Surkov’s philosophy is that there is no real freedom in the world, and that all democracies are managed democracies, so the key to success is to influence people, to give them the illusion that they are free, whereas in fact they are managed. In his view, the only freedom is “artistic freedom”
…on of reality lends itself to authoritarian politics because it makes liberal democracy impossible. Without any sort of fixed reality, we have no shared reference point we can use for political deliberation; and when my policy preferences are rooted entirely in what I conceive of as my self, there is no room for compromise.
This, I think, is why so many people support Trump even when they recognize his obvious mendacity. They’ve been successfully persuaded that everything is a lie, so the only political choice you have is to select the fiction that most fits your self-conception. This partially explains how Trump is able to command support from both anti-Semites and some Jews. …
…ity.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
That’s the very point of storytelling. To bring you to other places, to follow other people with other points of view that you might never know otherwise. We just have to surrender to the story, drop all our barriers of cynicism and skepticism, and allow them to take us over.
This whole experience just highlights a question I’ve been asking myself for the past few months. Have we, as audiences, become too cynical for movies? I don’t mean all movies, of course, but I am concerned that we’re now disregarding movies that rely on heightened emotions.