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by Alison Willmore
December 9, 2013 11:28 AM
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Watch: 'The Wire' Creator David Simon Talks About the Costs of Unchecked Capitalism and There Being 'Two Americas'

"The Wire" and "Treme" creator David Simon has never been reluctant to express his views about politics, policies and capitalism, either in his (urgent, deeply socially relevant) work or in his personal writing. Speaking at Australia's Festival of Dangerous Ideas last month, journalist turned TV producer Simon participated in a panel called "It's Time to Get Soft on Crime" and gave a talk entitled "Some People Are More Dangerous Than Others." The latter speech has recently made its way online, courtesy of the Guardian, who posted an edited transcript this weekend. In it, Simon addresses the issue of unchecked capitalism and the creation of two Americas -- an excerpt:

I'm astonished that at this late date I'm standing here and saying we might want to go back for this guy Marx that we were laughing at, if not for his prescriptions, then at least for his depiction of what is possible if you don't mitigate the authority of capitalism, if you don't embrace some other values for human endeavour.

And that's what "The Wire" was about basically, it was about people who were worth less and who were no longer necessary, as maybe 10 or 15% of my country is no longer necessary to the operation of the economy. It was about them trying to solve, for lack of a better term, an existential crisis. In their irrelevance, their economic irrelevance, they were nonetheless still on the ground occupying this place called Baltimore and they were going to have to endure somehow.

You can read the transcript or a look at the full speech below, along with an interview with Simon in which he explains that if he could outsource anything, it would be the process of going to Los Angeles and participating in pitch meetings.



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3 Comments

  • William Heckman | December 10, 2013 8:01 AMReply

    Its funny, hes against smaller government yet bigger government always gets owns by industrialists. Furthermore, hes anti-libertarian, yet most libertarians agree that the Drug was is a total sham. The Drug war, which is why his show the wire came about in the first place... fascinating.

  • Pablo | December 9, 2013 12:23 PMReply

    What does Mr. Simon do with the pay checks he has received from making his shows? Capitalism is okay for himself but not for others?

  • Derik | December 9, 2013 3:59 PM

    Pablo- Simon argues neither against individuals being compensated monetarily for their labor, nor against capitalism as an effective "machine" for producing wealth. The crux of his presentation rests on the lament that unchecked greed has created vast divisions between the rich and poor. Why bother to comment if you didn't bother to pay attention?