fri 03/12/2021

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, BBC Two | reviews, news & interviews

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, BBC Two

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, BBC Two

From Ayn Rand to Silicon Valley to Wall Street in one giant bound

Look out for daring parabolic narratives and exotic detours in Adam Curtis's new series

As The Observer once put it, an abiding theme of Adam Curtis's documentaries "has been to look at how different elites have tried to impose an ideology on their times, and the tragicomic consequences of those attempts". This neatly sums up the essence of Curtis's new three-part series - though it looks like being more tragic than comic - which began with a daring parabolic narrative which soared from the monomaniac philosophies of Ayn Rand across California's Silicon Valley to the Clinton White House and Alan Greenspan's basilisk-like reign on Wall Street.

As The Observer once put it, an abiding theme of Adam Curtis's documentaries "has been to look at how different elites have tried to impose an ideology on their times, and the tragicomic consequences of those attempts". This neatly sums up the essence of Curtis's new three-part series - though it looks like being more tragic than comic - which began with a daring parabolic narrative which soared from the monomaniac philosophies of Ayn Rand across California's Silicon Valley to the Clinton White House and Alan Greenspan's basilisk-like reign on Wall Street.

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Adam wants people to understand that the machine was created by humans who were highly motivated by a mixture of egotistical self-interest and earnest moral yearning - and therefore other highly motivated humans have the power to change or remove the machine and create something better. We should not feel powerless because 'the system' has never truly run itself - this is just technocratic rhetoric - in reality it has staggered along propped up by misplaced human passion. It's a timely message.

A totally fascinating and absorbing programme. I look forward to the next two in the series

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