Posted by: graphiclucidity | July 13, 2009

the commanding heights

Commanding Heights:  The Battle for the World Economy

A 2002 documentary based on the 1998 book of the same name.
The authors are Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw .

I highly recommend this documentary for anybody who’s interested in economics, and the  advance of capitalism, statism, and corporatism, in the last half century. Commanding Heights is a journey from  back to the early 20th century up until September 2001 and in the process it weaves an entertaining, informative and  interesting storyline during six hours of film. The documentary explains  how the Global Economy of the 21st Century came into existence after the end of World War II up through the events of 9/11.  Interviews with economic & historical experts and politicians, historical film clips, and explanations of various competing economic theory form the narrative of the film.

The basic arc of Commanding Heights is a personal and professional examination of two competing proteges in the field of economics  – John Maynard Keynes of the left, and Friedrich von Hayek on the right, and how their competing theories have formed the basis of our economic systems today. Keynes’ government-interventionist/statist economic theories, Macroeconomics, became what is now known as Keynesian economics. Hayek’s ideas came from his long-time study of the Austrian school of economics. He would later publish his most famous work, an essay against socialism and government economic intervention: Road to Serfdom. which later influenced Margaret Thatcher & Ronald Reagan during the 1980s boom years.

While watching the film you may, like me, find an almost eerie sense of warning and caution about the future, as the narrative recounts historical & recent economic crises and their causes, which unfortunately have come to pass again during the current financial crisis.

Visit PBS.org and their nicely-designed, inter-info-active, web site
– w/ full videos in Quicktime and Windows media –

click here for Commanding Heights hi-speed site

A short (2 min.) introduction clip is available at YouTube below:

Watch this documentary if you want to understand the century long processes which have brought us to the current global economy and the current financial crisis.

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