Surplus: Terrorized into Being Consumers


Surplus: Terrorized into Being ConsumersSurplus: Terrorized Into Being Consumers is an award winning Swedish documentary film on consumerism and globalization, created by director Erik Gandini and editor Johan Söderberg.

It looks at the arguments for capitalism and technology, such as greater efficiency, more time and less work, and argues that these are not being fulfilled, and they never will be.

The film is about our world, the modern civilisation that eats more than needed. It's not very much information that is physicly showed, its the pictures in symbios with music that is the real strength in this flick.

The film leans towards anarcho-primitivist ideology and argues for a simple and fulfilling life.

Ratings: 8.00/10from 15 users.

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80 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Susmita Barua

    Violence will not solve the problems we are trying to solve. End never justifies means. Beacuse we moveaway from the end. The state of mind we need to cultivate is one that of unconditional love of life, planet and people. Mind that never gives up in trying to find the root causes (seed ideas like 'money as debt', utility over values, end justifies means and many such) and conditions that support these seeds (fear, greed, hate and ignorance). There are solutions to our currency system but the problem of ignorance must be widely understood. We need to gather locally for dialogue and getting wise and clear how to approach the problem and build solutions and system changing behaviors at all levels.
    Google debtcapitalism, new economic paradigm, Millennium Koan , mindfuleconomics and New Economy and such.

  2. Noel Adams

    Very Avant Garde. But I don't think we would have to go all the way back to the stone age. Although I might change my mind after having thought about it for a while.

  3. Karen W.

    We have no power to alter weather. The Little Ice Age proves that.But there are people in charge who will use such ridiculous ideas, as a ploy, to arouse
    feckless liberals into a frenzy, and secretly use scientific technology to create storms,hurricanes,blizzards and fire to terrify the Liberals into accepting any plan the GOVERMENT offers, even one that sells their freedom to the Devil, for safety and consumerism sake.
    secret plans to

    technology to control weather and by extension your God given freedoms.The steps are all in place: Next stop, 1984.
    We all ready have doublespeak it's called politically correct language.Nice going all you bleeding heart sob sisters.

  4. Karen W.

    Shares as a single race? What utopia dream did you just wake wake up from?
    I guess you forgot Communism work. Humans are naturally greedy and homicidal, and the richer the State the more greedy they get.One race indeed.
    Other people will slit your throat for a f****** cell phone.Governments will do it for less.

  5. Karen W.

    I am not a timid monkey.Sorry but the eternal GOD made me. Consumerism is the salve of the
    godless.What else to they have in their puny eighty or years before the
    abyss to make them feel alive.

  6. ThisGuy

    This doc is nuts, but to be perfectly fair so are 99% of the Americans commenting here about how capitalism isn't the problem. It is, it's the reason the world has gone to shit.

    We don't need to destroy the world though, we just need to abolish currency altogether and have a resource based society that works and shares as a single race. Where the value of your work isn't judge by some bureaucrat based on some fantasy market system, but the effort that is put in. People forget that for the world to work you need everyone, but we're paying useless CEO's and bankers 7 figure salaries to quite nothing.

  7. Gloria Chalvet

    Totally agree with the message but the film was not the best by far. Would have been better to specifically point out the effects of consumerism but then so many films have already. I also agree with the person who posted about the Zeitgeist movies. All are a good watch. The problem is if you think about these things when you're young, you quickly forget once you've entered the corporate world. If you think about them when you are older no one listens.

  8. manfruss

    "Capitalism delivers the goods - full freezers, big cars, good holidays, nice pay etc. In general. And it's up to you what you make life;"

    Really? I see a lot of hard working individuals who never get ahead under our system. Minimum wage = I'd pay you less, but it's illegal. We don't have a real capitalistic system here, just like we've never seen a true socialistic system either. Human greed just keeps getting in the way. Some people have full freezers, and 3 big cars, and good holidays, nice pay ect.... many people have none of that. Many people are only able to find part time work, because it's more profitable to pay two part time workers than one full timer. Many people have a rough go starting up their own business, because it's hard for mom and pop to compete with Wal-Mart. If you can't start up your own business to make a decent living, and you can't get a job that will enable the same.. who it is that you feel this system works well?

    It requires an overhaul, and spiritual qualities. Compassion, caring, understanding. A lack of greed, envy. Our systems are not what the problem is, the problem is this lack of spirit in what we do.

  9. Ronald Reagan

    Capitalism delivers the goods - full freezers, big cars, good holidays, nice pay etc. In general. And it's up to you what you make life; you can't have Labour (or whoever your own left wing main party is) wiping your backside for you all your life.

    It's that or live like the Third World or the 'not proper' communist countries. (Even ones like Cuba, which Marxist students still adore the world over.)

    "I know they all call themselves communist, but what is communism?"

    Whatever you got in practice, the tyranny you got in practice from EVERY communist government there ever was. You can print whatever rubbish you like in the pulp theory, but when you run the program you can't deny what you get.

  10. Dan_sir

    This is a bit of bullshit. Not saying there is not a problem with consumption but I don't believe we are hypnotized or scared to consume, I think no matter how guilty you may feel about it. We enjoy it. Honestly, do you dislike the fairly new computer you are watching this on, Do you absolutely hate your car, your home, flush toilets and hot water. Do you know how much it costs for hypocrites to make a film like this? I am not tricked into eating cheese burgers, they are delicious and I know they are bad for me. I hate inequality among people and nations. I don't like waste. I Also don't like evaluating my personal wealth based on what i have or have not in relation to others, cause someone always has more.
    I Just don't think reverting back would be as easy as pushing a reset button and if we could push that button it would be ciaos. If the past was so good how did we end up here? Whatever new path we find ourselves on will ultimately bring new problems but we can't go back not with our population.

  11. Dan Flynn

    Artfully done and I sympathize with many themes about modernity and consumerism, but overall, very simplistic, childish, idealistic, romanticized, futile, and extremist.

  12. Igor_Igor

    The idea that the militant left, or the black block, would in any significant way be inspired by primitivism or John Zerzan is (as he himself also pointed out early in the movie) insane. They (we) are communist, anarchist or just general left wing/socialist (largely depends on where you are from). Many have a background in more main stream left wing groups and unions, but when faced with police brutality, governemt repression, attacks from far right wing thugs, and a media that ignores you, despite large numbers and important issues, and an establishment-left-wing/labour movement that have betrayed the people they claim to represent, many decided to turn to more radical an militant means. No longer taking beatings without hitting back. No longer accepting the silence of the media or allowing politicians with no desire for, or interest in, true change set the agenda.

    Primitivism is not a pro working class idea. We, as a class, want power over the means of production, not destroy the means of production.

  13. Yusiley S

    Fancy music video. Good message though but still not the best example of a good documentary on consumerism. For that go watch Affluenza and Escape From Affluenza. Those are awesome docs on how over consumption doesn't bring you happiness, in fact it may overburden the individual, the family unit, society and the planet as a whole. There is also Status Anxiety by Alain De Botton. That documentary has a section in which explains why we consume at all and that it has nothing to do with the actual material goods, but a more psychological need for attention and be appreciated.

    From what I read in the History books, we weren't living in the best of times during the Medieval times... oh no those were actually the worse of times. We had famines, had a rigid feudal class system in which you were stuck in whatever class you were born into, you had the monarchy, and finally there were numerous of plagues (yummy!). I think the problem of what we have now started during the '50s and '60s when we had to "keep up with the Jones" so that we can be regarded as "lovable" and feel "special."

    I also don't think that becoming a communist nation helps either, especially when the top rated communist nations that are in center stage right now ... ie. Cuba and China... are poor explains, especially when Chine itself is owning and destroying United States in the market department. In fact I read somewhere in a market magazine that China has the largest number of rich people in any nation on Earth, so China isn't really a fully communist nation... and Cuba is another poor explain. Cuba has recently joined on the band wagon of buying and using computers, cellphones and other goods and services. Of course this poor excuse of a documentary did displayed that all philosophies, whether it's communism, consumerism or primitive-ism... all philosophies at the end are mediocre and absurd. Unfortunately due to this doc being more like a hour long music video most of that message isn't so straight forward. One has to really break up the message and them put it back together for most people to figure it out.

    Thanks for posting the video. I was curious to what it was about since I heard some good things about it (I heard more of the negative parts but still I wanted to see it for myself). Again, thanks for the post.

    1. imachainsaw

      except that Cuba and China aren't communist. And for the record, the USSR wasn't communist either. I know they all call themselves communist, but what is communism?
      Well if you go by the definition provided by philosophers like karl marx, communism is a society that runs without the coercive force that is the monetary system (by which i mean if you don't make money, you die), without a ruling class (you can call it government or state) that puts themselves above the rest of the population and dictates what they are allowed to do/not do, and without social stratification (no one person is less capable than another, which is how the money system works and if you're poor you understand just how limited your 'freedom' is). In essence, you cannot have communism and a monetary system. Cuba, China, and the Soviet Union all operated under a monetary system AND a ruling state, which are incompatible with real communism. A proper classification for states like China/USSR is 'State Capitalism' for obvious reasons. China is just as capitalist as the United States. Just because they call themselves something does that make it so.

      I can call myself a lion but if I don't walk on four legs, have a mane, and can emit a roar that is heard miles away, despite what I call myself, I am still indeed not a lion.

  14. pedro_satariel

    people here watching this movie go and see baraka by ron fricke

    1. pedro_satariel

      no words. only images and sound, baraka makes the point of this documentary much stronger. baraka movie is much more powerfull. i always thought that the most meaningfull way to comunicate is not mediated by words. theres another superior form and baraka compared to this is an evidence of that

  15. Lauren T

    yah the looping effect is annoying.

  16. Golden Chantarelle

    I think many people misunderstood the point of this movie, seeing it as pro-communism or even anti-modernity. The american caveman philosopher and the cubans are clearly there as warnings just like the images of the industrial society. Showing the difficulty of being lured into extreme philosophies, whether it's inhuman consumerism like in the west or inhuman totalitarianism like in Cuba, or inhuman crazy talk like the american who wants back to pre-industrial times.
    That's the point why they use the same music and rythm for both the cuban and the industrialist views.
    I know for a fact that Erik Gandini who made this movie (and many others) is not some naïve person who wants a communist dictatorship like in Cuba.

  17. screaminghorizontals

    This doc could have been cut down to half the run-time if it weren't for the idiotic montages. Makes me wonder if the target audience was suburban 13 year olds.
    I agree with the fact that over consumption and greed is a bad thing, but lets not get drastic and advocate mindless property damage and a return to primitive living. Ethical capitalism is entirely attainable.
    Isn't it ironic how the guy glorifying cave people is sitting there wearing glasses, most likely used a toothbrush and toothpaste that day, is wearing clothes not rags, and has a warm home among many many other technological advancements.
    I'm not saying things aren't f*cked-up, just that backwards is not the solution.

    1. Balizarins

      Would you please inform the uninformed how "ethical capitalism" is supposed to proceed? May i ask you one question, do you think it is ethically ok to be rich (monetarily speaking) ?

  18. drewhempel

    Excellent doc -- form = content.

  19. CapnCanard

    Where do I start? I will only say that I oppose Civilization because it is based on lies that benefit those in power, or as an old song by the Replacements, "Unsatisfied", put it "everything you dream of is right in front of you, liberty is a lie". War is the result of civilization fighting over resources all this war is rationalized as we must use war to fight them because "they hate our freedoms" or whatever is your personal hot button issue...etc, etc. This documentary is a good start for those who are completely ignorant. It is just a start, a drip of information that once some is known it can become a tsunami that can engulf your consciousness.

  20. Moniefiero Medina

    This is a great doc. I Looked around and see so many things that i really dont need. I could probably save 10 trees for that better air around my house. I think the point here is that, Dont buy what you do not need and save nature to run another 10 years or so. For what I too realize, the fictional money we have now will not par to what gold there is in a bank. Heck! Fictional money 9 and Gold is probably one. We are living in lies and greed.

  21. Zubair Ahmed

    We must follow the Cuban model where every basic need is taken care of, ads be banned , particularly cream to make you white from color,such an obvious fraud.
    Growth and more Growth shall crertainly taking us to gloom, doom and no boom collectively.

  22. arlips

    Really wish TDF had a ratings system so I wouldn't have wasted my time on this fluff doc. How hard is it to implement a 1-10 rating system like......all other good doc sites?

  23. Maroun Bisharat

    it felt like a remix to me... with kinda cool rhythm

  24. KsDevil

    Seeking a minimalist lifestyle is all well and good and I highly recommend it, but when it reaches too far this is the kind of documentary you get. A lot of filler when you run out of content. Wait, isn't that part of what he was ranting on about?

  25. jehovahdirks

    While this had an obvious aesthetic intent, which was partially successful, the constant choppy cutting and repetition completely undermined any credibility to the argument. in 51 minutes, there wasn't a single minute of actual content. This video belongs in the class of aesthetic video essays. It's hardly even a documentary. Instead of actually being able to listen to what any of these people were saying, the dialogue was abused into a gimicky soundtrack that, while fun, was hardly enlightening. the argument against consumerism is one I agree with and would like more authentic informational docs to help bring this POV into a higher level of notoriety, but this doc completely missed the point. Nothing new or interesting was said, and at the end, I'd rather have just listened to a good record than be brow-beaten with this propaganda. And when one thinks of what is involved in producing such a thing, it almost seems hypocritical. Videos like this are only possible in a world in which the industrially privileged public demand the highest "quality" from their gizmos and gets it. Just a small point really, but it grates on me a little bit.

    1. pedro_satariel

      words arent really needed to make its point see baraka and youll know what i'm talking about

  26. Tashi

    inspired by the primitive! It was never a utopia. No war, sure, but there was in fighting between clans and groups and reprisal. Subsistence living is frigging hard work too.

  27. Sertsis

    I can't really say that I enjoyed this doc. The constant repeating of words, phrases and images seem like an attempt at mind control, rather than persuasion to their point of view. I do agree that corporations are much too powerful, and consumerism is running rampant, or at least it was before 2008, but I felt that way long before I saw this doc. I can believe everything that was said in the opening of this doc, it's just too bad they chose to follow it up the way they did.

  28. Paras Thapa

    The idea behind this documentary is good and i whole heartedly agree corporations have too much power and influence over everyone and everything, and the ever consuming entity that is modern day capitalism needs to change, and is not sustainable. But documentaries i believe are video essays and debates, that subjectively tell the story through facts and evidence and educated people in this area and what people against have to say on the matter. This video does less of that, and strays closer to the same bullshit propaganda type of flashy imagery and mindless repetition to drill into your head one set of ideas, instead of giving you many different points of views on the matter and letting you decide for yourself as an educated person. In essence they do the same things corporations do to get you to buy something, whether its a product or idea, and i find it an insult on anyone watching its intelligence. Surely a much much better documentary can be made about why capitalism needs to change if we want a fair and prosperous future for the human race.

  29. Emily

    The "commercial spot" where the narrator's voice is overlaid onto tv achives is hilarious. I am really enjoying this so far.

  30. fonbindelhofas

    Well its a nice music while smoking selfgrown&harvest :D A very simple consept of a crapy world.

    1. David Bruce Powers

      New discovery----smoking weed causes damage to the spelling gene.

    2. Guest

      in his case growing, trimming, smoking weed and smiling a lot about it
      :D thanks to @Knowledge i now see the happy faces
      a crapy world or a cashy world?

    3. knowledgeizpower


      the world yeah its pretty much crappy and cashy lmao...But hey we can't let it get us down :P :) :D!!

    4. fonbindelhofas

      New discovery----spelling gene. u sure there is such a thing?

  31. Justin Lesniewski

    while i like the freshness this format was presented in i found it to be ultimately too annoying with the loops and mixing. i could only stand so much of that

    1. PaulGloor

      Its all about repetition to drill it into our brains so we talk about it later. Its all things we already know, just wont admit to ourselves

  32. StevenLJones

    All I see when I watch destruction of property and I would assume the general population see are mindless thugs out to rip off and get their jollies at someone else's expense. A better idea is what artists like Bansky are doing. At least they are creative. Why not simple put pamphlets with simple horrifying truths into peoples mail boxes or make posters and put them on street corners. Without the support of the general population all your ideas mean diddly.
    Violence is for people who are frustrated with their lack of power and support. They are less than a minority of a minority of the general population. Instead of trying to communicate some of their ideas, they resort to temper tantrums and breaking things like a three year old. Sad because people could be turned on to some of these ideas instead of turned off by mindless violence that expresses nothing and is manipulated by the media to make anarchists out to be simply moronic A holes.

  33. hypnoshado

    This documentary spends more time trying to add beats and repeat the same one line over and over and over... rather than just deliver FACTS. I'm very liberal, but this sh*t is annoying... How does taking random sound clips mixing them with techno give anyone insight into these topics.

  34. Caio Costa

    I like the way the filmmakers have made this video, just like a 1 hour tv ad, it's a good way to illustrate what they mean.

    I understand the points they are making, but I'm not sure that disassembling everything can do any good. Only focusing on the main issue now, If one system falls, another one will come up, there is no discussion about it. It is way too utopic to think that moving to the other end of the line is going to be the solution to the unhappiness mentioned. It would be just as extreme, only in the opposite direction, and anyone can assure this is not an answer, from simple life experience.

    Sometimes I think that we should simply slow things down, A LOT. The world's going to be here forever (in a broader sense), even if we don't, even if the earth doesn't.

    There is no reason to keep expanding at this speed, except for vanity. Let the people who are coming next do some stuff too, instead of doing it all right now.

  35. Sasha Choupique

    This was a wonderful documentary, though it does hold an idealist view that is impossible to implement in our current paradigm.
    Still - I applaud the artistic quality and the rhythm of the narrative which create a visually and emotionally stirring documentary. The message is conveyed in a way that imitates the propaganda we are subjected to on a daily basis - the music, the repetition, the strong images; yet it still encourages the spectator to question the stuff fed to us through advertising

    A++ to Swedish anarchists

  36. Dalamar Evans

    A bunch of crazy left wing propaganda. The documentary is nothing but a bunch disjointed clips with stupid music loops. Everything in documentary is drivel. John Z - the anarchist wants to everyone to conform to his view of existence - I don't see the difference between that and facism or terrorism. People complain about money being the root of evil- don't f--king have any. I am sick and tired of hearing about consumerism and this cadre of evil multinational corporations controls are minds. Human beings have the ability to exercise restraint, self control and the delay of gratification. But the idiots who put this video make you think that's impossible.

    1. R L

      You don't see the difference because you are a brainwashed mo*on.

  37. Edward Richtofen

    What is more important? Industry or Human Health? When you have answerd that question yourself, everything that is confusing and complex becomes simple. The answer becomes the foundation and root on which we wil grow.

    ( I choose Human Health)

    1. Sean Davis

      Don't you think that your point is a little ironic when you consider the links between growing industry and improving human health? You should take a look at the life expectancies of people in industrilised nations compared to those in poorer ones. Then maybe you could take a look at how life expentancy doubled very quickly after the industrial revolution. I'm afraid that industry and human health are intrinsically linked and ideally both should be beneficial to each other. Maybe i have missed your point here?

  38. soitgoes42

    Give me neither poverty nor riches,
    grant me only my share of bread to eat,
    for fear that surrounded by plenty, I should fall away
    and say, "Yahweh - who is Yahweh?"
    or else in destitution, take to stealing
    and profane the name of my God.

    -Proverbs 30:8-9

    Contentment is natural wealth; luxury, artificial poverty.

    -Socrates (B.C. 469-399)

    A wise man does not accumulate for himself. The more he uses for others, the more he has himself. The more he gives to others, the more he possesses of his own. The way of heaven is to benefit others and not to injure.

    -Lao-Tzu (c. B.C. 550)

    The public are swine; advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill-bucket.

    -George Orwell (1903-1950)

    You can't have everything... where would you put it?

    -Stephen Wright

    Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of its filling a vacuum, it makes one. If it satisfies one want, it doubles and trebles that want another way. That was a true proverb of the wise man, rely upon it; "Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure, and trouble therewith."

    -Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

    O America, how you've taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes.

    -Martin Luther King, Jr (1929-1968)

    Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of you life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.

    -Thich Nhat Hanh

    Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.

    -Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

    We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty

    -Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

    He who knows that enough is enough will have enough.

    -Lao-tzu (fl. B.C. 600)

    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men

    -T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

  39. Robert Johnson

    planet earth is unsustainable

  40. Winston Smith

    we dont need to get rid of technology we need to improve it. eventually, soon machines will displace people and the old labor for a wage paradigm will have to disappear.
    **Watch Zeitgeist Moving Forward - its on topdocs. But entrenched interests will fight. Power concedes nothing without a struggle. But the struggle is one of awareness and personal choices. But destroying people's property or supporting an extreme Luddite position like unabomber murderer Ted Kazinsky is just as bad. Technology, used properly to feed and house and clothe all people will come through technology

    omg ihear another disco beat starting in the background. the person who made this is obviously a frustrated musician. Gives doc a completely amateurish feel and is just distracting. what is the purpose of turning it into a music video? I guess the material is not compelling or serious enough on it's own so you have to sample and play people words ad nauseam to an annoying 1980s disco beat.

  41. Winston Smith

    wtf! whomever edited this and put that terrible soundtrack on there I can only guess was in his 20's - Just let the information speak. IIf you want to add some musicals cues.. great.. but turning it into a music video with a beat is gonna annoy half the population -its annoying me.
    To the filmmaker: unwatchable.

  42. Michal

    I wish it was more documentary and less music video looping excerpts from what I'm sure were incredibly interesting interviews...

    What a shame that so much potential went to waste.

  43. Jack_Burton

    Bunch of Commie Socialists... Hell with them. Party on dude, have a good time. Eat, drink, have fun is all that matters. This guy wants us to live in the jungle like a monkey.... Idiot.

    I can care less about the future. Ill be dead by the time this world goes to hell... So im just gonna enjoy it all while I can. Im Obama can put the Debt on the future, then so can I.. LOLZ...

  44. bbga

    I had two major qualms with this doc. 1. They use a discomfiting format - at times you think you're watching a rap music video. But, hey this is the 21st century and this seems to be the fashion for some filmmakers wishing to seem edgy.

    2. The viewer doesn't get much of the back story behind some of the participants/subjects of the film. For instance, I was lost regarding the young Scandinavian guy ( I assume he is, but there was no clear indication) There were no specifics presented about him. It's kinda hard to connect with someone, for good or bad, when you don't know much about them.

    I echo some of what others have said. If this documentary is meant to convince me that all is lost, and we need to destroy our consumerism, then I'm not convinced. Yes, there are problems and I agree that multinational corps are OUT of control, but I'm not convinced that Zanzer(?) has the solutions. At least, not functional or logical solutions. But, hey the romantic heart falls in love easily with a radical.

    Personally, I can control my sphere of influence. What I am doing is 1. Being an informed consumer, 2. Getting back to the land (I'm building a sustainable home on property I'm fortunate to inherit) 3. Supporting groups/org that empower individuals and the disenfranchised.

  45. Jarle LOve Åxman

    I get the message.. we are all over consuming and destroying the earth and such... But this documentary sucks... it's just some guys looping some clips.. over some crap electro drum kid.. And the message jus't gets hidden away in this weird universe... How the hell can this win an award??

  46. russ0074

    The author of this video seems to have a frighteningly short-sighted view of our society and economy. I would not enjoy living in the stone-age. I doubt anyone, including the author would like it very much, either. There were no radical philosophical ideas in prehistory, because everyone's time was concentrated on survival. Sure, we(western culture) have problems, but try telling me that you think we should do away with capitalism when you are eating your pets. The real problem is not capitalism, but rather the human tendency toward greed. Spend your time teaching people to think for themselves rather than laying blame on the economy that supplies you and your family with food, clean water, energy, medicine, and all the other things we depend on daily.
    Also i seriously reject the tactics the author uses to get his message across. These are the same scare tactics and faulty logic that this video condemns.
    Be patient. True enlightenment doesn't come from destroying things. We are all the same timid monkeys we were 100,000 years ago, only with more distractions.
    Decide for yourself what your priorities are and simply stop supporting a culture or political idea that is in conflict.
    Go live in the woods for a year, then tell me what you think of the luxuries we enjoy.

    We have things pretty good, right now. People need to show some understanding and appreciation for our world, the way it is. If you don't like it, try again in a thousand years. Please remember, that in the end we are all only dust.

    1. Dave Olsen

      Go swimming in the floating pile of plastic garbage in the Pacific Ocean. Go work in the ship graveyards of India. Visit the people of Haiti, whose country once had tremendous natural resources and has been destroyed by deforestation. Observe a polar bear who dies of exhaustion while trying to find an ice cap that has melted because of rising oceanic temperatures. Go boating off the coast of Somalia. Visit a factory in China where 12 years olds work for 30 cents an hour to make basketball shoes and have limbs blown off while working overtime in a firecracker-making facility. Go walk the streets of Mexico City where there are 240,000 plus abandoned children.
      Yep. Tell them that they have things pretty good, and they all need to show some appreciation for our world the way it is. I'm sure they'd agree with you.

    2. Jean-Guy Trudeau

      Human history (+200,000 years) is is inextricably tied with technology and it's ramifications; survival having been it's prime driver and purpose... until recent times (12,000 years or so) when environmental conditions allowed for more wide spread use of agriculture via vast trans-continental networks. Before, the impact of our mistakes or misapplications were likely limited to ourselves or the local area due to population size and ignorance in anything too dangerous ... of course a lot has happened, we've matured some but not completely yet; like typical teenagers coming of age into adulthood, we think we know everything that we need to survive and thrive in the world but ignorance is still our companion through recent history. Sometimes we had great civilizations that later fell apart for reasons attributed at the time or later to gods of some sort... but no, that was mostly us except for the occasional volcano or space debris. Today, we have a very big population, we know how to do a lot of small things and big things and all the things between but now is time to graduate from university where long hours were spent listening to lectures, reading books, discussions on which ever topic came up and applying this information in the real world... most of the time... when we weren't busy making drunken mistakes with a side of morning aftermath, late night cramming for exams to courses you never understood, distracting yet unavoidable lovers that just seem more important at the time, explosions in the chemistry lab that you swear was not your fault cause you followed the directions in the book with facts I was told were true (actually it turned out the book said 3 grams not 5), sports teams to cheer and support while surrounding ourselves with family and friends.
      The point is that we need to accept and appreciate the journey of our past, the good and the bad. The present is full of our potential energy and creativity lacking only a forward direction to follow to our future. The world today may have it's negatives but we shouldn't tear the world apart, again, just cause we think we screwed it up already too much. We should use this "Eureka!" moment to seed thousands more then acquire this thing called "wisdom" we must have started to develop through the heart ache and sorrow of the past 200,000 years, and create a better world, one that is being honest with itself.

    3. Jack1952

      The wrongs that you mention are not the fault of industry and technology. It is our fault for not properly applying them. It doesn't have to be that way. There are many of us who do live quite comfortably. There is no reason, if we use our heads, that we all can't live the life we take for granted in the west. To destroy the good life that we have because of the bad life others have is short sighted. Fix the bad and keep the good.
      Clean up the garbage. Control our population growth. Refuse to buy products that exploit workers. Give to charities to help all the homeless. If there is something that can be done about climate change do it. It will take hard work...something that this Zerzan character in this film is loathe to do. And quit being so negative. You'll lose the race before you even start running.

    4. adilrye

      LOL Dave, I'm pretty sure a Mexican, Chinese, Haitian, Indian etc. would rather have a free market economy where, you know, MONEY GETS MADE AND PEOPLE HAVE JOBS. I agree capitalism has problems, but honestly, but ironically, people around the world, the hard working people of the developing world, see material gains and really don't complain. It's only the Westerners who seem to. Oh well, maybe when their economies are bigger than ours, we'll still see if they change their minds.

      And I agree with you russ. I like everyone here pretending as if they want to revert back to primitive living, when in actuality, they're all as spoiled and comfortable with our contemporary lives as we are. They just won't admit it. I'm sure when they live in the woods for a year, they'll be dying for a hot shower like you and I.

  47. Catherine Solomon

    Therefore....why not just let it destroy itself, and then noone gets arrested.

    1. Mark Stouffer

      Good point. It's a common theme among anti-capitalists: the system is destroying itself, so we have to destroy it. I think it's derived from Karl Marx who believed he could predict the future, said that capitalism would self-destruct and was a necessary precursor to some Utopian future... and then taught everyone to hate capitalism and try to destroy it. He called this a "science".

  48. motorbrain

    Do people really think this way? I smell a rat. Calling for destruction doesnt change anything. Change starts from inside you. What does it do to destroy the things you have paid for? The government didnt pay for all that stuff, your tax dollars and wages paid for the roads, bridges and goods produced. The real enemy is our brain. We have all the power and do not even realize it. Stop spending your money on bullshit you dont need. They can only make money if you participate in the idea that stuff will make you happy. I myself am guilty of living the lie so I pass no judgment on anyone. I just starting seeing the truth around me and it made me look at myself.

    1. Mark Stouffer

      Good points but I think instead of the problem being your brain, motorbrain, it is the ideas you have adopted inside your brain, specifically your concepts of values. I went, or am going, through the same becoming-aware-ness. I find "Human Action" by Ludwig von Mises very helpful. It is extremely helpful to fix the right problem.

  49. Jack1952

    Zerzan says we must completely destroy our present system. He warns that if we don't destroy it, all will be destroyed. Huh????
    What a logical mind.

  50. Mark Stouffer

    Cool tunes though.

  51. Mark Stouffer

    This is what I thought it was going to be, nothing more. It's just a rehash of the same socialist, anti-capitalist crap I have been hearing everywhere for 40 years. ie:

    There are rich people who aren't happy, so let's get rid of rich people. Production uses resources so let's stop producing. Wealth causes effluent and pollution so let's eliminate wealth. It is just more of the constant whining that capitalism isn't perfect, or that there are still weird people in free society, or there are unhappy people in free society, so let's get rid of freedom and capitalism. They show you little clips of trash, or stupid things you can buy and the implication is that all of human endeavor has worked towards the purchase of this one thing, like a love doll, even though this is something that none of us own or are looking to purchase. The indictment is the same. It is against everything that brings you inexpensive clothing, inexpensive food, the ability to pick your own job and mate. They really want to do away with all that. They say, "yeah but do you really neeeed that?"

    No attempt is made to show what the show’s producers improved world would look like. They just whine endlessly about every oddity they can find in our wonderfully diverse world.

    The author they interview keeps saying, "oh it's all madness, and it just has to go", but he is talking about returning to some mythical past when everyone was in tune with nature or something. He would lead us into a world of starvation, disease, poverty and death. He would take us back to a past that is not there anymore.

    This sad, pathetic pining for the past is not new. It is what kept us in the dark ages. Much of it is driven by envy, and a second-hand evaluation of one’s own life. It is really sad to see the withering of the mind that it took to produce this show.

    It is really sad for me, as I try to struggle my way out of poverty, to see these people try to tell me that everything I am working for is just unnecessary and that I should just have some beneficent leader take care of it all for me. What an old, tired saw.

    How far up inside your ass do you have to put your head to enjoy this kind of thing?

    1. princeton

      i hear ya man...

      socialists don't seem to realize that u can't have socialism without some dictator... whether its some nut like mao or maybe its a computer programmer like in the Venus project.. either way its choice freedom and capitalism vs. someone else making your decisions for you.. or allocating resources.. whatever u call it

      id rather be homeless in a capitalist system & work my way back up (true story btw), then be another cog in the wheel of some socialist dictatorship where i have no control.

      on the other hand, people lean toward socialist ideas because of the level of apathy & division we have in this society.

      its odd to me that we have poverty and starvation in a capitalist system, because other people as happy and productive humans, are a tremendous investment worth untold sums of money.

      it just seems like the greediest tycoons don't care to capitalize on the huge stocks of wasted human potential by helping those who need it become more productive and financially stable.. instead they buy shiny metals and invest in corporations.... y no one invests in individual people?

      its like the rich prefer to watch others wallow and suffer, rather than invest in them and making a profit by helping them.

      the problem is that we seem to think profit only comes from hurting or taking from others... and when you help others, its "charity"

      i beg to differ.

      the most profitable investment anyone can make at any point in time... is to invest in the happiness and productivity of fellow human beings.. it pays back in increased wealth for self & others, greater innovation for all and less conflict as humans realize that helping each other (cooperation) is what true capitalism is about.

    2. Mark Stouffer

      The more rational people, the better! Thanks for restoring my faith in people.

    3. andrew308

      first of all man. your for sure a cog in the wheel. are you from the great US of A??? and how is it always so impossible to people to have democracy in a communist society???

    4. Mark Stouffer

      And you are right about the most profitable investment. Someone who could take advantage of all the unemployed people, or under-employed people, could really make some dough. And they might improve the outlook and voting habits of the people around them.

  52. Sean Davis

    I didn't think this doc was that great. I agree with some of the ideas that were expressed but didn't think the points were made very clearly or with relevant arguments. I feel its naive in the extreme to think that we could possibly go back to living as cavemen unless we cut down on the population drastically. Also this idea that things were way better before we invented any technology is
    not the full story. Zerzan even mentions that we never used to have wars! where does he get that idea?

    Also i found the repeating aspects of the post production (sound bytes and clips etc) quite annoying and pretty pointless. Some good points but overall i was dissapointed. The world won't turn into some utopian fantasy lasnd where everyone is happy if we simply abandon all industry and technological advancement. We would do better to accept the ineviatbility of rising technologies and look to them to help us deal with the problems we have created covered in this doc.

    But that is another subject all together.

  53. knowledgeizpower

    I really enjoyed watching this..I will view it again had some really good metaphors.

  54. FreemonSandlewould

    Typical left stuff. When a person of northern european descent says they are not fulfilled I just thing of my family. They were a bunch of sullen Germans. Its not materialism that is the is being neurotic. Loving trees more than people! Global warming is an example of what their tortured minds come up with to fill the void and make themselves feel relevant.

    1. ADAM

      Where the fu*k did you come from? "Loving trees more than people" ? Really? Do the nasty liberals lock arms to keep you from driving your Hummer to Wal-Mart?

    2. TriforceV

      Typical Right wing blogger...
      Categorizes things he does not understand as left-wing bias because he lacks any comprehension of the social sciences, or even science for that matter (which explains the global warming bashing).

      Perhaps, you should focus on what Right-wing ideologues do best: that is passing personal judgements on their moral concepts derived from an almighty god who lives in the sky....
      Ohh wait, that's exactly what your doing.. :)

    3. Mark Stouffer

      Wow, you have to assert that he is religious because you can't refute what he said.

      I find it is left wing people who are more other-worldly these days. They have simply substituted the state for god.

      Hey, try using a rational argument base on what the guy said. It's good practice for focusing back on your this-worldly location.

    4. TriforceV

      @ Mark Stouffer -
      No I asserted he was religious because I was a stereotyping, which I thought was Ironic.

      But Let us then simply refute what he said:
      - "Materialism is not the problem... it is being neurotic"
      I disagree, I think Materialism is neurotic.

      I could write a Thesis on the many reasons, but the simple conclusion is that materialism is designed as a short sighted ideology that benefits a limited few and will not last, as we will exhaust our natural resources in a near future.
      Think about it, we had more than double the amount of trees and resources in the world 50 years ago... What is going to happen in the next 50? especially considering the rate of consumption has grown exponentially

      "Global warming is an example of what their tortured minds come up with to fill the void and make themselves feel relevant." -

      This bashing of Global warming, which has become a recognized through academic studies and papers that give scientific evidence is not something that is conjured up by left-wing individuals.
      It's like the argument that evolution is false.
      It flies against any reason or understanding, and is influenced by "Other-worldly" ideas.