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Archive for the ‘history’ Category

Burp! Pepsi Versus Coke

Posted by charliemarks on March 31, 2008

John Pilger’s first collaboration with fellow Australian director Alan Lowery, looks at the worldwide struggle for soft drink supremacy by the Coca Cola company, and illuminates the power of multinational corporations.


(Watch the whole film)

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Posted in 1980s, advertising, africa, america, capitalism, chile, civil liberties, consumerism, corporatism, documentary, economics, empire, food, globalisation, hegemony, history, human rights, john pilger, politics, trade, us politics | 2 Comments »

Winter Soldier: Confessions of Vietnam Vets

Posted by Dave on March 5, 2008

Want a true account of what happens in war?  Look no further than “Winter Soldier” a documentary of interviews with Vietnam veterans.

“I would kill anyone I could whether they were innocent or not just to make sure I wouldn’t get killed and that was my philosophy.  If I’d go into a village and I’d have to kill a hundred people just to make sure there was no one there to shoot me when I walked out thats what I did.” Trailer

One of the most powerful documentaries I’ve seen.

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands now, deserves the thanks of man and woman.” Thomas Pain

Part 2 | Part 3| Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Wintersoldier.com:  Winter Soldier documents the “Winter Soldier Investigation” conducted by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in Detroit, Michigan in the winter of 1971. A call went out from VVAW to veterans all over the country saying, in effect, ‘everyone is talking about the war that you know from the inside. If you want to have anything to say about it, come to Detroit and tell it like you saw it.’ At the investigation, over 125 veterans representing every major combat unit to see action in Vietnam, gave eye-witness testimony to war crimes and atrocities they either participated in or witnessed. The purpose of the investigation was to bring to light the nature of American military policy in Vietnam.

Posted in america, anti-war, antiwar, army, documentary, film, history, USA, video, vietnam, war, war crimes | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Hawaii’s Last Queen

Posted by Dave (The Void) on January 23, 2008

A series of coup d’etats cemented the grip of American businessmen on the nation of Hawaii around the turn of the last century, swiftly leading to its formal annexation by the U.S.

(go to Google Video)

While its narrative is less that of the Hawaiian people than that of their monarchs, this 50 minute documentary is a valuable insight into early American imperialism.

Posted in america, capitalism, colonialism, democracy, documentary, hawaii, history, imperialism, pacific, USA, video | Leave a Comment »

The Namibian Holocaust and the Second Reich

Posted by Dave (The Void) on January 14, 2008

Decades before the rise of Hitler, the German elites’ quest for Lebensraum led them to a more aggressive colonisation of their newly-acquired African territories, in what we now call Namibia. This culminated in the systematic annihilation of two native peoples, through slave labour and concentration camps. (h/t Popper’s List)

(go to Google Video)

The African survivors’ descendants are still lobbying the German government for recognition and reparations for the genocide today, while many of the racial theories and demobbed soldiers went on to play important roles within the Freikorps and the Nazi movement. The genocide of the Armenians is now slowly gaining recognition, but the precursors to fascism in European imperialism remain a taboo subject.

Posted in africa, colonialism, documentary, empire, ethnic cleansing, genocide, germany, history, imperialism, namibia, racism, video | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Levellers, True Levellers, and The Diggers of 1649

Posted by charliemarks on January 11, 2008

The Levellers were a relatively loose alliance of radicals and freethinkers who came to prominence during the period of instability that characterized the English Civil War of 1642 – 1649.

What bound these people together was the general belief that all men were equal; since this was the case, then a government could only have legitimacy if it was elected by the people. The Leveller demands were for a secular republic, abolition of the House of Lords, equality before the law, the right to vote for all, free trade, the abolition of censorship, freedom of speech, the abolition of tithes and tolls, and the absolute right for people to worship whatever religion they chose, or none at all. This program was published as “The Agreement of the People”.

Part two|Part three

(click here to watch the whole programme)

The Levellers argued that since God had created all men as equals, the land belonged to all the people as a right. Their program was, then, essentially an attempt to restore the situation that they believed had existed previous to the Norman Conquest in 1099; they wanted to establish a ‘commonwealth’ in which the common people would be in control of their own destiny without the intervention of a King, a House of Lords and other potential oppressors.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in drama, england, history, nature, parliament, politics, poverty, revolution, socialism, uk politics | 4 Comments »

Guns, Germs and Steel

Posted by Idrees Ahmad on January 10, 2008

Jared Diamond on how the West was won. (Thanks Dave)

1. Out of Eden

2. Conquest

3. Into the Tropics

Posted in anthropology, capitalism, documentary, ethnic cleansing, europe, genocide, globalisation, history, imperialism, militarism, poverty, profiteering, racism, science, settlement, slavery, us, war, war crimes | Leave a Comment »

Karl Marx – The Mark Steel Lecture

Posted by Dave (The Void) on December 28, 2007

If you know Mark Steel at all, it’s probably as a recurring guest on BBC comedy panel shows (Buzzcocks, QI, etc). However, he’s also an ardent socialist, and for those of you who are getting sick of badly sync’ed audio on video clips, I offer you the following audio clip: Mark’s lecture on Marx, an entertaining biography of a flawed but brilliant man, worlds away from the sinister figure of capitalist demonology and equally distant from the equally sinister figure of Stalinist hagiography.

click here to play the whole lecture

Posted in audio, capitalism, class war, communism, economics, history, lecture, marxism, revolution, socialism | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Timewatch: Operation Gladio

Posted by Dave (The Void) on December 16, 2007

This 1992 BBC documentary (Three episodes of one hour each) uncovers at Operation Gladio, the American-led operation to establish a network of right-wing (often fascist and neo-fascist) paramilitaries in postwar Europe.

Initially conceived as a safeguard against Soviet invasion, Operation Gladio was used to manipulate domestic politics and keep the left from power – and may be behind some of the century’s most notorious terrorist attacks and political murders.

Part One: The Ringleaders

Looks at the establishment of the stay-behind networks during the liberation of Europe.

Part Two: The Puppeteers

In the decades that followed, terrorist attacks and high profile assassinations set the pace of politics – what became known as the “strategy of tension”.

Part Three: The Foot Soldiers

Investigates the role of the stay-behinds in a series of grisly murders in Belgium and the killing of a former Italian Prime Minister, as well as their infiltration of the extrem left.

Posted in belgium, corruption, documentary, espionage, europe, fascism, history, italy, paramilitary, politics, terrorism, video | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Laughing With Hitler

Posted by Dave (The Void) on December 7, 2007

A bizarre but compelling examination of humour in the Third Reich (58 mins). At first this was tolerated, and even encouraged – back then, no-one took the Nazis too seriously, and the more people were snickering the less they were rising up – but as the war drew on jokes became a channel for subversive informationand dissent, and by the end laughter out of turn was cracked down upon severely.

(via SmashingTelly.com)

Posted in censorship, comedy, documentary, fascism, free speech, germany, history, human rights, humour, propaganda, satire, torture, video | Leave a Comment »

Beyond Surburbia – Surviving Peak Oil

Posted by Dave (The Void) on October 15, 2007

The oil boom of the 20th century allowed millions of Westerners to flee the cities and spread out over miles of countryside.  That boom is now over and, with oil becoming ever more scarce, that sprawl is looking less and less sustainable.

The End Of Suburbia

This documentary (79 mins) focuses almost entirely on North America, where the oil boom and the attendant rise in car culture and consumerist suburbia took of more than anywhere else.  However, we face similar problems in Britain, Europe and elsewhere, and could do much worse for an watchable and informative introduction to the socioeconomic implications of what’s become known as “Peak Oil”.

(This is just a trailer; click here to watch the full film on Yahoo! video)

The Power Of Community

The island republic of Cuba has already weathered a severe energy famine, when trade with the USSR was cut off by the latter’s collapse in 1991.  In this sequel (53 mins) to The End Of Suburbia looks at the community networks and structures which allow the Cubans to survive on a fraction of their previous fossil fuel consumption.

Posted in america, canada, capitalism, car culture, caribbean, community, consumerism, cuba, documentary, economics, energy, history, oil, peak oil, suburbia, sustainability, urbanism, USA, video | 5 Comments »