Shining a Light

Our forthcoming film about the undisclosed interests trashing our lives.

By George Monbiot, published on, 20th September 2023

A couple of generations ago, economists confidently predicted we would be living a life of leisure by now. Our societies would be so prosperous that we would scarcely need to work. Everyone would be well-housed and fed, public services would rise to meet our needs, there would be little cause for conflict.

Instead, we find ourselves working like ants to sustain the barest conditions of life. Millions are forced to take extra jobs just to make ends meet. Workers are assailed by debt, precarity and constant anxiety about getting through the month. Food banks, home dentistry, sofa surfing and outright homelessness are now familiar features of life in some of the world’s richest nations.

The extraordinary wealth society has generated, instead of being widely enjoyed as economists expected, has been concentrated in the hands of a few. At the same time, the security of everyone on Earth is threatened by environmental crisis, which our political systems seem incapable of addressing.

Rather than solve these eminently soluble problems, politicians and newspapers set us against each other, recruiting us as cannon fodder in their culture wars. Almost 80 years after fascism was defeated, today it roars back, stamping across both Europe and North America, a resurgence our immediate ancestors would have considered impossible.

How did all this happen? How was the future our forebears predicted snatched away and replaced by this dystopia?

It didn’t happen by accident. It was the result of a concerted ideological programme, backed by some of the richest people on Earth, and implemented by the many clever people they hired. Its purpose was to roll back the rising tide of distribution and equality, privatise the public realm and defend the plutocrats against attempts to regulate and tax their antisocial practices. And, largely because we didn’t see it coming and we didn’t understand it when it arrived, the programme succeeded magnificently.

Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?

Next year, our full-length feature film, The Invisible Doctrine, directed by Peter Hutchison and produced by Lucas Sabean, will be released on both sides of the Atlantic. It seeks to expose and explain the forces which have made our lives so much more difficult than they would otherwise have been. It seeks to show how they can be confronted and overthrown.

Because our film offends the interests of billionaires and corporations, we don’t have access to the usual sources of funding. We now need £40,000 – very little as far as feature films go – to complete the project. We’ve launched a crowdfunder, which seeks to raise this money from small donations.

Could you help us? If so, please throw something, however small, into the pot:

At the same link, you can see the teaser for the film.

Thank you,

George Monbiot