Tale of Two Systems Video by Harvey Richards

1978, 20 min., color

Capitalism Destroys the Earth

A Tale of Two Systems is Harvey Richards second film on mining in the US and abroad. first film on mining, Perch of the Devil, centered on the miner’s strike of 1960 in Butte, Montana.  In the years that followed, underground mining (and its unions) were displaced by open pit mining, as technology created new ways to extract metal ores from the earth.  

Tale of Two Systems and World Natural Resources

Seattle Sign in Tale of Two Systems

Harvey Richards photographed the immense open pits such as the Berkeley Pit which sank into the earth and devoured much of the city of Butte, Montana in the late 60’s and early 1970’s. Today, the Berkeley Pit is an immense toxic lake that threatens to pollute Butte’s drinking water and the very survival of the city itself. See Butte Reaches Superfund Milestone for superfund installation of a treatment plant for this toxic water.

In A Tale of Two Systems: Capitalism, Socialism and World Resources, Richards analyzes the issues involved in the acquisition and usage of raw materials in our market oriented society and contrasts it with the socialist approach of the USSR. The film features footage of large scale strip mining and open pit mining operations taken during a national and world tour of mining areas in the US and Africa.

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