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May 30, 2005 7:02 AM   Subscribe

Capitalism and other kids stuff Four UK based socialists produced this hour long documentary in which some of the problems of capitalism are presented in a simplified, kindergarten model. Tought provoking, incomplete but NOT derailing into bipartisan hate for a change hour well spent IMHO. You can also DL it with Bittorrent program.. a good reason to install it (5 minutes ) and witness how a distributed cooperative program such as Bittorrent can do wonders.
posted by elpapacito (25 comments total)
I love the buttons near the top:


Oohh, what a dilemma! I think I'll go with "Contact Us".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:08 AM on May 30, 2005

elpapacito, you Subversive Spawn of Satan! Trying to entice unsuspecting Mefites into installing one of those evil P2P programs, which obviously is only for stealing "Revenge of the Whatsis".

(BTW, also investigate Azureus, an excellent Java-based bittorent client that simplifies the whole experience enormously.)
posted by Enron Hubbard at 8:10 AM on May 30, 2005

What a deterministic (sad) view of life and the world.

My favorite false statement was something like, "you'll never hear a politician mention any of these rules". I can't read the paper without somebody in power doing just that!
posted by iwearredsocks at 8:52 AM on May 30, 2005

downloading it now--thanks, comrade! : >
posted by amberglow at 9:01 AM on May 30, 2005

The argument has more holes than a string vest. I may have had more time for it in my Wolfie Smith era as a teen but it is simplistic to say the least. The tone is more patronising than the politicians it lambasts.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 9:10 AM on May 30, 2005

>...but it is simplistic to say the least. The tone is more patronising than the politicians it lambasts.

From the post text:

...produced this hour long documentary in which some of the problems of capitalism are presented in a simplified, kindergarten model.

I guess a more adult tone would be better. It's probably down to which method one would choose for explaining something to children.
posted by gsb at 9:46 AM on May 30, 2005

> My favorite false statement was something like, "you'll
> never hear a politician mention any of these rules".

I didn't think we had many mefites posting from Cuba or North Korea. You live and learn.

> What a deterministic (sad) view of life and the world.

Damn straight. Everyone knows that a bared breast on national television is a much bigger scandal than six hundred kids an hour, dying of poverty.

After all, we can actually *do* something about that, can't we?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:33 AM on May 30, 2005

thanks for this. can't wait to show it to the children, although their father already explained it to them in much the same model.

i'm kind of flabbergasted that someone could find such a hopeful view of the world to be precisely the opposite. amazing. so glad the kids spend time in places where people don't automatically approach socialistic thinking from a position of cynicism.
posted by RedEmma at 10:37 AM on May 30, 2005

gsb:well yeah but you know...sometimes adults, at least some adults..are so polarized that proposing them an alternative point of view has the effect of having them further entrench.

Imho while this particular movie isn't perfect, isn't complete, isn't the panacea for all certainly gives an interesting model that is VERY different from the usual hate mongering punditry whose objective is that of distracting attention from significant issues.

Note that I don't agree with every point that is made in this presentation, but at least some point of view is provided different then the usual "they're wrong" whoever THEY are, regardless of colors.

elpapacito, you Subversive Spawn of Satan!
Hell yeah, another guy called me Sexy Transexual from Transilvania !!!No really , sooner or later I'll manage to catch some girl attention by simply saying my nickname :)

Oh and Yes I want to corrupt the whole lot of you with the infinite evil of bittorrent :) ..god forbid anybody notices it can be used for other then petty crimes.
posted by elpapacito at 12:12 PM on May 30, 2005


i'm not sure how kids would react to this. i might aim it at slightly older kdis than kdnegarden. i'm not exactly sure about the idea that it's never to early to learn to mistrust your government. I think this would have terrified and paralyzed me as a kid, or I would simply have had to disregard it. still, fairly well done. and it admits its flaws and encourages discussion. go stuffy brittish guy!
posted by es_de_bah at 12:22 PM on May 30, 2005

i also never learned how to type the word "kid"
posted by es_de_bah at 1:55 PM on May 30, 2005

only at 70% after hours and hours--booo.

es_de_bah, everyone my age learned that young, during Watergate. It didn't scare us--it made us more aware.
posted by amberglow at 3:53 PM on May 30, 2005

The "Iraq Attack" video also posted on that page is what I want to know more about. Anyone recognize it?

It appears to be as described -- a helicopter gunship's recording.

And I know enough about farms to recognize that the description fits -- it's a farm field, partly cultivated, with a tractor (probably disking, not plowing, from the pattern of heat on the ground where it's been used). The very bright vertical stripe is the exhaust stack on the tractor.

There's an open-box large truck (dual rear tires or maybe dual rear axle) and a pickup truck on the right of the screen.

One person's at the tractor. Two are at the trucks. One of those crosses the field -- I'd swear this looks like a young person bouncing along, even skipping a bit to me -- hugs the person by the tractor, appears to kiss -- turns, goes back across the field, again with a bit of an appearance of a bouncy, skipping step, seems a happy casual motion.

The helicopter blows that person up, blows the second person and tractor up, turns and searches around the other two vehicles til the third person sticks a head out from under the larger truck, blows up the larger truck, tracks again as that person crawls out and is crawling across the open space toward the third truck, then blows him and the third truck away.

Listen to the audio to confirm the transcript on the page.

Anyone recognize it?
posted by hank at 4:18 PM on May 30, 2005

It's not bad--very oversimplified tho--i could see it being played for junior high school kids (altho it never would be--too potentially subversive). And what keeps going thru my head is that you guys have a more socialist-ish society than us already--with national health care, and a stronger safety net, and more vacation time, and guaranteed pensions, etc.

He could have jazzed it up more, especially with the green? screen behind him. He's a little flat, and droning, and never smiles, and not very friendly-looking.
posted by amberglow at 5:29 PM on May 30, 2005

i've been thinking about this all afternoon, this "deterministic and sad" idea...

i realize i ought to know the answer to this, given my Ayn Randian Republican parents, but i must have taught myself some sort of mental cleansing/erasing process for after family visits--could someone explain to me what is sad or deterministic in this world view? what is objectionable about what the guy is talking about?
posted by RedEmma at 5:32 PM on May 30, 2005

I thought it was a good film. Clearly, he is simplifying things, but I think the basic point he is making is valid. I've never liked the idea of having to have a job where I get paid just so I can be considered a productive member of society.
posted by ddf at 5:45 PM on May 30, 2005

hank: yeah that's part of an infamous video that made rounds on the net...I don't remember the link to full video, but in the full video one sees another person taking something (maybe a weapon) and dropping it in the field.

The behavior was highly suspicious and probably the guys on the copter didn't overreact to what appeared to them as a threat ..even if I still have a doubt about the guy on the truck behind a casual bypasser.

Regardless , ROE (rules of engagement) are probably clear and well written and leave enough room to maneuver..and room for lethal error. One more reason NOT to engage in wars.

amberglow: yeah it's flat..maybe he did want to make it so..if you think about the number of business presentation full of graphics who are meaningless to the expert observator..maybe gfx and effects weren't needed.

Indeed he's very cold looking and unnecessarily so...but then again I personally prefer moderation in use of smiles if the argument isn't laughable and no tension breaker is employed.

redemma: maybe sometimes disillusioned people look like sad.
posted by elpapacito at 5:45 PM on May 30, 2005

I think iwearredsocks meant that the his view of capitalism is deterministic and sad. It is limited, and leaves out the pleasure we derive from things, and competing, and stuff.
posted by amberglow at 6:06 PM on May 30, 2005

oop---...that his view of...
posted by amberglow at 6:06 PM on May 30, 2005

well, a philosopher friend of mine has it right when he says that there's one very important reason to stop for awhile at Capitalism Station.

it's where we pick up our stuff.

(not all of it entirely useless, of course.)
posted by RedEmma at 8:48 PM on May 30, 2005

I wanted to point out how well this man paces his diction. It's always a pleasure to listen to a skilled lecturer.
posted by Popular Ethics at 8:58 PM on May 30, 2005

>in the full video one sees another person taking
>something (maybe a weapon) and dropping it in the field.
>The behavior was highly suspicious....

When the hell does anyone spend a day working on a tractor to disk a field and NOT take along something (maybe a weapon) and drop it in the field?

Goddammit, I know it's just pathetic in the larger context, to be astonished at seeing something that happens to be familiar personally be targeted as suspicious. I know people are suspicious of anything they don't recognize, and few of our soldiers grew up on farms these days. Farmers, hell, they're suspicious looking even when they come to town. I remember THAT from growing up in farm country.

In that video you see people doing things that are just purely normal farm field work, recognizably like the daily actions of the people I grew up working with as a kid. Nothing but normal.

Whatever else is going on, you have to go out and farm, if you want your family to have a chance of eating, even if the goddamm neanderthals/bears/tigers/Americans/VC are likely to kill you while you're working. I suppose every farmer who's ever gone out into a field has thought about what -- besides gophers, groundhogs and other pests -- they might need some kind of weapon for, and yet gone on out day after day.

Pathetic. Fucking goddamned pathetic.
posted by hank at 7:51 AM on May 31, 2005

Re: that Iraq Attack video, anything viewed from above with an IR cam like that looks suspicious to me. I used to have the whole video on my system somewhere. It involves lots of people taking shelter in a mosque, which at first the gunner is told not to engage, then finally the order comes and the building is attacked.

I'm sure lots of US patriots would believe that the attack is justified by information we as civilians don't have. The thing I find most shocking about this sort of warfare is the vast difference in capabilities of the two sides. If a country has the (stratospheric+orbital) high ground and there is no way you can stand against them in traditional warfare, if they cause massive civilian casualties from afar and suffer no penalties for doing so, then the only way to retaliate would be to sneak into that country and blow shit up. Somehow that is held to be more vile and evil (because its not done surgically from afar?). Both crimes are the same - the killing of innocents. Remember the US never declared war on Afghanistan and still treats the prisoners it took inhumanely without regard to the geneva convention. There is no moral high ground on either side, just a quagmire that the US administration is only to happy to play in.
posted by arjuna at 2:47 PM on June 1, 2005

In other words, all capitalists promote racism, domestic violence, and oppression of the working class. We've heard it all before and it's inane. Just saving y'all 49 minutes.
posted by Lisa S at 6:15 AM on June 2, 2005

It does go on a bit, and Lisa S you're right most people have heard it all before, but not that often compared to the droning almost all consuming message stream of capitalism. (Which I might add is destroying our world at an accelerating rate)
He doesn't say this is what all capitalists do, he tells a story, an allegory of capitalism. Translating this simplified presentation into reality doesn't require that everything be the result of elitist conspiracy - the behaviours of collections of people are easily exploited.
As for his not smiling, this is serious stuff, folks. Listen up.
posted by arjuna at 3:36 PM on June 2, 2005

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