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Jacque Fresco - The Great Depression

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And then during the Depression, there were 15 million people sleeping in every empty lot. That's a lot of people. What happened is they bought houses and cars, and the banks failed, you know about that? They closed down. And they couldn't get their own money out, so they were kicked out of the buildings they bought. And they were sleeping in every empty lot, millions of Americans. And I looked around, and the stores had everything in the windows, you know, radios, in those days, whatever people would need, but they had no money. So then I thought: there's something wrong with our system. You know, how can this happen in this country? I didn't have any answers but, there were people up on soap boxes, talking about Mankind United, a new organization. Technocracy, socialism, communism. Every park, everybody, every university, kids were talking about social change, because conditions were bad. See, that brought them around to it. So, at that time, I was going to hitchhike to Florida for other reasons, because the winter was so cold, we didn't have heat, and I had to get to Florida, so... In hitchhiking toward Florida, when I saw an old man walking, with all his worldly goods on his shoulder, you know, they called him a bindlestiff, that's an impoverished person, with all his worldly goods in a blanket, and he was shuffling very slow. So I called out to him. I wanted to help him carry that load, because he could hardly walk. But I called out several times; he was also hard of hearing. And he turned around, and he had acromegaly- you know what it is? Elephant man disease. His face was all distorted. And as a kid, I didn't know what that was. And I was kind of shocked by that, and I kept hitchhiking, until I got into, I think it was Savannah Georgia, and I went to the local police station. And I said I have no place to sleep, can I sleep in a jail? They said only if we fingerprint you. Well since I didn't commit any crimes, I said sure, go ahead. Then they put me in this jail with a dull red light, I must have been about 16 or so and ... the toilet bowl had shit all over it, it was filthy. There was no place to sleep, it was dirty, so I just sat in the corner, and looked at that red light, it was so depressing, you know. And then I heard moaning in the next cell. And I looked in there, there was this dull red light, it was this guy with acromegaly, the old man, with the distorted face, who couldn't speak. So I banged on the bars of the prison, and a trustee came over. He said "What do you want!" I says "This old man belongs in a hospital, not prison." He says "He's a no good bum!" These people seemed to have no humanity at all, none. So I said "He belongs in a hospital." "Ah, shut up!" and he went away. And I left the next day, and I met another kid my age, about 16 or so, and we both continued together. And a guy drove up in a fairly new looking car, and he said "Would you kids like to make a buck?" So the kid that I was with said "I'd like to make a buck. What do you want me to do?" "I want you to tell my girlfriend I can't see her Saturday, I'll be occupied. And so she'll give you a package for me." So what the note said, I found out later, the girl was a cashier at a movie theater, and the note that the kid gave to the girl was "If you don't give the kid all the money you've got there, we'll blow your head off, we got guns aimed at you." So the guy was using this kid, and this kid didn't know what the hell it was about. So the woman screamed, and the police came and took the kid away. I had nothing I could do, I was in rags myself, you know? And all I remember saying in my own head, "Boy, this shit's got to go." "There's no such thing as justice or anything." You know, I realized that as a kid, I was alone, I had no power at all. And then, I continued to hitchhike on toward Florida. And in Florida they had, under Roosevelt administration, Transient Camp. That's for wild boys of the road. They weren't wild, they were just kids that had no place to go; their families were dispossessed. We're moving in that direction now again; we're not there yet. And it was those conditions that helped me understand.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 1 second
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: The Venus Project
Director: The Venus Project
Views: 84
Posted by: ltiofficial on Oct 13, 2012

Jacque talks about the conditions during the Great Depression that led him to more social awareness.

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