Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • All experience has shown

  • that mankind is more disposed to suffer -

  • while evils are sufferable -

  • than to right themselves

  • by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

  • American Declaration of Independence.

  • A Renegade Economist film

  • People are awfully forgiving.

  • They just don't understand

  • what has been done to them.

  • We are at an epochal shift.

  • We're at a point where

  • the West could tip into a complacent and quite well off redundancy

  • or we could play a decisive role in the future.

  • What the banks did was reprehensible.

  • That was why there was the outrage at the greed of the bankers

  • when we gave them money that was supposed to

  • help them lend to others

  • but they decided to use that money to pay themselves bonuses -

  • for what, for record losses?

  • We are governed by corporations today.

  • often by corporations that don't have very much interest

  • in the United States of America.

  • I don't know what happened man, what happened to the U.S.,

  • it went so far in the ditch.

  • You know, what... at what moment did it all go bad?

  • Was it Disco? Was it Donna Summer?

  • Is that what killed America?

  • We are entering The Age Of Consequence.

  • A rapacious financial system,

  • escalating organised violence,

  • abject poverty for billions

  • and the looming environmental fall-out

  • are all converging at a time when governments,

  • religion,

  • and mainstream economists have stalled.

  • War,

  • Conquest,

  • Famine

  • and Death -

  • the Four Horsemen are coming.

  • FOUR HORSEMEN

  • This is not a film that sees conspiracies.

  • It is not a film that mongers fear.

  • It is not a film that blames bankers or politicians.

  • It's a film that questions the systems we've created -

  • and suggests ways to reform them.

  • Over centuries, systems have been subtly modified, manipulated

  • and even corrupted

  • often to serve the interests of the few.

  • We have continually accepted these changes

  • and, because man can adjust to living under virtually any conditions,

  • the trait that has enabled us to survive

  • is the very trait that has suppressed us.

  • Most societies have an elite

  • and the elites try to stay in power.

  • And the way they stay in power

  • is not merely by controlling the means of production, to be Marxist,

  • i.e. controlling the money,

  • but by controlling the cognitive map, the way we think.

  • And what really matters in that respect,

  • is not so much what is actually said in public

  • but is what is left un-debated, unsaid.

  • For centuries gatekeepers have manipulated our cognitive map.

  • But in 1989 a computer scientist by the name of Tim Berners-Lee

  • implemented the first successful communication

  • between an HTTP client and server.

  • The World Wide Web was born.

  • It has since unleashed a tsunami

  • of instantly accessible, freely available information.

  • Just as Gutenberg's printing press wrestled control of the cognitive map

  • away from an ecclesiastical and royal elite,

  • today the internet is beginning to change

  • governments, finance and the media.

  • We are at the cusp of change.

  • But to enact it we must first understand

  • the things that have been left unsaid for so long.

  • To do that we need context

  • from people who speak the truth in the face of collective delusion

  • because to understand something is to be liberated from it.

  • EMPIRES

  • All a great power has to do to destroy itself

  • is persist in trying to do the impossible.

  • Stephen Vizinczey

  • At the end of World War II,

  • we had 50% of the world's gross domestic product,

  • we were making 54,000 airplanes a year, 7,000 ships, etc etc.

  • We were the new Rome.

  • And we recognized it, and devised a power management scheme

  • in the 1947 National Security Act to, we thought, manage it

  • and it worked fairly well during the Cold War.

  • But we haven't done anything since and I think that is another sign

  • of our inability to grasp the "new world", if you will.

  • Empires do not begin or end on a certain date.

  • But they do end,

  • and the West has not yet come to terms with its fading supremacy.

  • At the end of every empire - under the guise of renewal -

  • tribes, armies, and organisations appear

  • and devour the heritage of the former super power,

  • often from within.

  • In his essay 'The Fate Of Empires',

  • the soldier, diplomat and traveller Lieutenant-General Sir John Glubb

  • analysed the lifecycle of empires.

  • He found remarkable similarities between them all.

  • An empire lasts about 250 years, or ten generations,

  • from the early pioneers

  • to the final conspicuous consumers who become a burden on the state.

  • Six ages define the lifespan of an empire.

  • The Age Of Pioneers

  • The Age Of Conquests

  • The Age Of Commerce

  • The Age Of Affluence

  • The Age Of Intellect

  • Ending with bread and circuses in The Age Of Decadence.

  • There are common features to every Age Of Decadence.

  • An undisciplined, overextended military,

  • the conspicuous display of wealth,

  • a massive disparity between rich and poor,

  • a desire to live off a bloated State

  • and an obsession with sex.

  • But perhaps the most notorious trait of all

  • is the debasement of the currency.

  • Purchasing power of $1

  • The United States and Great Britain

  • both began on a gold or silver standard,

  • long since abandoned.

  • Rome was no different.

  • So it started on a principle that was very sound

  • and it was on a silver standard.

  • But as it corrupted further and further and further

  • the Roman denarius got to the point where it was basically a copper coin

  • and they learnt how to plate and it was washed in silver

  • and in circulation the plating came off.

  • And at the end all the senators

  • that really did at one time represent the people

  • only were interested in representing

  • how much wealth they could steal at the top.

  • Great empire wealth always dazzles

  • but beneath the surface the unbridled desire

  • for money, power and material possessions

  • means that duty and public service

  • are replaced by leaders and citizens

  • who scramble for the spoils.

  • Historically

  • all the signs of the demise of the empire

  • are beginning to develop, some are more trenchant that others.

  • This current financial and economic crisis,

  • that sort of thing, always accompanies the demise of empire.

  • The people of Rome

  • were constantly being distracted by the gladiatorial events

  • and the politicians knew that they did this.

  • Whenever there was unrest among the people

  • they had a huge event going on

  • and they created a new event with lots and lots of gladiators.

  • And every day, were doing that.

  • That is a common trait of declining empires.

  • And so today, in the U.S. for example,

  • you find a tremendous emphasis on all kinds of television programmes

  • that distract people from what's really is going on.

  • Sports is a big part of that, as it was in gladiator times.

  • In essence, we've been lulled into a lethargy

  • and we've accepted it.

  • Just as our sports stars today earn vast sums,

  • so did Roman charioteers.

  • In the 2nd century one by the name of Gaius Appuleius Diocles

  • amassed a fortune of 35 million sesterces in prize money

  • - equivalent to several billion dollars today.

  • Strangely, perhaps, there is another profession

  • that is disproportionately hallowed as an empire declines.

  • The Romans, the Ottomans and the Spanish

  • all made celebrities of their chefs.

  • And this again is typifying the end of an empire,

  • where things were so great we have this last oomph of momentum,

  • that we used to be great, and we felt great,

  • and we don't feel it anymore.

  • So everyone is out searching for it.

  • Well, maybe it's in the best food or the best clothes

  • or the best music or the best movies

  • or a reality TV show or another magazine.

  • But you can never get enough of what you don't need.

  • What you need is a strong moral conviction

  • that is pervasive throughout the society... and integrity reigns.

  • There is a vast apathy.

  • There is a vast amoralism, even a political nature to it,

  • that is to say there are vast numbers of people who don't give a damn.

  • And so there is this - natural, I suppose - entropy,

  • any living organism which an empire is of course,

  • over time dies.

  • The question is: How does it die?

  • Does it die in a violent cascade of events?

  • Or does it die over a long period of time?

  • The Baby-Boomer Generation were born into this Age of Decadence.

  • Perhaps unwittingly they've broken the unspoken intergenerational contract.

  • Through unfettered consumerism, spiraling house prices,

  • and a desire for eternal youth,

  • the Baby-Boomers have squandered future generations' inheritance.

  • My generation, the generation right after my generation,

  • I think we forgot that little phrase in the preamble to our Constitution

  • which says "and our posterity."

  • All of a sudden it became "us". Period.

  • The Baby-Boom generation which I'm a part of

  • has gone and done the biggest misallocation of capital

  • in the history of mankind.

  • We have had cheap oil or cheap energy is a better way to phrase it,

  • we have had an abundance of ideas

  • and we have chosen a system and perpetuated it

  • that is probably one of the worst ways

  • to use the blessings that were bestowed upon us

  • and we are going to pay a price for that.

  • Human beings are inconsistent and paradoxical.

  • We hope for peace and immortality,

  • but continually invent new ways to destroy each other.

  • We're capable of the kindest, most noblest acts;

  • and the most horrific atrocities.

  • Human beings are complex creatures.

  • I mean for example were capable right now, at this minute,

  • of acting in such a way as to make it likely, if not certain,

  • that our grandchildren are going to face terrible disasters,

  • and we are consciously acting to accelerate that likelihood

  • even though we all love our grandchildren.

  • How can we be more contradictory than that?

  • In spite of all the economic activities

  • of last 50, 60, 70 years, since the Second World War,

  • and all the industrialisation, we have not yet managed

  • to solve the problem of poverty, deprivation, hunger, malnutrition.

  • Millions of people every night go to bed without food,

  • and millions of people are throwing away their food.

  • Waste on the one hand,

  • and poverty and deprivation and hunger on the other hand.

  • Malnutrition on the one hand and obesity on the other hand.

  • What kind of system have we created?

  • Why, with such brilliant knowledge on the planet,

  • are we still struggling to distribute wealth fairly?

  • How has the human race developed a flawed system of government and economics

  • that serves the few at the expense of the many?

  • And with such poverty in an age of plenty,

  • why have we not had the will to change

  • such a vicious social structure?

  • Greed is the fundamental kind of ingredient for the immoral economy.

  • The problem is not that there is not enough in the world.

  • People say that there is poverty we have to create more wealth.

  • There is enough in the world for everybody's need -

  • as Mahatma Gandhi said,

  • but not for anybody's greed.

  • But is it just greed, or does it go deeper than that?

  • Is the problem systemic?

  • BANKING

  • When plunder becomes a way of life

  • for a group of men living together in society,

  • they create for themselves in the course of time

  • a legal system that authorises it

  • and a moral code that glorifies it.

  • Frederic Bastiat

  • As a civilization we've obviously had a great run.