My Analysis of the film/documentary “Surviving Progress."
The movie Surviving Progress is setup in the genre of a documentary that functions to provide informative messages that the planet is slowly sending out messages that the world has to change to save itself from the inevitable self destruction that it is destined for. This movie is filled with questions that are critical to our very existence and it tries to communicate these facts and use credible people like its famous executive producer Martin Scorsese, along with notables Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, Ronald Wright (author of ‘A Short History of Progress’), Michael Hudson (economic historian/and former Wall Street economist), Jane Goodall, Margaret Atwood, and Stephen Hawking to convey the message to the viewer.
The title ‘Surviving Progress’ itself describes the essential meaning of this presentation that immediately generates one’s interest to a point of curiosity. It alludes to the reality of our past civilization that has become valid concerns for our present civilization and subsequently the future. The content is explicit and is first exhibited with the first image viewed once the video is loaded into your communications device and display a large metropolitan and very modern city with many high rise structures and buildings that are crammed together in the limited space of a crowded city, all surrounding a gray and shiny waterfront that shows this metropolis brightly lit but without a natural rainbow color scheme. The title is display in large bold white letters that get the viewers attention right away. Added to all of this scenery is introduction of music sounds of a piano that continues to play the same musical notes over and over as if it was a constant thought pattern to build apprehension as to what may be coming next.
There are clear affective responses with the many messages and emotions conveyed about the disparities of the situation on our planet by the credible individuals that are used to communicate these thoughts about the parts of the world that are affected with a history about the past civilizations that should warn us about the future civilization to come.
This documentary explores the progress in our modern world and attempts to guide us through the major progress traps facing our world in the arenas of technology, economics, consumption, and effects on the environment of our civilization. It uncovers some of the progress traps that have destroyed past lives and brings to light some of those that lie embedded in our own civilization. The documentary states a belief that we as humans have reached a crossroad in the development of our intelligence, but we may not be wise enough to get ourselves out of the trouble we have created to avoid it destroying our future. It attempts to define progress and make a distinction between good progress and bad progress which is believed to be made clearer that they change both in nature and human society and becomes increasingly more complex as change proceeds. How we dilute ourselves in believing that these changes always results in improvement from the human point of view. That we have currently reached a point in which technological progress at increasing our economy and numbers threatens the existence of humanity. The question of “What is progress?” is a question that sometimes stumps many people at first and it has to be contemplated more deeply at first thought.
The movie terms a phase: ‘Progress Traps,’ that can define human behaviors that seem to be good, and seem to provide benefits in the short term but ultimately lead to disaster because they are unsustainable. One example per Ronald Wright would be going back into the Old Stone Age when our ancestors were hunting mammoths. They reached a point where their weapons and hunting techniques got so good that they destroyed hunting as a way of life throughout most of the world. These people discovered how to kill two mammoths instead of one and they had made real progress, but then they discovered that they could eat better by driving 200 mammoths over a cliff and collect them in piles had fell into a progress trap. They had made too much progress and as time passed there were less and less mammoths to hunt.
Today we are essentially the same as our Stone Age hunters. We are running 21st century software/knowledge on hardware/our brains today that has not been upgraded by evolution for 50,000 years and this is what lies at the core of many of our problems. This is because our human nature is back in the hunter gatherer era of the Old Stone Age. Whereas our knowledge and technology, in other words, our ability to do both good and harm to ourselves and the world in general has grown out of all proportion and we allow economics to supersede our ability to clearly focus on the things that makes us different from primates and that is the ability to resolve questions by asking ourselves WHY?
We are still that ice age hunter that though that there was always going to be that big mammoth around the corner is similar to today’s stock trader who believes there is always going to be a big killing on the stock market in a week or two.
This documentary concludes by bringing to our attention that just like during Roman times, the concentration of irreversible wealth was moved to the wealthiest at the top of the economic pyramid. This is what progress has meant ever since. It has meant that you will never get back what we take from you. This is what brought on the dark age and it is what is threatening to bring on the dark age again if society does not realize that if it lets the wealth concentrate in the hands of the financial class, that this class is not going to be any more intelligent and long term in deposing of the wealth as its predecessors in Rome or any other Oligarchy with wealth and political power attached to it will. Per Michael Hudson (economic historian/former Wall Street economist).
Copyright/Reported by Claude Evans 314-475-0744 email: firstname.lastname@example.org