HBO’s Chernobyl & Personal Responsibility | Philosophy Tube

HBO’s Chernobyl & Personal Responsibility | Philosophy Tube

In 1987, Margaret Thatcher said, “There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families.” This short phrase proved to be one of the most infamous quotes of her career. To Thatcher’s critics,
it was an expression of the callousness and cold-heartedness typified her time as Prime Minister. And this view became so closely entwined with her image and the image of the Conservative Party generally, that when David Cameron
became party leader almost 20 years later, he felt compelled to revise it, saying, “There is such a thing as society. It’s just not the same thing as the state.” The quote itself, however, is often taken out of context. It was actually an off the cuff remark that Thatcher gave during an interview to Woman’s Own magazine. The full extract reads,
“I think we have gone through a period when too
many children and people have been given to understand, “I have a problem, it
is the government’s job to cope with it,” or, “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it.” “I am homeless, the
government must house me!’ And so they are casting
their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing. There are individual men and
women, and there are families, and no government can do anything except through people, and people
look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help
look after our neighbor. And life is a reciprocal business, and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations. Because there is no such
thing as an entitlement unless someone has
first met an obligation. There is no such thing as society. There is a living tapestry
of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend on how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us is prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts
those who are unfortunate.Chernobyl was a TV mini-series produced by HBO and Sky,
and created by Craig Mazin. It aired in the first half
of 2019 and was really good. It starred Jared Harris, Emily Watson and Stellan Skarsgard, and was nominated for several Emmys, which I think is some kind of award for old media?
The show dramatizes a set of real-life events from 1986 which happened in, uh… Germany? I think it was Germany, I wasn’t really paying attention. And it was some kind of accident at a factory? I don’t really remember, but based on the way they were dressed I think they were all
supposed to be bakers. Yeah, yeah, bakers. And they have to bake some very important cookies or something. So the oven, where these German bakers are baking the cookies explodes, and that’s very bad. Because the cookie dough goes everywhere, and eating raw cookie
dough can make you sick, so if it spreads across Europe everybody could get food poisoning. And all the German scientists and bakers have to figure out what
they’re gonna do about it. And a lot of the people
who are in the position to do something deny the problem. You’d think that a
nuclear reactor exploding would be pretty hard to miss, but they say no, it was just
a hydrogen tank going pop, the radiation levels are safe,
it’s nothing to worry about. They don’t wanna face the facts because that might mean
that they are responsible. The Soviets kind of had their
own version of “fake news.” They called it “alarmism,” and a lot of the people who say, “No look, the reactor has clearly exploded, there’s radiation spewing out, if we don’t do something about it, all of Europe is gonna
end up uninhabitable!’ they get dismissed as alarmists. “Look, that’s graphite on the roof. The whole building’s been blown open. The core’s exposed!”
“I can’t see how you can tell that from here.” “Oh, for god’s sakes. Look at that glow! That’s radiation ionizing the air!” “What we can’t see we don’t know.”
” Seymour, the house is on fire!” “No mother, it’s just the Northern Lights.” The protagonist of the series, Professor Valery Legasov, is portrayed as being the one sane man trying to contain the disaster before it’s too late. As the old saying goes, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is called a virtue signaller and sightcuck. In terms of who gets the most
bad guy coded screen time, the show seems to be leading us towards suspecting this
dude, Anatoly Dyatlov, as being the main culprit. He was in charge on the night and he made a bunch of
very dangerous decisions which created the
conditions for the accident. And according to both the show and several distinguished historians, he was also a massive f*****g dickhead.
“Shut the f**k up, and do your job. What did you do?! How the f**k did you get this job?! And this chick comes up to me and she’s all like, “Hey
aren’t you that dude?” And I’m like, “YEAH WHATEVER.”
“I apologise.” Although the show also demonstrates that it’s not entirely Dyatlov’s fault. In real life, they were
running a safety test when Chernobyl exploded,
so a lot of the usual failsafes have been
turned off as part of it. And Dyatlov was under
pressure from his bosses to just get it done so they
could all get promoted. But it had to be delayed, and
then there was a shift change so the new guys coming
in didn’t really know what they were doing. There was also a crucial
design flaw with the reactor that caused it to explode when they pushed the emergency shutdown button. And even though a lot of scientists actually knew about that design
flaw for years beforehand, it had been covered up by the government. Depending on how you read it, you could also say that the show blames socialism a little bit. Creator Craig Mazin
has said that he wanted to tell a story about lies,
which he says is relevant to the contemporary America as much as it is Soviet Russia. But some commentators
have jumped at the chance to read a more partisan message into it, especially since, usually
about once per episode, some character all but turns to camera and goes, “Did you know,
the Soviet Union was bad?!”
“I’m a nuclear physicist. Before you were deputy secretary you worked in a shoe factory.” “Yes, I worked in a shoe factory, and now I’m in charge. To the workers of the world.”So Chernobyl poses some interesting philosophical questions
about responsibility and people’s relationships to
the societies they live in. And in case you think this
just like a one time event that can’t teach us much now, there are a lot of parallels between the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and say, the American
AIDS crisis of the 1980s. That’s another scenario where scientists were fighting against an invisible enemy and the government didn’t
wanna listen so people died. Or, kind of an obvious parallel
I guess, climate change! Something a little closer
to home for me though, the Grenfell fire. In 2017 a tower block in
Kensington caught fire and 72 people died. Kensington’s a pretty posh bit of London, but the tower was mainly social housing, so there was a lot of people
from low income families and a lot of people of color. It was later discovered that
the outside of the tower was covered in flammable cladding that allowed the flames
to spread way beyond what the interior was
designed to cope with. That cladding had been
installed the year before, and the reason they went
with the flammable one is the local council had
outsourced management of its social housing to another body, who decided the flammable
stuff was cheaper, despite being warned
that it was dangerous, and despite the residents of the tower saying for years that the fire safety measures were inadequate. All of that occurred against a background of Conservative and Liberal Democrat governments cutting public spending in response to the 2008 financial crash, a group of policies known as Austerity. Some of the survivors were reluctant to speak up for fear of being deported, which exists against the background of my country having gotten very hostile to migrants in the last few years. And as of April this year, some survivors still hadn’t been rehoused and some towers still have that flammable cladding on. Just like the Chernobyl disaster was in the minds of some people a symbol of the late Soviet
union, the Grenfell fire became a kind of symbol of contemporary Britain.
“Is this really the way it all works? An uninformed, arbitrary decision that will cost who knows how many lives made by some apparatchik,
some career party man?” Also, just as a side note, this doesn’t really have anything
to do with the philosophy, but the acting in this
show is really good, especially the physical acting!
A lot of people think acting for camera just happens in shots like
this, from the shoulders up or sometimes close up
and extreme close up, ’cause that shows you what
we in the acting industry call the “face,” (technical term) but really, acting takes your whole body. Look at this scene here. Even with the audio removed, you can tell so much about the characters just from their body language. And this great cute little moment where Professor Legasov doesn’t know where to stand! The actors had a dedicated movement coach, Imogen Knight, and she did so f*****g good! Oh, you know what else is excellent? The casting. Look at this quick scene where
Legasov is buying cigarettes and he meets a character
who we’ve never seen before and who we never see again. This guy. This guy right here. He’s only in the series
for like four seconds. He has no lines, just this one shot, but you only have to look at him and you know he’s a KGB agent! He has the most KGB-ass face of any motherf****r I’ve ever seen. I looked him up! His name is Simonas Dovidauskas. Simonas, mate, you f*****g nailed it! Also, one last thing, I promise. The direction! There are a lot of shots in this where it looks like they didn’t use a tripod? Like, I think these shots are handheld. You can see how the frame moves around. In this scene, Emily Watson’s character, Ulana Khomyuk, is trying to
convince Professor Legasov to do something dangerous
where they don’t know what the outcome will be. The characters are emotionally unsteady, and visually unsteady within the frame. Whereas here, at the end,
when Legasov and Shcherbina are more secure in their friendship and at peace with what’s
gonna happen to them, the shots are locked off. It’s the little details like this that really make the show worth watching.
“Oh, that’s beautiful.” Does it make sense to say
that the Chernobyl disaster was the fault of Soviet society? Or that the Grenfell fire
was the fault of this one? One of the potential
problems with saying that is that it might let people who are more guilty off the hook. Like, isn’t Dyatlov
obviously more responsible for Chernobyl than “society?” If we start believing in
collective responsibility, then how can we ever say that one person is better or worse than anybody else? We’ve lost the whole
basis of moral judgment. That’s actually the question posed by a very famous scene in the film Judgment at Nuremberg. “Germany alone is not guilty. The whole is as responsible
for Hitler’s Germany. It is an easy thing to condemn one man into dark. It is easy to condemn the German people to speak of the basic flaw in the German character that allowed Hitler to rise to power and the same time comfortably ignore the basic flaw of character that made the Russians sign pacts with him, Winston Churchill praise him, American industrialists profit by him! Ernst Janning said he is guilty. If he is, Ersnt Janning’s guilt is the world’s guilt.” And so isn’t the only answer to keep the blame with individuals? Yes, Dyatlov was under pressure, but isn’t he an adult with free will, not just a cog in a machine? Just one year after the
real Nuremberg trials, the philosopher H.D. Lewis wrote, “If there are no such distinctions, if the questions we ask about
them are without substance, then the greater part
of ethical controversy has been a peculiarly vain
pursuit of a will of the wisp.” I love the flare for the dramatic that a lot of those early 20th century British philosophers had in their writing. That’s just such a, oh, a will of the wisp, it’s such a nice little sentence. Although, maybe collective responsibility isn’t as weird as it seems. The philosopher Farid Abdel-Nour points out that people say stuff
like, “We won the war, we put a man on the moon,
we beat Tottenham one-nil,” when actually as
individuals we didn’t have anything to do with it. And if we can take pride in our nation or our team’s accomplishments, why not also take responsibility for their failures? The psychologist Daniel
Kahneman pointed out that we do something kinda
similar with companies as well. If you have a bad experience
where a representative of, say, Ryanair is rude to you, people will often say, “Ryanair
was really rude to me.” We hold the whole collective responsible. But is that the same thing? Just because we can feel
proud or ashamed of a group, doesn’t mean that we take on
their moral responsibility. Lewis says, even if you practically agree to answer for somebody else’s actions, like a parent might take responsibility for their child, you can’t actually take on somebody else’s moral guilt. Unless you’re Jesus. And even then, it’s a massive pain in the ass. “Although we may be proud or ashamed of others, we add not a cubit to our stature. Neither do we shrink through our association with them except in the measure that we ourselves change under their influence.”
“Oh, so everything’s my fault then? Is that what this is?”
“I’m not here to blame you, I’m here to find out what happened.” This is bound up with what she calls intergenerational
collective responsibility. Sounds really complicated. Don’t worry, it isn’t. You know the so called
golden rule of morality? Do unto others as you
would have them do to you? This is kind of like that, but
it’s stretched out over time. Some day, I will be an old man who can’t take care of himself anymore. And I expect that future
people will help me. So I work now, and I pay
my taxes, for instance, to do the same thing for
people who need help now. Because I recognize that their needs and my future needs come
from the same place. And personally, I quite
like this approach. It comes from a place
not of patriotic strength and duty to the nation, but a recognition that we all get sick,
we all need education. If we are wronged, we all need justice. If not now, then definitely some day. These intergenerational responsibilities, she says, continue even
if the state itself totally changes or collapses. Whether there’s a United
Kingdom in 2073 or not, (and frankly at the moment who the hell knows) I will be an 80 year old man and I will need some help because… We live in a society! And I think she’s hit on something quite interesting here. Because it sounds like we’re not even talking about moral responsibility anymore. It sounds like we’re talking about…Conservatives, like Margaret Thatcher, will sometimes talk about
personal responsibility. Like in that interview we opened with, she says she wants more people
to be able to buy property. Because you buy a house,
you get invested in it, you come to respect other
people’s property rights and you become a responsible citizen. She’s actually not saying that people should just be thrown to the wolves,
even if that was the effect of a lot of her policies. She’s saying that if you are freeloading off “society,” you’re really freeloading
off other people. So you need to work hard and pull your weight. And there are some big
problems with this view, some of which we will get to, but it does have a kind
of internal harmony to it and I can see why some people like it. Canadian author and
psychologist Jordan Peterson also talks about the importance of personal responsibility,
saying that it gives life meaning, and that
we shouldn’t languish in our own victimhood, a theme that, content creator Stefan
Molyneux also explores. Stefan hates talking about
things like racism and sexism because he thinks they make you a victim. People who fail at life blame the system, they get stuck in the narrative
of their own victimization, and they tell you there’s
no way you can succeed, it’s impossible, because they
resent the people that do. When really, if you take
responsibility for your own life, there’s nothing standing in your way. And, to give the devil his due, I think that Stefan kinda has a point when he says that sometimes some people
can get a little bit stuck in the victim role. Certainly the abusers I’ve known have. They refuse to take
responsibility for their actions. The real Anatoly Dyatlov maintained to his dying day that he was the victim of a conspiracy, and that what happened at Chernobyl was not his fault. I’ve also been in some online Leftist spaces where people are hurting and in the absence of somewhere to work through that pain, will pour it out into any available container. That’s not a uniquely leftist thing, of course; it’s just a human thing. So it seems like these thinkers are saying that we should be individualist
because it’s motivating, and maybe that’s why so many
people find their work useful. Self-confidence can be massively helpful. If I put on a suit, and do the Jordan Peterson stand up straight with his shoulders back thing, it works. Or at least, it changes how people respond to me. But I do have a big question about all this. And in order to tease it out, I wanna give just one more example. Fred Hess works for a
right wing think tank called the American Enterprise Institute. And he wrote this article about education, saying that students need to take some personal responsibility for their learning. You can’t expect the school
to do everything for you. And he’s surprised that people sometimes push back at him on that. And yeah, I kind of see
where he’s coming from. Like if you’re running a school, it doesn’t seem unreasonable
to expect the students to take responsibility
for turning up on time and doing their homework, with allowances for extenuating circumstances, but yeah. Where I get curious, though,
is what about expecting them to take responsibility for “behaving professionally,” or “dressing professionally,” or “being a team player?” These are all things that sound
like reasonable expectations but who gets to decide what those mean? And how do they decide? If a black woman puts on a suit and does the Jordan Peterson dance, she might get read as bossy, or uppity, in a way that I simply never would. And that’s the kicker. You think that individual responsibility is how we motivate people
to succeed and find meaning? Okay, cool. Succeed at what though? Meaningful how? Responsible for what exactly? What are your criteria? Who gets to decide
them, and are they just? Thatcher’s criterion for responsibility was owning property, and the problem there is that is a thing that is
mathematically impossible for everyone to do at the same time. You cannot have a housing
market and no homeless people. Because if everybody has secure housing, you cannot sell them housing. So even if everybody is
maximally personally responsible and aspirational and striving and all the other
Instagram-Tory buzzwords, in a competitive system,
some of us still have to fail through no fault of our own. Which again, is the exact problem that individual responsibility is supposed to solve. It might also be worth
noting that individualism isn’t the only motivating force. During the Chernobyl
disaster, a lot of people did incredibly brave and dangerous things to fight the radiation,
often knowingly shortening their own lives out of a sense of what Craig Mazin calls “Soviet civic duty.”
“The reactor fuel is going to sink into the ground and poison the water from Kiev to the Black Sea. All of it. Forever, they say. They want you to stop that from happening.”
“How are we supposed to do that?” “They didn’t tell me, because I don’t need to know. Do you need to know, or have you heard enough?”
“You’ll do it, ’cause nobody else can. If you don’t, millions will die. If you tell me that’s not enough I won’t believe you.” So we’re sort of stuck, again! But its the interesting
kind of stuck this time, rather than the frustrating kind. The philosopher Deborah Tollefsen says that what it means to hold
somebody morally responsible is just to have certain
feelings about them. Like resentment, and pride,
or disappointment and so on. It’s not really about
the logical relations of responsibility and personhood. It’s more like telling a
story about our feelings and our demands about how
other people should be treated. Philosophers call this expressivism. Tollefsen says that
moral responsibility talk isn’t really trying to
be rigorous philosophy. It’s a kind of storytelling. When people say that Chernobyl or Grenfell is society’s fault, what
they’re really saying is, “I think we should change society.” And the opposite, when
people say we should focus on individualism and
personal responsibility only, is kindof like saying, “No, I don’t think we should change society!” So maybe the main lesson of Chernobyl is that you should always be nice to people, ’cause if things do go south they’ll find it a lot easier to blame you if they already think you’re a twat. “Officer Leeroy comes up and he’s like, “Hey, I thought I told you-” and I’m like, “YEAHWHATEVER.” That would explain why discussions about historical reparations
can get so fraught. It would explain why your Jordan Petersons and your Stefans Molyneux talk
about personal responsibility without really digging into
the philosophical depth. It would explain how the Daily Express somehow managed to blame the Chernobyl disaster on Jeremy Corbyn.The true death toll of
Chernobyl is not only unknown, but unknowable. The radiation spread across Europe, and of everybody who’s
died of cancer since 1986, there’s no answer to the question, how many might have lived
had the reactor not exploded. If we can’t even calculate the damage, how can we assign responsibility? All we have is the story. And insofar as Grenfell is a symbol of Austerity in my country, there’s no way of knowing how many people were killed by those policies. How many thousands died after having their disability benefits withdrawn, how many people killed themselves through poverty and desperation, or whose lives were shortened by stress. Many of us now know what some
experts warned at the time that Austerity was harmful
and ultimately pointless, but many of the policies
are still in place, and many of the people who designed them and implemented them are
walking around freely – (at time of recording) – and it’s even harder to tell stories about that because its so spread out. The stories that we have told about Austerity tend to focus on individuals, and make them the symbol for us all, like in the incredible 2016 film “I, Daniel Blake.” But will there ever be a memorial for the victims of Austerity the way that there is for Chernobyl? Whether you think somebody’s responsible or whether there’s anything to be responsible for, depends on what sort of story you wanna tell. Interestingly, Chernobyl
reflects on storytelling and responsibility in the
ways it departs from history. Unlike most of the other
people depicted, Emily Watson’s character, Ulana Khomyuk was
not a real historical figure. She was written to represent
the dozens of other scientists that helped contain the disaster because having one person to praise makes for a more understandable story. And the ending reflects it too. In the final episode Legasov has to decide whether to reveal to
the scientific community that the fault in the reactor
design was covered up. There are multiple other
reactors in the Soviet Union, all with the same flaw, each
another potential Chernobyl. But embarrassing the government could be even worse for his
health than the radiation. “What you’re proposing is that Legasov humiliate a nation that is obsessed with not being humiliated.” In a dramatic final speech, Legasov tells the story of
what happened at Chernobyl, and unveils the conspiracy. And then, as punishment, the KGB cancels him and forces him to delete his Twitter account.
“Your testimony today will not be accepted by the state. It will not be disseminated in the press. It never happened. No one will talk to you. No one will listen to you. No friends. Other men, lesser men, will receive credit for the things you have done” This also never happened. Legasov wasn’t even at the trial. And contrary to the show’s portrayal of a scientific community
hungry for the truth and the KGB trying to repress it, in reality Legasov’s fellow scientists ostracized him and knowingly
participated in the coverup. But having a clearly
identifiable hero, villain and timeline of events
helps tell a better story. And better motivates people to learn the lessons the show’s creators want us to learn.
“What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies then we no longer recognise the truth at all. What can we do then? What else is left but to abandon even the hope of truth and content ourselves instead with stories. In these stories, it doesn’t matter who the heroes are. All we want to know is… who is to blame?”
“Good lord, what is happening in there?!”
“Aurora borealis?” “… Aurora borealis? At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country, localised entirely within your kitchen?” “Yes.” “May I see it?” “No.”

100 thoughts on “HBO’s Chernobyl & Personal Responsibility | Philosophy Tube

  1. would be a great place to visit: I was offered a big sponsorship deal for this video but turned it down cause I feel like tonally it wouldn’t have worked; the video has also been demonetised thanks to HBO and Sky, with whom I am currently in a copyright snafu, so please give whatever you can to help me keep the show going!

  2. Hi, I know this has been mentioned a few times, but there are a lot of comments and you might've missed it. The thing with the with the autonomous/unmanned car, I can hear you don't really know how they work, and that's fine it's pretty technical knowledge you couldn't have studied deeply enough for that one statement, but the statement you made is unfortunately really badly wrong. I'll try to explain. (Disclaimer, I'm only a CS student and machine learning isn't my main course of study, but still I think I'm knowledgeable enough about it to call you out on this. And please excuse my english, I'm not a native speaker.)

    (Not directly relevant, you can skip this paragraph, but I think it's good for context/contrast) Even in conventional programming in systems with high safety risks, like for example with the Boeing 737 problems earlier this year, I think it's often impossible to blame one person for the bug. Because there are regulations that require there have been tens of individual people looking over the same part of the code and testing it so all of them let the mistake by and all of them are equaly responsible. So unless somebody ignored these regualtions and/or intentionaly ignored an issue they saw, it's in my opinion truly a collective responsibility.

    But with autonomous/unmanned cars it's a very different problem. Most of the vision, recognition and decision making parts of the system are not programmed by people what to do. They are neural networks trained on milions of samples of the desired/undesired behaviour. Super simplified summary, neural network is just a very complex pure function with thousands or even more parametrs which are set automaticaly to behave as good as it can on given examples, nobody sets these parameters and nobody understands why are they set the way they are.

    Blaming the person who trained the network for making a mistake would be very much the same like blaming parents for theirs children driving accident. Yes, the programmers told the car how to behave, but in a way that it's impossible for them to predict with certainty how will the car behave in all situations.

    This is on it's own a very interesting question and I'd love to see you adress it properly in more than a few sentences, but in this case it was a bad exaple to use as it's completely new and different from everything else you talk about in the video.

    I hope this reaches you. Thank you for all your videos and I'm looking forward to your new ones 🙂

  3. of course you can have a housing market without homelessness. i know in europe its a long forgotten concept, but its actually possible to have a positive birth rate and more people in need of housing than there is supplied. and thats just the first thing that came to mind, these greedy evil capitalists would find a way to make money on buying houses which nobody needs

  4. I actually agree with thatcher that everyone in a society should work hard and pull their own weight BUT everyone’s weight is different some can pull harder than others people who are physically unable to do work can do something with computers for example like programming or game development but some people won’t be able to pull their own weight because they are mentally or physically unable to do it is the collective of society’s job to help them that is where I disagree with thatcher not everyone can pull as hard as others

  5. Interesting how individual responsibility gets propagated in storytelling because it makes for easier, more compelling narratives, but do stories from more collectivist cultures have more collectivist moral lessons?

  6. There are some enterprises with a “no blame” culture, where the idea is to figure out what happened, who made mistakes, learn why the mistakes were made, and help avoid the mistakes in the future, with no personal repercussions other than learning. In practice it goes away from that when crimes are committed, but that’s because of the larger “yes blame” society around.

  7. This episode taught me a lot about ethics and science and whatever but most importantly it’s taught me EXACTLY how I wanna dress from now on

  8. Hmmm…what’s that in the description?

    “When White Women Cry: How White Women’s Tears Oppress Women of Color.”

    Lol, this has to be satire…

    Googles it.

    It’s not.

    Even bigger LOL.

    How this stuff thrives in academia is beyond me. I think these people spend a little too much time in their heads…

  9. Well this was the weirdest episode of Deusctchland83 I've found so far! Ps don't read any Ayn Rand. And do read Serhi Plokhy. And always, always, question your government & hold it to account!

  10. 13:38–13:39 – I see my Lesbian Meme Mom, Teya (@STRANGE ÆONS)!!!!! Please collab with her sometime in the future! XD

  11. I see my lesbian meme mom, Teya (@STRANGE ÆONS) at 13:38–13:39!!! Please collab sometime in the future! She's awesome!!!

  12. An 'intelligent system' that would operate an 'autonomous vehicle' would not be a string of predetermined 'decisions', rather a 'universe' of rules that lead to 'reactions' based on inputs from sensors.

    Basically same as humans.

    It case of a car swerving into a human being to avoid an 'obstacle', it'd be a spur-of-the-moment operation, not a 'premeditation'.

  13. Seriously thank you for that side note about acting. I'm autistic and unable to read faces. I absolutely hate shows that think 100% of acting should be shoulders up. When you can't read faces, movies that rely on nothing but those close shots might as well be watching paint dry. I love it when shows have actors that actually act, expressing with their entire bodies the way real people do.

  14. It's not Skarsgard, it's Skarsgård. "Å" doesn't sound like an "a", it's more of an "o". It's the same "o" as in "short". That's how you pronouce "å"

  15. I don't know, I feel like Jesus's ass was mostly fine. It's probably mostly his hands that hurt, followed by his feet and his arms.

  16. You can still have a housing market without homeless people, just like you can have a food market without starving people (like most western countries more or less succeed in with things like food stamps). People will still want more luxurious housing, or cheaper housing, or housing closer to where they work, or to move out, etc. You'll still have losers, where not everyone gets the housing they want, but everyone could have a room over their head and not die of the elements.

  17. It;s worth saying that the show got alot of stuff wrong about chernobyl, but none of it really invalidates your video's point so i won't get into it.

    On personal responsibility, i work with children, from children through teenage years anad into early adulthood. This is something i've wondered about from time to time, when a child does something, how much is it the fault of the child?

    So we all kind of accept that children aren't 100% responsible for their own actions. A very young child you might say is fully determined by their surroundings, and as they get older they become more responsible for their own actions until an adults is supposedly fully responsible.

    But like, I had a child not long ago who got inot a fight, i broke it up and in reporting it i found out that the child (age 12) had lost both his parents in a car accident at a young age, and was in the foster system. Are we surprised that he now has anger issues? How responsible is he for his actions here? When he grows up and these issues he develops as a child are never addressed, how responsible is he for the actions he takes now based on a childhood determined by a complete accident?

  18. When I'm old, I expect no help from anyone. Maybe that seems pessimistic, but I operate on the basic principle that no one owes me anything, ever, beyond that for I've earned. It could be argued that through paying into the social welfare of society at large, I've earned help in my waning years, but that's not my cup of tea.

  19. Ya know I would honestly watch a video where you do what you did around the 10-minute mark and just rant about how good shows you love are. It's always fun seeing people gush about a topic they enjoy.

  20. Chernobyl the series was a fascinating drama based on real events that took a lot of dramatic license with what actually happened and repeated a lot of lies the Soviets told. Still was entertaining I guess…

  21. Don't admit communism poisoned the whole world.
    Don't admit communism poisoned the whole world.
    Don't admit communism poisoned the whole world.
    Don't admit communism poisoned the whole world.
    Don't admit communism poisoned the whole world.

    Don't admit communism poisoned the whole world.
    Don't let the bad thoughts in.

  22. of course you can have a housing market and no homeless people! what the hell are you talking about? you think if everybody had a house they would just stop buying houses? The housing market would only benefit and expand from more people having houses!
    No one is walking around naked. it's the end of clothing market!!

    and for the talk about whites owing "slavery reparations" just think a little further. throughout history the majority of slavery happened between people of the same race. This black/white slavery thing is a very limited view on the problem.

    …and literally everybody has been "victimized by" AND "benefited from" different previous historical events. By "reparations" logic everyone should be constantly paying up and being payed incalculable amounts of reparation. It's just madness.

  23. >toxic masculinity was to blame
    God fucking damn that is retarded. Maybe a corrupt and dying communist society was to blame.

  24. So, the show tells us that hiding the truth and lying is really bad, while hiding historical facts and making up stories? Is this metallic taste in my mouth irony or just mere radiation poisoning?

  25. You should have millions of followers….but I have no faith in humanity and your lack of support is support of my assertion.

  26. New note to add to the grenfell story: they official investigation blamed the fire rescue service for all the deaths. Because you know…. Fuck them for not being quick enough i guess…..

  27. The last quote, What shall we do? Abandon ourselves to Propaganda: Exactly wha the American System has become, see Noam Chomsky's Noam Chomsky “Necessary Illusions” 1988 Massey LecturesExcerpts from the 1988 CBC Massey Lectures “Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies”

  28. For the first time, i do not agree. Of course corporate control of media and internet influence opinion. But there´s a big, a big difference between the antifragility of a totalitarian regime and a democratic one. For instance, climate change would have ocurred in soviet union without anyone noticing it, cause the scientists proclaiming the risks of CO2 would have dissapeared long before the first effects of the crisis could be detected

  29. Brilliant show!

    I think a better way to get white people to accept or at least understand the reperations argument would be to give the example of royalty and aristocracy, who still benefit from their family's past exploitation of peasants. Why should royalty continue to experience the benefits of land ownership when they stole the land in the first place? When their wealth comes from working peasants like slaves?

    Another example, of what goes wrong when reparations aren't paid, is that of the USSR and Russia. After the collapse of the USSR, many Communist Party bigwigs simply stole the stuff they were entrusted with and enriched themselves vastly. A corrupt elite became even more corrupt and now their immensly priveliged children enjoy global influence and power. Should they not pay the Russian people for the stuff their parents stole?

    People are kind of selfish, and need arguments they can relate to. Hope someone reads this and gives it a go, anyway.

  30. You dont pay or Work out of freewill if you dont you Will be made homeless and where Will you get food when hunting and fising needs you to pay the goverment too

  31. hahah, man, using that track from Danger 5 makes me so happy.

    i have been binging your videos, and while the content is superb and stands on its own absolutely, it's those little nods that take it next level now and then. like the sonicfox joke you made in the other video.

    you're amazing, thank you for being you.

  32. 22:52 "You cannot have a housing market, and no homeless people." That's nonsense. There are people that rent that want to buy. There are people living with their parents that want to move out. There are people that live with roommates that either want to move out or want their roommates to move out. Homeless people do not now and never have created a housing market. Homelessness has nothing to do with the housing market.

  33. A lot of this is reminding me of something I learned in psych last year. People will oftentimes include themselves in a group that did something they’re proud of that they didn’t really have any part in (“we won the war” or “we won the sports fight”), but will divorce themselves from that group when something bad or disappointing happens (“the army was defeated” or “*insert your sports team here* lost the game”). This is very different from the video in a lot of ways, of course—I’m not going to benefit from a sports team winning unless I have a fantasy team, but my wealth and status as a white American have definitely been built on the legacy of slavery, so I have indirectly benefitted from slavery in a way. But a lot of that conditional self-insertion does still apply. I’ve definitely been guilty of saying, “We won the Revolutionary War,” and then, in a similar context, saying something like, “Yeah, white Americans lynching black folks was terrible.” White Americans both won the Revolution and lynched black Americans. But I, and many other white Americans, like to/tend to include ourselves in these groups conditionally. If white America does a good thing, then we’re part of it. If white America does a bad thing, then we, the “woke” whites, are somehow divorced from it. It’s kinda terrible, and I feel bad about doing it and try to catch myself as much as I can now. But it is a psychologically natural reaction. It bolsters our self-image, and can make others perceive us more positively. Even with the sports example—if I’m a fan of a sports team and I say, “We won!” there’s a sense of community my friends and acquaintances will want to experience, on some level. My community of sports people are having a better time, so they see us as better and want to be a part of our sports group. But if I say, “The team lost last night’s game,” it temporarily removes me from that group. My friends will still know I follow that team on a rational level, but they’ll subconsciously see that connection as a weaker one, since I’m not essentially including myself in the team. If a white American praises the colonial rebels’ victory in first person and condemns the white way of life that involved and was basically built on slavery, they’re seen as a noble, positive, and morally upstanding person. This person, ignoring their family’s history, supports freedom and condemns oppression. Meanwhile, though, they might live on an old Virginia plantation their family’s owned for ages, and that was worked by slaves and lived in by southern aristocrats back in the day.

    The larger question, of course, is: Is it their fault? I don’t think I’m at all qualified to answer that, but it’s interesting to see both sides. One one hand, yes they are—they’re living a very good life and are not strictly addressing their family history. They still own the plantation house and the land, and they haven’t done anything to fix the problems past generations have created (if you disagree with this, think about climate change and how baby boomers weren’t responsible for the industrial revolution, but we still expect them to deal with that for us). On the other hand, they’re not responsible. They disagree with their ancestors’ politics and ethics, and openly condemn them. They are not the same person as their ancestors. Why should they be held responsible for something a family of now-dead racists did? They don’t own slaves, their ancestors did. They don’t use slurs, their ancestors did. They didn’t ask to be born into a wealthy Virginia family whose legacy is that of slave owners.

    I think both sides could be argued very competently. I myself still don’t know where I stand on the matter. Does part of that come from subconsciously not wanting to give away money to black families who were disenfranchised by my family’s history? Probably. Does part of it come from a subconscious bias? As much as I hate to acknowledge it, probably. But it’s still very difficult to quantify. How much of my life and my family’s life comes from our being white? How much of it comes from advantage over people of color? But also, how much comes from my ancestors being hardworking Irish immigrants? How much of it comes from my granddaddy’s long, hard hours as a doctor? How much comes from my mom’s dad commuting to NYC everyday to spend his shitty, miserable workdays with New York elites trying to deal with money? How much of it comes from my dad’s hard work and planning as a woodworker? How much comes from my mom’s exhausting job as a school administrator? How much will come from my hard work as a mentally ill kid working his way up in the music and writing industries? I don’t know. And that’s kinda the biggest issue. It’s so hard to quantify what money and status come from what life thing. It’s harder, still, when we divorce ourselves from the bad stuff and insert ourselves in the good stuff to change how we look to ourselves, and everyone else.

  34. I have a family friend who's had three different types of cancer (and might have a fourth), and doesn't have any genetic predisposition towards cancer. But he's German, and was in Berlin during the Chernobyl accident. He says they were sent to play outside because a warm wind was blowing from the east, and no one knew why.

  35. @15:05 – I would be unable to point blame in that case without more information. Who owned the car in question? Were they aware of any malfunctions and failed to take action? Was the manufacturer aware of any defects and failed to take action, even just notification to owners? Where was Elaine? Was she in a crosswalk on a green light or on a sidewalk … or was she jaywalking and therefore put herself in a dangerous position (there's a reason it's illegal in most American cities, just not commonly enforced)? Was she pushed?

    Too many questions requiring answers before one could even begin to narrow where the blame lies, and it could possibly be split between multiple parties, depending on what answers we found.

  36. I think part of the reason I love Ollys videos so much (aside from being leftist scum myself) is that their rewatch value is immense

  37. Really disgusting to think tankies watch this and try to manipulate the meaning of the show to suit their narrative. This is the American History X for USSR apologists.

  38. Thatcher: There is no such thing as society, there are individual men and women and there are families

    Me: Do you even read Marx


  39. Jeeze, Olli it's so cute when you get excited about the skills, time, and talent that go into well made media! I want to watch this show just based on your excited exhortation! (At 8:17)

  40. Kind of ironic how Stephan says that people should not blame the system for their own failings, when the alt-right have been blaming the left, the jews, the sjws, the muslim, the mexican, the blacks, etc. for ruining the country.

  41. Jan buddy anarcho-capitalism is like being on crack post 1999 we realised it doesn't work either be on crack or don't. (Don't go full anarchist)
    I just found out I'm mixed race should I get half reparations or just pay half?

  42. I'd love to hear you revisit ideas of personal and collective responsibility especially with an eye towards politics and economy after reading Capitalism and Disability, selected writings by Marta Russell.

  43. Socialist Children of the Western Societies – you really have no idea what communism is and is reaponsible for! Sincerely, a Romanian born in 1980’s Communist Romania who experienced Ceausescu’s dictatoriship, 90s rather brutal transition to Capitalism and the 2000s which were relatively stable economically thanks to the EU membership. You really don’t understand the communist apparatus and the level of hipocrisy that permeates such societies. When the Eastern Soviet block plus sattelite states were “competing” against the West, there was no innovation, everything was stolen from The Western companies and mass produced BADLY. Not only that, defects and incompentence were hidden from the party, just to paint an ilusion of surplus and technical advancement. All lies that lead among other thinngs not only to the Chernobyl disaster but to the dying out of virtually 99% of all communist societies from North Korea to Venezuela! Add to that the constant surveillance in such societies, lack of freedoms, especially freedom if speech whom you have come to despise in the West for some weird reason I cannot fathom.

  44. 26:00 I don't think the human cost of austerity is imeasurable. No one can calculate the exact cost, but using statistics, we can atleast approximiate the most likely cost of such programs (by comparing similar countries for example. E.g. Gøsta Esping-Andersen's "The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism"(Just an example for a crosscultural analysis of different welfare types and their effects). If you wanted to link the welfare type of a country to its suicide-rate you could again compare them to culturally similar countries and check for a correlation. Using statistics you could check for unrelated variables). That's for example usual business in Sociology. I know this isn't Philosophy in any sense but I strongly disagree with your descriptive claim. (I know a point could be made, that statistics are faulty and stuff. In that case you could start claiming that climate change is a hoax though). (Excuse my english it isn't my first language) k love you bye

  45. Yeah sure socialism is to blame, but wait – Russia is capitalist now and public safety only got worse since when. Look at the 2018 Kemerovo fire, 2 years and no justice and the investigation seems hellbent on prosecuting the firefighting crew and not the corrupt city administration officials.
    To this I usually get a response like "this is the wrong type of capitalism you have there, get the right one and everything will fix itself!"

  46. "I would be a traitor to these poor burned bodies if I came here to talk good fellowship. We have tried you good people of the public and we have found you wanting.

    "The old Inquisition had its rack and its thumbscrews and its instruments of torture with iron teeth. We know what these things are today; the iron teeth are our necessities, the thumbscrews are the high-powered and swift machinery close to which we must work, and the rack is here in the firetrap structures that will destroy us the minute they catch on fire.

    "This is not the first time girls have been burned alive in the city. Every week I must learn of the untimely death of one of my sister workers. Every year thousands of us are maimed. The life of men and women is so cheap and property is so sacred. There are so many of us for one job it matters little if 146 of us are burned to death.

    "We have tried you citizens; we are trying you now, and you have a couple of dollars for the sorrowing mothers, brothers and sisters by way of a charity gift. But every time the workers come out in the only way they know to protest against conditions which are unbearable the strong hand of the law is allowed to press down heavily upon us.

    "Public officials have only words of warning to us–warning that we must be intensely peaceable, and they have the workhouse just back of all their warnings. The strong hand of the law beats us back, when we rise, into the conditions that make life unbearable.

    "I can't talk fellowship to you who are gathered here. Too much blood has been spilled. I know from my experience it is up to the working people to save themselves. The only way they can save themselves is by a strong working-class movement."

    (Rose Schneidermann, 1911, speaking of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire)

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