Four Horsemen

99 minutes 8.5/10

Described in the book of revelations as the harbingers of the apocalypse, the Four Horsemen symbolize conquest, war, famine and death. Drawing upon this imagery, the 2012 documentary Four Horsemen directed by Ross Ashcroft examines the crisis facing the contemporary world and where our future may lie. Focusing in particular on the fate of the 99%, who have suffered most during the recent economic problems the film brings together 23 of the greatest contemporary thinkers, including the likes of Noam Chomsky, Herman Daley, and more, to discuss a great number of issues, questions and topics. Perhaps the most important questions facing these thinkers is the re-establishment of morality and justice within a failed capitalist model. Is it even possible to restore order amidst such incredible sense of chaos and despair, in particular felt by the younger generations, who cannot hope to have the same comforts as that of their parents?

Broken down into four different categories, Empires, Banking, Terrorism and Resources, these great thinkers – many of whom have been more or less exiled from the mainstream press – evaluated the situation from different socio-historical and political backgrounds. Not looking to sugar coat or use corporate-speak, they emphasize the potential gravity of the scenario and for many the crisis has literally become a matter of life and death.

Unlike many other documentaries tackling the current economic crisis, this one attempts to offer real solutions for the future. Interestingly enough, the film is financed and produced by the filmmakers, “out of outrage, out of incredulity, out of necessity” having identified the eponymous Four Horsemen of the modern world that are continuing to “ride roughshod over the people whom can least afford it.” Taking aim at commonly held opinions about the nature of capitalism and the current financial system, the film is bound to be controversial and divisive but will no doubt be eye-opening. This is a film that challenges ideas and concepts about our contemporary world and pushes people to think deeper and fight harder for a better future.

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  • Vincent Odonnell

    Best documentry I have see in ages, everyone who wants to understand this world should take the time and view this from start to finish, great work.

  • Jeremy

    Really good documentary, lets revert to classical economics shall we and transform plutocracy into real democracy.

  • corazondelsol

    Very good information.
    That being said I couldn’t help but yell at the screen as I watched. The documentary has some messed up assumptions. Such as, capitalism and competition are inherently good and part of human nature but have been corrupted.

    Capitalism is the crisis. It is a system based on hierarchy that rewards human greed. The idea of reforming it is preposterous. I was appalled how the history of the USA (a country built on genocide and oppression) was romanticized.

    I also disliked the use of the word “we” assuming that the humyn race has been united in “progressing” to present conditions. Colonization was mostly glossed over as well as the white supremacist system that has made all this shit possible.

    • noboundryman

      I don’t excuse, deny or gloss over the utter abominations of torturing murderous slavery practiced coincidentally by white western societies. However, philosophically, does anyone seriously believe the Chinese of the 16th century, African tribal chieftains, or the Mullas of the middle east would not have pursued a similar course. Had the accident of history, historical seeds of the enlightenment, the opportunity for industrial dominance, and advanced weaponry, been afforded their societies, do we really think the situation wold not have arrived at a similar condition? The rolls, and fortunes would be reversed? It would most certainly have followed a similar course, with different names, different oppressors, different apparent victors, perhaps even more barbaric, and destructive. Who among us would have wished to be governed by dictatorial Chinese Emperors, or the Whims, and superstitions of blood sacrifice lusting kings of the Mayans, or the Aztecs? Even the native Americans who I honor, love, and respect were perhaps a century away from wars of dominance, and resources. When the first Europeans arrived the conflicts between tribes was on a trajectory of increased conflict, and confrontation. Mohawks, on one side of the Hudson, and lake Champlain, and the Algonquin tribes to the east highly suspicious, highly competitive, increasingly confrontational. They spoke different languages, different practices, different myths. The Europeans merely exploited these conflicts, and sped up the process. It is human nature to compete for survival, and resources, as any other species. What has failed is our ability to reason with the frontal cortex of the brain, to identify the potential for cooperation, and mutual benefit. We cling tenaciously to superstitious myths that press us to ignore the obvious condition, and follow the archaic lunacy of some ancient text, that affords the believer the opportunity to feel superior, and justified by their system of illogic, and denial. Self guided, self initiated self propelled conscious evolution is our only hope. Change the definition of human desire, and the definition of wealth, power, and measurements of achievement, and status, just as our currencies have changed over the centuries, from Sea Shells, to salt, to grain stores, to coinage, to printed bills, to electronic currency. Our entire paradigm of success must evolve as well. No longer is the Wall Street gladiator rewarded for debauchery, but for their contribution to social justice, and environmental renewal.

  • Razza

    They’re right in saying that people feel alienated from discussion about the economy as a whole (essentially saying that if I do not have a PHD in economics I can’t be a part of the discussion). I’ve studying economics in university and even I do feel informed enough to really challenge neoclassical thought. I found what they said about economic models based on ideals rather than the reality of the situation very interesting.

  • Lisa

    The time is now.

  • noboundryman

    This should be mandatory viewing for every high schooler, every student of economics, and if they were capable of understanding it, every American citizen. Sadly, tragically, they are to caught up in fantasy, and superstition to embrace self guided evolution, to face the inevitable destruction of their own myths, and society. Outstanding film, all my heroes.

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