Video

Only Human

Gary Kibbins

1990, 18:00 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 049.07

Only Human reconstitutes, through a classroom lecture and an accompanying narrative, a mythological development of the American Constitution and its function in North American corporate and social life.
When the constitution was initially drafted, the U.S. was an agrarian society. Many of its early ideals, those of the small independent merchant and the land-owning farmer, were deprived of their context when agrarianism and mercantilism gave way to corporate capitalism. Corporations, eager to be adequately represented in the new legal and mythological fibre of American life, arranged to be conceptualized as individuals, for this would provide social support for their unprecedented power, as well as allow full constitutional protection for their activities. This act of ideological piracy was ultimately corroborated in a series of Supreme Court rulings.
In
Only Human a TV lecture in a university classroom, provides this analysis, implicating the universities in the construction of such myths. A narrative running more or less concurrently explores the implications of this historical phenomenon for the concept of the "individual" in contemporary society.

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