
all this have in common?

You're working against double standards,

ensuring people get fair treatment.

Isn't that good?

More important, isn't that
what you've always done?

- Yes, but you know what
my friend History says?

- What?

- He says it's different now.

He says that in the past,

say with anti-colonial struggles

like the Haitian Revolution,

advocacy for the disenfranchised

was on the basis of their
belonging to a broader category,

like human, hmm, I haven't
heard that word in a long time.

Sounds weird, doesn't it?

Anyway, History says movements,

like Civil Rights or feminism,

that addressed the
needs of specific groups

in the last century were
about social structure.

Now, I'm about the
recognition of an individual

or group's identity.

Everyone from Fred Hampton
to Martin Luther King Jr.

to Shulamith Firestone,
according to History,

incorporated a critique
of systems affecting more

than the group they fought for.

Or they called upon a
unifying subjectivity among us

to overcome systems that affected

different people differently.

Philosophy backed all this up.

Of course, categories have been created

to ensure some people
dominate more than others,

Philosophy said, and we must
fight for the marginalized.

But the cries of the oppressed
are liberatory only insofar

as they echo a universal dimension,

revealing a wrong in society,

be that about sexual difference,

resource distribution, or anything else.

- But now, it's for its own sake?

You affirm and celebrate,
say, brown people,

not because they are part of
something larger, unfixed,

and uncontainable, but
because they are brown!

- I... think... so.

- But is being brown anything special?

- Who knows?

Ask the subject that comprises me.

- Oh, but is there 'a'
general subject there?

- What do you mean?

- I mean, Politics, you
arose in the interaction

between the particular and the universal.

The particular, a human
being, was championed,

because it's part of a
universal, the human being.

When you become about people

because they belong to a static group,

neglecting those groups
are social constructs,

you realize that you can also
be co-opted for bad stuff,


- What do you mean?

I am justice.

I weigh society with a blindfold.

- You were just saying you took
the guise of the alt-right.

That's politics today.

See, talking about unfair
treatment of people,

but basing the conversation
on those people's' subjective

identity category opens you up to be used

for reactionary politics
and fluff politics.

Like Hillary Clinton's 1.2
billion dollar campaign in 2016,

which was mostly about deserving power

because she isn't a fuckin' white guy.

When you become about groups in society

and lose sight of society itself,

you pose no threat to the institutions

and structure of society,
which aren't mere constructs.

That's why your disconnection
from universal concerns

is popular among conservatives.

In fact, advocating on
behalf of subjective groups

rather than the common good,

which includes marginalized people,

began with the counter-Enlightenment right

of the 18th Century.

Against universal human values,

French arch-reactionary,
Joseph de Maistre wrote,

- "There is no such thing as Man.

"I have seen Frenchmen,
Italians, and Russians.

"As for Man, I have never
come across him anywhere."

- Today we need not only
justice, but liberté, egalité,

and covfefe, I mean, Justice!

- Yes, my friend Media Theorist
used that hallowed value,

Covfefe, to explain what's wrong with me.

But what does this bode for my health?

Can I survive this?

- Survive?


In fact, you'll regress
to when you were younger

and different groups
considered themselves special

for no good reason.

You must realize, if the
subject that speaks through you

doesn't speak for the common good,

it advocates for inequality.

- How can I be for the common good again?

- Oh, I'm no expert on that!

But I know my Greek, and you need a polis.

A stable, geographically
concentrated community

with various social
identities united by economy

has been a historical
precondition for you.

But our geographies are being
scrambled by the internet

and its microcultures, and our economy

is being dispersed by the same forces.

Can Politics exist without a polis?

- Sounds like something
my friend Literature says.

- What?

- She says that the people,
wow, that sounds weird, too,

was a social form that existed in relation

to a mode of society.

The individual was also a construct

of this bourgeois society.

Forces of production are rendering

these constructs obsolete.

Real entities still exist,
but no symbolic regime remains

to address them.

So I am stuck between the
concrete or particular real,

and the abstract or universal real,

throwing darts at
meaningless approximations.

- The means of modernity are inadequate,

especially remembering
your unfortunate appearance

as 20th Century state socialism.

So, my diagnosis is,
and that will be 250 dollars,

you're confused because you're
constantly shifting form,

but that form is always restricted.

You want to include the universal,

but since the worker's
movement died, such politics,

I'm sorry, I have NO treatment.

- You don't think my voice
can be that of the universal?

Must I, must I only be about
what happens between groups?

What about,

(record scratching)

what about... Bernie didn't die for this!

Where's the bathroom?

- [Psychiatrist] Occupied
by Occupy Bathroom.

- [Politics] Fuck!

- [Johannes] Das Lied der
Arbeit, the song of work,

was first presented to the world in 1868.

It is the official anthem of
Austrian Social Democracy.

And I say to thee, what the fuckedy fuck!

It's such a horrendous
fetishization of work,

I want to puke and build
a factory out of it.

Let's listen to an
interpretation by Mira Sophia Ulz

from 2009.

Mira won the Austrian Kiddy Contest,

a song contest for young singers,

and so the social democrats invited her

to celebrate with them.

Not sure she deserved that.

I asked wobblersound to
create a proper remix.

("Das Lied der Arbeit")
(crowd applauding)


- [Johannes] Mmmm.

(Jean-Claude firing gun)

Democracy, mmmmm.

One ruling form that rules them all.

The young adult novel
of governmental systems.

It doesn't work, but
people still go with it.

Every couple of years we vote
for our representatives,

yet the rest of our lives
is very undemocratic.

Work life is no democracy,
sports aren't democratic,

art isn't democratic.

And, just as a nudge,
imagine NASA is planning

a mission to Mars.

Do you believe a democratic process

would determine who goes on that mission?

They won't waste billions of dollars

sending unqualified personnel,

they will peer-fuckin-review it!

The question is, why do we
use democracy to run nations?

The answer, you might imagine, is,

if you believe you have power,
you don't challenge power.

Let's have a look at a
specific subgenre of democracy.

Social democracy.

It is 1926.

Erich Mühsam dedicates the
lyrics of the upcoming song

to the leading cadre

of the German Social Democratic movement,

because they are constantly
collaborating with police,

justice, military, and administration.

The Social Democrats were thus supporting

and perpetuating the societal
order of the German Empire.

Nuff said.

("War einmal ein Revoluzzer")

- [Johannes] Maybe Social Democracy

learned from its failures?

(grand orchestral music)

Let's visit a meeting in the nation of


a state that owes its name
to lack of creativity.

- Anyways, the newly elected
President Ödem von Horvath

sits at his desk, two advisors beside him,

biological male and biological female.

- Do hope the warm water is working soon.

- I am sure it will be, Mr. President.

- Okay, so what's on the agenda?

- We promised free
healthcare, free education,

wage increases, two months paid vacation,

strong housing and transportation
programs, and more.

- Superb, shouldn't be a problem, right?

Just tax the rich!

(harp music)

- Well, to do that, we must
first have a robust economy,

with a thriving private sector

that enjoys production
and market advantages

over the economies of other nations.

- Ah, is that so?

- Let's model it out.

♪ Hallelujah ♪

- So, more for us.

This is how, right?

More for our companies in
market share and profits?

- [Biological Female] Yes.

- Why isn't it working?

- I can't say.

In the 1950s and '60s--

- You mean the Golden Age of Capitalism?

- Oh, yes.

- But to go on, then, it was easy.

Other world economies weren't as good.

Our firms could easily out-compete them.

But in the 1970s, the rest of
the world started to catch up

and needed increased money supply,

so the system of fixed exchange
rates around the dollar

was gutted.

Increases in oil prices
destabIlized the system further,

and companies struggling
against national competitions

withdrew from their compromise with labor.

I don't know what we could do now, though.

- Hmm.

Aha, I've got an idea!

We could put a pump in
the other parts of this--

- Congealed labor, it is.

Very precious.

- Congealed labor is the amount
of labor intangibly present

in a commodity, which in the
market is roughly expressed

as exchange value or price.

- Marvel of capitalism, really.

Allows innovators such as
ourselves to model the world,

before it is directly lived,

as an accumulation of representations.

- Yes, very good.

We can put a pump in congealed
labor that isn't ours.

And we can just throw
away some congealed labor

from other parts of the world.

- Excellent idea, just
make sure what we do

doesn't seem like
colonialism or imperialism.

That really alienates those
millennials from our party.

- Of course, and it's
clear how it can be done!

I'll call China, and India,
and all the other countries,

and bid them, in the name of
international cooperation,

to funnel their congealed labor to us

and to become bad at doing global economy!

- That probably won't work.

- Yeah, no, Mr. Xiaoping and
the Communist Party of China

are very committed to the
ethos of the treaty of Nanjing.


They feel they must uphold
uncompromising free trade.

- And Mr. Modi, we've been trying to get

in touch with him all day,

but his phone is always in airplane mode.

- Then how are we supposed
to strengthen our economy?

- Discipline and social hierarchies!

We can make our consumers buy our goods

if we return to the production
paradigm of the 1950s.

White men get paychecks,

granting a certain standard
of living to their families,

in return for not only work,

but society itself being factory-like!

No unruly behavior, so women

back in the semi-automated
kitchen, please!

- Oh, this isn't working!

They're protesting against
assembly-line production norms

and not working hard at all.

They've become used to the flexibility

and autonomy they have,
limited as they are.

- Oh, damn it all, I'm
just going to tax the rich!

(harp music)

They'll cough it up!

Here, let me text them!

(phone dialing)

- [Man] No, he can't!

- [All] No, he can't.

- [Man In Suit] No, he can't.

- [All] No, he can't.

- [Man] No, he can't.

- [All] No, he can't.

(phone dialing)

- Bad news, Mr. President.

- Well, we got the money
to solve the problem now!

- Maybe not.

See, the industrialists,
venture capitalists, tech CEOs,

and bankers have all moved more capital

to places with lower taxes
than what you're proposing.

They've invested more money in
artificial intelligence,

so they don't have to pay living wages!

- Anyway, people were
spending their increased wages

on cheap foreign goods.

And with our domestic
companies in overcapacity,

investors are speculating
in risky tech and finance.

Then they can then move even more,

even more assets away from us!

- [President] How could they?

- They could do whatever they want.

They, they, they,

- [Both] They still own
the means of production.

(crowd laughing and applauding)

- The following song is a
parody of the Horst-Wessel-Lied,

the anthem of the German
Nazi Party from 1930 to 1945.

It was sung at every fucking occasion,

but during the Third Reich
the song was parodied

in underground versions,
poking fun at the corruption

of the Nazi elite.

Well, there are similarities
between different texts

as underground authors
developed them with variations.

But here is my favorite.

("Die Preise hoch, die
Schnauze fest geschlossen")

(light electronic music)
(tone beeping)

- [Alain] At long last,
we've arrived at the Left!

I am so happy!

Thanks for pushing me to come!

- [Harnulf] Professor, what
is a member of the Bürgertum,

the bourgeoisie doing here on the Left?

That pig!

- [Alain] Peculiar!

- [Harnulf] He seems Swedish!

We should kick him in the Eierballs.

- [Alain] Okay, first I will
kindly ask him to leave.

Hello, good Sir, this is
the fabled realm of Left,

the side of labor.

You are our enemy.

- [Sven] Well, how you doin' there?

I'm Sven Shitpornson!

- [Harnulf] I knew it, I knew it!

He's Swedish!

- [Sven] No, I'm from Minnesota.

- [Harnulf] When the revolution comes,

you'll be the first against the wall!

- [Sven] Oh, now wait a minute there.

I don't mean no harm, you know?

Okay, yeah, I might be
a traitor to my kind

And I know this is the Left,
but I'm here for help ya.

- [Alain] Help?

- [Sven] Yeah, yeah, I'm an entrepreneur.

I want to make stuff, I wanna create!

Don't let this big bag of
money here fool ya, now.

I'm not a capitalist.

You know, I'm just excited to make stuff,

but my company there, it's owned by investors

and a managerial board,
and they're owned by banks,

which are also then owned
by managerial boards

and by investors.

I realized that today, finally,

it's in the form of that there

- [Harnulf] I am confused!

- [Sven] Follow me.

- [Lady Unsquaredance] My
name is Lady Unsquaredance.

I like to watch classics

such as The Lawnmower Man
and I teach economics.

- [Alain] Eeeew!

- [Lady Unsquaredance] Due
to the competitive stresses

created since the 1970s in global capital.

It's almost as if banks and investors are

extracting rent.

Mr. Shitpornson wants
access to more capital,

but these landlords won't spare it!

- [Sven] Oh yeah, yeah.

And that there's, that's
hardly the capitalism I love!

- [Lady Unsquaredance] He
thought the Left could free him.

But it's protesting
statues and other symbols,

and how few women sit in boardrooms,

not about what people in boardrooms do.

But I've set up a meeting
with a bright, young idea-man.

- [Billy Bob] And that's me!


I'm Billy Bob Turingengine.

And who are these two?

- [Alain] Let's just say we're

true working-class revolutionaries!

- [Billy Bob] Hahaha!

When is this glorious
revolution taking place?

- [Alain] Once we build
the power of the people!


- [Billy Bob] This nostalgia

for schemes and slogans withered
on a century-old deathbed.

- [Harnulf] Bah, cynics like you

are why we'll never have communism!

- [Billy Bob] Mmm.

That sounds wonderful.

But material conditions
indicate capitalism, socialism,

and communism need to be re-evaluated

and maybe all discarded.

- [Sven] Oh... what?

- [Billy Bob] Follow
me and I will explain!

I'm an engineer, but like
an artist or data analyst,

If you have a concrete
object, like a hammer,

I can't have and use it while you do.

But if you have anything
that can be copyrighted,

I can have and use it while you do too.

- [Alain] making traditional
leftism irrelevant?

- [Billy Bob] Information
makes the world go 'round now.

Physical production still
exists, of course, but

Companies like Uber or
Amazon succeed because

- [Lady Unsquaredance] Oh!

So platforms are institutions
as important today

as markets and states.

- [Billy Bob] Correct.

- [Sven] Oh, well, okay,

but then how does that there
hold the system together?

- [Billy Bob] Because

and they sell that to advertisers.

So many bright people
I went to college with

spend dozens of hours a week figuring out

how to make people

A lucky few do something more ominous,

- [Lady Unsquaredance] Yes!

Capitalism is so weak today
that it needs this stuff

to stay afloat.

- [Sven] Okay, so then
most companies there

creatin' advantages by

- [Alain] So what's going on today is

- [Billy Bob] Yes.

A lot of profit still
derives from extraction

of surplus value from labor, but the

Because the private-information
industry's products can be

- [Harnulf] So what's the task today?

- [Alain] And use them
for useful production.

- [Billy Bob] He's got it!

- [Harnulf] But I repair portable toilets!

- [Billy Bob] Yet you
work with information.

The most strategic place to focus is on

- [Alain] So, what do we do with the Left?

- [Sailor Dieselfink] To hell with them!


Time is critical!

My ship's docked.

We need to think up


- [Lady Unsquaredance] Is that mutiny?

- [Sailor Dieselfink] Nah!

We have to be the ship, not mutineers.

- [Alain] Well, what are we waiting for?

Let's go.

- [Lady Unsquaredance] Yes!

- [Sailor Dieselfink] Johannes,
you Austrian landlubber!

Anchors aweigh!

- [Harnulf] He is Austrian?

How awful!

- The ultimate broken
dream is the Left itself.

We have to do this again,

it needs more pathos.

It needs more drive.

Like... the ultimate broken dream
is the Left itself, okay?

So, we do it again, okay?
(phone ringing)

- Hey, hey, he's on the phone.

It's urgent.

- Naaah!

Can't we finish this here?

I'll call him back.

- No, he says you need to stop.

- What... what?

Uh, hello.

Hi, good to speak to you, hey.

- Shut up, you incompetent shlong.

You are done.

- What... what?

- [Gerald] It's over.

- No!

We were just recording this here

and Ishan had this great idea for the end scene.

- I don't care.

You are way over budget, my budget.

And more important, my investor's budget.

Hasta luego.

- I-I-I'm recording my... my conclusion here

and we need money for the licensing fee

for the end credit song!

- End credit my ass.

- What... what?

Hey, no, no, hey, no, no, hey!


(speaking foreign language)

(light acoustic guitar music)

(ATM beeping)



(dark atmospheric music)

(singing in foreign language)


(phone ringing)

- Hey, Old One.


Ah, you found him... great!

How much money did he have on him?


20 euros?

Come on.


You did what?

You ate him?


(crowd cheering)

- [Dan] The only disposable
person on a movie

is the director.

Subtitles by monochrom Propulsion Systems
( -- version 2 (April 17, 2019)