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
Technology, Globalization, Geopolitics
64 minutes


  • KN

    Kelly N.

    4 11 2018 22:07

    0       0

    Politically correct waste of time...

  • 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.

  • 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

    15       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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    9       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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • GR

    Gregory R.

    9 12 2017 01:24

    19       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.

  • 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?

  • 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

  • SW

    Scott W.

    8 12 2017 18:41

    19       10

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

  • JG

    Jory G.

    8 12 2017 17:14

    35       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.

  • V!

    Volatimothy !.

    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

  • IZ

    Ignacio Z.

    8 12 2017 13:57

    8       2

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