The people, ideas, and events that created our current world economy.
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2002  
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The people, ideas, and events that created our current world economy.

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Slightly overromantic portrayal of global capital
31 December 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Globalization is a polarizing topic. This documentary was made at a time obviously before the obvious nadir for free market economics of this year, 2008. With the fall of Lehmann Brothers, Bear Stearns, Chrysler, GM and the precarious situation of many other large conglomerates the hypotheses have been discredited slightly that have been presented here.

A new era is dawning as I write this. The cycles that have been depicted here in Part 1 are continuous and the "Austrian School" cycle is in its last days, in my humble opinion. This documentary shows, truthfully, how Keynesian economics was discredited and replaced in the Western Economies after the turbulent decade of the 1970s. What isn't mentioned is that several other western powers did not embrace the market-solutions of the USA and UK. France, Germany, Scandinavia and Japan all continued to follow certain Keynesian parameters. The miracles of Hayek-style solutions is portrayed with little counterbalancing examples of its negative sides.

PBS has really tried hard to give an extensive depiction of the development of globalization since the war. There was much here that I did not know before. The many interviews with Sachs, Clinton, Cheney, de Soto and numerous Heads of State or former Heads of State from Asia and Europe. However, the skew in favour of the process of globalisation is all too evident. Few dissenting opinions are detailed or extensively dealt with. The usual arguments of pulling several people out of poverty, and the industrialisation of the developing world are constantly reiterated to imply, cleverly, that globalisation is an irreversible and beneficial process to everyone. However, I am well versed in this topic, and my reading does not extend to Naomi Klein and Michael Moore, but the problems and difficulties that accompany globalisation are not really even hinted at in this documentary.

What this film shows is a good start. A good basis for knowledge for beginners about globalisation. However, my advise is get out and read, get out and discover. There are many issues left untouched in this documentary. It is amazingly interesting to look back at this film after the failures of the Bush administration and watch Richard Cheney say that few people have been harmed in the process of globalisation. We all know now that Cheney is not exactly someone who really has altruistic instincts as his core beliefs.

I'm giving this documentary 7 out of 10 because its technical quality and depth with the amount of information and many interviews. However, its rightward tilt slightly unnerved me. Yet it does deliver a rational argument, despite being incomplete, about the whole discussion that does dominate a lot of contemporary political debate. So watch it and start reading.


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