Ethos

A short while ago a reader sent me an email with a link to the documentary “Ethos.”  Here’s the explanation for the movie as given on Youtube:

ETHOS
Hosted by twice Oscar nominated actor and activist Woody Harrelson, Ethos lifts the lid on a Pandora’s Box of systemic issues that guarantee failure in every aspect of our lives, from the environment to our democracy and our own personal liberty.From conflicts of interest in politics to unregulated corporate power, to a military industrial complex that just about owns our government. We cannot change our system until we know how it works and this film, with interviews from some of today’s leading thinkers, will show you a simple but powerful way to start making meaningful and sustainable change. We can live in peace and justice in a clean environment and Ethos will show you how.

I let it sit in my email for a couple of days then decided to give it a look.  Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to get a lot from the movie, but after watching for about ten minutes and having a couple of “Aha!” moments I’ve got to say I was pretty impressed.  As it mentions in the tagline above it’s a look at issues that could cause the eventual downfall of our country and what we – as consumers – can do to change it.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I agree with the stated solution for reasons I’ll divulge later; however, the movie itself is very informative and well worth a look if you have the time.  It’s over an hour long, but if you’re like me the time will go quickly when you start watching.

It’s way too long to discuss all at once, so I’ll just mention a few things about the first section titled:

Politics

A couple of points made in the show are about the candidates who run for office.  The media may try and show two candidates as vastly different, but in reality they’re very similar, at least on economic polices.  In the example in the documentary they are both for Private Healthcare, are pro-NAFTA, are ok with High Defense Spending, and are usually pro-big business.  Where they really differ will be on issues like gay rights or abortion, not on economics.

At one point Woody Harrelson, the narrator, says”

“There’s a couple of logical reasons why our politicians are so similar.  The end game for politicians is to get elected.  The people who vote are, for the most part, quite moderate in their views.  Both parties try to occupy that middle moderate ground.  They are simply responding to that majority to get elected. The second reason our politicians are so similar is much more sinister. They answer increasingly to the same master.”

The documentary then goes into a discussion of how politics now centers around how much money a candidate can raise during a presidential campaign and how Washington rewards the big spenders.  One guy even goes so far as to say:

“We really don’t have an election any more.  It’s more of an auction.”

I’ve said right along that the media can make or break a politician trying to get elected.  For example, awhile back I posted about how Ron Paul was ignored on several large networks.  Not only was he ignored, but the only press I did see about him was to make fun of him.  This is just one example of how the mainstream media can manipulate the facts for their own – or a paid sponsors – good.

Peter Schiff talks a little about this same topic in his book “The Real Crash” that just came out.  It’s interesting seeing the same thing pointed out by different observers.

It can’t be stressed enough how much influence the media – usually controlled by big business – has on the American people and we’ll talk about this later on the series.  Here’s another quote:

The media in the hands of big business will only present us with politicians who will serve their interest. It would be completely illogical for them to do otherwise.  It would also be illogical to expect politicians to change a system that puts them in power, but it certainly begs the question, just what kind of democracy do we have?

The answer?

A Polyarchy.  This is where the power resides in the hands of the wealth of the nation, the responsible class of men and the rest of the country is fragmented.

I’m going to stop here and give you a chance to catch up.  What I’ve discussed here is covered in the first ten minutes of the video, so if you’re interested in watching you can catch up in less than ten minutes.

What’s your take on all this?

-Jarhead Survivor