America: Imagine the World Without Her (2014) Movie Script

"September 11, 1777.
"My loving wife,
"these past few months away from you
and Nathaniel have been difficult,
"and I miss both of you terribly.
"We have all made sacrifices,
starting with our commander.
"We face the most
powerful army in the world.
"In our last battle we felt
the bite of their artillery."
"But we held firm and
pushed them back.
"Our commander did not let us fail.
"We trust him. He keeps
our spirits high."
Battalion, attention!
"General Washington reminds us
"that life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness
"are our unalienable rights and we
will not give them up to the crown.
"When the war is won,
America will be the first nation
"to freely choose its own way.
"Today will be another test of our
will as we face General Howe,
"whose troops outnumber
us by the thousands.
"The American cause now rests on
providence and General Washington."
Hold the line, boys!
Hold the line!
Ready, fire!
General Washington!
Fall back! Retreat!
- Advance!
- Retreat!
Fall back, company!
Imagine the unimaginable.
What if George Washington had
been killed by a sniper's bullet?
What if the Civil War had torn this
country into two or 10 countries?
What if Hitler got the
atomic bomb first?
What would the world look like
if America did not exist?
From farmers in the fields
to the tallest of the
towers that fall and rise
1-7-7-6, the names upon the list
of all the ones who
gave until they died
Don't you hold back
I can see in your mind
and your mind will set you free
Rise to the top of the world
America, don't you cry
Lift me up
Give me strength to press on
Rise to the top of the world
America, don't you cry
Lift me up
Give me strength to press on
Rise to the top of the world
I love America.
I chose this country.
America, don't you cry
And like millions of immigrants,
I've been blessed by my life in America.
Give me strength to press on
This country does
something truly unique.
It allows you to write the
script of your own life.
A chapter of my script
was making the film 2016.
It surprised Hollywood and the
media by becoming a runaway hit.
It became the number two political
documentary film of all time.
In the film I made three predictions.
The federal government
would grow bigger
as America's role in the
world grows smaller.
Under President Obama,
the national debt would double.
This administration would
undermine our allies
and strengthen our enemies.
Seeing these predictions come true,
I'm scared for the future of America.
But I believe we can be strong again
unless we choose another path.
A century and a half ago,
a young Abraham Lincoln
issued a prophetic warning.
Shall we expect some
transatlantic military giant
to step the ocean and
crush us with a blow?
Never. All the armies of Europe,
Asia and Africa combined
with a Bonaparte for a commander
could not by force take
a drink from the Ohio.
At what point then, is the
approach of danger to be expected?
I answer that if it ever reach us,
it must spring up from amongst us.
It cannot come from abroad.
If destruction be our lot,
then we ourselves must be
the author and finisher of it.
As a nation of freemen,
we must live throughout
all time or die by suicide.
How do you convince a great nation
to author its own destruction?
You start by telling a new story.
'Cause if you got a business,
you didn't build that.
Somebody else made that happen.
What President Obama is really saying
is that the wealth and
abundance of American life
are not earned, they're stolen.
But it's not just President Obama.
Thievery was a critical element
to the expansion of American empire.
This is a nation founded on genocide
and built on the backs of slaves.
Moving borders. They call
it American imperialism.
Obama didn't create this movement.
It created him.
Not God bless America.
God damn America.
European expansion, conquest,
colonization, genocide.
American foreign policy
has been aggressive
and imperialist for a very long time.
It was expansionist immediately starting
right after the Revolutionary War.
Incredible as it may seem,
there are people in America who
want a world without America.
Their indictments against America
start at the very beginning.
What are the words that come to mind
when you hear the phrase,
Christopher Columbus?
I know your name.
What's your unit?
Lieutenant Colonel John Fer
of the United States Air Force.
And ends 400 years later in
America with the Trail of Tears
where 18,000 Native Americans
were forced to march 2,000 miles,
leaving a third of them dead.
What words come to mind when
you think of the word "America"?
A sadness. For me,
it's just a great sadness.
I think of all the hundreds of
nations that were destroyed.
In 1845, Mexican territory
covered most of Texas,
New Mexico, Arizona and California.
I like Chicano nationalism.
I really do prefer Hispanic
culture to Anglo-Saxon culture.
And you say, "Well, why don't
you move back to Mexico?"
I don't have to. I'm in Mexico.
And like I tell my Chicano students,
maybe after there isn't a United States,
we'll still be here, like the Indians.
So to put it biblically, you are
in America but not of America.
I'm not of America, no.
Charles Truxillo is a
professor of Chicano studies
at the University of New Mexico.
He's a leading representative of a movement
trying to reclaim Mexico's lost lands.
Did the United States steal half
of Mexico in the Mexican War?
Yes, and the wealth of those areas.
California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas,
the oil, the minerals,
would have made Mexico
a premier economic power,
like it's becoming now.
When I went one time with my father
to Mexico to visit relatives,
we were in an old classroom
and they had a map of North
America up in the classroom.
And it had the area that's
the American Southwest
from Texas to California
with the colors of Mexico
and the United States,
and they had named that area
provincias perdidas, lost provinces.
They have killed us, beat us,
drugged us, knocked us and
raped us and robbed us.
Done everything but the right thing.
We don't see any American dream.
We've experienced only
the American nightmare.
We took Africans from their
country to build our way of ease
and kept them enslaved
and living in fear.
Well, obviously as a
black person in America,
it's, um, a part of the
wretched history of this nation
that my foremothers and forefathers
were not seen as fully human.
I spoke to the African American
scholar Michael Eric Dyson
at Georgetown University.
Has Obama's election
and re-election...
Doesn't that say something
about the end of racism?
I would not deny at all that American
has made enormous progress.
Are we there yet? No.
America doesn't want to confront
the vicious inequalities
that it set loose in this nation.
Absorbing things that are not yours.
Taking stuff that is not yours.
We can say thievery was a critical element
to the expansion of American empire
and the establishment of
the American way of life.
150 years ago at the
height of slavery,
another man made an even more
passionate indictment of America.
The American slave,
what is your 4th of July?
I answer a day that reveals to him
more than all other days in a year,
a gross injustice.
Your celebration is a sham.
You profess to believe that of
one blood God made all nations
and hath commanded all men
everywhere to love one another.
Yet, you notoriously hate
and glory in your hatred all men whose
skin are not colored like your own.
Meet Frederick Douglass.
Born a slave, he escaped to freedom
and became a champion of
the antislavery movement.
You can bare your bosom to
the storm of British artillery
to throw off a three-penny tax on tea
and yet wring the last
hard-earned farthing
from the grasp of the black
laborers of your country.
There is not a nation on the earth
guilty of practices more shocking
and bloody
than are the people of the United
States, than on this 4th of July.
We like to think of ourselves
as a peace-loving people.
If they said, "We're going in for the
oil," we'd say, "No, don't do it."
But instead they say,
"We're going in for democracy."
Has the United States been a force
for good or ill in the world?
For the people we conquer,
the Vietnamese, we killed
a couple million of them,
not a force for good.
MIT professor Noam Chomsky is a
leading critic of American imperialism.
There's a reason why most of the
world regards the United States
as a predatory colonial power.
We overthrew the democratic
government of Guatemala in 1954,
Iran in 1953, Cuba in 1961.
Then Brazil, Chile,
Uruguay, Argentina,
on through the world.
It's not a pretty record.
We are the 99%!
Whose street? Our street!
Occupy Wall Street!
We've never had anything
like this in this country
where we take on
economic issues like this.
If you want money, after you get
that million, you want a billion.
After you get a billion, you want a trillion.
After you get a trillion, you want a zillion.
There is no end. There is no line.
The charge against capitalism is
that greedy, selfish business owners
steal from people.
They create gross inequality by
depriving people of their fair share.
And it's only right that we ask
everyone to pay their fair share.
Asking everyone to
pay their fair share.
Pay their fair share.
There is nobody in this country
who got rich on his own.
You built a factory out there.
Good for you.
But I want to be clear,
you moved your goods
to market on the roads
the rest of us paid for.
You hired workers the rest
of us paid to educate.
You were safe in your factory
because of police forces and fire
forces that the rest of us paid for.
It doesn't matter whether
you're making profits
from a hot dog stand in Times Square
or if you're the biggest
company on NASDAQ,
capitalists are under fire.
Until we change the system,
and let's use the C word here.
We're talking about capitalism.
If it's a more comfortable
word for you, greed.
That's just another word for it.
This ultimately has to change.
How much more are you
going to make them suffer?
Because some day they're
not gonna take it anymore.
These are the indictments
against America.
We stole the country from
the Native Americans.
We took half of Mexico
in the Mexican War.
We stole the labor of
the African Americans.
And today our foreign policy and our
free market system are forms of theft.
These indictments developed separately
and each has been around for a long time.
But now they've come together in a
single narrative of American shame.
One professor pulled
this narrative together.
His name is Howard Zinn.
I prefer to try to tell the story
of the discovery of America
from the viewpoint of the Arawaks.
Of the Constitution from the
standpoint of the slaves.
Of Andrew Jackson as
seen by the Cherokees.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
grew up in the same
South Boston neighborhood as Zinn.
They gave him a nice plug in
their movie Good Will Hunting.
You want to read a real history book,
read Howard Zion's People's
History of the United States.
That book will knock you on your ass.
Zion's book has made
him quite the celebrity.
What I didn't realize is that
from the very beginning,
from when Columbus met the Arawaks,
there was... It was just nonstop, um,
violence and, uh, and,
uh, just taking over.
They're bullying people and
taking over their resources.
Howard Zinn is the most influential
historian of the past 50 years.
His book has sold over
two million copies,
becoming required reading in most
colleges and many high schools.
Even Tony Soprano's
kid had to read it.
His history teacher, Mr. Cushman,
is teaching your son that if
Columbus was alive today,
he would go on trial for
crimes against humanity,
like Miloevi in, you know, Europe.
Your teacher said that?
It's not just my teacher.
It's the truth.
It's in my history book.
This is the new story
of American shame.
Are our lives,
innocent on the surface,
part of a ruthless engine of
looting, exploitation and murder?
It's a powerful critique.
We can't just dismiss it with chants
of liberty, freedom, rah, rah, rah.
The critics are raising the
primary question of justice.
...with liberty and justice for all.
Read the Declaration of independence.
It's a cry against injustice.
For the American founders, liberty
was the solution to that injustice.
This is not just an attack on the 1%.
It's an attack on all of us.
We are a nation of
immigrants and settlers.
And we are the ones
accused of these crimes.
If these things are true,
something has to be done about them.
- There he is.
- How's it going?
- Good. Come on in.
- Good to see you.
- Been a while, hasn't it?
- It has been.
Reagan had called the Soviet Union,
you remember, an evil empire.
- Yeah.
- And the Soviet Union has dissolved.
So, who's the new evil empire?
Well, you're sitting in it.
One of the most vocal
critics of America
is Professor Ward Churchill.
He gained notoriety right after 9/11
by suggesting some of the people
in the World Trade Center
were like Nazi war criminals
and deserved what they got.
If the US had the
atomic bomb earlier,
chances are pretty good it would
have dropped it on Nazi Germany,
and certainly, for a Jew,
that would be a good idea
because to destroy an evil
regime is a good thing.
So if you could drop a bomb on the
United States, would you do it?
Well, if it would be justifiable
in the context you just described,
then by the same logic,
it would be justifiable here.
It's not one set of rules
for everybody else
and another set of rules
for the United States.
That is American suicide.
But there is an alternative remedy
for this theft and injustice.
Starting today, we must pick
ourselves up, dust ourselves off,
and begin again the work
of remaking America.
To remake America
you have to unmake the
America that's here now.
You are about to witness
the very exciting story
of a city and its people.
It is the story of a city
seeking new horizons.
Yes, Detroit is enjoying
its finest hour.
Obama's remaking involves
economic redistribution
never before imagined.
It's aimed at returning
centuries of stolen goods.
Detroit was once the
richest city in the world,
the pinnacle of America.
If America goes the way of Detroit,
that would be another kind of suicide.
But is suicide the price
we must pay for justice?
If our wealth is stolen,
then we must give it back.
So, is America guilty as charged?
It depends on whether the story
of American shame is true or not.
I came from India to
America 30 years ago.
I know a world without her.
When I hear young
people on the campus
repeat the Zinn narrative
of American shame,
I know they haven't been
told the whole story.
Is Howard Zinn a real historian?
No, Howard Zinn is not
a real historian.
He constantly has
misstatements of fact.
More than misstatements,
actual proven untruths,
and he doesn't care
that it's inaccurate.
Professor Ron Radosh is a leading
scholar of American radicalism
and a contemporary of Howard Zinn.
Now, you used to be a member
of the US Communist Party.
Right, I left it because I
realized that the ideology
and the practice had no
relation to American reality.
Howard Zinn left because it
was not revolutionary enough.
What he does is try
to create a glossary
of radical heroes who the new movement
he wants to build should emulate.
That's why he's writing this book.
He was writing to try and inspire a
social movement among young people
who would act as revolutionaries.
That's his purpose, not history.
I got into history with a very,
sort of, modest objective.
Uh, I wanted to change the world.
If you read his book,
America is the single most
oppressive nation in the world.
America is intrinsically evil.
He wants us to understand
how bad America is.
And then, we will join him in creating
a new social revolutionary movement.
If Howard Zinn gives us
a twisted picture of America,
is there a more reliable source?
Meet Alexis de Tocqueville,
a French aristocrat who traveled
through America in 1831
and wrote the classic book
Democracy in America.
Tocqueville witnessed
America first-hand.
He saw the founding
principles in action.
He saw Americans as
very entrepreneurial.
Choose any American at random
and he could be enterprising,
adventurous, and above all, an innovator.
Tocqueville observed how no one bows
or scrapes before another in America.
America is the only country
where we call the waiter "sir,"
as if he were a knight.
Tocqueville witnessed the
importance of Christianity.
He saw faith shaping not
only people's inner life,
but also their political life.
He wrote, "Religion must be regarded
as the first of their political institutions.
"When a private individual
meditates an undertaking,
"he never thinks of soliciting the
cooperation of the government.
"Rather, he does it himself or
in collaboration with others."
- God bless you, sir.
- God bless you.
"In the end, the sum of
these private undertakings
"far exceeds all that the
government could have done."
Now, Tocqueville did recognize
the things that Zinn talks about.
At one point, Tocqueville stood
on the Ohio-Kentucky border.
He looked north and he
saw industrious Ohio.
He looked south and
he saw idle Kentucky.
"On both sides," he commented,
"the soil is equally fertile.
"The situation just as favorable."
So what explained the difference?
"Slavery," Tocqueville
said, "degrades work.
"It produces a people without energy,
without a spirit of enterprise.
"Slaves have no incentive to work
"because they don't get to
keep the fruit of their labor."
Thank you all for coming
out to auction today.
"And masters become lazy
because there are slaves
"to do everything for them."
We're gonna sell them here
'cause they are ready to work.
We're gonna start this auction off with
this strapping young buck right here.
This one right here is
fresh out of the water.
We're gonna open this
auction up at $200.
Do I have $200? Who's gonna bid 300?
Who's gonna bid 300?
When Tocqueville saw slavery,
when he saw the treatment
of the Native Americans,
he knew none of this
was uniquely American.
In fact, it was part of a
universal conquest ethic.
Most countries are
founded in conquest.
Europe, conquest, conquest
and more conquest.
Look at Britain.
Before becoming an empire,
it was conquered
by the Norman kings of France
and earlier by the Romans.
Before the British came,
India was invaded by the Persians,
the Mongols, the Afghans,
the Arabs and Alexander the Great.
Conquest was how wealth was acquired.
Not through entrepreneurship,
invention or business.
Historically, every culture has despised
entrepreneurs and merchants.
In India, we have the caste system.
Who's at the top?
The Brahmin or priest.
The entrepreneur is one
step from the bottom.
The Islamic historian Ibn Khaldn
says that looting is morally preferable
to entrepreneurship or trade.
Why? Because looting is more manly.
In looting, you have to beat the guy
in open combat to take his stuff.
America is based on a different idea.
The idea of acquiring wealth not
by taking it from someone else.
Instead, wealth can be created
through innovation,
entrepreneurship and trade.
Let's take a look at Manhattan.
Reportedly in 1626,
Native Americans sold Manhattan to
the Dutch for $700 in today's money.
There's land all over the world
now that you can buy for $700.
But when the Dutch bought
Manhattan, there was no Manhattan.
Prices are astronomical today
because of what's been built
over the past 300 years.
Manhattan is the creation
of the people who built it,
not the original
inhabitants who sold it.
Manhattan represents the new
American ethic of wealth creation.
An alternative to conquest.
It's time to respond to Zion's
story of American shame.
Did America steal the country
from the Native Americans?
Much of this critique
focuses on Columbus
and the actions of the
Spanish conquistadors.
But Columbus never even
landed in America.
And the actions of the Spanish,
that was 150 years before America.
Zinn blames America for
the sins of the Spanish
and the Portuguese and
Great Britain and France.
What about all the broken
treaties since 1776?
Well, the very idea of a treaty is a
departure from the conquest ethic.
The conquest ethic was very
simple, you win, I lose.
This is not a defense of relocation
or the way the Native
Americans have been treated.
Some restitution is due.
And some has been made.
In the case of the Black Hills,
American courts acknowledge
the land was taken in violation
of the Laramie Treaty of 1868.
$1 billion, fair market value of the
land plus interest, has been set aside.
But the Sioux have rejected it.
They want the land.
But is it their land?
In the late 1700s, the Sioux took
that land from the Cheyenne,
who had earlier pushed out
the Kiowa and the Arapaho.
Land possession is
part of a long history
in which the stronger Native American
tribes displaced weaker ones.
The Native Americans, too,
subscribe to the conquest ethic.
But what about the
charge of genocide?
In the two centuries after Columbus,
the Native American
population declined by 80%.
But it wasn't due to warfare.
Rather, as historian William
McNeill points out,
they contracted diseases,
measles, typhus, smallpox,
cholera and malaria,
to which they had no immunities.
Now, this is tragedy on a grand
scale, but it's not genocide
because genocide implies an
intention to wipe out a people.
Just a century and a half earlier,
one-third of the population
of Europe was wiped out
by a series of bubonic
and pneumonic plagues.
Those plagues came from Asia,
and the Europeans had no immunities.
We don't call that genocide.
I understand the pain of
Charmaine White Face and others
over the loss of an old way of life,
but the Native Americans, if they
wanted, can return to that way.
Instead, they have exercised the
right of tribal self-government
and many have chosen
to build resorts, casinos
and other entrepreneurial businesses.
Did America steal half of
Mexico in the Mexican War?
It seems cruel.
We took the land of these Mexicans
and now we won't even
allow them to come back
and work as laborers on land
that used to be theirs.
I asked Texas Senator Ted Cruz
what started the Mexican War.
What prompted the Texas Revolution,
the Texians, who were
part of Mexico at the time.
General Santa Anna,
who was the dictator in Mexico,
began stripping away
the rights of Texians.
And indeed, they began to revolt to
protect their freedom and independence.
And so the Texians
fought a revolution,
just like our founding
fathers in America did,
and won their
independence from Mexico.
Texas joined the American union,
and its border dispute with Mexico
precipitated the Mexican War.
America won that war.
As a result, American
troops were in Mexico City.
We took all of Mexico.
Then we retired its debt and
gave half the country back.
The people who ended up on the
American side of the border
were made American citizens.
Temo Muniz is a law student
active in Hispanic politics.
Would you consider
yourself Mexican American?
Mexican is the adjective.
American is the noun.
I am a proud Texan born and raised.
I'm an American of Mexican heritage.
Do you believe in the American dream?
Definitely. I've seen it first-hand.
My dad was a shepherd boy
from the mountains of
San Luis Potos Mexico.
He pretty much bootstrapped
his way to building
one of the largest manufacturing
companies in his industry sector.
Like I said, we started from
the bottom. We had, uh, nothing.
Uh, dumpster diving to sell
things, to resell things.
Selling chips at the park at the
age of six. Collecting cans.
Unloading cotton bales
at the age of 13.
So, I've witnessed it. I've lived it.
And I know the American dream is alive.
What is your American dream?
Well, I'm still in search of it.
I'm in law school right now.
And I hope to really be an
influence to my community.
We're cut from the same cloth as any
American who has a pioneer spirit.
What would your life be like
today if you were in Mexico?
If we had the same
American dream in Mexico,
we'd probably be extorted
by the cartel kingpins.
Asking us for 10%, 20%
of the fruits of our labor.
We wouldn't even have the
natural right to bear arms
to defend ourselves
against the cartels.
It's hard to build any kind of dream
when you're living under tyranny.
I've heard of las provincias
perdidas, the lost provinces.
The truth of the matter, Dinesh,
is that we don't care about that.
We're here in America.
We're building up the American dream.
We're successful.
We've tasted freedom and liberty.
We're not going back.
What would you do if
the American Southwest
were somehow to be
returned to Mexico?
Uh, I'd be moving to Minneapolis.
So you'd want to stay in America?
America is where I was born and
Texas is where I'm gonna die.
And he's not alone.
How long have you been in
border control law enforcement?
Dinesh, I was a border patrol agent
on the border for 26-plus years.
Now, how many people
would you say in a year
surreptitiously cross the border?
Probably in the millions.
And these are people obviously crossing
from the United States into Mexico.
No, they're people crossing from
Mexico into the United States. Yes.
But don't you have Mexican Americans
who are trying to cross back
into their old country?
Uh, I've never seen one illegally try
and cross back into Mexico, no, never.
They prefer it here?
I wonder how many
people in Mexico today
wish the United States
had kept all of Mexico.
The enslavement of African
Americans was theft.
Theft of life and labor.
Were the American founders hypocrites in
affirming that all men are created equal
while approving a constitution
that allowed slavery to continue?
This was debated by the
Republican Abraham Lincoln
and his Democratic opponent.
So if you desire Negro citizenship,
if you desire to let them move into our
state to settle with the white man,
then by all means, support Mr. Lincoln
and the black Republican party
who are for Negro citizenship.
The authors of that notable instrument
intended to include all men.
They did not intend to declare
all men equal in all respects.
They did not mean to say
that all were equal in color,
size, intellect, moral
developments or social capacity.
They define with
tolerable distinctness
in what respect they did
consider all men created equal.
Equal in certain inalienable rights.
Among which are life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness.
They did not mean to
assert the obvious untruth
that all were then actually
enjoying this equality.
Nor yet that they were about to
confer them immediately upon them.
They simply meant
to declare the right,
so that the enforcement of it might follow
as fast as circumstances should permit.
Lincoln recognized that the founders
could not have outlawed slavery
and still had a union.
No Southern state would
have joined such a union
and slavery might have
lasted much longer.
Earlier in his career,
Frederick Douglass
had called Lincoln the
white man's president.
There was a movement in America
supported by many blacks
and even by Lincoln to
relocate blacks to Africa.
But meeting Lincoln restored
Douglass' faith in America.
Douglass condemned that movement.
He didn't want to leave America,
nor did he want to destroy America.
He wanted to participate in America.
He wanted to make this
country his home.
Now, take the Constitution.
According to its plain reading,
I defy the presentation of a
single proslavery clause in it.
On the other hand, it will be found
to contain principles and purposes
entirely hostile to the
existence of slavery.
I do not despair at this country.
There are forces in operation
which must inevitably work
the downfall of slavery.
For the first time in history,
a great war was fought to end slavery.
300,000 Northern soldiers
died in that war.
They died to secure for the slaves
a freedom that the slaves were not in
the position to secure for themselves.
Even the Civil Rights Movement was not
a break with the American founding.
In a sense, we've come to our
nation's capital to cash a check.
When the architects of our republic
wrote the magnificent
words of the Constitution
and the Declaration of independence,
they were signing a promissory note
To which every American
was to fall heir.
Where did Martin Luther
King get his promissory note?
Not from the segregationists.
He got it from the
Declaration of independence.
It was the American founding
that established the principles
that made possible the success
of the Civil Rights Movement.
The topic of race, more than
any other, generates taboos.
And taboos are the enemy
of history and of truth.
In the early 17th century when
slavery started in America,
another group was brought
to this country by force.
They were white indentured servants.
Starting in 1618, children were
captured from the streets of London
and sold into colonial America.
But it didn't stop there.
Over the next century and a half,
another 150,000 Irish men,
women and children
were declared soldiers of war by Britain
and sold into colonial indentured servitude
with many landing in
Virginia and New England.
Indentured servitude was not slavery.
It didn't have the same ideology
of racial dehumanization.
And it was for a limited period,
typically seven years.
Yet, these people often
had their term extended
or died before they
got their freedom.
Indentured servants worked
side by side with slaves.
For many years, white indentured
servants outnumbered black slaves.
Our next story, one you
won't find in Howard Zinn,
is set in South Carolina,
where we encounter one of the most
feared plantation owners in the South.
Meet William Ellison.
Born himself into slavery,
Ellison was freed as a young man.
He became a blacksmith,
then a mechanic for cotton gins.
And then went into farming
where he eventually owned
1,000 acres and 60 slaves.
He was also known as a slave breeder,
a practice shunned even by
most white slave owners.
That's a fine young one for you.
When the Civil War broke out,
Ellison supported the Confederacy,
investing in Confederate bonds
and supplying food and provisions
for the Confederate army.
Ellison's story is told by
the African American scholar
Henry Louis Gates.
Gates and other scholars estimate that
in the period before the Civil War,
there were approximately 3,500 free blacks
who owned more than 10,000 black slaves.
In South Carolina and Louisiana,
Gates points out,
the percentage of free blacks
who owned slaves was
approximately the same
as the percentage of
whites who owned slaves.
These episodes illustrate the
universality of the conquest ethic
and the uniqueness of the
American response to it.
Slavery existed all over the world.
The Egyptians had slaves.
The Chinese had slaves.
The Africans did. American Indians
had slaves long before Columbus.
And tragically, slavery continues
today in many countries.
What's uniquely Western
is the abolition of slavery.
And what's uniquely American is the
fighting of a great war to end it.
Zinn wants a narrative
of American shame.
That's why he leaves
these stories out.
And that's why we have a moral
obligation to put them back in.
And here's someone else who
gets left out of Zinn's narrative.
Good afternoon. I'm Madam Walker
and this is my daughter Lelia.
Meet Sarah Breedlove, also
known as Madam C.J. Walker.
She started selling her own hair
care products door to door.
Madam C.J. Walker became the first
self-made female millionaire in America.
- They're ready for you.
- Thank you.
Good morning, madam.
Good morning, ladies.
Get back to work.
See, ladies, you don't
have to define yourself
by your current station in life.
But only by your vision
of who you can become.
Yes. Yes.
- Today you see a success.
- Yes.
And I hear many of you
say, "But, Madam Walker,
"I just don't have the
opportunities you had."
And I respond, "Really?"
I was the first
freeborn in my family.
Orphaned at age seven.
Married at 14 and widowed
with child by 20.
I'm a woman that came from
the cotton fields of the South.
From there, I was
promoted to the washtub.
From there, I was promoted
to the cook kitchen.
From there, I promoted
myself to the business
of manufacturing hair
goods and preparations.
I have built my own
factory on my own ground.
I got my start by
giving myself a start.
Ladies, there is no
flower-strewn path to success.
And if there is, I haven't found it.
If I've accomplished anything in my life,
it's because I was willing to work hard.
You can do something new today.
And don't be too haughty.
You can always go to
that washtub for a seat.
What a role model.
So why is she left out
of the history books?
Because she confounds
the shame narrative.
She's an African
American success story.
In a way, she sounds
like Martin Luther King.
King once said, "Every man
must write with his own hand
"the charter of his
Emancipation Proclamation.
"We are all in this
country a minority of one
"and how we succeed or fail
depends on our efforts."
Did America get rich by simply
stealing from other countries?
Starting with the Vietnam War,
another charge surfaced,
America the imperialist.
We will build a revolutionary
youth movement
capable of actively engaging in
the war against the imperialists.
We will escalate our attacks until
imperialism is defeated in Vietnam.
That was Bill Ayers, founder
of the Weather Underground.
He bombed the Pentagon
and says he wished he
could have done more.
He's now a college professor.
And who are his agents
of American imperialism?
Meet John Fer.
I always adored flying.
And I built and flew model airplanes
since I was five years old.
And so eventually become
a pilot in the Air Force.
But things didn't work out
so well for John Fer.
And they blew the
airplane out of the sky.
I landed on the ground
and then I was marched off
to the interrogation room.
I was absolutely shocked at the
threshold that I had to cry uncle.
I wanted to turn off the pain.
Why did you go to Vietnam?
I believed that we were
doing the right thing
of helping the South Vietnamese
stand on their own two feet,
so that one day then we
could extract ourselves
and we would have
a free South Vietnam.
I was there to give opportunity
for the South Vietnamese people
to exercise their own destiny.
John Fer would spend
the next six years
in the famed POW prison,
the Hanoi Hilton.
I came home to a different America.
Whatever you think
about the Vietnam War,
America wasn't stealing
from the Vietnamese.
And in Iraq, we spent a
whole bunch of money
and then we turned over
the oil fields to the Iraqis.
Under the conquest ethic,
we would have kept it.
In Afghanistan after 9/11,
the US military, even while
bombing terrorist targets,
was delivering food rations
to Afghan civilians.
And far from stealing,
America rebuilt Germany and Japan
after World War ll.
Contrary to the Zinn narrative,
we're not the bad guys of the world.
As Colin Powell said,
"The only land that America asks for
abroad is land to bury our dead."
Finally, capitalism.
Does it rip off the consumer?
Welcome to Delish Dinesh.
- Can I help you?
- I'll take a hamburger.
Maria just paid $1.95
for that hamburger.
Ek burger jaldi banao.
But the cost of me
making the hamburger,
with food, labor, rent, insurance,
advertising, permits...
Hey, boss, soda machine broken again.
...equals $1.79.
Leaving me with a whopping
8% or 16 cent profit.
The best way to judge
if I'm ripping her off
is to see what it would cost for
her to make the burger at home.
Maria's burger has the same
stuff as Delish Dinesh.
But when you add it up,
Maria's homemade burger
costs $2. 22.
That's 27 cents more than the
burger at my restaurant.
And that doesn't even factor in the
time that it cost her to make it.
Does this work for the
big companies, too?
And we are calling it iPhone.
Steve Jobs, did he rip people off?
He created products that people didn't
even know they wanted or needed.
But once he made them available,
they clamored for them and
stood in line to buy them
and freely spent their
money for them.
There's no rip-off.
Capitalism works not through
coercion or conquest,
but through the consent
of the consumer.
To see why there's
so much inequality,
consider the example of Zinn's
own disciple Matt Damon.
Here he is in The Bourne Ultimatum.
Here he is in The Bourne Identity.
How does Matt Damon make
so much more money than you?
Is it because he works
harder than you
putting in an intense six weeks filming
to earn several million dollars?
Could it be because of
his unbelievable skills?
There's only one reason Matt
Damon makes so much money.
The consumers who buy
tickets to his movies.
In other words,
You moved your goods to market
on the roads the rest of us paid for.
You hired workers the rest
of us paid to educate.
You were safe in your factory
because of police forces and fire
forces that the rest of us paid for.
Is Senator Warren right?
Entrepreneurs and business
owners do use public services,
but so does everyone else.
Let's say, a successful
business owner
makes four times as much
as the average employee.
But she also pays four
times as much in taxes.
Do her kids get four times more
attention in public school?
Does she get to drive four
times as fast on the freeway?
Will the fire department
arrive four times faster?
No. Not at all.
What about the rest of the world?
Does capitalism promote
global injustice?
From businesses in the Middle East
to factories in South America
to entrepreneurs in China,
the world is embracing
the free market.
Does it seem to you ironic that this
sort of entrepreneurial capitalism,
that this recipe has become
so controversial at home here
while it is being enthusiastically embraced
in so many other parts of the world?
I spoke to Jagdish Bhagwati,
a professor of economics
at Columbia University
and a leading researcher
on global capitalism.
How many people have been
lifted out of poverty in India?
Over 200 million
people are, you know,
in less than 15 years,
have pulled out of poverty.
And in China the number
is even greater.
Far greater. It's about 400
to 500 million people.
'Cause they started earlier.
Capitalism, entrepreneurial capitalism
is the most important moral case.
So there's no reason
for us to be apologetic.
It's the other guys who
should be apologetic.
'Cause every bit of experience shows
that they're the ones who really
undermine the fortunes of the poor.
And when it comes to helping
the poor through charity,
you may be surprised
at who cares the most.
Meet Arthur Brooks, head of the
American Enterprise institute.
One of the things that
we typically find
in our modern conversation
about who's charitable
is that folks who believe in
greater government transfers,
more income redistribution,
they believe they're the most
charitable members of society.
When you look at the data,
a different picture emerges.
What we really find is that folks
who are on the conservative side,
especially the religious conservative
side, give away the most.
About four times as much.
About four times as much of their resources
as people who are on the secular left.
And if you're struggling in America,
is it still possible to pull yourself up?
I believed that my problems
were somebody else's fault.
I believed that America
was so inherently racist
that I didn't need to mainstream.
And I believed that the poor were poor
because the wealthy were wealthy.
I met with my friend Star Parker.
You were on welfare for how long?
I was in and out seven years,
but three-and-a-half years consistently.
Did it ever occur to you to go looking
for work and if not, why not?
Why bother? Why would I
go out and find work
when somebody else was willing to send
me a check on the 1st and the 15th?
My life go in a little black hole.
And that's where I was living.
When some people looked me in the eye
and pointed their finger in my face
and told me my lifestyle
was unacceptable to God,
and when they said that, I didn't
even know there were churches,
but there was something about their
conviction that got my attention.
I finally went to church with
them and heard the gospel
and I changed and I
went back to college.
I got a degree. I started a business.
And now I run an organization today
and am a nationally syndicated
columnist and an author.
For me, Star Parker is the
quintessential American.
She draws on those classic American
virtues that Tocqueville talked about,
individual initiative, community,
faith, to help herself and others.
So is the wealth of
America based on theft?
Actually, no.
The wealth of America isn't
stolen, it's created.
All right, this way. This way.
The ethic of conquest is universal.
What's uniquely American
is the alternative,
equal rights, self-determination
and wealth creation.
If America did not exist,
the conquest ethic would
dominate the world once again.
America isn't the problem.
America is the answer.
Tocqueville knew that.
I know it.
And so does U2's Bono.
It's not a right-left issue.
It's a right-wrong issue.
And America has constantly been
on the side of what's right.
Because when it comes down to it,
this is about keeping faith
with the idea of America.
Because America is an idea, isn't it?
I mean, Ireland is a great
country, but it's not an idea.
Great Britain is a great country.
It's not an idea.
That's how we see
you around the world.
As one of the greatest
ideas in human history.
Right up there with the Renaissance.
Right up there with crop rotation
and the Beatles' White Album.
You and me are created equal.
If we have dignity, if we have justice,
then leave it to us, we'll do the rest.
This country was the first
to claw its way out of darkness
and put that on paper.
These aren't just
American ideas anymore.
There's no copyright on them.
You brought them into the world.
These truths, your truths,
they're self-evident in us.
But now we turn to
a political question.
If America is a force for good,
why are they trying to make us feel bad?
Who's behind this?
The shaming of America is not accidental.
It's part of a strategy.
This becomes a contest of power.
Now, power has always
gone into two areas,
those who have money
and those who have people.
We have nothing but people.
If an organizer doesn't have
any idea what to do about it,
he hasn't got any damn
business being in there.
Do I make myself clear?
Who was Saul Alinsky?
Saul Alinsky was a man of the left,
and very far to the left.
To pin it down, he was
a democratic socialist.
Meaning that he wanted the United
States to become a socialist country,
but he was willing to see that happen
slowly through the democratic process.
You tell them that I'm meeting with my staff
and with the fight leaders on Friday at noon.
I spoke to scholar and
author Stanley Kurtz,
who's done extensive
research on Alinsky.
Well, Alinsky wants to polarize.
He wants the people he calls
"the haves" to feel guilty
and he wants the people he calls
"the have nots" to feel resentful.
Alinsky perfected the art
of the political shakedown.
I have, on occasion,
remarked that I felt confident
that I could persuade a
millionaire on a Friday
to subsidize a
revolution for Saturday,
out of which he would make
a huge profit on Sunday,
even though he was certain
to be executed on Monday.
While finishing graduate school,
Alinsky sought out an unusual mentor.
Frank Nitti, Al Capone's
number two in the Chicago mob.
Known as a thug or a hoodlum.
Also known as a
racketeer and gangster.
Nitti took me under his wing.
I called him the professor
and I became his student.
Nitti's boys took me everywhere,
showed me all of the mob's operations
from gin mills and whorehouses
and bookie joints
to the legitimate businesses they
were beginning to take over.
Within a few months,
I got to know the workings
of the Capone mob inside out.
Alinsky saw up close the
ease with which the Mafia
could extract money through
theft, intimidation and murder.
But he figured out a way to do
it without going to prison.
How is it the haves prosper while
we struggle just to survive?
He wanted to build from the ground up
by creating a sort of coalition
of community organizations
that he hoped to establish
all across the country.
The one thing I've come to realize
is that any positive action
for radical social change
will have to be focused
on the white middle class
for the simple reason that this
is where the real power lies.
The American middle class is decent.
It wants to live up
to its own ideals.
Alinsky knew that if he could show a gap
between people's lives and their ideals,
he could exploit their
shame to gain power.
Alinsky became the godfather in the art
of using shame for political shakedown.
But he needed an army of recruits
to carry out the shakedown.
And he knew where to look.
The 1960s saw the birth
of a new generation
alienated from its parents,
alienated from America.
Ripe pickings for Alinsky.
But first he had to
straighten them out.
I have a hell of a lot
more love than you have
because I'm willing to go out
and get corruptive for it.
I'm willing to fight for it. I'm willing
to stick my life on the line on it.
And you're just willing to stick around
and talk about love and hippies
and not do a damn thing.
Alinsky wrote an instruction manual
for this new army of
shakedown artists.
In Rules For Radicals, we discover
that the mobster Frank Nitti
was not Alinsky's only mentor.
Alinsky was an atheist.
What could he possibly
learn from the Devil?
Three things. Polarization.
We've got to get away from
all this reconciliation jazz
and all this friendship and
all that kind of business.
They'd love to see all the Negroes
in America living on the reserves.
And deception.
You do what you can
with what you have
and close it with moral arguments.
Today, Alinsky's influence
can be seen across academia,
the media
and government.
And his most famous disciple lives
at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
I don't think there's any
doubt that Barack Obama
really hasn't leveled with the American
public about his political past.
And this is probably the
most dramatic example.
Obama first encountered
Alinskyite organizing
at a series of socialist conferences
that he attended when he lived
in New York City as a young man.
Those conferences touted Alinskyite
organizing as the next big political wave
and as the best way to bring
socialism to America.
And those same conferences
touted Chicago
as the place to find the very
best Alinskyite organizers.
Clearly Obama has mastered the
Alinskyite strategy of deception.
We will keep this promise.
If you like your doctor,
you keep seeing your doctor.
If you like your doctor...
If you like your doctor,
you can keep your doctor.
Save a typical family
an average of $2,500.
I'll make our government
open and transparent.
We're building a transparent process.
No matter what you've heard,
if you like your doctor or health
care plan, you can keep it.
If you don't have insurance,
you'll finally be able to afford it.
Alinsky would be so
proud of Obamacare.
It's a masterpiece of
distortion and extortion.
Here's the distortion.
Obama gives the impression
that he is colluding with us
against the insurance companies.
But in reality, he's colluding with
the insurance companies against us.
He's forcing Americans to buy
insurance who don't want to buy it.
And this makes the insurance
companies very happy
because it means more
profits for them.
With the corporate and the bank
bailouts, it was the same deal.
Obama embraced the bailouts.
He recognized it was a way
for the federal government to gain
control over those institutions.
What these naive corporate
executives don't realize
is that while they might
make a profit on Sunday,
they could be gone by Monday.
But Obama wasn't the only disciple.
Well, when Hillary was
still in high school,
she fell under the spell of
a Methodist youth minister.
And at that time Hillary
had been a Goldwater girl.
A conservative growing up in a perfectly
conventional American suburb.
But this very charismatic Methodist
minister drew Hillary sharply to the left.
Mr. Alinsky, this is Hillary.
- A pleasure.
- Nice to meet you.
- Are you enjoying your work back there?
- I am.
Well, you'll have a lot of it.
After high school,
Hillary met with Alinsky again
at Wellesley College,
where she invited him to speak.
Later, Alinksy would offer her a
job, but Hillary turned it down.
When she got to college,
she decided to focus
on Alinsky as her senior thesis work.
Hillary was looking
to Alinsky for a way
to put her existing leftist
ideology into practice.
But in studying Alinsky.
Hillary came to the conclusion
that Alinsky organizing could
never truly transform America
unless it somehow was
connected more deeply
To the core of the
American political system.
Alinsky always opposed tight relationships
between community organizers and politics.
So this is where Hillary decided to
take Alinsky in a different direction.
While Alinsky wanted the radicals
to pressure the government,
Hillary wanted the radicals
to become the government.
Why try to shame people
from the outside
when you can intimidate
them from the inside?
So I would say on ideology. Hillary is
closer to Obama than she is to Bill.
Hillary figured it out,
Obama is now carrying it out.
are all collecting information and
storing it on every American.
Welcome to the Panopticon,
a prison designed by philosopher
Jeremy Bentham in the 1800s.
His design gave the
guards a God's eye view.
Here, there's no privacy,
What Bentham envisioned for a prison
has now become the hi-tech Panopticon.
Nobody is listening to
your telephone calls.
The United States is not
spying on ordinary people
who don't threaten
our national security.
There's no question that the collection
of these huge amounts of data
gives the government the ability
to go after anybody and everybody.
The government will always use
as much power as you give it.
It will always go up to and
sometimes cross over, eh, the line.
That's a real problem,
particularly if we're looking at
everyone's Internet searches,
we're looking at what magazines
you read, what books you read,
and really a lot of your life.
Imagine how much of
your life is online.
If they can look at your
Visa bill without a warrant.
This program, by the way,
is fully overseen by the FISA Court,
a court specially put together
to evaluate classified programs
to make sure that
the executive branch
or government generally
is not abusing them
and that it's being carried out
consistent with the Constitution.
The FISA Court should not be
allowed to use the term "court."
It is not a court.
A court by definition means an
institution that hears both sides
of a case and controversy.
Due process is an open court.
Adversarial process on both sides of it.
But it's not in a secret court.
FISA, with nobody to advocate for the
individual that's being spied upon.
Judges should not be
allowed to wear robes.
They shouldn't be allowed
to use the word "judge."
They shouldn't be allowed
to use the word "court."
And it's misleading the public.
Many people will say,
"I haven't done anything wrong
"and so I don't really care
if they read my mail."
The problem with that is it's
a much different standard
than innocent until proven guilty.
It's that everything is open.
They come into your house and say,
"Oh, you've been sending
e-mails to someone in Lebanon.
"We suspect you of terrorism."
If they get in your house
and they find no terrorism,
you're not connected,
but they find you have paint
that you brought home from the office
that you bought with a business expense
and you were painting your office,
now you're painting
the inside of your house,
you've now committed a tax violation.
Or maybe they find you
have an unregistered gun.
Everything in America
now is criminal.
You can't practice commercial law
or real estate law, be in
the hedge fund business,
do a great many things without running
afoul of potential criminal statute.
Harvey, you've written a book
that has the remarkable title
Three Felonies a Day.
Now, how is it possible for an ordinary
guy to commit three felonies a day?
On a normal day,
the average reasonably engaged American
does at least three things that arguably
can be deemed federal
felonies by some ambitious
Department of Justice prosecutor.
The problem with most federal felonies
is that an average normal person,
even, I have to say,
a lot of my fellow lawyers,
wouldn't have a clue that
what they're engaging in
is arguably prosecutable.
Well, and consider it on
top of this IRS scandal
where it appears as if the government
is using the IRS for partisan reasons.
Maybe I'm not so, uh,
confident that I would want
all my phone records given to,
uh, the government
if it appears maybe I could be
targeted by the government.
I talk to people routinely now
who I don't think are paranoid,
who are saying, "I'm a little
worried about having my name
"publically associated with conservatives
or Republicans because I fear retaliation.
"I fear that I will be targeted
by the SEC or the IRS
"or different arms of government."
And I think it's a legitimate fear.
I think there's probably almost nothing
more fundamentally un-American
than using government to target
your political opponents.
Well, when the President does it,
that means that it is not illegal.
During the Nixon Administration,
I was audited four times.
I was audited because I was a very
vocal critic of the Nixon Administration.
We all pay taxes.
We all file tax returns.
And talk about a trap for the unwary.
They can get absolutely anybody.
They can bankrupt you just from
trying to defend against them.
And then the rest of the game is
are you going to avoid
a long prison sentence
and pled guilty for a short sentence?
There are a lot of people in
prison today based on guilty pleas
who could have won their
case had they litigated it.
But the risks of litigation are so
great that they can't afford to do it.
It was Lavrenty Beria
who told Stalin,
"Show me the man and
I'll find you the crime."
What the government did to our little group
in Wetumpka, Alabama, is un-American.
It isn't a matter of firing
or arresting individuals.
The individuals who sought to intimidate us
were acting as they thought they should
in a government culture that has
little respect for its citizens.
Many of the agents and agencies
of the federal government
do not understand that they
are servants of the people.
They think they are our masters,
and they are mistaken.
I'm not interested in
scoring political points.
I want to protect and preserve
the America that I grew up in.
The America that people crossed oceans
and risked their lives to become a part of.
And I am terrified
it is slipping away.
Thank you.
Aaron Swartz was an
internet whiz kid.
At 14, he developed a new way to
publish information on the Web.
In his late teens, he cofounded a
company that merged with Reddit
to become one of the Web's most
frequently used social news sites.
He became a vocal critic of several of
the Obama Administration's policies.
The freedoms guaranteed
in our Constitution,
the freedoms our country had been
built on would be suddenly deleted.
Aaron Swartz was prosecuted
by the US Attorney's office
in Massachusetts for allegedly breaking
into the computer networks at MI and downloading without authorization
thousands of academic articles.
He was charged with crimes
that would have carried
a penalty of up to 35 years in
prison and $1 million fine.
The articles were funded
by taxpayer money
and Aaron thought they should
be available to the public.
The government argued they
were copyrighted material.
It strikes me as disproportionate,
being used inappropriately
to try to bully, uh,
someone into pleading guilty
to something that strikes
me as rather, uh, minor.
The company that owns
the copyrighted articles
asked federal prosecutors
to drop the charges.
But the prosecutor wanted
to send Aaron to prison.
On January 11, 2013,
Aaron Swartz took his own life.
He was 26 years old.
New accusations that the feds are
unfairly targeting conservatives
in an effort to silence
those who do not agree
with the Obama Administration
during a crucial election year.
Conservative filmmaker and
author Dinesh D'Souza
is the latest victim to be targeted
by the Obama White House.
And he's also the man behind
the anti-Obama documentary
2016, Obama's America.
Dinesh D'Souza was indicted
on federal charges of violating
campaign finance laws.
But do you believe this is
because of the film that you did
leading up to last year's election?
I made a mistake and I'm not
above the law. No one is.
But we don't want
to live in a society
where Lady Justice has one eye
open and winks at her friends
and casts an evil eye
at her adversaries.
Where will they stop?
At the point where we stop them.
We won't let them shame us.
We won't let them intimidate us.
We're going to start telling
the true story of America.
In stone, our leaders
appear only as legends.
No faults, no fears, no self-doubts.
But also no laughter.
No hope. No love.
And yet our human experience tells us
they had all of these in
the troubles they faced.
They're ready for you, Mr. President.
Ready, Mother?
My friends, no one who
is not in my situation
can appreciate the feelings of
sadness I have at this parting.
To this place and to the kindness
of these people, I owe everything.
Here I have lived for a
quarter of a century.
To you, dear friends, I owe
all that I have, all that I am.
I leave now, not knowing when
or whether ever I may return,
with a task before me that is greater
than that which rested upon Washington.
Without the assistance of the Almighty
who attended him, I cannot succeed.
With that assistance, I cannot fail.
Fire it in, boys!
Trusting in him who can go
with me and remain with you
and be everywhere for good,
let us confidently hope
that all will yet be well.
Through his care commending you,
as I hope that in your
prayers you will commend me.
I bid you an affectionate farewell.
And how badly we need right now
a Washington, a Lincoln, a Reagan.
Well, we don't have them.
But we do have us.
The Revolution was a struggle
for the creation of America.
The Civil War was a struggle for
the preservation of America.
World War ll was a struggle
for the protection of America.
Our struggle is for the
restoration of America.
President Reagan once said,
"Ours is the only national anthem
that ends with a question.
"Every generation must
answer that question."
Let us resolve to fight for America
as if the outcome of the
struggle depended on us alone.
We cannot do anything less.
This is our home.
A lost sailor.
- He was looking for my country, not yours.
- Yes.
- Yeah, but you wish he didn't come.
- I wish he didn't come.
I spoke with Charmaine White
Face, a Native American activist
and member of the Great Sioux Nation
whose ancestral land, the Black Hills,
includes Mount Rushmore.
Having Mount Rushmore here is horrible.
It's a symbol of oppression.
It's a symbol of
genocide for our people.
The charge of genocide
begins with Columbus enslaving
1,500 Arawak Indians