THE BOX • A Living Documentay

From Anonymous.

THE BOX • A Living Documentary

Modern autocracies can survive while employing relatively little violence against the public. Repression is not necessary if mass beliefs can be manipulated sufficiently by means of censorship, co-optation, and propaganda.

THE BOX • A Living Documentary

Stand up is the last refuge for the working class hero.

THE BOX • A Living Documentary

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How Donald Trump and Roy Cohn’s Ruthless Symbiosis Changed America | Vanity Fair

How Donald Trump and Roy Cohn’s Ruthless Symbiosis Changed America | Vanity Fair
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/06/donald-trump-roy-cohn-relationship/amp


A Couple Broken Windows Song by Aaron Burdett

music.apple.com/us/album/a-couple-broken-windows/1215846236

A Tour of Detroit • THE BOX

Welcome to THE BOX.
As Robin Williams used to say, “Welcome to my mind”
You are watching a video artist thinking out loud. This is the process I used to heal my mind. You are experiencing my editing philosophy of Kintsugi unfold, one minute vignettes of my video memoirs knitted together into mini documentaries. This is THE BOX • A Living Documentary.
Please enjoy this installment of THE BOX • A Life in Minutes.
Art is supposed to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. We are all our own history right now.
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THIS IS WAR!

THIS IS WAR!

“You are in the Invisible War. A civil war of ideologies and religion.”

The New Totalitarianism

In recent decades, a less carnivorous form of authoritarian government has emerged, one better adapted to the globalized media and sophisticated technologies of the 21st Century. From the Peru of Alberto Fujimori to the Hungary of Viktor Orban, illiberal regimes have managed to consolidate power without isolating their countries from the world economy or resorting to mass killings.

Personalistic dictators in Africa and the Caribbean—such as Mobutu,

amorphous anti-Western resentment.

plausible rivals—that is based on “performance legitimacy,” a perceived competence at securing prosperity and defending the nation against external or internal threats. State propaganda aims not to re-engineer human souls but to boost the leader’s ratings, which, so long as they remain high, are widely publicized.

The new-style dictators can brutally crush separatist rebellions and deploy paramilitaries against un- armed protesters. But, compared to most previous autocrats, they use violence sparingly. They prefer the ankle bracelet to the Gulag. Maintaining power, for them, is less a matter of terrorizing victims than of manipulating beliefs about the world. Of course, totalitarian leaders also sought to influence public beliefs— some were great innovators in the use of propaganda. Yet, how they used it was quite different. Dictators such as Hitler and Stalin sought to fundamentally reshape citizens’ world views by imposing comprehensive ideologies. The new autocrats are more surgical: they aim only to convince citizens of their competence to govern. The totalitarian dictators often employed propaganda to encourage personal sacrifices for the “common good.” Their successors seek to manipulate citizens into supporting the regime for selfish reasons.

Finally, although propaganda was important for the old-style autocracies, violence clearly came first. “Words are fine things, but muskets are even better,” Mussolini quipped (Odegard 1935, p.261). Recent tyrannies

1More than 30,000 people are believed to have been killed by Pinochet’s agents, “most of them taken away to secret detention centers and camps, tortured, tossed still alive from airplanes into the sea or shot and buried in unmarked graves” (Roht-Arriaza 2005, p.viii).

2On the use of elections and partially democratic or pseudo-democratic institutions in dictatorships, see Gandhi (2008), Gandhi and Lust-Okar (2009) and Levitsky and Way (2010). For insightful journalistic accounts of how such regimes operate, see Dobson (2012) and Simon (2015). Although our focus is on “dictatorships,” which we see as synonymous with “authoritarian regimes,” we consider the dividing line between soft authoritarian regimes and illiberal democracies to be a fuzzy one. Our model also applies to most illiberal democracies. Compared to their counterparts in democracies, leaders in dictatorships are more likely to be replaced as the result of mass protests or coups rather than simply because they lost a fair election. Institutional checks on leaders also tend to be more elaborate and effective in democracies. But, although operating within tighter constraints, democratic leaders also seek to influence and manipulate information flows.

intimidate opponents of the regime.

Bokassa, Somoza, and the Duvaliers—also relied on blood and fear to sustain their rule. However, in recent decades, a less carnivorous form of authoritarian government has emerged, one better adapted to the globalized media and sophisticated technologies of the 21st Century. From the Peru of Alberto Fujimori to the Hungary of Viktor Orban, illiberal regimes have managed to consolidate power without isolating their countries from the world economy or resorting to mass killings.

Personalistic dictators in Africa and the Caribbean—such as Mobutu,

amorphous anti-Western resentment.

plausible rivals—that is based on “performance legitimacy,” a perceived competence at securing prosperity and defending the nation against external or internal threats. State propaganda aims not to re-engineer human souls but to boost the leader’s ratings, which, so long as they remain high, are widely publicized. Political opponents are harassed and humiliated, accused of fabricated crimes, and encouraged to emigrate.

“We live on information,” Fujimori’s security chief Vladimiro Montesinos confessed in one interview. “The addiction to information is like an addiction to drugs.” Montesinos paid million dollar bribes to television stations to skew their coverage. But killing members of the elite struck him as foolish: “Remember why Pinochet had his problems. We will not be so clumsy”

When dictators are accused of political murders these days, it often augurs the fall of the dictatorship.

Some bloody military regimes and totalitarian states remain—for instance, in Egypt and Burma, or North Korea. And some less violent non-democracies existed even in the heyday of authoritarian repression (mostly monarchies and post-colonial African regimes). But the balance has shifted as compared to 35 years ago, far more of the undemocratic orders around today have elected legislatures in which non- government parties occupy a significant place. And, fewer are currently involved in mass atrocities against their populations. Whereas in 1975 22 percent of non-democracies were engaged in mass killings, by 2012 this share had fallen to 6 percent. Besides Fujimori’s Peru and Orban’s Hungary, other regimes that share some or all of these characteristics include Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Mahathir Mohamad’s Malaysia, Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey.

One might even see Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore as a pioneer of such “soft autocracy.” China’s recent party bosses also fit in some respects, but whereas the other leaders inherited flawed democracies and undermined them further, the institutions hollowed out in China were those of totalitarian communism.

THE BOX • A Living Documentary

Detroit is the city of my artistic birth and it also has been the city of my rebirth.
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