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Extremely powerful discussion of ethics in American politics.

DVD Review: Ethos: A Time For Change

For some reason, there are a couple of DVDs up for release this month which tackle the various societal problems we as Americans are facing. Oddly enough, although heavily political in nature, neither even mention the election of Barack Obama as President in 2008. Maybe his election is “an inconvenient truth” that the producers simply decided to omit. In any event, this review is focused upon a most excellent film set for DVD release on February 7, 2012 titled Ethos: A Time For Change.

The 69-minute movie is narrated by Woody Harrelson, and features a veritable “who’s who” of commentators. Some of the more well-known personalities who appear are Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Daniel Ellsberg, and John McCain. There is also vintage footage of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Eleanor Roosevelt — among many others.

The title Ethos: A Time For Change is well-chosen. In this review context though, my title would be simply “What Happened To Ethics In America?” I doubt if there are many on either the left or the right who would argue that the concept of ethics still exists in American politics.

What Ethos does in a very forthright manner is lay out just exactly what has happened to ethics in American politics. The statement “We really don’t have elections anymore, we have auctions,” sums it up pretty well.

To prove the point, the film then goes on into a completely public record of the power structure. Does anyone not find it the least bit odd that so many boards of directors bounce back and forth between their corporations, and incredibly influential government positions? This particular phenomenon is not even a left versus right observation. It is simply the power structure as it exists to this very day in the U.S.

I kind of wish Obama had been called out a bit here, because he is as guilty as his predecessors. It also might have helped to defuse the whole “left-wing propaganda” baloney with which I am certain Ethos: A Time For Change will be dismissed by some critics.

There are quite a number of very strong, and very thought-provoking comments made throughout the course of this picture. But the one that stuck with me the most was made by a former member of the British Parliament — Tony Benn. He sort of sums up the real situation that Occupy and other (basically unfocused groups) know in their hearts with this statement; “Nobody in power really wants democracy, because democracy would challenge the basic power structure of their authority.”

This is pure conjecture on my part, but I honestly believe that Obama was elected in many ways with a brilliantly disguised class warfare strategy. In my opinion, he is still using it, and may indeed get a second term with it. Nonetheless, has anything really changed for the majority of U.S. citizens since his election? Not that I can see.

In most cases, politics are reserved for the “Politics” section of this site. But this is a purely political DVD. So, with all due respect, they necessarily come into play. I’ll stop here though by simply recommending this DVD to both the left and the right. The material, and interviews this film contains suggest a great deal of further investigation.

One of these is an author by the name of Edward Bernays (1891 -1995) who is referred to nearly reverentially as “The Father of Public Relations.” His work is practically Biblical in the way marketing is done in every field, including (most especially) politics. Making a person’s desire override their actual need for a product is a brilliant advertising technique — and it is what politics in the United States today is all about.

There are also some fascinating (and in the public record) revelations about just how far The Patriot Act basically revoked the fourth and sixth Amendments to the Constitution. This is not some stoned rant against G.W. Bush — although I’ll bet FOX paints it that way.

In fact, there are a number of incredible moments in this film that I have not even discussed. The whole idea of micro-chipping babies is one, although that idea seems to have died… for now.

Sixty-nine minutes of information this disturbing can feel like a lifetime. And again, I find the lack of “testicular-fortitude” in never even mentioning Barack Obama’s acquiescence to the true power structure of this country more than disappointing.

Still, Ethos: A Time For Change has a lot to say. And without question, these problems are the problems of both the left and the right. They are the way of life the vast majority of this country, the middle class, face on a daily basis. I cannot even offer you a dismissal of it being “conspiracy theory” because too much of the evidence is in the public record, and easily looked at by anyone with a computer.

Extras are non-existent, but who cares? Look into some of the sources cited, and you will find plenty to supplement the basic premise of the film. Ethos: A Time For Change achieves something much more powerful than simply being a picture full of political rhetoric. It shows us in no uncertain terms that “The American Way” is being corrupted by people who do not give a damn about any of us.

Left versus right is a pretty stupid diversion when the real agenda is for companies to make money by sending our children to war for no other reason than to make profits. At one point 70% of those polled thought Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11.

Funny, huh? Except that he had nothing to do with it at all, as Bush eventually admitted. But a hell of a lot of mothers and fathers lost their children to that lie. And I’ll end it here, except to say that I thank the Lord that my son was never called up to duty. Because guess what? His life is more important to me than Halliburton’s profits will ever be.

Ethos: A Time For Change will be released on DVD February 7, 2012.

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