Crude Economy: FREE TO CHOOSE

1 November 2013

Location: Theater Kikker

Programme 2: Free to Choose

That capitalists seek the disengagement of the state from free market operations might be a common misunderstanding. On the contrary, corporations need the state to set rules and conditions in their favour. Large public commissions are a safe business. The number of lobbyists bustling around the offices of parliamentarians and functionaries in Washington or Brussels shows this mix of public and private interest. The programme reflects on the notions of efficiency and optimization, and asks how much citizens and consumers nowadays are ‘free to choose’ —if they want to choose.

Marketing, Pierre Long (France, GB 1953 | 17:00 min)
Marketing takes France as an example to show the necessity of product standardization and market research. In order to meet the European Recovery Program’s goals, the film promotes self-service shops, ready-packed pork chops and practically shaped door handles.

Free To Choose, Vol. 1, The Power of The Market: The Pencil, Milton Friedman (USA 1980 | 2:30 min) InhisPBStelevisionseriesFreeToChoose, American economist and ‘father of neo-liberalism’, Milton Friedman, explains the principles of a free-market economy to a broad audience. The story of the pencil stands out as especially easy to comprehend.

Lobbyists, Libia Castro & ÓlAfur ÓlAfsson (Netherlands 2009 | 19:00 min)
In this video, Castro and Ólafsson portray the activity of lobbyists in Brussels and Strasbourg. An article by the British reporter Tamasin Cave, performed as a song, is juxtaposed with on-site observations and interviews with lobbyist organizations and civilian ‘watchdog’ groups.

Kopfende Hassloch (Mapping The German), Jürgen Brügger & Jörg Haassengier (Germany 2006 | 37:00 min)
Imagine a cartographic map produced on a 1:1 scale, exactly the size of the territory it represents. Where could you unfold it? How could you see it all at once? Mapping the German leads into the middle of German normality: a place where consumer products and media strategies are tested and optimized.

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