"Truth and democracy," said one of the rescued Chilean miners when asked how they sorted out the challenges of day-to-day survival.
His reply surprised the broadcast journalist who'd expected a story about a charismatic leader emerging to impose order on the anarchy of the literally unwashed hoi-polloi.
Several recent films address misplaced assumptions of a Western interpretation of democracy as social control.
Even a cutie-pie Pixar dictator like Gru - intent on marshalling his Despicable million minions to help him steal the moon - can be tamed by the power of love from the unlikely affection of three orphaned girls.
Not news to those of us shaped by the message of the Õ60s. But the filmÕs underlying moral imperatives are as tarnished as they are ill-considered. Gru remains a tyrant, pitted against the even-more evil Vector.
So is it OK for leaders to do what Bush called Òbad thingsÓ to achieve good ends? Who decides the definitions?
Such moral dichotomies are the essence of both Made In Dagenham and Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Newly freed financial felon Gekko Redux appears to have softened his ruthless shark tactics in the piranha pool of global capitalism. But StoneÕs a realist who tells it like it is.
Though his story of family betrayal and a loyalty sweetened with millions of dollars turns to mush at the edges, his analysis of multinational moneybags sliding in and out of accountability is spot on.
Pair it with the recent BBC documentary about nubile upper-class "girls in pearls," whose family alliances are as strategic as political and military coalitions. Quite a picture of our collective corruption of democracy.
Nigel Cole's Made In Dagenham reminds us of the working-class roots of that corruption, made possible only with the complicity of misguided career union officials.
As the women seeking equal pay on the Ford line bring the company to its knees by their democratic determination to promote fairness over political expediency, even the arrogant US auto-meisters are foiled.
Ironically it's the story of billionaire Facebook inventor Mark Zuckerberg, brilliantly told by Aaron Sorkin and director David Fincher, which may provide a clue to people power.
The straight worlds of money and political control still haven't understood the inherent democratic potential of the internet which simply cannot be controlled. Nor can it be universally monetised. Oh, that really makes them fume.
Facebook's legacy Twitter is a user-led global network of millions that precludes padded argument. It can circumvent petty party tyrants mooting ersatz debates that exclude what former BP boss Tony Hayward called "the little people."
Do we minions really need such leaders? Why should we work at jobs that reinforce a status quo which makes the unscrupulous rich and beyond reach?
Internet culture is free. It's about ideas that spread without the pressure of advertising. It's not a we-tell-you, it's a what's happening, bro kind of thing.
The miners know what matters - truth and democracy.
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