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New Film By Scott Noble - Plutocracy [History of Political Repression in USA]
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[TD]Plutocracy - Subterranean Fire
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[TD]Hello everyone,
I've just uploaded the final entry of the "Plutocracy" series: Subterranean Fire. It can be viewed online for free. If you missed any of the previous four entries they can be viewed at the Metanoia website, where I'm currently holding a fundraiser for my next planned series. Plutocracy has been described by historian Sharon Smith as the "story of the American working class."
Subterranean Fire is my longest film to date, a full two hours, divided into three parts.
All of the entries in the series were designed to be self-contained. In other words, you needn't have viewed the previous films to enjoy the latest.
The new documentary focuses mostly on the 1930's to 1950's arguably the most important period in modern American history. These decades included the Great Depression, the peak of labor militancy in 1937 (probably the closest the US has come to a popular revolution since 1787), the rise of the "guest worker" phenomenon, the counter-attack against labor unions, the creation of the military industrial complex, the rise of the FBI, the foundations of the civil rights movement, and the purging of radicals from organized labor and public life.
For those who think this is ancient history and not particularly relevant, you will be surprised to see the many parallels to current events. The film is particularly relevant insofar as it explains how American unions were rendered more and more powerless, leading ultimately to neoliberalism and a general lack of effective working-class resistance.
I'm expecting a couple of reviews in the coming weeks, and will send those out as they come in.
The subject matter of the Plutocracy series is not exactly light and fluffy. It's frequently very dark, because it's an accurate telling of the American experience. I'm not Ken Burns. But I've also tried to focus on some of the many inspiring episodes of American history: stories of ordinary people coming together and fighting back against incredible odds. Part V includes a section on the incredible sit-down wave of 1937, focusing extensively on the auto industry.
I've also ended each film on a positive note. In part I it was the New Orleans general strike of 1892; in part II it was the Lawrence Textile Strike, etc. I end part V with the current resurgence of strike activity. Although the situation looks rather bleak, we witnessed more American strike activity in 2018 than any year since 1986. We also saw the largest strike in human history occur in India.
At this year's Milken Institute conference (basically a gathering of billionaires), one hedge fund manager warned that they either had to reform capitalism or face global revolution. There are interesting times ahead.
Thank you again to everyone who has donated or otherwise contributed to my work. The fundraiser for my next planned series, "BlackList", is here. Blacklist would focus mostly on the American state's Counter-Intelligence Operations against dissidents during the 60s and 70's, but also include some material on the 50's, 80's, and (time permitting) the current state of affairs. I would also like to address broader institutional issues such as the development of the war on drugs, the militarization of the police, the prison industrial complex, and negative forms of pseudo "left" identity politics. I'm hoping to raise funds for three entries.
This may be the last of these types of fundraisers I conduct. For awhile now I've been thinking about trying to reach a larger audience through mainstream distribution networks. "BlackList" however has no conceivable chance of being funded let alone promoted by any semi-mainstream organization because the subject matter is simply too controversial.
The series would include for example a skeptical take on the authorship of the assassination of Martin Luther King; the use of agent provocateurs by the FBI; and outrageous but little-known incidents like the aerial bombing of the MOVE compound in Philadelphia during the 70's.
The lawyer and historian James Wolfe argues that the FBI's counter-Intelligence programs were in many ways a domestic manifestation of what the CIA was doing abroad. Domestic operations were typically much less bloody, but the "dirty tricks" were pretty similar, and indeed they sometimes involved extreme violence including assassinations. Indeed virtual death squads were created on American Indian reservations.
I've already interviewed a number of scholars as well as activists from the time period. These include interviews with eg the late Howard Zinn and John Judge; Noam Chomsky and Staughton Lynd; founding Black Panther member Larry Pinkney; AIM original founding member John Trudell; Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report; Christian Parenti ("Lockdown America"); Peter Dale Scott; actor and activist Peter Coyote, and others.
There have been several excellent documentaries made about this era, but all such films either take too narrow a focus or too broad a focus. I would like to create the first comprehensive look at what happened during the 60's and 70's vis a vis "counter-intelligence" and the crushing of dissent in the United States. I'd also like to explore how this oppression coincided with the rise of the national security state (including the NSA) and a sharp decline in union power. Which brings us back to Subterranean Fire.

Scott Noble [/TD]
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"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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New Film By Scott Noble - Plutocracy [History of Political Repression in USA] - by Peter Lemkin - 10-05-2019, 07:39 PM

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