Friday, May 31, 2013

John Kenneth Galbraith's "Age of Uncertainty: Weekend in Vermont" (Pt 2)

Continuing with John Kenneth Galbraith's 1977 documentary series, The Age of Uncertainty, Episode 14, Weekend in Vermont Part 2:

This is the second of three segments featuring conversations with a group that includes:

  • Soviet expert on the US Georgi Arbatov
  • German liberal Ralf Dahrendorf
  • Then-Washington Post owner Katherine Graham
  • Former British Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath
  • Jack Jones (Bristish trade unionists)
  • Kukrit Pramoj who was Prime Minister of Thailand 1975-6
  • Historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
  • Canadian stress expert Hans Selye
  • British Secretary of State for Education and Science and then-Labour MP Shirley Williams.
  • Tom Winship of the Boston Globe

The dinner discussion here begins with the concept of "industrial democracy," which was then a current priority for Western European social democratic parties. It's a reminder of how today's social democrats in Europe have knuckled under so much to neoliberal "free market" ideology. Consumerism also comes into the discussion. Tom Winship rather grumpily introduces the question of how the mass media should contribute to the development of the individual and of democratic institutions, which leads to how democracies should handle "state secrets." Georgi Arbatov's portion of the broadcast version of this discussion were awkward. The bulk of the episode is taken up with discussion on the press.

Then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger shows up fashionably late at around 22:00. Those who remember the time that Kissinger was in office may find this segment a bit creepy, as I did.

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