The modern day Four Horsemen continue to ride roughshod over the people who can least afford it. Crises are converging when governments, religion and mainstream economists have stalled. 23 ...
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Set in 20th Century Japan the documentary explores the role and power of Central Banks and how they can be used to change a country's economic political and social structures A documentary adaption off the book by Professor Richard Werner.
The modern day Four Horsemen continue to ride roughshod over the people who can least afford it. Crises are converging when governments, religion and mainstream economists have stalled. 23 international thinkers come together and break their silence about how the world really works and why there is still hope in re-establishing a moral and just society. Four Horsemen is free from mainstream media propaganda, doesn't bash bankers, criticize politicians or get involved in conspiracy theories. The film ignites the debate about how we usher a new economic paradigm into the world which, globally, would dramatically improve the quality of life for billions.Written by
opening title card:
All experience has shown that mankind is more disposed to suffer - while evils are sufferable - than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. - American Declaration of Independence
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Provocative and worthy but with some serious weaknesses
"Four Horsemen" is the debut feature from writer and director Ross Ashcroft and the four parts of this documentary address the banking crisis, the terrorism threat, worldwide poverty and ecological collapse respectively. While worthy, well-intentioned and (mostly) well-evidenced, for the non-political, this critique of rampant capitalism is probably heavy going with lots of talking heads - no less than 23 experts, including many senior economists and academics, express their trenchant views.
The film seems to have been popular in film festivals and indeed I saw it at the first London Labour Film Festival where it was applauded at the end, but it has some major deficiencies.
First, it is overly ambitious in scope and should perhaps have concentrated simply on the crisis of the banking sector. The links between the four threats were not always made clear and the section on terrorism was particularly weak and over simplistic. Second, the policies promulgated at the end - while rooted in a pro-capitalist position intended to be 'realistic' - involve some outrageously fanciful notions such as returning to a gold standard and abolishing income tax. I would like to know more about Ross Ashcroft and the funding of this work which might explain the source of these odd notions. Third, at no point in either the analysis or the prescription does the film acknowledge that economic and societal change does not start with institutional reform but with the organisation of workers, consumers and citizens. Real change comes through people working together in political parties, trade unions, pressure groups, and social movements.
For all these weaknesses, "Four Horsemen" does make you think and will engender much-needed debate about the urgent need to reform radically our ideas on how we create, consume and distribute wealth and how we regulate and control the institutions involved.
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