Noise and Politics - Attali

Jacques Attali (b.1943) was formally trained as an economics theorist and in the 80's, worked for the President of France at the time Francois Mitterland. He relates economic and political thought organization with noise and music and argues that control of sound enhances one's control of power over its audience.

Mitterland focuses on the control and monitoring of sound as music to understand and control or influence a government's people. Listing techniques such as Eavesdropping, censorship, recording and surveillance, Mitterland understands that the tools of Big Brother are highly desired by the people in control and are described as "the dreams of political scientists". One issue arrives is the filtering of information and he offers the idea that an increase in the usage of these techniques will result in an attempt to eliminate noise or sound without information.

He points to the theories of totalitarianism and dictatorships and how noise represents and even demands cultural autonomy and support for differences or marginality. All of these can be seen as ideas that are uneasy with single power rule. If we look at real world examples, look no further then North Korea. Dictator leader Kim Jong Ill spends much effort to control the sounds of music, instilling strict and extreme punishments on playing western music or anything with a taste of anti-government.

Kim Cheol Woong, one of the most famous classical musicians, admits that "Music in North Korea is a political tool, Its purpose is to inspire adoration of the leader and the belief that socialism will triumph. North Korean musicians compose wonderful tunes but they have to add political lyrics." Infact, on one night he was playing to himself a popular piece titled "'A' Comme Amour" which was overheard outsideand reported to the secret police. For his defilement by playing a western piece, composed by a Russian man Rachmaninoff who at one point migrated to the United States. Further media control reports the Kim regularly shoots three or four hole-in-ones each round of golf and shot a 38 under par on his first attempt at the game, making him arguably the best player on the planet.

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