Vol. 7: Da Capitale Politica a Capitale Industriale (Torino:
4 N. Tranfaglia, Storia di Torino Vol. 9. Gli Anni della Repubblica (Torino: Giulio Einaudi,
1999), p. 19.
5 B. De Sario, Resistenze Innaturali (Milano: Agenzia X, 2009).
6 R. Farano (‘Tax’), interview with author, 12 March 2011.
7 M. Mathieu, interview with author, 19 February 2011. Similarly, G. Capra, interview
with author, 18 March 2011, recalled: ‘I was never interested in 1977 punk; my cultural step was directly from Genesis to Dead Kennedys; from Gentle Giant to DOA
closely divided, there is a danger of enough supporters of the measure leaving the Capitol that a vote could be
called by the filibustering Senator and the measure may be
defeated. These are particular dangers towards the end of the
week when Senators are looking to return home to their constituencies. Faced with these problems, the proponents of the
measure may choose to withdraw it for another time, or to
The filibuster was immortalised in Frank Capra’s excellent
1939 film Mr Smith Goes to Washington, where an honest
but naive young Senator, Jefferson Smith
that arose in the early years of the twentieth century take as accepted
among other things the impossibility of independent observation, the
straightforward existence of objects, or a defined temporality, and this
is the picture of the world that makes sense to me. It is also a picture
of the world as fundamentally interconnected, a notion expressed
perhaps most clearly by Fritjof Capra, whose book, first published
in 1975, draws connections between modern physics and Indian and
Chinese philosophy.3 As Karen Barad puts it, much later, ‘Existence is
somebody should come along
to threaten or embarrass me about Irita, I would say, “Go right ahead.”’7
To their credit, Roosevelt and the press kept quiet. The public only became
aware of the affair when, in 1948, the film State of the Union was released.
Directed by Frank Capra, it is loosely based on the 1940 presidential campaign.
Willkie is wonderfully portrayed by Spencer Tracy, with Angela Lansbury
playing the role of Irita Van Doren. Katherine Hepburn plays Willkie’s long-
suffering wife (as opposed to real life where she was Tracy’s long-suffering
, or Kant and
Capra. These are, to anyone’s eyes, perverse couplings or
risky marriages, to be sure. The claim(s) Cavell makes about film(s)
are not representational where x and y films are said to offer
better understandings or a more capacious or effective semblance of
democratic life. Cavell cannot make those claims, given his own
anxiety about claim-making, and his
increasingly interventionist State during the 1960s.
Yet sociology itself can also be seen to reflect this instrumental approach. The
eco-sociologist Alwyn Jones (1987) has suggested that instrumental and anthropocentric positions are prevalent in sociology and support what he calls the
‘industrial growth model’ of society. Jones draws on some of the psychoanalytical aspects of Herbert Marcuse’s work, those of libertarian socialist and radical
Catholic Ivan Illich, as well as ecologists such as E. F. Schumacher (1976) and
Fritjof Capra (1982). He claims that sociology still
]would seem to bear
a responsibility for providing the information necessary for [the people] to
comprehend the situation that has actually developed in Vietnam. That has
not been done.’11 As a result, Congress remained an obstacle rather than
an ally when it came to security assistance efforts in the developing world.
Securing such broad, popular support for security assistance was a
cherished goal of Cold War presidents, from Truman onward. Truman himself
had even approached film-maker Frank Capra, creator of the successful
Why We Fight series of Second World War