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Capitalism and Other Kids Stuff (Repository)

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Freedom Films In April 2005, on World Poverty Day, it was estimated that at least 30,000 children were dying each day as a result of the poverty they endured. On that same day, a new Pope was crowned, and hundreds of thousands of people came from around the globe to see the event in Rome. Millions saw it on TV. The cameras did not show any of the 30,000 children that died that day. How is it that the world can be more interested in seeing a new Pope crowned than it is in the death of 30,000 children every day? Capitalism & Other Kids' Stuff tries to find answers to questions about why we live the way we do, and possible alternatives. Capitalism & Other Kids' Stuff Written & Presented by Paddy Joe Shannon If you saw a young boy dying in a gutter, would you walk past and ignore him? Or would you at least take him to the hospital, or get him a doctor? You're probably not the world's most virtuous or altruistic person, but you're probably not the most antisocial either. So what would you do, walk past him and ignore him? or do something to help? Most people would help. That's not because we're God's perfect, holy children. That's because we're humans, and humans are social animals. We're animals who survive by sticking together, so you'd probably help the boy. What you wouldn't do is stand there and theorize about it, demand to know why he's there, or who's to blame or which office of the local authority to complain to. But what if there was a boy dying in a gutter, and it wasn't in front of you, and you couldn't see him? When it happens somewhere out of sight, it becomes a different thing, something it is possible to ignore; it's not your responsibility. Somehow the reality is obscured behind layers of rationalizations. It's not a boy dying in a gutter anymore, it's become something else, something more remote and intangible, something without obvious solutions. It's become a question of politics, and politics, as we all know, is a tricky subject that should be left to politicians. Reality is relative, you see. Most of reality is not happening in front of your eyes; it's not real. Most of reality is, in fact, politics. You probably know that there are young boys and girls dying out there, in alleys and gutters, in the shanty towns of the world's poor quarters, but it's one of those remote realities. And what's the reason for it? We could talk about economics or geopolitics, but the truth is, they're dying because they're out of sight, and they don't really matter, and nobody really gives a damn. When the parents have got no money, the kids don't count. In our reality, we value children, so much that we've made ourselves paranoid about real and imaginary threats to them, but in global realities, they're not valued. A billion people (that's one in six of the world's population) can't even get clean water, so their kids get diarrhea, and five million of those kids die every year. Since big numbers don't really mean much to anyone, imagine a jumbo jet fully loaded with kids up to the age of five crashing into a mountain. That would make the headlines in your local town, wouldn't it? Now, imagine a jumbo jet doing that every 35 minutes night and day, forever. And just so it's clear, African children are not worth less than white children, and African parents don't grieve less than European parents. They grieve all right, and they don't get used to it. 300 kids, every 35 minutes: a massacre of the innocents, wouldn't you call it? Why do famines exist? Too many kids, say some people. After all, we Westerners only have small families. But we only have small families nowadays. In Victorian times we used to have huge families, because a lot of the kids were likely to die, and we needed kids to look after us when we got old, because nobody else was going to. So it seems a bit unfair to blame the Africans for doing now what we used to do, before we got good health care, and pensions. If there's no food at all, even one person is too many people. So is famine a population problem? [Serene guitar music] Over 20 years ago, the World Health Organization calculated that the technology existed to feed a world population 12 times its size. Well, we didn't need to feed a world population 12 times its size; we only needed to feed a population one twelfth of that: the one we actually had. So did we? No, we didn't; 20 years ago we had the terrible Ethiopia famine instead. We are lucky in the West, there's no denying it. We don't have a war to face. We're not slaves. We're not starving. Our kids get an education, public health, a choice of food, a measure of security and comfort. But are we having a good time? Are any of us? [Grinding rock music] Many of us don't have jobs or careers or prospects. Those of us who do work are forced into the regimentation of the workplace: of bosses, of time sheets and production quotas, reports, key performance indicators, the nine to five, the bills, the mortgage, the stress. Our kids are now being made to work harder and from a younger age to become skilled and employable. Kids of five are now being given homework! We live in the world of capitalism, and as everybody knows capitalism is not perfect; it has problems. Everybody knows that what we have to try to do is fix the problems, with reforms. That's why we vote for politicians; they're supposed to be fixing it for us. Capitalism is like a car that's permanently on blocks, with some politician underneath it and another one in the bonnet shaking his head saying "Oh dear, oh dear. That looks bad, that does". You keep paying the bills, but the car never gets fixed. You begin to think that politicians don't really know what they're doing, but what can you do? Capitalism may not be perfect, but it's the only thing we have, and after all, it does work, sort of. Sort of. We have the most advanced technological society that's ever existed, but when it comes to doing something useful, like feeding the people in it or limiting pollution or limiting global warming, we can only manage, sort of. Here's a question: does anybody at all ever watch party political broadcasts anymore? The problem with party political broadcasts is that they're boring, and you don't believe a word of what they're saying. They're like soap powder adverts, each citing dubious evidence to show they're better than the others. The Non-Party Political Broadcast [Intro music and applause] with Paddy Joe Shannon This isn't a party political broadcast, for two reasons: First, nobody's asking for your support, your votes, your obedience or your money. Second, what you are being asked to do is much harder than that. The idea is for you to question the basis of modern society, yourself. Think about it, and then go away to think what to do about it. I'm not going to tell you what to do or how to think. What I want to do is simply explain a point of view to you. It's a point of view that is not explained very often anywhere you go, in anything you see on TV. But it exists, and it's quite widespread. What you do about it is up to you. You can reject it, but it's important to understand what you're rejecting. Politicians talk about this problem or that issue, within capitalism. The real reason why politicians all sound the same, and why people find it so hard to be interested in politics, is that they all have this same frame of reference. If you question capitalism itself, you automatically put yourself outside that frame of reference, and that's when the politics of capitalism suddenly becomes meaningless to you. Capitalist politicians make everything sound incredibly complicated, so complicated that you need them to work it all out for you. You have a vote every five years. That ought to be enough; what more do you want? You don't really understand. You don't know enough. You're not smart enough. You couldn't really make the decisions. Well, medicine's complicated. It takes 11 years to train a doctor; we couldn't all be doctors. But whoever heard of politician college? What qualification do politicians have, which is beyond the rest of us? There isn't one, is there? Anybody could go into politics. They're 'experts' in charge of decision-making; they're not expert at all, no more than you are or I am. Let's get something straight here: Two men in a pub could bore and bewilder you for several hours with football talk- if you were daft enough to let them- but the rules of football are pretty simple. It's the same with politics; the universe of histories and details go on forever, but the basic rules of capitalism are quite easy to understand, and so are the consequences of those rules. It really isn't rocket science. And once you understand what the rules are, you're then in a position to ask yourself a novel question: whether you actually agree with those rules. Let's have a look at some of these rules or facts of life. See if you think they're complicated. See if you think they really exist, or if I've just made them up. Rule of thumb number one: very roughly speaking, 5% of the world's population owns 95% of the wealth: that's the land, the resources, the lot. That's about one person in 20; one person has all the wealth and the power, 19 have nothing very much at all. That's called 'The Unequal Distribution of Wealth'. It might sound unfair, it might seem unjust, but it's a fact of life, and it's legal. That's not complicated, is it? Here's another rule, a 'golden rule': the people who have the gold make the rules. That's why it's all legal, in case you were wondering. Here are some more rules, in no particular order. Rule 3: the more money you've got, the more you can make. Rule 4: the less money you've got, the less you can get. Rule 5: the poorer you are, the more expensive everything is. Rule 6: the poorer you are, the iller you'll be, the sooner you'll die, and the worse off your kids will be. Rule 7: the poorer you are, the worse your education will be, and the worse your job will be. Rule 8: the worse the pay, the harder the job. Rule 9 (the opposite of rule 8): the higher the pay, the easier the job; for example, company directors get paid, say 100 times what a warehouse worker gets. But who goes home most exhausted? Rule 10: if you're really rich, you're a capitalist; you don't need to do any work at all. Rule 11: the poor pay for every mistake made by the rich. Rule 12: rich people start wars that poor people have to fight. Rule 13: most rich people get rich by inheriting. Occasionally there's a rags to riches story, but they are vanishingly rare. Rule 14: most poor people stay poor, through hard work, thrift and sacrifice. That's enough rules. You decide; have I made these up? Am I just a cynic? Or do they sound like things that you've thought as well? You'd never get politicians saying any of this, that's for sure. How did all this come about? You might think it's always been this way. It hasn't. But I'd have to spend all day on the history and prehistory of the human race to prove it. And we haven't got all day. Anyway, I'm not really trying to persuade you, only get you to understand what the point of view is. Instead, let's illustrate by analogy how it all started. I want you to imagine a nursery, where 20 kids are playing happily. They have the odd spat, now and again, but nothing serious. If you've been in kindergarten yourself, you can see how kids operate. They have arguments, they get over it, they work things out, often without any intervention by the supervisor. They're not skilled at diplomacy or people management; they're just doing what comes naturally. Now, suppose that the nursery supervisor did a very strange thing and introduced a new kind of game, except it's not a nice game. It's a rather sick game with sick rules. In this new game, the supervisor gives all the toys to one child- let's call him Rex- and all the other children have nothing. They can't play with any toy, unless they get Rex's permission first. Now, Rex has all the toys, and so Rex has something else too, a new thing that didn't exist before. Rex has got power. If other children want toys to play with (which they will do, being kids), they have to do what Rex says. By his ownership, Rex has power over them. From not being any issue at all, power becomes the central issue, the thing which defines all relationships, the thing that tells the children who they are. This power automatically puts the children in a separate class from Rex. He is the owning, or 'ruling' class. They are the dispossessed, or 'toy-less' class. So, from a peaceful and more or less harmonious kindergarten, we've moved to a mutually hostile and suspicious class society of unequals. Pretty cool game, eh? But there's more. To play this game properly, Rex has to deal with a number of problems. Let's allow him an intelligence slightly in advance of the average 3-year-old. First of all, he has to devise strategies for keeping the other children divided amongst themselves, so they won't gang up on him. He won't keep power for long, if he doesn't solve this problem first. Right now, the thing to do is to pick out the biggest children, and offer them a deal. "You protect me against them, and I'll give you some extra rights". It would seem to be in their individual interest to accept this deal. This small band of big kids can be Rex's police force against the toy-less. In fact, they can even be his toy soldiers against the world. If any of the toy-less gets out of line, the toy police can soon give her a black eye, and put her in her place. So, Rex has invented a coercive hierarchy, with himself at the top. So far so good. But it doesn't take long before Rex finds it rather tedious to have to spend his entire time giving orders and organizing everything. Why not hire some administrators to do it for him? Good idea! Well now, he's just invented a kind of coercive-state administration, all to protect his property, and his position. But it doesn't end there. He doesn't want pandemonium and endless arguments, he wants a stable working system, with himself in charge. What he really needs is legitimacy. He needs to make the children believe that it is entirely natural, right and proper, that he should have all the toys, and they have nothing. If they believe this, they won't see any reason to rebel. Rebelling against Rex would be as ridiculous as rebelling against the sun or the moon or the rain. So how do you make something seem legitimate? Answer: propaganda and persuasion. Rex needs to come up with a lot of propaganda, to justify it all, which we can call 'a set of ideas' or an 'ideology of power'. He then teaches this ideology in the kindergarten, in the new school lessons he has devised. We don't need to know what this ideology is. It doesn't matter how he justifies himself, as long as he does. He can say anything he likes, as long as it works. He can do other things too, like dress up in fancy clothes, maybe wear a wig when he is judging wrongdoers, sit on a tall chair so that he looks down on everyone, speak in a funny voice, use long or foreign words that he knows they won't understand. There are all sorts of things he can do to sound important, big and clever. Eventually, if he does it right, they'll believe he is more important, big and clever, than they are. And they'll believe in the natural order of things. He will be the natural order of things to them. They will never rebel. Or maybe they will. Hmm. What can he do to make doubly sure? In the long run, the best trick is if he can teach them to hate each other: whites and blacks, boys and girls, Jews and Gentiles, big ears and little ears. Again, whatever works. If they can never trust each other, they can never be too strong for him. So, he starts to give treats to the white kids, but extra punishment to the black kids, saying that blacks don't really deserve any better, and he encourages the whites to bully the blacks. Ideology: divide one way. Clever, eh? But not only that, he tells every boy to take a girl as his personal property, and if she doesn't like it, give her a black eye. He encourages boys to bully girls: divide two ways. Then he can start on religion: three ways, four ways, five ways. There are any number of possibilities, because children are all different, and you can exploit those differences. And when they're all fighting each other, and he's got them running scared, he can tell them they're all basically criminals who need to be kept in control by his police. He can tell them that they need even more police, more criminal laws, more sin bins, more surveillance. If he's good at it, he can get the children themselves actually demanding more police, more laws, more sin bins, more surveillance. This might all sound very clever, but this is only the sort of thing Machiavelli used to make a living advising Italian princes about. As for the toy-less children, it's no use having them just sitting there, doing nothing. They should be doing something useful. Otherwise they'll be causing trouble. They need to be put to work. Well, kindergarten should have new toys, shouldn't it? That's what it's there for. Well, that's what the toy-less can do; they can make new toys for Rex. And in return, Rex might pay them with a little bit of temporary play time. Call it holiday, or weekend, or leisure. Instead of toy-less, they can be toilers. The dispossessed class can become a working class. They're kept too busy to think straight, and Rex gets more and more toys. Great! But there's more. Rex has got ambitions for expansion, and he's got his eye on a kindergarten over the road and all the lovely toys in there. Not only that, but he's worried. His opposite number over there might be thinking about expansion too, into Rex's territory. What Rex needs to do, is act first, get across that main road with a big toy army. And don't forget, he can explain to all the children that it's all a question of defense: ideology. [Extreme rock music] - Crush that bastard! (crush that bastard! crush that bastard! ...) Well, we've come a long way in a short time. How different it all was a moment ago! Remember the original kindergarten? The kids were all equals. They shared the toys. It was all pretty much peace and harmony most of the time. If any kids whisper about those days now, Rex will have them beaten up, or put in the corner or the sin bin, or just laughed at. "Equality? Peace? Harmony? Sharing? That's just a utopia, an idle dream, a kid's fantasy", says Rex. "It never happened, it never existed. It never could happen", says Rex. "Just look in the history books I've had printed, especially for you". "And anyway", says Rex, "Look at yourselves. You hate each other. You are evil. You beat each other up. You're nothing better than wild animals. You need a strong leader like me, to keep you in line. If you were set loose, and free to have all the toys, what would you do? You'd kill each other and burn the kindergarten down. I'm going to make you all read 'Lord of the Flies', just to prove it. You're bad; that's why I'm in charge", says Rex. And you know what? The children agree with him. "We're bad", they say. "We can't trust each other. We have criminal natures. We need to be ruled". They believe every word of this, because by now they're not children anymore. They've grown up and become what Rex wanted them to become, and they've forgotten their childhood dreams. They are adults, and they accept the world the way it is, the way it has to be. Utopias are fairy tales, children's stories. It's only a story; it doesn't explain everything. We haven't got all day to explain everything. One thing though: in the game, I said that the person in charge of the kindergarten invented the game one day, invented the idea of private property, and started by giving all the toys to one child. Of course, private property wasn't suddenly invented one day, and it didn't all suddenly fall in the hands of one person. It took a long time; it evolved. If this... is the time humans have been around on this planet, then this... is about when we invented settled farming and stopped being hunter-gatherers, about 12,000 years ago, yesterday really, in fact. So, for about a quarter of a million years we've been hunter-gatherers: tribal, primitive, nomadic. Hunter-gatherers had private property: personal effects, bead necklaces, favorite flint knives, that sort of thing. Some of it was valuable too; it meant a lot to them. But hunter-gatherers were travelers. They had to follow the herds and the wild game, or actually the vegetation. Since most of their diet was the gathering, not the hunting, they tended to pick an area clean and then move on. Either way, to them, private property was something you had to be able to carry: small things, things that were nice but personal, private, maybe good for swapping, little treasures of your own. People think the pyramids are ancient. You have no idea how modern, how recent they are, in the human story. Hunter-gatherers had no use for monuments and houses, and things they couldn't take with them, no point staking claim to a piece of land. For most of the time humans have been on this planet, private property was small items, often beautifully made in gold, but still just portable trinkets. The point is that property existed, but it wasn't an issue. But around 12,000 years ago, farming developed. People stayed put on the land, to farm it, and in view of the work they were putting in, they needed to defend it. So the land itself became property. And then it all changed, because private property of land was very definitely an issue: a life or death issue. If you had land, you could live. If you didn't, you'd die. And that's when you got your pyramids and your cities and your Stonehenges and your hill forts. When I made up this kindergarten game, I pretended that private property was suddenly invented. It wasn't, but it suddenly acquired an enormous significance 12,000 years ago, that it didn't have before. The Agricultural Revolution was the beginning of a society that didn't just include the concept of private property, it was actually based on it, built on it, like pyramids are built on the Earth. I also lied about all the property being given to one person. It wasn't, not at first anyway. So what happened there? The bottom line is, if ten people start with ten pence each, eventually one person will own a pound, and nine people will have nothing. That's how property society works. It's like the game of Monopoly; eventually one person wins everything, and everyone else has nothing. Property society may have been equal when it started off, but it didn't stay equal for very long, and it's never been equal since. Capitalism is a big version of the kindergarten game, but the stakes are a lot higher. Imagine playing Death Monopoly, where the rule was that every player who lost all their houses had to have a bullet in the head. You wouldn't play, would you? Capitalism is like a game of Monopoly with life or death outcomes, and we don't have any choice but to play. Our ideology (that word again) tells us that competition is what makes everything happen. Well, competition is usually what games are about, and it can be lots of fun when it's a game. Cooperative games aren't usually that exciting. But we're talking about amusement, not life and death. Forcing people to play a competitive game, where most of the rules are rigged to begin with, and the outcomes can be fatal, is not funny; it's pretty sick. We think competition runs the world, but all it does is keep us running, often, for sheer terror. Another viewpoint, is that cooperation is really the strategy we need, to run the world. Our ideology says "No". But we have to cooperate over the rules, even to play the game of capitalism; we have to agree, cooperatively, to compete. So, cooperation is not foreign to us. It's basic to us, even in capitalism. We already cooperate; it's just that we're cooperating against our real interests. The players in the Death Monopoly game must have agreed cooperatively to the rules, or else they wouldn't be playing it. So why are we still playing it? Our ideology says that it's the only game there is. Is it? Alternatively, the reason we are still playing this competitive game, is that we simply haven't decided not to play it anymore. As long as we accept the rules, the game has to continue. The question is, given a free choice, do you accept those rules? So, we all agree on private ownership of the toys, the wealth, what we call 'property'. Property doesn't mean that you have the freedom of access to something. It means that you can deny that freedom of access to everyone else. Unless you're rich, property doesn't make you free; it puts you in chains. Think about this: If I could own the air you breathe, in other words, deny you access to it, I would be master of the world, and you would all be my slaves. You might not think that was very fair, but fairness has nothing to do with it. That's how the rule of property works, and we've all agreed to it. Everything: trade, markets, competition, scarcity, wars, poverty and the rest, they all stem from this one principle. It's a sacred principle. It's older and more sacred than the Bible or the Koran. It's more sacred than life itself, or at least that's the way we've been taught: ideology. And because of that ideology, we believe it's right that the rich should be rich, and the poor just have to be poor, and so the game continues. What you have to do is ask yourself, why you're playing this game of private property and what you're really getting out of it. You might own some property, most of us do. You might even own your own house or car, although you've probably got them both on credit that will take a lifetime to pay off. Instead of that, ask yourself what security you really have. You still have to work; you could always lose your job. And you live on a planet which is heating up, while the chimneys go on belching smoke, and the politicians go on belching smokescreens. This game we're playing, it's not going to last forever. When the forests are finally gone and the ice caps finally melted, it may be too late then to question these rules; Death Monopoly. There may not be any property left worth owning. Some people say that capitalism is the end of history. In fact, arguably, capitalism may be the end of us. So is there an alternative then? If private property is the rule, what happens if you abolish the rule? Capitalism is built on private property. If you abolish one, you have to abolish the other, and everything that's part of it, the whole market system. That's money and banks and insurance and credit, and debt and rent and mortgages, and loans and wages. This probably sounds like abolishing civilization as you know it. Well, not necessarily. Since most of these things give you nothing but grief and stress, it could also sound like abolishing most of your problems, at one stroke. Remember that when Rex was just another kid, he didn't have power over anyone, but when he owned the toys, it all changed. Without private property, there would be no Rex. Property is the basis of power, and power is the basis of all oppression. If you feel oppressed in your life, just ask yourself who it is who has power over you? Sometimes it seems like everybody, but there will be somebody or some group in particular; that's your oppression. It may not be mine, it may not be your neighbor's, but we all experience it in some way, in some variation. It's what we have in common. It's not who has power over us that is the same, it's the fact that somebody has power over us that is the same. Without property, there are no hierarchies, no rulers, no bosses, no leaders, no government elites, no "You do what I tell you or else", no second-class citizens. Without property, nobody has power over anyone. That could sound like the end of civilization, as we know it. From a different perspective, it could sound like the start of civilization. Without private property, there'd be no money for wages, so, people would have to work for free. If you weren't being paid anyway, you could choose your job. "But why would anyone do anything at all?", you ask. Well, why do you do your hobbies? Nobody pays you. People like doing things, especially useful things. And remember, with no bosses, work would be quite a different experience. Of course, you wouldn't want to do your hobby for 60 hours a week, but when you consider the number of money-related occupations in capitalism which would be abolished, there would be an awful lot of people with nothing to do. If they all helped out with useful work, perhaps a post-capitalist society could reduce necessary work to a fraction of what it is today, perhaps 10 hours a week rather than 30 or 40 or 50? Another thing, without private property, there'd be nothing really to fight over. Wars are always about property or trade, or trade routes, getting them or protecting them, one way or another. They can pretend it's all about God or freedom, or some such thing, but it's dollars that pay for wars, and it's dollars that cause them. And what's really ironical is that wars are always fought by poor people, on behalf of rich people. You don't think Rex would start a fight with next door's nursery and then do his own fighting, do you? What would be the point of that? Without property, the only fighting you'd ever be likely to see would be historical reenactment displays. Oh, there'd be disputes, sure, but real fighting, wars? Well, I can't see it. Without property and money, there'd be no rent, or interest or profit. Now, profit is the incentive that drives production in capitalism. So does that mean that in post-capitalism, we'd all just starve? Profit is not the only incentive for doing things. It's not even the best. The best incentive is simple need. We'd make things because people need them. What the profit incentive does is different. It only produces to make money, so that some millionaire can make a quick killing producing things people quite often don't need, but are told by advertisers that they do need. It doesn't concern itself with need, as such. If a billion people need clean water, but can't pay for it, the profit incentive finds no incentive. They just have to do without. With profit, there's also the risk of loss. So, there is a good reason to save money, by producing cheaply, or shoddily, or to make things to fall apart so people have to buy them again and then dispose of the waste as pollution, because it's cheaper than recycling and reusing. With profit and loss, multinationals can dominate global culture, with a sort of plastic uniformity that makes every town look identical and makes us eat the same cheap food and wear the same chain-store clothes. Abolishing private property does not necessarily mean abolishing civilization, or buildings or food or culture, or hospitals or cinemas or personal identity. It just means abolishing a very old agreement that says that it's okay for a lot of people to do without anything at all, so that a few people can have too much of everything. Most of what we hold dear, we could keep. Moving on from capitalism is not the same as going backwards. It's not about smashing anything, spray-painting over our most precious beliefs; it's simply a matter of progress. It's about making the world better than it is now. It does involve a social revolution, certainly. The world's workers and dispossessed would have to stop fighting amongst themselves. They'd have to combine, to overcome the minority owning class, and that is a revolutionary act. The rich won't like it, and they'll try to stop it, of course, but they're only one in 20, don't forget. And revolution is not a bad thing in itself; just think of the computer revolution, the information revolution. Revolutions don't have to be violent, even. It just has to be thorough, and well-organized. You'll say it won't work, I know that. You'll say it's impossible. It's against human nature, or some such thing. You're almost bound to think that. I did, at first. We've all been brought up in capitalism and taught that capitalism is natural and right and proper. But a lot of us don't believe it, and maybe now you can begin to see why. Remember Rex, in the kindergarten and his little ideology lessons? Rex doesn't want anyone to think outside the box. Of course he doesn't. He doesn't want you to know there is an outside. He'll give you a thousand reasons to stay where you are, keep reading your newspapers, keep signing the forms, keep taking the blue pills. Well you can do that if you want; it's your choice. The important thing is that I've tried to explain another argument, so that at least you can see that you do have a choice. One thing you probably will agree on, is that the world is not going to stay where it is today. It will either get worse, or it will get better. Empires and economic systems have come and gone, and there's no reason to think that capitalism is the last station on the human journey. History doesn't stand still. Supposing that a society after capitalism is possible, that there's another station up the line. I'm not going to give you a fully worked out map of it, because I haven't got one. There's no point in me telling you not to trust leaders, not to follow experts, not to believe what people tell you, if I then tell you to trust, follow and believe me. I'm not an expert or a leader or some religious visionary. But I and a lot of other people think that a post-capitalist society is possible: one based on equality, common ownership, controlled democratically, not by centralized government, but by us, all of us, for the common good and for the good of the planet. I'm nearly done. Is anything I've said really so unreasonable, so ridiculous, so obviously wrong that you can dismiss it all out of hand? Replay this video, and check again. If it's not unreasonable, what can you do about it? You can spread the idea, that's what you can do. Think about all the consequences and the implications. Work out a plan, talk, discuss, organize. Get other people to watch this film, maybe. You don't have to start a war, and you don't have to do it all yourself. But you do have to do something and soon, because we're on a road called 'history', and we've stopped at a station called 'capitalism'. And there are people saying it's the end of the line, and there are other people saying it isn't. So there are only two things you can do now: stay put and maybe run out of steam, or move on past the station. See where the line takes you next. And if you decide to move on, there'll be others willing to move on with you. In the end, we all want the same thing. We all want progress, improvement, a better world. Working out how to achieve it, that's the only thing that matters. The rest is just kids' stuff. For More Information About The Issues Raised In This Video Please Visit Written & Presented by PADDY JOE SHANNON Script Editor NEIL WINDLE Music by STUDIO CUTZ Still Images by [Beginning of out-takes] And anyway, I'm not trying to really persuade you, I'm only trying to get (unintelligible) This class society of unequals ... Pretty cool. Try again. - Go again. ... much of everything .... Most of what we hold dear, we could keep. Moving on ... [Background noise] - I'm so sorry. [End of out-takes] Producer JOHN BISSETT Directed & Edited by CAROL TAYLOR

Video Details

Duration: 51 minutes and 59 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 96
Posted by: ltiofficial on Mar 23, 2014

'Capitalism & Other Kids Stuff' tries to find answers as to why we live the way we do, and what our possible alternatives are. The film may be rough and ready, but it's hoped that it says something real to you.

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