Plutocracy: Political Repression in the U.S.A.

2015 ,    »  -   20 Comments
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8.79
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Ratings: 8.79/10 from 141 users.
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Plutocracy: Political Repression in the U.S.A.

Income inequality has become a key hot button issue in the modern day political spectrum. While these economic and class divides seem more pronounced than ever before, the impressive new documentary Plutocracy: Political Repression in the USA reveals that the core of these struggles pre-date the beginnings of the industrialized labor force. The long and painful journey towards achieving worker rights and fair wages has been marked by violence, discrimination, and inhumane exploitation.

Take, for example, the West Virginia coal mining industry in the early years of the 20th century. Working under extreme conditions plagued by brutalizing hours, unprecedented accident rates and severe health hazards, the miners decided to fight back through strikes and the formation of their own labor union. The industry itself chose to fight back with the importation of replacement workers, and the structuring of new contracts which disallowed workers from joining a union. The fight for freedom from the tyranny of wealthy industrialists was fraught by thousands of lives lost, and many more wounded and incarcerated.

As the film makes clear, the country's founding fathers saw the potential for such class conflicts even before industrialized capitalism made its way to America's shores. During the Civil War, which ranks as the most devastating union conflict in the history of the United States, hundreds of thousands of casualties occurred, many of which were from the poorest populations. The wealthiest figures of the day paid destitute soldiers to fight on their behalf, and some like business magnate John D. Rockefeller could escape the burdens of service by making a cash payment of three hundred dollars.

Throughout history, liberty has come at a cost far more profound than dollars and cents. Change only becomes possible when the working masses band together under the shelter of a common cause of fair and equal rights. Plutocracy: Political Repression in the USA is a smart and engrossing tale of an issue which continues to drive economic instability and power dynamics today. The film honors the sacrifices of all those who have battled to win the freedoms we enjoy today, and reminds us of the importance of demanding equality for all and speaking truth to power.

Directed by: Scott Noble

20 Comments / User Reviews

  1. DonnieDarko

    It starts off a bit slow and boring, but in the end, it was a beautiful history lesson

  2. freedom1st time

    as long as there is money, human will be thought of as property to be owned.

  3. button lady

    Really good labor history lesson. I was pretty vague on Shay's rebellion, for only one of many examples. The comment about American corporatists using their own private militias really struck a bell with all the organizers being murdered in Central America, Hope these folks do more like this!

  4. Lindal

    Excellent film. Robotics has and continues to replace human workers in previously excellent paying jobs in the auto and other industries. Robots have no rights, work 24/7, need no medical or retirement benefits. Most secretarial staffs have been replaced with voice recognition software and high end word processing. Yet, we middle class workers are taught to believe the technological revolution is good. Those in power tell us we need more education, yet after spending tens of thousands of dollars on higher education, we still are underemployed and have become deep in debt. Another documentary on TopDocumentaryFilms.com, "Will Work For Food," shows the callus attitude of the film makers toward this growing technocracy through their glorification of technological advances, eliminating career after career for 2 hours while devoting only 30 seconds to the 'UNEASY PERIOD OF MASS POVERTY AND STARVATION" that is expected in the transition from human labor to robotic labor. Watch both films to see the history and the future of plutocracy.

  5. JC Tripp

    Incredibly enlightening doc on the long struggle for rights by America's labor force, with deep insights into our racial divide, and why. Considering the plight of workers in this country today, it seems like nothing has changed. Watch, listen, learn and then educate those around you.

  6. Roger Andout

    Very informative and surprisingly balanced, especially the segment outlining racism within the labour movement itself. Not at all boring, as previously commented.

  7. tazmo

    if I'm not mistaken that's where the term Redneck originated as the workers wore red scarves to show solidarity

  8. L A

    Why were the "expert" speakers not identified? I would like to know who they were.

  9. No Solutions Given

    Documentaries that parade repression and oppression with ZERO solutions are documentaries that are working for the repressors and oppressors. I try to avoid these documentaries. This one is dark & gloomy and devoid of optimism. Although the history is cool, they overdo it. Where is the Hope? This is happening today with African Americans while apathetic Whites are sitting on the sidelines. Surely you know your government is making an example of them to keep you in line. Surely you know Technology will continue to take your jobs. And Surely you know the Bankers who are the oil barons are crumbling the American and European economies along with their shadowry posse. Watch 'four horsemen' documentary produced by Renegadeeconomist. They explain WHY these fiendish goons do what they do. This documentary is Darkness Devoid of Depth.

  10. KsDevil

    Some things never change, even as the techniques become more sophisticated.
    Skilled and unskilled labor are still victims of internal prejudice and manipulation. Government officials are still duplicitous. A-moralists are still infiltrating and inciting controversy. The wealthy are still relying on the weak willed to do their bidding.

  11. CreativeMindUK

    Good history lesson on capitalists enslaving the poor to keep the cash coming, also good information on racism and how division was a seed sown for the benefit of business and government interests, something we still see to this day. United we stand.

  12. Mahmoud BouRaad

    Values mater. So does freedom.
    You better call it the Dark History of the Americas.
    The Secret of Happiness is Freedom and the Secret of Freedom is Courage...

  13. Tanya Robinson

    this is one of the best docs i've seen! really shows the rich elite business class' exploitation, oppression, and suppression of human and workers' rights continuously throughout our american history! it is NOT the history we all learned in our american education system!! there were the 'have everything's class dominance over the 'have nothing's class of immigrants, slaves, servants, labor unions, women, and children!! shocking, and undeniably true!!

  14. Tanya Robinson

    as well as brutal, violent suppression, oppression and exploitation of huge class of folks by big business families (rockefellers, jp morgan, hearst, railroads, and more named). A MUST-SEE FOR EVERY AMERICAN!!

  15. Julia

    Why does it end with "end of Part 1"? Is there more than 1 hour, 49 minutes? Or a continuation under another title?

    This is very, very good. Follows a lot of Zinn's book, "A People's History of the United States" which is already terrific.

  16. Chichi Hermosa

    Is this the MAke American Great "Adoplph" Trump is offering? Brutal Capitalism is very bad for middle and lower classes.

  17. Chichi Hermosa

    Because of our Latino children have a lot to lose if "Adolph" Trump, we MUST know the U.S. History to pass it on to our newer generations; so they: 1) can appreciate what they have now; 2) know it has not been easy for minorities in the US. 3) can appreciate the people who has fought for us to have some rights. 4) can defend their rights as human being. 5) know that if they do not study, they cannot advance in the future. etc. Spread the word. Let us empower our Latino people, not with violence, but with knowledge.

  18. brob63

    Excellent Film it shows me why Bernie Sanders was such a phenomenon although he was set up for defeat by the powers that be.

  19. Tim

    Excellent documentary! Explains a lot of what's still happening today...in the "Make America Great Again" mindset. Living next door, maybe we in Canada should build a wall just to keep that mindset at bay.

  20. blaice

    It is good to know that America's inception, and more than a century after, was even worse than it is now. Very informative doc. I honestly wasn't aware that disparity was even worse (from QOL standpoint, not necessarily economical) back then than it is now.

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