[Buckminster Fuller interview, 1980]

Buckminster Fuller interviewed by Phil Ranstrom on May 2, 1980. This footage was produced for Southern Illinois University’s Student Programming Council, in conjunction with a lecture Fuller was to give there.

00:00Copy video clip URL Videomaker Phil Ranstrom introduces Fuller, promises to ask him questions about “the local situation and the world in general.”

00:30Copy video clip URL Ranstrom asks Fuller how he would have avoided the contemporary crisis in Iran. Fuller tells a story about Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau sacrificing the life of an ambassador rather than negotiate with terrorists as an example of how the situation ought to be dealt with. He says that evolution is conspiring to end nations and bring about one human family. The U.S. has resisted this due to its “quasi-democratic” nature. Because of this, the U.S. is deteriorating.

04:15Copy video clip URL Ranstrom asks what can be done to hasten the dissolution of nations; Fuller: “Basically nothing.” He outlines a future in which all political decisions are automatically registered by satellites which register changes in individuals’ magnetic field.

06:30Copy video clip URL Fuller answers a question about his ideal educational system, in which high-achieving students would be released, and more attention would be given to the process of learning through mistakes. He decries the influence of money in politics, though he blames this partially on increased geographic mobility.

11:45Copy video clip URL Ranstrom asks if non-communist world unity is possible. Fuller explains the cycle of five-year plans and rapid industrialization from above. He contends that the economy of the Cold War is a product of business entanglement with the U.S. government, and that it is diverting otherwise potentially productive resources in the U.S.S.R. to weaponry. He discusses the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and predicts that their productivity will turn from warfare to improvements in standards of living.

20:30Copy video clip URL Ranstrom asks how education might be improved. Fuller deplores the state of education – as evidenced by the fact that people still refer to “the sun going down” and “the wind blowing from the northeast” – and suggests that kids would be better served by being allowed to make their own mistakes and by being able to access information “via television call-up.”

22:25Copy video clip URL Ranstrom thanks Fuller and closes the program.



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