Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy

Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy

2002, Economics  -   134 Comments
Ratings: 6.55/10 from 49 users.

Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World EconomyA global economy, energized by technological change and unprecedented flows of people and money, collapses in the wake of a terrorist attack. The year is 1914. Worldwide war results, exhausting the resources of the great powers and convincing many that the economic system itself is to blame. From the ashes of the catastrophe, an intellectual and political struggle ignites between the powers of government and the forces of the marketplace, each determined to reinvent the world's economic order.

As the 1980s begin and the Cold War grinds on, the existing world order appears firmly in place. Yet beneath the surface powerful currents are carving away at the economic foundations.

Western democracies still struggle with deficits and inflation, while communism hides the failure of its command economy behind a facade of military might. In Latin America populist dictators strive to thwart foreign economic exploitation, piling up debt and igniting hyperinflation in the process.

With communism discredited, more and more nations harness their fortunes to the global free-market. China, Southeast Asia, India, Eastern Europe, and Latin America all compete to attract the developed world's investment capital, and tariff barriers fall. In the United States Republican and Democratic administrations both embrace unfettered globalization over the objections of organized labor.

Episodes included: 1. The Battle of Ideas, 2. The Agony of Reform, and 3. The New Rules of the Game.

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134 Comments / User Reviews


  2. I found this extremely biased and closed to any compromise of opinion; black and white, and 'socialism' is black. If we do wish to describe economies in terms of opposing forces, they are clearly not government vs. the market but rather government vs. the corporation. If you want to see the mess that Reagan and Thatcher's ideas eventually got us into, take a look around now. The truth is that the people will never prosper unless they are willing to do what it takes in demanding self-rule. And on that point, this documentary had absolutely nothing to say.

    1. More along the lines of government vs. The people. No?

  3. well i go to say that this has given me a new list of books i want to read ..wouldn't regulated capitalism, nationalization and abolishing price controls be what a free market is? wouldn't this cause the economy to be self regulated by the consumer? of course this would work if the united states if only the major companies didn't outsource to find cheap labor in foreign countries ..but instead worked with the labor unions to install a favorable wage that people could live on.

    shouldn't privatization be seen a corrupting force? a force that is destroying true "free markets"
    shouldn't we be looking for a economic system that is favorable towards sustainable growth for society ?

    Coal and Oil are kinda outdated non replenishing sources of energy ..shouldn't science step up and offer another solution into renewable energy sources like geothermal, methane, wave, tidal, solar, or wind energy and possibly many more.

    End of Rant-

  4. This is a follow-up to my previous blog. Now that I have completed watching all 3 parts, the 1st, and 3rd are by far the best, with an abundance of information that makes for a good documentary. In my opinion, comments by Richard Cheney, Larry Summers, and George Bush severely hurt the credibility of the documentary as a whole.
    The most important contradiction is the idea that capitalism, and the creation of wealth for all people, is somehow their priority. In reality, these people are only interested in making as much money as they can, at the expense of anyone who gets in their way. (exploitation) It is too bad that this documentary ends at 9 11, and does not look into the fiasco of the 2008 financial meltdown, or these individuals would be seen for who they really are.
    It should be noted that on some level, globalization is unavoidable, but will never bring about a level playing field without regulatory limits placed upon those who are calling the shots. Ultimately, the idea of 'fair' to all people is impossible, because the 'haves' want more, and can only obtain it from the backs of the 'have nots'.
    George Bush's quote after 9 11, that "there is an opportunity here" proves this point by going into Iraq, and killing a million, while displacing 4 million more, when they had nothing to do with it. War has always been the most profitable business plan for those in a postion of power, yet the global economy, and the 2008 economic meltdown is proof that war is obsolete in the new world order, and threatens to destroy the very prosperity they hope to achieve!

  5. I must say, that the 1st installment of this documentary is relatively good. With that said, there were certain factors that weren't calculated while trying to determine which ideology had the most merits. (severely increased world population equals severe unemployment)
    The 2nd installment shows heavy revisionist history, that is revealed within the documentary itself. Salvador Allende was a democratically elected leader who was ousted by a CIA backed Junta, (Augusto Pinochie) which was part of the 'Chilean experiment' created by Milton Friedman, and the Chicago boys.
    Mohammad Mosadeq was the democratically elected leader of Iran, who was ousted by the CIA, and replaced with the Shaw of Iran, which led to the blowback of religious fundamentalists who are running the country today.
    Furthemore, most Bolivians today spend almost 50% of their income on water, because all their natural resources are now foreign owned, the price of getting loans from the world bank. Oh, by the way, it is illegal in Bolivia to catch the rainwater, because it is owned by the Bechtel corporation of San Francisco. (Major shareholder Donald Rumsfeld)
    Smeddly Darlington Butler, a general for the American military, exposed a fascist attempt to overthrow the American government in 1936, (Dupont, Goodyear, etc) because he no longer wanted to be a 'gangster for capitalism'. He had already defeated governments for the exploitation of Oil, fruit, and other commodities for corporate interests.
    The awful truth is free markets do not lead to freedom or democracy, but to plutocracy, where a small number of wealthy elite are carving up the planet (pyramid scheme) for their own welfare. (manifest destiny)
    I leave everyone with a paraphrase from Albert Einstein. "Communism, socialism, nationlism, militarism, etc while constituting diverse political ideologies, ulimately lead to the subjugation of the people by the state, putting an end to liberty and freedom for all".
    P.S: Since the passing of Margaret Thatcher, I haven't seen a outpouring of grief, but the exact opposite. Whether it is deserved either way, is for the viewer themselves to decide.

  6. Very good documentary, but, it just show half of the entire history, it does not tell the role that played the unilateral choice of the US government (Nixon) of dumping the gold standard back in 1971,making the US dollar almost worthless, (lots of US dollars were coming back home, nobody wanted them, producing inflation here in the US). The only way the FED found to stop inflation here in US, was to take out those cheap dollars and giving them to the first i*iot down the road : Latino America, producing hyperinflation in those countries, why?? because their rates of exchange was tied to the US dollar (consequence of Bretton Woods), so, if their economies took huge amounts of cheap dollars, they had to print mega-huge amounts of their currencies. Latinoamerica is the backyard of US, as Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy are the Backyard of Germany.

  7. LOL @23 where bankers whine about runs on the banks. They should all be strung up on polls.

  8. An interesting piece of work but incomplete. While swinging back and forth in focusing on the 2 main economic philosophical arguments, they leave the bulk of exterior factors aside. Racism, geographics and weather, religion, war born removed from the economic ideologue influences, etc. Instead, they falsely profess a world in which all other factors must submit to the omnipotent manipulation of economics.

    They also fail to examine the very specific individuals manipulating events to cause disruption of the systems that did not benefit them the most. Ideology moves people to action at it's best and worst but real people (generally, people with money/ power) actuate, agitate, and manipulate reality to their desired ends.

    Where are the Kochs, Dulles', J.P. Morgans, etc. that move their chess pieces to speak in favor of whatever abstract philosophy suits them best? Where are the economic hitmen and others that get to actually make the decisions on what makes a GDP? Those that manipulate the numbers to fit their master's desire?

    Economic philosophies are equal to racial, religious, political philosophies in their use as tools of those in power to maintain power or those that wish to rest greater control from those in power.

    Again, Economics and those that profess it's ultimate power exist outside of the complete, balanced reality that is existence. No examination of any given subject can hope to be complete without accounting for all influences. Thus, ultimately entertaining, this series is an epic failure. Epic only because of the time spent in making it and watching it.

    Market based economies and social based economies both fail to account for anything that isn't human and fail to think of consequence in any form outside their limited scope and aim (growth vs. shrink or stagnation). An apple from the opposite side of the globe should not cost 40 cents. Unlimited and unregulated (by 'market demand' or state dictate) Industrial growth of either sort sans ecological considerations equate to starvation of resources and the potential death of our species.

    Hoping to find these broader nuanced perspectives is maybe hopeful thinking but throw a thinking human some sort of a bone....seriously!

  9. A true "free market" economist would not only oppose government planning in industry, but also government interference in the price of money through the central banking mechanism (Federal Reserve), undue influence through government coercion in the form of corporations, and most of all, excess government power as a result of militarism. A "free market" would never condone allowing certain private interests to control the states desire and ability to wage war. Free marketers can't have it both ways. A "free" state only wages war in self-defense. A "free" state leaves the currency markets to the participants, it doesn't dictate legal tender and hand over control of the economy to a single industry with a government enforced monopoly. These are the contradictions that kill the free market. Where in the "free market" theory does it make it tolerable for certain individuals and groups to petition the government for a special kind of citizenship, ie; a corporation, that makes them above the laws of man and nature? Corporations don't have physical bodies, they can't get sick or die or go to prison. How is that "free"?

    If we are going to talk about freedom we need stop wringing our hands about Keynes and start looking honestly at the way WE have allowed the power of government to be abused by wealth and power for the benefit of wealth and power.

  10. The difficulty I have with economists is they operate in a world totally oblivious to human nature and, in some cases, reality. It's like they live on a planet where all is just, wonderful and utopean. They like simplistic answers based on naive, simplistic assumptions based on some reality I've never lived in. But don't we all.

    I enjoyed the series as it helped me understand the fantasy I, presently, find myself living it. As I watch a vastly over populated planet bitterly fighting over a vanishing resource base, the ideas seem frightenly childish.

    1. Talking about simplistic, naive assumptions....

      " As I watch a vastly over populated planet bitterly fighting over a vanishing resource base"

      Again, get a clue.

  11. You all really need to stop watching intellectually nauseous documentaries and start getting some real education.

    Good starting point: read Frank Chodorov's gem of a book.... The Rise and Fall of Societies.

    The amount of idiocy coming out of your mouths ( or pens/keystrokes ) should experiment a considerable reduction thereafter.

    1. I've always found that insulting people is a great way to get them to listen to you. Keep up the good work and stay classy, buddy.

    2. It's part of a team work....called the Internet Bashing Buddys, most of them are more peacefull in public though, no one likes a fist in a face.

    3. As to fists in the face, I have taken a few in my life ( in the ring ). I doubt you would have what it takes...
      Regarding your intellect.... did you read the book I recommended ?
      No ?
      Then you're still clueless and therefore unable to contribute to the debate. Besides, it is rude to waste intelligent people's time with you obvious lack of knowledge.

      Obviously you do not like my style. That's all good. I don't like that your brain dead vote can be used by politicians to grant you something for nothing, at my expense.

      If only you and your buddies could get a clue.....

    4. Don't worry i don't vote....long time ago i realized it's a game of fools.
      There are never any winners and way too many whiners as a result.

    5. Chodorov's "Rise and Fall of Societies" is most definitely not a "gem" of a book. The amount of idiocy coming from someone recommending that drivel should gurble guk jub glub. "If the reader finds the book interesting it is mainly because he was attuned to the line of thought to begin with; if the "furniture of his mind" is otherwise arranged, he will probably not finish reading it." This work ranks with the Book of Mormon and the works of L. Ron Hubbard.

    6. and your argument is ?????? Because so far you cite the Book of Mormon and the works of Ron Hubbard. Sorry mate, but being an extremely well educated atheist with little tolerance or time for idiocy, I haven't read those works you mention. Maybe you can enlighten me what the connection might be.

      However, I have forgotten more than you will ever read, and yes, Chodorov's book is a jewel, together with Spooner, Nock and Bastiat.

      Unlike Rousseau, Saint Simon, Marx or Chomsky, which I deduce are more to your liking.

      Again.... do yourself a favor and get a clue. The sooner the better.

    7. What a silly response! You're unfamiliar with my argument, as I didn't make one, and you are certainly unfamiliar with me, and yet you tell me to get a clue? Generally I find that well-educated people don't have to tell me they're well-educated, it's self-evident. It would seem that you've got plenty of time for idiocy.

    8. Jewel? I would say more of a glittering bauble, that hypnotizes minds which operate on the basis of attraction to light, sound, and movement.

  12. Everybody seems to be turning Kensyan right now. Well, it is understandable because of irresponsible behavior of financial sector - but I really feel sad about it.
    I hate government control and bureaucracy. I grew up in communist Yugoslavia - people who did not go through it, know little about how oppressive a systems, which want to achieve equality, can get.

  13. To date nothing matches the Communist Manifesto theoretically or programatically.......Sure beats Nostradamus and the Book of Revelations that's for sure.

  14. The fact is capitalism works in a small way, but with a world economic system and globalization the only system that will ever work is a resource based economy...

    1. Newsflash. Truly free markets ARE resource based. The pricing mechanism RESTRICTS the consumption of resources to those who can afford it. Sometimes the costs of some resources are unaffordable, like precious resources in asteroids. You have been watching zeitgeist too much instead of reading. Capitalism works PERIOD, if everyone accepts responsibility for themselves instead of allowing government and other coercive forces to usurp that responsibility.

  15. @djjames99

    The United States of America is a Representative Democracy sir. Also America has never been a totally "free market" economic system. Free market economics is based on a model of unforced coercion of which American History has NEVER had "unforced" coercion to purchase goods and services. We have always forced the consumer to buy goods by eliminating or taxing and tarrifing the competition to improve our own economic investments. Nowhere on this planet is there this pure form of "free market" capitalism that you speak of. It never existed. It was a falsehood constructed straight outta 1984 by Milton Friedman to explain why the rich should get richer and the poor should starve.

    Plus the Constitution of the United States is a living document able to me amended as seen fit by our elected representatives in conjunction with the people. "Eroding" institutions like EPA, FEMA, NEA is quite hilarious in your omissions of such needless entities as NSC, DIA, CIA, NSA and USAID all of which are not part of the Constitution according to it's founding principles. It's funny how these entities are never mentioned when discussing unconstitutional government organizations by right-wingers, only Soc. Sec. and Medicare and Dept of Ed. I ask have you ever seen a federal budget? Nearly 70cents of every taxed dollar goes to defense. Do you even know what goes to other departments? The "Entitlements" as right-wingers call them only get about 10cents to 20cents depending on our current war spending. Any discretionary surplus is then funneled into smaller agencies and whatever is left over is then gobbled up by the defense budget. Don't come on here spouting foolishness unless you got some facts. Tired of the rhetoric. Give me honest government that doesn't treat it's citizens like children.

  16. TWO simple items everyone needs to study and learn the true meanings of:

    1) The United States of America IS and has ALWAYS been a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC based on Capitalism and the Free Enterprise system ever since we won our Freedom from the British.

    2) The United States of America has NEVER been a Democracy NOR has it ever been based on Socialism.

    If you don't know the difference, you may be asking for something that is the LAST THING IN THE WORLD YOU WOULD EVER WANT! If you think you want Communism, Marxism, Socialism, or Radical Extremism, you need to move to another country! Those are anathema to our CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC.

    If you really DO want our elected representatives to adhere to OUR U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, then all currently Unconstitutional entities need to be shut down (from the EPA, to the FED, to FEMA, to the NEA to name just a few), and every elected official from the President on down who refuses to act to set this country back on the proper road needs to be arrested for Treason, put on Trial, and then suffer the appropriate consequences, if found Guilty.

    Those who are out "protesting" for CHANGE and REVOLUTION need to learn EXACTLY WHAT IT IS they are ASKING for and make VERY SURE that's what they REALLY WANT.

    Most people are not aware of the way our elected officials have slowly led us down this EVIL garden path away from the Constitution over the past 100 years, BUT it's time they learned. Then, if they want to protest, they will know EXACTLY WHAT TO WRITE ON THEIR SIGNS!

    1. How simple! Thanks for clearing that up for me! So, how do we put the pit bulls in charge and get rid of the middlemen? Sign me up!

  17. This documentary is garbage and nothing but propaganda!

  18. A documentary sponsored by corporate interest. Gimme a break.

  19. False flag documentary

  20. lmao globalization did not create poverty...blatant is just propaganda mixed with truth

    1. I saw this flick from end to end. They're not claiming globalization 'created' poverty. I recommend you watch it from the start and pay closer attention.

  21. It's not bad as long as you recognize that it is somewhat propagandistic. I have watched it a few times. I like that Galbraith is in it. His Age of Uncertainty is considerably better. I saw that back in 1977 and just found it on YouTube last year. It is curious how some of the best information gets disappeared in this society.

  22. I have watched these a few times. I think it is very good providing you don't base all your economic knowledge on it. It helps you understand the 'formal' (for a lack of a better word) understanding of what has been happening with the economy over the last few decades. Goes into a lot of detail. I think its a must... again ensuring you don't watch it in a vacuum.

  23. Are you freaking kidding me?! This "documentary" even starts with an introduction from Dick Cheney, and commercials of BP, some trust, and a number of other companies. I can't watch more than 4 min of this nonsense. If you want to learn the PURE theory of how everything SHOULD work in this world, get some good books on international economics. But we all know that in the real world the picture is totally different.

    Internet and media these days are full of all kind of information and opinions you can think of. Get a decent education to develop a good CRITICAL THINKING/JUDGEMENT, and FILTER all you see and hear. Learn how to analyze BY YOURSELF.

    In theory, socially-responsible capitalism is probably the best model out there. But in reality, what we see is that large companies tend to abuse their power and influence to promote their interests at the expense of everything else. What is now going on in the world is pure madness! The larger the company, the more lobbyists it has, and the more it controls politicians. And large companies grow bigger through mergers at incredibly fast rate.

    1. I like your thoughts. I completely agree with your point on analyze for your self with good judgement and critical thinking ability. I will apply it when i watch it. Haven't yet. But your comment about socially-responsible capitalism is probably the best model. What is that model exactly? I keep seeing that all capitalism roads eventually corrupt, and result in the corporate-lobby model you mentioned. I don't understand how you can control capitalism with social-responsibility. what does that translate to exactly in the real world?
      I am not formally educated in economics, but attained enough educate to judge and think for my self, however i seem to be watching alot of anti-capitalism documentaries lately. I'd like to open things up a bit and see the complete picture. As of now, it seems to me that the entire world and the global economy is in a complete state of madness and social injustice, and it seems like fundamental capitalism ideas are to blaim for all this. I need to know this is not true, i want to hear and read more about the other side. I like the sounds of a "Socially-Responsible Capitalism" it already gives me that warm fuzzy feeling. but perhaps that's just because of the word social in there, which in history tends to always win people's hearts by giving them that warm fuzzy feeling. So what's the problem of the other extreme then. Free-Socialism ? if that even is a word ?

    2. Dumb response, to a dumb comment. Socially-responsible capitalism? Social interest and capitalism as mutually exclusive -- but for the short-term glimmers of boom that capitalism provides the social interest can not be served by allowing a tiny fraction of the population to accumulate the wealth of a nation.

    3. "Free socialism" sounds like everyone understanding that all members of the human race should (and must) live at the same level and through that understanding, freely embrace that system without being forced. This would involve sacrifice on the part of people who rise very high in the present system , and, because of our artificial world-view seems very unfair. Understanding the fundamental (undeniable) nature that is common among all humans would allow us to identify what is "artificial" and I believe this would illuminate much of what we have come to believe as false.

      "Socially responsible capitalism" sounds like a contradiction of terms. As competition "lifts the bar" ever higher the exploitation of the masses is inevitable. It seems possible to structure such a system but by the time we got it to work, it may evolve into "Free Socialism"

    4. a comparative analysis of capitalism and socialism: when you get shot in the face BEFORE you get robbed, that's capitalism. when you're shot in the face AFTER you get robbed, that's socialism.

    5. You sound young and naïve. Anything warm and fuzzy should set off alarm bells in your head, always. Life is always hard and human nature dictates that people are ALWAYS trying to cut your throat to get ahead. If you think the world is in a state of madness now, you need to go read a ton of history books. The world is far better off now than ever in the 20th century. It is amazing too considering the size of standing armies in the world and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

    6. Capitalism is a game of competition. To ask those at the top of it to not "abuse their power" is like asking someone with a royal straight flush to fold their hand.

      If we were to force, through regulation, a more even distribution of wealth, in a competition based system, what would stop the regulators from "abusing their power"? We would need regulations to regulate the regulators. And more regulators to enforce those regulations. And what would stop those regulators from abusing their power?....And so on and so on.

      This is the system we have right now. The "regulators" are our "elected" (L.O.L.!!!) officials and It's obvious what has happened to them.

      The only way that "Socially responsible Capitalism" can work would require a change in human nature because it cannot be forced. The people at the top of the game, having the same nature as the people regulating them, would "buy-off" the regulators.

      This is where we are right now. We need a system that comes from within the individual, one that spawns the understanding that excessive wealth is nothing more then justified oppression.

      Competition demands winners and losers. The only way to get rid of the losers is to get rid of the winners and the only way to do that is to get rid of competition.

    7. Europe has private property. Some of the finest capitalists in the world live in Germany. Yet they deal with poverty entirely differently, people pay more in taxes, they don't have a Supreme Court majority that gets its marching orders from the Chamber of Commerce, true. Those can't be called socialist societies. But neither are they socially responsible capitalist societies, even if they're way more socially responsible than the US, where 'popular culture' blames the victims for the excesses of capitalism, and those at the top, as you say, are constrained by an investor class just looking to make good on their investments, by golly!

      One difference is money. The corrupting influence of money on commercial media and the political process lend themselves to corporate invasion into public spheres. Where's a Roosevelt when you need one?

    8. Yes. I understand all of your comment except the part about the mass media generated "popular culture", which is a propaganda machine built by the people at the top of the game, "blaming the victims for the excesses of capitalism". Is this because we have a voting system and if things are screwed up then it's our fault?

    9. Of course, Germany is a member of a currency bloc that is currently destroying itself, so the efficacy of any socialist programs in Europe is still in question.

    10. Capitalism can be socially responsible if the customers of the capitalists are socially responsible themselves, depending on what people consider socially responsible. Whose to say there are winner and losers in capitalism. If one person utilizes available resources to produce a revolutionary new product, who is the looser? The entire world is better off because now we have a wonderful product that improves the standard of living for everyone. This is how capitalism raises the standard of living of the entire world. This is basic economics that is lost upon most people because, I think, those in power don't want the general populace to know the power they have in their freedom of choice. This is why individual freedom is so important.

    11. Socially responsible capitalism? What is socially responsible? What might be to you, might not be to me, or another person. CAPITALISM is the best model. If customers enforce their freedom of choice, they can choose whether or not they want to support a company that produces poisonous products or dangerous services. It comes down to the intelligence of each individual and their freedom to choose. Companies chase profits. If customers choose to pay for cleaner and healthier products and services, that is what companies will produce, or they will risk bankruptcy. It IS that easy.

  24. obviously what summers said at the end is the best approach using the markets to your interest but not allowing them to run wild.. you need some regulation and you need elements socialism because the market force are the people and when you dont keep a watchful eye you will have 1929 and 2008 all over again

  25. Please explain why inflation was going through the roof in Chile while most of the industries were under state control. Thanks!

    1. The inflation is a direct result of price controls. The reason for the price controls and regulation were thought to have been necessary because of the crushing poverty that was being experienced by the majority of Chileans. We have instituted price controls in the US as well as a means of keeping goods and services in check to keep us from experiencing the crushing type of poverty created in the Third World. Unfortunately Chile is still suffering from the same crushing poverty under free market economics.

  26. Shocking to see how many commentators would like to see the government controlling more of their lives. How strong is the urge to have a fearless leader take over your lives?

  27. I haven't watched this, and I don't have too.

    If there is a problem in the world... death and/or starvation... you can bet a government somewhere caused it.

    There is no "free market" anywhere. They are all distorted by government intervention.

    Governments are responsible for 160 million deaths in the last century alone.

    F*ck government.

    If we can't have limited government... I vote for anarchy.

    1. Your use of government is too much of a generalization. What makes up government? What influences government?

      The problems we see in the world are due to our lack of participation in the process of government. Government acts on behalf of those who influence it, and unfortunately today it is ruled by corporate power and the monetary system. The first step in changing this is for large numbers of people to share a collective voice, that's where our power lies.

    2. I didn't say that I wanted no government... just limited government. We have a constitution. If they would stick to it's strict interpretation we wouldn't have all these problems. We would have 50 "laboratories of democracy" each competing to attract citizens and businesses to their state. The federal government wouldn't have it's hands in everything, so it wouldn't be able to benefit the corporations the way it does. If it weren't involved in energy policy... it couldn't subsidize certain companies and allow companies to get away with destroying our environment. We wouldn't be gong broke trying to pay entitlements. People would keep more of what they earn. We wouldn't be the most incarcerated population on the planet. We wouldn't have the Federal Reserve and our money (gold and silver) would still be worth something. The housing bubble would have never inflated....... I could go on for days.

    3. It sounds like you believe in the system. Haven't we been exercising our "collective voice" at the voting booth?

      If a poor person told you to help a crippled person across the street because it is the right thing to do and rich person told you he would give you $10,000 to not offer help and you needed the money to feed your family, what would you do?

      Well that's what they are doing.

      If you encountered the same situation but had no use for money, what would you do?

      Perhaps if we eliminate the need for money we would find it easier to do the "right thing"

    4. I believe the only way the system will change is more involvement on behalf of the people, and having a popularity contest every four years isn't exercising anything, it's certainly not gonna affect our 'need for money'. That isn't going to change until certain things, like government and industry, are reorganized to look at little bit less like a dictatorship, and a lot more like a democracy, and there's only one way to do that. By changing the role citizens play in the process.

    5. Yes, I agree.

    6. The reason their is no "free market " due to government intervention is because the people at the top of the game are paying government to intervene. If you are at the top of the game and you don't do this you won't be there very long.

    7. Agreed. I think it's an inevitable result in a profit driven or capitalist system. We're many years past the point where certain industries recognized government regulation as part of a strategy to increase profits. Most recently the financial industry, and the arms industry has been at it for like a century.

  28. I think that this is a lot of information, and yes it is a positivist capitalist perspective. But it also explains a lot of economic history and the economic perspective of the decision makers.

  29. Please Remove this Propaganda Film

    The producers of this film must have a very low opinion of the intelligence of their viewers. Not until they get to Bolivia do they even mention the IMF or the World Bank, then only in passing. Free Market Economy? The only free market in the world is the black market. So when the Bolivian's got squeezed out of their natural resources by the players in the so called, "free market," then their rich were thrown a rope. The poor vanished into the abyss of market statistics and like the domino theory that was given as the reason for the USA's debacle in Vietnam, the IMF and World Bank constrict trade with their victim countries, they impose restrictive tariffs and withhold foreign investment. When the victim is starving and on it's last leg, the "free market" comes to the rescue. Mr. Perkins in his book "The Economic Hit Man" effectively painted a moustach on the lie of that metaphorical Mona Lisa. That is when you see the wealth gap in a country widen.. It's happening in the USA right now friends.
    If you don't have a garden, but you have a TV. Sell one and buy the other or warnings like these will ring in your empty stomach when you recall reading them.

  30. This group of documentaries is a brilliant exercise in mis-information. It has been documented that the rise of Nazi Germany as well as Communist Russia were funded and supported by wall street bankers and industrialist; a fact that these documentaries managed to overlook. The federal reserve bank played a key roll in these investments as well as their downfall and dissolution. I think this film should be flagged as the propaganda that it is.
    Also, if constriction will stop inflation, perhaps not printing money would have the same effect. garismendi was spot on with his suggestion that we all watch the "Secret of the Wizard of Oz."

    1. "It has been documented that the rise of Nazi Germany as well as Communist Russia were funded and supported by wall street bankers and industrialist"

      The industrialists and producers have funded and supported all of humanity. That does not incriminate producers.

      The problem with communist Russia and National Socialist Germany was not that they were funded by industrialists. The problem was that the leaders of those states subjugated the industrialists from conducting business and forced them to produce war machinery.

      Trade freedom, or whips, guns and chains. You pick.

  31. The "experts" interviewed in this PBS documentary ignore the dependence on oil for transportation in every sector of the US economy by 1970s including "lumber and every aspect of home building" and everything aspect of everything else, including food which explains that inflation. This is the big fact they want to ignore, while focusing exclusively on Fiscal Policy to debunk Keynes. You have to look into the $$$ behind generating this propaganda and who stood to benefit by hiding the oil inputs factor in all that inflation.

    Especially after the Streetcar scandal engineered by GM to get rid of electric powered public transportation. This documentary lacks critical thinking, and is a cover up for what was really going on here.

  32. Good Documentary. I'm actually glad it's a pro-global bias. It's hard to find any information these days that isn't pure criticism.

  33. I just started it.. Enough commercials, jeez.

  34. Never thought that the price of eggs could make me tear up in sentiment...

    Matteasmom107, I agree, the documentary, although very long, is very incomplete. And yes, it is very biased.

  35. This could have been a great documentary, but it was mired by it's pro-capitalist bias and some glaring omissions. Perhaps some of that has to do with the fact that it was made in 2002, before the global meltdown. Here are a few things they left out:

    They failed to mention the fact that the United States, under Reagan, was responsible for the Chilean Coup. They glossed over the systematic imprisonment, torture and execution of Chilean citizens under the Pinochet dictatorship that made enforcement of the "shock therapy" possible.

    They made it seem as though the financial reforms were a spontaneous response to high inflation. This was not the case. The reforms were only undertaken because the IMF bailed out these countries, and they made huge cuts to social spending and privatisation the conditions of these loans. The fact that the "Chicago Boys" were entirely funded by the IMF was not discussed either.

    Here is an update on some of the so-called success stories they featured:

    The so-called "genius" Goni of Bolivia was forced to resign in '06 after his mass privatizations resulted in soaring prices for everything from natural gas to drinking water, causing widespread civil unrest and mass protests. He is currently exiled in the United States (probobly in Chicago, lol) and wanted by the Bolivian supreme court on charges that he ordered the massacre of around 70 civilians. So much for that "stability" he was gloating about!

    Russia remains one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and Putin, being an oligarch himself, certainly didn't do much to reign them in. The number of billionares in Russia tripled after their "shock therapy". At the same time, the number of people living in poverty (under $4 a day) actually INCREASED by 72 million. 3.5 million Russian children are homeless. The alcoholism rate has doubled, drug addiction has increased by 900%, and they have one of the worst HIV epidemics on the planet, second only to Africa.

    Poland has fared better, but inflation has been rising over the past 2.5 years, and unemployment is currently at 15%.

    I could go on, but I think the point has been made...neo-liberal economic theory is not quite the success story that is being portrayed here. For some perspective, I suggest the following books: "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein, and "The White Man's Burden" by William Easterly.


    1. I'm glad I read comments before watching the doc, this was much more informative. Cheers!

  36. Best time and freedom I have in socialism !!! No system is perfect !!!!!!!
    In cald war everybody trying to be the best for people and now democracy turning in to goverment dictature . No controle for incurance,tax ,banck and rich people make system for therselvs to protect and secure future .....

  37. The markets are not free objection is the same as objection of the communists to criticism of their system - it's not the system, it's just that it was not implemented perfectly. It was never the state socialist system that was to blame for huge failures, it was always oh Marxism was not implemented perfectly, here are the gaps, if we had done it this way or that, changed this, rethought that everything would have been rosy. The EXACT same objection is raised by the free marketers - oh the markets are not TOTALLY free, if they were, then of course everything would have been perfect and so on. There is no perfect implementation of Marxism and no perfect implementation of free markets. Of course the question of the socialist state has been answered quite clearly - it was systemic, not a detail of implementation - the state socialist system of 20th century communism has failed completely and comprehensively. What the free marketers need to face is also this possibility that it IS systemic and not some detail of implementation. Of course, as long as it remains an implementation detail, the system need never change, and of course there will always be implementation gaps. It IS the system, pure and simple.

    1. No. This is incorrect. Socialism failed to the extent that it was socialist and subjugated the will of the individual to the will of the state. It is based on forcing people to "cooperate".

      Trade freedom sucseeds to the extent that trade is free and not manipulated by the government. In any case where you see freedom failing it is where you see force being applied.

      If people cannot be trusted with freedom, how can they be trusted with power?

    2. The only problem with this hypothesis is that we speak of the "free market" as if it isn't controlled and manipulated by man even in it's purest forms. Government regulation is clearly necessary as a means of controlling "free marketeers" penchant for greed. Case in point Enron's manipulation of supply and demand in the California energy crisis.

      What the free market also doesn't equate into its theory is the role of the media into shaping the market. He who controls the means of producing the message controls the market case in point the War on Iraq.

      The problem is that there cannot be a symbiotic relationship between a representative democracy and the free market. Human nature shows unflinchingly the despotism that follows when the markets are allowed to run without being supervised. It's like allowing your child to eat whatever they want, whenever they want, eventually the child will be in charge and fat due to it's own greed and eventually have the sheer size to overpower you the adult. Regulation isn't socialism, it's social responsibility to our freedom as Americans. There has never been any such things as "total" freedom as espoused under the principles of "free market" economics. We don't live in a totally free society, there are certain contraints that we live under to maintain our order under the social contract. The same rules apply to economics.

    3. As a european i never read such a natural overview of our economic system, capitalism. I absolutly agree with you. Problem is maybe who did set capitalism among the firsts is taking big advantage. I came from eastern EU, Slovakia, and here is a lot of poverty after more then 20 years from end of communism. The win is we are free sociaty, maybe more the american couse you are really controlled after 9/11.

      Have a nice life :) More live then work :)

    4. You Sir, are a refreshing and most intelligent read. Thank you.

  38. Can someone tell me when free markets have "failed"? Before you tell me that a free market has failed, ask yourself it was truly a free market.

    1. Exactly, since most if not all of the countries of the world have a central bank that controls the money supply. I would say that we haven't seen a free market yet. Our current version of capitalism is not working. I strongly recommend The Secret of Oz, it gives solutions backed up by history.

    2. "Our current version of capitalism is not working."

      That is because it is not capitalism.

      We live in a mixed economy where the government can coerce people into buying things like houses most recently. Now we find those houses are overpriced. Surprised?

      It is capitalism in the way Fascist Germany was capitalist. The government would still tell manufactures what to make, how much of it to make, and what price to set. The leader could decide who would live and who died. Similarly they claimed to have democracy even though only one candidate was on the ballot.

  39. @Who me? yeah you!- i am very well aware of the injustices the US has committed in Latin America.I have lived in Latin America for the last 10 years.being a gringo in central America you can hardly take a taxi ride without hearing about something negative the US government did in the past.Because of this i have done a lot of research on the topic. I have yet to see anything that says the cia was responsible for any economic collapses. economic collapses are due to poor economic policy. that is what this movie was about. "economics, not the injustices the US government has committed" the economic lessons this movie teaches are valuable. printing money to get out of debt is bad. like the US is doing right now. it doesn't matter what economic system you use. you do that it will hurt you. when an economic collapse happens and a gov can no longer employ and feed there citizens. the citizens need to feed them self's . to do this you have to allow people to create goods and sell or trad them. this movie is a true history of how why and when economic systems were created. that is all it is. you want this movie to be propaganda because if you do accept this as history it would change your economic philosophy. that is difficult, even a little painful. I know because when I left the US i was anti capitalism. after living for 10 years in a country that is moving from a socialist government toward a free market. i am confident that free markets are better. one by one as things get privatized the services improve and the prices drop. as for Putin i don't know much about Russia. so i will have to leave that alone for now.

    ps how can you make this statement.
    "Commanding heights is an interesting watch and has information but is not a history"
    are you saying that these events never happened. because that is the only way it is not history.
    here is the definition of history
    a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account; chronicle:

    explain to me how Commanding heights doesn't fit this definition.
    it seems to me that it fits well.

    1. I agree with what you said. My view of the documentary is that it was balanced in terms of what it was designed for. It wasn't meant to be an exhaustive representation of the merits of free market principles verus socialism, it was basically more like a discussion of it, call it high level for those who like to be deep of how these two opposite 'ideas' have been the backdrop from which most of our economics is based on, the IMF, NAFTA, and globalization included. I don't think anyone can disagree that we're now seeing these two very different ideas actually and finally coming to a head. Who knows how the chapter will end?

    2. Hi, i don't mean to be rood but try and read "Confessions of an economic hitman" by John Perkins. I think it might change your mind but if not tell me what you think anyway.


  40. You gotta love the guy selling sandwiches dreaming of one day being the Thai Mac D's. After what he went through I would not have been surprised if he had hit the bottle, turned to drugs or committed suicide. You'll certainly never see the Lehman brothers execs starting again from the bottom.

    @Dlow - mentioning the failures of Latin american economies without mentioning the hand the CIA had in these failures = disinformation. To dress this information up as fact in a history doc that seeks to influence viewers that the free market is the only workable solution = propaganda. If you want to learn about history analyse both sides of the argument eliminate the inconsistencies and inaccuracies, pick up on trends of deception or exaggeration and then form an opinion. There are plenty of books about the coalescing of CIA policy and transnational expansion "requirements". Commanding heights is an interesting watch and has information but is not a history. Did you not see the bit about how Putin was good for free markets? He is still the same person with the same goals but is not so readily championed. Why is that? Its not the Caucasus or the ex-KGB power clique nor is it the Khodorkovsky side show.

  41. I see all these comments about this being propaganda. but to me all I see is a history lesson. everything i have seen actually happened. the only argument that i have seen for this being propaganda is that there were corporate sponsors. having corporate sponsors doesn't make it propaganda.
    this is the definition of propaganda.
    information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
    how does this doc fit that definition. Commanding Heights is a history lesson learn from it.

  42. @Dez Troy-Carter

    so good to hear from you ;-)


    Marx must be separated from all totalitarianisms, just as Einstein must be distinguished from the atom bomb. He informs today as well as e=mc squared.

    The gorilla in the room, as far as Marxists go, is that every revolution (civil war) begun in his name has begun as a noble experiment. That they have failed, often unforgiveably, and why, is not a lesson to be forgotten, but studied hard and well.

    Marx has not failed, any more than Einstein made the atom bomb. But there is no Marx-like guidance for the post-revolution to insure against this tendency.

  43. This is a very nice DOC chronically portray the human experience. Our struggle to deal with the world and be able to survive in all the chaos of masses of human beings all jocking for their cut.

    However, they mostly left out 'The Wizards of OZ'. The central bankers behind the curtains, pulling all the strings, that start wars and then funds them from both sides, walking away with unbelievable wealth, while the troops and civs mostly die. Very scary, but true.

    none the less, best doc yet. Just keep in mind there are forces that are at work here that are not mentioned. Those of the ruling elite bankers that pull all the strings.

  44. @bear
    people don't work for money in and of itself.. money is just a medium of exchange..
    and people don't work for "the betterment of society" which is a fallacy and a term that's been used to trick people into giving up liberties. no one can truly know what is for the betterment of society..

    people should be able to exchange valuables.. and spontaneous currencies (mediums of exchange) should be allowed to rise without state interference and control. thats all.. very simple.. whatever arises out of this simplicity should be let to flourish unless the people decide its not good for them and they stop exchanging valuables for it. the best kinda democracy! vote with your $$

  45. socialism - choice of the naive person

    capitalism - choice of practical/realist person

    globalization - the inevitable path or fall/rise (depends on your view)

  46. @bear

    hurrah for you, good head of steam there! family is socialism, communitarian is socialism, sustainability is socialism, sharing is socialism, incentives are socialism. Socialism is inevitable, or ". . . this is the way the world will end, the world will end, the world will end, this is the way, the world will end, not with a bang but a whimper." ;-)

  47. Why is the only incentive for people to work money?
    This is just not true at all.
    When I was a child I worked because I was told to. I think they called them "chores" and if I did not do them right(they inspected my work, IE quality control) I was penalized, usually by not getting things I wanted like candy or video games or other presents. If it was a severe thing I was grounded. Then I would have to do what ever it was right anyway.... No matter how you look at I worked for my basic social unit for "free"(a roof over my head and food/fun) and I did my best because if I did not my standard of living was dramatically decreased
    Now let's put this into a clearer view for all of those out there that don't get it:
    If The People are encouraged by the Government of The People, to work for the betterment of The People and they do an exceptional job they should get some kind of reward in standard of living. Conversely if they do a poor job then they should have a lowered standard of living. This way you combine the productive motivations of the private economy with the altruistic nature of the socialist system. If you work, everything you need is provided to have a pleasant life until you retire and then you are taken care(you would still do some kind of work to keep you active and productive, but only if your physical health allows.
    If you do a good job you get a little more like the ability to go to night clubs for a drink and some music or more TV channels/internet time, you get the picture.
    If you do a bad job the rations come with no spices and you get no coffee or sugar or salt. If you get caught hording or selling black market items you go to jail then you work there, with no freedom or entertainment with flavorless rations.
    If you do a really good job you get a lot more. That way you standard of living is linked to your real output.
    No banksters or military industrial profiteers will be able to steal your productivity because they would not exist because we will all be working for one goal. A good standard of living for all people on the face of this wondrous planet we live on. We would not have to worry about running out of resources because of an exponential growth curve driven economy which is unsustainable and the nail in the coffin for the Capitalist system. The Russian "socialist" system was more of a military dictatorship, not a true community oriented socialist state. If we do not do this we will use resources until there is scarcity and then we will kill each other for the control of those until we are no more. This is the reality of the planet we live on it does not go on forever, it is only finite. We all must share and work together or die of starvation and war. Period.
    What we need is a Sustainabilityist system. Not a Socialist or Capitalist system.
    One that supports all humanity and the planet on which we depend for our existence. We must have a paradigm shift or we are going to eat ourselves out of house and home and then where are we going to go?
    The point of this film a a total fallacy. Wake up and smell the end of the world as we know it. We are wrong, our existence is backwards from the way it needs to be. Ask what you can do for the planet and humanity, not what humanity and the planet can do for you.

    1. I Totally agree with what you wrote. Also, believe that in order to live in a better world, we will have to change our ways of thinking and doing things. Among those things are to stop being complainers and to do the right thing towards us and others, work together as u said for one goal which is the well being of all. Obviously, if this changes occurred will be like we are in heaven, but the world that we live in is far to be that . In general some people, is forced to do what they can to survive even if they have to push or put others out of their way, and others, are just so greedy that they only think about themselves. To finalize, I think that everything started in the heart of our families teachings of values and morals. Same is to be apply to our and other countries.

  48. @princeton
    By "in reality" you mean the centralized "ruler" hash (state capitalism) that's been made of it. Socialism paints the house with maximized resources and reduced energy expenditure. you're brainwashed by failed experiments. please do not repeat ;-)

  49. @forthetimebeing

    nice try, but no cigar.. socialism is we all work and throw our resources in a pool that has to be managed by some ruler, who will decide what everyone gets in return in a "fair' manner.
    that is socialism... and in reality, it has never maximized resources while reducing energy expenditure.. to the contrary.. when no one owns anything, no one is motivated to work and produce, but instead, will slack off because no matter how much or what you produce, you will still get the same as everyone else.. that is socialism

    basic economics people.. not so complicated.

    @elvis p.

    i like the way that was put.. sounds good.. but of course its absolute nonsense.

    again.. basic economics people! money is merely a medium of exchange for goods and services.. it is so sad governments have counterfeited our currencies & brainwashed the public to the point people get mad at money itself, as opposed to the fact that violent criminals (politicians) steal it!

    1. If we replaced these politicians would not the new politicians have the same nature as the old ones?

      If people see themselves as owning nothing they would "slack off". But if they see themselves as owning everything they would not "slack off"

  50. @ princeton

    Greed may be a constant in human nature, but greed is not our ability and desire to maximize resources while reducing our energy expenditure. do less, eat (earn) more.

    That is socialism.

  51. It takes money to make make more money, it takes more money and the more money there will be the more money it will take to make more money, untill there is no more money to make. Only then will we decide to talk about something else, Peace and Love

  52. @jack1952
    see, how its supposed to work is that the currency remains stable, but through technology & labor, productivity is increased, so the same currency grows in purchasing power over time, but presently, thanx to fed printing money and controlling interest, our currency has lost more that 90% of its original purchasing power, and we lose more everyday because all they do is keep printing, so no matter how much we improve productivity, our purchasing power still dwindles, forcing the average worker to become a speculator/investor, because just saving your money is equivalent to spending it.
    technically, corporations do not have rights.. thanx to government, they have limited or no liability unlike you and I, but no one claimed they have rights.. they sorta get them because its people who run those corporations, so it would be silly for a person to have the right to property but the business they run doesn't have the right to property. I assume its transferred.
    now if you mean rights like "corporate bailouts".. well its easy.. why work hard, reduce expenses, streamline operations and be innovative in order to beat the competition, when you can bribe politicians to pass laws that help your business.... government contract anyone?

  53. 2 questions.
    How can unlimited economic growth coupled with increased productivity be sustainable?
    Where in the American Bill of Rights or the Constitution does it mention anything about corporate rights?

  54. wow! the greatest video i've watch.

    wow again! their so many hypocrite's here..

  55. Just a little statement I have been pondering recently.. those that call themselves rationalists, do they look at human species and our developments for long term survival. Using this logic it is in nature that not all inderviduals in the species will survive or treated equally. We would never have evolved to what we are now if not for survival of fittest. So a communist or authoritarianism system that takes power away from the people but with a party or individual who is in power for a long period and can make choices for long term advantage... thought??

  56. princeton, dont bother arguing with the RBE nutters. According to them we are all gonna live in a city where every apartment has the same view and everyone can do anything they want and have everything want .... because technology is going to COMPLETELY eliminate scarcity and thus no one will have to overcome being a selfish a--hole, which they only are because of scarcity ... its a long run holdout for science saving us from ourselves and while it may be all kinds of noble its all kinds of naive. But frankly, I would rather deal with a movement that has noble aims so I will certainly not trash their goal ... which seems inherently good.

    How exactly is this a propaganda piece? The book certainly had its own viewpoint, but as far as misrepresenting facts ... the bibliography is impressive and could crush a small child. Doing a google search for "commanding heights propaganda" as suggested above just brings me back a bunch of internet crazies posting comments on places they watched the docu. I would like to see links to actual sources showing the docu and the book are just propaganda, instead of vague references to a sea of anti-globalization internet documentary commenters. The financiers of the documentary are well known corporate and/or conservative megapowers, but also research/grant organizations.

  57. Heller's catch-22

  58. @ ramus
    capitalism is antithetical to dictatorships, because everyone is constantly in competition to better themselves and their loved ones lives. true capitalism does not allow for excessive greed and wealth, because more frugal & hungry competitors are constantly on the prowl and have every incentive to topple fat & inefficient corporations.

    everyone is looking for solutions, including myself, but first you must identify the problem, and the problem is not trade, the problem is the fact that a small percentage of the population (government) can use violence and threats to get money, resources, and regulate markets that would thrive on their own. the problem is not people freely trading and interacting with each other.

    once you identify that problem, the solution becomes obvious. the sanctioned initiation of force and coercion in society is what needs to go. people need to apply what was taught in kindergarten, don't hit each other, and don't steal from each other.. no mater how much you believe to know what is the common good, you're probably wrong.

    it's not complicated at all, but everyone avoids that simple truth, because deep down they want to take control of the guns and wield the power for their own ideological or financial gain.

    I say grant no one that power.. if you want something done in society, become a leader & persuade your fellow men to join your cause, but begging some government to pass laws and threaten people is what has gotten the world in this mess.

  59. @Princeton
    I think you should go back to your economy 101 class. Food and clothing are resources. I don't believe humanity currently has the wisdom to find an alternative. But blinkered viewpoints like yours (trade is good and the only way) will mean an answer is never forthcoming. Other peoples ideas may well be wrong but at least they are looking for a solution. Is it naive to hope for a better world. "some benevolent faction can be entrusted to oversee & manage everyone’s gifts to society". That would be the dictatorial capitalistic viewpoint you quoted there which is what I'm saying needs to change. Do I have the answer? No.

  60. It seems to me that instead of causing hyper inflation by printing more money, and causing the middle class to lose savings and creating a depression. Banks could avoid this by having a system in place that redistributes money back to the people in a different manner. If instead of creating a situation where people flock to banks and the first one who gets there, gets their money, if banks controlled this process better[what percentage of savings is reclaimable]it would prevent economic collapses. People get caught up in either or scenarios and are blinded to simple solutions.

  61. @ ramus

    actually, a resource based economy is a silly notion to me. the word economy is meaningless if there are no resources. I think you get that from the zeitgeist ppl, and although i like a lot of what they put out, I think they need basic econ 101 class before they lead us into some computer controlled dictatorship.

    in the world which we live, a material one, there are things, and humans need things (food, clothing, transportation & stuff like that) to survive or to better enjoy their rather short existence. check out the article "i pencil" which pretty much runs through how no one individual possesses all the knowledge and expertise to make something as simple as a f'in pencil, so division of labor and expertise is a requirement if we are to experience our full potential & make our lives as easy and pleasurable as possible. well there are only 3 ways I can enjoy another person's expertise and labor, or they mine. we can trade, we can give freely, or we can steal from each other.

    in my opinion, socialism, communism, "resource based economy", and all government programs represent theft, because it is demanding resources and labor from others not by voluntarily trading according to each person's interest and perception of value, but through threat of force and coercion.

    so in short.. i disagree with the zeitgeist ppl strongly, and believe if you do away with a means to trade (money, gold, cigarettes, whatever as long as it is not fiat printed and enforced through violence) then there is nothing left to do but to steal from each other.. and oh yea.. the third option of everyone simply giving away their labor to everyone else at all times is a silly notion also.. if i work hard for something, I expect to be able to choose what i exchange it for and it better be something that I really want. I give stuff away all the time, but by that same token i recognize that it is naive to believe any society can organize itself in such a fashion or that some benevolent faction can be entrusted to oversee & manage everyone's "gifts" to society.

  62. @princeton
    I'm interested in your opinion of a "Resource based economy", would the word "resource" just be a replacement for the word "monetary"? And could we, as we are now, cope with switching to another economy?

  63. This propaganda is killing me. We have to have more protest and inform our frieds and family memebers of this corruption. We have to do something but what?

  64. This video is totally awesome. It show's how corrupt the american goverment has gotten. The IMF and federal reserve are as corrupt as the mexican drug dealers. I didn't see one expert from economic's validate these jackasse's claims. The imf and federal reserve are the one's that put those countries in economic crisis. Do they really think the american people are that ignorgant? To validate what I'm saying watch some videos on this sight regarding the federal reserve, imf, 9-11 etc. We have to wake up or be slaves to these jackasses.

  65. This fantastic economical system is gonna revert back to socialism and when it does I hope they hang all those greedy a$$@#&*% who can't live without a limo

  66. It seems to me that the post WW2 economic era was less corrupt and violant than the era we live in today. People got what they deserved, lived in a secure economy. Trade should have been accpeted a little more that is all. Today there are endeless disputes, civil and economic wars, terrorism, revolts and starvation, all due to everyone fighting over market territory, and treat the earth like fur pelts that everyone just buys and sells just to make a buck to spend on some hooker or a trip to las vegas.

  67. I agree it is difficult to see through propaganda, and this film does contain some of it. Nevertheless, the problem is not with the style of government but with the egotism of humanity to selfishly be indifferent to one another. In the capatalism of today we face a terrifying problem of international businesses controlling our fate. We cannot turn anywhere for help. If a company desides that it is more profitable to jump ship or declair bankruptsy everyone suffers. The majority of populace are mere tools for the rich. And that means that nobody really cares anymore whether you starve or not.

  68. @ramus

    sorry for misunderstanding. no I do not believe we will all die tomorrow without money, I simply believe people are better off freely & voluntarily trading with each other as they please, and inevitably, some form of currency will arise and become the predominant or one of several "moneys" which simply means lowest common trade denominator and most liquid asset. I do agree that presently, with fiat currencies and governments printing as they see fit, our money (paper) is doomed to fail and collapse, because it is not based on any tangible desirable asset, but merely enforced by government policy.


    its funny how you complain businesses don't care about the "citizen" or people/society in general, but in the same breath expect the same government and politicians that start wars based on lies, use their power to gain personal wealth and cause the deaths of millions of people for silly ideologies to actually care for their "citizen".

    the truth is that you cannot expect any one business or person to worry about society at large or some fictitious common good, and if you actually do the research, governments have killed and are responsible for many more deaths and losses to private citizens than any company. even when companies cause harm to individuals, they usually get away with it through government protection and can lobby politicians so a more honest and progressive competitor cannot replace them, which is what we are witnessing all around in the form of bailouts, paid for by the blood sweat and tears of the taxpayer.

  69. I disagree with several comments above. I have wathed all 4.5 hours and this series does NOT provide a biased view in favour raw capitalism. In fact, the last episode openly discuss the problems with globalisation.

    Secondly, many of the issues here places the current crisis (year 2008 housing market debt in the USA, etc) in a good perspective.

    I strongly recommend this series. Thank you Vlatko
    (PS who is this guy "Vlatko anyway?)

  70. Interesting Documentary,
    But as stated its defiantly biased towards free-market theory, from what I've seen so far and backed by promoted by big business.

    The crux from what I can tell is that deregulation helps big business and the economy as a whole prosper, at the expense of people.
    It's ironic what the individual from the Chicago school has said about the cyclical nature of the economy based on regulations and how its gone full circle.

    But wasn't the situation of free-markets of the early 20th century and the disastrous that followed lead to ideals of socialism and regulation?
    In other words, is it not the policy right now introduced by Obama the ideals of Keynesian economics...

    The wild gambles and risks taken by market forces has interconnected the world into a risky unstable edifice, as exemplified by the recent mortgage crisis. which has enriched a few at the expense of millions.

    A quick examination of how the economy is today and the rate of inflation created on a mass scale and a cul-de-sac of economic mismanagement will lead to the social destability similar to the Great Depression of the early 20th century but on a much larger scale.

    I wonder what other tricks Capitalism has in store, especially since we are gorsely out of alternatives.

  71. @ Bad_conduct

    I never said that regulation was the problem. As for the rest of your comment- I have no idea what you are trying to say other than you are apparently against free music downloads and support celebrities, good for you I guess. That is such a small part of the real economy I really don't have an opinion on it.

    I would disagree with your assertion that big oil is not profitable, it is the most profitable business out there. I would also disagree that the government tried to regulate these old industries in an effort to make profit, big oil regulates the government not the other way around. And the only regulation on car manufacturers is safety and fuel consumption standards that are good for all of us. At least the automobile manufacturers make something tangible. We must return to manufacturing real quality products, not just services and technologies. Services and technologies of course need to stay a part of our economy, but not define it. We need to move away from a borrow and spend service based economy to a earn and save manufacturing based economy like we used to have in this country when things were working.

  72. @princeton
    I did not blame greed for the economy I said "Money and the greed it creates is the greatest shackle humanity has to break." Gravity is a law of nature and immutable whereas money was created by man and, hopefully, transient. Humans became civilized long before currency so I disagree with you that "Earning is a part of life". You will not keel over dead tomorrow if all the money in the world disappears....... maybe a few bankers will (yay).

  73. @Waldo

    The problem isn't that we have regulation, it's that we regulate decade old industries. Our Governments went into such debt trying to profit from Big Oil and the car industry that they can't let it fall anymore.

    There's no room for green energy, or technology improvements. We can't just accept a society where you download music for free. Why is it wrong that being a celebrity makes you a millionaire overnight? Yet working everyday barely makes ends meet.

    Bad Industry = bad debt.

  74. If people fall for this propaganda they deserve what they will definitely get. Capitalism without regulation or over sight is a profit hungry monster with absolutely no concern for the well being of the citizens of this country, have people been asleep for the last year or so? In pursuit of higher and higher profits (many companies have boasted record profits while the people of the country suffered unemployment and falling wages as well as falling benefits) companies have exploited the citizenry, alleviated all of their own responsibility by selling their debts, and generally wrecked our economy. Ask any economist not on the take and worth his salt and he will tell you that the subprime lending practices coupled with the bank’s ability to sell their responsibility to others is what wrecked the housing market, which was a primary factor in our presently failing economy. How people can admit in one breath that the entire goal of capitalism is to make profit and then turn around and say if we give them free reign all will be fine is beyond my comprehension. If we give them free reign they will do whatever it takes to make more money, even if that means wrecking the long term stability of our economy. A fast buck is all they are concerned with, how can that possibly be good for the country?
    The present system failed for one reason and one reason only, we got complacent. We let the government and corporations take over and stopped being involved in our own democracy. No system will stand on its own, period; we must stay involved and understand how economics and politics work. If we set up a totally unregulated free market it will definitely exploit for profit, profits are after all capitalism’s only concern. If we have a regulated market but do not stay involved and vote out those that twist the system to the advantage of the rich and powerful we will end up in a corporatocracy. We cannot afford to trust any system without our constant involvement, and that involvement must come from a place of understanding or they will simply trick us again with bright lights and fireworks.

  75. I'm half what through this. We went through central america but the IMF, the World Bank were not mentioned once. Very interesting. Not a word about the multi-national corporations that were waiting in the wings to become the owners of these countries. India, where's Monsanto mentioned, or the other vultures of "free market economy?" This film seems to be a rather transparent example of a sales pitch.. I'm not buying the bridge...

  76. @ ramus & mad at the world

    lol.. blaming greed for the economy is like blaming gravity for a plane crash. greed is a constant in human nature, we are all alive due to our ability and desire to maximize resources while reducing our energy expenditure. do less, eat (earn) more is part of life.

    I do think free market capitalism is the only way to actually prevent people from exploiting others, but you are also right about the future and corporatocracy.

    I believe corporations would not exist in a truly free market. as it stands, for a small fee the government lets you create an entity which bares no true connection to yourself and you are not personally liable for its misdeeds, so its easy to see why they lead to problems...

  77. nicely done i liked it, but agree with cool beans.. they downplay or ignore the role of the central banks, how fiat currencies cause the problems to begin with, and the effects of taxation and bailouts.

    still all in all I learned a lot from this doco and at least appreciate the breath of fresh air from the usual "just give the government more power" rhetoric.

  78. very well done doc, Wayne is right in point out that the corporate sponsors definitely make me very wary of what it is trying to push, yet it still is intriguing to watch and contains many valid and well thought out arguments. I would say the best way to digest this knowledge is with a grain of salt.

  79. @ Cool E Beans

    Well said, bravo.

    @ Everyone

    This is yet another mess to attribute to strict adherance to ideaology. The truth is that the best system would incorporate both government control and some free market principles. Here in the U.S. we almost have it right; we have socialistic programs such as welfare and medicare but we do not set prices and wages for instance. Though we claim to be purely capitolist in reality we have a mixed system. If we could now do away with the federal bank that truly engineers our economic ups and downs as they see fit, inorder to persuade government policy in favor of the banking system and the ultra rich that run it, we would have it made. No need to return to the gold standard, we can keep our fiat currency and let congress issue the money. The only danger we face then is inflation due to congress printing too much money inorder to fund pet projects, but this could be avoided with economists to advise and a participating citzenry to vote out offending members.

    1. "Here in the U.S. we almost have it right"

      We caused the global economic meltdown. Is that "almost right" to you?

  80. @ Wayne thats maggie thatcher u just summed her up cold, egotistical, and inhuman...

  81. The corporate sponsors of this series is telling. Still, the ideas presented are intriguing even they are given as an either-or proposition. Time for someone to write a new book on world economics that finds a better middle ground that won't create opportunity for mischief.
    BTW, I thought maggie thather's statement on the coal strike was rather cold, egotistical, and inhuman.

  82. Have only watched the first episode but find something missing in the world economic system being described and that is the roll and actions of the central banks including the IMF.

    If you are a piloting a large ship but all you are able to do is turn the rudder, you only have limited control. If someone else is controlling the speed and direction of rotation of the two engine propellers, they have near complete control. All they have to do is not cooperate with the captian until he does what they want him to do and they then have complete control.

    The United States Federal Reserve has two controls at its disposal to direct the United States Government. One is the interest rate and the other is the quantity of money in the economy. By manipulating these values they control the conditions in the country and thereby the direction that they want the government to take. When decisions are made that reflect their wants, the interest rate is lowered and the money supply is increased. If their wants are not being addressed, either the interest rate is decreased and the money supply is also decreased causing deflation or the interest rate is increased and the money supply is increased causing stagflation. If they really get pissed, they decrease the money supply and increase the inflation rate causing a depression.

    I wonder what the banking system has in store for us next.

  83. The global capitalist free market economy will make rich people richer and, conversely, poor people poorer. I see trouble ahead. Money and the greed it creates is the greatest shackle humanity has to break. Socialism is dead long live the corporatocracy is the message of this doc.

    1. "free market economy will make rich people richer and, conversely, poor people poorer"

      The zero-sum game. If I gain wealth it can only be by taking it from someone else. Total wealth remains the same.

      This is obviously wrong. The greatest failure here is our education system for abyssimally poor economic education where so many people believe this.

      But some must fall on individuals. Have you not noticed that we have more goods and services available to us than we did 20 years ago? You are using one of them to post these messages.

  84. @ trippering
    agreed that its flawed and some of the stuff presented is down right bogus but u must admit they tried to show both sides but from their twisted corporate perspectives. however its worth the watch if your interested in propaganda and have vast knowledge in history, this is a wonderful free market PR film

  85. Big-business backed propaganda with no real substance.

    Google the title with the word Propaganda and read the articulated arguments against this film. This work has been around since 2002 and anyone over the age of 18 will understand simply from witnessing the past 8 or 9 years how flawed and skewed the scope of this piece is. Also since it's been around so long there are plenty of people who have given this doc the critical thrashing it deserves and posted it for all to read.

    PBS got into bed with the wrong sponsors and producers on this one, big time.

  86. This is truly one of the great documentaries of our time. Up there with Century of the Self and The Corporation. I relished every minute.

  87. well after you sift out the bs, i realise that they show you the truth. inequality has risen across the world. clinton said it in a clip on the 3rd movie. so please explain how doing more of the same gets different results? people aren't dumb. they see the lies.

  88. Stimulating and edited well. I'll reserve judgement about the message until I've watched more.

    From what I see, I think it's worth further review.