Thrive — The Documentary Film That Has Made Many People Talk

Freely available, and has over a million hits on YouTube: THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?

Here is a critical review of the film from

There have been many screenings in the Bay Area of a privately produced film called Thrive. It is a long documentary, created in a New-Agey, pseudoscientific mode, which would be fairly innocuous if it were not masking a reactionary, libertarian political agenda that stands in jarring contrast with the soothing tone of the presentation.

Foster Gamble, the creator and narrator of the film, is heir to the Proctor Gamble empire. One advantage of being wealthy is that you can make a film for which you choose the cast, director, producer, and staff. One of the disadvantages is that you end up working with people who won’t challenge your ideas or politics. That feedback loop is clearly missing from Thrive.

Certainly, progressives can find common ground with some of the stated goals of the film. We may agree on banning GMOs, eradicating pollution, and stopping bank bailouts, but our solutions are very different from the anti-government ones posed by libertarians and by the ones promoted in Thrive. For example, government regulations could have prevented the runaway libertarian agenda that was pushed by Alan Greenspan and his Ayn Randian cohorts. They could have prevented bundled foreclosure loans and derivatives that gambled away people’s pensions and savings. And they could have prevented the housing bubble and subsequent foreclosure debacle. At one time, we did have such legislation. That was before the right-wing attack on all things government.

Although Gamble thinks he is creating a political center where the right and left can join together, he proposes only libertarian solutions (e.g., voluntary education, voluntary taxes, and shrinking the government).

…This is a great opportunity for discussion and debate!


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