Ethos : Woody Harrelson's Documentary Film

'Ethos' is a brilliant eye opening documentary presented by twice Oscar nominated actor Woody Harrelson which exposes the corrupt political system and the military industrial complex which controls the government in the U.S.

Ethos looks at the systemic issues that work against democracy, the environment, justice and our own personal liberty. However, it is not all bad news. Ethos offers a solution.

A simple but powerful way that you can have your voices heard as they have never been heard before. Watch the film, spread the word, change the world.

Taking Action

FROM PETE MCGRAIN, writer/director of Ethos.

Most of us have got into the habit of voting once every few years and expecting our elected officials to take care of us. In this way we have ‘opted out’ of the process and while we are opted out abuse creeps in. It is clear that just voting once every few years is not working.

In a very real sense you and I are responsible for everything that is wrong with our system and our planet: When we consume our resources recklessly it is you and I that cause the pollution, waste and destruction of our planet; Our consumer demand drives corporations to abuse other nations, stealing their resources to sell them to us, making them ‘dollar’ dependent, sending our waste to their countries for disposal, encouraging child labor, even causing war.

The profits abusive companies make from the money we give them ‘empowers’ them. With the profits from ‘our’ money they have weakened our democracy. They have the power to put ‘their men’ in a position to regulate ‘themselves’.

Our governments, in a very real sense, are now run by multinational businessmen. The business men now own all of the mainstream media so our information is tainted. This has all happened while we were all opted out.
Yes, each and every one of us shares the blame. However, because it is our behavior that has caused this mess, our behavior can fix it.

The most important message of this film is about you and I taking responsibility, learning the facts about what is happening in our world and then acting accordingly. Your consumer choices are the most easily available and powerful way for you to get active. Do not underestimate the power you have right in your hands. No company can continue a practice or a product that you will not buy! This is vitally important information and if you can understand this we are on our way to an incredible new future. But keep in mind, spending less is the primary objective. Having more money does not give you more power if the objective is to spend less.

We have to find alternative sources for news and information that can give us a clearer picture of our world. You will soon find many links on these pages. The terms ‘left and right’ are used to divide us, we have to stop using divisive terms and thinking and find ways to unify around goals that can sustain us.

Listen to all of the information you can before you make a decision. Importantly, examine the things ‘you’ think to see if they can really move us all forward together. And then, take full responsibility for the outcome of your actions.

Our bad consumer choices are killing everything that is good. Our wise consumer choices can re shape our corporatocracy. Buying from socially responsible companies will empower good business.

The minute you change your behavior everything else changes. Our consumer behavior is monitored very closely. As soon as you change the way you consume it will be noticed immediately. And, once you have started taking responsibility, getting more than one side of a story instead of just listening to the mainstream media, it becomes very difficult to fool you. Everything will change.

NOTE: People have written and asked me to provide a list of bad companies here on the website. I can understand how much easier that would make it for some people but, what would happen if this site was taken down? This is all about ‘we the people’ getting involved, finding out the facts and taking responsibility. We are adults and we have to recognize it is up to us individually to get good information. I cannot be the arbiter, I am not wise enough for that position. But, millions of engaged individuals cannot be stopped. It is not difficult to Google green products or alternative news sources and a whole lot easier than our future could be unless we get involved. We will place links here but get active now. Start looking for alternative news sources and tell us about them.

THE REVOLUTION! (or Evolution) So many people write into the website asking what they can do now, today, to make a difference. They want a solution, something they can get active with this instant. I understand the frustration that drives that passion and it is wonderful how many people are waking up to the idea that there really is something wrong.

But, I also sense that they, like me when I was a little younger, want a revolution in the old sense of the term: riots in the streets, heroic deeds that their children would sing songs about in years to come, etc. While it sounds like everyone could work out their frustrations, the problem is, that approach doesn’t work, in fact it has never worked, ever.

Generally what happens is the powers that be send in the troops, round up and shoot the leaders and then slacken the chain a little to pacify the crowd and then everything goes on pretty much the way it was. Look at the history books. Change happens very slowly and painfully via this route.

We need the rich and powerful too, to wake up to the startling catastrophe that is happening to our planet and our societies. We are all in this together and the sooner we all realize that then the easier it will be to make change.

So, do you want a bloody revolution or do you want something that works? Something that brings long lasting sustainable change, something that can bring peace and justice to us all, permanently?

Sustainable change can only happen when ‘each individual’ changes their behavior. In this silent revolution there are no leaders that can be shot or sell out the movement and no system can wage war on the private law abiding behavior of every citizen.

If you decide to purchase from a sustainable manufacturer you cannot be arrested. If you decide to ride a bicycle instead of driving the car to work you are free to do so. If you expand your knowledge by seeking out alternative news sources no one notices. But what does happen is that you become ‘an engaged responsible individual’, and when our society is made up of engaged responsible individuals everything changes.

Engaged responsible individuals do not just believe what they are told ‘by anyone’. They seek out information from every source and base their opinions and decisions on that. They do not follow the crowd like sheep and they take full responsibility for their actions. No ‘system’ can abuse a nation of such people.

Below are some very simple guide lines placed here as examples, but you must think these things through for your self and find your own ways. Though they may seem quite simplistic the cumulative effects of just these simple actions will have a massive and far reaching effect.

If you start acting on them today the world will have changed by tomorrow. If we all start making these changes then we are headed toward an incredible future, but each of us must start individually, that is what it takes.

We will add to and update these pages regularly and we always welcome your questions or suggestions. There are links (coming) to some great resources at the bottom of this page but keep in mind as long as you can read and you have Google you can always find out anything.

STOP BUYING STUFF! You already have enough stuff. The advertising man will try and tempt you to buy more. Stop it, do not listen. The manufacturing involved in making ‘stuff’ causes ‘all’ of the pollution on our planet. If you buy stuff you don’t need then you are the cause of ‘all’ of the pollution.

Only buy things you really need and plan on making the things you buy last a long time. When you do make purchases only buy from companies that do business in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Patagonia, for example do their very best to make their clothes without doing damage to the planet. It is easy to find good companies and when you buy from them you are supporting good practices. Bad companies will have to change to meet the new demand, they will have no choice.

STOP USING CHEMICALS There are so many products that are safe for the environment. Some cleaning jobs will require a little scrubbing. Do it. They have found trace elements of bleach at the top of Mount Everest. Fish from the sea are contaminated with it, everything you flush away comes back to haunt you. You can change our world today just by not flushing poison down the toilet. How simple is that. We are going to place links here to help you find green products but get Googling, it is easy.

THE MEDIA (getting information) Question: Do you have an opinion about a woman's right to choose? Do you have an opinion about gay rights to marry? The chances are that you do have an opinion about these issues, because the media, left and right wing media, have brought these issues to your attention. Now, one more question: Do you have an opinion about multinational arms companies laundering money through Columbia? No? Not many people have an opinion about this issue because the media, left and right wing media, have not brought it up. This is how the media frames the debate.

They tell us what to think about ‘the issues they bring up. If you are honest you will agree that you get most of your information from the media. You use this information to form your opinions. Too often ‘our’ opinions are really ‘someone else’s opinions.’ So, you must find alternative sources for your information. There are some very important things going on in the world and so much of what we think of as left and right wing media isn’t bringing everything you need to know to your attention. One last point. The media is almost all owned by massive international corporations. There is no such thing as a liberal media corporation. That said, you must stop thinking in terms of left and right wing politics. These terms are used to divide us. What we need is original thinking that can unify us as we move forward.

POLITICS ‘Every’ Politician takes money from big companies to get elected. In fact, most politicians are big business. That means they have an inherent ‘conflict of interests’. They will not legislate against a bad company that pollutes, for example, if they have taken their money to get elected.

What ever your politics you cannot wait for the government to fix things for you. We will get politicians that serve the peoples interests when the people take responsibility and then act. Once you start taking responsibility, finding out the facts, and then acting accordingly, once you are a properly engaged member of our society it will much more difficult for any politician to pull the wool over your eyes or make false promises.

Watch what they do-not what they say. The media treats the political debates in much the same way as they do sports highlights. It has become a meaningless game. Politicians have never changed anything, ever. Only the people create change.

FOOD Often this conversation begins with a discussion about Organic foods, but that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of this vitally important subject.

This is the stuff we put into our bodies, it is where we spend most of our money, and it drives the chemical and agricultural industries that have a massive effect not only on our environment, but our economies and our politics.

Colorings and preservatives have long been cause for discussion but so too have become Genetically Modified products. GMO’S are not only a subject of serious environmental concern, we do not know the effects of these products in our environment, but also of great political concern as patent holders force local and third world farmers as a condition of IMF loans, to accept their products and bring massive law suits for patent infringements.

Food is a serious issue. First concern should be for health. The food we have has less and less actual ‘food’, sustenance, vitamins, protein etc, and more and more chemicals used both in the food and it’s manufacture. This is more than alarming in heath and environmental terms. The prices of common foods are kept artificially low because of these practices and Organic foods, naturally seem more expensive by comparison.However, it is important to note, one organic banana, for example, has more actual ‘food’ in it than a Big Mac Meal and costs a fraction of the price.

We have to start paying close attention to what we eat, reading labels and making healthier choices, but this is a very important point: manufactures monitor your purchases meticulously, they spend billions of dollars studying consumer behaviour. When we change our buying habits they will notice that trend in the market instantly and they will follow your demand. If you stop buying products that have chemicals in them they will have no choice but to take them out. This is where we spend most of our money, if we change the way we spend that money the effect will be massive. There are two great food documentaries, FOOD INC and FORKS OVER KNIVES you have to see them. I will provide the link asap.

ENDING THE WARS I am going to give you a quick example. General Electric is an arms manufacturer, they make weapons for war. They make light bulbs too! They have their hands in so many things. They also own NBC news channel. But lets stay with weapons for a minute.

If you are a weapons manufacturer you make billions, BILLIONS, of dollars when ever there is a war. In fact if there is no war you make no money. So, what we have here is a company that is in a position to support a war, Iraq or Afghanistan for example, on it’s news channel, and then make BILLIONS of dollars if the war happens.

Lets not get in to a discussion about the morality of this for a moment, or even question whether any war can be justified, lets just keep our eye on the ball. Should any company who makes weapons be in a position to sway public opinion in a way that benefits their bottom line? There is an obvious conflict of interests here, and a dangerous one and this conflict exists through out most of our industries and media.

If you take a look at history you will find that ALL WARS are fought because one country wants the resources that another country has. Of course the reasons given are always about spreading democracy or defeating a terrible cruel regime, but you will notice that kind of war seldom happens in places that have no valuable assets!

Regardless, it is very important that YOU UNDERSTAND THE PART YOU PLAY IN CAUSING WARS. When you buy stuff, oil for example, you are buying the stuff that was taken from another country so it could be sold to YOU.

YOUR CONSUMER DEMAND DRIVES WAR! AND CAUSES POLLUTION! CAN YOU SEE THE RESPONSIBILITY YOU HAVE. Yes, there are many systemic issues and mechanisms that work against us, and we can if we wish point the finger at arms dealers but unless we all start to recognize the part WE play then nothing will change.

On a brighter note, you probably won’t find any companies that do business in a socially responsible way that are connected to the arms industry. If you decide to buy your light bulbs form a company that is socially responsible, instead of General Electric, for example, you are turning the tide.

Once you find independent sources of information you will know better what to think and how to act. Your active engagement, learning the facts and then acting accordingly will end the wars. Once you understand that the information the news media gives you has to be vetted thoroughly, once you understand that there are conflicts of interest that you have to be aware of then you will be wiser. Once you understand why wars happen you will not, nor will you allow any one you know, to join the armed forces or work for an arms dealer.

If you support the troupes-bring them home.

A NOTE ON BOYCOTTS AND THE ECONOMY To boycott a company is to decide not to buy there stuff because you don’t like their practices. This is not something that should be taken lightly and you should always be fully aware of all of the facts before you engage this tactic.

So many companies deserve it but even bad companies provide much needed jobs. We should concentrate as much as we can on buying from companies who do business in a socially and environmentally responsible way. In this way we will grow those good companies, promoting the positive instead of protesting the negative and creating a transition period while demand creates change.

If there are any products you can’t get from a good company the chances are you don’t really need that product. And for those products you have to buy, like gasoline, you have to drastically reduce your use of them. Again you can get plenty of advice and opinions if you click around. The point is to get engaged and start seriously changing our habits.

The overall object is to consume far less. Yes, this will affect our consumer/capitalist economy. We have to find ways to change our monetary system and this is something we all have to explore together. I think we will look back in years to come and wonder how we ever set up such a brutal system. There are many new paths we can take, however, the path we are currently on defeats the public good in so many ways and is killing our environment. We need to change what we can, now.

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