POL 128 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: No Freedom, Industrial Revolution, John Steinbeck

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POL128 – Week 9 – Thursday, November 19, 2015
Charlie Chapin
Born in England - 1889, died in Switzerland.
Left America because he was accused of being a communist
Personal life was scandalous
Had a bunch of wives
Had a thing for marrying / hanging around much younger women
People thought he was shameless, no morals
Born into poverty
Father left the family when he was very young
Mother was put into an asylum
Understood what a difficult life / life of poverty was like
1915 While on tour in the US, sees how movies are made
Wanted to be part of the process
Got small roles in movies
1920s became one of the biggest movie stars
Modern Time (movie) – Charlie Chaplin
Had the option to make the movie with sound but chose to make a silent film
Chaplin became famous for a particular character – The Tramp – the “everyday man”
Tramp represents the average person, shows the struggles and adventures of the average man
If we wanted to use the character in ‘Modern Time’, he had to make it a silent film
Form of protest to make silent film – just because there is new tech doesn’t make it better –
protest against technology
Protest against technology of work
Two types of technology of work
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Older type
Way humans made things for thousands of years
Eg. Carpenters, pottery etc.
People were involved in the entire production process of a product
Involved in the creating, making and selling of the product
More satisfaction in producing item by yourself
Make what you want, how you want to make it, when you want to make it
You are your own boss
No schedule
High degree of freedom
Associated with industrial revolution
Discovered things like machines and new forms of power
New ways of making things
People stopped making things and machines began making things
Individual now has a very different function
People are no longer part of the entire production process
Now they are only responsible for only on specific function
Eg. Car manufacturer factories, a certain person is only assigned one task such
as only putting on the wheels
There is a boss
No freedom
Can’t work whenever you want
Evaluated for how you work, could be fired if working quality is too poor
Chaplin makes fun of the new way of working
New workers are like a mass of sheep
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All doing the same thing going to the same place
Chaplin admitted in an interview :
oHe went to Detroit to see the factories
oAppalled by how workers are forced to do repetitive jobs
oSurprised to hear factories recruit young men and stick them into factories
oThese workers would have mental breakdowns
Movie is a parody of this
The only person in the movie who can talk is the Boss
Has the power of voice/control
Like a two way TV screen
Boss sees everything
The only kind of person that worries about the workers is a communist
Chaplin is accused of being a communist because of his care for workers and bad
portrayal of factory bosses and leaders in his movies
Chaplin saw (industrial) technology as enslaving
Can argue people are slaves to their jobs because of technology
Worker’s activities can be monitored by Bosses
People work everywhere, on trains, at home, at night
Take laptops on vacation to work there as well
Insecurity comes from ‘if you don’t do this extra work for free, someone else will’ and
that other person will get the job and the promotions, etc.
Work more than 40hrs / week
Movie also deals with depression
Depression – began 1929 – lasted till WW2
Much worse version of 2008 crash
Banks went bully-up
Banks made bad investments
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find more resources at oneclass.com