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<v Narrator>[birds chirping] This is Tintagel Head on the southwestern coast of England. <v Narrator>There are ruins of a castle here that date from the Middle Ages. <v Narrator>Nearby are the still older foundations of a Celtic monastery <v Narrator>built in the 5th century, in the Dark Ages following the collapse <v Narrator>of the Roman Empire. <v Narrator>Out of this time of chaos and terror emerged the legends of King <v Narrator>Arthur, whose birth popular tradition has long associated with <v Narrator>this place. <v Narrator>It is curious that the ?dream? of Camelot, a society of justice, <v Narrator>peace and prosperity should have arisen in the darkness that preceded <v Narrator>the dawn of Western civilization [waves crashing]. <v Narrator>Perhaps the darkest times call forth the brightest hopes. <v Narrator>[music plays] [video flickers in and out] But the dream of Camelot has eluded us. <v Narrator>It is an ideal always haunted by the failure of men to achieve it. <v Narrator>Now there are those who say that Western civilization has run its course.
<v Narrator>That our efforts to create a society of peace and prosperity have nearly <v Narrator>failed. <v Narrator>That ahead of us waits the prospect of a new dark age. <v Narrator>Around us rise the voices of the doomsayers. <v Radio Announcer>?inaudible? Los Angeles rush by suggestion for Los Angeles limelight ?cars?. <v Radio Announcer>Just what I needed. And we had- <v Narrator>For most people, tomorrow is just another day. <v Narrator>The weather may change. [car honking] Stocks may rise and fall. <v Narrator>There may be rumors of war in faraway places. <v Narrator>But the system keeps on working. <v Narrator>So who are these people predicting an end to all of this? <v Narrator>Some see the crisis coming from Wall Street. <v Edward Cornish>I think the possibility of a very serious economic <v Edward Cornish>depression is very real.
<v Narrator>Others see doom raining from the sky. <v Adm. Gene Larocque>I think that we're just simply going to blow ourselves up as a result of our arrogance <v Adm. Gene Larocque>in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. <v Narrator>Some see our end in overpopulation. <v Anne Ehrlich>Starvation is a very real possibility. <v Narrator>Others, in dwindling resources. <v David Brower>When you attack in an exponentially increasing rate, resources that are not renewable, <v David Brower>you're headed for trouble. <v Narrator>And for some, all of these dangers are merely symptoms of a civilization that is <v Narrator>winding down. <v Fritjof Capra>The way I see our current situation is <v Fritjof Capra>a way which has been described by cultural historians many times. <v Fritjof Capra>Toynbee and many others have noted that civilizations or <v Fritjof Capra>cultures have the tendency to rise, culminate <v Fritjof Capra>and then decline and disintegrate. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>As people become aware, consciously or unconsciously, that they <v Malcolm Muggeridge>belong to a civilization, a way of life that's expiring,
<v Malcolm Muggeridge>there is a sadness in- that <v Malcolm Muggeridge>they pick up without understanding exactly why. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>And you can find, for instance, in music and in <v Malcolm Muggeridge>works of art, you can find that sadness. <v Narrator>[music playing] Over 50 years ago, the poet WB Yeats described our time. <v Narrator>Things fall apart. The center cannot hold. <v Narrator>Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world [man shouting]. <v Narrator>The blood dimmed tide is loosed. <v Narrator>And everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned. <v Narrator>[waves crashing] But is anyone listening to the doomsayers? <v Narrator>The idea that they are is reflected in recent surveys. And in the research of leading social scientists. <v Narrator>At the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California, Dr. Willis Harman. <v Dr. Willis Harman>There's a lot of fear, there's a lot of despair.
<v Dr. Willis Harman>Uh there's a certain basis for uh for both. <v Dr. Willis Harman>There's a basis for feeling that our present approaches to the problems <v Dr. Willis Harman>uh of the nation and the problems of the world are not gonna solve those problems. <v Narrator>Fritjof Capra, a theoretical physicist at Berkeley, is the author of a new <v Narrator>book on the demise of Western culture called The Turning Point. <v Fritjof Capra>I think it's true that there's a mood of fear in the country and mood of uncertainty. <v Fritjof Capra>Maybe in some quarters, the mood of panic even. <v Fritjof Capra>And I think it comes whenever you are confronted with a no exit situation. <v Fritjof Capra>Whenever you have a situation where you don't know what to do, you think that's the end. <v Fritjof Capra>There's no way out. <v Narrator>South of London in the rolling Sussex countryside is the home of Malcolm Muggeridge. <v Narrator>Journalist, TV commentator, and in recent years, an increasingly <v Narrator>acerbic social critic. <v Narrator>Muggeridge views our age from a Christian perspective that echoes voices like <v Narrator>William Blake and Pascal.
<v Malcolm Muggeridge>I find you know the most in- almost the most interesting thing in life at the end of it <v Malcolm Muggeridge>for me, is this amazing theme of irony <v Malcolm Muggeridge>that runs ?inaudible?, which I see as God <v Malcolm Muggeridge>really talking to us in parables. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>Men are so avaricious, so full of cupidity, so in love with money <v Malcolm Muggeridge>that they can't stop printing it and therefore money becomes worthless. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>And so on! The contradiction that we want to be so strong that we can deal with <v Malcolm Muggeridge>all our enemies. [explosion] We developed this amazing weapon. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>It's a weapon that we can only use by total destruction. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>We're like Samson, you know, when he stands and the only thing ?he used any way? <v Malcolm Muggeridge>can show strength is to pull down the pillars and destroy himself and everybody there. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>That is precisely the position the western world is in, but they won't face it. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>That if and when a war comes, then on- the only means <v Malcolm Muggeridge>of conducting that war will be America's nuclear strength. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>And America's nuclear strength means ?inaudible?
<v Malcolm Muggeridge>destroying the Western world. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>This is why seeing it this kind of incredible logic <v Malcolm Muggeridge>of destruction. But it's not, I hasten to say, again, the <v Malcolm Muggeridge>end of the world. It's just the end of one more little <v Malcolm Muggeridge>effort that men have made to construct a civilization. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>And it's finished. <v Narrator>[birds chirping] [music plays] The English sense of history is shaped not only by the <v Narrator>earliest remnants of our own civilization, but also by reminders <v Narrator>of glories long past. <v Narrator>Near the village of ?Sylchester? and Hampshire is the Calleva Atrebatum. <v Narrator>A Roman city which has now disappeared, save for its wall and <v Narrator>a neighboring amphitheater. <v Narrator>For Muggeridge, it is only history and religion that force our utopian <v Narrator>aspirations into perspective. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>One of Christianity's greatest contributions <v Malcolm Muggeridge>to mankind, in my opinion, was its pessimism,
<v Malcolm Muggeridge>its awareness that man is a foreign creature and that nothing that he does <v Malcolm Muggeridge>or constructs would be perfect. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>It's a very stabilizing view of life. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>But as soon as you lose that, people begin to be blown <v Malcolm Muggeridge>up with vanity over the great technological achievements <v Malcolm Muggeridge>and so on. And they imagine that man is all powerful, that he can <v Malcolm Muggeridge>make such a wonderful life for himself. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>Heroic and glorious. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>And of course, only to face inevitable deception. <v Narrator>Though they may not share Muggeridge's perspective, many people sense that our <v Narrator>hopes for a [city sounds] better world are being challenged as never before. <v Narrator>Out of this general ?inaudible? [background noise masks audio] several scenarios emerge
<v Narrator>as specific visions of the dangers we face. <v Adam Smith>There are many dangers that can put Western civilization on the line alright we've been <v Adam Smith>living under uh the threat of a nuclear exchange since the 1940s, <v Adam Smith>which would end civilization. And we know that we live under the threat of <v Adam Smith>uh bacteriological warfare, which could end civilization. <v Adam Smith>And now we add to this list of worries a a financial breakdown. <v Adam Smith>And could that end it as we know it? <v Adam Smith>Certainly. Why not? <v Edward Cornish>I would give the likelihood of a serious depression within the 1980s <v Edward Cornish>as high as 80 percent, perhaps even higher. <v Narrator>Edward Cornish is president of a network of futurists and planners. <v Narrator>Headquartered next to a used clothing store in Bethesda, Maryland. <v Narrator>Through speeches and articles in the Societies magazine, he has urged <v Narrator>serious consideration of the forces that could be unleashed by a major depression <v Narrator>during the coming decade.
<v Edward Cornish>The um United States government has no office set up <v Edward Cornish>to deal with a major economic uh collapse of this character, <v Edward Cornish>and um you simply find very little thought <v Edward Cornish>is really being given to it, except for a few uh people <v Edward Cornish>on the fringes of the economic uh profession you might say. <v Narrator>One of those people is newsletter, publisher and hard money advocate Howard <v Narrator>Ruff. <v Howard Ruff>?inaudible? now depression is a word that uh generally in the minds of most <v Howard Ruff>people and in the minds of the economists, refers to a deflationary scenario [jazz music <v Howard Ruff>plays] like we had in the 1930s where prices fall destroying <v Howard Ruff>business profits, businesses in trouble, but wages fall faster and unemployment <v Howard Ruff>rises 25 or 30 to 25 or 30 percent. <v Howard Ruff>And that is the classic definition of of depression. <v Howard Ruff>But if you were to redefine that slightly and say inflate uh depression is a massive loss <v Howard Ruff>of purchasing power throughout the economy, then it's possible under that definition to <v Howard Ruff>have an inflationary depression.
<v Edward Cornish>Howard Ruff uh emphasizes an inflationary depression. <v Edward Cornish>Uh I think that he could be right about this. <v Edward Cornish>I think it's also possible that we would see a deflationary uh <v Edward Cornish>uh depression in which money would become increasingly valuable rather than losing <v Edward Cornish>its its its value totally. <v Howard Ruff>The United States government can stop depressions because <v Howard Ruff>it's politically acceptable to stop depression. <v Howard Ruff>In fact you do it at the demand of the people. <v Howard Ruff>It's fun to print money and bail people out and shovel it out and buy votes. <v Howard Ruff>Stopping inflation, which is a reverse process, involves saying no to everybody. <v Howard Ruff>That's hard. <v Edward Cornish>Now, I think that the government has the power to print money, but what it does not <v Edward Cornish>have the power to do very easily is to create purchasing power, because <v Edward Cornish>what happens when the government starts running those printing presses is people lose <v Edward Cornish>confidence in the money. People become less willing to accept <v Edward Cornish>um paper money uh for their goods. <v Narrator>The final loss of belief in the currency could trigger the kind of hyperinflation <v Narrator>that ravaged Germany between the wars.
<v Narrator>The specter of money worth less than the paper it's printed on still haunts <v Narrator>the vision of those who see inflation as the high road to disaster. <v Narrator>In the end, the door is opened to chaos or worse. <v Howard Ruff>It's during that period where you have no acceptable means of exchange. <v Howard Ruff>Temporarily, you're trying to function with barter, which you can't do for very long. <v Howard Ruff>That's the chaotic period that no one can understand. <v Edward Cornish>If we see a a general collapse of the Western economies and <v Edward Cornish>and we've got to admit that if the U.S. <v Edward Cornish>economy goes into a depression, the likelihood is that other <v Edward Cornish>countries are also going to experience a depression because of the integration of the <v Edward Cornish>world economies. Now, uh with some 160 different <v Edward Cornish>nations around the world who might be be experiencing hard <v Edward Cornish>times and having to cope with uh populations that are suddenly militant <v Edward Cornish>and demanding um some kind of economic satisfaction, that we will see <v Edward Cornish>increasing military adventurism.
<v Edward Cornish>And today, we live in a world where more and more countries have nuclear <v Edward Cornish>weapons. Um so I think that that the likelihood of <v Edward Cornish>nuclear war is unfortunately rather steadily increasing. <v Narrator>[explosion] Nuclear war. To most people, the ultimate catastrophe. <v Narrator>Fears of economic collapse are eclipsed by the growing sense in many quarters <v Narrator>that nuclear war is inevitable. <v David Brower>The one thing that bothers me more than anything else is the new shift of thinking going <v David Brower>on in Washington is that people are saying a nuclear war is winnable. <v Narrator>U.S. Senator Jake Garn has been a longtime supporter of increased military <v Narrator>spending. He is a member of the Senate Select Subcommittee on Intelligence. <v Jake Garn>For many years, some people have said that war <v Jake Garn>or nuclear war was unthinkable simply because no one could <v Jake Garn>win. The Soviet strategy has always been based on the fact that they
<v Jake Garn>thought they could win a nuclear war. <v Jake Garn>They would suffer great losses. <v Jake Garn>They lost 20 million people in World War Two. <v Jake Garn>So their strategy has been one that, yes, we can win a nuclear war. <v Jake Garn>And I think that is the more realistic strategy. <v Helen Caldicott>Now when you've got people talking like that and as I travel around this country, people <v Helen Caldicott>hate the Russians so much at the moment that they would fight with no <v Helen Caldicott>concept of what that means. <v Adm. Gene Larocque>I think uh our government and by and large, the people of this country are much more <v Adm. Gene Larocque>concerned about fighting and winning a nuclear war than they are of avoiding a nuclear <v Adm. Gene Larocque>war. <v Orrin Hatch>The important way to stop nuclear uh proliferation or nuclear weaponry <v Orrin Hatch>or nuclear war is to be so strong that we have a strong deterrent <v Orrin Hatch>effect against the misuse of nuclear weapons or nuclear power all over the world. <v Orrin Hatch>Uh unfortunately, we're not that strong right now. But I I believe we will come back. <v Narrator>Helen Caldicott is president of the Boston based Physicians for Social Responsibility,
<v Narrator>a prominent anti-nuclear group. <v Helen Caldicott>And so when you have a country gearing up for war, which this country is, and <v Helen Caldicott>so is Russia, it was Einstein who said you cannot simultaneously <v Helen Caldicott>prepare for and prevent war. <v Narrator>Bruce Clayton is an ecologist who has devoted his career to a study of the <v Narrator>consequences of nuclear war. <v Narrator>He favors a renewed military buildup, [explosion] although in his view, that will <v Narrator>hardly guarantee peace. <v Bruce Clayton>I think it's probably reasonable to say that historically uh <v Bruce Clayton>balance of power confrontations degenerate into major wars. <v Bruce Clayton>World War I was an example of that, the Pax Britannia breaking down <v Bruce Clayton>and that our arms race will almost certainly <v Bruce Clayton>develop into a major war sooner or later. <v Bruce Clayton>The other side of that argument is that if <v Bruce Clayton>we stop arming as as we have and if we do not uh attempt to rearm uh my
<v Bruce Clayton>interest being mainly into getting us to do some significant civil defense, which is a <v Bruce Clayton>part of that package, if we don't do it and they continue to arm <v Bruce Clayton>the war comes sooner and we lose it. <v Bruce Clayton>And that is uh those are the the two sides of that particular sword. <v Bruce Clayton>There is no winning in that. <v Bruce Clayton>It's, I think, one of the uh the historical tragedies of human <v Bruce Clayton>nature. And it's a dilemma we're we're caught in. <v Bruce Clayton>And I don't think there's a way out. <v Narrator>[music plays] If the idea of economic depression conjures images of the 1930s, <v Narrator>our mental images of nuclear war can only rely on these pictures <v Narrator>of Hiroshima, Japan. <v Narrator>Yet the almost pristine totality of destruction left by man's first use <v Narrator>of nuclear weapons utterly fails to convey the scale of desolation <v Narrator>that would be left after a modern war.
<v Narrator>[explosion] Indeed the prospect of nuclear war prompts the most chilling question of our <v Narrator>age. What, if anything, would be left after such <v Narrator>a Holocaust? <v Narrator>For Bruce Clayton, a devout survivalist, there will be life after doomsday. <v Narrator>But others do not share his optimism. <v Helen Caldicott>Let's talk about a 20 megaton bomb dropping on a city. <v Helen Caldicott>It would gouge out a crater half a mile wide and 300 feet deep. <v Helen Caldicott>Uh it would vaporize most people and buildings up to a radius of six miles in the center. <v Helen Caldicott>Lethally injure or kill most people out to a radius of 20 miles from the center. <v Helen Caldicott>When I say lethally injure I mean shocking burns and shocking trauma as bodies are sucked <v Helen Caldicott>out of buildings by the uh precious ?inaudible? <v Helen Caldicott>and slammed against other buildings and millions of shards of flying <v Helen Caldicott>glass bisecting, dissecting and decapitating people with shocking organ
<v Helen Caldicott>injuries. <v Bruce Clayton>Certainly there's a lot of flying debris and 20 megaton is a very big bomb. <v Bruce Clayton>One comment should be that most of the Soviet warheads coming toward us are one <v Bruce Clayton>megaton warheads. If you want to talk to people about what a nuclear war will be like, <v Bruce Clayton>you talk to them about one megaton warheads. <v Bruce Clayton>If you wanna scare them, you talk to them about the few 20 megaton warheads that could be <v Bruce Clayton>used in a few places. <v Helen Caldicott>?inaudible? a symposium on the medical consequences of nuclear war, it is predicted that <v Helen Caldicott>within about 30 days after an all out nuclear attack, <v Helen Caldicott>uh 90 percent of Americans will be dead. <v Bruce Clayton>Usually, if you dig into numbers like that, you discover that the person is making the <v Bruce Clayton>calculations, is making assumptions about the behavior of the American people <v Bruce Clayton>that the American people would find extremely insulting. Uh basically, that they're no <v Bruce Clayton>smarter than cows, uh that they're not going to protect themselves and they're <v Bruce Clayton>not going to do anything right at all. <v Narrator>Retired Admiral Gene Larocque heads the Center for Defense Information in <v Narrator>Washington, D.C. Another anti-nuclear lobby.
<v Adm. Gene Larocque>Some people think that they can dig a hole, hide out for several months or even a year, <v Adm. Gene Larocque>and then come out after a nuclear attack and find life pretty much as usual. <v Adm. Gene Larocque>But it won't do any good to hide or try to hide no matter how long you stay <v Adm. Gene Larocque>underground. <v Helen Caldicott>Um there would be no one to come and help you see, because there will be no one to come <v Helen Caldicott>and help. No food. <v Helen Caldicott>Our water will be contaminated. <v Bruce Clayton>The the idea that we would have no food has some basis. <v Bruce Clayton>But survivalists have food. <v Bruce Clayton>It's not hard to put away your supply of food. <v Helen Caldicott>Yeah. The survivalists should be worrying about saving the planet, not themselves. <v Helen Caldicott>I mean, what are they doing? Who do they think they are? <v Adm. Gene Larocque>The trouble with nuclear war and trying to think about it today and predict what is going <v Adm. Gene Larocque>to happen is that it is so much bigger, so much <v Adm. Gene Larocque>more of a cataclysm than the human mind has ever encompassed, that <v Adm. Gene Larocque>no one can really describe it. <v Adm. Gene Larocque>No one wants to face it. <v Fritjof Capra>Uh just recently, somebody in Washington, I forgot who it was, was lobbying for
<v Fritjof Capra>increased military spending and buildup of armament. <v Fritjof Capra>And he said that uh he made an outrageous statement. <v Fritjof Capra>He said you can't fight World War Three with the ships of World War Two. <v Fritjof Capra>You see? The the correct statement is you can't fight fight World War Three. <v Fritjof Capra>Period. Because World War Three means, you know, potentially the end of the <v Fritjof Capra>human race. <v Bruce Clayton>It's a very bad thing that could happen to us. <v Bruce Clayton>I do not minimize it in any way. <v Bruce Clayton>I wonder if giving in to the Soviet Union as <v Bruce Clayton>a way out of having a nuclear war might not eventually be worse. <v Bruce Clayton>We're talking about a nation that has exterminated 40 million of its own people in <v Bruce Clayton>the last 65 years. <v Bruce Clayton>Uh that's getting up to nuclear war level casualties. <v Adm. Gene Larocque>I wish I were more sanguine about people, but I'm afraid that so <v Adm. Gene Larocque>ingrained in the American public and in the many of our politicians is <v Adm. Gene Larocque>this uh anti Russian anticommunism bit that they
<v Adm. Gene Larocque>are willing to blow themselves up in order to save ourselves from <v Adm. Gene Larocque>the Soviets. <v David Brower>I I think that there will be a nuclear catastrophe uh long before the year 2000 if we <v David Brower>continue going the way we're going. <v Helen Caldicott>I personally uh at this time think we'll be lucky to make it over the next <v Helen Caldicott>four years. <v Narrator>But what if we are lucky? <v Narrator>What if Western civilization doesn't [explosion] end with a bang? <v Narrator>What kind of world do we have to look forward to in the coming decades? <v Narrator>This massive report commissioned by the Carter administration is a sober estimate <v Narrator>of what life will be like in the year 2000. <v Narrator>David Brower saw one of the original drafts of the report. <v David Brower>I had a chance to see the first draft of the report and then uh heard from <v David Brower>some of the other people who are watching ?inaudible? the drafts ?what's? <v David Brower>happening and the- it was gloomier than it came out. <v David Brower>Finally, that there were some things that uh are just a little bit too much for <v David Brower>our people to handle or at least so it was assumed. Fact, you may know that it took quite
<v David Brower>a while to get the report published at all. <v David Brower>There were boxes of the report that were already in the basement of the ?council? <v David Brower>environmental quality, but they weren't being distributed. <v David Brower>There was a uh political decision made then, and this was part of the discomfort <v David Brower>of truth. <v Narrator>Among the projections that did make it into the final report, are estimates that 20 <v Narrator>percent of remaining animal species will be extinct by the year 2000. <v Narrator>Each year, an area of crop land the size of the state of Maine is becoming desert. <v Narrator>This trend will continue unabated into the new century. <v Narrator>In addition, 40 percent of remaining forests will be destroyed in the next 20 years. <v Narrator>The increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the air is expected to <v Narrator>alter the Earth's climate in ways that are still unpredictable. <v Narrator>The gap between rich and poor countries is expected to increase, creating even <v Narrator>greater threats to world stability and peace. <v Narrator>At Stanford University, biological scientist and population expert
<v Narrator>Anne Ehrlich was one of seven outside advisers to the Global 2000 project. <v Anne Ehrlich>It's not reasonable to have a world where as many as an eighth to a quarter <v Anne Ehrlich>of people simply don't get enough to eat every day. <v Anne Ehrlich>Uh while another quarter of the population are living high off the hog and have more than <v Anne Ehrlich>they need. <v David Brower>The general tendency right now seems to be that if Global 2000 indicates we're going to <v David Brower>run out of resources, then the answer is to use 'em up still faster. <v David Brower>That's the current policy right now in this administration. <v Anne Ehrlich>The rich countries are simply going to have to come to terms with the poor countries. <v Anne Ehrlich>They're going to have to come to terms with the fact that we all live on one small <v Anne Ehrlich>planet, that we all must share the same resources. <v Anne Ehrlich>If we don't, the result is going to be more wars, chaos, uh <v Anne Ehrlich>destabilization, uncertainty and poverty. <v David Brower>I think the the nuclear catastrophe is coming by a quite an apparent route to <v David Brower>my way of thinking, and that's that we are making demands on the world's resources that
<v David Brower>cannot be met on a limited earth and that there's going to be a quarrel, there's already <v David Brower>a quarrel about who's going to get to what's at the bottom of the barrel. <v Bob Foster>I don't see- under the present uh <v Bob Foster>format of this world much escape from <v Bob Foster>an eventual nuclear war. <v Narrator>In a desolate corner of southern Utah, Bob Foster and a small group of friends <v Narrator>have found a retreat from a doomed world. <v Narrator>Like most survivalists, Foster sees a kind of inexorable force <v Narrator>bearing the world toward disaster. <v Narrator>For these people, the question is not if, it is only how <v Narrator>and when. <v Narrator>And the only hope left for Camelot is here in the wilderness <v Narrator>among the rocks where those who are prepared have established their refuge. <v Bob Foster>[music playing] We're cutting homes back in to uh formation known as Hatch Rock. <v Bob Foster>Uh it's about 400 feet high.
<v Bob Foster>It's uh probably a half mile long, a quarter of a mile through. <v Bob Foster>The rock is very tough, tenuous sandstone, <v Bob Foster>uh very stable. We want to set up uh some large <v Bob Foster>areas wherein if we do face any kind of a <v Bob Foster>a national, economic or military disaster, we could uh take <v Bob Foster>people and help see them through the tr- the trouble time. <v Bob Foster>Uh without going into pure socialism, uh per say, uh we're <v Bob Foster>trying to establish a new and a different system, <v Bob Foster>which we think uh meets the Bible admonition <v Bob Foster>that we are our brother's keeper. <v Bob Foster>And if our brothers, through their errors destroy the world that they're in, <v Bob Foster>we want them to have uh an alternate choice. <v Ron Boutwell>Here we are now in the ?basic? condominium unit.
<v Ron Boutwell>You can see that it's uh fully furnished and includes four ?man? <v Ron Boutwell>years of food in each unit. <v Ron Boutwell>Food is stored in the walls, areas in the furniture, under the bed and in the ceiling <v Ron Boutwell>areas. Uh we have here the hide a bed in addition to the private <v Ron Boutwell>bedroom area. <v Narrator>What Bob Foster is doing out of a religious motivation, Ron Boutwell, <v Narrator>a lawyer turned land developer, saw as a viable commercial enterprise. <v Narrator>?Terene Ark One? <v Narrator>will be, when completed, a 250 unit condominium project <v Narrator>built underground. [Ron in audibly speaking] Its location was carefully chosen <v Narrator>in regard to factors that Boutwell illustrates from a U.S. <v Narrator>map with overlays. <v Narrator>Panic population movement, annual snowfall, and seismic zones <v Narrator>are among the considerations which determine the best place for surviving a broad range <v Narrator>of catastrophes. <v Ron Boutwell>A very popular overlay is the high priority nuclear target zones. <v Ron Boutwell>For those people that believe that nuclear war is likely, don't locate
<v Ron Boutwell>near a high priority target. <v Ron Boutwell>The last overlay map, which is I think is probably the most important, is a <v Ron Boutwell>population overlay map showing the population density of the US. <v Ron Boutwell>The bottom line of survival is security and uh a breakdown <v Ron Boutwell>of law and order is generally uh the worse problem <v Ron Boutwell>that you can experience. And the more people, the worse that problem will exist. <v Ron Boutwell>With this composite overlay, it shows uh that there are only a <v Ron Boutwell>few places in the United States that are free from those various considerations. <v Ron Boutwell>One is this tech area in Texas and another area is the area we are here <v Ron Boutwell>in southern Utah and this other area in Arizona and Mojave Desert, California. <v Narrator>The project is designed to be completely self supporting for periods up to a year. <v Narrator>It is claimed to be impervious to nuclear blasts and fallout, as well as to a danger <v Narrator>Boutwell considers even more significant: other people. <v Ron Boutwell>I do feel that one of the big problems that is occurring is oncor- ongoing is
<v Ron Boutwell>the breakdown of law and order. <v Ron Boutwell>And that will occur and and be a byproduct of whether we have a nuclear war, an economic <v Ron Boutwell>collapse, natural disasters and even without those it's occurring now and it's gonna <v Ron Boutwell>get worse. <v Kurt Saxon>By the end of 1982, everyone will know that the end <v Kurt Saxon>of civilization is at hand and people will panic all over the planet, not just <v Kurt Saxon>here. <v Narrator>Kurt Saxon is the self-proclaimed father of the survival movement. <v Narrator>Taking his inspiration from the character of John Galt in <v Narrator>Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged, Saxon left California <v Narrator>and moved to Harrison, Arkansas, where he set up a mail order business in survival <v Narrator>literature. [inaudible talking] Security <v Narrator>for Kurt Saxon is only possible in isolation from large urban populations <v Narrator>that would be displaced by war or famine. <v Narrator>He's counting on his Harrison neighbors and the surrounding terrain to provide <v Narrator>an effective buffer between himself and mobs of city dwellers.
<v Kurt Saxon>The area would be impassable with only a little effort on the part of the locals. <v Kurt Saxon>Uh we could put dynamite up around the cliff and just block the road in 3 seconds. <v Kurt Saxon>Or else we could go up further and put dynamite under culverts and wipe the road out <v Kurt Saxon>altogether. It'll be sort of like the black plague in the 14th century <v Kurt Saxon>from 1348 to 1361, the plague ravaged <v Kurt Saxon>this planet and wiped out half of the people in Britain. <v Kurt Saxon>And the intelligent ones [clears throat] and the affluent left the big cities <v Kurt Saxon>and went out into the countryside and partied and told witty stories until it was all <v Kurt Saxon>over. And that's all I've done. It's as simple as that. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>Uh when a war is about to break out, as I remember very well, in 1914 <v Malcolm Muggeridge>and 1939, you had this vague apprehension. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>This fear that people had and some people even think to themselves, they must <v Malcolm Muggeridge>look 'round and find somewhere where they can take refuge.
<v Malcolm Muggeridge>But of course, the catastrophe of a great civilization coming to an <v Malcolm Muggeridge>end is not something that you can you can escape from. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>It's going to- they know in their hearts that it involves everybody. <v Jake Garn>Now, I think those who talk about doomsday, who talk about total failure of <v Jake Garn>the economic system and nuclear attack are vastly overstating <v Jake Garn>the problems. I'm far more optimistic than that. <v Jake Garn>And I'm confident that we can address those problems. <v Jake Garn>And I don't share the fears of many of those people. <v Howard Ruff>As long as the system is functioning, I prefer to work within the system and I expect the <v Howard Ruff>system to keep functioning. And I think those people that have headed for the hills, have <v Howard Ruff>they have given up. They've said the war is over. <v Howard Ruff>Uh the conspiracy or the communists or whatever have won. <v Howard Ruff>They probably don't vote. <v Howard Ruff>Uh they probably uh are they're not devoting themselves to constructive <v Howard Ruff>work and bringing about change. I can't conceive of a Kurt Saxon forming a political <v Howard Ruff>action committee, a nonprofit foundation for education, a lobbying group testifying
<v Howard Ruff>before Senate committees, all the things of which I'm doing. <v Kurt Saxon>I don't believe in any political or social solutions. <v Kurt Saxon>I never really did. <v Kurt Saxon>And uh what Howard and his <v Kurt Saxon>school of thought is doing is like if you have a terminal cancer patient, <v Kurt Saxon>now, Howard goes in there and fluffs up the pillows and maybe gives them a little shot of <v Kurt Saxon>dope and they feel fine for a little while, but it's not gonna work. <v Howard Ruff>Now, there's a lot of very good people in the survivalist movement. <v Howard Ruff>A lot of concerned Americans. <v Howard Ruff>They're frightened and they have reason for that fright. <v Howard Ruff>This is a very frightening environment out there. <v Howard Ruff>So in no way am I sitting in judgment on the motives of the mess that people are caught <v Howard Ruff>up in that. I do sit in judgment of some of the motives of the leaders of this group. <v Narrator>If there is any ambivalence in Howard Ruff's attitude toward the survival movement, it <v Narrator>was evident that his fourth annual Ruff Times convention in San Diego. <v Howard Ruff>The great political bias is still inflation and that ultimately this <v Howard Ruff>is and will be until the end, a political issue
<v Howard Ruff>and the end is not yet in sight. Thank you [applause]. <v Narrator>?While? over 5000 subscribers gathered to hear Ruff extoll political solutions <v Narrator>to our problems, on the other side of the convention center in the exhibit area, <v Narrator>the survival merchants were hawking the items people will need when those political <v Narrator>solutions fail. [music playing] [people chattering] <v Man 1>?inaudible? [people chattering] <v Woman 1>-fact dry and you reconstituted lukewarm water for about 15, 20 minutes. <v Man 2>What we're about is we're talking about the the foods and the <v Man 2>uh the needs of people to take them through a period of, say, a year where they can't <v Man 2>uh they the uh regular channels of distribution <v Man 2>of food maybe be eliminated.
<v Bill Pier>If there's an economic disruption, it's probably gonna last a year or so, and therefore <v Bill Pier>we better prepare for that long. <v Bill Pier>And I think it will cause some problems and the social problems <v Bill Pier>that will cause it to be kind of violent, at least for a period of time. <v Man 3>Diamonds are very portable, easy to carry, and they're the greatest form of concentrated <v Man 3>wealth in the world. Therefore, in times of disaster, there's nothing better to have <v Man 3>than diamonds. <v Man 4>The reason you want to buy a Krugerrands is because before too long, <v Man 4>when the dollar goes down to zero, you're gonna have something to barter with. <v Man 4>You're gonna have something of value um against the dollar bill and you're gonna be able <v Man 4>to buy goods and services with it. <v Adam Smith>It seems to me the flaw in the doomsayers argument is that they assume <v Adam Smith>that everything will remain constant except the one variable <v Adam Smith>that they pick. For example, that the United States will fall apart and have <v Adam Smith>total chaos and total disaster. <v Adam Smith>But if you have a bag of silver coins or a couple of Krugerrands, that the butcher shop <v Adam Smith>will be open and the ANP will be open and that they will take your Krugerrand at the ANP.
<v Adam Smith>I just don't think it will happen that way. <v Narrator>For Adam Smith, author of several best selling books on the forces which shape the <v Narrator>economy, the survivalist attitude may be in the end as <v Narrator>dangerous to the country as any economic or military threat. <v Adam Smith>I find that the divisiveness comes out of <v Adam Smith>uh from people who are the least informed and and who value <v Adam Smith>uh community ties the least. <v Adam Smith>That is to say, I think if you trust your neigh- you know, if you want to save yourself, <v Adam Smith>is it the answer to stock your basement and get a shotgun to defend <v Adam Smith>yourself? Who is who is it that's coming to get you? <v Adam Smith>I I would much rather trust my neighbors. <v Adam Smith>And be able to depend upon them and then to trust my town and then my state <v Adam Smith>and then my country, than really to <v Adam Smith>depend on actions that are so lonely in which I tried to save
<v Adam Smith>only myself. <v Orrin Hatch>Well, although there are some conservatives among the hard- hardcore survivalists who <v Orrin Hatch>who, like Howard Ruff, feel that we are going to have to ?gotten to go? <v Orrin Hatch>very hard times and it may be difficult to save this country and bring it out of the <v Orrin Hatch>economic mess it's in. An awful lot of the survivalists are uh the hardcore <v Orrin Hatch>radical left of the 60s. <v Orrin Hatch>And that hardcore radical left has never had any guts. <v Orrin Hatch>Those people wouldn't stand up for the country at that time and they're not doin' it <v Orrin Hatch>today. And frankly, I think that's where a lot of that impetus comes, that Jim Jones type <v Orrin Hatch>syndrome of people who want to look for some messiah who uh instead of looking <v Orrin Hatch>towards the resiliency and the strength of this country uh to pull us out of the economic <v Orrin Hatch>morass we're in. <v Narrator>For many survivalists, that kind of idealism, [inaudible talking] fails to account <v Narrator>for some basic truths about human nature. <v Joel Skousen>Ultimately, I may say I'm pessimistic. <v Joel Skousen>Ultimately, I do not believe we'll be able to turn things around. <v Joel Skousen>So you could say I was one of the doomsayers in that sense. <v Joel Skousen>Um but that's because I have uh a belief, knowing human nature
<v Joel Skousen>as it is, that people have become suckered into a self-indulgent <v Joel Skousen>type of lifestyle, which they right now are in the majority, and they have more voting <v Joel Skousen>power and will never, ever relinquish that love and desire for <v Joel Skousen>self-indulgence. That's what makes me ultimately pessimistic. <v Adam Smith>Well, I hope they're not right. <v Adam Smith>Maybe it is naive idealism. <v Adam Smith>I don't know. I don't think this country will survive without idealism. <v Adam Smith>I think it has to have a noble image of itself really, or it won't <v Adam Smith>survive. <v Narrator>Though moments of national idealism that may have [rocket launching] become scarce in <v Narrator>recent years, there are events that seem to reignite a communal spirit. <v Narrator>A [rumbling] sense that an age of greatness has npt yet passed. <v Narrator>That the fight is by no means over. <v Narrator>The first flight of the space shuttle provided such a moment. <v Narrator>For some ?people?, it was far more than a symbolic event. <v Narrator>It was a major step toward the solution of some of our most fundamental problems.
<v J. Peter Vajk>The uh Apollo voyages to the moon and these various deep space probes <v J. Peter Vajk>in the last 10, 15 years have taught us that the solar system's resources, <v J. Peter Vajk>of minerals of energy in the form of sunlight are just immensely vaster <v J. Peter Vajk>than we could ever conceive of all of human civilization using for millions or hundreds <v J. Peter Vajk>of millions of years. <v J. Peter Vajk>We have the technological capability in the next 20, 10 or 20 years in the United States <v J. Peter Vajk>to start developing those in a large scale fashion. <v J. Peter Vajk>I think nothing would serve as a more vigorous and convincing <v J. Peter Vajk>um proof that the future is open and unlimited- <v Narrator>[inaudible talking] J. Peter Vajk is a scientist specializing in development of <v Narrator>outerspace resources. <v Narrator>His 1978 book is called Doomsday has been Canceled. <v J. Peter Vajk>I I think it's intrinsic to human nature. <v J. Peter Vajk>And for that matter, to any living being we know of on here on the Earth to <v J. Peter Vajk>always be reaching out, to explore, to try new possibilities.
<v J. Peter Vajk>And uh the space um exploration and exploitation, it's possible the next generation <v J. Peter Vajk>or so, I think is simply part of the natural trend of everything that human beings <v J. Peter Vajk>have ever done o- on this earth. Everything that life has done on this earth. <v Willis Harman>The so-called technological optimist uh has a view of the picture <v Willis Harman>of the future in which uh we solve our problems by not losing our <v Willis Harman>nerve, by continuing technological growth, continuing economic growth, which means <v Willis Harman>continuing consumption. Solving the associated problems somehow by more tech- <v Willis Harman>technology. <v J. Peter Vajk>It's become rather clear that if you allow for some technological innovation <v J. Peter Vajk>and substitution of materials which are commonly available on the earth to use <v J. Peter Vajk>those in new ways for the purposes for which today we use scarce materials <v J. Peter Vajk>that with the single exception of fossil fuels, this planet Earth has enough resources <v J. Peter Vajk>to sustain an American kind of standard of living for a population of 10 to 20 billion <v J. Peter Vajk>years uh people for several million years.
<v Anne Ehrlich>He's going to do it with mirrors. <v Anne Ehrlich>I can't imagine how he thinks it's going to be done. <v Narrator>In fact, Vajk has in mind something like mirrors. <v Narrator>One of his solutions to the energy problem is solar powered satellites. <v J. Peter Vajk>One of the concepts that I'm most interested in and working on is the idea of solar power <v J. Peter Vajk>satellites. It's the idea of putting very large arrays of solar collectors into space <v J. Peter Vajk>where the sun is is constantly shining. <v J. Peter Vajk>Converting the uh the solar energy in space into uh microwave or laser beams <v J. Peter Vajk>to transmit it down to the ground and use it down here, <v Malcolm Muggeridge>'Cause the dreams of materialists are the most fantastic and absurd <v Malcolm Muggeridge>of all dreams. They exceeded in idiocy, even the wildest, <v Malcolm Muggeridge>most superstitious fancies of the past. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>And, of course, the materialists of the Western world have seriously <v Malcolm Muggeridge>believed that by uh going on raising our <v Malcolm Muggeridge>gross national product and by developing inventions of different kinds
<v Malcolm Muggeridge>and the marvelous new technology and discovering new sources <v Malcolm Muggeridge>of energy that we can take the American <v Malcolm Muggeridge>way of life, which has come become to be the sort of pattern of successful <v Malcolm Muggeridge>materialism and spread it through the whole world. <v Willis Harman>Uh when you look closely into this, it's essentially the faith that <v Willis Harman>we will solve the problems of modern society and the global problems by <v Willis Harman>the kinds of approaches which uh we're the generation of those <v Willis Harman>problems in the first place. So there's a certain problem with that argument, as I see <v Willis Harman>it. <v J. Peter Vajk>F- for many people there- I think there is a sense of uh deep seated sense of guilt <v J. Peter Vajk>about all the things that humanity has done wrong and evil in the last 20, 30, <v J. Peter Vajk>200 years, however far back you care to push it. <v J. Peter Vajk>And some sense of um, well, <v J. Peter Vajk>if bad things happen to us, we've got 'em coming.
<v J. Peter Vajk>We deserve them. And uh that to me is is I <v J. Peter Vajk>think that really comes down fundamentally to a religious viewpoint of what your personal <v J. Peter Vajk>religious view about why human beings are on Earth and where where are we going <v J. Peter Vajk>and what's the purpose of civilization? <v Narrator>[Willis talking in background] But in Willis Harman's view, it is precisely the loss of a <v Narrator>religious perspective that lies at the heart of our current dilemma. <v Willis Harman>The key core trend in there is the secularization of values that started <v Willis Harman>at the end of the Middle Ages. That is the shifting of values that dominate that <v Willis Harman>the most powerful institutions in society, shifting away from the religious traditional <v Willis Harman>base and uh over to uh pragmatic uh <v Willis Harman>?utilitarianism?. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>The very success of the technological side of all this <v Malcolm Muggeridge>is itself the cause of its ultimate destruction. <v Willis Harman>We're trying to run a very, very complex system, having debunked <v Willis Harman>uh intuitions, spiritual insight and and the various unconscious
<v Willis Harman>ways in which we do handle very complex situations. <v Willis Harman>And we've tried to do it all with cost benefit analyses and rational analyses. <v Willis Harman>And that's part of the reason we get the feeling that it's out of control, because we're <v Willis Harman>not approaching the problems with the right kinds of tools. <v Narrator>[inaudible speaking] Marilyn Ferguson is the author of a new book on cultural change <v Narrator>called The Aquarium Conspiracy. <v Marilyn Ferguson>Somehow it's in us as human beings and certainly as societies to keep on doing <v Marilyn Ferguson>what we're doing even if it doesn't work. <v Marilyn Ferguson>That like the saying we have better the devil you know than the devil you don't know. <v Marilyn Ferguson>But many people are saying, no, wait a minute. <v Marilyn Ferguson>If what we've been doing isn't working, doing more of it isn't going to help. <v Marilyn Ferguson>Doing it better or harder isn't going to help. <v Marilyn Ferguson>It's like a a cartoon that I saw in The New Yorker uh where the king is <v Marilyn Ferguson>talking to his counselors and he said, I could still fix Humpty Dumpty if I just had more <v Marilyn Ferguson>horses and more men. <v Narrator>[music plays] But many of the same people who reject our faith in the ability of <v Narrator>technology and continued growth to solve our deepest problems, see
<v Narrator>our salvation in another direction, one in which they believe we're <v Narrator>already headed. <v Fritjof Capra>The way I see our situation is from an evolutionary perspective, <v Fritjof Capra>uh a perspective that has been described very often by cultural historians. <v Fritjof Capra>Uh what they point out is that civilizations or cultures have the <v Fritjof Capra>tendency to rise, you see, if you draw a curve, they would rise, culminate, <v Fritjof Capra>then decline and disintegrate, and they will then be <v Fritjof Capra>replaced by a different culture. <v Fritjof Capra>But this different culture, the new culture is rising while the <v Fritjof Capra>old culture is declining. So here we have now a new culture rising where <v Fritjof Capra>the other one is declining. And I think we are sort of just about <v Fritjof Capra>here where the mainstream culture <v Fritjof Capra>is going down. And the new culture, which I like to call the rising culture, <v Fritjof Capra>is going up. The mainstream or declining culture
<v Fritjof Capra>is composed of uh most of our social institutions, including <v Fritjof Capra>the universities, government, the corporations and so on. <v Fritjof Capra>The rising culture is composed of the various movements that originated in the 60s and <v Fritjof Capra>70s, like the uh consumer movements, the ecology movement, <v Fritjof Capra>the feminist movement, the uh human potential movement, <v Fritjof Capra>the holistic health movement and so on and so on. <v Fritjof Capra>It's a large number of movements. <v Fritjof Capra>And they are these forces, these cultural and social forces, <v Fritjof Capra>are engaged in this profound cultural transformation. <v Marilyn Ferguson>There is the theory of ?dissipated? structures by a Belgian physical chemist named Ilya <v Marilyn Ferguson>Prigogine who won the Nobel Prize in 1977. <v Marilyn Ferguson>That theory says that in all open systems, which can be a person, a society, uh <v Marilyn Ferguson>an amino acid, an egg in all systems that exchange energy with the environment, <v Marilyn Ferguson>that those systems under stress, if the stress gets great enough and the fluctuations <v Marilyn Ferguson>of energy, perturbations, Prigogine calls it, gets great enough, then the
<v Marilyn Ferguson>system itself will break apart and it will reorganize itself at a higher level of <v Marilyn Ferguson>order. <v Willis Harman>Uh the social movements of the 60s provide a kind of uh force for all of this. <v Willis Harman>Uh the indications of a very fundamental change in our basic beliefs about the nature of <v Willis Harman>the human mind, human consciousness, its relation to the universe and so on. <v Willis Harman>All of that is also an indication of something happening at a very deep level. <v Marilyn Ferguson>[music plays] We're all on the same. <v Marilyn Ferguson>And yet sometimes you meet people that <v Marilyn Ferguson>?hear the same beat? and recognize the same grammar [continues speaking]- <v Narrator>The transformationists see change occurring on various levels. <v Narrator>At a daylong conference at the Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach, California, those <v Narrator>concerned with the personal levels of transformation explored the ideas <v Narrator>they see altering our assumptions about human nature, about religion and <v Narrator>science and our relationship to the universe.
<v Marilyn Ferguson>We see a tremendous upsurge in interest in spiritual experience, <v Marilyn Ferguson>peak experiences. <v Marilyn Ferguson>Um Americans are more interested than ever before, according to all the surveys in this <v Marilyn Ferguson>kind of experience. They're much more interested in having <v Marilyn Ferguson>a sense of community, having a sense of connectedness with other people and a sense of <v Marilyn Ferguson>being a part of God if you if you wanna put it that way. <v Narrator>On the political level, the transformationists see the need for new assumptions to <v Narrator>reshape the very foundations of government and society. <v Fritjof Capra>In our social and political situation, we find ourselves in a world <v Fritjof Capra>which is globally interconnected, where all phenomena are mutually interdependent. <v Fritjof Capra>And the world view that we are still applying to describe this world is <v Fritjof Capra>the 17th century mechanistic world view uh <v Fritjof Capra>constructed by Descartes, Newton, Galileo and so on, a world view <v Fritjof Capra>which does not offer an ecological perspective.
<v Fritjof Capra>And is-it is this ecological perspective that we need most of all. <v Fritjof Capra>So most of our sciences and most of our social institutions, including <v Fritjof Capra>the uh universities, the government institutions <v Fritjof Capra>and so on, are locked into this Cartesian mechanistic worldview <v Fritjof Capra>and are therefore unable to understand the most urgent problems <v Fritjof Capra>of our times. <v Narrator>The language of the transformationists seems to echo the words of a statesman spoken <v Narrator>during another crisis. <v Narrator>The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. <v Narrator>As our case is new, he said, so we must think anew. <v Orrin Hatch>I don't know anybody back here who feels that way. <v Orrin Hatch>Who really is looking at the present political scene. <v Orrin Hatch>The new ideas, the new economic ideas, the new government ideas are coming from the <v Orrin Hatch>conservatives. The new conservatives that we have in the Congress. <v Fritjof Capra>These historians then describe that the <v Fritjof Capra>dynamics of transformation is such that the decline in culture,
<v Fritjof Capra>instead of changing its views and adapting itself to the new situation, on <v Fritjof Capra>the contrary becomes ever more rigid, holds on to the old ideals, <v Fritjof Capra>and uh you know entrenches itself in the old views. <v Fritjof Capra>And that's what we are observing now. So we have a a in America and the United States we <v Fritjof Capra>are in politically now we have a conservative, what they call a renaissance. <v Fritjof Capra>And what I see as as sort of the last hurrah of of these conservative ideals, <v Fritjof Capra>because these are outdated ideas. <v Marilyn Ferguson>At the end of a novel called Captain Newman, M.D., there's a little story. <v Marilyn Ferguson>The narrator is saying, my father used to tell of an island population <v Marilyn Ferguson>who got word that a great tidal wave was coming and there was nothing they could do about <v Marilyn Ferguson>it. The tidal wave was going to sweep over the island. <v Marilyn Ferguson>So the philosophers went off on a hilltop to talk about the whole thing and to wonder at <v Marilyn Ferguson>the meaning of it all. And the theologians went off to consider what God had to do <v Marilyn Ferguson>with it and perhaps to pray, and the Hedonists went off to eat, drink and be merry.
<v Marilyn Ferguson>And one man gathered all the smartest people on the island to talk about how to live <v Marilyn Ferguson>underwater. And that's where we are, I think it's that we <v Marilyn Ferguson>see a lot of threat. We see economic threat. <v Marilyn Ferguson>We see, in a sense, threat uh from possible nuclear <v Marilyn Ferguson>disaster. We see environmental threats. <v Marilyn Ferguson>And that the only answer is to work as if there is an answer. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>And then there are, of course, also these tools formationists, <v Malcolm Muggeridge>these people who think that they can bring about a type <v Malcolm Muggeridge>of human being who will be able to deal with the circumstances <v Malcolm Muggeridge>that the breakdown of our civilization would create and <v Malcolm Muggeridge>establish a way of life, very rather like the people because I remember <v Malcolm Muggeridge>very well, Berlin in the war, which was <v Malcolm Muggeridge>reduced literally to a great pile of rubble. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>And in that rubble, you suddenly notice there were people living.
<v Malcolm Muggeridge>People's uh ?best?, making little houses for themselves and continuing their lives. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>But they were they were transformationists of the kind. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>And of course, it was all tragic. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>Um now, insofar as man has a future, it <v Malcolm Muggeridge>is because he sees himself as belonging to eternity <v Malcolm Muggeridge>and made in the image of his creator. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>If he loses this sense, if he tries to <v Malcolm Muggeridge>create or invent or achieve a future solely <v Malcolm Muggeridge>in terms of his dimensions, of his mind, of his possibilities, <v Malcolm Muggeridge>he will only succeed in making one more hell on <v Malcolm Muggeridge>earth rather than a heaven on earth. <v Narrator>[music plays] [waves crash] Heaven on earth. In an age of faith, men awaited the literal <v Narrator>fulfillment of that ?inaudible?, but in a secular rage, the dream is <v Narrator>not lost. It goes by another name: Utopia.
<v Narrator>And if humanism makes man the arbiter of his own destiny, then a man made heaven <v Narrator>on earth is not an idle fancy, nor is doomsday inevitable. <v Narrator>It is not surprising, therefore, that the supposed doomsayers of this program regard <v Narrator>their visions as warnings and not promises. <v Narrator>They share the humanist faith that ?long? <v Narrator>on ?us? or at least most of us will choose life rather than death <v Narrator>and continue down the road toward a better world. <v Adam Smith>They simply have to be more intelligent and more alert and <v Adam Smith>more disciplined. <v David Brower>We have the capability of undoing most of the problems we've created. <v Anne Ehrlich>If we do get together, look at this- at the sort of future <v Anne Ehrlich>that Global 2000 and other studies have put forward for us and decide <v Anne Ehrlich>that what we want is a sustainable world, a system that we can live with indefinitely <v Anne Ehrlich>and really put our minds to solving the problems, it probably can be done. <v Helen Caldicott>And I'm done if I'm going to let let those guys blow us all up.
<v Helen Caldicott>I've got three kids who I want to survive. <v Helen Caldicott>I'm a physician um and lots of other physicians feel the same way so we're gonna <v Helen Caldicott>educate everybody. <v Narrator>In a real sense. The survivalists are not doomsayers either. <v Narrator>They are simply utopianists on a much more exclusive scale. <v Bob Foster>We're hoping to establish a Garden of Eden out here. <v Ron Boutwell>All those people that uh suggest that saving only a small group of people is <v Ron Boutwell>is fruitless. I think you forget that this this world started from a small group of <v Ron Boutwell>people. <v Kurt Saxon>There will be survivors no matter what. <v Kurt Saxon>And they'll uh go on and <v Kurt Saxon>uh make us a base. <v Kurt Saxon>And mainly what I'm doing is uh disseminating 19th and early <v Kurt Saxon>20th century technology, which the layman can apply to <v Kurt Saxon>his own needs. And will give us a very comfortable lifestyle <v Kurt Saxon>until we build up our science and technology so we can just go right <v Kurt Saxon>on and explore the universe.
<v Kurt Saxon>Finally. <v Narrator>[Fritjof speaking inaudibly] The transformationists certainly aren't doomsayers. <v Narrator>The decay of our civilization is for them the seedbed of a better world. <v Fritjof Capra>Many things are dying. Other things are being born. <v Fritjof Capra>And so there's there's ground for hope and optimism and enthusiasm. <v Fritjof Capra>And I find myself active in this rising culture. <v Fritjof Capra>So I'm very enthusiastic about the things that are happening. <v Willis Harman>An analogy that makes a lot of sense to me is the analogy with the metamorphosis of the <v Willis Harman>caterpillar into the butterfly. <v Edward Cornish>What we need, I think, are people with artistic vision <v Edward Cornish>who can imagine a better world, who can cre- paint pictures <v Edward Cornish>of a better world, who can create model cities where we can actually understand <v Edward Cornish>and feel, people who can uh explore new ways of <v Edward Cornish>of behaving as human beings, who can create new value systems for <v Edward Cornish>us. And these people can create, I think, a new vision <v Edward Cornish>which we can then use as a kind of lodestar
<v Edward Cornish>or uh ideal. <v Narrator>These are the dominant voices of our age. <v Narrator>They speak a message of optimism, of faith in ourselves, our system, <v Narrator>our potential. The faith that human reason and resourcefulness <v Narrator>will always save us in the end. <v Narrator>Western civilization is not about to perish from pessimism. <v Narrator>[birds chirping] There is at least one voice, however, who fears we are doomed by our <v Narrator>optimism. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>The point being what it um- what it amounts to is <v Malcolm Muggeridge>human beings imagining that they are in <v Malcolm Muggeridge>complete control of their own destiny [music plays loudly]. That men are sufficient. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>All this is untrue. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>Men are not self sufficient. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>God is necessary. <v Malcolm Muggeridge>Take that away, fill in- fill his mind with mad dreams of <v Malcolm Muggeridge>his own achievements, his own power, his own pleasures, and he's ?finished?.
<v Malcolm Muggeridge>Of course, there's one satisfaction that I find when I think <v Malcolm Muggeridge>of all these things and that is this: that although it's true <v Malcolm Muggeridge>that the end of a civilization and the chaos in the dark age that follows <v Malcolm Muggeridge>is the thing to be dreaded, what would be even more dreadful, infinitely <v Malcolm Muggeridge>more dreadful would be if this materialist dream that people had <v Malcolm Muggeridge>of men creating a perfect way of life for themselves on the basis of their <v Malcolm Muggeridge>own materialism, if that dream had come true, it would have been infinitely <v Malcolm Muggeridge>more terrible. And the complete discrediting of that dream, the obvious <v Malcolm Muggeridge>fact being born in a ?inaudible? <v Malcolm Muggeridge>by everything that's happening that it can't be is to me a source of <v Malcolm Muggeridge>infinite relief and even happiness. <v Narrator>[waves crashing] Perhaps the only authentic doomsayer we can present is an old man who <v Narrator>sees the coming of a new dark age. <v Narrator>For Malcolm Muggeridge, Western civilization will end because we could not stop
<v Narrator>believing in ourselves, because we fail to understand that <v Narrator>what we had most to fear was not overpopulation, depression <v Narrator>or the bomb, but our shining utopian dream [music plays].
Headline: Doomsayers
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PBS Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Social Issues
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Producing Organization: KUED
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Identifier: 1276 (KUED)
Format: DVCPRO: 25
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Duration: 00:58:38:00
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
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Format: U-matic
Duration: 0:58:45
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Chicago: “Headline: Doomsayers,” PBS Utah, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 10, 2023,
MLA: “Headline: Doomsayers.” PBS Utah, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 10, 2023. <>.
APA: Headline: Doomsayers. Boston, MA: PBS Utah, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from