Tuesday, 26 January 2010

"Original Intent" Documentary Affirms Freedom

Written by  Patrick Krey

Filmmaker James Jaeger’s 2006 documentary Fiat Empire (available in its entirety free online) was an educational and informative film that accurately summed up a difficult topic for those unfamiliar with the machinations of the Federal Reserve and its detrimental effect on our nation. His latest effort, Original Intent: How Negative Influences are Destroying the U.S. Republic, is a much more ambitious effort that tries to tackle a far broader range of issues.

In fact, the documentary is so sweeping that it not only tries to cover nearly every issue facing our nation but it also attempts to tie them together. Running well over three hours long (the film is on two separate DVD discs), Original Intent focuses on what it contends are two negative influences threatening to destroy the American Republic: 1) Cultural Marxism and 2) Corporate Fascism. To back up its contentions, Original Intent features interviews with such iconic figures as former presidential candidate and political pundit Pat Buchanan, Moviguide founder Ted Baehr, writer and libertarian activist G. Edward Griffin, constitutional expert Edwin Vieira, and Congressman Ron Paul.

Original Intent is clearly targeted at those in the freedom movement, as it argues against globalist wars, the military industrial complex, fiat currency, a centrally planned economy, the North American Union, NAFTA, corporate bailouts, and gun control, to name a few of the film’s topics. Its strong points are in its accurate description of how our current, dreadful state of affairs is due to our elected officials ignoring the original intent of our founding document. The film repeatedly stresses how the federal government is bankrupting our nation, eroding our national sovereignty, and leading us down a path toward totalitarianism. It accurately pinpoints the false dichotomy between Republicans and Democrats and stresses that both parties serve interests other than the American voters. The film correctly asserts that if the general government were limited to its proper constitutional role, then there would be no such thing as special interests because the government would not have the power to pass out favors. Original Intent also delves into the global U.S. military empire and not only constantly reminds the viewer that our current globalist-minded foreign policy is far from our constitutional moorings, but also that the empire — like almost all of the federal government’s unconstitutional spending — would  be nearly impossible without the Federal Reserve’s policy of monetizing excessive debt.

Jaeger also dives right into the culture war by exploring the rise of cultural Marxism and its attacks on religion and family. The film proclaims that it is the cultural Left Baby Boomers who are now running the show and their brand of cultural Marxism, also referred to as political correctness, has invaded all of our various institutions. According to Original Intent, cultural Marxism has been successfully attacking peoples’ allegiances to anything outside of government (e.g., God, family) to pave the way for collectivism and the death of our Constitutional Republic. Cultural Marxism is now so far interwoven into the American way of life that the average person is totally immersed in it.

Regrettably, by taking on so much, the film is almost inaccessible to someone not already acquainted with the subject matter. The film also fails to be persuasive at points, with the narrator sometimes making conclusory statements without clearly connecting the dots for a non-believer. Moreover, the film takes a misguided detour into some Pat Buchanan-styled protectionism when discussing corporatist trade agreements like NAFTA. even going so far as to praise Alexander Hamilton's mercantilist vision for America (for an opposing viewpoint, see Thomas Dilorenzo's Hamilton's Curse). The film repeatedly trumpets high tariffs for the United States while failing to explore how our own domestic regulatory and tax policies are playing a major role in exporting U.S. jobs — or to consider the libertarian position that  genuine free trade, not heavily managed corporatist trade, could actually help to enrich nations.

Original Intent could have benefited from perhaps being made it into a series of shorter vignettes instead of one extended feature. Some of the strongest parts of the film are the interviews, especially with Ron Paul, but I’d recommend breaking it up in multiple viewings instead of trying to watch the entire thing in one sitting. A part of the film that was especially interesting but too brief was the discussion of the rise of police state tactics in America by increasingly federalized law enforcement. This would definitely be an excellent subject matter for a future film if Jaeger wanted to focus in on a narrow and specific issue.

The DVD can be ordered straight from thw website at http://www.originalintent.us/.

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