22 October 2010

IDEAS AND IMAGES -- TALK No 3 (18/04/97)



From graphic design, going through photography, film, TV, multimedia systems, and advancing towards virtual reality, the system has been progressively discovering that there is a great power in the image. However, the system experiences regarding the image something similar to what used to happen some time ago with radioactive materials. In the beginning, the industry of extraction was advanced, while the technology of manipulation was very little developed. Nowadays it happens that the technology of producing images is very developed, but the system knows very little or almost nothing about the psychology of the image.

The system does not know how the dynamics of the image operates in the human psyche; hence the transferential development is so poor in the field of the image. Ignoring the functioning of images and advancing in the technology of production and distribution of images, the system -in its clumsy search for monopolising the image- will necessarily make mistakes of saturation and irritation. This will lead the system to produce reactions of psychosocial rebound from the population towards the media and the vehicles for the transmission of images. Due to the system's lack of knowledge on this type of phenomena and of the dynamics of the image, they will not be able to assume that these things may happen and, therefore, they will do nothing for preventing them.

One of our wars in the coming years is the war for the image; not in the mass media but within people's heads. The system knows that the image operates and, therefore, that for them it may produce money, that it may be a good business. The image is a particular case of the chapter on the psychology of impulses. The war for the image -a great problem of this epoch, and that will be a great subject in our discussion in the coming years- is a particularity of the psychology of impulses.

It is convenient to make it clear that ideas are one thing while images are another. Ideas clarify, but not necessarily move. Images move, but not necessarily clarify. In our meetings, we carry out clarifications, guided experiences and proposals for action. Our motor is not the transmission of ideas, but the transmission of images. Ideas may produce agreement, but not action. Somebody may agree with what I say, and, at the end of the explanation, he may tell me: "I do agree with everything you say (agreement with the ideas), but I will not participate in the operation (negation of the action) to which you are inviting me, since I have an invitation to have dinner with my aunt (mobilising image)." That is, they may follow my logic, share my reasoning, and be wholly in agreement with my conclusion (e.g., operation against the IMF), but, in spite of all that, they may not move themselves in the proposed direction.

In order to move, I need images (beliefs), not ideas. The present problem with ideologies is that. i.e., they do not take images into account. The system, although with an extremely bad ideology, has an advantage over other ideologies because it controls the communication media of images, although ignoring completely the dynamics of the image. We have ideology and, besides, we know, control and manage the psychology of the image. That is, we have everything; it is only a matter of putting in motion all that we have. For us, it is not enough that newcomers agree with our ideas. We are interested in the conversion of people.

- Could you explain to me what is this of the conversion of people?

The agreement with our ideological clarifications does not make people move. To agree that 2+2=4 will not make, because of it, people move in a given direction. For people to move, ideological clarifications are not necessary. For people to move, mobilising images are required. To move is not a matter of agreements. Logical consequences do not move (to conclude that the system exploits, manipulates, etc. and be in agreement with that, does not move people to carry out actions). The mobilisation of images is not the same as, nor it has to coincide with, ideological clarification. Not even during the times of Rationalism people moved themselves by ideas. Ideas were not what moved people at that time. What happened is that people believed in ideas; however, people were not moved by ideas but rather by faith in ideas. In those times, people were moved by beliefs and images of the world and a rational order that was better than the one they were living. Images are (accompanied or not by ideas) what moves people to action. The belief in the transforming power of rational ideas was the motor of action in the epoch of Rationalism. Today, people do not believe in reason; therefore, reason does not move.

- Then, what is the conversion of people?

The conversion of people is the transformation of their general system of images in a fast way, in such a way that the direction of their lives can be oriented by a precise meaning. regarding this, there are examples to be rescued from what is happening in some Christian groups (Protestant sects) in which somebody attends a meeting, and, all of a sudden, he heeds a sort of call (not an ideology), and something happens to him. Then, from then onwards, he becomes much more integrated into that group, he gives up alcohol, comes back to his wife, gets and keeps a stable job... That is, the general system of images of the subject gets transformed in a fast way, and the vital direction of the subject gets converted. After that experience, people say: "I converted to ..." What we are describing was not achieved with ideas. There are people like that, who experienced what we have explained during a Protestant meeting, in a brief moment, and from then onwards their wandering life takes a direction very strongly. This is not done through the bare fact of agreeing on ideas.

We cannot do certain things (mass conversions of meaning) before the appropriate time, because the general process goes in another direction. Still there are collective beliefs that have to collapse before the mass fall, and then we will try those mass conversions of meaning. Those mass conversions are mass adhesions to a new lifestyle.

First we make them join the style, and then we clarify them. First, to redirect images, and then to clarify ideas. We are not going to make mass clarifications prior to the mass conversion of the meaning in life, but quite the contrary.
For the time being, we have to do gymnastics of making people adhere through ceremonies, testimonial events, taking commitments, ... It is not a clarification so that later they change their meaning in life. It is to make them join through certain events, to a new lifestyle. In the Movement, in this moment we are touching the possibility of the mass level. This possibility started acting in January 1996 when we said: "If we are not several hundreds of thousands soon, what are we playing at?" Starting from that questioning, we have accelerated growth, and today we know that we are several thousands. But things go beyond that, because for our people is not enough to know that we are several thousands. They also want the perceptual image of those thousands, and then they say: "We are going to organise a rally on May 1."

With this, we see that the mobilising image of hundreds of thousands by the year 2000 is producing in the structures a modification in the proposals, in the behaviours, and in the emplacement of the possibility of that scenario (the image draws closer, gaining in depth, impelling with greater force). As humanists, to imagine ourselves as a few in a square making our proposals feels different from imagining ourselves as thousands in a square making our proposals. One guy in underwear with a placard in a square is a madman. A thousand guys in underwear in a square, each one holding the same placard, is a social phenomenon. The message is the same, it has not changed. What changed is the number. A lonely Gandhi would have looked like a pacifist fool. Gandhi, followed by millions, was a social phenomenon.

If we are a few, what we may tell provokes laughter. If we are hundreds of thousands, what we may tell (which is the same) is a very serious matter. What changes? The relation of forces change, supported by the number. Let us now disseminate many materials at the base level and in the streets. people take them and files them, they do not read them. When they will perceive our strength (thanks to the action of the form produced by the perception of numbers), all will want to know about us, who we are, what we do, what we say, how are we organised, ... and at that time they will remember the meeting they attended, the people who invited them, the small leaflet or brochure they were given, the book they have, and they will start reading what they have not so far, and to call the contact or the friend who knows, etc.

Ideas are not what will produce this, but the perceptible images of an organised social force will. Let us, for the time being, distribute papers everywhere, let's contact as many as we can. If people do not read our materials, let them have these materials. If they do not attend our meetings, let them know that we exist. As soon as they perceive our strength, they will read all the papers they have, and will approach us. All this will happen. For the time being, let's make gymnastics of making contacts. meetings, production, financing and mass distribution of materials.

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