Saturday, October 16, 2010

BBC: The Trap (We Will Force You To Be Free)

The economy in the US is a disaster. I spent almost a month in my home with the power shut off because I could not afford to pay the bill. Fortunately, many times my neighbors threw an extension cord over the fence so I could plug in one lamp and activate my internet. What did I do with those lucky moments? I watched online documentaries.

The best one I watched was from a series by Adam Curtis shown on the BBC called "The Trap." This is the best analysis I have seen of the ideological origins behind the grim global realities suffered in the twentieth-century and now facing the twenty first. I will post a clip from the last of the series titled "We Will Force You to Be Free." Curtis examines the legacy of the British thinker Isaiah Berlin and his influence on Western political leaders. He looks at Berlin's 1958 "Two Concepts of Liberty." Berlin called revolution "positive liberty." He believed revolution always leads to disaster. He advocated "negative liberty." Negative liberty correlates with individualist freedom within a capitalist liberal democratic society. Ultimately, Curtis rejects Berlin's dichotomy, but he reveals the leaders that embraced it. The series covers much more (Watch all of it here). Here is a teaser.

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