Capitalism, Socialism and Globalization

A Film- Lecture Series

Thursdays 10-12 am at the Sheffield Theater

Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism is a historical narrative chronicling the movement that rivaled the great religions in sweep and power, but ultimately failed to deliver the "Heaven on Earth" promised by its most ambitious advocates. Hour 1 - The Rise: It was one of the most powerful political ideas in history, a new faith for a skeptical age. It promised a world of harmony and abundance - if only property were shared by all and distributed equally. The idea was called "socialism," and it spread farther and faster than any religion in history. Then, in almost the blink of an eye, it all collapsed. What happened? In this series, we trace the rise and fall of an idea that changed the world - an idea that promised a heaven right here on earth. Hour 2 – Revolutions: When Vladimir Lenin seized power in Russia in 1917, he created the world's first socialist state. But other socialists said that Lenin's dictatorship wasn't true socialism at all. Over the next sixty years, people who called themselves socialists-often disagreeing violently with each other-would rise to power in scores of countries all over the globe … until they ruled more than 60 percent of humanity. Hour 3 - The Collapse: By the late 1970s roughly sixty percent of the world's population found itself under socialist governments of one kind or another. Communists ruled China, Russia, Eastern Europe and much of Asia. Third World socialist governments controlled thirty nations in the Middle East and Africa. Social Democratic parties held majorities in much of Western Europe. Even with all its problems, socialism was still in power. Then, unexpectedly, the pendulum began to swing.

May 21 2015 – Heaven On Earth: The Rise & Fall of Socialism Part 1

May 28, 2015 – Heaven On Earth: The Rise & Fall of Socialism Part 2

June 4, 2015 – Heaven On Earth: The Rise & Fall of Socialism Part 3

The subject of Commanding Heights is the globalization of world trade in the 20th century. It does so in three-two hour installments. Part 1 shows how the world moved from market economies to planned economies and back to market economies in a century. Part 2 shows the impact, sometimes painful, of moving to market economies. Part 3 addresses the current and future problems of a globalized world. That's the structure. The brilliance here, and there is much, is how clearly, thoroughly, and excitingly the stories are told. This is not an economics lesson; this is high drama that impacts peoples’ lives. Commanding Heights shows that it is people who create the ideas, it is people who accept or reject them, it is people who profit or suffer by them. The series travels to the locations where events happened, and in many cases, interviews the people who made them happen, from Bill Clinton to Milton Friedman to workers in various countries. The pacing of the series is also excellent. It is amazing how many topics are covered in little time, yet, the pace does not seem rushed. Even if you have no interest in business, Commanding Heights is still fascinating to watch. There is also an accompanying website with background information on the history, people, and ideas presented. Commanding Heights is a triumph.

May 27, 2015 – The Commanding Heights Part 1

June 4, 2015 – The Commanding Heights Part 2

June 11, 2015 – The Commanding Heights Part 3

Other Related Films:

Faith of the Century A History of Communism (In 4 Parts)

Communism History of an Illusion