Sunday, August 01, 2010

Football (soccer) as ideological state apparatus

N.Korean Footballers Publicly Humiliated
North Korea's national football team were given a marathon public reprimand after losing all three of their World Cup matches, including a 0-7 rout at the hands of Portugal that has been blamed on leader Kim Jong-il's inept orders, Radio Free Asia reported Monday.

Citing unnamed North Korean sources, RFA said the team were made to stand on a stage at the People's Palace of Culture on July 2, just three days after they returned from South Africa, and subjected to ideological criticism for six hours.

A source in Sinuiju said the theme of the session was "criticizing the betrayal of the trust of Kim Jong-un," Kim Jong-il's son and heir apparent.

A South Korean intelligence source said, "In the past, North Korean athletes and coaches who performed badly were sent to prison camps. Considering the high hopes North Koreans had for the World Cup, the regime could have done worse things to the team than just reprimand them for their ideological shortcomings."

Well, yes.

You see, football (or soccer as yanks call it) is an Ideological State Apparatus (ISA). A couple of
Google searches confirmed it to Guambat.

Seems there's a French writer who parsed Marx.

Now, French writers, by their very nature, and Marx, by its very topic, are impenetrable to Guambat. So, if you want to even begin to try to understand why a football team needs 6 hours of publicly humiliating ideological criticism, you are going to have to go where Guambat has not gone before, nor is he likely to follow.

Guambat is content to call the losers idiots, not ideologically challenged.

So, you have to begin with reading the works of Marx, then cipher through Louis Althusser until you get to this (pp 20-21):
one Ideological State Apparatus certainly has the dominant role, although hardly anyone lends an ear to its music: it is so silent! This is the School. It takes children from every class at infant-school age, and then for years, the years in which the child is most ‘vulnerable’, squeezed between the Family State Apparatus and the Educational State Apparatus, it drums into them, whether it uses new or old methods, a certain amount of ‘know-how’ wrapped in the ruling ideology (French, arithmetic, natural history, the sciences, literature) or simply the ruling ideology in its pure state (ethics, civic instruction, philosophy). ... A last portion reaches the summit, either to fall into intellectual semi-employment, or to provide, as well as the ‘intellectuals of the collective labourer’, the agents of exploitation (capitalists, managers), the agents of repression (soldiers, policemen, politicians, administrators, etc.) and the professional ideologists (priests of all sorts, most of whom are convinced ‘laymen’).

Each mass ejected en route is practically provided with the ideology which suits the role it has to fulfil in class society: the role of the exploited (with a ‘highly-developed’ ‘professional’, ‘ethical’, ‘civic’, ‘national’ and a-political consciousness); the role of the agent of exploitation (ability to give the workers orders and speak to them: ‘human relations’), of the agent of repression (ability to give orders and enforce obedience ‘without discussion’, or ability to manipulate the demagogy of a political leader’s rhetoric), or of the professional ideologist (ability to treat consciousnesses with the respect, i.e. with the contempt, blackmail, and demagogy they deserve, adapted to the accents of Morality, of Virtue, of ‘Transcendence’, of the Nation, of France’s World Role, etc.).
Hang on now, almost there. Here it comes ...

Of course, many of these contrasting Virtues (modesty, resignation, submissiveness on the one hand, cynicism, contempt, arrogance, confidence, self-importance, even smooth talk and cunning on the other) are also taught in the Family, in the Church, in the Army, in Good Books, in films and even in the football stadium.

Now, there, you see, it's all very logical in an ideo kinda way.

And too bloody right that the team got sorted out, the ideologicals.

PS: Why Shaming Has Lost Power in China



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