John Berger s startling, lucid, poetic essay depicting the period of history through which we are living


10 thoughts on “Meanwhile

  1. Peycho Kanev Peycho Kanev says:

    The Gulag no longer exists Millions work, however,under conditions that are not very different What haschanged is the forensic logic applied to workers andcriminals.During the Gulag political prisoners, categorized ascriminals, were reduced to slave labourers Todaymillions of brutally exploited workers are being reducedto the status of criminals.The Gulag equation criminal slave labourer hasbeen rewritten by neoliberalism to become worker hidden criminal The whole drama of global migr The Gulag no longer exists Millions work, however,under conditions that are not very different What haschanged is the forensic logic applied to workers andcriminals.During the Gulag political prisoners, categorized ascriminals, were reduced to slave labourers Todaymillions of brutally exploited workers are being reducedto the status of criminals.The Gulag equation criminal slave labourer hasbeen rewritten by neoliberalism to become worker hidden criminal The whole drama of global migrationis expressed in this new formula those who work arelatent criminals When accused, they are found guiltyof trying at all costs to survive


  2. Addy Addy says:

    I m searching for works to describe the period of history we re living through I m searching for a complex definition I m looking for nothingthan a figurative image to serve as a landmark The landmark I ve found is that of prison Nothing less Across the planet we are living in a prison , concludes English art critic and cultural theorist John Berger MEANWHILE is a short and, as expected, very erudite comment on the invisible penitentiary the common man finds himself in Quoting Miche I m searching for works to describe the period of history we re living through I m searching for a complex definition I m looking for nothingthan a figurative image to serve as a landmark The landmark I ve found is that of prison Nothing less Across the planet we are living in a prison , concludes English art critic and cultural theorist John Berger MEANWHILE is a short and, as expected, very erudite comment on the invisible penitentiary the common man finds himself in Quoting Michel Foucault specifically, Berger argues that it is financial capital not industrial capital that has become the new currency of liberty , a concept so tangled within the mesh of utilitarian philosophy and so called modernity, that Berger can arrive at only this supreme irony Liberty is slowly being founded not outside but in the depths of the prison And you know what We might be prisoners, but at least there is hope


  3. Tiago Saraiva Tiago Saraiva says:

    N o conhecia a o Jonh Berg nem a sua obra, cheguei aos seus textos pela leitura de forma curiosa das sinopses dos seus livros recentemente publicados pela Ant gona Esta obra trata se de um pequeno ensaio onde sobre a retrospetiva da evolu o do conceito de pris o e da sua fun o na sociedade Parte da ideia da masmorra, explica a cria o da ideia de penitenci ria desenvolvida por parte de Jeremy Bentham, o pan tico, e por fim, chega aos tempos atuais, vincando o p s Primeira Guerra Mundial, ond N o conhecia a o Jonh Berg nem a sua obra, cheguei aos seus textos pela leitura de forma curiosa das sinopses dos seus livros recentemente publicados pela Ant gona Esta obra trata se de um pequeno ensaio onde sobre a retrospetiva da evolu o do conceito de pris o e da sua fun o na sociedade Parte da ideia da masmorra, explica a cria o da ideia de penitenci ria desenvolvida por parte de Jeremy Bentham, o pan tico, e por fim, chega aos tempos atuais, vincando o p s Primeira Guerra Mundial, onde, a penitenci ria perde a centralidade, e passando a pobreza e a exclus o social a tomar o seu lugar Berg considera que o funcionamento do Estado Na o perdeu efeito, que um conceito de organiza o social que se tornou redundante face ao poder da economia de mercado e da sua exig ncia por lucro a exig ncia do lucro por parte dos capitalistas, extraterritoriais que vivem atr s dos muros dos grandes condom nios fechados, que tudo decidem, sob a margem de lucro que as decis es pol ticas s o tomadas e os governos, sendo de direita ou de esquerda, n o definem um rumo, apenas obedecem tendo o lucro como objetivo Por outro lado, referida a a o da doutrina o, que est destinada a uma elite, aos operacionais da alta finan a, dos mercados e os peritos da gest o de empresas Quanto restante popula o, vive com a permanente degrada o das suas condi es de vida, s o mantidos anestesiados por canais de informa o e desinforma o que lhes criam uma sensa o de risco, de inseguran a, tornando os mais permissivos aos constantes abusos do capital, desconfiados e despertando o individualismo na sua a o A sociedade assim organizada em fun o dos capitalistas, existindo uma grande massa de trabalhadores assalariados e um grupo de pobres socialmente exclu dos, e para estes ltimos que as condi es desta pris o reconfigurada pelo liberalismo econ mico mais pesada Finalmente Berg diz nos que os atos determinados de uma resist ncia prolongada ao capitalismo e s grandes multinacionais, t m de ser efetuado a n vel local, uma vez que as tradi es est o mais consolidadas e assim s o as mais dif ceis de remover apenas pelo efeito da margem de lucro


  4. Henrique Henrique says:

    The value of this essay is almost zero, except for the small part that illuminates the socialist mindsetthan it is common in these kind of books.It is amazing how many otherwise functional persons fall into this crap, but let me break this into pieces Berger s thesis, albeit bombastic, is unoriginal, it is exactly the same of Foucault s, the purpose of it is to undermine liberal democracies by falsely equating them with other forms of Gulag The starting premise of the whole thing is a co The value of this essay is almost zero, except for the small part that illuminates the socialist mindsetthan it is common in these kind of books.It is amazing how many otherwise functional persons fall into this crap, but let me break this into pieces Berger s thesis, albeit bombastic, is unoriginal, it is exactly the same of Foucault s, the purpose of it is to undermine liberal democracies by falsely equating them with other forms of Gulag The starting premise of the whole thing is a conference with the poet Adrienne Rich, in which she mentioned that 1 in every 136 of americans is incarcerated This is the Big Bang to his whole theory Has Berger anything to say about violence and how can we solve it Well, not quite But he has all to say about how liberal democracies are actually genocidal dictatorships The Gulag no longer exists Millions work, however, under conditions that are not very different.Since when have we in liberal democracies been executed for rejecting to accept the government s utopian ideals It is simply a false equivalence, and not an innocent one By equating both, Berger do advance, subrepticiously, with an excuse for the atrocities made in name of communism socialism, it is simply something that happens everywhere, he claims, except it doesn t.An intringuing thought emerges From where does Berger take the idea that we all live in a prison, let s check Fifteen million Mexican women and men work in the US without papers and are consequently illegal A concrete wall of 1,200 kilometres and a virtual all of 1,800 watchtowers are being planned along the frontier between the US and Mexico Ways around them though all of them dangerous will of course be found.Oh, i see Being executed in Gulags equals lacking papers Brilliant logic for a 2 year old Note the use of all of them dangerous implying another false analogy between dictatorships and liberal democracies It is reminiscent of what once a marxist told me when i asked him if he agreed with the stalinist dictatorship We all live in dictatorships, what differs is the way of applying it Which was a quite revealing sentence Berger then goes on for some pages in marxist infernal circle of yawn Liberal democracies dictatorships And he takes the chance to use the Newspeak and reversal of morals that Orwell warned us about when he wrote 1984 good is evil, evil is bad, prison is liberty, liberty is prison, etc Cells have walls that touch across the world Effective acts of sustained resistance will be embedded in the local, near and far Outback resistance, listening to the earth Liberty is slowly being found not outside but in the depths of the prison.There is, however, toward the end, a fabulous and remarkable true idea Ignore the jailers talk There are of course bad jailers and less bad In certain conditions it s useful to note the difference But what they say including the less evil ones is bullshit Their hymns, their shibboleths, their incanted words security, democracy, identity, civilization, flexibility, productivity, human rights, integration, terrorism,freedom are repeated and repeated in order to confuse, divide, distract and sedate all fellow prisoners.This is all true if we substitute the words democracy, civilization, human rights, and freedom with communism socialism, bankrupcy, misery, and an eternal foot on the face of every individual once free


  5. Sandra Alexander Sandra Alexander says:

    I ve gone back to this essay a couple of times to remember what it was about but each time, I forget quickly.


  6. Esra Esra says:

    Berger defines Neoliberalism as economic fascism while portraying the world s citizens living in a global prison It reflects the changes in the society, economy and politics in today s post modern setting And it is very bold crystal clear Berger defines Neoliberalism as economic fascism while portraying the world s citizens living in a global prison It reflects the changes in the society, economy and politics in today s post modern setting And it is very bold crystal clear