Vice News, 2019, 4:36… Finland has been declared the happiest country in the world for the second year in a row. On Wednesday, the United Nations released its annual World Happiness Report and confirmed the Nordic country as the reigning champion of joy. But in many ways, the land of frigid temperatures and dark winter days seems like the most unlikely of choices.
Vice News, 2019, 4:49… In October, New York University hosted “On Your Marx” — a two week long jubilee to celebrate this bicentennial with a broad, eccentric slate of panel discussions and performances. In the spirit of camaraderie, tickets to all events were priced pay-as-you-wish — from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. VICE News went to sample several of the festival’s unique offerings, including a choral rendition of the Communist Manifesto, a Marxist party with DJs AndrewAndrew, and a contemporary dance performance "ritualizing the labor of its dancers."
The Atlantic, 2018, 3:20… America is the richest civilization in history. Why, then, are our living standards so low compared to those of other wealthy democracies? “There’s a big idea out there that could help solve this,” says The Atlantic writer Annie Lowrey. “It’s called a universal basic income.” In a new animated video, Lowrey argues that UBI—a concept that has existed for more than 500 years—would help close the income inequality gap, eliminating poverty and increasing mobility and opportunity for all American citizens.
Too Many Students? China Has a Plan... -- China Uncensored, 2017, 5:56 -- https://youtu.be/ZtYog7dfWi0
An interesting perspective on China's required military service for young people and how they avoid such service. Keep in mind that many American men, some of whom are now in positions of great social power, did the same excusatory practices during Vietnam. While this video may start out sounding a bit too ethnocentric, I think it recovers well and ultimately shows us that "we" are not so different after all. This lesson is made more important when we consider the anomic state of our globalized economies right now.
Privatizing America – Vice News, 2017, 4:35 -- https://youtu.be/lwKWsQlk3JQ
How do public works projects get done in a capitalistic system? Privatization is a common answer in contemporary American society. This video highlights some of the problems with this approach through looking at privatized roads, tolls, and city parking.
Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe -- BBC, 2015, 4:11 -- https://youtu.be/DEjbFBmRgHA
A brilliant satire on comedian Russell Brand's communist/socialist politics. Students generally recognize Brand (formerly married to singer Katy Perry) and although this is humorous marxist rhetoric, it is nevertheless true. In the Truevolution episodes, Brand analyzes commercials (aka "mind control pellets") demonstrating how they preserve the status quo of inequality and social oppression. The language used here is particularly impressive and serves as a fine example of the conflict perspective applied to everyday life.
Truevolution 1 (commercials & Ikea): https://youtu.be/bSmP4q3oQ6c?t=18m22s
Truevolution 2 (kids shows): https://youtu.be/3An8mzU1HGE?t=9m40s
Russell Brand as Prime Minister: https://youtu.be/EKDKt0lh3Y0