I Can’t Get You Out of My MInd
Shooting and Fucking Are the Same Thing
By Adam Curtis (2021)
Link to Part 1: Where Has Democracy Gone?
In Part 2, Curtis helps us understand how six 1968 revolutions (in France, Berlin, Mexico City, Chicago, Prague and London)* all failed. He sees a clear connection between the cult of hyperindividulam, which began in the 1950s, and the move of many radicals away from collective community concerns to a focus on self actualization. He gives the example of Chicago 7 member Bobby Seale becoming a chef and Tupac Shakur (a Black Panther from birth) becoming a rapper.
Part 2 broadly covers the late sixties and early seventies. It traces the rise and fall of Black power in US and Britain, focusing on the organizing efforts of Afeni Shaku (mother of assassinated rapper Tupac Shakur) and Michael X in Notting Hill London. Curtis observes that Michael X was arrested in Redding in 1967 for “inciting racial violence,” while Conservative MP Enoch Powell’s 1968 anti-immigrant “Rivers of Blood” speech made him the most popular politician in the UK.
Afeni, representing herself, would ultimately get the Panther 21 acquitted of “conspiring to commit bombings” after proving the bombing plot originated with two FBI informants who had infiltrated the Black Panther Party.
In addition to tracing Richard Nixon’s rise to the presidency, Curtis also examines a number of high profile psychological experiments that convinced the ruling elite that trying to change people’s behavior by reasoning with them was a waste of time. Instead they decided the best way to control people was to keep them in a constant simplified dream world.
*See 1968: The Year That Rocked the World