Stories from the Heart of the Metropolis
21 April 2023
Before reading, I recommend watching the restored and recovered version of “Metropolis” (1927), which was recovered in 2008 and restored in 2010. However, I hope this article can serve as a catalyst for you to go see a 2.5-hour silent film.
The silent film “Metropolis,” written by Thea von Harbou, was directed by Fritz Lang in 1927. It takes place in a futuristic megacity ruled by a clear class system. The upperclassmen take pleasure in the heavens above; The poor run the hellish, industrial factories below, which keep the city running and are run by people who have to work hard every day.
From the regular workers, a prophet predicts the approaching of a “go between” — one who will bring the head (the privileged individuals who concoct, plan and partake in their manifestations) and the hands (the people who really get it going) together.
There are riots and uprisings, a mad scientist with personal stakes, a robot that takes the form of a woman, stunning cinematography, and the story is still relevant today.
The working class eventually decides to stage a violent uprising after being persuaded to abandon the peaceful methods of a mediator. They leave their positions as machine operators and attempt to forcefully overthrow the oppressors. However, they leave their children behind when they leave the depths to drive out the high-level businessmen—a riot is not a place for children—and the machines they do not fully comprehend are keeping the floodwaters at bay. Their children may be killed when the floods arrive because of their lust for blood.
When there is a peaceful alternative, people frequently still seek war when they have been grossly wronged. There is a time for war. In point of fact, they frequently do not desire peace at all—they do not desire a solution to their issues and do not care if the pain ceases. They most certainly desire retribution. Furthermore, retribution (which is discrete from equity) just brings more agony.
In “City” we see this exemplified in the laborers. The villains are without a doubt those who sit in ivory towers, but the workers end up putting their own children in grave danger because of their hatred and thirst for vengeance.
As democrats and republicans continue to distance themselves from one another, vilify the opposing party, and refuse to negotiate, compromise, or lend a hand to one another, they are creating a divided world for their children, who may have to fight the war their parents created for them. This is something we can see happening right now. This might not be the actual children of the next generation, but rather some future generation.
The hero of “Metropolis” is not the glorious revolution’s leader; rather, he acts as a mediator. It was a bad idea to start an uprising, but the city’s upper class was still committing terrible crimes against workers, and this needs to be fixed right away. The mediator bridges the gap and rekindles the human connection between the two so that they can work together toward a better future.
We have various classes in western culture today, however it is unquestionably not so particularly articulated as in different nations, or in “City.” However, we do have other divisions of this magnitude, and they only exist between political parties, and they continue to grow daily.
Everyone needs to play the role of the mediator if the nation wants to move forward rather than split in two and descend into chaos. Instead, for personal reasons that typically revolve around insecurity, many of us insist on doing nothing, posting meaningless content online, and occasionally stirring the pot. The role of mediator is significantly more difficult, requiring wisdom, composure, respect, and a great deal of patience.
Russia’s social media disinformation campaign is nothing more than a way to take advantage of a problem that already exists. Their goal is to flood our children with information so that their global rival no longer exists. They might see this future come to pass if there are no mediators.
The same psychic currents typically unite in certain seemingly insignificant traits that surface in life. The modern mind is becoming increasingly calculating. The money economy’s mathematical precision in everyday life is in line with the ideal of natural science: to solve every aspect of the world using mathematical formulas, to turn the world into an arithmetic problem. The weighing, calculating, and numerical determinations of so many people have only been made possible by the money economy, which has reduced qualitative 11 values to quantitative 12 ones. A new precision, certainty in the definition of identities and differences, and unambiguity in agreements and arrangements have been brought about in the relationships of life elements through the calculative nature of money. This precision has also been brought about externally by the widespread diffusion of pocket watches. However, this trait is simultaneously caused and impacted by metropolitan life conditions.