“The Wire” creator David Simon on modern America as a “horror show”

Journalist and television writer David Simon delivered a speech to the Festival of Dangerous Ideas that was every bit as scorching as his incendiary television series The Wire. “I come from a country that is utterly schizophrenic, he said of the United States. Because of its society, economy and politics, he said, it is “a horror show.”

Simon chose as his “dangerous idea” a subject sure to provoke free-enterprising Americans: Karl Marx. “He was really sharp about what goes wrong when capital wins unequivocally, when it gets everything it asks for,” Simon told the audience at Australia’s Sydney Opera House. “Capitalism stomped the hell out of socialism in the 20th Century … It has achieved its dominance without regard for a social compact.”

But Simon did not advocate Marxism – or any ism. He spoke instead of solutions he called pragmatic, non-ideological, impure, non-partisan and philosophically imperfect. His comments have been getting a lot of attention, in North America and internationally. Hear him out for yourself. Here’s the video of his “dangerous” talk in Australia:

— Deborah Jones