Friday, December 27, 2013

Love and Power

Part 1: New World Notes #304, 28:40 (December 31):

Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #305, 29:18 (January 7, 2014):

Broadcast quality MP3 (40 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

In Brief

We adapt to radio a documentary film by Adam Curtis.

Advocates of (1) computer networks, (2) Ayn Rand-ian "heroic individualism," and (3) financial deregulation--each claimed that their cause would increase personal freedom, expand democracy, and produce eternal prosperity and stability. These three causes were interconnected--and were combined in Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan.

All believed that the best thing politicians and governments could do would be to get out of the way and let "the New Economy" work its magic unhindered.

But it was all nonsense. This film explores these interconnected 20th-century delusions and their aftermath.

Part 1 takes us from the emergence of Ayn Rand in the 1950s to the economic bubble of the Clinton years (late 1990s).

Part 2 explores the love-affairs that damaged Ayn Rand's influence and Bill Clinton's power. It shows how computers and deregulation nearly destroyed the economies of several Asian countries while enriching U.S. bankers. And it shows how today's U.S. economy has been propped up and stabilized not by "heroic individuals" or computers or deregulated financial markets--but by politicians and government.  Specifically: by the politicians and government of China.  

Now what?

Love and Power (2011) is the first segment of Adam Curtis' trilogy, All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace.

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