Viewing posts tagged exploitation

3

"Not so much of that oatmeal, girl," says Meg to one of the kitchen drudges, "It's only pikemen we're feeding, not horses."

They're in Irongron's castle, somewhere in the century or so following the Norman Conquest.  Sarah is undercover, cooking Irongron's stew.

"Don't the guards on the gate get stew?" she asks, wanting to know in which pots to drop the Doctor's knock-out potion.

"What, meat for those common creatures? I should say not. They'll have oatmeal the same as the rest of us, and lusty enough they are on that. So you watch yourself if ever you take out that skillet."

So class is, perhaps, a more fundamental division than gender, but gender oppression brings its own particular problems.

"I'm not afraid of men. They don't own the world."

Well, they kind-of do... but Sarah isn't discussing actual property relations.  She's talking about the way the world should work, with no one group 'owning' it.

"Why should women always have to cook and carry for them?" she demands.

"What else should we do?" asks Meg.

"Stand up for ourselves. Tell the men you're tired ...

7

The Doctor has refused Enlightenment.  Turlough is nonchalantly (rather too nonchalantly) picking at his fingernails when the White Guardian offers him a share.

"It's a diamond," he says, staring at the massive, glowing crystal, "The size!  It could buy a galaxy. I can have that?"

The White Guardian tells him he can.

"I would point out," interjects the Black Guardian, "that under the terms of our agreement, it is mine... unless, of course, you wish to surrender something else in its place. The Doctor is in your debt for his life. Give me the Doctor, and you can have this," he indicates the crystal, "the TARDIS, whatever you wish."

Turlough is evidently extremely tempted.  He has to struggle with himself.  When he shoves it towards the Black Guardian, it couldn't be more obvious that he is angry and disappointed with the choice he feels have has to make.

"Here," he shouts petulantly, burying his face, "take it!"

Even so, he does make that choice.

The Black Guardian bursts into flames and vanishes, gurgling and screaming.

"Light destroys the dark," comments the White Guardian.  "I think you will find your contract terminated," he tells ...

8

"Is there anything the servants can get you Doctor?" asks Edward Grove over the deep, low tolling of the clock.  "It is such fun giving them little chores to do!" he chortles, using the voice of the butler, Mr Shaughnessy.

"No thank you," says the Doctor icily.

"Very well," says Edward, vocally turning to the servants, "You may leave, all of you.  Return to your duties.  I shall chime if I need anything."

The clock is central to the organisation of time in capitalist society.  It regulates work.  Since work is life, it regulates life.  The chiming of the clock, like the jangling of the bell, is a summons to the servant, just as the factory worker must clock in and clock out at the right times.  The industrial revolution fundamentally changed how people perceived time, not only by drastically changing how long it took to do certain things, but also by subjecting the workforce to new schedules.  The organisation of labour in capitalist production centres also made time seem repetitious, on a permanent loop.  The same set tasks, over and over again, for hour after hour.  The clock is ...

17

Ms. Kizlet is using the wi-fi signal to control people in the coffee shop.

 “I do love showing off,” she says through a waitress she has made her puppet. “Just let me show you what control of the wi-fi can do for you,” she adds through the mouth of a young girl.

It’s a tech demo. Here’s what this latest version of the operating system can do. Upgrade now. The iconography is all ruthlessly current. Particularly fitting: Kizlet and her crew are playing around on iPads as they do their little Steve Jobs routine. You almost expect her to reveal that they’ve captured Clara with an “oh, and one more thing.”

Kizlet explains that they’ve “released thousands” of base stations into the world, blanketing the whole of humanity in their Worldwide Web of Fear.

Meanwhile, Clara’s on her laptop. She recognizes the vulnerability in every grand system: people. With just a bit of clicking around she’s figured out where Kizlet is transmitting from. The most obvious spot in London, really. Kizlet's client loves using grand projects for his own purposes. It’s what he did in the Underground, and it’s what ...

36

The Doctor, Zoe and Jamie are brought in to see the Master of the Land of Fiction.  He has dossiers on them.  He is, as Zoe says, very well organised.

"We have to be," he says, "The running of this place requires enormous attention to detail. It's a responsible position, but very rewarding"

A 'responsible position'.  So it's a job.

"Responsible to who?" asks the Doctor.

Not to a person, says the Master, to "another power. Higher than you could begin to imagine."

A system, an inhuman hegemon.

He congratulates them on the way they handled their tests.  They have passed the job interview.

It transpires that the Master is a writer.

"Did you ever hear of the Adventures of Captain Jack Harkaway?" he asks.

"No, I can't say that I... wait a minute, a serial in a boys' magazine?"

"The Ensign!  For twenty-five years, I delivered five thousand words every week!"

"Twenty-five years, five thousand words a week..." Zoe adds it up... "that's well over half a million words!"

"That's why I was selected to work here," says the Master.  He got headhunted.

He spent his life working ...

It was such a massive task to establish the Roman race

"The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief momenta of primitive accumulation. On their heels treads the commercial war of the European nations, with the globe for a theatre.

*

Colonial system, public debts, heavy taxes, protection, commercial wars, &c., these children of the true manufacturing period, increase gigantically during the infancy of Modem Industry. The birth of the latter is heralded by a great slaughter of the innocents. Like the royal navy, the factories were recruited by means of the press-gang.
*

With the development of capitalist production during the manufacturing period, the public opinion of Europe had lost the last remnant of shame and conscience. The nations bragged cynically of every infamy that served them as a means to capitalistic accumulation.  ...[I]t is trumpeted forth as a triumph of English statecraft that at the Peace of Utrecht, England extorted from the Spaniards by the Asiento Treaty the ...

Stark Contrasts

Here is the logic:

We live in a society that touts the pursuit of self interest.  That tells people they should look out for themselves.  And yet we also tell people pretty tales about community and cooperation and mutual respect.

Enterprise and initiative... but we're all in this together.

The former ethic is for those who succeed to live by.  The latter ethic is for those who have to budge in together in crowded conditions because, for whatever reason, they have not acquired enough material success to allow them to live the separated, isolated, private, individualistic life of the rich.  The former ethic is for those with a private drive, detached dwellings, grounds, boundary walls and closable gates.  The latter ethic is for those in terraces and flats with cardboard walls and laundry racks on their small balconies.

In short, if you live in a tenement or a housing estate, you must be public spirited.  You must behave.  You must get on with your neighbours.  Your lack of wealth is your own fault; it is itself evidence that you do not have the necessary thrusting spirit of ruthless self-advancement... ergo, you ...

Beasts of England

In 'The Beast Below', you - as a subject of Liz 10 and a citizen of Starship UK - get to vote.  You get a choice of buttons.  You can 'Protest' or 'Forget'.

This is evidently an attempt to express something about electoral democracy.

Every time we are exposed to some unpleasant and uncomfortable fact about our society or our world, or even to a suspicion of some such thing, we are presented with an implicit option to protest or forget. Beyond voting booths, we have a set of these buttons inside our heads. When you hear, for instance, that thousands of dirt poor South Africans were forcibly evicted from their shanty towns and moved to settlements of corrugated iron shacks to get them away from the new $450 million World Cup football stadium, you have the option to kick up a stink or to sigh, mumble some platitude like "tsch, how awful" and then put it out of your head so you can comfortably sit back and enjoy watching teams of overpaid jocks play amidst the McDonalds adverts.

By the way, don't think I'm being holier-than-thou. I'm just as guilty of this kind of thing as ...

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