Originating as a field trip for students completing our Progress & Poverty course, this stroll thru downtown Chicago examines some of the ways that average people, and the community as a whole, are deprived of their just earnings. Among other things we’ll see who benefits from the expensive infrastructure and “economic development” projects, how Thomas Jefferson wanted Chicago to fund its public schools, what happens when a well-located building burns down, and how land speculators get productive workers to pay their taxes. Expect to walk about 2 km, maybe we’ll stop for snacks (individual settlement) along the way.
A $10 donation is requested from those who are not recent or current HGS students or donors, but nobody will be excluded due to lack of funds. You can make your donation by credit card here, or bring cash or a check.
Anarchism in America is a documentary, directed by Steven Fischler and Joel Sucher, and produced by Pacific Street Films. It has been re-released by AK Press to DVD. The film begins by explaining the filmmakers’ interest in anarchism based on their involvement in the group Transcendental Students while in film school at NYU. The film includes interviews with influential anarchists Murray Bookchin, Paul Avrich, Jello Biafra, Mollie Steimer and Karl Hess, and with poet Kenneth Rexroth. It also discusses the Spanish Civil War, the Russian Revolution, the influence of Emma Goldman and the case of executed anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti.
The film labels anarchism as the only ideology that is staunchly anti-authoritarian, and discusses how anarchist ideals align with the revolutionary, independent spirit of America from rural communities to urban zones.
Steven Fischler/Joel Sucher − USA − 1982 or 1983 − 75 minutes. Refreshments and discussion following.
The Political Economy Book Club discusses “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair.
The Jungle is a 1906 book written by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair (1878–1968). Sinclair wrote the novel to portray the lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities. The book depicts working class poverty, the absence of social programs, harsh and unpleasant living and working conditions, and a hopelessness among many workers. These elements are contrasted with the deeply rooted corruption of people in power. A review by the writer Jack London called it, “the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of wage slavery.”
“The Jungle” is available for free download in several popular formats at Project Gutenberg here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/140
John Woo returns to his eternal theme of bonds of loyalty forged through violence in this World War II drama that draws on the inspiration of classic Hollywood war films yet still puts forth a surprisingly strong anti-military message. Nicolas Cage stars as a platoon leader teetering on breakdown who reluctantly befriends the Navajo soldier (Adam Beach) brought in as one of th “code talkers” who used their native languiage to keep vital information from the enemy. Less hyper-kinetic than Woo’s Hong Kong films, Windtalkers stresses the realism of its extreme violence, while its consideration of the real causes and costs of warfare put the more celebrated Blackhawk Down (a similar film in many ways) to shame. John Woo — USA — 134 mins. (description from FacetsDVD, see also Wikipedia articles about codetalkers and this film.)
Refreshments and discussion following. The event is free to all, but donations to help cover expenses are appreciated.
Blood Diamond is a 2006 American-German political war thriller film co-produced and directed by Edward Zwick, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou. The title refers to blood diamonds, which are diamonds mined in African war zones and sold to finance conflicts, and thereby profit warlords and diamond companies across the world.
Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1996–2001, the film depicts a country torn apart by the struggle between government loyalists and insurgent forces. It also portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels’ amputation of people’s hands to discourage them from voting in upcoming elections.
The film’s ending, in which a conference is held concerning blood diamonds, refers to an historic meeting that took place in Kimberley, South Africa in 2000. [excerpted from Wikipedia]
Directed by Edward Zwick — USA — 2006 — 143 minutes
Bob Jene will examine the American Monetary Institute’s American Monetary Act, a proposed amendment to the Constitution, and compare it with Henry George’s ideas on money. Steve Zarlenga’s speech in which he shows George’s ideas on money coincide with AMI’s will also be examined and discussed. It will boil down to which is more important, Henry George’s proposed fiscal reform or Zarlenga’s monetary reform.
Presented by American political economist, author, professor, and former federal official Robert Reich, this film premiered in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in the Documentary Competition section, and won a U S Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking. Reich distills the story through the lens of widening income inequality—currently at historic highs—and explores the effects this increasing gap has not on not only the U. S. economy but American democracy itself. At the heart of the film is a simple proposition: What is a good society and what roles does the widening income gap play in the deterioration of the nation’s economic health?
Director: Jacob Kornbluh — USA — 2013 — 113 minutes. Refreshments and discussion following.
An evening with Bob Jene to compare the Georgist fiscal reform to the TARP bailout, “Fair Tax,” Flat Tax, Bush tax cuts and government money creation. A gist of each proposed or attempted solution to the “great recession” will be given including QE I, QE II and QE III. Attendees will rank the proposed remedies on a scale of 1 to 10 based on 8 criteria.
Political Economy Book Club discusses Uncle Tom’s Cabin, “the book that inspired the abolitionist movement.” It may have been based on the real-life slave Josiah Henson, who escaped slavery and started the community Dawn in Canada which became a destination of many slaves on the underground railroad. The event is free and everyone is welcome, but RSVP is requested to 312 450 2906 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originating as a field trip for students completing our Progress & Poverty course, this stroll thru downtown Chicago examines some of the ways that average people, and the community as a whole, are deprived of their just earnings. Among other things we’ll see who benefits from the expensive infrastructure and “economic development” projects, how Thomas Jefferson wanted Chicago to fund its public schools, what happens when a well-located building burns down, and how land speculators get their taxes paid by productive workers. Hardcopy sourced notes will be provided. Expect to walk about 2 km; maybe we’ll stop for snacks (individual settlement) along the way.
A $10 donation is requested from those who are not recent or current HGS students or donors, but nobody will be excluded due to lack of funds. If you have a paypal account, you can make your donation by credit card using the link below, or better yet bring cash or a check.