A World on the Brink – Episode Five

Featuring Dee Smith

What will the interactions among all the forces of social, political, and economic change mean for society going forward? Dee Smith puts the pieces together in the fifth and final episode of A World on the Brink, looking at what might be the ultimate causes of these changes and also exploring the crucial question of whether, and to what extent, the current systems and structures of the world will hold. Ultimately, the role of human nature and a look at history lend cause for both concern and for hope. https://www.realvision.com/world-brink-disclaimer/

Published on
8 December, 2017
Topic
Geopolitics, Technology, Globalization
Duration
64 minutes
Rating
128

Comments

  • DC

    Darren C.

    6 5 2018 23:46

    0       0

    Obviously the candidates we have to vote for are poor. The candidates are selected by the party, so internal improvement of the parties would be helpful. A cleansing of the corrupt individuals running the parties from the inside is necessary - I shall not hold my breath. Candidates should be made to wear t-shirts depicting corporate logos of all of their donors so we know who really holds the power when any individual is elected.

  • SM

    S M.

    7 3 2018 16:22

    0       1

    In watching all five of this series, it doesn't convince me to continue past my trial period on RV. Although I thought the Middle East episode was interesting, overall I give the series a 2 out of 5.

    There is so much left out, but at least a focus on the behaviours of the Fed, BoJ, and ECB, could have elucidated the cause of many of the severe problems mentioned in this documentary. The content is almost written like an undergrad at university.

    Disappointed and perhaps a waist of time.

  • MS

    Matt S.

    1 2 2018 15:41

    0       0

    Put a tie on Dee, you don't look cool, you just look scruffy.

    Feels good to thumb down this series, it's the worst thing ever on Real Vision.

  • MS

    Matt S.

    1 2 2018 15:33

    2       0

    Groan... we need to "empower young women"........ how predicable. This experiment has been running long enough and has clearly failed - when are these self-appointed agents of change going to realize their Utopian vision is a failure because it was flawed from it's inception? So tedious....... please tell me this is the last episode in this dire series?

  • KB

    K B.

    23 1 2018 23:02

    2       2

    This video is babyboomers claiming that the world is going too fast and is getting too complex and that this leads to populism, political radicalism etcetera. In reality many people are angry about mass migration, which has its roots in (1) the 1965 Immigration Act in the U.S., and in the Gastarbeiter policies of the 1960s and onwards in Europe, (2) the Central Bank debt-fueled economy which has left housing prices sky-high, and has enriched financiers and real estate developers, leaving young people with the bill, and (3) the deliberate policy of de-industrialization of parts of the West (U.S. Rustbelt, France's periphery, the north of England etc., while boosting industry in Germany and China. These economic policies coupled with disastrous neoconservative and hawkish liberal foreign policies have caused large parts of populations in certain countries of the developed world to turn their back on the neoliberal experiment.

    The places where the electorate is content are the places where there is either decent economic growth and decent economic prospects (Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia), or where there was and still is or has developed an an alignment between a part of the political elite with the bulk of the people. Japan is a good example of this, as it has not had a populist uprising because its political elite is ethnocentric, opposes mass migration, cares about keeping its industry in the country, and cares about the wages of the common people. Eastern Europe is another example of this, where nearly all politicians are opposed to mass migration.

  • MB

    Michael B.

    16 1 2018 11:43

    1       1

    Lots of interesting ideas presented. I highly recommend further research on YouTube on some of these issues looking at different opposing points of view for balance

  • TM

    Todd M.

    15 1 2018 04:50

    1       1

    Best of the bunch - excellent things to think about. That said, I would have edited the series down to two parts and you could have said the same things with less dramatic musical interludes and such.

  • GB

    Grant B.

    5 1 2018 21:01

    2       0

    Low value add.

  • NH

    Nigel H.

    26 12 2017 13:49

    6       0

    Loving Macrovoices right now. What they have been doing there is phenomenal.

    • BS

      Brandon S.

      3 1 2018 03:05

      0       0

      I second that, phenomenal is right, I sent them a donation, can't wait for the last episode.

    • cd

      christine d.

      6 1 2018 14:50

      0       0

      Agree really tackles no the big issues. Would like to see them using some of this to then dig in to our narratives of the world and the facts on which they are based. To take a couple of examples, our measurement of wellbeing are deeply flawed and have not kept up with the massive changes. We have no balance sheets of most economies which would shift both out understanding of d but and our understanding of how well we are managing the assets and liabilities of of our national and global balance sheets. Would be great for RV to interview the authors of the “The Public Wealth of Nations” which came out over last two years

  • CC

    Charles C.

    15 12 2017 01:32

    5       1

    I thought this was worth the time simply because it tries to make you think very long term. What are the underlying assumptions we walk around with but are unaware of? There are great questions discussed and lots of food for thought about the future. And yes, no trade ideas, but that's ok.

  • DT

    Dave T.

    14 12 2017 06:58

    0       0

    There are a few good points raised, but they seem to get lost; much portentousness and waffle.
    Also, when some of these points are made, the natural conclusions are not discussed as they are still too politically incorrect to be brought up.

  • DP

    David P.

    13 12 2017 10:44

    0       0

    Interesting points raised even if some examples were grossly inaccurate and a balanced debate was avoided by the participants on key issues, like multilateralism or the nature of Latin America regimes.
    Anyway, always happy to learn something and to think about new questions, thanks RV :)

  • PN

    Paul N.

    12 12 2017 11:12

    11       0

    The insights were so general as to be meaningless. I didnt take much away from this entire series unfortunately.

  • rm

    robert m.

    12 12 2017 05:29

    1       1

    Iwas critical of last few .
    But a good finish

  • T~

    Tshort63 ~.

    12 12 2017 04:42

    1       1

    For me this was an excellent series, I did not agree with all perspectives and some participants we slightly pompous BUT, it did force me to think about my beliefs. I appreciated the opportunity to put many broad challenges in a larger context.
    Thanks, Real Vision!

  • JG

    Jeff G.

    12 12 2017 04:28

    6       3

    TERRIBLE! Worst presentation on Real Vision ever.

  • HJ

    Harry J.

    11 12 2017 16:59

    12       3

    This as close to a waste of time as CNN.

  • GM

    Greg M.

    11 12 2017 15:26

    14       1

    It is weird seeing these over-educated people pontificate and wax poetic about what they think is wrong. I think these videos make a good argument of why you should not go to college.

    The videos focused on globalization but not central banking? Why? I believe central banking has done more to harm people through inflation and Keynesianism than trade. I believe government is doing too much and one size never fits all. I disagree with the majority of the interviewees that there is a good government approach - you can just make government work better. This doesn't work because human nature doesn't change. You need to focus on the nature of government and the philosophy as well as the scope.

    Democracy fails especially direct democracy because people learn they can vote themselves goodies. The USA was never a democracy - our founders abhorred the term. The progressive movement in the early 1900's added democracy to the US government.

    I disagree with his fundamental premises that this time is different, this society is the most complex ever, its unpredictable, its unstable. I think for the most part the opposite is true. 100 years ago I couldn't walk into a store and buy whatever food I want from across the world. Complex sure (in terms of logistics) but unstable and unpredictable? What about centuries ago when disease and hunger where more rampant? I think we are living in the best of times and it should only get better. Who would rather be John Rockefeller in the 1910s? The average person has a much more comfortable life than he did and at a lower cost.

    I think this series was a missed opportunity.

    • SD

      S D.

      11 12 2017 18:33

      2       10

      Anybody who believes the purpose of democracy is provide a comfortable life at low cost is either fundamentally uneducated or a closet Fascist.

  • MH

    Marco H.

    11 12 2017 14:54

    3       1

    So we are facing global challenges without involving the globe? No smart Indians around? Or Africans? Or Muslims? Or Russians? Leaving them out almost completely shows what is wrong: a one sided group of people. They form the majority of people of the globe making decisions.

    Pamuk once wrote:

    "Mankind's greatest error, the biggest deception of the past thousand years is this: to confuse poverty with stupidity."

    The least we can do is involving the majority of this planet.

    • SD

      S D.

      11 12 2017 18:29

      4       4

      Wrong. We in the West have to figure out where we went wrong and then fix it. Let the Indians, Africans, Russians and Muslims look after themselves.

  • DW

    Doug W.

    11 12 2017 14:02

    2       0

    We are in the middle of the fourth turning.

  • SD

    S D.

    11 12 2017 13:54

    0       2

    The sort of person who describes social equality as an "option" is the sort of person who actively supports social inequality out a desperate but unstated recognition of its responsibility for their own undeserved influence.

    The whole point of social equality is to eradicate the sort of inadequacy and inability to compete on a level playing field that are the only possible explanations for this atrocious series.

  • SD

    S D.

    11 12 2017 12:05

    6       1

    Where is the politician who will state the obvious - that thanks to globalisation and the rampant and reckless corruption within the financial services industry, all forms of social welfare must immediately be means tested and the pensionable age must immediately be raised to 79? Where is the public discussion of inevitable, radical tax rises? The end of free schooling? And the inevitability of default, with only the method up for discussion?

    Where is the series on the economic realities that are ultimately responsible for this situation, placed in an accurate and fair historical and political context? There is certainly an important series here to be produced, but Dee Smith sure as sh*t hasn't produced it

  • SD

    S D.

    11 12 2017 11:57

    8       2

    This guy did one set of interviews, then chopped it up between the episodes, proving that he adopted a lazy approach, and one driven by an agenda far too closely aligned with most of those interviewees to be useful or interesting. The effect is to further discredit the establishment rejection of its responsibility for the havoc wreaked by globalisation, rather than to usefully examine the global risks now at play and how to contain them effectively.

    The original concept was flawed. There is no place for this sort of series from someone so closely associated with a corrupt, incompetent, and morally repugnant group that persists in its presumption against all the evidence as some type of international “elite,” despite its direct responsibility for the problems this series claims to address.

    Revolution is in the air not because institutions are failing to deliver, but because an out of control bunch of thugs and thieves have exploited globalisation to steal resources from the public commons, rejecting principles of community and humanism with devastating consequences for the majority - and now there's hell to pay. Lying about the problem or blaming it on Twitter won't save you, nor will exploiting a captive audience that is used to so much better from an increasingly worthwhile service.

    • MS

      Matt S.

      1 2 2018 15:45

      0       0

      Hear, hear...

  • AE

    Alex E.

    11 12 2017 06:06

    3       0

    I enjoyed the production values...topically, Dee is stating the obvious. This could have been played 3,500 years ago when Greece was the World's superpower, then Egypt, then Rome and so on and so forth till today. Every single civilization rose to the peak of it's powers then collapsed under it's own greed, enmity and lust of power. And what did the ordinary citizens do? Carried on and lived like we all will have to do when the Global World Order as exists today collapses....

  • AC

    Andrew C.

    11 12 2017 05:59

    0       0

    Is societal change harder now, as people live longer and older persons find change more difficult along with the fact that these older people are in fact in government and boardrooms ?

  • JW

    J W.

    11 12 2017 05:55

    5       0

    RVTV folks, I guess I have to thank you for a new experience--I had never "hatewatched" anything in my life until this series came out. It's a missed opportunity in some ways, or an opportunity to take the feedback and run a different series, possibly even reaching out to the "wisdom" of the rvtv "crowd" on this.

    Perhaps an expert on Strauss-Howe generational theory, and someone like George Friedman on whether the world is changing, a Paul Kennedy type on the economics of rise and fall of powers etc would be more up our collective alley...

  • SW

    Scott W.

    11 12 2017 01:40

    21       2

    Some herein argue the negative reaction to this series is because Dee Smith presents ideas that run counter to some cohort "world view" and that this cohort seeks only confirmation. I contend the negative reaction is because this series was sophomoric - from the Michael Bay quality of production (repeated shots of Smith in a subway or glaring vacuously into space) to the endless compilation of sound-bites absent any cohesion or unifying narrative. This was 5 hours of broad banalities repeated ad nauseam without once going into depth on anything, without any real bodies of evidence, without any true construction of argument. As to confirmation seeking, I doubt that obtains. Here's a for instance: I agree with Grant on his thesis of debt, money and gold. Hugh Hendry does not. I did not lambaste RVTV for their interview with Hendry - nor did others. I appreciated being presented with a different point of view. I don't recall others piling on negativity or complaining. I don't think others have complained about any other content for that matter. RVTV commentary evinces an intelligent and open-minded community - on that seeks new and alternative views and perspectives. Dee Smith presented a gloss-over one can easily get on CNN. And this is not holding to the intellectual standard RVTV has established.

    • PD

      Peter D.

      11 12 2017 02:29

      2       4

      Agreed. I tried several times to watch this series.

      But do we really need a bunch of tenured university professors in five star hotels to tell us that the poor feel left out of globalization.

      Kudos to RV for the effort.
      Would also appreciate another try, possibly with less dramatic music, less of Dee looking at his cell phone, fewer sound bites and harder content.

      There must be someone out there on the circuit, who has a good grasp of the foreign business scene, that can focus on investor needs as opposed to laying out the CFR/military industrial complex POV.
      I think RV should try to redo this series in six months, but have Grant or Raoul produce/narrate it.

    • MS

      Matt S.

      1 2 2018 15:58

      0       0

      You tried to watch is several times, Peter D?? Are you mad, sir? ;)

  • JC

    JP C.

    10 12 2017 23:56

    0       0

    HA! I love a good comedy the example that the French elections were more reflective of “decohension” than say... the US and the ensuing Trump administration (or lack thereof 12 senior firings and counting). Will leave the Clintons, Comey, Flynn, Sessions and Muller on the other side of the “wall” for the time being, so to speak.

  • BO

    Bob O.

    10 12 2017 03:07

    7       1

    I live on a big island that separates the south Pacific and Indian Oceans which I like to call paradise.
    We have cold beer; great beaches and most Tribe members play cricket in summer.
    We have a federal parliament that is populated with tribal leaders that don’t know if they are actually members of the tribe (citizens). This is to be resolved by our witch doctors (High Court Judges) in due course.
    We have had 26 years of national economic growth and a man’s home is his castle and will cost him as much.
    So, even paradise can have its issues. But what all tribe members on this big island know is, what ever happens….’she’ll be right mate’ This is to say, don’t take the bastards to seriously.
    Please feel free to use my tribes example and let your tribal leaders be nothing more than entertainment on the 6 o’clock news…. It works for us.
    Remember 26 years of economic growth and cold beer.
    Merry Christmas to the RVTV team and to all of us smart enough to subscribe.
    Regards
    Bob

    • DS

      David S.

      10 12 2017 08:11

      1       0

      I live in a small set of Islands in the middle of the Pacific and I wish you and your a Happy New Year! DLS

  • PP

    Patrick P.

    9 12 2017 15:46

    23       1

    One of the truths of society is that the best government is local. Since the end of WWII we started to disregard that and allow the federal government to be more and more powerful. This accelerated with LBJ's great society until now we are at the point where all power lies in DC. DC is everything and the people no longer have a real say, they are no longer relevant. This series points to that power now becoming more global and even farther away from the people...Everyone wants to be governed in a way that allows them to be relevant....I believe that we are at a turning point in society....the near term future will have a major impact on the next 70 years.

    • TB

      Tim B.

      10 12 2017 04:06

      0       0

      I was thinking of posting something similar. Democracy in small states, say Vermont, can still works well, even when buffeted by the greed of moneyed interests. But democracy needs to be built on cohesive communities.

    • DS

      David S.

      10 12 2017 08:15

      1       1

      How long has it been since the Great State of Vermont negotiated a trade deal with Asia, Africa, Europe. We need functioning governments on many levels. DLS

    • TB

      Tim B.

      10 12 2017 18:15

      1       0

      David,
      Yes, Vermont is a tiny, inconsequential state. But my point is there might be something to learn from it (and other places), because the democratic system there still works, unlike at the federal level.
      Cheers

    • DS

      David S.

      10 12 2017 20:07

      1       1

      Tim, I said the Great State of Vermont because it is a Great State. My point, maybe not well stated, is that we need to have many levels of government that function. Every step away from local government is more difficult, but all of them are important. DLS

  • SL

    Stephen L.

    9 12 2017 14:47

    15       5

    I found this mini series great! The vocal backlash in the comments can almost be seen as a representation of the discontent discussed over the past 5 hours. I was surprised so many RealVision viewers found it so difficult to either separate their own personal opinions from that of Dee and his guests or to simply stop watching. Much love though, its a great community regardless.

    • DT

      Douglas T.

      9 12 2017 18:09

      21       0

      We all love what RV has begun, or we wouldn't be here and certainly wouldn't bother to comment. But I disagree that complaining about this series (the biggest and most expensive RV has undertaken to date) means I need to go somewhere else (like I don't belong here?), or that it makes me one fo Dee's oblivious and terrified plebs. Don't get me wrong, this is a very high quality production, a hallmark of RV from the beginning. And there are some good points made. But overall, I am disappointed that this series barely gets above the level of fear-porn.

      In my mind, RV is supposed to the antidote to the simplisitc world views that have plagued the MSM for as long as I've been alive. Like it or not, the internet is undermining that old information kabal, the keepers and crafters of the 'societal story', to use Dee's phrase. Probably for the first time, everyone has access to information that exposes the old story for the fraud it always was.
      This scares the hell out of the people in charge, because they fear their own power is fragile, and that any monkey wrench thrown into the system will bring them down. And any system without them must be a bad system, right?
      The central theme of their story has always been fear. Fear of fascism, fear of communism fear of climate change, fear of Islamic terror, fear of Russians, fear of racisim, fear of fracking, fear of too much information in the wrong hands. This list long and we know it all too well. But we still get that same worn-out world view 100 times a day from mass media.

      My point is we don't need another rehash of that stuff, even if it is a more sophisticated and better crafted version of it. What we need is to chart our way into the new world that's coming fast and furious. It doesn't conform to anything we are being told, and God knows there's enough mis-information out there to choke godzilla. But this isn't going to stop, regardless of whether the average guy (who ever he is), can handle it or not. The world is changing, and I, for one, will do whatever I can to get with the program, because I'm not interested in being left behind.

    • MR

      Marten R.

      10 12 2017 02:13

      8       3

      RVTV mission statement is to bring independent, objective, creative, intellectually stimulating, informative and educational content to the world of finance.
      That's what subscribers signed up and paid up, for.
      This series achieves none of that, hence the backlash.
      Go back and look at the comments on each episode across the whole series.
      Overwhelmingly negative.
      Because the series is overwhelmingly bad.

    • JW

      James W.

      10 12 2017 02:19

      11       2

      The problem I have with this series is that the information is at the level of a third grade filmstrip - as if designed for persons completely ignorant of what has transpired in the world. It's totally useless.

    • C.

      Capt.Hindsight ..

      10 12 2017 07:58

      8       3

      Who would have thought that RVTV would offer a diversity of views.
      And who would have thought that RV subscribers / commentators would be diverse as well.
      Didn't we sign up for an echo chamber?

    • JO

      John O.

      10 12 2017 10:18

      8       2

      The RV audience welcomes diverse views and new ideas (not an echo chamber). See the approving comments of thoughtful bears in response to the recent Running of the Bulls video. Issue with the Brink series was that it was the establishment / deep state / CFR viewpoint presented as documentary, and presented with zero intellectual or political diversity. Elitist preaching, misplaced fear-mongering, lack of depth and lack of new ideas also relevant to the negatives.

  • SR

    Steve R.

    9 12 2017 09:37

    7       12

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this whole series, it's both thought provoking and insightful.
    I would like to see more mini-series like this one (e.g. on tech for example) going forward.
    It has already given me some new ideas for business opportunities to consider.
    Thank you RV!

  • MR

    Marten R.

    9 12 2017 08:12

    17       9

    if only it were possible to do more than one thumbs down.... :(
    it seems pointless to comment on each instalment of this series, but I'm going to, in order to ensure that RVTV get the message.
    This content is a huge departure from all other content on this platform.
    It is unbalanced and subjective.
    It is a change for the worse and across each of the 5 instalments the negative 'backlash' from subscribers has been consistent.
    I hope that RVTV takes this on board and invests more into its core product, rather than branch off into expensive content that is not appreciated by its subscriber base.

    • NR

      Nelson R.

      9 12 2017 13:13

      9       6

      I think you are missing the whole point of the mini series you just watched. Close to triple the amount of likes to dislikes, your opinion is not the opinion of the entire subscriber base. Keep up the good work RV!

    • MR

      Marten R.

      10 12 2017 02:07

      3       1

      Not sure what tally you're looking at. There has been far more negative rating on this series than any other than I can recall on RVTV and I've been a subscriber for a couple of years and watched a substantial amount of the back catalogue.
      Just this episode has ~50% thumbs down and a great many have given up either watching or rating this series.

  • GF

    Gordon F.

    9 12 2017 04:45

    14       0

    Rather than an exploration of the state of the world today, it felt more like a guided tour, where the guides led us where they felt was necessary in order to present their priorities and solutions. And perhaps this is necessary in order to produce a documentary - the producers have to have a goal in mind. But there are so many things they could have included, but chose not to.
    I expect all are familiar with the quote attributed to Lord Acton: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. A year or two ago I saw a variation on this quote that I think is more true. I wish I could remember or find who said it, but it goes, "It's not so much that power corrupts, but rather that power attracts the corruptible." A corollary that follows is that the more power that is invested in a given office or position, the more vigorously, and even viciously, the corrupt will contend for that position.
    Some of these positions are elective offices, but many are simply high in the bureaucracies of governments, or business entities that are allied with governments, effectively invisible to the general citizenry, unless they have personal dealings with them, but who are have great power to reward friends, or at least those who make it worth their while, while also punishing those they perceive as enemies. (IRS audits of political groups, regulatory capture of various agencies by the industries they are supposed to regulate, etc.)
    Eventually there tends to develop a network of elected officials, appointed officials, and wealthy donors such that everyone knows how the game is played, and anyone who tries to honestly and honorably fulfill his or her oath of office is sidelined and shut out. One of the names for this network is the Deep State, and you cross them at your peril.
    As for delegating more power to governments, that will only make those positions entrusted with that power more attractive to the corrupt. We may talk about remedies, but such remedies are all overcome in time by those who have that lust for power. It is a rare individual who is honestly motivated by the desire to do what is right, who also has the drive and determination to gain office, especially as donors find out that he/she really cannot be bought, and direct their support to others who are more amenable.
    Men are not angels. We should always assume that whatever powers we delegate to government (or allow the government to arrogate to itself) will eventually be exercised by a totally corrupt individual or group whose goals and objectives are diametrically opposed to whatever objective the power was delegated to accomplish. The US Constitution was established in an effort to control government, and it had a good run, but it has very little influence or control over the power of the US government today, and the same is generally true of all governments.
    As for international governments and agencies, to the extent that they have any real power, they typically have even less restraints, and operate as a law unto themselves. Often they are established by national governments to give them a convenient avenue to avoid constitutional or other restraints they find inconvenient, or to exert power or control beyond their own borders. (IMF, et al.)
    I considered trying to end with "Conclusions", but it's really pointless. Government power exists, and is generally controlled by people I consider to be corrupt. Nothing I write here is going to change that, so I'll just try to keep a low profile and hope to live out my life without being hassled or persecuted by them beyond the routine stuff.

    • DT

      Douglas T.

      9 12 2017 17:08

      0       0

      If you look in history, decay at the top is an all too familair story. But revolutions do occur, and they begin with people willing to take a stand against the corruption of the 'leadership'. Perhaps you lack the fortitude, but let's hope someone has it.
      On the other hand this series seems to be saying that life in our modern technolgical soceity has become so complex and chaotic, that the 'average guy' cannot manage it and needs technocrats (like Dee Smith) to manage it for him. So, if we loose our 'story' (a polite word for propaganda the real opium of the masses), we loose our ability to control society, the proverbial 'unwashed masses'. So what ever you do, don't contradict the story!
      And if you belive that ...

    • JG

      James G.

      11 12 2017 17:05

      1       0

      Great comment...I am also keeping a low profile
      Disregard the fortitude crack

    • GF

      Gordon F.

      11 12 2017 23:44

      1       1

      It's not so much fortitude, I think, as a lack of means. Archimedes said, "Give me a lever long enough, and a place on which to stand, and I can move the world." I have neither the lever nor the place to stand, and my interests and talents lie in other areas. I do not see any need to revolt against the powers that be. Their abuse of their position carries the seeds of their own destruction. I am much more interested in reserving some capital, especially knowledge and understanding, to survive their collapse and help put things together again.

  • GR

    Gregory R.

    9 12 2017 01:24

    17       1

    The commentators seem disturbed by current events like Brexit and Trump as they see their vision of the future being threatened by populist rear guard action and its assorted pleasantries. They appear to support the current institutions (i.e. US, EU, IMF, UN, FED, ECB, BOJ, BOE, etc.) and see them as the means to true global progress. They are completely oblivious to the problems of the existing order and the natural progression thereof. In fact, western democracies are aging and bankrupt with no means of funding huge governmental outlays and ballooning costs (military, medical, pension, education, welfare and other social entitlements). They can only increase debt, print money, manipulate markets and change the rules in hopes of holding the system together. The series missed the mark completely.

    • JO

      John O.

      9 12 2017 08:08

      10       1

      The concerns you list are certainly some of the reasons I figured we are "on the brink", in particular the mountains of unrepayable debt and the bigger mountains of unpayable government ponzi promises. I'd add deep state authoritarianism, central bank machinations, media corruption and thought control, state education, free shit armies of the unproductive, and engineered "immigration" invasions. So I was interested in this series when announced. At the end of it, while acknowledging some interesting but unmemorable thoughts presented at times, and with our main concerns unaddressed or whitewashed, I must still conclude that the main reason the (intellectually undiverse) people in this series feel we are suddenly "on the brink" (and suddenly concerned with "tribalism", with social unrest and inequality, and with social media and independent news) is that the CFR unusually lost control of two elections (Brexit and Trump). For which they are blaming the people ("majoritarians" with "short-termism") and badly chosen leaders (off-message "demagogues"). Not the deathly conflict between the population and our out-of-control welfare-warfare governments.

    • SD

      S D.

      11 12 2017 12:04

      1       1

      Where is the politician who will state the obvious - that thanks to globalisation and the rampant and reckless corruption within the financial services industry, all forms of social welfare must immediately be means tested and the pensionable age must immediately be raised to 79? Where is the public discussion of inevitable, radical tax rises? The end of free schooling? And the inevitability of default, with only the method up for discussion?

      Where is the series on the economic realities that are ultimately responsible for this situation, placed in an accurate and fair historical and political context? There is certainly an important series here to be produced, but Dee Smith sure as sh*t hasn't produced it.

    • WM

      William M.

      7 1 2018 21:09

      0       0

      Sarah D. They don't need to raise the pensionable age "immediately" to 79 nor means test it at once. Such acts will cause social chaos and generational and class warfare. A sensible approach cannot be fully explained here, but a gradual increase in the early pensionable age from 62 to 70 should start now and be completed by 2025. An increase in the full pensionable age to 70 should be accelerated and put in place by 2025. Anyone currently 60 should not be impacted as they will have had no time to plan for this. However, anyone aged 50 or under has plenty of time to adjust. The system needs to be reset just like the UK have recently done. Contributions must increase to more accurately match the benefit payouts from a lower working population, at least an extra 1% immediately increasing to and extra 2% by 2025. The economy should be able to withstand that. A superannuation style pension needs to be introduced immediately similar to Australia. Finally, regarding means testing those that have paid in under the promise of be payed out should be guaranteed to repayment of funds paid in. The above steps alone would keep Social Security viable. However the real problem is Medicare and that is an entirely
      different story.

  • bm

    bill m.

    9 12 2017 00:56

    1       0

    My question, where is the statue located shown at the very end of this video that depicts a camel, sphinx, and 3 human figures?

    • MM

      Michael M.

      9 12 2017 23:59

      2       0

      Albert Memorial, Kensington Gardens, London

  • DS

    David S.

    8 12 2017 21:00

    2       6

    Excellent series. We are deeply rooted in tribalism because it was so successful for human survival for many thousands of years. Two keys to the success of tribalism are a since of caring and a since of fairness. To rule tribal leaders needed members to care about each other and to dehumanize the enemy. This, of course, still works remarkable well in modern politics, especially in rhetoric. Caring and fairness are still the human traits that will help to keep humans from destroying each other, if possible. Pogo "We have met the enemy and he is us". DLS

    • DS

      David S.

      8 12 2017 23:53

      1       0

      Maybe this video is about future counterparty risk. If the rule of law cannot be maintained, who will pay off losses. DLS

  • SW

    Scott W.

    8 12 2017 18:41

    18       10

    Best line from this: "in this final episode..."

    • DS

      David S.

      8 12 2017 21:00

      5       4

      The best line for you.

    • CM

      Corey M.

      9 12 2017 02:41

      0       0

      schadenfreude

  • JG

    Jory G.

    8 12 2017 17:14

    34       4

    The United States was founded as a democratic republic based on rule of law as guided by a constitution, not a pure democracy which is pretty much just mob rule and why most if not all democracies have or are failing. It seems that many are trying to ignore the constitution and rule of law in an effort to convert the government into a pure democracy. It is not governments job to solve problems or manage the economy. Government's job is to protect and insure liberty. Those elected to congress and the presidency are not supposed to be leaders but servants. If we should some day awaken and again limit government to its rightful function most of the argument in the piece would vanish. I hear lots of general grand important sounding statements that contain little real substance. I think many of academia have been educated beyond their intellect.

    • IH

      Iain H.

      8 12 2017 18:46

      24       1

      @Jory G, I totally agree, as a temporary resident in the US I cannot help but notice the complete dysfunction of the Congress and Senate same for the media who have gone completely rabid over Trump and the so called Russian collusion. I was recently in Washington DC and visited the Space and Aeronautical museum, I was left with the feeling that the Glory days of the US have past, the space achievements and technological leaps of the past are beyond the ability of this country to finance. The infrastructure in the US is old and crumbling not to mention the sorry state of the pension funds, these issues are ignored in the media. I am just stunned by the process around the recent tax legislation, I don't think anyone really understands whats in the bill or its likely effect. The crazy debt ceiling debates and brinkmanship is appalling, strikes me as the activities of a nation on the brink of catastrophe.
      One thing I felt was missing from the series is the impact of central banks on the economy, globalisation and inequality, I feel these institutions play a huge and negative role on what is happening and where we are headed. The effect of debt in society is much ignored.

    • DS

      David S.

      9 12 2017 16:14

      3       0

      Both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were based on ideas developed by thinkers in the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment resulted from the "World on the Brink" in the 17th and 18th Century. I hope we can do as well, as the stakes - win or lose - are much higher. DLS

  • TS

    Timothy S.

    8 12 2017 14:21

    8       7

    Great series. A buffet of food for thought.

  • IZ

    Ignacio Z.

    8 12 2017 14:17

    5       7

    Democracy is a god that has failled. Hoppe’s ideas explain why in: https://mises.org/library/democracy-god-failed-1

    • DS

      David S.

      8 12 2017 21:03

      4       3

      Representative democracy has not failed, We have failed. DLS

    • SD

      S D.

      11 12 2017 11:59

      0       0

      The sole reason this situation exists is to discredit democracy, and with it the human right to self-determination. Fascism knocks once again at our door, this time aided and abetted by the US internet giants.

  • IZ

    Ignacio Z.

    8 12 2017 13:57

    8       2

    Sorry guys, the only constant thing in our lifes is change.....