The Next American Revolution
By Michael Albert
INT. VAST PLAIN - DAY Scrolling collage of photos of interviewees provides a backdrop for the main title. "RPS - THE NEXT AMERICAN REVOLUTION" "FROM A TIME JUST BEYOND TOMORROW, FROM A PLACE JUST BEYOND PERCEPTION, HAVING STARTED FROM OUR PRESENT BUT ENJOYING THEIR OWN FUTURE, MEMBERS OF THEIR ORGANIZATION FOR A REVOLUTIONARY PARTICIPATORY SOCIETY, MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR MALCOLM KING AND HIS RUNNING MATE, CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR CELIA CURIE, ARE IN 2044 ELECTED U.S. PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT, CAPPING TWENTY SEVEN YEARS OF CONCEIVING, ORGANIZING, DEMONSTRATING, STRIKING, OCCUPYING, AND CREATING." "THE JOURNALIST, MIGUEL GUEVARA, INTERVIEWS DIVERSE PARTICIPANTS OF THOSE YEARS STRUGGLES WHO DESCRIBE THEIR EXPERIENCES, EFFORTS, FAILINGS, SUCCESSES, THOUGHTS, AND LESSONS." INT. OVAL OFFICE - DAY MIGUEL GUEVARA, 39, a bit scruffy, interviews PRESIDENT MALCOLM KING, 59, ex-Massachusetts Senator, confident, an air of calm, and VICE PRESIDENT CELIA CURIE, 51, ex-California Governor, ex-actress, poised, exuberant. Pictures of ex presidents clearly visible on the walls. MIGUEL GUEVARA Mr. President. . . CELIA CURIE Call him Malcolm. I do, we all do. MIGUEL GUEVARA But Madame Vice President. . . CELIA CURIE Please, Celia. MIGUEL GUEVARA Well, okay. . . (turns to Malcolm) What a pleasure to celebrate victory. How do you feel? MALCOLM KING Elated. Eager. Cautious. But it wasn't our victory. Ideas won. Program won. MIGUEL GUEVARA Yes, but you were the candidates, traversing the country, debating. You won. . . CELIA CURIE No, vision won. Millions of volunteers and 100 million voters won. We rode their wave. INT. CONVENTION HALL - EVENING President Malcolm King Vice President Celia Curie and conventioneers wildly celebrate nomination. MALCOLM KING Thirty years ago, I would have deemed this an impossible dream. Then hope grew and activism flourished. INT. OVAL OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Celia, your first reactions to the Oval Office? CELIA CURIE To me, this is a hall of horrors. Am I wrong, Malcolm? MALCOLM KING I agree. I'd prefer to have a museum of good deeds. We should redecorate the Oval Office, yours too, Celia, with people's art. . . CELIA CURIE . . . so the art looks forward rather than back. . . MALCOLM KING We will host a constitutional convention to redefine government. We will enlarge the Supreme Court to reflect society. We will give our armed forces socially worthy agendas. We will enact massive prison pardons and wisely renovate jurisprudence. Our art should propel that. CELIA CURIE We will stupendously seek climate redemption and ecological balance. We will spur and legalize on-going workplace take-overs to achieve new equitable, cooperative economics. MALCOLM KING Think 2017, and then, after 27 years, election 2044. 2044 is just one year on a long road. Maybe it's a little notable, but there is so much more to come. Our role is to follow the will of the populace in motion . . . CELIA CURIE . . . we dance to their song. MIGUEL GUEVARA What about personal goals? MALCOLM KING Keep our head. Honor activists who preceded us. Follow activists who lead us. CELIA CURIE Seek and tell truth. Inspire. MONTAGE - SCENES OF EARLY RPS -- Organizers go door to door. CELIA CURIE (V.O.) RPS's early members, just post Trump, had beliefs at odds from those of their neighbors. Friends, workmates, and often even relatives feuded. To get anywhere we had to discuss our differences and raise consciousness. -- RPS strikes and occupations. MALCOLM KING (V.O.) Then, as RPS grew, we could focus more on winning change. -- RPS community centers, daycare programs, occupied factories. CELIA CURIE (V.O.) In time, as we grew in numbers, confidence, and resources, we built new relations for immediate benefit but also as seeds of a better future. . . MALCOLM KING (V.O.) We chronicled nightmares always envisioning better. We won modest but escalating gains. EXT. CELEBRATIONS - DAY JULIET BERKMAN, 49, dressed for the street, introduces MAYOR BILL HAMPTON, looking elated. They speak to a massive crowd from a New Year's Eve-like stage in New York's Times Square. JULIET BERKMAN . . . We won national office, it's Inauguration Day and now we must carry through our efforts in every state and city, in every workplace and school. Mr. Mayor, Bill Hampton. . . Bill Hampton reaches out and sweeps the audience, then looks up. BILL HAMPTON How incredible is this? EXT. HAMPTON'S DREAM - DAY Dreamscape visual of planes dropping parachutes unfolds. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) When I was a child I used to have nightmares of big planes filling the sky, silently, ominously, almost gently they dropped massive parachutes, and beneath each, swaying like a devil's dance, huge cylindrical, nuclear coffins drifted down, built to destroy everything. EXT. CELEBRATIONS - DAY Crowd pensive. Bill Hampton smiles, holds out hands. BILL HAMPTON Now, however, we are not dreaming. This is real time, real world. And I don't see bombs. I see beautifully designed announcements that a new world is dawning, a new world for all. And so we celebrate! And tomorrow we nurture our new world! Participate! MALCOLM KING (V.O.) We knew rebels and rakes, outcasts, the gentle, the kind, the poets and painters, the bricklayers and truck drivers, saints and sinners too, all wanted to attend. CELIA CURIE (V.O.) History had been so unkind for so long that many millions wanted to dance in the streets of our little town. MALCOLM KING (V.O.) To accommodate, we held events in most counties in the U.S. We celebrated a decades-long struggle. Like Juliet and Bill, of course Celia and I loved it. EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY Miguel Guevara queries Juliet Berkman. She is sedate and confident, a union organizer. They walk in Central Park, passing others out for the day, AUGUST 4, 2042. MIGUEL GUEVARA Juliet, do you remember first becoming radical? JULIET BERKMAN In 2016 Trump's election exploded my mind. I drank myself sick. A friend helped me out of it and before long, I was protesting. MIGUEL GUEVARA What were some key events for you? JULIET BERKMAN The first two RPS conventions and the campaign for balanced jobs in 2024, and the campaign for the thirty-hour work week in 2025, but I also remember a meeting arranged with workers in a defense plant connected with a university where students were opposing military research. I spoke to an assembly of protesting students and defense involved employees. INT. ASSEMBLY HALL - DAY Audience includes WORKERS dressed for work and STUDENT PROTESTORS. YOUNG JULIET BERKMAN, 23, dressed for street battle, speaks. Workers boo her words. Students cheer. YOUNG JULIET BERKMAN War making kills. Stop building weapons. Stop war. JULIET BERKMAN (V.O.) I threatened the employees' future livelihoods but ignored the situation of those I was trying to reach. The workers rightly booed me. I had to change. MIGUEL GUEVARA And the second personal event? INT. CHURCH - DAY Respectful Memorial Service. JULIET BERKMAN (V.O.) At a memorial service for sixties civil rights activists, the music and solidarity transported me until I saw in my head past activists risking life and limb in Birmingham. EXT. 1963 BIRMINGHAM - DAY Activists at Birmingham rallies, then Historic footage of excerpt of Martin Luther King's speech. MARTIN LUTHOR KING JR. I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: 'Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother.' EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY Interview continues, walking and talking, kids in background. MIGUEL GUEVARA (V.O.) Juliet, what can you tell us about the first signs of RPS? JULIET BERKMAN (V.O.) I had my first RPS feelings at a Detroit rally for reduced police violence. EXT. DETROIT STREETS FACING A MAKESHIFT STAGE - DAY Lively crowd of a few thousand listen to DETROIT SPEAKER. DETROIT SPEAKER Raise wages. End police violence. Gain peace. Class, race, gender, and sexuality. We must create our own organization. We must not settle. We must change everything. EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY Talking, Berkman and Guevara walk past adults playing soccer. JULIET BERKMAN I had heard similar before, but Detroit felt more real. MIGUEL GUEVARA Many pinpoint the 2021 march of three hundred thousand protestors on Wall Street as their RPS start. Were you there? EXT. MARCH ON WALL STREET - DAY Young Juliet addresses huge cheering crowd. JULIET BERKMAN (V.O.) Yes, I was there and I gave a speech called "We Are the Future." YOUNG JULIET BERKMAN We seek dignity and justice. We won't settle for the periphery of power. We do not oppose impoverished budgets, escalating inequality, resurgent racism, sexual predation, assembly line schools, pharmaceutical drug dealing, corporate profiteering, divisive classism, heinous war, hideous repression, OR planetary climate catastrophe. No, we oppose them all. (speaks ever more loudly) We don't demand racial solidarity, cultural integrity, gender equity, sexual diversity, political freedom, collective self management, OR economic equity and classlessness. No, we demand them all. EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY Guevara and Berkman sit on bench, look over pond with ducks. JULIET BERKMAN If you told me in 2019 that twenty five years later we would be on the verge of transforming society, I would have laughed. A hundred years, okay. Fifty, maybe. Twenty five? No way. MIGUEL GUEVARA Challenging economic injustice has been your personal focus. What was the turning point in seeking to end class division? JULIET BERKMAN I clearly see, even now, two early events. INT. AMAZONIA ASSEMBLY PLANT - DAY AMAZONIA WORKER mechanically does her task. Camera pans to more and more workers, doing likewise, then to plant after plant, then to workers sitting, striking. AMAZONIA WORKER We will not move. We will not allow scabs to take our place. We will strike until Amazonia meets our demands. JULIET BERKMAN (V.O.) People nationwide were awakened. We had bought our books and goods from Amazonia by clicking links, seemingly with no humans involved. Almost 300,000 humans, invisible before, sat down to become visible. EXT. AMAZONIA WAREHOUSE - DAY WORKERS occupy and AMAZONIA STRIKE LEADER speaks from doorway. SUPPORTERS surround plant and speak from makeshift stage. FAMILIES and FRIENDS bring food and tents. STUDENTS bring supplies and buffer against police intervention. POLICE approach. Some police begin talking with strikers. AMAZONIA STRIKE LEADER We are Amazonia's workers. Invade our warehouse and we will dismantle it. If necessary, we are prepared to die at our posts. You enter, we wreak chaos. YOUNG JULIET BERKMAN You can bash us, but we will not be moved. Like workers inside, we will remain. We are neighbors, students, mail carriers, and assemblers. We are lawyers, and doctors. We are off-duty cops. AMAZONIA STRIKE LEADER Say no to our demands, and we will maintain our occupation. Bring on cops to smash us, we will replenish. Issue court orders to scare us, we will scoff. Serve injunctions to restrain us, we will shred them. Arrest us, we will clog your jails. Go ahead. Get tough, we will collapse your workplaces. (looks at rows of police.) Officers, we know you feel responsible to follow your orders. But you have kids. You have lives. You want shorter work hours, better wages, humane conditions. We should be allies. Bludgeon us, we will talk with you. JULIET BERKMAN (V.O.) Some police began talking with us. It checked their anger. After a week, United Package Workers stopped delivering. Then National Express workers stopped. Then it was bam. New work hours. Bam. New payment schemes. EXT. HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL - DAY STUDENTS rally with signs, many wearing medical garb. JULIET BERKMAN (V.O.) A second turning point was a campaign to raise the wages of Harvard's kitchen and custodial workers. Activists sought improved conditions for the workers while debating what people's incomes really ought to be. STUDENT DEMONSTRATOR Why should those who clean classrooms earn less than those who comfortably lecture students on how to seek profit? JULIET BERKMAN (V.O.) After dozens of dorm and classroom discussions, work stoppages, teach ins, and repressive administration threats and actions, a group of medical students, many in RPS, began questioning admission policies, training methods, and the culture of the profession they were supposed to enter. The sentiment grew and soon we had Doctors for the People, Lawyers for the People, Economists for the People, Engineers, Architects, and Accountants for the People. EXT. NYU LAW SCHOOL - DAY Rally hears LAW STUDENT with megaphone and cheers. LAW STUDENT We know we have bad habits of entitlement that operate obstructively. We know we face intense resistance from folks, including many classmates, opposing radical change. Still, we seek new relations between each profession and the population. Lawyers for people, not corporations. EXT. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS - DAY Rally hears economics student, YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN 24, grad student. YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN No more economists justifying low wages, unemployment, and alienation. No more economists rationalizing profits over people, growth over sustainability. We will be economists in service of workers not owners, in service of people not profits. INT. UNIVERSITY OFFICE - DAY Miguel Guevara queries ANDREJ GOLDMAN, 50, economist, somewhat nerdish professor. Bookshelves show titles by Goldman. MIGUEL GUEVARA Andrej Goldman, do you remember your radicalization? ANDREJ GOLDMAN In college, I saw economics as a good career choice. I did the equations, pontificated about supply and demand, and ridiculed government spending. I learned about inflation and tax rates. I didn't learn about corporations. EXT. CAMPUS RALLY - DAY Students rally against global warming. ANDREJ GOLDMAN (V.O.) As a junior, a friend took me to my first demonstration. I witnessed speakers taking a stand. Their words ringed true. Their anger seemed warranted. I watched. I respected. But I didn't join. After returning to my room, my inaction embarrassed me and before long I got involved. INT. UNIVERSITY OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. ANDREJ GOLDMAN The 2021 Schools for the People campaign and the 2027 Amazonia strike particularly inspired me. Plant occupations, take overs, and all manner of massive demonstrations and actions moved me. But I'd have to say the early days affected me most. INT. HIGH SCHOOL - NIGHT Aroused PARENTS and TEACHERS confront SCHOOL PRINCIPAL in auditorium. SCHOOL PRINCIPAL What do you want from us? We teach your children. We house them. Let us do it without suffering your anger. Be grateful. Go home. MALE PARENT We want education for our kids but we also want a community center where we can learn and socialize. We want to share, to progress. TEACHER Like I want better conditions and wages, he wants better access. FEMALE PARENT We want roses on our tables, not diamonds on anyone's necks. I want a second home, right here. Audience of parents erupts in militant glee. EXT. AMAZONIA ASSEMBLY PLANT - DAY STRIKERS block access. Supporters rally beyond. OWNER fights back. Drones fly over. OWNER You are my workers. This is my company. You use my machines. You produce my product. You earn what I decide to pay you. That's how it works. And you damn well will move. STRIKER No. We will get worthy pay. We will get respect and a say. We are workers for our families, not for you; for the community, not for you; for ourselves, not for you; that's how it is going to work, and we will not move and we will not allow you, your scabs, or anyone else access to Amazonia short of our winning dignity and fair income. (looks skyward) Fly all the drones you want. It will not intimidate us. We are beyond your command, no longer cowed by your wealth. Our time is now. INT. UNIVERSITY OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. ANDREJ GOLDMAN I was a young man studying abysmal economics when the Wall Street Rally called for boycotts. EXT. WALL STREET RALLY - DAY Cheering crowds listen to RALLY SPEAKER. RALLY SPEAKER All of us, our families, our friends, and everyone we can reach must stop buying products from the hate-mongering producers of the automatic high-velocity weapons fueling mass shootings. ANDREJ GOLDMAN (V.O.) This was a few years after the 2018 massive student demonstrations that began the rollback of gun culture and also propelled so many young people into their first taste of actively seeking change. I didn't own a gun and I was never going to buy one. To build a gun boycott, activists had to reach gun advocates who disagreed with them. That was a major step, but where I was, we needed a different focus. INT. UNIVERSITY OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. ANDREJ GOLDMAN At MIT, we went from opposing gun violence to resisting militarizing campus police to opposing all complicity with war. It wasn't easy. Some students believed there were just wars. U.S. intervention was selfless. Other students said MIT ending war research would be budgetary suicide. To win, we had to show the moral failings of militarism, and also how to survive without arms revenues. EXT. MIT CAMPUS RALLY - DAY Young Andrej Goldman with a bullhorn addresses ADMINISTRATORS looking out at the rally from windows. YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN How can you sensibly oppose our calls for greater attention to global warming? Do you want to fry us all? How can you sensibly reject focusing research on new energy sources and needed health campaigns? Do you want tsunamis and pestilence? How can you sensibly refute our rejection of weapons research? Do you want relentless murder? MONTAGE - CAMPUS ACTIONS -- Teach In -- Rally at Boston Common -- MIT and Harvard sit-ins -- Northeastern and BU Strikes ANDREJ GOLDMAN (V.O.) I worked on teach-ins, organized rallies, and helped picket and occupy labs. Before long, cross campus solidarity provoked citywide demonstrations. Movements began sharing lessons and lending each other support. After two tumultuous years we held a rally culminating in a sit-in at MIT that attracted 30,000 students from all over the Boston area. When even more attended a subsequent rally and sit-in at Harvard, and when Northeastern and Boston University then held simultaneous campus-wide strikes, our confidence soared. INT. UNIVERSITY OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. Now with drinks. MIGUEL GUEVARA What lessons did you take? ANDREJ GOLDMAN Mostly I learned about the mindset of students who balked at joining the effort. I learned why good people accept and even defend horrible injustices. INT. DORM ROOM - NIGHT Young Andrej Goldman, grad student, argues with STUDENT. STUDENT The weapons aren't offensive. They won't be used. We need them to preserve peace. ANDREJ GOLDMAN (V.O.) Sadly, hearing that kind of rationalizing, at first I often got very aggressive, but as we overcame each rationale with evidence, we got more patient and finally reached the heart of the matter. STUDENT Suppose I accept that you are right about the facts and ethics of war making. You will lose anyway, lose and waste my time! YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN We will win. Administrators won't retain war research when doing so will cause students and faculty to close their institutions. STUDENT Perhaps, but even if you eliminate war research here, profiteers will do it elsewhere. Even if you organize lots of resistance in many places, it will come back somewhere and eventually everywhere. You can't stop war. Human nature sucks. Play along and get what you can. Lasting, major change is impossible. I will not be Don Quixote pushing peace against intractable war just to feel moral. INT. UNIVERSITY OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Seems like young folks acted like worn-out old folks? ANDREJ GOLDMAN Yes, though severely challenged and shaken in the sixties, cynicism had retained command. People still considered suffering inevitable. We had to reverse that. MIGUEL GUEVARA You must have learned more. . . ANDREJ GOLDMAN When we fought to get our universities to stop supporting military agendas they spun off labs as private corporate firms. That taught us we had to transcend campuses and take on private corporations. First MIT, Stanford, and Cal Tech. Then the spinoffs, NSA, and huge arms manufacturers. EXT. GENERAL WEAPONS CORP. - DAY WORKERS partially block the entrance and enter conversations with workers. Helicopter circles above. YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN We want war firms like yours to do socially desirable work in place of war work. We want Congress to re assign funds from military to social use so government pays your workplace to produce a transit system, schools, and hospitals just like it now pays to produce tanks, bombs, and missile systems. WEAPONS WORKER Oh great. And after you put me out of work, how do I feed my damn kids? Answer me that! YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN Why should you lose your job? Your workplace could employ you in worthy production. The obstacle blocking change isn't technical and it isn't demand or even immediate profits. It is that enlarged social spending establishes the idea that the government ought to benefit the whole population. It empowers workers against threats of firing. It empowers workers to win greater gains. Elites prefer war spending because it employs fewer people and avoids empowering workers. You can have a more meaningful job, better conditions, and also more pay, and so can all workers, with less or even no war production. MIGUEL GUEVARA (V.O.) Did you learn any more personal lessons? EXT. UNIVERSITY LAWN - DAY Small group congregates around arguers, Young Andrej Goldman and GUN ADVOCATE. ANDREJ GOLDMAN (V.O.) After I gave a public talk at a university in Florida about boycotting military work, I was accosted by a charismatic advocate of open carry. We argued and soon people were tossing in comments. GUN ADVOCATE At any moment some maniac can unholster a gun and start shooting. If most students carry hand guns, even a crazy student hell bent on murder will succumb before doing much harm. Disarm us, more die. You are a blind fool. YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN But open carry would unleash hysterical fear. It would escalate moderate disputes into violent catastrophes. More arms mean more flash points of mayhem. GUN ADVOCATE You are so damn naive. So damn ignorant. Escalations are unavoidable. Open carry will reduce deaths. Gun control will bring more deaths. The blood will be on your hands. ANDREJ GOLDMAN (V.O.) I realized that while NRA profiteers drove gun policy, many grassroots gun advocates weren't posing a hypothetical. They weren't gun nuts. They felt social corruption was irreversible. Violence was unavoidable. The only defense was a gun of one's own. (plaintive pause) I couldn't convey that students carrying guns in class would be horrible for everyone without first establishing that society did not have to be a kill-or-be-killed danger land. INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE - DAY Miguel Guevara interviews Mayor of New York Bill Hampton, relaxed but dressed formal, in his office. Posters of Malcolm X and MLK Jr. on wall. MIGUEL GUEVARA Bill Hampton, you became an anti racist activist, joined RPS, and later became Mayor of New York City. What got you going? EXT. CHURCH - DAY Police vans visible, police line up in three rows, ten abreast. They face the church entrance. The PASTOR stands atop the Church steps, with 50 CONGREGANTS, and the full CHURCH CHOIR. News helicopters circle overhead. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) I was at a sanctuary for immigrants slated to be deported. The site was a church in San Antonio, Texas. PASTOR To take our immigrant families, you will have to go through our extended family. You can assault us. You can brutalize our limbs into silence and shove our beaten bodies aside. You can even kill us. It will not change our minds. If you feel warranted, come ahead. Pastor and congregants lock arms. Church doors open revealing rows of congregants who also lock arms. At the pulpit, the sheltered families stand resolute. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) This was our Selma. Our Pettus bridge. Our Birmingham. San Antonio's sheriff was our Bull Connor. He so disrespected anyone who could side with immigrants that he felt a few swings of police batons would open a clear path to the deportees. SHERIFF You have two minutes to vacate. After that, we will vacate you. We will take the immigrants. CHURCH CHOIR We shall not be moved, we shall not be moved. . . Two minutes pass. Sheriff and deputies march into the human barrier striking viciously with their long, newly bloodied batons. CHURCH CHOIR (CONT'D) Deep in our hearts we know . . . Officers stomp and batter. Congregants grunt and moan. None scream. Choir sings. More congregants emerge and lock arms. Onlookers witness in horror. Congregants reach up and embrace their tormentors. Hugs diminish space for brutal swings. Congregants don't beg, but militantly persist. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) After a bit, some deputies relented. Then the sheriff did too. They could have physically demolished us, leaving blasted souls in their wake, but nothing less would take the families, and scorched earth was too much. The Pastor was bloodied and bent, but I can still hear him. PASTOR Leave your baton and gun with your fellow officers outside. Do that, and you are welcome to talk to the immigrant families, to me, and to others in our space of peace and worship within. Tears flow. Medics aid the congregants. Calmly, respectfully, after a seeming eternity of just standing there staring at the bloodied Pastor, the Sheriff takes off his gun, and walks into the Church. INT. PRESS CONFERENCE - NEXT DAY Sheriff stands before dozens of press. SHERIFF I will no longer recognize federal orders, or any orders at all, to deport immigrants. Drops mic, walks off. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) That was the whole thing. It was the shortest, longest, press conference ever. The conflict was fierce, the battle long. The losses in prior years were horrible. It was the beginning of the end of the blame the immigrant, beat the immigrant, expel the immigrant mindset. It wasn't over, but a corner was rounded. The sheriff may or may not have found his humanity. Either way, activism won. INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. BILL HAMPTON Before San Antonio, as a kid, I hated cops. To me, my family, and my friends, cops spelled danger and even death. The only way to deal with cops: fight fire with fire, eye to eye, toe to toe - or run like hell. The sanctuary didn't make me a pacifist, but I saw that non violence plus compassion beat what would have totally demolished any attempt to fight back. Police could sometimes be turned our way. And when we made them allies, the rich and powerful could no longer subdue us. MIGUEL GUEVARA How did RPS program emerge? BILL HAMPTON A little earlier, the Bernie Sanders campaign had program. The Black Lives Matter movement first ignored program but then brilliantly offered it. The massive women's marches also offered program. But dozens of essays addressed Trump's Tweeting for every essay that addressed BLM, Women's, or any program at all. In response to Trump trying to escalate deportation, activists created local sanctuaries in churches and universities and even in some private homes. INT. CAMPUS CENTER - DAY Campus center provides housing and protection. STUDENT ACTIVIST Our sanctuaries teach and celebrate. To take our friends, you have to take us. Neither we nor they are going easily. EXT. SPORTS STADIUM - DAY On field, athletes and immigrants mingle. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) Prominent athletes welcomed immigrants into sports arenas, first on various college campuses, then in the NFL and NBA. That created a mutual aid mindset that had been absent in some other anti Trump activism. It built incredible momentum. EXT. FANCY SUBURBAN STREET - DAY Thirty protestors march into a rich neighborhood and cops quickly clear them out. Fancy cars are the only spectators. EXT. POOR NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY A large rally in a poor neighborhood marches to an executive's home. Neighbors and media watch. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) Another effective early choice was our response to war mongering, climate denying cabinet members. We exposed their views, then proposed progressives for their posts. We rallied where they worked, lived, and worshipped. The cabinet members wanted us driven off, but imagine the impact of gassing their neighborhoods. EXT. POLICE STATION - DAY GROUP rallies outside police station. DEMONSTRATOR addresses police, bunched at door and stretching out sideways in front of demonstrators. DEMONSTRATOR We demand better ways to spend funds and changes in police structure, policy, and community oversight and control, including using prisoners to build low income housing funded by military and police budgets. We invite you into neighborhood and household meetings to discuss how to create safer communities and end racist policing. EXT. MILITARY BASE - DAY GROUP rallies outside military base. Talks amiably with soldiers going in and out. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) We went to military bases and police stations and organized. We didn't just condemn and protest. We listened and proposed. We fought, but we also made friends. INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. Mayor Hampton, seated, answers. BILL HAMPTON Still, most people's responses to program remained disjointed. A project would aggressively latch onto one aim. Another project would equally aggressively latch onto a different aim. Few strayed from past narrow priorities to embrace a full program. Activism occurred in isolated silos. We had to create overarching unity. INT. ASSEMBLY HALL - NIGHT YOUNG BILL HAMPTON, 20, confident beyond his years, calls for various actions. YOUNG BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) We must turn community centers into meeting places for diverse campaigns. We must establish cultural centers. We must combine campaigns to end flying immigrants out through local airports with campaigns to clean up plumes of toxic waste from the same airports. Community centers must have speakers on violence against women appear with speakers on minimum wage struggles. Activists for prison reform appear with activists for solar power. INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. BILL HAMPTON RPS hoped that while single issue campaigns would persist, they would each ratify an overarching agenda and support all its components. We wanted to meaningfully share good program so that those who focused most on war would aid those who focused most on immigration would aid those who focused most on global warming, on toxic clean-up, on tax reform, on improving public spaces, on distributing food and medicine, on sexual harassment, on police violence. We wanted a web of mutual aid. MIGUEL GUEVARA Bill, I wonder if you could describe the barriers to successful organizing before RPS? INT. LECTURE HALL - NIGHT Young Bill Hampton and YOUNG CYNTHIA PARKS, 28, housing organizer, stand together and emotionally address a large student audience. RPS flag drapes the lectern. YOUNG BILL HAMPTON Why have we had so much trouble winning a new society? It is right. It is needed. We fight. We lose. (turns to Cynthia) Why? YOUNG CYNTHIA PARKS Society debilitates us until we lack strength to fight well. Oppression harms us until we lose our ability to cooperate and be strategic. The roles we occupy each day mold us until we pick up habits that destroy unity and clarity. Sometimes we do oppressive things. Sometimes we are too passive. We try to punish opponents or to prove our worth more than we try to win a new system. We find it easier and more pleasurable to talk to people we like. We write only for people who already know left jargon. Even when accessible, too often we write or speak only against society. Non leftists wonder what we are for and why we endlessly harp on the same negative things. We don't create channels for new recruits to participate effectively. (turns to Bill) Why? YOUNG BILL HAMPTON Defeatism crushes us until we doubt we can win. We lose motivation to seek success. We try to please friends, not win a new society. We try to win something short term, not a new society. Lacking hope, lacking vision, we ignore long term prospects. We begin to define ourselves as better. We are anti religion, anti-sports, anti-country music, anti-fast food. Our organizations and program reflect professional values more than working class values. Each of our organizations has its own promotion, data base, fundraising, and residence. Our budgets replicate purchasing all that, leaving less for actual work. (beseechingly) We are silo-ed. We play at violence. We succumb to liberalism or rail wildly at it. We disdain reforms and denigrate folks who aren't yet radical. YOUNG CYNTHIA PARKS You get the idea. We have plenty to fix. Some of you may resist admitting that. Some of you may even feel angry at us for saying it. But listen. The prevalence of problems is actually good news. If everything yesterday was wonderful, how could we do better tomorrow? INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA It sounds like the left needed lots of psychiatrists. BILL HAMPTON No, just collective attention to our baggage. For that, we allotted time for everyone to tell their stories. Everyone listened. Tears happened. People got heard. We saw the full person. We remembered that we each had a lot going on which generated new levels of respect based on more than just what people could get done. Admitting and addressing problems, we felt less needy and more present. We were more able to engage because we got seen and heard. We had more compassion for each other and realized our fears weren't ours alone. We stuck to tasks at hand and showed up for each other. And this mattered even more than great courage or brilliant analysis. MIGUEL GUEVARA I would like to return to violence, if you are willing. You had a confrontation about that at the second convention, is that right? BILL HAMPTON Yes, a group of ex-military proposed we should arm and train to battle directly with police. INT. LARGE ASSEMBLY - DAY Seven RPS members, ex-SOLDIERS, in RPS caps, occupy the stage beneath RPS flag, and speak. WHITE SOLDIER Rejecting weaponry is cowardly and phony. If we reject weapons, the status quo will inevitably win by force of arms. We cannot secure our objectives unless we overcome state violence. Did Luke and Han leaflet the Empire? No, they blew it the hell up! Overcoming state violence requires movement violence. To say otherwise accepts defeat. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) What made this a problem wasn't that such a view was offered, but the way it was offered. These guys felt that marching in with rifles and taking the stage demonstrated the power of guns. They offered a one-step logic. You are with us, or with the state. Young Bill Hampton stands, gathers a group, walks up onto the stage - addresses the soldiers. YOUNG BILL HAMPTON Violence would not only distort our ability to think straight; it is the one contest the state wins. We have to disarm state violence by making it ineffective because their using violence against us would generate more dissent. (beseeches) So now what do we do with our disagreement? Are you going to shoot us because we reject your argument? Or would shooting us do your agenda more harm than good? We clearly aren't cowardly and phony. We clearly aren't on the side of the state. But you have the guns. Shoot us, or let's go talk about this further. After a pause, leads soldiers off to talk further. INT. SIDE ROOM - DAY Young Bill Hampton and Soldiers talk further. WHITE SOLDIER The issue isn't just dealing with police. In a group, one person with a club is a problem. Five people with guns are a bigger problem. YOUNG BILL HAMPTON First, can we handle police and military violence at local demonstrations? The answer is yes, but only by creating situations in which police or military violence would rebound to our benefit, not theirs. And by infiltrating them, and organizing them. Second, can we handle motivated infiltration by them, or confused thuggery coming from our own people? It would be hard if not impossible to make internal violence counterproductive for those doing it if they are beyond reasoning much less if they are actively trying to damage RPS. If you guys had been enemies of RPS, or crazy, things could have gone really badly. So I agree that RPS has to have a means to deal with internal or external craziness or sabotage but without our actions harming us more even than the situations themselves. BLACK SOLDIER But what if that's impossible? Do you give up and let some crazies mow you down? What if you need us, armed and ready? YOUNG BILL HAMPTON Then we would be have to have a few people with the training and experience for handling crazy interlopers. We would have to elect a group to designate security folks based on their patient temperament. But while that plan makes sense, and might work, is it really needed? We have completed two conventions and have undertaken countless demonstrations and campaigns, often running up against police and state power without having such a special arrangement. Maybe fear of lunacy is a bigger problem than lunacy itself. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) It turned out our cautiousness at undertaking the project was wise. We had the plan ready to propose for a wide discussion and vote, but we decided to hold off until practical evidence suggested we couldn't do without it. On the other hand, I and others around the country quietly worked with folks on how to deal with local intruders, drunks, ideologically intractable folks, infiltrators, and the like. INT. CYNTHIA'S APARTMENT - EVENING Miguel Guevara interviews CYNTHIA PARKS, 50, plain outfit and calm demeanor, housing organizer, and HARRIET LENNON, 42, a bit dressier, a bit less calm, housing organizer. John Lennon poster with "Imagine"'s lyrics on the wall. Also Kendrick Lamar poster. MIGUEL GUEVARA Cynthia Parks, you watched your family lose their modest home due to unemployment. Do you remember first becoming radical? INT. CHILDHOOD HOME - DAY Cops come to evict CYNTHIA PARKS' MOM and YOUNGEST CYNTHIA PARKS, 8, similar plain outfit to later life. CYNTHIA PARKS'S MOM Cynthia, the economy is in trouble. We don't have money to pay bills. The bank is taking our home. We have to move. YOUNGEST CYNTHIA PARKS How does that help the economy? CYNTHIA PARKS' MOM It helps rich bankers. CYNTHIA PARKS (V.O.) I watched my father sink into alcohol-enhanced depression. I watched my mother protect the family from poverty and my father's illness. I remember ice covering the insides of our windows. By age seven, my life was mapped out, though it was years before I knew what I had become. INT. CYNTHIA PARKS APARTMENT - EVENING Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Do you remember the start of RPS? CYNTHIA PARKS I mostly remember that initially RPS lacked certainty. Who were we to take on such tasks? Nights of sleepless doubt followed days of fearing error. Too few people had too much work. We feared failing so much, it made us so defensive that we often wouldn't listen and hear others. MIGUEL GUEVARA It was hard recruiting at first? INT. NEIGHBOR'S LIVING ROOM - DAY Young Cynthia Parks talks with NEIGHBOR. YOUNG CYNTHIA PARKS Come join us in RPS. Fight for better conditions in our building. NEIGHBOR Why should I? You don't stand a chance. Injustice wins. Anyhow, what could I do? How could I matter? I can work to make my family more healthy and fulfilled, but the whole country? The whole world? I can't win that. To deny my kids, my family, just to lose? Not me. CYNTHIA PARKS (V.O.) For my neighbor to think that way - was that her fault or were we who knew better but had not yet made hope believable at fault? INT. CYNTHIA'S APARTMENT - EVENING Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Harriet, do you remember how you got involved in housing issues? HARRIET LENNON I was in school thinking about social change and I started meeting with friends to discuss ideas. We visited tenants' rights groups and encountered many RPS members, and before long my friends and I joined too. MIGUEL GUEVARA Was it a major decision? HARRIET LENNON Actually, no. We sat around talking. We realized people we liked were in RPS. We joined. INT. ORGANIZING TENANTS - DAY YOUNG HARRIET LENNON, 20, housing organizer, talks with tenants, the POSNERS. HARRIET LENNON (V.O.) Our talks spurred two plans. The first was we would visit an apartment complex, make friends, and hear about issues and problems. Then we would make tentative suggestions and help implement modest gains. YOUNG HARRIET LENNON Would you be interested in swapping apartments with someone from the first floor so you would no longer have to walk up four flights to your flat? MRS. POSNER For two years climbing the stairs has devastated my husband and hurt me too. He worked assembly and his legs are bad. I have tired lungs. It never even occurred to me to see if anyone would make the switch, and no one offered. YOUNG HARRIET LENNON Society twists us so badly that we take isolation for granted. But it turns out, when we mention elderly tenants stuck on a high floor, younger tenants on lower floors offer to swap. INT. CYNTHIA'S APARTMENT - EVENING Interview continues. HARRIET LENNON We reached out to student tenants where one or more were already in RPS. Then we approached families. We offered modesty, engagement, and eager listening. MONTAGE Ð APARTMENT ORGANIZING AND GAINS -- Tenants paint corridors. -- Apartment food coop meets. -- Group day care gathering. -- Collective laundry project. -- Meeting about drugs. HARRIET LENNON (V.O.) Gains residents could themselves enact like painting corridors quickly revealed potential. Once we built trust, we helped people set up tenants' food co-ops to reduce costs and time spent shopping. We organized collective day care and laundry. People realized sharing could work. We started holding parties and hosting group events. New friendships brightened lives. With still more trust among residents, we began addressing drug use and even sexual harassment and spouse abuse. People publicly talked about personal violations and took steps to reduce them. INT. CYNTHIA'S APARTMENT - EVENING Interview continues. HARRIET LENNON We started wondering how to provide affordable housing non exploitatively. Who would build the units? Why would they build them? With what financing? EXT. MILITARY BASE - DAY Young Harriet Lennon talks to soldiers outside a military base. YOUNG HARRIET LENNON Instead of learning to kill or advanced criminal skills, why can't soldiers and inmates cooperatively make their own decisions while generating a much-needed product? Why can't they transform military bases and prisons to constructing housing? Why not give soldiers and inmates, once they leave the military or prison, first claim on the houses they helped build? Why not give the rest of the houses to young folks and homeless people. INT. CYNTHIA'S APARTMENT - EVENING Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Going a step back, when did you become radical? What caused it? HARRIET LENNON I was 19, in community college, when I first heard various progressive formulations, particularly about racism and global warming. I was sympathetic, but more into music, movies, boys, and social media. One night I was talking with a new friend who turned out to be very radical. INT. COMMUNITY COLLEGE - DORM ROOM Young Harriet Lennon and COLLEGE FRIEND converse. Beyonce poster and Angela Davis poster, overlook the scene. COLLEGE FRIEND The Wall Street march was great but we obviously need more, including on our campus. YOUNG HARRIET LENNON Come on. That will never happen. COLLEGE FRIEND Why do you assume indignity is permanent? Why do you put all your effort into navigating current circumstances and none into seeking change? YOUNG HARRIET LENNON I rule out change and take for granted horrible existing relations like I defend scientific theories against lunatic heresy. Your hope is deluded. I am not cynical, I am aware. COLLEGE FRIEND No scientist would assume cancer was incurable at the outset of considering what to do about it. No engineer would assume a bridge couldn't span the Hudson River at the outset of trying to connect cities on either side. You assume failure. if you aren't cynical, then why assume defeat unless you desire failure or you fear success? HARRIET LENNON (V.O.) This ate at me. What was my axe to grind? What made me jump to a depressing conclusion? I was soon RPS bound. INT. CYNTHIA'S APARTMENT - EVENING Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Cynthia, what drew you to RPS? CYNTHIA PARKS When my family lost its home I was ten years old. People we knew lost theirs too. MONTAGE - LIFE -- Families of four, five, and more live in one or two room ramshackle apartments. -- Families live in cars. -- Families plunge into anger, despair, alcohol and opioid addiction. -- Families and organizers fight evictions. CYNTHIA PARKS (V.O.) At times I had rats for roommates I felt incredible tension, saw incredible violence. But as I got older, I met folks who devoted themselves to preventing evictions or to helping those who were evicted find new homes. The contrast between housing activists seeking just results and real estate developers, bankers, and police callously carrying out evictions decided my life. INT. CYNTHIA'S APARTMENT - EVENING Interview continues. CYNTHIA PARKS Housing organizing required listening, hearing, and empathizing. It involved raising consciousness, developing skills, and building confidence. We had to pay close attention to the means at hand and to attainable ends. We had to be patient with people, but impatient with institutions. Housing organizing involved activism RPS needed. And we housing organizers needed a large organization's support. It was a wonderful marriage. MIGUEL GUEVARA But what about personal difficulties becoming radical? Did you fit right off? Or was joining RPS hard? CYNTHIA PARKS Activists I first encountered had lots of education. They were comfortable and confident. They expected people who looked, dressed, and talked like me to defer to them. Luckily for me, some folks tried to not just welcome me but to learn from my ways of interrelating. My connections to self-proclaimed redneck activists who used gun culture to reach into rural communities horrified some lefties but it showed others how to move beyond passively enduring class oppression without becoming academicized. INT. HOSPITAL OFFICE - DAY Miguel Guevara queries MARK FEYNMAN 52, in nurse's outfit, and BARBARA BETHUNE, 50, in doctor's gown. Poster on wall with quote, "Do No Harm." MIGUEL GUEVARA Mark, can you tell us how you first got involved and about some of your early post-convention activities? MARK FEYNMAN I went to the first RPS convention as a working class nurse already hostile to corporate hierarchy. I was hopeful, but I didn't know if the convention would address my concerns, much less elevate them. INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY Young Mark Feynman, in nurse's outfit and RPS hat, addresses doctors and nurses in auditorium at first RPS Convention. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN We nurses are here to say we hate bad health care. We want to provide better. We demand respect. Allotting excessive power and income to doctors at the expense of nurses, technicians, and other hospital workers must stop. MARK FEYNMAN (V.O.) At the convention we nurses met, talked, and shared our views. We became confident. We celebrated our emergent program and we decided to form Health Care Workers United (HCWU), a movement for better health for all which later became a militant, multi-focus movement to organize medical workplaces and win broader health policy reforms. These organizations investigated and learned about hospitals' financial logic. We learned health workers' attitudes toward their conditions. We attracted support and initiated positive campaigns. But before all that, at the convention, after nurses held some sessions, we invited doctors to attend one. Nurses and doctors from around the country met. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN We respect the work you do, but we feel you are overpaid, overprotective of yourselves, and overly hostile to us. Do you really think you are doctors and we are nurses because you are superior? Do you really think you deserve more income, more status, more power? YOUNG DOCTOR (shouts from the audience) Damn right I do. Can you repair a heart? Can you breathe life into a dying child? YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN (stares at young doctor) Yes, I know you think there is good reason for your advantages. I know you believe our different tasks justify our difference in income and power. I know you don't see that our different tasks - and different life circumstances - create differences in our means to attain knowledge which then enforce differences in our income and power. (plaintive but militant) I know many of you doctors, like other coordinator class members with empowering work situations, sincerely believe you are properly empowered and rewarded. Many of you really believe we workers are dumb and parochial, and should be grateful. Many of you really feel we should join a movement for a new society, but not make decisions. We should help you dump the old boss for you to become the new boss. (thoughtfully) And you know what, sometimes we nurses even doubt we can handle empowered work and accept we deserve less income and say. Or sometimes, if we are not submissive, we furiously want doctors out of RPS. Even worse, we sometimes get so angry we get baited into denigrating training, knowledge, and skill. (militant again) But other times, like now, we see clearly. We see we must eliminate class division not only in hospitals but throughout society. We see we must involve doctors, lawyers, and other coordinator class members in RPS without your dominating RPS. We see ourselves empowered. ROTUND DOCTOR (calls out from audience.) If you are right, why don't more nurses say so? YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN Because we have families to feed. Because you work us ragged. A better question is why some of us do publicly address class issues? It's probably because our jobs aren't as successful as most working class jobs at disempowering us. We are subordinated like other workers, but we are less socialized into accepting our plight. Still, even once we become aware and active, we don't want to alienate people who have critically important knowledge. We don't want to antagonize doctors into rejecting change. So we often put a lid on our feelings. SHORT DOCTOR (calls out from audience.) I read progressive media. I don't see this concern. Is this just you? YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN We don't expect mainstream media to question private ownership of workplaces. It would violate the owners' interests and beliefs. Similarly, in alternative media, coordinator class rule gets no attention. By analogy, I surmised this is because our media is typically run by coordinator class members who shut off attention to these issues. INT. HOSPITAL OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Mark, what pushed you to ever broader radicalism about health care, and what blocked that path? MARK FEYNMAN The class revelation, and insights about race and gender played a big role. But so did our daily circumstances. How often can you see the effects of pollution, monopoly-priced care, paternalistic doctoring, bullet wounds, overdoses, obesity, unemployment, hunger, addiction, pharmaceutical overuse of psychiatric drugs and antibiotics, and hospital profit seeking and not become activist, unless you block yourself from feeling? EXT. CAR IN MUMBAI - DAY Young Mark Feynman and an INDIAN REVOLUTIONARY drive through Mumbai. Beggars accost them at every stoplight. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN How do you deal with this poverty, this constant pain and pleading, day after day? INDIAN REVOLUTIONARY I blind myself. I tune it out. MARK FEYNMAN (V.O.) Of course most who took that route developed a creeping coldness of the spirit but my escort was an exception. Another time, I was talking with a prominent activist from the New Left era. EXT. WALKING IN PARK - DAY Young Mark Feynman and YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG, 73, dressed like 40, long time activist, converse. Child with red wagon goes by. Parent follows close. YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG In the sixties and seventies I could rebel, so I tuned in to the reality around me. I could fight, so I turned on to my full feelings of human solidarity. I could revolt, so I adopted the militant radical path of the day. Later, when things got less active, I could still dissent, but to openly express outrage like earlier would be misunderstood and do more harm than good. Since I couldn't productively express my deepest feelings, I didn't let myself feel them. I suppose I tuned out of the reality around me. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN Do you remember your feelings in those days? YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG I wrote a kind of long poem, I suppose you might call it, as the dedication for a book in the early seventies. I still remember reading it aloud for some friends before I decided to include it. INT. LIVING ROOM YOUNGEST LYDIA LUXEMBURG, 29, and FRIENDS chat. Revolutionary art and posters overhead. YOUNGEST LYDIA LUXEMBURG I wrote this dedication for the new book and I am worried it is too much and too long. Can I read it and you let me know? MALE FRIEND Sure, go ahead. As long as we can be done before lunch! YOUNGEST LYDIA LUXEMBURG Before dinner, anyway, okay. (reads, becoming emotional) For workers on the line, bored, tired, and robbed of their creative days; For women raped, pinched, door-opened, de-cultured, feminized, beaten, maimed, married, asylum-ed; For Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, nameless, robbed of dignity, lynched, harassed, low-paid, running, jailed; For the drunks and addicts, the worn out and the never lively, for the old and ill who should be long lived and wise; For the young, schooled and unschooled, end-running boredom, doing drugs, stealing sex and losing love, trying to escape or trying to find a way in; For those on welfare or off, looking in or looking out, employed or unemployed, alone or in pairs, hiding their sex or flaunting it, angry, sad, mad; For all those who feel less than they could feel, for those who are less than they could be, exploited, starved, cheated, tortured, ambushed, kidnapped, death squadded; For all the world's citizens suffering brutality and indignity, electric shocks and murdered relatives, starvation and working for pennies, the military boot and the cultural stamp; For the empire's citizens and the empire's enemies... FEMALE FRIEND You are Lydia Dylan... YOUNGEST LYDIA LUXEMBURG I guess I am trying for that, yes. But it isn't done. For the strikers, saboteurs, feminists, anarchists, and nationalists, occupiers and death defiers; For the New Leftists, Panthers, Women's Liberationists, Farm Workers, Puerto Rican Nationalists, for those of AIM and their relatives who resisted and died in the past and who nonetheless live on; For the ones who dodged the draft, for those who went and disrupted, and for those who went and died, or lived; For the French in the streets in May and the Italians in Autumn, for the Mexicans in Summer and the Czechs and Chinese; For everyone who has fought, fights, or will fight for a better world than they were, are, or are going to be bequeathed... MALE FRIEND It is long, but perfect, except how about some mention of the enemies we face. YOUNGEST LYDIA LUXEMBURG I am working on adding some againsts, like against doctors who deal in dollars not dignity, owners, administrators, bosses, rapists, dealers of bad hands, intellectuals who keep knowledge as if it were their private property, who enshrine their own ignorance under false halos, who can justify barbarism or technically dissect it as their interests require, but who never shed a tear. . . and the rest. . . FEMALE FRIEND I say go with it. If it is too long for some to put up with, well, they need to think about why that is. EXT. WALKING IN PARK - DAY Conversation continues. YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG So that is what I felt, what I could feel in the late sixties and through the early seventies too. Looking back, I suppose it was RPS sentiments already taking shape. But in the eighties and nineties, and about twenty years into this new century, too, few understood such feelings and I buried them. With the birth of RPS, they are now mine again. INT. HOSPITAL OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MARK FEYNMAN When I thought about those examples, I realized that reduced empathy made good sense to function daily in hospitals, but writ large it buttressed the system. From there, I asked simple questions. What social policies, behaviors, habits, and requirements caused people to be unhealthy? What changes could improve the situation? Our health movement's early growth freed our feelings. EXT. DEMO - DAY Various rallies culminate in massive Chicago march. MARK FEYNMAN (V.O.) We initiated various boycotts of unhealthy products and their manufacturers. Then we took up demands about pharmaceutical companies courting doctors to write excessive prescriptions. We took up single payer health care. We initiated mass campaigns to provide excellent health care in rural and low income areas and in the treatment of children in schools. In 2027 over 200,000 nurses marched in Chicago and many more held strikes and marches around the country. Incredible feelings of empathy, anger, hope, and desire fueled the effort. Soon after, we campaigned in medical schools to revamp curricula and behaviors, and in hospitals to overthrow the idea of interning as boot camp. Strikes and occupations played a big role, but most important was ceaseless, informed, effective, organizing. INT. HOSPITAL OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Can you tell us of a personally pivotal event in your RPS days. MARK FEYNMAN It was 2023 or 2024, I was at work, doing my job, but also talking about politics and RPS. INT. HOSPITAL LUNCH ROOM - DAY Mark and PSYCHIATRIST at lunch argue. MARK FEYNMAN (V.O.) One day I went to lunch and happened to sit with a hospital psychiatrist friend of mine. We got to talking, and he took great offense, feeling my views implied he was insufficiently concerned about the well being of nurses, as well as being classist toward working people generally. Psychiatrist leaps out of his seat, leans on the table to hold himself and shouts in Mark's face. His nose moves inches from Mark's. He is red and nearly physically attacks Mark. MARK FEYNMAN (V.O.) We hadn't been talking about him, but about prevalent attitudes to campaigns outside the hospital. I didn't intentionally push his buttons, but he took it that way. PSYCHIATRIST I don't have to take this from you! I won't take this from you! You are purely mental! You have no feelings! You are uncaring! You are manipulative! You are controlling! You think you are so smart, but I am a caring person! I am a doctor of the mind! I am smarter! INT. HOSPITAL OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MARK FEYNMAN I thought a lot about how to communicate about issues of class between doctors and workers without polarizing folks. How could a trained psychiatrist who routinely had to maintain his calm in difficult situations, get so hostile over such an indirect affront? MIGUEL GUEVARA And what did you conclude? MARK FEYNMAN I began to understand the intense emotional power that drove our defending our views of ourselves, and the potential of that inclination to subvert our reason and even our history and connections. I saw a person more aware than most others about coordinator class and working class relations become even more polarized and hostile than people whose views were much further away from mine. I questioned myself too, my approach. I suspect a lot of people in RPS had similar experiences, and I hope we all learned from them. RPS history says we did. MIGUEL GUEVARA Barbara, as a doctor, how did you feel about nurses, then, and later? BARBARA BETHUNE Then, I was disdainful and dismissive. I paid lip service to equity and even tried to support nurses, but I ultimately thought of them as wannabe doctors who couldn't make the grade. It's embarrassing to admit, but I said I had friends who were nurses, not unlike during Jim Crow racism white folks would say they had black friends. I thought nurses had no reason to complain. I thought they should feel thankful that I administered and cared for them. INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY Young Mark Feynman addresses nurses and doctors in meeting room at the convention. RPS flag visible. BARBARA BETHUNE (V.O.) At the first RPS convention, I had a hard time registering Mark's message. It was incredible how many notions it challenged and how radicalizing its insights were. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN Can you see how your view of nurses hides from you the gigantic volume of talents and skills that are stifled to maintain existing hierarchies? Can you see the impact of your socialization and your work on your view of who I am? BARBARA BETHUNE (V.O.) The way I finally understood was by seeing that with racism white people convinced themselves they deserved their advantages. Whites are worthy. Blacks and browns are not. I realized that there was little difference between that and my attitude toward nurses. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN Can you see how dominant groups maintain their advantages and convince themselves those advantages are warranted by denigrating subordinate groups? You doctors do that to us. If society didn't squash desires, everyone could do a mix of empowering, uplifting tasks as well as share more rote tasks. Most nurses would do some doctoring, and if being a doctor didn't appeal to some of us, or wasn't in our range of abilities, we would do other empowering tasks. Can you see that it is disgusting for society to have relatively few people do all the empowering tasks and than use their empowerment to aggrandize themselves and tell the rest of us we are incapable? INT. HOSPITAL OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA How did these realizations affect your views on economics more broadly? BARBARA BETHUNE I had heard RPS economic ideas earlier and scoffed at them as ridiculous. Balancing jobs for empowerment so we can all participate with confidence in decision-making, giving income for duration, intensity, and onerousness of work, having self management? Come on. Get serious. That is stupidity on steroids. I wanted an end to profit-seeking, but I saw the alternative as people like me taking over. Remove owners, sure, but leave people like me in charge. INT. MEETING IN LARGE ROOM AT CONVENTION - EVENING YOUNG BARBARA BETHUNE, 29, doctor, apologizes to the speaker, Young Lydia Luxembourg, wearing RPS hat. BARBARA BETHUNE (V.O.) I remember a moment in the first convention after the meeting with nurses that had so challenged me. There was a talk about RPS-type economics and after it ended, I spoke to the speaker. YOUNG BARBARA BETHUNE I am sorry. For years I have dismissed your economic vision as silly and impossible. I didn't think about it. I didn't evaluate it. I dismissed it without engaging it. I now realize I did that because of my own class interests and the biases they gave me. I apologize for that. YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG No one has ever said that so directly before. Thank you for doing so. You know, we are all twisted and fed by our upbringing, schooling, and social roles, and having been subjected to all that, it is no sin to have some elitist beliefs. It is only a sin to cling to such beliefs after we understand them. INT. HOSPITAL OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Mark, your speech was not long after the Trump and anti-Trump period. Was it connected? MARK FEYNMAN The passionate anger coursing through a good part of Trump's supporters was in considerable part hostility to a perceived class enemy. But the class they hated was not capitalists. MIGUEL GUEVARA Why wouldn't workers hate capitalists? MARK FEYNMAN You have to realize that we workers never personally encounter a capitalist. But we routinely encounter doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, and others who have highly empowered jobs, elevated status, and great wealth. We daily serve these coordinators. We obey them. MIGUEL GUEVARA And that's who you hate? MARK FEYNMAN Why not? They routinely treat us like children. They dress and talk differently than we do. They enjoy different movies and TV. They expect us to move out of their way and to follow their instructions as we go about our demeaning tasks. We workers hate being administered, bossed, rendered powerless, considered inferior, and paternalized - but lacking other means, we have to get essential benefits from coordinators. We have to acclimate to their arrogance in order to get by, and sometimes we become what we do. While Trump's working class supporters' views of him were horrendously misplaced, their antipathy for managers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, and accountants who earn many times what workers earn and who treat workers like children was fully warranted. On average, we workers despise coordinators even as we depend on and obey them and want our kids to become them. INT. MEETING IN LARGE ROOM AT CONVENTION - DAY Young Mark Feynman addresses audience. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN Trump won. Why didn't activists answers about the state of working class lives resonate more with workers than did those of a billionaire who treated workers with contempt? How could decades of organizing leave so many of us workers susceptible to this narcissistic reactionary? AUDIENCE MEMBER What's complicated? Racism overrode your reason. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN For some, sure. But I think it misses a point that bears on what comes next. I think it was because decades of organizing had often been rooted in coordinator class connections, assumptions, and values. It had often had manners, style, tone, taste, vocabulary, and even policies dismissive of working people. We workers felt this even when some electoral candidate, anti-nuke organizer, campus radical, or obscure writer said screw the 1 percent. Their manners, words, and style said they despised us. Movements talked a lot about owners and profit but showed no interest in relations between coordinators and the working class. Movements didn't hear workers, didn't respect workers, and didn't follow workers. INT. HOSPITAL LUNCH ROOM - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Barbara, can you tell how you became a radical doctor? BARBARA BETHUNE I went to medical school but became frustrated. After medical school, an internship pressured me to jump ridiculous hurdles and accept that I shouldn't fight the system. I could whine to friends away from work, but I shouldn't challenge employers. My silence let me graduate but it also prepared me to impose similar insanity on those who came after. I cared about patients. I had a soul. But hospital roles undercut my intentions. To become a doctor I fulfilled academic rituals and defended doctors' privileges. I accepted impositions, bludgeoned those below, and sought growing income. MIGUEL GUEVARA But you finally resisted? BARBARA BETHUNE I began to see interning as sophisticated hazing. To test my impression I visited a military boot camp and watched new soldiers undergo training. EXT. MILITARY TRAINING FIELD - DAY Soldiers go through their paces. Drill Sargent bosses them. BARBARA BETHUNE (V.O.) Boot camp includes learning to shoot, to work together, to handle danger, just as interning includes medical learning, but boot camp mainly produces soldiers ready, willing, and sometimes even eager to kill on command. It educates recruits to ask no questions. It removes social and moral inclinations. It graduates soldiers ready to follow orders. INT. HOSPITAL LUNCH ROOM - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA And you felt being an intern was similar? BARBARA BETHUNE Interning created doctors who will defend huge salaries against any challenge regardless of the health implications for patients and society. We were prepared to abet pharmaceutical profit-seeking by way of increasing opioid addiction. We learned to denigrate nurses, to exclude them from medical decisions and activities even at the expense of patient well being. Interning prepared us to defend incredibly inflated incomes by keeping down the number of doctors via exclusionary medical school practices. I became curious so I looked and found similar dynamics for lawyers as well. MIGUEL GUEVARA Becoming a lawyer too was like basic training? BARBARA BETHUNE Training for all professions conveys skills, knowledge, and confidence but ensures that recipients mostly use those gains on behalf of themselves and those above. Before RPS, doctors tried to be ethical without challenging their role assignments because they believed challenging their roles would change nothing and incur personal loss. We delivered medicine to the sick if the sick could pay and if treating them wouldn't disrupt hospital or societal hierarchies, but we didn't address the underlying causes of sickness and defended and even exploited existing relations. Role structures in hospitals, like in churches, law firms, and political parties, induced going along to get along. Overturning one's role felt like a pipe dream. Complying with one's role morphed from something we did under duress, to who we were. Benefiting from a monopoly on empowering work blinded us to our arrogance. Someone who retained sufficient humanity to resist seemed saint-like. But when I went to the convention, I met other medical workers from around the country and realized I was less different than I had feared. We shared stories talked about changes we could fight for. The ideas that gained greatest traction were seeking comprehensive single payer health care, fighting pharmaceutical companies' misuse of medicines, bringing doctors to poor locales, empowering nurses, changing the income and decision making structure of the profession, agitating for more responsible food policies, and agitating for more healthful ecological policies and work conditions. I got active trying to battle the pharmaceutical companies and challenging hierarchies of income and influence inside hospitals. EXT. RALLY AT PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY - DAY Young Barbara Bethune addresses demonstrators. YOUNG BARBARA BETHUNE To combat misusing prescriptions we have to block operations to reveal how pharmaceutical companies not only vastly overcharge, but aggressively overprescribe with massive overadvertising. We have to show the true costs of production of drugs and the insanely high markups imposed by monopolistic pricing. We have to shine a light on prescribing unnecessary surgeries and destructive pain relief. BARBARA BETHUNE (V.O.) The practices we unearthed were nauseating, but we were even more shocked to discover that most people were unsurprised by what we revealed. We realized we mainly needed to convince people that this grotesque situation wasn't inevitable. We brought class action suits against pharmaceutical companies. Young claimants fought misuse of mood-altering medications. Elderly claimants fought companies trying to grab all their savings by entrapping them in countless, fruitless, and often horribly harmful self help and supposedly life extending therapies that actually only enriched the professional overseers of medicine. Those addicted to opioids fought pharmaceutical drug dealing. Everyone fought the misuse of antibiotics that risked super bugs and pandemics. YOUNG BARBARA BETHUNE (militantly) It is time to undertake a national boycott of the worst pharmaceutical culprits. It is time to link these campaigns to larger ones about the overall medical system, polity, and economy. We have to reveal that people can not only win an immediate gain, but keep winning more, and preserve our gains. BARBARA BETHUNE (V.O.) My other focus was challenging elitist dynamics inside hospitals and health care generally. In recent years, racism and sexism had been addressed with considerable progress, but class division had barely been addressed at all. We got people to talk at meetings. We sought greater income, more influence, and access to more skills for nurses. We challenged doctor arrogance and supported nurses and other medical workers and non medical staff. Medicine was a rapaciously self-seeking luxury trade. It was sick. We operated on it. INT. GOVERNOR'S OFFICE - DAY Miguel Guevara interviews Celia Curie in her office. Hollywood memorabilia visible. MIGUEL GUEVARA Celia Curie, can you tell us how you first became radical? CELIA CURIE I was raped by my uncle when I was fifteen. I didn't tell anyone. I was afraid and at first I thought it was my fault. My father's brother did it. The fallout of me speaking up would be horrendous for my dad and for my uncle's family. Afterward, I used the internet to learn more about rape. I went deeply into the subject and became indebted to many feminist writers who saved my life and opened my door to radicalism. MONTAGE - MISOGYNY IN LIFE, THEN FILM -- Rape, murder in life and film -- Alcohol and drugs in life and film CELIA CURIE (V.O.) Being raped, watching a loved one killed or jailed, being torn apart by unemployment, alcohol, and drugs dominates many peoples' early memories. It can cripple for life. It can also educate and inspire. I had difficulty escaping my dark times not least because every year since, I saw reminders. INT. GOVERNOR'S OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Just ten years later RPS was percolating, and soon thereafter, Hollywood RPS got going. Do you remember how it started? INT. ACTOR'S OPULENT LIVING ROOM - DAY YOUNG CELIA CURIE, 27, Hollywood actress meets with group of actors in an enormous ornate living room. One wall is all window overlooking a massive deck with a huge pool. Beyond that floats the Pacific. Fancy artwork on walls. CELIA CURIE (V.O.) The first Hollywood chapter got going when some actors started to meet face to face to discuss how they could relate to RPS. It was shortly after the first convention and we took a few meetings to settle on joining RPS and undertaking three types of activity. YOUNG CELIA CURIE We should reach out to other people in our artistic communities to join RPS. We should agitate for changes in Hollywood film practices to make our industry better reflect worthy values and aims. We should reach out to the broader population using film and our visibility as actors. CELIA CURIE (V.O.) It started with just eleven people. We got less curious about our fellow actors' sex lives and more curious about ideas. Joining RPS was like deciding to relate to a film by collectively assessing a screenplay. EXT. PARK - DAY Young Celia Curie walks and talks with ACTOR. Happy child with balloon crosses their path. Sad drunk with drink in bag slumps on bench. CELIA CURIE (V.O.) We began reaching out to other Hollywood people to join us in RPS. ACTOR Why should I address much I would rather ignore? It would cost time. It would alienate producers. And what would I do, other than talk? YOUNG CELIA CURIE Talking is a lot. Don't knock it. We are talking and it matters. But I understand we need activities beyond talking to relate to. So help us come up with some. INT. GOVERNOR'S OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. CELIA CURIE Like everyone, the roles I occupied in society largely determined who I was by the requirements they imposed on me. However, after joining RPS, though the daily pressures of my situations, contracts, and people's expectations still pushed and pulled me, now I was part of RPS and that became who I was at a more basic level than the rest. MIGUEL GUEVARA Didn't obstacles intimidate you? CELIA CURIE I don't know how to explain our reaction to obstacles other than to say it wasn't a time to hesitate. We had to agitate. We had to make the change we wanted. The earlier rise of feminist and anti-racist demands among actors were likely essential to our mindset. MIGUEL GUEVARA So what emerged? CELIA CURIE Within a year we began three projects. First, we assembled courses about understanding current society, advocating vision, and addressing possibilities of the film industry. Second, we uncovered and publicized the pay rates of everyone in Hollywood and then agitated for more equitable relations. You can imagine how that went over, but the ethics were clear and with informed persistence we eventually went from our appearing crazy to those defending old ways appearing greedy. Third, we pressured local media producers to give space and tools to grassroots participants and we created short films and later some full-length ones promoting RPS ideas and program. MIGUEL GUEVARA Do you remember the meeting where you first got together? INT. ACTOR'S OPULENT LIVING ROOM - DAY Eleven ACTORS meet. CELIA CURIE (V.O.) We first got together at a famous actor's house. HOST ACTOR We should do as we have done, hold funding events for candidates. Raise them money. Help them win. YOUNG CELIA CURIE Come on. You know the conditions most people endure require more than band aids. Just donating won't end global warming, poverty, and war. Society needs a rewrite. INT. GOVERNOR'S OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA What opposition did you face? CELIA CURIE Artists' incredibly elitist egos. INT. MOVIE SET - DAY Young Celia Curie talks with TALL ACTOR in downtime, walking past setting for military scene. TALL ACTOR We are not like other workers. We should enjoy incomes commensurate to our talent. We shouldn't have to do any rote work. Balanced jobs shouldn't sap our focus. YOUNG CELIA CURIE A scientist is creative, as are doctors, designers, and builders, not just artists, and with training and new jobs, we could all be creative for part of our work time. Saying that actors, directors, or other art workers shouldn't do a fair share of rote work implies that others who do creative work shouldn't either. Twenty percent of the population should do only empowering work and, as a result, eighty percent should do only disempowering work. TALL ACTOR But doing any rote work would cut into our creativity. Why lose that? YOUNG CELIA CURIE It is true that you doing a fair mix of empowering and rote tasks, like everyone, will reduce your time for creative work, but having everyone do balanced work will free the potentials of vast new constituencies. TALL ACTOR Perhaps, but it's insane to think the public should plan art. We plan it. The public likes it or not. We know what is creative, what we can do, how we can do it. Negotiating art would mean I do what others decide. That is absurd. That would end art. YOUNG CELIA CURIE Workers and consumers self-managing doesn't mean the public decides what goes in a novel, play, or film, any more than it means the public decides what research a biologist does, or how an architect designs a building. The public decides, in cooperation with producers, what benefits society. TALL ACTOR What if they don't want what we do? I have no job? YOUNG CELIA CURIE If the public wants no films, creating films wouldn't count as socially valued work. If the public wants few films, the number of actors would be accordingly low. The same applies to music, novels, engineering, and medicine. But the public doesn't have to understand or appreciate every film, painting, song, performance, construction method, or research project to know it wants society to have art, engineering, and science. The public settles on how much it wants, which in turn determines the amount producers can produce for income. Producers then decide what they create and how. TALL ACTOR But still, not everyone is equally creative, writes equally, can make a character in a play real, can convey emotions and passion on screen. Not everyone is equally smart, fast, or strong either. We aren't born alike with some of us later repressed. We are born different with some of us initially elevated. YOUNG CELIA CURIE There are certainly inborn differences and I agree that to say otherwise is absurd. Training matters. Access to education and conditions consistent with confidence matters. But even if I had all that, I wouldn't be the great actor you are, much less a great physicist. We should enjoy, benefit from, and celebrate the great athletic, artistic, or intellectual talents some have, of course. TALL ACTOR So what's the problem? You accept talent differences exist. You celebrate them. But then you try to level us all by having everyone do a fair share of rote tasks. Why? YOUNG CELIA CURIE First, rightly recognizing and celebrating that virtually all human qualities come in different ranges and patterns in different people, doesn't imply that only a relative few people, say a fifth, can do engaging, uplifting, empowering tasks. And second, recognizing inborn differences doesn't imply that those lucky in the genetic lottery, born having faster reflexes, better sight, quicker calculation, stronger muscles, or whatever else, should on that account be not just involved in good works, but also showered in wealth and power. TALL ACTOR But we rise and contribute more. We earn it. YOUNG CELIA CURIE Rising in creativity or productivity is wonderful. But even if current injustice and hierarchy which cause only a few to rise mainly reflected only some kind of real measure of or strength or whatever else - instead of it overwhelmingly being a result of the pressures of hierarchical institutions plus socially distorted motives, plus past power and also, and even especially, luck - rewards for rising still wouldn't be necessary or just. We can have excellence and have material equity. We can have genius, and have participation. That is what RPS is about. RPS isn't about leveling humanity by denying excellence. We want to find and enjoy the best in people, but while we treat people fairly, properly, equitably, justly, with all having fair say. INT. GOVERNOR'S OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA How will RPS success alter future artistry? CELIA CURIE The audience for artistic work will grow due to people having more time for enjoyment, appreciation, and inspiration, but artistic workers, like all others, will receive equitable incomes and a fair mix of work in industries that relate to the will of both workers and consumers. Society will admire and celebrate great artists, but it won't excessively enrich them. MIGUEL GUEVARA But will there be as high creativity as now? CELIA CURIE I would guess there will be considerably less outrageous and unreal special effects and less parading the exaggerated psyches and mayhem of murderers, but much more creativity. At the same time, high levels of excellent art, though wonderful, will not be our only criteria of judgement. INT. CLASSROOM - DAY YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN, 29, in jeans, teaching ACTORS at Actors RPS School. RPS flag visible. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN Consider a non - artistic situation. Suppose you are part of a workplace producing shirts. Should you have as your your only aim maximizing the quality and quantity of shirts that come out the door? Many might say yes, but then why not work people to death and dump them in the alley while calling in replacements? Why not produce more shirts than people want? Why not produce only exotic, fancy shirts? It turns out sensible output should take into account those working, those receiving product, and those not receiving other products that could have been produced instead. RPS's cooperative planning recognizes that it's fine if we sometimes seek less output or settle for good output if seeking more or better would impose too much hardship on those involved or take too many resources. But even so, people in each industry will be able to provide more, and the public will be able to benefit more, because the population will have far more of its creative potentials nurtured and supported. True for shirt making and true for films as well. BALD ACTOR I still worry about a decline of art, and, yes, also doctoring, engineering, and ecological research if people who previously only did empowering tasks have to also do rote work. Isn't it obvious that the loss of contributions from those highly talented won't be offset by newly cultivated and expressed talents of the 80% of the population who were formerly silenced and subordinated? The 80% lack the needed talent. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN Asserting that those who now aren't doing creative work couldn't do it given training and opportunity goes way too far. We can't all do everything. That is true. Nor will we all be geniuses at some particular thing. That too is true. But eighty percent aren't born to be menial. Not being best doesn't imply you can't contribute effectively. If one hundred children train identically and enjoy all the same conditions, and your child comes in 21st, 45th, or even 100th, does that mean your child can't run at all, much less can't do other things? BALD ACTOR How can you be so sure those now doing only rote work could do more empowering work successfully? It sounds like wishful thinking. You want it, so you say it is true. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN Whatever inborn differences we have, the overriding fact is that eighty percent are schooled, repressed, and oppressed into seeming ill equipped for any empowering involvement. Sufficient creativity to participate isn't missing at birth. Society's pliers crush creativity and initiative. BALD ACTOR Again, you are just saying it is so. I want to fly, but I don't say I can. YOUNG MARK FEYNMAN It wasn't that long ago that men claimed women couldn't be creative, couldn't doctor, lawyer, or discover. Their argument was, look around, women don't do those things because they can't. Same for whites evaluating blacks. They don't, therefore they can't. But it was all nonsense. Women and blacks didn't because they were reviled, excluded, denigrated, denied, crushed, and even killed. Women were half the population, and blacks roughly a tenth. And now you are talking about eighty percent. A worker in a factory isn't Einstein because she can't be, like you and I can't be. But that same worker doesn't do any engaging, empowering tasks not because she can't but because she has been repressed and excluded while others hoarded benefits and wrongly disparaged her. INT. GOVERNOR'S OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA When you attended your first Hollywood meeting, you weren't yet revolutionary. What brought you the rest of the way? CELIA CURIE The literature I was reading taught me a lot, but organizing was key. We become what we do. When our group jettisoned liberalism, I did too. Thinking about kids also affected me. What should I say to them about right and wrong? Each good answer I offered pushed me as much as them. But I think the main thing was an attitude I first encountered in RPS. It spread slowly, but folks began to disagree without taking for granted they were right. Increasingly RPS members didn't reflexively defend their past views. As often as not, we wanted to be wrong so progress could happen. Our emphasis became learning something new, not defending what we previously said. If you think about your experiences in arguments and disputes, that's a big deal. Instead of taking pleasure in calling someone wrong and dismissing her by angry assertion, RPS folks learned to want to find what was right even when it meant they were wrong. Conversations would happen. Minds would change. Unity would emerge. This mattered for morale and for progress. MIGUEL GUEVARA Celia, when did you feel the struggle went from trying to build support, to being assured of victory? CELIA CURIE I think I first got near to that feeling when we made our first RPS Hollywood movie. When broached, it was no normal film idea. Way more radical than most film screenplays, it was not a technical extravaganza, not a thriller, not a mystery, not an exploration of murder and mayhem, not a celebration of psychosis, not a requited or unrequited love story, not a cartoon, not a comedy. It wasn't horror, dystopian, or utopian. It wasn't about aliens, or outer space. It wasn't a coming of age or a dying-off story. It had no super heroes, no pathological villains, no trial, no crime. Even worse for attracting film industry interest, it didn't revolve around a star overcoming personal trauma and deadly danger. It featured a task: to win a new society. It included obstacles to overcome: systemic power and prejudiced habits from the past. But it was idea-driven, not star-driven. The process was the protagonist. The star was future history. Imagine giving an Oscar to future history. (pauses in thought) That first two and then more Hollywood industry people took a giant step away from established convention into a risky different approach to sign on and make it happen said the film industry was on the verge of broadening out. We had new substance and new structure, but Hollywood was open to it. But I have to say, it was the subsequent Hollywood marches that sealed my confidence of change. MONTAGE - ACTORS' MARCHES -- Hollywood regulars march in LA. -- Hollywood regulars attend neighborhood meetings in LA. -- Hollywood regulars march in NYC. -- Hollywood regulars march in Boston. -- Hollywood regulars march in Cleveland. CELIA CURIE (V.O.) For me, it was when writers, actors, directors, editors, videographers, designers, drivers, dressers, stunt people, and music people marched through Hollywood chanting and singing, and then went on to neighborhood meetings for conversations at community gatherings. And tdressed like 40 hen we did it again, and again, in New York, Chicago, Boston, Denver, Houston, Nashville, Memphis, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Detroit, and Cleveland. INT. GOVERNOR'S OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA I hope it is okay if I ask you a personal question about acting and your experiences of it. You have been considered beautiful all your life, and I wonder what place you think this had in the past and should have in the future, too? CELIA CURIE It is personal, but fair. Growing up, what you look like had major implications. I was by our society's standards, beautiful. None of us can see that, easily, in ourselves, but I can see it in others. Sometimes a person's beauty can be mesmerizing and even addictive. But in a horribly sexist society, there is more to it. MIGUEL GUEVARA What does it do to a person? CELIA CURIE At a young age I learned behaviors that could get me things I wanted. I didn't understand why, but I noticed how my smiles or my being flirty affected people. The behaviors became part of who I was. I benefited materially and psychologically, too, because I got confidence and style. But my personality warped and I got mired in feelings of entitlement and guilt. MIGUEL GUEVARA And later? CELIA CURIE There was harassment and violation, and Hollywood just exaggerated such dynamics. Beauty has been bankable for women, and for men too. And what has been bankable has been cultivated and sought, but also thrown out when it fades. Beautiful women and men were signed on and, if you could perform reasonably well and you didn't alienate producers, you would have a career, at least until your looks faded. MIGUEL GUEVARA So, how do you judge it? CELIA CURIE I don't know entirely how I feel about it. I was eyeballed from my preteens, hit on, and sexually fantasized in many people's daily lives. Even aside from being harassed, think about knowing that thousands and maybe even millions imagine doing things with or to you. You know everyone undervalues everything else you are. Transcending that requires help that is often absent. We should eliminate objectification and exploitation. We should also not reward beauty with wealth. (pauses, thinking) Suppose someone is born really strong, able to run outrageously fast, with great reflexes, or able to think really clearly. RPS says the person should not be able to turn their genetic luck into wealth, power, or unfair circumstances. The same should apply to looking special. But, at the same time, we don't mind that great reflexes and fast, clear thinking are admired, or that having those attributes means you can do some things which, without them, you could not do. So, though it makes me nervous, shouldn't that also apply to appearance? Special traits, features, qualities, or talents, in existing societies, all convey both benefits and debits. The sex overlay gives looks an added dimension, but any special quality tends to convey advantages, pressures, options, rewards, and also some costs. But in a new society surely being lucky or unlucky in the genetic lottery should not convey material advantage, greater say in society, or freedom from responsibility. Nor should it impose pressures, denials, or abuse. INT. LYDIA'S LIVING ROOM - DAY Miguel Guevara queries LYDIA LUXEMBURG, 93, dressed like 40, life-long feminist activist, about joining RPS. Poster of Noam Chomsky and one of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez at Woodstock look on. MIGUEL GUEVARA Lydia, how did you first become radicalized? LYDIA LUXEMBURG In college in the 1960s, I got caught up in the politics of the times. (pensive, wistful) Truth be told, I suppose half my head is still there. I hated violence in Indochina. I hated sexism in society and in the left itself. I rejected women being targets to bomb or rape, ornaments to parade, or servants to do tasks men wished to avoid. MIGUEL GUEVARA When RPS was emerging, you were around seventy with a lifetime of activism. Did you feel vindicated? LYDIA LUXEMBURG The opposite. I felt some of us knew what was needed 50 years ago. Why didn't we do a better job communicating it sooner? I was ecstatic it was happening but I was tormented by how many lives were diminished by my generation not doing better earlier. MIGUEL GUEVARA What ideas attracted you to RPS? LYDIA LUXEMBURG Before RPS I saw the world through a lens that highlighted gender so heavily that much else went unnoticed. Viewing church, education, sports, TV, work, and families, I saw women being mother like and wife-like and men being father-like and husband-like, but I didn't see other group differences. It was like looking at the world through a filter that makes certain colors intense while blurring others. I saw male and female in high definition. I saw gender permeating workplaces. I didn't see class and race permeating families. RPS's holistic demands to highlight all defining parts of life felt purist. I feared if we didn't elevate kinship above all else, sexist men would peripheralize women. Later I realized RPS was adding more focuses, not subtracting mine. INT. PUBLIC TALK - NIGHT Young Lydia Luxembourg speaks to audience. YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG Economics affects politics, race, and gender. Politics affects race, gender, and economics. Race affects economics, politics, and gender. Gender affects economics, politics, and race. It may seem mantra-like, but to over-elevate a particular side of life risks missing much about other mutually intersecting aspects. AUDIENCE MEMBER Come on. . . we can tell what's more or less important. . . YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG No, elevating one aspect above others addresses that one - race, class, or gender - but in ways alienating people more affected by other focuses. It pits constituencies against one another. AUDIENCE MEMBER It could, but we can avoid that. YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG Can we? Have we? For decades now? Imagine we have a slippery, heavy object to move. Various teams prepare to grab hold. Each team has a part of the whole that it most wants to move and can tug better than it can tug any other part. Each team grabs its part without noticing what the other teams are doing, or even dismissing or denigrating what they are doing. Instead of all the teams moving all the parts in concert, and the whole object going where they intend, the teams pull and push at odds with each other and the whole object moves a bit here and a bit there, but never far in any direction. INT. LYDIA'S LIVING ROOM - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA You said two RPS conceptual innovations attracted you. What was the second? LYDIA LUXEMBURG To be in an economy, you have to work, buy, and sell. To be in a religion, you have to relate to its church or other structures. To be in a family, you have to be a mother, father, brother, or sister. To benefit from some institution, you have to comply with whatever roles define that institution. If you are a nurse, a congressperson, a priest, a bricklayer, a short order cook, a teacher, or a mayor, to gain benefits you have to behave consistent with your role in the institutions you navigate. You have to play the game. We do what our situations require and we become what we do. It is true in a corporation, family, mall, church, prison, government, military, or criminal cartel. INT. CLASSROOM - DAY Young Lydia Luxemburg teaches a class. YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG To evaluate a workplace, family, government or whatever, we have to reveal the roles people relate to in that institution. What do the roles demand? Who do the roles cause us to become? To change an institution, we have to decide what roles block our lives, and what new roles could advance our lives. We have to determine what we can fight for to move us nearer our goals and then also help us win further gains. INT. GLASS FACTORY - DAY Young Lydia Luxemburg talks with a group of WORKERS. LYDIA LUXEMBURG (V.O.) Early in RPS I visited a worker-run glass factory in Cleveland. Workers there were surprisingly despondent about their new circumstances deteriorating back toward what they had known before they took over. TALL MALE GLASS WORKER (distraught) It feels like there is no alternative to enduring the drudgery and poverty we thought we were escaping. All the old crap is coming back. LATIN FEMALE GLASS WORKER (near tears) We set up a workers council to have decision-making by everyone involved. We equalized wages. We practiced mutual support. A year passed and in recent weeks few have attended our council meetings. Wage differences are returning. Work is becoming boring drudgery. ASIAN FEMALE GLASS WORKER Before he left, a manager called me naive. He told me that the inequalities and hierarchies I opposed were part of being human. He said, face it, you are who you are. He said my joy at taking over the workplace would evaporate into failure. I laughed at him, but now I fear he was right. YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG Tell me, are the folks with empowering tasks, as time passes, seeing themselves as deserving more income and better conditions? Are the folks with disempowering tasks becoming resigned to less income and worse conditions? Is that the old crap that is returning? Workers nod yes. YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG (CONT'D) When you took over your workplace you left some people doing overwhelmingly rote, repetitive, and disempowering tasks while other people did mostly empowering tasks. TALL MALE GLASS WORKER Yes, of course. . . YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG Dividing up work that was resurrected the old crap by empowering a few and disempowering the rest. It isn't human nature that is bringing back old ills. It is an unchanged division of labor. You all grew up in working class homes and neighborhoods. You all had little formal education. Upon occupying your factory, most of you wound up with assembly work while a few wound up with daily decision making and other empowering responsibilities. You all thought it was just how things were. It was how to get work done. But it was actually a particular choice that elevated some of you into becoming rulers and others ruled, some coordinators, others workers. It wasn't written in your DNA. It wasn't inevitable. It was a bad choice you can undo. INT. LYDIA'S LIVING ROOM - DAY Interview continues. LYDIA LUXEMBURG The analysis wasn't difficult. We didn't need a whole new vocabulary and years of study to see the situation. It was simple and oddly, its simplicity ran afoul of left academics. MIGUEL GUEVARA They didn't like that it was simple? LYDIA LUXEMBURG Our critics inside the movement worked hard to use long sentences and obscure words. For us to speak plainly and advocate simple insights upset them. It may sound perverse, but after a time we realized there was an underlying reason for it. When your status, income, and power spring from having a monopoly on empowering circumstances, defending your status, income, and power depends on making sure your information and skills remain inaccessible to people beneath you. Simplification and clarity spread skills. MIGUEL GUEVARA And left intellectuals didn't like that? LYDIA LUXEMBURG Academic-types didn't like our criticizing their monopolizing empowering work, and they also didn't like our demystifying language. Obscurantism becomes habit, lifestyle even. Nonetheless, regardless of academics minimizing attention to coordinator habits and attacking us, our simple ideas were not only accessible, they were intensely practical. It was a battle, but a simple lesson gained ground. If you don't pay close attention to choices about institutions and roles, some seemingly innocuous choice that seems inevitable and that you take for granted, can subvert your best intentions. Retaining the old division of labor was just such a choice. I was forever affected by that lesson. EXT. BALLFIELD - DAY Miguel Guevara queries PETER CABRAL, 64, large and athletic, antiracist organizer, prison organizer, ex-professional ballplayer, about prison life. MIGUEL GUEVARA Peter, do you remember your radicalization? PETER CABRAL A friend was shot and killed in a drive-by. Another friend joined a gang and was the shooter in some feuds before he was shot. I lived with needles and guns. Gangs were how we got close allies. Gangs had my back. Gangs promised income. After my friend died, I was uneasy but didn't quit. Then I visited relatives and heard stories. I visited a few trials, and it was an incarceration parade. I got arrested, wrongly, but it wasn't anger at the wrongful jail term that made me political. It was that prison was, for the guards and owners, about control and profit. For us, it was about surviving and becoming a better criminal. Prison was a school for crime. Rhetoric I previously ignored became the reality I lived. I had to accept my lot as a criminal and make the best of it, or I had to reject my lot and find a different road. I rejected and ran from crime toward activism. I could explain and relate to others. Public speaking and activism came naturally. EXT. PRISON YARD - DAY Prisoners gather, talk. YOUNG PETER CABRAL, 42, in prison outfit, listens. PETER CABRAL (V.O.) I went to a meeting in the prison yard with a friend. I found the people different, and I was provoked. I went to another. It took some time undoing old biases. EXT. BALLFIELD - DAY Interview continues. PETER CABRAL I had been arrested on trumped up charges and my incarceration was overturned after I served six years. So I was familiar with the incarceration of innocents not only on trumped up charges, but also due to bureaucratic pressure, racism, and laws that punish victimless crimes. MONTAGE - PRISON LIFE -- People enduring prison. -- Young Peter Cabral organizing. -- Strikes and repression. PETER CABRAL (V.O.) On entering prison, my expectations came from TV and gossip. I quickly realized plenty of inmates were innocent or over sentenced. I fought to survive. I learned to relate and navigate. I made friends with people I could work with. Next we began to build our numbers. We shared texts from RPS. We corresponded with inmates in other prisons about our experiences and discussed theirs. By 2026, we made some serious noise. We didn't have much idea what it could achieve, but we called a one-day strike. The turnout was enormous. While our one-day strike made demands only about prison conditions, prison labor was our real target. YOUNG PETER CABRAL (addresses fellow prisoners) You work at command. You anticipate violent repression. You get subsistence. Your every breath is overseen. So why not strike for a living wage? Why not participate in the decisions that affect us? We should improve our current lives, but if we are supposed to leave prison as citizens, we should also develop citizen-like habits. PETER CABRAL (V.O.) We initiated a more sustained strike that addressed the behavior of guards, rules for visiting, availability of books, and internet access. We demanded opportunities to conduct our own classes and we sought good wages, conditions, and other rights. It wasn't easy talking with hardened inmates whose mindsets were often cautious, hostile, and even violent. Nonetheless, our strike spread from prison to prison and attracted enormous outside support. We were hard to repress. It wasn't that the guards couldn't brutalize us into submission. They could, and they did, often. But we didn't fight back. And that not only won us tremendous support from outside, it also limited the violence. We would back off, seemingly lose, and within days be back on strike. Like Cool Hand Luke, a prison favorite, we got knocked down and then got back up over and over. But we took Luke one better. We didn't individually heroically escape our hell only to be repeatedly hauled back. We collectively, methodically, replaced our hell. EXT. INTERRACIAL NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY Miguel Guevara walks with and queries NOAM CARMICHAEL, 47, a bit academic-looking, full time organizer, Muslim, about joining RPS. MIGUEL GUEVARA Noam Carmichael, I wonder if you remember first becoming radical? NOAM CARMICHAEL In 2001 I was old enough to get a vague sense, with my parents' help, for the change in my situation due to my religion and appearance. I was radicalized by trying to understand and oppose Islamaphobia. When I got to college my roommate took one look and I could feel his fear. For two weeks we worked that through and we became close friends, even to this day. I would guess that had we not dealt with our tensions he would have voted for Trump. I learned we couldn't reach a good place by being hostile. We had to listen to one another and work through confusions and biases. If we didn't talk - much less if we dismissed and denigrated one another - we would become enemies. MIGUEL GUEVARA Can you remember a personally important event you experienced during the rise of RPS? NOAM CARMICHAEL I often taught in RPS Schools for Organizers. The schools focused on analysis of society's ills, movement building, vision of what society could be, and how to attain the desired future. INT. MODEST AUDITORIUM - DAY Students and Faculty mill about, then begin session. NOAM CARMICHAEL (V.O.) There were many such schools. Sometimes on a campus, sometimes in a workplace. Sometimes in an apartment complex. Sometimes the schools were for people in some industry, like the Hollywood schools that began in 2022 and propelled the whole extended project. And sometimes they were for RPS members themselves. The schools typically ran for at least a week and included classes, discussions, and time to socialize. About two thirds in, after we reached a level of trust and positive energy, we would have a night session to answer the question, what is responsible for your being here to learn about revolutionizing society? Some people would tell about first reading some author and the eye-opening effect it had on them. Or, some would tell of a first rally or a march opening their views and launching them into activism. But many other stories featured tears and trauma. TALL FEMALE STUDENT I was abused as a child. I was repeatedly raped. Later I resisted. TALL MALE STUDENT I saw a dear friend gunned down in the streets. These are his initials tattooed on my arm. I wanted different streets - for everyone. SHORT FEMALE STUDENT I lost a parent, a friend, and a friend's parent to drugs and suicide. What caused it? Them or society? I decided society. SHORT MALE STUDENT I lost my home and lived threadbare. I became addicted but got straight. I wanted a ten step program for everyone to escape oppression. NOAM CARMICHAEL (V.O.) Sometimes it was less extreme: I was bullied, or I was a bully. I was cheated, or I cheated. People no one expected to tell such stories said publicly what had only been private before. The suffering they reported cemented my radical commitments. They made me more of a listener than I had been before. I learned what went unsaid was often profoundly important. EXT. WALKING THROUGH INTERRACIAL NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY Interview continues amidst city folk coming and going. MIGUEL GUEVARA What was the implication of race inside RPS? NOAM CARMICHAEL The direct implication had been well known for a long time. An organization seeking a better society had to welcome and benefit from diverse racial communities. We had to elevate members of diverse communities to leadership. We had to convey to diverse communities predominant say over their own affairs. EXT. DEMONSTRATION - DAY Black movement activists and white allies rally. NOAM CARMICHAEL (V.O.) Minority communities suffered low income, little influence, and escalating danger. But focusing centrally on race caused some to overlook other matters. We saw we had to instead add to a race focus, a gender, class, and authority focus, as well as vice versa. We needed to seek a new society rather than only bemoan short term problems. EXT. WALKING THROUGH INTERRACIAL NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY Interview continues. Sirens in background. MIGUEL GUEVARA There was a controversial issue, in which I remember you played a role. It was who should organize whom? NOAM CARMICHAEL I attended an early RPS-sponsored meeting about working on an antiracist campaign. There was a seeming understanding among the experienced blacks present - and an analogous view among women about sexism - that it was not their responsibility to organize among white people, or men. INT. RPS PLANNING MEETING - DAY Debate rages. BLACK WOMAN ACTIVIST It is only another burden on us to expect blacks to explain or to combat racism among white folks by talking with them, or to expect women to explain or combat sexism among men by talking with them. White folks and men have to do the talking to other white folks and men. NOAM CARMICHAEL (V.O.) The accepted formulation had been repeated so often, so forcefully, so emotively, and for so many years, that it had become an unchallengeable radical axiom. WHITE MALE ACTIVIST But what if I don't feel I understand racism or sexism enough to be as convincing as someone who has directly experienced the issues? BLACK WOMAN ACTIVIST Get smarter. Stop thinking that I should tell you about racism as compared to you educating yourself and other whites. YOUNG NOAM CARMICHAEL Wait a minute. I am an activist, I am antiracist, I am black, and I am experienced. I get that in a wonderful world I wouldn't have to worry about educating anyone about racism, much less spending time educating racist white folks. I also get that to do so is annoying, time consuming, and demeaning. But I don't see how my agreeing on all that implies that I should never talk to whites, educate whites, and organize whites about racism. Why does that follow? If it's because I shouldn't do anything that compared to being burden-free in a better world burdens me, then compared to not having racism, organizing Blacks burdens me too, but I do it, not every minute, but when I think it can contribute to overcoming racism. So isn't the right question about my talking to white people about racism - will my doing so help the antiracist cause? And if that is the right question, then when I am in a better position to communicate or organize whites than are other whites who are present, shouldn't I do it? Meeting and aftermath proceeds in background. NOAM CARMICHAEL (V.O.) I got shouted down, but I didn't fade away. And I knew that a great many folks agreed with what I had said, not least because they told me so after the meeting. But I kept at it, discussions spread, and soon the old viewpoint unravelled. EXT. INTERRACIAL NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY Walking amongst people on street, boarded shops. Interview continues. NOAM CARMICHAEL The more I thought about it, the more I felt the main issue was the same as in many other cases. Were we trying to win? Did we believe we could win? Or were we just hammering out a stance that felt comfortable and made modest gains without seeking long term goals? I wasn't saying that blacks - or women in the parallel case - should spend all their time talking with intractable white racists or male sexists. But I was saying that often blacks and women know more and can better motivate what they know than can whites or men. The right calculus wasn't how much of a burden was it for us to do that, but how necessary was our doing that to winning change? MIGUEL GUEVARA RPS also jettisoned attacking "white skin privilege," and you pursued that battle too, right? NOAM CARMICHAEL I felt privilege implied something you should renounce, but when folks called out white skin privilege they mentioned safety from abuse, enjoying access and influence, and getting fair treatment. The issue wasn't that whites had that, but that others did not. Talking about renouncing white skin privilege made poor whites think our aim was to take basic things away from them rather than to guarantee everyone those things and much more. MIGUEL GUEVARA What about communication issues? NOAM CARMICHAEL Just preceding RPS, activists looking back and seeing no lasting revolutionary gains seemed to think past failings meant we were missing hugely difficult ideas that needed to be discovered by way of very nearly unreadable texts. But the problem wasn't unknown obscure ideas. It was known clear ideas not reaching large audiences. To communicate, RPS mostly found better ways to popularly convey existing insights and vision. We involved ever more people in refining, employing, and implementing new thoughts in their own words. We went from activism ruled by academia to academia renovated by activism. We went from obscurity to transparency. We didn't compromise content, we clarified it. MIGUEL GUEVARA Another controversy had to do with issues of solidarity and their implications for being true to one's views, right? INT. RPS CLASS - DAY STUDENTS hear from Young Noam Carmichael in RPS emblazoned shirt. YOUNG NOAM CARMICHAEL Showing solidarity means acting in accord with the interests of others and supporting others in their pursuits. Enjoying autonomy means functioning without intrusion from without. Clearly we shouldn't always support but nor should we always ignore others' wishes. So we have to determine what mindset and choices have the best chance of coming up with a desirable mix of solidarity and autonomy. As an antiracist or a feminist activist you certainly wouldn't want to be subject to the will of racists/sexists, nor even to the will of well-meaning people unaware of the dynamics of racism/sexism. You would want to be more autonomous, to explore your own views, pursue your own agendas, learn from your own mistakes, and benefit from your own insights. FEMALE BLACK STUDENT Are there examples that show that? YOUNG NOAM CARMICHAEL Over fifty years before RPS this wisdom was already encapsulated in what was called the autonomous women's, Black, and Latin movements. There was Bread and Roses in Massachusetts and Black Power through the South and national groups like the Black Panthers and the Young Lords. Women, blacks, and Latinos were tired of men and whites determining their agendas. They were tired of constantly expending excessive time and energy dealing with male or white complaints. The idea of autonomy first arose in the Black Power movement, meaning they would operate under their own control and pretty much unconnected to other aggregations of non-black people. It was okay in theory, but in practice such a movement could lose a lot of solidarity from others. Some said, why diminish our overall power with this autonomy fetish. Others said, why subject ourselves to endless hassle with folks who are trying to keep us down or who don't understand our situation? FEMALE BLACK STUDENT It seems intractable. We need autonomy but also solidarity. How can we have both? MALE WHITE STUDENT What about forming massive coalitions that contain women's organizations and antiracist organizations that align about global warming? YOUNG NOAM CARMICHAEL The problem is, while coalitions don't prevent a women's or anti racist organization from operating autonomously, and while they allow solidarity around whatever is the unifying issue of the coalition, the solidarity is too limited. FEMALE LATIN STUDENT The member organizations and movements don't enjoy the benefits of solidarity from other coalition members for their own agendas, nor do they offer solidarity to other members for anything beyond the unifying coalition focus. YOUNG NOAM CARMICHAEL Exactly. Over the years, coalitions have accomplished much, but RPS greatly extends the logic of having both autonomy and solidarity by proposing that groups work together on what we might call their greatest common sum agenda. Groups and projects join a "bloc." Each group and project retains its autonomy to pursue its own specific program as it decides. But each group and project also pledges to support the programs other bloc members propose. The agenda of the bloc is the sum of all the agendas of all its component organizations, movements, and projects. Each part of the bloc's agenda comes from the leadership of one or another partner in the bloc, but everyone adopts it all. FEMALE BLACK STUDENT I see how that way all members would receive and give solidarity, and how everyone would retain their focus. But aren't you just brushing away difficulty by saying everyone would support the whole agenda? YOUNG NOAM CARMICHAEL I hope not. Let's see. Suppose we take the women's movement discussed earlier. It has a program and style rooted in feminist activism. If it joins a bloc with others, then its prior program becomes one part of the program of the whole bloc. It will receive support from the other members. Reciprocally, as a member, it will have to support other members regarding their programs. Two factors make this hard. FEMALE BLACK STUDENT To join an organization in a bloc, I would have to decide not only that I liked the organization, but that I liked the bloc too. Organizations would fear this will reduce their membership. FEMALE LATIN STUDENT If a bloc includes organizations with contradictory programs, the overall bloc program would have to contain both aspects. That seems ludicrous. YOUNG NOAM CARMICHAEL I too initially considered the obstacles insurmountable. But if the overall purpose of the bloc is winning a new society with various agreed features, then we could see the contradictory program components as possibilities that should be explored. If one proves better, in time we chose it. But while the choice is uncertain, we keep the contrary aspects in play. And as soon as groups with a particular agenda reap the benefits of solidarity from others and, in turn, celebrate helping others, doubt dissipates. INT. CHURCH PEW - DAY Guevara questions BERTRAND DELLINGER, 75, short and academic looking. MIGUEL GUEVARA Bertrand, can you briefly describe the political vision of RPS? INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT YOUNG BERTRAND DELLINGER, 51, short and academic looking, physics professor, delivers speech to AUDIENCE of two hundred or thereabouts. Screen behind him shows animation of councils. YOUNG BERTRAND DELLINGER RPS recognizes that political activity includes legislation, adjudication, and collective implementation of shared program. Polity should generate fair outcomes and produce collective self-management for all. We take grassroots mechanisms activists often form as our starting place by seeking to have every adult in society in local councils, with some elected to higher-level councils, and another layer, and another. Points to animation. BERTRAND DELLINGER (V.O.) In time we discovered that twenty five council members was a good choice, since with twenty-five, eight layers can cover even the largest country. YOUNG BERTRAND DELLINGER Within each council, RPS feels we should seek self-management by everyone affected. We should protect and pursue diversity. We should maintain solidaritous feelings and practices. We should get things done without debilitating delays. But all should have appropriate influence. AUDIENCE MEMBER But if everyone has influence, we won't have just the best decision makers decide. YOUNG BERTRAND DELLINGER That seems true but first, saying that people who are better decision makers don't get more say just for that reason, doesn't mean they shouldn't be heard. They simply need to convince others of the validity of their views, not impose them. We don't ignore expertise, nor do we give it undue power. Second, who is the world's foremost expert in your desires? AUDIENCE MEMBER My mother! YOUNG BERTRAND DELLINGER (laughing) No, you are, clearly, so ensuring your influence when you are affected is part of ensuring that we respect expertise. And third, a decision reached without the will of those affected being counted is not a good decision in any event. It is imposed, not supported. If democracy is better than autocracy, then collective self-management is better yet. On the other hand, if experts having disproportionate power is better than informed participation by all affected, than dictatorship by a genius is better than democracy for all. AUDIENCE MEMBER I think you exaggerate to make the choice go your way. YOUNG BERTRAND DELLINGER Perhaps, a bit, but I think it makes a point, and in any event, we have to pick our preferred logic. RPS picks self-management and so seeks legislative structure that allows everyone to agree that outcomes are reached fairly and are subject to review. AUDIENCE MEMBER You make it sound like everyone will abide every norm. . . YOUNG BERTRAND DELLINGER No, violations will still certainly occur, and to deal with that, RPS says we need a significantly improved court system, plus community-controlled police with balanced job complexes and remuneration for effort and sacrifice for all work, of course. AUDIENCE MEMBER Police? Are you kidding? I want none of that. YOUNG BERTRAND DELLINGER I know some in RPS are angered by what I and many others say about police and I understand why. Imagine you had been raped and RPS was saying there is a place for rape, suitably redefined, in the new society we seek. AUDIENCE MEMBER I would fight against it. . . YOUNG BERTRAND DELLINGER You would fight the insanity, of course, and more, if you lost, you would justifiably decide RPS was not worth your support and involvement. I think members who have or who will quit RPS for retaining policing as part of its vision feel that sort of disgust and anger. AUDIENCE MEMBER You bet I do. YOUNG BERTRAND DELLINGER Okay, but let's consider a bit. Let's even put the issue more immediately. Should we treat today's police as enemies beyond reason or as potential allies to be organized? That discussion has the same passions as the visionary debate over having policing in a good society. Should we treat police like vicious animals, or organize them? RPS believes a vastly renovated police function is valid, and also that police now, with all their violent faults, are better approached as potential allies than inevitable enemies. Violations of social norms and laws are not going to magically disappear and dealing with them most effectively and safely requires people with special training and job requirements which enforce their own civility and responsibility. INT. LYDIA'S LIVING ROOM - DAY Miguel Guevara interviews Lydia Luxemburg. MIGUEL GUEVARA Lydia, what does RPS say about kinship vision? LYDIA LUXEMBURG RPS wants to enhance solidarity, preserve diversity, apportion benefits and responsibilities fairly, and foster self-management. Even in a wonderful society, I might love someone who did not love me. Previously strong ties could wither. Rape and other violent acts might still occur. Social change won't eliminate losing friends and relatives to premature death. Adults will not all suddenly be equally adept at relating with children. It can't solve all that, but RPS says new kinship can stop causing men to dominate. MIGUEL GUEVARA But what would better kinship look like? INT. CLASS - DAY Young Lydia Luxemburg teaches class. YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG Sexism is enforced by rape and battering, by the cumulative impact of past sexist experiences on what men and women think, desire, feel, and do, but also by role differences in home life and we need to address all these. What if, as mothers, women produce daughters who, in turn, not only have mothering capacities but want to mother and not father. And what if, as fathers, men produce sons who not only have fathering capacities but want to father and not mother. Then couldn't one feature of a vastly improved society be having no mothering versus fathering, just parenting. Instead of one gender doing the nurturing, tending, and cleaning in families, called mothering, and the other gender doing the decision based tasks called fathering, both genders do a mix of all the tasks called parenting. INT. LYDIA'S LIVING ROOM - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA How did this get beyond the classroom? LYDIA LUXEMBURG Through history, including in our own upbringing, everyone practiced mothering and fathering. Our child's lives were at stake. There would be no do overs. Nonetheless, we decided to break the mold. It began with feminists making their own home life more fair, but RPS also addressed surrounding institutions. For example, to have genderless parenting we had to have parental leave for newborn care, not leave for women only. MIGUEL GUEVARA And controversy about the family? LYDIA LUXEMBURG Long before RPS many feminists argued the nuclear family was a problem. Should child care and family involvement rest on only one or two biological parents, or instead involve relatives, friends, and even community members? We don't want to legislate how people live but we do urge that whatever patterns exist, each should foster gender equity. We seek to broaden the care-taking children enjoy and enlarge their participation in judgements. We hope children will not only become capable and confident, but also unconstrained by narrow feminine or masculine molds.Ê We still don't know what fully liberated sexuality will be like or all the diverse forms of intergenerational relations adults, children, and elders will share. What sex-gender patterns - monogamous and not, hetero, homo, or bi-sexual, trans, or not. What transformed caregiving institutions, families, schools, and other spaces for children as well as for adults and the elderly? But despite much our having more to discover, we are confident actors of all ages, genders, and preferences will engage in non oppressive consensual relations, free from stigma. MIGUEL GUEVARA Can I ask you about bringing up children, and then also interacting with them, as a revolutionary? LYDIA LUXEMBURG It is a hard thing, depending on the times. Nowadays, not so hard. A young parent who favors RPS is just honest and open, nowadays, giving children room to be what they will, and a child will likely come to favor RPS as well, since it is natural at a time when RPS is winning. But when one is revolutionary against the grain of society, and of the child's school and school mates, even other relatives, the culture, everything, things are much harder. People deal with this in many ways. Some put their views very upfront and try to impose their hoped for outcome, and they often generate resistance, only sometimes agreement. Others deemphasize their views at home and avoid imposing and, I suspect, generate the same two outcomes. Back when I was young most kids knew nearly nothing of their parents deepest lives, deepest desires and beliefs - and that stayed largely true until very recently. In fact, it was true in the other direction, too. Communication was mainly superficial in that respect. Aloof love, I guess, you might call it. Well intended and disastrous. Just another dimension of life in pre RPS society, particularly developed capitalist, consumerist society, that will die unmourned. INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE - DAY Miguel Guevara queries Bill Hampton. MIGUEL GUEVARA Bill, beyond having a vision of feminist future relations, why was having powerful feminist program essential for RPS? BILL HAMPTON Regarding society, when RPS emerged, women still earned way less than men for the same work. Sexist violence was even escalating. Women's health was still manipulated. Women still feared night on the streets, suffered vicious harassment online, and lacked attentive audiences. Harassment at work was viral. Sexism wasn't as prevalent as five decades earlier, but the battle wasn't fully won. MONTAGE - RPS CAMPAIGNS -- RPS daycare facility -- RPS teach-in -- RPS civil disobedience BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) Regarding RPS itself, we enacted daycare at all organizational gatherings with a proviso that staffing should immediately be at least half male. We legislated that public speaking at our events, marches, teach-ins, and meetings and leadership for our events always had to be at least fifty percent female. When women were not available or were not felt to be prepared by prior experience to accomplish the tasks, we had to redress that imbalance with training and practice. The new norm was simple. Correct gender imbalance or don't proceed. Movement women organized themselves. They didn't care about happy smiles and promises. They weren't appeased by men saying have a nice day, or not being rapists. They were ready for resistance. INT. RPS PLANNING MEETING - DAY About 60 women and 100 men discuss an action. Young Bill Hampton is chairing. Suddenly the door opens and 20 more women march in and stand in front, arms locked... YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG Bill, sit down. . . Thank you. From now on all meetings will have at least 50% women handling organization and being chair, and at least 50% women addressing topics raised. If you don't want to comply, fine, you will have to hold your meeting over unrelenting disruption. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) At this time, the rising tally of rapes on campuses had spurred urgency. Then, a rape occurred in Los Angeles, and a male movement leader was the rapist. Hesitancy had dissipated. YOUNG BILL HAMPTON Are't you worried that to hold back meetings waiting to fulfill gender norms will harm organizing? YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG Don't you see that not dealing with gender imbalance is devastating? WOMAN ACTIVIST AT MEETING Come on, Lydia. You demand more than we can accomplish. Worse, to disrupt will abet reaction. YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG Yes, we could be ham-handed. You are right we should avoid that. Hopefully you will help. Your concern is warranted, but it is not a reason to consign the left to perpetual hypocrisy and weakness. We must seek solidarity. We must address structures, not individuals. We must set standards for everyone, including ourselves. But if we aren't able to do an event or talk in a feminist manner, we should delay doing those things until we get ourselves ready to do them properly. Our desire to have public talks or conduct projects has to respect our desire for feminist achievement. If not, nothing will proceed. We don't seek verbal commitments to feminism. We don't even seek changes from male leftists to accord with feminist values. No personal blame is asserted. No apologies are wanted. We seek structural changes that make overcoming sexism part and parcel of functioning at all. BILL HAMPTON (V.O.) Previous antisexist efforts had typically polarized men, and even many recalcitrant women, in ways that entrenched opposition. RPS attacked structures, but empathized with men. The goal was to organize, not antagonize. I should note that the precursor to all this wasn't just women's efforts decades earlier, but also a few years earlier when Hollywood established a right to have contracts require producers to employ women and minorities in appropriate numbers, and, if they didn't, production stopped. That was a very similar approach. Do better, or we won't let you operate. In fact, up until literally transforming institutions, that has been RPS's approach regarding overcoming sexism, and also regarding overcoming racism and classism. Do it carefully, do it mutually supportively, do it to win, but do it now. INT. RPS CLASS - DAY Young Lydia Luxemburg teaches class. YOUNG LYDIA LUXEMBURG We know we all largely become who our roles require us to be. So what roles should we change to prevent men becoming sexist and women accepting sexism? We know if men work and earn more, they will have means to dominate. We must win equal incomes. If in dating, courting, and raising children, men and women have different roles, then we will wind up with different dispositions. We must win equal familial roles. Further, when women do most nurturing and caring whereas men do most competing and governing, men become sort of thuggish and women become not only empathetic but also self-denying. To avoid that, men must do a fair share of nurturing in the movement, in society, and in families. Women must do a fair share of governing. But this was also about culture. EXT. WALKING IN PARK - DAY Guevara queries Peter Cabral about culture vision. Passing dog running section of park. MIGUEL GUEVARA Peter, what about culture vision? PETER CABRAL RPS says we need to appreciate the historical contributions of different communities more than ever before. We need to guarantee cultures greater rather than lesser means for further development. INT. CLASS - DAY Young Peter Cabral teaches class. YOUNG PETER CABRAL We know from history that cultural beliefs and habits give people a sense of who they are and where they come from. But we also know that in a competitive and hostile environment, religious, racial, ethnic, and national communities often fight one another.Ê We conclude that cultural salvation lies in eliminating racist institutions, dispelling racist ideologies, and changing the environments within which historical communities interrelate so communities can maintain and celebrate difference without fear of subjugation. We call this intercommunalism and it mainly guarantees that every community can carry on its traditions, languages, and self-definitions so the interaction of cultures enhances the characteristics of each and provides a richness that no single approach can ever attain. EXT. WALKING IN PARK - DAY Interview continues walking by pond, ice cream truck in background with kids ordering. MIGUEL GUEVARA But reaching that goal has proven difficult, yes? PETER CABRAL That wasn't a surprise. Until a lengthy history of autonomy and solidarity overcomes suspicion and fear between communities, we need to make it incumbent on more powerful communities with less reason to fear domination to unilaterally begin the process of de-escalating disputes they may have with less powerful communities. MIGUEL GUEVARA And when there are violations? YOUNG PETER CABRAL We will need oversight and enforcement by way of an intercommunal legal apparatus specializing in conflict resolution. Even more than in other areas, intercommunalist relations will have to be constructed, step by step, until a different historical legacy prevails. Nor will it always be easy to decide what necessary means communities should have for cultural reproduction, or what development free from unwarranted interference means in particular situations. But short of the future harmony, we knew that in the present the imbalance was so incredibly harsh that the priority for RPS had to be overcoming racist structures and habits while moving toward a transformed future. INT. DEN - DAY Miguel Guevara questions Andrej Goldman. MIGUEL GUEVARA Andrej, what about RPS economic vision? ANDREJ GOLDMAN RPS economics produces desired goods and services, but also desirable self-management, equity, solidarity, and diversity. It utilizes workplace and community councils where each actor has a say proportionate to the impact of the decided issue on them. In capitalist corporations, twenty percent of employees do work that enlarges their confidence, social skills, knowledge of the workplace, and initiative. Eighty percent do work that reduces their confidence, social skills, and workplace knowledge, and exhausts them. RPS calls the dominant twenty percent the coordinator class and the subordinate eighty percent the working class. INT. RPS CLASS - DAY Young Andrej Goldman teaches class. YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN We have to not only eliminate capitalist ownership, but also the coordinator class doing all empowering work. Everyone should own equally. But more than that, each worker should also do a mix of tasks they are capable of and comfortable at, where each person's tasks provide a comparably empowering situation. FEMALE STUDENT What about income? What is responsible? What works? YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN RPS says people too young or too old or otherwise unable to work gainfully should nonetheless get a full income, but people who can gainfully work should have an income reflecting the duration, intensity, and onerousness of their socially valued labor. I shouldn't be remunerated as an athlete, a singer, or anything for which I can't produce outputs others want, but I should be remunerated for socially valuable work. I should earn more for working longer, more intensely, or at more onerous tasks. To get that is fair. It provides sensible incentives. It conveys essential indicators of people's preferences. MALE STUDENT What about allocation? YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN RPS rejects competitive or authoritarian allocation and instead advocates cooperative negotiation among workers and consumers. Each worker and consumer council announces their desires and then updates their offers in light of others' offers. Community and industry agencies amass and summarize information to help workers and consumers assess costs, benefits, and preferences, and learn of jobs, new products, etc., so we can self-manage our production and consumption in light of emergent measures of personal, social, and environmental costs and benefits. INT. ASSEMBLY HALL - DAY Young Andrej Goldman on stage hears and reacts to audience criticism. AUDIENCE CRITIC Your aims are morally nice but unreal. Your equitable remuneration will not elicit creativity and productivity. Your balanced job complexes and self management will not elicit quality. Your participatory planning will not elicit efficiency. Your vision is pie-eyed nonsense on stilts! YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN Equitable remuneration is not only morally sound and socially positive, it provides appropriate incentives to work harder, longer, or at more onerous tasks. Balanced job complexes and self-management are not only fair, they unleash huge swaths of otherwise stunted human capacity while eliminating wasteful conflict. Participatory planning eliminates the built-in motivational and informational ills of markets, the authoritarianism of central planning, and the ecological irrationality of both. It reveals true social costs and benefits and meshes compatibly with equitable remuneration and self-management. ANDREJ GOLDMAN (V.O.) Both critics and advocates could not be right. Evidence and argument have gone our way. INT. DEN - DAY MIGUEL GUEVARA Were there other objections from inside RPS? ANDREJ GOLDMAN Yes, of course, many. INT. RPS ASSEMBLY - DAY Young Andrej Goldman talks with skeptical RPS MEMBERS, including YOUNG ANTON ROCKER, 33, dressed in work outfit. YOUNG ANTON ROCKER Your vision risks alienating potential coordinator class RPS members. I get that we need full classlessness, but I think we can't afford to lose potential support. I prefer to offer a less controversial vision closer to current potentials, one that won't immediately challenge coordinator class advantages. YOUNG ANDREJ GOLDMAN We all want coordinator class involvement, of course. Unlike owners, we cannot simply write them off. I agree. But holding back our full aims is dishonest and more, it will repel many workers, corrode morale, and risk entrenching coordinator rule. Can't we deliver the truth about what we want and also reach many coordinators? Isn't the real risk, like in the past, worrying about coordinator ill feelings at the expense of workers not trusting change? And won't most of the coordinators we don't reach when we are honest be hostile to our aims, at least for a time, if we lie about them, in any event? ANDREJ GOLDMAN (V.O.) Critics' fears that the full vision would cause some coordinators to not relate to RPS were correct. But for many coordinator class members, and for more as each month and year passed, the predication was wrong. Workers led. Coordinators joined. Most important, classlessness remained the goal. INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY Miguel Guevara questions ANTON ROCKER, 55, dressed casual, writer/organizer. MIGUEL GUEVARA Anton, where do we stand regarding new workplaces? ANTON ROCKER I remember a trip to Columbus Ohio. I arrived and got a tour of an occupied workplace from a few employees. INT. WORKPLACE FLOOR - DAY WORKERS talk with Young Anton Rocker, dressed in work outfit. STOCKY OHIO WORKER Our firm was tanking and the owners sold off its assets. We decided to run the firm ourselves. Many of the coordinator class left due to thinking that without the owners the firm would collapse. TALL OHIO WORKER In situations like ours, sometimes workers made incomes equitable and instituted workplace democracy but ignored job definitions and operated with little change regarding markets. Other times transformation included balancing jobs and full worker self management. In the former case, struggle became a contest between coordinators and workers. In the latter case, struggle became workers against old habits and the pressures of the market and banks. YOUNG ANTON ROCKER How do your relatives and friends who still work at typical workplaces regard your efforts? Are you having success organizing folks to follow the new path? STOCKY OHIO WORKER I don't talk about our project with family and friends. They will do similar only if their owners cash out so they have no choice but to take over or become unemployed. YOUNG ANTON ROCKER I don't get it. Would you take a job, giving up having any say, no longer having balanced jobs, if in return you received higher pay? TALL OHIO WORKER No. Wages matter but so does dignity. And in any case, we get better pay, too. YOUNG ANTON ROCKER Then why can't you explain the benefits to your relatives and friends so they pursue similar aims even in their profitable firms, rather than only when their owners cash out? STOCKY OHIO WORKER (shrugging) Just like we didn't, they won't, until they become desperate. INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY Interview continues. ANTON ROCKER Even now, I wonder what caused that mindset. Perhaps it was hopelessness, but the view was from people who had great hope, at least for themselves. Maybe it was to avoid clashing with relatives and friends, even if doing so could open a path to greater well-being. Whatever its cause, if their view had persisted each transformed workplace would be isolated. Worker reticence to reach out had to be overcome. INT. WORKPLACE FLOOR - DAY Discussion continues. YOUNG ANTON ROCKER Whatever your reasons for not talking with friends and family about your accomplishments, can you see that it has to change? A co-op transforming, a corporation undergoing internal struggles, and a new firm succeeding, each have to see their task as not simply establishing their own firm, but also enlisting others to do likewise. RPS has to emphasize creating federations of transformed workplaces that prioritize mutual aid, defense, and insurance, and sponsor events bringing workers from advanced projects to speak at other venues. INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY Interview continues. ANTON ROCKER Before RPS we had nearly 30 million small businesses in the U.S. About 20,000, which sounds like a lot but is less than a tenth of a percent, had more than 500 employees. Today I would guess we have perhaps 2 million well established RPS small businesses, and another 5 million struggling with transforming that will join the RPS count without much more change. RPS ideas battle for influence in nearly all the rest, too. And we have about 3,000 500 person or more RPS-oriented workplaces, another 4,000 undergoing major struggles, and all 20,000 include RPS-style campaigns with growing degrees of council organization. Momentum is now ours. It came when workers formed into councils, fought for gains, struck, and finally occupied and took over firms, with each step prodding and helping the next. INT. UNIVERSITY OFFICE - DAY Guevara questions Bertrand Dellinger. MIGUEL GUEVARA Bertrand, universities and schooling are pegged for renovation, aren't they? BERTRAND DELLINGER As RPS was being born, universities and schools were repositories of dull drill, extinguished feeling, narrowed vision, and destroyed character, and, as well, the attention span and motivation of students was plummeting. INT. UNIVERSITY LECTURE HALL - DAY Students in large hall focus on phones, tablets, and laptops. BERTRAND DELLINGER (V.O.) I and many friends teaching back then couldn't usefully give lectures that required sustained attention. Students texted, emailed, watched videos, listened to music, and browsed. Click, click, click, they jumped from brief focus to brief focus. Their frequent shifting was so habitual they became driven to avoid serious, sustained, focus. They weren't good at multi-tasking, but at flitting. INT. HIGH SCHOOL CLASS - DAY Students like in college, but now also listening to music in one ear. BERTRAND DELLINGER (V.O.) Students gravitated toward doing what they were good at, and the trend seeped downward from colleges to become the norm in high schools too. Kids would even listen to music during class. To teach I had to accommodate the short focus of my students. But teachers nuggetizing content only added to the dynamic of electronic doo-dads fostering flitting from thing to thing. INT. UNIVERSITY OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. BERTRAND DELLINGER People are born ignorant, but we are made stupid by faulty education. To see students drift away was like being pummeled, daily, by failure. It was hard not to get hostile toward the students who preferred to mentally turn off than set aside their phones. INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Family home for holiday immersed in flitting from media to media. BERTRAND DELLINGER (V.O.) At a family gathering, when I was young, we would joke around, watch TV, but also talk about issues of the day. The young would be curious and want explanations for what was going on. Likewise for adults. But immediately pre-RPS, kids would sit on a couch with a tablet, laptop, and phone, and with the TV on, flitting from one to the other. They couldn't focus on things they still were interested in much less have sustained interest in anything new. They were almost proud of their social ignorance. Party and play. Shop till we drop. Flit from Facebook to Twitter to TV to web site. Do it again. Hold views based on Tweets. Screw evidence. Know little. Investigate nothing. Compete, learn how to bully or bow down. It wasn't all young people but it was too many. And it was adults as well, not least because they accepted it in their kids. In time, like kids, like parents. While parents weren't as enmeshed in screens, they were more into gossip and mass culture than anything more lasting. We had pervasive social media. News became little more than entertainment. Facebook bred dishonesty, judgementalism, and bullying. Short attention spans precluded serious discussion. Selfies flourished. So did depression hidden by lonely lies. INT. RPS CLASS - DAY Young Bertrand Dellinger teaches. YOUNG BERTRAND DELLINGER Schools socialize and sometimes transfer lessons and skills but mainly they deliver students suitably packaged for their future lives. And what is suitable to future life of course depends on what roles students will fill. Roughly eighty percent come out of school educated to endure boredom and take orders because those are the two main prerequisites to being a desirable hire for an employer trying to fill working class jobs. The other twenty percent receive particular knowledge suited to accounting, medicine, engineering, or whatever - but also develop a disposition suitable to maintaining dominance over workers below and obeying owners above. Schools that deliver folks ready for those two futures fit today's societies. Their graduates fill intended slots. They aren't under- or over-prepared for their tasks. They aren't the best they could be. They are slot fillers, fixated on the cash nexus whether from below or above. MONTAGE - SCHOOLING New school, home schooling, struggles in existing schools. BERTRAND DELLINGER (V.O.) Many RPS folks host neighborhood schools and initiate summer schools for children as well as for workmates and townsfolk. A few even create new institutions for higher learning. But transforming education is also about battling inside existing schools. Public school teachers, community college teachers, and especially grad students at many colleges and universities, are a bit like nurses in hospitals, eager to be productive workers of a new self managing kind. Massive teacher strikes preceded RPS and paved the way for teacher activism extending into community life. INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Okay, so what was and is the RPS attitude to schooling? BERTRAND DELLINGER Having education generate confident, capable adults requires having a society that needs confident, capable adults. So educational transformation means students, teachers, and families have to seek better results in their current or new schools while also seeking a new future for society. That was the long term revolutionary aspect of our approach to education. MIGUEL GUEVARA Where has it led? MONTAGE - SCHOOLS -- RPS gatherings in schools at night -- Courses with diverse attendance -- Rallies for policy changes BERTRAND DELLINGER (V.O.) Gains so far include vastly increased involvement of communities in schooling and learning. You probably remember not just the demand to open schools but the occupational and community programs we enacted in thousands of schools, at night, all over the country. Fighting to enlarge school services, before long, we wondered, why ask permission? The schools are there. We should just go in and use them. And so we did. Soon we invited police to take courses and enjoy classes too, which did wonders for dimming their ardor for repressing our school takeovers. Reduction of class size with a steady increase in number of teachers was another a huge gain. We realized higher education too, had to become relevant to people's fulfillment rather than to people passively fitting unfulfilling slots in society. We changed what students had available to read, who they had available to talk with, and therefore what they could attain. MIGUEL GUEVARA What do you think was the turning point toward winning? INT. CHICAGO SCHOOL OCCUPATION MASS MEETING - DAY PARENTS in meeting. BERTRAND DELLINGER (V.O.) Perhaps the first occupation of a public school - it was in Chicago - with the ensuing mass meeting to determine what uses the school could be put to at night. We saw people experience that their surroundings should benefit them rather than their having to restrain themselves to fit harsh surroundings, and we knew right away that it would spread. INT. LIVING ROOM COMPUTER LEARNING - DAY KIDS and PARENT learning in living room. BERTRAND DELLINGER (V.O.) Similarly, I think the RPS campaign to provide online curricula that challenged the prevalent social science and history texts had a huge effect. When lots of kids who learned from our online courses became highly knowledgeable about flaws in their lessons and able to think through evidence and logical connections, it put immense pressure on faculty to do better. EXT. NYU STRIKE - DAY NYU STUDENT speaks to crowd. BERTRAND DELLINGER (V.O.) Another key happening was when students on the campus where I was teaching, NYU, called a strike that shut down the place, and then reopened it for a full week of nothing but faculty-student discussion of the purpose of education, and it spread. NYU STUDENT We don't just want discussion. We will chair the sessions. We will present ideas. We will convince faculty of our aims and create a new sense of community. Attend our social events. Attend our classes. This strike will end when our campus is reborn. Commit to student faculty power. Reject administrative power. EXT. COLUMBIA UNIV STRIKE - DAY COLUMBIA STUDENT addresses crowd. COLUMBIA STUDENT We demand preparation for balanced job complexes and solidarity. We reject classist separatism. We want solidarity and self management, not arrogance and profit making. We require renovation of the faculty, curriculum, and particularly the town-gown interface. INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Interview continues. BERTRAND DELLINGER Campus innovation mirrored public school's being open to the community. Now it was universities providing programs for local residents as well as research and resources for local activism. RPS said instead of education defending system maintenance, it must propel system change. Instead of squashing most students into passive conformity while making the rest elitist, education must address the real needs and potentials of all students. Education must serve desire and insight, not profit. INT. OVAL OFFICE - DAY Guevara interviews President Malcolm King. MIGUEL GUEVARA Malcolm, do you remember first considering and then finally deciding to run for President? MALCOLM KING I first thought about it when I won for Senator and every so often thereafter. I saw being Senator as a way to aid movements and help generate new policies and thought of the presidency that way too, only more so. But running for President first became more than day dreaming one night talking with some good friends. INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Malcolm King, Celia Curie, Bill Carmichael, Lydia Luxemburg, and Bertrand Dellinger sit and talk. LYDIA LUXEMBURG It is wonderful to be together, and I hope you won't mind that Bertrand and I see it as an opportunity to consider something we have all heard circulating around RPS. BERTRAND DELLINGER The three of you are the highest elected officials in the organization. Senator of Massachusetts, Governor of California, and Mayor of New York. Should one of you run for President in 2044? BILL HAMPTON Yes, I hear people talking about that, and I get questioned, but is the topic worth the time? BERTRAND DELLINGER Of course it is. . . BILL HAMPTON I am not so sure. RPS is making incredible strides all over society. Why not keep building and when needed pressure the ever-more progressive but non-RPS Presidents who take office, without entering the corrupting arena ourselves? The complications of running for office, much less winning, have been ridiculous in New York. Imagine how entangling and corrupting they would be seeking or winning the White House. LYDIA LUXEMBURG But you use Gracie Mansion brilliantly. You build movement and you help win movement gains. You aren't entangled. You aren't corrupt. . . BILL HAMPTON I am not coopted, but I am wiped out. And I am not sure what overall gain it has achieved. There have been benefits, sure, but if every RPS person in New York government now keeping the current system from unraveling was instead working in grassroots organizing to build our new system, and if receptive though less RPS-ish folks were in the positions we hold, would it be a net loss? Avoiding the corrupting pressures of power, pursuing electability, tallying allies, and especially keeping things running in New York has been bad enough. For the White House, the number of people side-tracked from grassroots work would be vastly greater even if the benefits would also be greater. CELIA CURIE But add the outreach, the burst of energy which, if done right, can persist, and, in the event of winning, the consciousness raising and major changes able to be far more quickly and easily implemented with an allied rather than a neutral or hostile President, and I think maybe we have gotten to a point where it would make sense running for the Presidency. But would it undercut focus on popular participation and on building and federating councils? Could we focus as much on a candidate as an election would require, and then as much on governing as winning would require, without losing our participatory aims? How can we know? BERTRAND DELLINGER If we field a good candidate we could easily attract five and maybe as many as fifteen million full time serious volunteers. While campaigning, we would all work harder and with greater outreach, not less hard and more narrowly, assuming right priorities. We could have massive grass roots funding with no need for big donors. We could win which would be tremendously helpful for every campaign and struggle now underway and for more to follow. We could do it in ways emphasizing and enlarging popular participation. We should try. BILL HAMPTON I wouldn't want to run. New York was very nearly too much for me. CELIA CURIE Don't look at me. I would feel a fool trying. I am an actress turned Governor for my home state. If I won it would be like Reagan or Trump - a famous personality taking office. I don't want that. RPS doesn't need that. MALCOLM KING Well, I think RPS does need you. Your governorship has been exemplary. I think a campaign, done without an iota of compromise, done with an unswerving focus on our full participatory vision, could advance our views enough to be worth the time, effort, and resources it would require. So how about we think about you and I running, should the population continue to agitate for RPS involvement, in whatever order finally makes sense, and table this discussion for now before it gets even more tortured? CELIA CURIE Okay, I will think about VP if you will think about P. LYDIA LUXEMBURG So that's it for now. We have an idea that we can all think about and raise with others. MALCOLM KING (V.O.) So that small gathering was when running first became more than pipe dream gossip. INT. OVAL OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Okay, but then when did you first think you might actually win? MALCOLM KING I came to believe we might elect an RPS President, whoever it might be, back in 2039 during the general strike. MONTAGE - GENERAL STRIKE -- Cities shut down. -- Plants empty. -- Stores and malls empty. -- Streets full of marching workers, police watching or joining. -- Huge State House rallies MALCOLM KING (V.O.) I couldn't experience the incredible power of workers stopping the country and showing such an incredible depth of commitment to revolutionizing society and not feel that one part of what was to come would be taking over the government and putting it in service of fundamental change. INT. OVAL OFFICE DAY Interview continues. MALCOLM KING I was amazed, inspired, but also humbled. The crowds were enormous. We could have surged into government offices all over the country, including in Washington. That much was possible, already, in 2039. But what then? We weren't ready to staff all the agencies and handle all the tasks, and in any case we didn't want to usurp government with a unilateral act. We didn't have a full program developed from our base, discussed and refined at anything like the comprehensive scale we would need. I realized that to protect, maintain, and grow participation in rebuilding society we had to win office and then change government in an accountable, participatory way, not by charging into offices with no plan. We didn't have time to do that by 2040, so it would be 2044, earliest. Until then we just had to keep growing and keep creating new institutions and keep winning changes in old ones. We had to build popular support and clarity not only for taking over workplaces, schools, hospitals, and local agencies, but also the national government. I decided it involved enormous risk, but was also essential. MIGUEL GUEVARA So when you ran, you expected to win and you ran to win? MALCOLM KING Rather, we hoped to win and ran to win, with an absolute commitment that we would not compromise or even understate any RPS views to seek votes. MIGUEL GUEVARA Then when did you begin to think you really could win? MALCOLM KING At the first debate in late September, when vitriol failed and reason prevailed. INT. PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE - NIGHT CANDIDATES closing statements. Audience responds. OPPOSING CANDIDATE Senator King, how can you possibly have the audacity to stand before the American people and say they should elect you President, you a man who aims to anarchistically overthrow our government, a man who socialistically wants to obliterate our property rights, a man who feminazi-like threatens to topple the family fabric of society, a man who would cravenly reduce our armaments, armed forces, and police to passivity, a man who would reduce our country to pitiful weakness, a man who denies religion and decries individual creativity to advance soul-destroying collectivism? It will be a pleasure to ship you and your movement's pathetic power-envy and psychotic animalistic anger back to the fringe communities that spawned it. I happily cede to you my remaining time. Take as long as you like to reply. Your words will only deepen the horror our audience already feels at your vile intentions. MALCOLM KING No more to say? No more vague, wild assertions? Nothing positive to offer? Okay, I will gladly use your remaining time. You wonder at my wanting to anarchistically overthrow our government. I plead guilty. Unlike you, I don't want to preserve elitist, centralizing, mind-numbingly anti-democratic bureaucratic structures against participation by the American people just to preserve the power of centralizing sycophants like yourself who unaccountably control the destiny of millions. I prefer popular self-management. You decry my socialistically opposing few hands holding productive property, and I again plead guilty. Unlike you, I am not enamored of enriching property holders beyond the wildest dreams of past kings. I do not think being born with a deed in your hand is the highest form of human achievement, or that it is any achievement at all. I reject that people like yourself should own society's rivers, lakes, resources, machinery, and places of production, much less rule over them like tin-pot dictators. You ought to be aware, however, that you missed a further target to ridicule. I also oppose a relatively small sector of the population monopolizing empowering work. I want to share that work more equally so everyone is in prepared by their work to participate in social decisions. Unlike you, I also want equitable incomes for all. I want empowering dignified work for all. I want people able to decide their own working lives. I would say it is a wonder that you don't want these gains for all humanity, but your attitude isn't a wonder. It is unmitigated, self-seeking, anti social greed. You say I want to feminazi-like topple the familial fabric of civilization. Why? Because I want young and old people to have a say over their own lives? Because I want families and all living units to freely nurture the next generation without imposing preordained definitions of what boys and girls have to become? Because I want parents and children and extended families to have optimal health care, empowering work, and shared responsibility for their own and for all social life? Because I want women respected and empowered, because I want sexual preference to be whatever free people prefer, all rather than wanting to turn the gender clock back a century - in your misogynistic, homophobic, harassing mode? The human nurturing fabric of society is already at risk. People like you don't see its deep tears despite your own broken homes and the bedlam so visibly endured by so many all around you. You can't see the truth of our times because your heart is a cash register and your eyes perceive only profit potentials. I want to restore and enrich society's fabric. You want to rape and plunder society. I see all families as repositories of love and sources of wise, confident participation. You see most families as sources of cheap, obedient labor. I see societies, countless communities as allied and equal centers of creative diversity. You see all but your own community as fringe targets to ridicule, restrain, and repress. You also say I would disarm the country, neuter the police, and leave us helpless, because I reject siphoning society's wealth into useless and pointless weapons that, were they used, would destroy all humanity, and because I want properly paid and empowered police that serve the public not power, and I want our children's and our children's children's human potentials to develop free from war, pestilence, coercion and restriction in a world of shared peace and plenty. I am guilty again. You are absolutely right I want all that. You call it making our country weak and defenseless. I call it making our country worth defending. You say I deny religion and sublimate the individual to the collective. Why? Because I want all religions, races, ethnicities, and nationalities to be free of fear of imposition and negation from without and because I want individuals and collectives prepared and in position to self manage their destinies without having to submit to the individual whims of the rich and domineering elites you serve. You are right again. I do reject your racism, your sexism, your homophobia. I am guilty as charged. You say that it was a pleasure to have run against me, and that it will be a pleasure to ship me and Revolutionary Participatory Society's pathetic envy and psychotic animalistic anger back to the fringe dwellings that spawned it. Well, I have some news for you. Those fringe dwellings are the soup kitchens, apartment buildings, private homes, schools, hospitals, ball fields, stages, churches, and workplaces of America. Fringe to you, to your gilded millionaire lifestyle, yes, I suppose so. We will see soon what goes away, and what goes forward. Will the American people vote against RPS and their own futures - and less relevantly against Celia and I - or will they not only elect the two of us, but also continue their steadily escalating popular participation in revolutionizing all sides of all of our lives? After your display here tonight, I too feel ready to predict the outcome. I believe that some folks will vote for you, in fear of make-believe demons that you and your media moguls have manufactured. And I believe some will do so to defend their elite interests with no concern for society. But I believe most people are past the confusions and prejudices that have historically allowed the likes of you to win office. You are about as venal as was, say, Donald Trump, 28 years ago. But the problem for you is that the population has come a long way since his time. Your ignorant posturing, your bullying, your pathetically hypocritical life and your self-serving views, all admittedly more eloquently expressed than Trump could ever manage, have lost too much of their deceiving power for you to push anything aside, much less to push aside RPS, the most grassroots, democratic, participatory, multi focused movement this country has ever seen. Good luck with that. I wish I could be a gentleman and say it was a pleasure to run against you. But I can't. It has been a bore, because you are an empty vessel of hate. It has been depressing, because even in one lonely body, such an amalgamation of narcissistic evil as you embrace is seriously depressing to behold. We will soon see how the country decides. Will it be for you, and your hates and fears, and the millionaires and billionaires who pray you will prevail to help them amass still more millions and billions? Or will it be for me, Celia, and RPS, for our hopes and thoughts, and for the women and men, boys and girls, movements and activists who work for our campaign to prevail so we can in turn aid their efforts to build a vastly better future? Time will tell. And this time, I hope - and just open your pathetically closed mind and listen to see it is true - that time is on our side and your day is slip-sliding away, pushed off stage by the power of people united. INT. OVAL OFFICE - DAY Interview continues. MIGUEL GUEVARA Okay, then, when were you absolutely sure you would become President? MALCOLM KING I guess it would show appropriate modesty to say only when the ballots were counted, but it would be a lie. I knew for certain we would win at the Houston Rally the second week in October. EXT. HOUSTON DOWNTOWN - DAY A million people wave at motorcade. MALCOLM KING (V.O.) To have a million people greet us on the Streets of Houston, clearly aware of and supporting our program and not just or even mainly us, I looked at Celia, she looked at me, and we both knew the polling would be a landslide. MONTAGE - NATIONAL CELEBRATIONS OF ELECTION VICTORY -- Celebration in NYC. -- Celebration in Chicago. -- Celebration in St. Louis. -- Celebration in San Francisco. INT. PRESIDENTIAL PRESS BRIEFING ROOM - DAY Miguel Guevara, now Press Secretary, reports to assembled press. MIGUEL GUEVARA Good morning. As Press Secretary, as usual I have a lot of ground to cover so let's settle down and begin. If you will bear with me a minute, I would like to offer a few words before taking your questions. As you know, yesterday President Malcolm King spoke to the UN General Assembly and the world. His speech was simple, emotional, and blunt. It reflected unfolding events and aspirations. For any of you who may have missed it, in the first part he apologized. In the second part he promised. In the third part he celebrated. In the conclusion he embraced. INT. UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY - DAY Malcolm King Addresses the General Assembly. MALCOLM KING In the name of my country I apologize for our military and fiscal role in international mayhem and injustice from Latin America to Asia and from Europe to Africa. I apologize to Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Guyana, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Congo/Zaire, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. I apologize to Chile, Greece, East Timor, Nicaragua, Grenada, El Salvador, Libya, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Yugoslavia, Iran, Venezuela, Somalia, and Syria. I apologize for our support of dictators, for our exploitative extractions, for our arms shipments and our arms use. I apologize for threats, boycotts, and destruction, for massacring native Americans, for slavery and racism, sexism and sexual predation, for Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and more. INT. BRIEFING ROOM - DAY Guevara continues addressing assembled press. MIGUEL GUEVARA King promised we would together reverse our history of exploitation and violence toward others and in its place enact a new agenda of sharing and respect. He promised we would study war no more and instead foster solidarity and mutual aid with the same energy and effort that we previously put to war-making and profit-seeking. He promised and evidenced an entirely new and compassionate, internationalist mindset. He celebrated transforming our domestic defining institutions of polity, economy, culture, and kinship, and our relation to the natural environment to remove hierarchies of wealth and power and to attain a sustainable new historical beginning. He promised to aid and learn from all those who have already or who will now take up similar aims, as they deem suitable, worldwide. INT. UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY - DAY King continues his speech. MALCOLM KING Amidst our tremendous, sustaining, and enriching diversity, we need to embrace our shared universal humanity. We need to celebrate and apply our shared values of human liberation - solidarity, diversity, equity, self-management, international peace, and environmental balance to all our own countries, each in mutual aid with the rest. We must reject greed and profit-seeking. We must reject self-aggrandizement and power-wielding. We must usher in a new era of empathy, a new time of joyous exploration of our collective capacities. I embrace all who will do so, and the UN itself as a valuable tool for the task. INT. BRIEFING ROOM - DAY Guevara concludes his remarks. MIGUEL GUEVARA Now, if you have questions. . . yes, Leslie, why don't you begin. EXT. VAST PLAIN - DAY Scrolling collage of photos of interviewees' famous namesakes and of interviewees themselves followed by all credits provides a backdrop for the end credits. Musical accompaniment is a medley of excerpts from powerful songs. "RPS - THE NEXT AMERICAN REVOLUTION" "FROM A TIME JUST BEYOND TOMORROW, FROM A PLACE CLONED FROM OUR OWN, IN THIS FILM ACTIVISTS OF THE ORGANIZATION FOR A REVOLUTIONARY PARTICIPATORY SOCIETY HAVE DESCRIBED THEIR SUCCESSFUL STRUGGLE TO TRANSFORM THEIR UNITED STATES. A QUESTION ARISES. WHAT ABOUT OUR TIME, OUR PLACE, OUR UNITED STATES? DO WE WANT IT TO PERSIST AS IT HAS, WITH SOME MODEST CHANGE NOW AND THEN, BUT BASICALLY WITH ITS FEATURES PRESERVED OR EVEN WORSENED? OR DOES RPS-STYLE CHANGE CAUSE US TO FEEL WE CAN WIN ENLIGHTENED EQUITY RATHER THAN DEADLY DECADENCE? DO WE NOW SEE PROMISING POTENTIALS RATHER THAN OPPRESSIVE OBSTACLES? TIME HAS COME TODAY, HASN'T IT?"