The New Rulers of the World

Ratings: 9.04/10 from 275 users.


The New Rulers of the World

In order to examine the true effects of globalization, Pilger turns the spotlight on Indonesia, a country described by the World Bank as a model pupil until its globalized economy collapsed in 1998. The film examines the use of sweatshop factories by famous brand names, and asks some penetrating questions. Who are the real beneficiaries of the globalized economy?

Who really rules the world now? Is it governments or a handful of huge companies? The Ford Motor Company alone is bigger than the economy of South Africa. Enormously rich men, like Bill Gates, have a wealth greater than all of Africa. Pilger goes behind the hype of the new global economy and reveals that the divisions between the rich and poor have never been greater -- two thirds of the world's children live in poverty -- and the gulf is widening like never before.

The film looks at the new rulers of the world -- the great multinationals and the governments and institutions that back them -- the IMF and the World Bank. Under IMF rules, millions of people throughout the world lose their jobs and livelihood. The reality behind much of modern shopping and the famous brands is a sweatshop economy, which is being duplicated in country after country.

The film travels to Indonesia and Washington, asking challenging questions seldom raised in the mainstream media and exposing the scandal of globalization, including revealing interviews with top officials of the World Bank and the IMF. (Excerpt from

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83 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Seyoum A

    It is Ok

  2. One Love

    It is not OK... It is the truth, although , who cares right...
    I never buy from gap Nike or any company that does put human beings trough slavery... I like to look nice on my Nike, but hell who cares right... that is why America will ... never ,,, never stand up ... the people and their selfishness

  3. Tom Craig

    Vlatko, you've got a great site here, loads of great docs! Just one note on this that it should be listed under Economics. Conspiracy implies a potential doubt, and there is no doubt on the topics covered in this film - blatant corruption and slavery that hardly ever gets covered in the press.

  4. Misty J. JOnes

    I never buy clothing from sweat shops...I research what I buy before I purchase, I do not use only, and most of the time I will wear what I have over and over...just so some poor child/woman does not have to suffer to make some ugly company filthy rich.....check me out on facebook....

  5. freda fryingpan

    When you're living in lower class North America, it's impossible to afford anything that is made in America or Canada. The production costs are just too high, and in order for companies to reach a large enough profit margin to keep their investors, things generally have to be made over seas.. it's how the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.

    I'd like to say that I only buy local, but sadly most people just can't afford it.

    The best thing you can do, is buy second hand. That way you're not supporting the industry, yet it is affordable.

    Sad that these companies have essentially trapped us. It's the same with GE foods v.s organic. Organic is expensive because the market is much smaller than competing companies.
    We are also slaves to these corporations.

  6. noname

    Even companies such as walmart and target which offer cheaper clothes... check the labels.

    Made in China
    Made in Indonesia
    Made in Taiwan

    They just don't have a 200% markup like Nike and such. Unless it says Made in the UK or Made in Canada or made in the USA.. it's from a sweat shop, regardless of price.

  7. sonya lazar

    Hey, great doc but it belongs to the wrong category. Pilger is a mainstream respected economist and everything he says is factual. conspiracy is something else. this is ECONOMY> thanks for all the docs, great job !

  8. Sigh...

    This will be the states in 10 or so years. Thats if they pass the carbon tax. Paid to the World Bank.
    There is a reason our world is the way it is. Turn off your TV and start thinking for yourself. There is a whole different world out there then what the TV tells you.

  9. Eff

    The Oxford dictionary states: CONSPIRACY is a secret plan to commit a crime or do harm whereas a Conspiracy theory, places doubt until proven empirical.
    ECONOMICS: the science of the production and distribution of wealth. So...You figure out the category?

    I buy all my clothes at thrift shops. The Eatons Company in Canada once employed children who worked for pennies under poor conditions, so it isn't just a third-world country idea? There is a large list of corporations who are guilty of capitalism in one way or another. North America is told to BUY BUY the economy pay for a needless war on non-existent terror...BOY! Are we brain-washed!

  10. tracy

    THEE only thing good here, is that I have been 'surmising' this all my blue collar midwestern life, for ever. I've always been living in a barter kinda world and after finding this site and diggin' in to what Vlatko puts out there - I'll pump up my efforts - buy thrift and make do DO NOT listen to the advertising man - stone your TV's, do what is right. We're being screwed every day in every way and gawd dammit we don't even know it - REVOLUTION! Stop buying shit.

  11. Ricky

    I'm from the philippines and i've work in a garment factory here. The conditions of workplace and status of factory workers in the Indonesia as shown in the video were no diff. from my country. The factory that I used to work for makes branded products such as Tommy Hilfiger, GAP, American Eagle, Footlocker, Columbia sports, Dockers, Levi's and even Calvin Klein among others. Although these buyers send inspectors regularly to make sure that factories are in compliance with their regts, its very easy to hide "irregularities" within the factory. Buyers reqt for maximum working hours per day is only 10hrs and 6 days/wk. But factory workers usually work 12hrs min per day, and during peak season, 7 days/wk. At the finishing dept they even work 2 days straight at times with only 2-4 hrs sleep. The time record that is given to the buyer inspectors only shows the 10hrs work reqt, the extra hrs in excess of the 10hrs reqt is recorded on a different time sheet and is not shown to inspectors. Only about 20% of factory workers are regular employees and 80% are casual or temporary employees. Regular workers are paid minimum salary imposed by the govt plus other legal benefits. Casual employees recd only 75% of the minimum salary with no other benefits. Salary records of regular employees are the one that is given to inspectors while salary records of casual employees are kept. Casual employees are not allowed to go to work when inspectors are in factory to avoid being interviewed. Regular employees were "properly oriented" how to answer questions from inspectors.

  12. Sidoni

    SCREW THE WORLD BANK!! Why should the poor work just to make the RICH GET RICHER??!


  13. gero2006

    I am filled with admiration for Dita Sari and the anonymous workers who had the courage to appear on this documentary. People like Stanley Fischer of the IMF or that smirking economist from the World Bank (whose name I forget) - words fail me! Have these man lost all connection with humanity?! Why am I asking? These men have lost all connection with humanity. What would bring them back into the human family?

  14. @noname

    @noname, you are very ignorant.

  15. 420 Vision

    This happens because the VAST majority of people really don't give a damn, and will continue to not give a damn until the grocery store shelves lie barren of food. Facing starvation people will quicky become motivated to wake up pay attention and act, but until that time nothing will be done to stop this kind of tyranny, and when actions are finally taken it will be way TO LATE to facilitate change.

    The game is rigged folks: the poor man, the middle class man, and rich man are all in the same pathetic sinking boat, completely enslaved, but honestly believe that they are free and have choice. NEWSFLASH : You don't, and this includes you multi-millionaires out there. If you want to join the ELITE club, the true globalists then you will need to be the kind of person that no longer needs money, but only has desires for the power to control the lifes and destinies of the subserviant heard that follows you to their slaughter.

    The future is certain, failing some catastrophic natural disaster, our fate is sealed. Serfs will always follow well behind their lords.

  16. Annie

    I agree that this is not a conspiracy documentary - it's based on truth. For westerners with high standard of living, it is easy to ignore the corruption and suffering in the world because we feel powerless to stop it.

    There is a solution! The Venus Project! Watch Zeitgeist Addendum to find out more. CITIZENS OF THE WORLD UNITE! Down with the 0.01% Elite who have NO plans for equality and peace.

  17. ShowingConcern

    The same thing is happening in America now.

  18. Spindrift

    America is the trophy for complete global dominance. When freedom dies here there is nowhere left to go. People damn well better smarten up and protect the 2nd amendment because it's the last hope for REAL homeland security, not the hogwash smoke and mirrors the government is feeding us. People get molested and stripped and morally raped to fly on a damn plane and some immigrant still gets explosive material on a plane in Boston yesterday.. what are you shttn me? Wake up people.

  19. M

    and yet they market as .. GENUINE ..

    don't buy FAKE 'knock off's '

    Brainwashed masses ..

  20. J

    we should all go back to the caveman era... all we need is sun, food, shelter to sustain joy and liberty and do the f@#$ we want to do not waste our lives in a worthless job.

    we only got 1 life damn it... we should live it to the fullest, not in a f@#$%^& shed like a cockroach

  21. rolly

    It's interesting that everyone in the West targets the multi-nationals and regularly let the local gov'ts and contractors of the labour providing countries off the hook. In almost every historical abuse of underprivileged workers that I've seen, locals have led the charge in abuse of their own people.

  22. panthera f

    Don't buy this s***, then they go bankrupt. :-)

  23. rockybrandy

    I could quote and refer you to many other websites to draw you to another cause which does noth ing but show a serious disconnect from the very serious issue that the caring john Pilger has gifted us with here. Shame on those of you who are so self centered that you would do this. You do have an opportunity to make a difference dont you realize? he clearly emphacized Nike and the Gap as being extreme players in the persecution of the Indonesian people . what can you do ? For one - write a letter to these companies and inform them of your new awareness...send them your currently owned Nike or Gap products and inform them you will never purchase again until they inform you of steps they have taken to correct the unfairness to the Indonesian people. Also you can go to your local city hall and purchase a permit to demonstrate in front of their stores. Use placards such as "Nike /Gap support child slavery and sweatshops" / "one who makes 30 pairs of $69 shorts a day gets one dollar per day"/ the opportunities to shame these companies and affect their bottom line is limitless. Do it every Saturday for a month. Even as just one person you will surely have an affect. You will feel good to do this because you will go to bed knowing that you are not a parasite of these downtrodden people by purchasing such products , but one of many who care for them as another mother , another father, whom you understand only wants the best for their children.i encourage you to get out of your comfort bubble and help change this world. It is easier than you think , and ....well.....why wouldnt you care ?

  24. rockybrandy

    Its not about who in America (etc ) stands up....its more about ...what have YOU DONE TO STAND UP.? How much do YOU care. your voice is one of what could become millions . Your voice matters dont you ever doubt that.

  25. rockybrandy

    You speak like one who has surrendered to an overpowering of govt and mutinationals...dont you realize your power ...exercise it ...write a letter iof complaint to EVERYONE AND ANYONE you want to express your thoughts and feelings too. politicians assume that for every letter they actually receive ...there are about 1000 other constituants who feel the same but havent written Damn....why do so many folk onine always want to express how powerless we are ...we're not. Easy excuse to do NOTHING about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Want to make change ...then TRY at least. If 350 million americans stood up and said you think a few thousand politicians and CEOs have ANY POWER? Noooooooooo

  26. Dominique Claessens

    I totally agree, ABOLISH the IMF and WORLD BANK. Read confessions of an economic hit man for more evidence that this documentary shows the real way these banks work.

    and to Rockbrandy, remember remember the 5th of november. just like the movie, lets bring these tyrants down, all together now. Thats what NEEDS to be done if we want change.

  27. a_no_n

    J, average life expectancy for cavemen...35 years.

    so in other we really shouldn't go back to living in caves!

  28. Liebewitz

    that was 2001. The 'Have -got it-keep it' brigade surely cannot get worse?. 2011 now. Woops!

  29. Liebewitz

    well said again John. The british couldn't possibly be seen----I mean couldn't possibly be remotely involved- in 'genocide'

    Why -tut tut---look at our record....

    look-old chap-John is it? that business in Ireland--(we have accounted for that in our history books which our large -very large british plebs-I mean our people -sucked-I mean accepted-

    ie --the Irish ought to have not relied on potatoes. What do you mean we took all their cattle and livestock and wheat and produce -back to blighty?

    Damn shame-the Irosh lost 1,000, 000 or two to starvation-and lost 2 more million to travel
    but havn't they done well -around the globe. We feel we have had a part to play -in this motivation.

    so-about Indonesians---and Palestinians-and Afghans-and Iraqis-chappies---

    well ---our press-the Sun; Mirror; Mail --and our comedians-deal with that---
    Seems to go down well with the proles-I mean people here!

    Look -at last night of the Proms---ah yes!--makes one glad to be British as I lie in the colonies of the West Indies-looking at it on sat TV

  30. Liebewitz

    well said again John.

    Even as an admirer of some remaining elements of british ie(choice BBC progs)
    The british couldn't possibly be seen----I mean couldn't possibly be remotely involved- in 'genocide'
    as a voice says

    ""Why -tut tut---look at our record....

    look-old chap-John is it?

    that business in Ireland--(we have accounted for that in our history books which our large -very large british plebs-I mean our people -sucked-I mean accepted-

    ie --the Irish ought to have not relied on potatoes. What do you mean we took all their cattle and livestock and wheat and produce -back to blighty?

    Damn shame-'the Irosh' lost 1,000, 000 or two to starvation-and lost 2 more million to travel
    but havn't they done well -around the globe. We feel we have had a part to play -in this motivation.

    so-about Indonesians---and Palestinians-and Afghans-and Iraqis-chappies---

    well ---our press-the Sun; Mirror; Mail --and our comedians-deal with that---
    Seems to go down well with the proles-I mean people here!

    Look -at last night of the Proms---ah yes!--makes one glad to be British as I lie in the colonies of the West Indies-looking at it on sat TV

    addendum -before reactionary abuse-I like the English -the good folk who I met since 1965-2011-who are 'aware'.

  31. Liebewitz

    genuinely I didn't wish to repeat-My considered view was not initially published -so I reiterated-which makes the opinion-look tedious. Once was enough to say -the truth
    Thank you

  32. DReadrush

    Another good one by Pilger, and worth a look in light of current/ongoing financial and societal disruption and the ever increasing gulf between the haves and have nots (not only in the 3rd world, but within the rich West). The US/British support of Suharto and his genocide and corruption in order to enter and carve up the Indonesian economy for the West is immoral if not criminal. And now look at who benefits from what Obama calls an “outstanding achievement” (WTF?) in Iraq, another illegal military action – Bush and his mates are raking in the dough, and their bud Blair has set up ‘Tony Blair Associates’, an international consultancy handling multi-million-pound contracts in the Middle East. Government and capitalism, hand in hand raping the poor.

    The masquerading of the World Bank and IMF as socially responsible organisations hoping to benefit 3rd world countries is also laughable - as is clear when Pilger interviews execs from both (….not our prob if we support a govt intent on genocide, that then pilfers the billions of $). Then Stanley Fischer of the IMF squirms and refuses to accept debt relief is the only way out and forward for many of these countries – as Pilger tries to get across, if a country must dedicate half its finances to debt, how can it ever hope to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor and lift so many from poverty. Fischer maintains in interview that countries must provide better education and health care – sure, as a starter (and maybe salaries and food), but where’s the $$ for any of that if it so much national $ must flow back to the IMF for the foreseeable future? Instead he claims its important that they enter the global market and not run corrupt economies – sadly laughable if one looks at the corruption inherent in the govts they have supported.

  33. Sock_De_Jour

    There are very few people in the world telling the truth. Pilger is one of them, along with a handful of others.

  34. Michael

    Excellent communist made documentary. LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!!!!

  35. Michael

    down with fascist AND communist...Slave states!

  36. David Rodrigues

    do you know what comunism is?i think you dont

  37. Emenot

    Who pay for Indonesia's national defense?

  38. abner holtiton

    You must be brainwashed or plain stupid . How many (oil/natural resources)wars US has started?

  39. gracetoday

    This documentary would be more useful if it focussed on the real problem: socialisation for the rich. The state of things cannot be blamed on capitalism. Capitalism does not allow the government or other public entities to subsidize private investment while leaving the debt on the taxpayers of the country. If pure capitalism had been applied, it would have been impossible for foreign investment to enter these countries as quickly as it did since the risk and initial investment would have been too great. They could not have wiped out the local economy with money from government entities. They would have had to progressively compete on an even playing field and there would have been a general increase of the standard of living.

  40. Clark

    ??? pure capitalism??? with what infrastructure id**t.. this is a video highlighting corporate mistreatment of those who are victimized by capitalism in nations where the U.S corporate interest influences the ENTIRE NATION to adapt to an endless sweat shop economy.. Do you understand how economics works, or human rights maybe??? You dont just decide to switch to pure capitalism like seriously you obviously just wrote a bunch of **** you dont fully understand to make yourself feel good and smart.. Well let me ask you something, buddy, there are plenty of video's about "socialization for the rich" why does this one have to focus on that also, I mean, there are millions of people starving to death because of these corporate reps like you see in this video with their little sneaky smiles and smoke and mirrors talk like yo open your eyes and next time you try to write make sure your implementing logic into your arguments

  41. seamus watson

    TIME is a filthy rag. Always has been. Their front cover is like a who's who of the world biggest scumbags.

  42. seamus watson

    These leeches lie for a living, yet I still get infuriated when they pretend nothing is wrong.

  43. ali naqvi

    know i understand the globalization agenda is basically colonialism is the 21st century.
    The world bank, imf, wto only support the 1% who control the world.

  44. onefeather

    This needs to be shown on every tv station, and Gap and Old Navy and Nike and all the rest should be brought up on charges. This is so wrong, it is evil, mean and greedy in what they are doing to the people who work making their products, or better yet the owners and all the people who are the Big players in these companies should be made to live and work as these people do for a 5 year run. I bet only then they might change things, no change then you work there until there is or shut them down, and it should be law.

  45. Tom Chuong

    For one to succeed, another must fail.

  46. Matt Begley

    That sort of platitude is not only incorrect and defeatist in nature, it is an example of how simplistic ideas add to the problems.

  47. Matt Begley

    Unregulated capitalism is Monopoly for the sociopathic wealthy elite. Unregulated, it inherently leads the end of the game.
    Clark, have your read or watched
    The Shock Doctrine | Naomi Klein

  48. Derek Crawford

    Well said.

  49. Derek Crawford

    Hear, hear!

  50. Karmaloop codes

    Super Cool!

  51. zimb abwe

    This is what "Game Theory" calls a "zero sum game" i.e. -1 +1 = 0.

  52. user xyyyz

    what an amazing site. Some excellent docs here. Especially like Audio Ammunition w the Clash and The Precursors of the Inca

  53. user xyyyz

    every success comes from other's past successes

  54. barbalicous

    the new rulers of the nation, this is awful, those poor people it really constitutes slave labor, CEO's like the GAP CEO should be arrested for slavery and crimes of humanity, GAP is not alone

  55. Sandra

    You may be right but should we consider that this doc' is at least 4 years old, hopefully things have changed a bit???

  56. winston

    The wealthiest 85 people on the planet control the same wealth as the poorest half of humanity.


    Just in case you guys don't know, this whole manufactured global financial crisis is by design. The objective is to bring us down and make us so desperate for a job we have to take whatever we can get. And it's working. Soon we won't be worried about Indonesia because when they level the playing field we will be like every other third world country and it won't be long, either.

  58. DaveWigan

    I live in the UK. Under Tony Blair, we had 10 million poor children. Under Cameron and Nick Cl egg that number has risen. We also now have Food Banks. Shame on The European Union, Globalization and everything it stands for.We now know why JFK wanted to deal with the IMF. God help us all unless someone somewhere stops this.

  59. timbo

    some people prefer to die standing up rather than kneeling down

  60. Misch Hasch

    things got worse. only the awareness has grown a little bit

  61. Misch Hasch

    in the arena? yes.

  62. Misch Hasch

    look how old the doc is. anything happened so far?

  63. PaulBraveheart

    Psychopaths rule the world and we let them!

  64. patriotsongs

    It's obvious that neither of you understand the nature of laisse-faire capitalism. It means the government is not involved, unlike the crony capitalism that exists in the world today. Corporations by definition are government approved entitities, and have a huge hand in making policy which benefits them. Laissez-faire capitalism is quite different--no government involvement means sink or swim, and the risks beyond to the business owner, not government or the taxpayers. We haven't seen real capilism for at least 100 years.

  65. Jane Doe

    you watch this and your heart and stomach just sink to despair., i can't. i just can't even

  66. Jane Doe

    oh god, another brainwashed american who doesn't even know what the word 'communist' actually means, but through propaganda has been brainwashed into thinking that every person who opposes america is a "communist", I feel as though I have to bring down my intellect just to commune with you

  67. Jane Doe

    I completely agree!!! and JFK was like one of the few american leaders who actually wanted to instill good change and not f*ck up the world. And then they killed him. it just shows what type of people run this globe. aka we're living in a global society run by the mob. and things just keep getting worse and worse. God help us all.

  68. Gigi Jacobs

    THE REAL PROBLEM IS PURE UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM. I am a business owner. I am also a business coach and sometimes on the air/TV news.

    You must not understand math or economics. Capitalism sold you a lie-you bought it hook, line and sinker. It doesn't serve to create competition, or better products, it eviscerates the American dream.

    You can have your head examined now using fMRIs-it will tell us if you do not have a working anterior cingulate cortex in that little head of yours. Pure capitalism serves to take over everything and then turn the populations into slaves who work for free. You talk about "subsidized"-don't you know capitalism is subsidized by almost one trillion dollars per year? Talk about an unfair playing field-redistribution of money from poor to rich.

    Again, you don't know math? Corporations broke records making $1.7 trillion in profits yet paid only $250 billion in taxes for all the planet they destroyed, all the infrastructure their trucks shred to pieces and the bridges fall into the rivers with the cars on them-all because tax payers subsidize capitalism. Can you divide $250 billion by $1.7 trillion? That's not even all of it or what is hiding on the Caymans. Yet this is still only 14% in taxes. Talk about a free ride-how about an unlevel playing field.

    Easy answer. STOP SUBSIDIZING CAPITALISM! Make them pay their $35%-take that one trillion and hire 5 million infrastructure workers RIGHT NOW! Use the balance for the materials and education. The psychopath with his shoes on his grand desk should no longer be paid 300 times of the average employee. For each of the 5 million infrastructure workers, it creates another 4 jobs for each of them. Businesses like mIne to feed, cloth them, and put a roof over them. I make money finally and then I hire an employee. Now we have 20 million new jobs.

    As a previous stock market trader, we bulldoze down Wall Street as it's only a pyramid game. People who make money off of money are very, very lazy! Get up off your butts and start to work and stop stealing everything you can get your hands on. Get used to it: it's called WORKING!


  69. PeaceAndLoveBruv

    The only legitimate and genuine solution to all of this is a Resource Based Economy. Watch Zeitgeist, Watch The Venus Project and spread the solution. Viva la revolution!

  70. tom

    That is because you are importing Africa into the UK. Instead you should be trying to help Africa in place instead of bringing it into the UK.

  71. KillCaliber

    That would be ideal, but it is completely unrealistic. What we need is for the largest corporations, international banks and monetary systems that now rule our planet to be abolished. The immense debt that was forced on ALL countries by all the central banks around the world has to be lifted. Tthis can in fact be done just like that, since all these loans are typed into existence and don't have any material value (not exchangeable in gold or silver) other than how much of it is in circulation.

    Oh and btw J, I don't believe that we only live 1 life, not only because I don't deem it to be possible for life to simply vanish, but also because this creates a state of mind that drives people to become fans of hedonism. And that is exactly what the elite businessmen and politicians want here. Because than they can provide you with endless entertainment so that you will keep on working for them without ever really living a life.

  72. Neruda

    I can confirm you that no thing will be changed till Judgment Day , 90% -10% rule of thumb will still predominant all mankind societies

  73. Neruda

    where is communist you are talking about, China or Vietnam they apply severe capitalism, people are suffering inequity every where even in the USA

  74. Berty Popperdopper

    planned obsolescence .

  75. RBM

    One of the environmentalists in this was talking about a victory the activists enjoyed, in that they stopped the implementation of a 'crazy' policy that would have allowed corporations to sue governments if there were laws that went against the profit margins of these companies. That victory is about to be nullified by the trans pacific partnership (TPP), without a debate and without the support of the people. So yes, it's gotten worse.

  76. RBM

    Tell that to the father of those two sick little boys when the money for their blood transfusions has to go to the bogus debt repayment they had nothing to do with.

  77. RBM

    Good luck with that since the television stations are all owned by Rupert Murdock and his corporate ilk. You can't even rely on NPR anymore to bring a non-biased and fact-based take on these problems to the people.

  78. RBM

    Real capitalism in 1915 America? Ever read Sinclair's 'The Jungle'? Please tell me you're not implying that 'real capitalism' of 100 years ago is what we need to return to.

  79. RBM

    Stimulus, response, stimulus, response...

  80. RBM

    Excellent doc. Still relevant and needs to be viewed by as many people as possible.

  81. Craig C

    Great documentary. It reminds me of the book " the economic hit man" who worked for organizations such as the world bank and was encourage to recommend loan to countries in the knowledge that it would never be paid. The only option left by the lenders was to take take a % of the natural resources and rape the country.

  82. Doe

    if you can't beat them join them.

  83. Sean O'Brian

    14 years old and still as , if not more relevant in today's world. Vote for Bernie Sanders.

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