Requiem for the American Dream

Requiem for the American Dream - Noam Chomsky

Someone has uploaded a copy of the film Requiem for the American Dream. In it Noam Chomsky explains the process by which wealth inequality destroys democracy, how fantastic riches are not just intense concentration of wealth but of power, which then further speeds up the cycle of returning ever greater wealth to the rich through the deregulation of the economy that the rich demand. If you widen the wealth gap far enough,  you inevitably end up with social disorder and demagogues: Trump, Farage, and their counterparts in Australia and across central Europe, Germany, Greece.We all think we can explain how this works but this film is a sort of master class in simply laying out the last 40 years of deregulation and daily widening inequality which we now find ourselves at the perilous end of.

As Chomsky points out, Aristotle saw the problem of democracy from the beginning, a situation in which the very poor, if pushed far enough, will band together to take the property of the rich. He proposed a means to fix it: less wealth inequality via a proto welfare state. The opposite  option, of course is wide inequality controlled by a concentration of power (and militarized police forces for example). Clearly that is the currently situation in the US and increasingly being produced elsewhere by neoliberal policies and deregulation.

The film is really a short university course for those without a background in political economy.

And it contains some of the most beautiful animation I’ve seen, largely using elements of the American dollar bill. Brilliant. And the HD closeup sequences of Chomsky’s weathered face are strangely compelling.

This was the only full-length copy I could find online; ignore the Portuguese subtitles.

 

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2 Responses to “Requiem for the American Dream”

  1. Jean Hands Says:

    I really enjoy your blog! Thank you.

    ‘Young people were becoming too free and independent’…here in UK they are shackled with the equivalent of mortgages to pay for college and university fees….

  2. LB Says:

    Yes, how things have changed… It’s the same in Canada. Though far worse in the U.S.

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