The Apprentice - Propaganda?

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Ghost Whistler
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Nov 13 2015 12:46
The Apprentice - Propaganda?

Hello, I actually joined here a few weeks ago but haven't posted. However I have become increasingly and at an ever accelerating pace frustrated with the way things are going in our abhorrent capitalist tory nightmare (as i see it). I'm not an expert in political theory, I'm reading up on Marx as we speak and I identify as a Socialist at the moment, though I am open to anarchism - just not anarcho-capitalism/right wing libertarianism. This is my way of saying I'll probably say something stupid in my political naivete.

But what has really prompted me to post was watching The Apprentice the other day. It's bad enough that this show is nothing more than brazen capitalist propaganda by any other name, but the interview with one of the fired 'entrepreneurs' just made me puke. Here was a young man who had been clearly picked for the show partly because he played to a certain profile with an immigrant rags to riches story. I mention this because the media likes to pour scorn on the unemployed by pointing to 'hard working' immigrants who always manage to 'find work'. I am not against immigrants either.

I'm sure he was a nice lad, but he was so full of capitalist bullshit, unwittingly I'm sure, that it was horrendous to see how the system conditions people. His stated goal in life was to be rich. That's it. We've no idea how, or whether he wants to do some good and get rich as a nice bonus. Just that he wants to be, like Delboy (or Alan Sugar) a millionaire. The audience took him to their hearts which is the most depressing thing of all and so of course it all plays in to the divide and rule politics of the day: look at this nice young man, he's a bit of a cheeky chappy with a go get 'em attitude - why are you a scrounger? It was all so blatant and shameless.

Am i alone in thinking like this? I feel like it round where I live becacuse it's Middle England!

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Noah Fence
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Nov 13 2015 14:52

Howdy GW and welcome!

I get confused with this sort of stuff because I'm always wary of conspiracy throry. There are so many TV shows - Jeremy Kyle, benefits street, various reality cop shows, shows that follow council officers dealing with housing issues that whether it is pre-meditated or not act as propoganda in favour of the state and against the working class. The there's the bourgeois promoting shows like the Bake Off, pottery throw down or whatever the fuck it is and not to forget the smug liberal elite comedy of HIGNFY etc.
To me it doesn't really matter if this stuff is planned propoganda or not, I'm just certain that it all is detrimental to our class interests. Of course it's often very entertaining and diverting which I guess is what makes it so effective.
I don't watch the apprentice myself, can't bear it. Secret millionaire though, well...

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Auld-bod
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Nov 13 2015 15:04

I agree with you, the media peddles capitalist values virtually uninterrupted. Usually it is insidious and presented as assumptions that any person may consider ‘reasonable’. I’ve lost count of the shows where greed is served up for our entertainment and admiration. I have to my shame found some of them enjoyable. Ever watched the American show where people attempt to raise cash from a comic family of pawnbrokers? Maybe it’s just me - I’m reminded of a human zoo – turn your back and risk getting eaten by the inmates.

Ghost Whistler
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Nov 13 2015 16:13

Thanks.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist and to be clear I'm not saying this is part of some grand design, but that it's more a case of the prevailing value system of the day, which is capitalist in nature. This program reinforces those values by its very nature; Sugar constantly prattles on about how he made his fortune from nothing and did it all himself and the message this show sends is how we should all bow and scrape before such people and that if you arne't prepared to graft all the hours god sends you should expect a life of misery. So the candidates are all those that aspire to this lifestyle and believe they will, as a result, get what they want: lots of money. The audience seems to lap up these values. I abhor them.

Ghost Whistler
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Nov 13 2015 16:16
Auld-bod wrote:
I agree with you, the media peddles capitalist values virtually uninterrupted. Usually it is insidious and presented as assumptions that any person may consider ‘reasonable’. I’ve lost count of the shows where greed is served up for our entertainment and admiration. I have to my shame found some of them enjoyable. Ever watched the American show where people attempt to raise cash from a comic family of pawnbrokers? Maybe it’s just me - I’m reminded of a human zoo – turn your back and risk getting eaten by the inmates.

It seems that way.

I have not seen that show.

I used to find the Apprentice entertaining in that kind of way: the contestants are all deluded capitalist wannabes and so it's fun to sneer at these people. Unfortunately that's wearing thin - and it doesn't say much about me as a person (i'm being partly serious, i dont hate these people they have just been brainwashed by capitalism)! But in all seriousness, the show is now becoming unpleasant and repetitive. The fact that someone like Karen Brady is one of its 'stars' says it all really when she enjoys the opulence of the Lords and votes in favour of tax credit cuts.

There's no alternative ever put forward and I'm feeling increasingly trapped by it all.

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Sike
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Nov 14 2015 08:03
Auld-bod wrote:
Ever watched the American show where people attempt to raise cash from a comic family of pawnbrokers? Maybe it’s just me - I’m reminded of a human zoo – turn your back and risk getting eaten by the inmates.

I've seen that show and if you think that's bad the pawn brokers that I've had the misfortune to run into personally are so underhanded that they make those guys look like saints.

This thread brings to mind the following quote from The German Ideology by Marx -

"The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas."

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Auld-bod
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Nov 14 2015 08:56

Sike #6

Agreed. The way the pawnbroker family are presented as honest agents performing a social service is what makes the show politically toxic. It also helps the show, that individually the characters are comic/eccentric and ‘only trying to make a buck’. The poverty of many ‘real life’ customers are never portrayed.

Ghost Whistler
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Nov 14 2015 13:55

There was a show a few years back featuring the lovely Emma Harrison (not secret millionaire, which is a rather ironic title given the publicity these filth get from being on it). It was part of a series that was basically just the two old guys from Trading Places.

The concept was that a pair of 'experts' in a given field (in her case, unemployment) would 'compete' to see who's method was the best. The show started with both coming together surrounded by a bunch of candidates over whom they were physically raised, seated on a platform discussing terms above the candidates. In this case a group of out of work people who were merely there as chattel in the most obscene way.

Each of the competitors was to pick, from the assembled unemployed - ordinary people who just wanted to get on, a person they thought would test their opponent's abilities. Then they set out in earnest for the remainder of the programme.

This was on Channel 4 and it was one of the most obscene things I had ever seen.

jezmo
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Jan 2 2016 09:53

Many of the past entrants on that show have shown themselves to be eccentric even by tory standards, I am thinking of one who recently committed suicide under strange circumstances and of course the darling of the seriously deranged katie hopkins. so i think like many tv programs the producers go out of their way to recruit potentially psychotic contestants in order to make it more interesting

jezmo
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Jan 2 2016 09:58

The show is really not about finding anyone with any kind of leadership abilities but more a study in modern day capitalist psycosies