Providing the Rationale for a Movement

The appearance of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests, on which our host Michael O’Neil recently reported, and the newly  launched “Move Your Money Day” (November 5th) may indicate that, after decades of moving ever further to the right, our nation might now be willing to take a more progressive approach to addressing societal problems.

But just like its conservative counterpart, to be sustainable, a progressive approach will need to be supported by a socio-political narrative which resonates with the general public.

At its core, the conservative rationale for perpetuating and expanding our top down, authoritarian, and highly stratified system of extreme “winners and losers” is based on traditional narratives which teach that people are naturally greedy, lazy and antisocial – and that given this, ours is the only system that could work.

Progressives and Leftists know this argument is fallacious, but arguing against the default setting of traditional beliefs – while managing to keep the audience listening – has always been difficult. This is why we think the work of award winning documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis is of vital importance.

Curtis’ work examines how throughout the 20th century, and thus far throughout the 21st, religion as well as other traditional beliefs have effectively been used to manipulate the popular imagination into supporting the conservative policies that have resulted in an ever widening class divide; the devastation of the middle class; and ever increasing neglect and abuse of the poor.

In our two-hour fall fund drive special, ETFF will examine three seminal Adam Curtis films, made over the past decade:  “The Power of Nightmares;” “The Century of the Self;” and “The Trap.” The “trilogy” provides a brilliant critique of the erroneous ideas that the American people have been deliberately sold. The films also demonstrate how an evidence-based social-scientific understanding of our human experience, mostly absent in the mainstream media, completely contradicts the contrived conservative narrative.

Curtis’ genius is evidenced in his unique ability to present complicated material in a manner that is at all times highly entertaining, frequently witty, and occasionally even exhilarating – with each film offering us a non-stop, rapid fire, visual and aural feast.

Given the very real possibility that a new revitalized left may at long last now be emerging; the work of Adam Curtis is more relevant now than ever. And so for the very first time, we will be pleased to be offering all three of his films to our listener sponsors.

In this special edition of ETFF, Michael O’Neil reported live from an #occupywallst march against NYPD brutality, and presented field recordings from the Slutwalk NYC March from earlier that day. The ongoing #occupywallst action and NYC General Assembly present a bold call for economic justice while attempting to implement a form of direct, democratic decision making. How does a human microphone work? What groups have endorsed or joined the occupation, and just what on Earth is a “Slut Walk?”