11 November 2007

Detective dramas and centralisation

Centralised psychology is territorial psychology; it depends on having a territory within which you are free to act on your own criteria. Socialism is opposed to centralised psychology, or to what one might call individualism. Ultimately the aim of socialism is to deprive the individual of any area within which he is free to know his own mind.

Recently I saw parts of a couple of detective dramas on the television; normally I avoid all television dramas, but I went on watching in order to see how the ideology expressed itself.

The first drama was relatively old-fashioned, it was ‘Cover Her Face’ by P.D. James, supposedly set in the 60s. It was pure class warfare. That is to say, anyone who had any freedom of action, i.e. aristocrats, people of independent means, statusful professionals, etc., was regarded as discredited and to be treated in decentralising ways by the police.

The second drama, part of the Taggart series, was called ‘Double Exposure’ and supposedly depicted modern life. The hero (Jim Taggart) was a working-class police inspector who clearly enjoyed his role of dominating and tormenting everyone with whom he came in contact, particularly middle-class business people, very much as the more middle-class police inspector in the P.D. James drama had done.

Everybody, of every social class, was more or less on tenterhooks about what other people, be it criminals or the police, might think about them, suspect them of, find out about them, or do to them. People who were trying to make money were automatically villains, and doing voluntary work with no pay was a sign of virtue.

It is scarcely possible to think of anyone in this drama who was free from anxiety of social disapproval; Taggart himself was hauled over the coals by a superior for saying the wrong things in the wrong way to the Press.

Not even the working class were nice to one another; they hung one of their number upside down over a motorway in order to extract a confession from him.

The police, enjoying their power to invade and threaten other people’s lives, were the goodies and the only people who seemed to be getting anything positive out of it.