For the advancement and inspiration of its members
PRODOS FILM STUDY GROUP
With the kind permission of
InVision Productions of London & William Cran
Another outstanding documentary:
THE AGONY OF REFORM
Commanding Heights: The Battle for
the World Economy, Part Two (continued)
Date: Monday September 19, 2011 & Monday September 26 2011
Venue: Home of Prodos & Barboo, 153 Lennox Street, Richmond. Phone: 9428 1234.
6.30 PM: Doors Open.
Food: $12 hot & healthy meals served until 7.15 PM.
7.30 PM (sharp): Commencement of Film + Chaired discussion.
Who: Only registered PRODOS Film Study Group members and guests of members allowed. You can apply to join on the night. To join you need to agree with our purpose and pay the $5 annual fee.
Policy: Leaving straight after a film and therefore skipping the discussion goes against one of the conditions upon which our permission to screen these films is based.
9.45 PM: End of meeting.
Cost: No charge. But if you’d like to make a personal donation to Prodos that’s greatly appreciated. Thanks.
As the 1980s begin and the Cold War grinds on, the existing world order appears firmly in place. Yet beneath the surface powerful currents are carving away at the economic foundations.
Western democracies still struggle with deficits and inflation, while communism hides the failure of its command economy behind a facade of military might.
In Latin America populist dictators strive to thwart foreign economic exploitation, piling up debt and igniting hyperinflation in the process.
In India and Africa bureaucracies established to end poverty through scientific planning spawn black markets and corruption and stifle enterprise.
Worldwide, the strategies of government planning are failing to produce their intended results.
From Bolivia and Peru to Poland and Russia, the free-market policies of Thatcher and Reagan are looked to as a possible blueprint for escape. One by one, economies in crisis adopt “shock therapy” — a rapid conversion to free-market capitalism.
As the command economies totter and collapse, privatization transfers economic power back into entrepreneurial hands, and whole societies go through wrenching change.
For some the demands and opportunities of the market provide a longed for liberation.
Others, lacking the means to adapt, see their security and livelihood swept away. In this new capitalist revolution enlightened enterprise and cynical exploitation thrive alike.
The sum total of global wealth expands, but its unequal distribution increases, too, and economic regeneration exacts a high human price.
This is the story of how the new global economy was born.
For much of the 20th century, people blamed free-market capitalism for the ills of inflation, recession, depression, and mass unemployment.
So governments everywhere sought to curb market forces and rein in their economies.
The first to change direction were Ronald Reagan in America and Margaret Thatcher in Britain.
In the 1980s, markets were deregulated. State-owned industries were privatized.
It was the start of a world revolution.
JOSEPH STANISLAW: Poland decided to do what Bolivia did, to introduce shock therapy, cut back on government expenditure and try and introduce a market system and see if it could work.
NARRATOR: Prices almost doubled, and shortages didn’t end. All Balcerowicz could do was chew his nails and wait for the law of supply and demand to kick in. But then, after a few days, farmers began to bring their produce to market.
LESZEK BALCEROWICZ: I was going for a walk, and we were looking at the prices in the shops, the prices of eggs.
NARRATOR: His aides told him to concentrate on the price of eggs. If eggs appeared, if eggs got cheaper, the market would be working.