coromandal


why we watch Downton

People like Downton because it shows a bounded, ordered, fated, world – in many ways you know what you get.  In stark contrast, our present world is endlessly shifting, unbounded, and competitive. This new state has become too much for many people and we want some of the stability and reality of that earlier world back, and so we watch and yearn.

I have found Deleuze’s descriptions of the control society very helpful for understanding this.  He would call Downton a ‘discipline’ society and our global capitalist world a ‘control’ society.  He says,
The factory (discipline) constituted individuals as a single body to the double advantage of the boss who surveyed each element within the mass, and the unions who mobilized a mass resistance; but the corporation (control) constantly presents the brashest rivalry as a healthy form of emulation, an excellent motivational force that opposes individuals against one another and runs through each dividing each within.
It’s not just liberals who like Downton, it’s anyone who struggles with the delirium and harshness of the control society.
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