Where to Invade Next (2015) Script

On January 2nd, I was quietly summoned to the Pentagon to meet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Each branch was represented-- the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, and the Marines.

"Michael," they said to me, "We don't know what the fuck we're doing."

♪ Dressed up to win, we're dressed up to win... ♪ They hadn't won a war outright since the big one, WWII.

♪ We are just beginning and we won't stop winning... ♪ They went over each of the wars that they had lost.

One... after... the other.

They regretted having wasted trillions of dollars and helping to create new groups like ISIS.

They admitted that what they got from these wars was just... more war.

They couldn't even get us the oil they promised us from Iraq.

They felt embarrassed, humiliated.

Their hands were all placed in a no-fly zone.

They asked me for my advice.

I thought for a moment and then said the following.

"You must stand down."

I told them that our troops needed a much-deserved break.

Finally a break. Finally some downtime.

For the foreseeable future, there are to be no invasions, no sending in military advisors... no more using drones as wedding crashers.

Instead of sending in the Marines, my suggestion?

Send in me.

I will invade countries populated by Caucasians with names I can mostly pronounce, take the things we need from them, and bring it all back home to the United States of America.

For we have problems no army could solve.

I believe our government has a responsibility to go to the aid of its citizens.

The life of a Vietnam vet comes to a tragic end.

The man was found frozen to death in his own home...

After Consumers Energy turned his natural gas off.

I've made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country wherever they are.

You will find no safe haven.

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we.

They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people and neither do we.

This country will hunt down terrorists and bring them to justice.

On your face! No! Let me go!

The rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations.

Let her go! Let her go!

One of the things this country stands for is...

Put your hand behind your back.

...freedom. I can't breathe. I can't breathe.

I can't breathe.

We're disrupting their command and control and supply lines.

We're destroying their facilities and infrastructure that fund their operations.

We cannot save all the world's children, but we can save many of them.

Some school districts are asking parents to buy toilet paper for the upcoming school year.

Our troops will have the best possible support in the entire world.

Banks illegally foreclosed on nearly 5,000 service members while they were fighting abroad.

We destroyed a threat and locked a tyrant in the prison of his own country.

I've been in prison almost 42 years for something I didn't do.

I spent my 20s, my 30s, my 40s and nearly all of my 50s in prison.

Should the day come when we Americans remain silent in the face of armed aggression...

A doctor in the middle of the abortion debate was gunned down in the church lobby while serving as an usher.

...then the cause of freedom will have been lost.

We will not hesitate to use our military might to defend our allies and our way of life.

Hands up, don't shoot.

I hitched a ride aboard the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and made my way to my first target-- the country of Italy.

It was time...

to invade.

Have you ever noticed that Italians always look like they just had sex?

Meet Gianni and Cristina Fancelli, two working-class Italians.

Gianni is a cop and Cristina orders clothes for department stores.

It was my first encounter with the enemy.

They led me to their compound where they wouldn't shut up about where they had gone on vacation.

We usually plan one week during the winter... and then the first week of June...

Right. ...because it's our anniversary.

Okay.

Then three weeks in August.

Okay.

'Cause in Italy, during the month of August is usually, like, a shutdown.

And are you paid for these weeks?

Yeah, sure, because every year we usually have, like, 30, 35 days of, you know, holiday.

Paid holiday, yeah. We don't pay.

So, wait, that's five days a week-- that's seven weeks.

Plus, we have the national holidays.

How many are there of those?

Dodici. 12? 12 days.

So that's another week or two.

Ah, each city has a saint patron.

Patron saint, yeah.

It's a city holiday. You're paid for this date?

Yes. Yes.

And when you get married, you have 15 days more.

Yeah.

15-- wait a minute. 15.

When you get married, you have 15 days' paid holiday?

To go on honeymoon. To pay for your honeymoon?

Yes. They pay for your honeymoon?

Yes.

Eight weeks' paid vacation.

In December, we have an additional salary in Italy.

Most-- I think everybody. What's additional mean?

We call it 13th because 12 months.

So we have the 13th salary in December.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Yes.

You get this 13th month, this imaginary month that you didn't work...

Yes. ...and then you get--

Another salary during the month of December.

Like, what, 10% more? 20?

No, no, a full salary.

So you get two months' pay for one month of work?

Yes.

Why?

Your regular pay is to pay the monthly bills.

What money do you have left over to go on vacation?

That's the way the Italians see it.

What good's a vacation if you can't afford to go on it?

If you don't use all those days, the following year, you still have the vacation of the previous year.

Wait a minute. So you don't lose that.

No, no, that's not true. It's true.

No, that's not true.

Tell him, tell him how many days you have.

80 days. You have 80 days in the bank?

In the holiday bank.

He would like to do more, of course.

Of course.

But how do companies make any money if they pay all this to their employees?

I approached the owner of a multimillion-dollar clothing manufacturer, the Lardini Company, who makes men's fashions for brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, and Versace.

Do you mind paying your employees for all this time off?


And stress causes a lot of sickness.

So, do you get sick very often?

No.

Italians have one of the highest life expectancies in the world.

They live four years longer than the average American.

Yes, it's lunchtime at Lardini.

But they're not getting in their cars to drive to the vending machine or the takeout window.

They're going home, like they do every day, for a nice, relaxing two-hour lunch.

Do you come home every day for lunch?

I continued my invasion of Italy by going to the Ducati motorcycle company.

Agreeing to meet with me for a possible surrender was the C.E.O. of Ducati, Claudio Domenicali.

There is the very end of the assembly line.

You call this an assembly line?

The line is hardly moving.

It's moving very, very slow. Very slow.

The C.E.O. explained to me that his workers have numerous weeks of paid vacation, including other benefits, as well as a strong union.

He saw no problem with any of this.

We really feel that we are being rewarded by this, because the people are very committed.

There is no clash between the profit of the company and the well-being of the people.

"There is no clash between the profit of the company and the well-being of the people."

Yes.

He explained that by paying a good wage with good benefits, the company still made a healthy profit.

Here we go again. You know what that means.

It's lunchtime, I-talian style.

Grown men eating vegetables and smiling?

What kind of factory was this?

All the fine benefits these workers have-- vacation, a wonderful lunch-- how did this come about?

Is it still a struggle?

It's the system that's part of the welfare, no?

Yeah, the social welfare. Yeah, of course--

Welfare's a bad word in the United States...

Okay. ...with certain conservative people.

They don't like that word, welfare.

Here, it's not bad. It's not a bad word.

For whatever reason. It's a good word.

Yeah, it's a good word. Of course, you pay more--

You take care of the welfare of the people.

You take more-- you pay more taxes for that.

Uh-huh. You mind that?

Because when you pay something and you get something back...

Yeah? That's okay, you know?

I asked the Lardini family if they felt the same.

You, the boss, C.E.O., if you did it the American way, you could make more money and have more for yourselves.


And you agree with your sisters?

Yes.

He says that many Italians-- that the dream of Italian people is to come to America.

To United States.

Maybe they don't know how it works there.

Yeah, you know what the law says in America?

If you come to America, for paid vacation, you know how many paid weeks you get by law?

No. Zero.

Zero? Yes, zero.

Zero.

I'm serious.

So, would you think twice now about living in America, knowing that you get zero paid weeks' vacation?

Zero. It's zero. Zero.

Their law does not mandate a paid vacation for anybody.

So, if you decide to go on holiday, you're not paid for that days?

So, it's-- That is correct.

Now, if you have a good union, you may have a contract that says you get two weeks' paid vacation.

In a year? In a year. That would be good.

Two weeks would be a good-- So, two weeks is a good--

A good job. Wow.

Three would be awesome. Ah.

If you have that kind of job.

I don't know anybody with four weeks' paid vacation, frankly.

I don't know.

Zero paid weeks guaranteed. Zero.

I see what's going on here.

First comes eight weeks of vacation sex and then comes...

You have five months of maternity leave.

Five months? Are you paid for this?

Yes, sure. What do you mean, "Yes, sure"?

You act as if I--

It's something that for us is very natural.

What about the dad?

I think one or the other can--

Esatto.

It's like a substitution, you know?

But the mother must take five months?

For sure.

It's true, the whole world does have paid maternity leave, except for the two countries too poor to afford it--

Papua New Guinea and this place.

Even with the long vacations and extended lunch breaks, the U.S. and Italy are amongst the top 15 most productive countries in the world.

We work many more hours than Italians, but we are not that much more productive than you.

I believe that's true.

I believe that you are having more sex here and because of that you are happier and you do better at work.

♪ Volare... ♪

♪ Oh, oh... ♪ I've come to Italy and I've invaded Italy-- one man, one-man army-- to take the best ideas I can find here, bring them back to America, and convince my fellow Americans to do some of the things that the Italians do.

And one of the things I'm going to take from you is this concept of giving workers eight weeks' paid vacation.

Two or three years from now, they're gonna be known as American ideas from that point on, even though you were doing it here first.

Yeah. You don't mind?

No mind. No worries.

I shake your hand for that.

Thank you, sir.

And thank you for being the first C.E.O. to meet with me on a factory floor.

Big pleasure. Yeah, I got my American flag here.

And I'm gonna plant my flag here at Ducati.

Good. We've got something.

We've got something good for the United States here.

I'm gonna just plant the American flag right here in your living room.

Oh. Is that okay?

Cheers. Cheers.

Salute. Salute.

Sure, Italy has its problems, like all countries, but my mission is to pick the flowers, not the weeds.

We have just one life. Right, yeah.

That's the only one we have. We're not coming back.

And we have to enjoy it.

♪ Your love has given me wings... ♪

I am French. Ooh.

You say you're French?

Oui.

"We"? No, we are not French.

We're American 'cause you're in America.

Okay? Greatest country on the planet.

Well, what have you given the world apart from George Bush, Cheerios, and the ThighMaster?

Chinese food. Chinese food.

That's from China.

Pizza. Italy.

Chimichanga. Mexico.

Really, smarty-pants? What did Frenchland give us?

We invented democracy, existentialism, and the blowjob.

Those are three pretty good things.

Yes, there was all that, but there was something else we could steal from France.

As usual, the French offered little resistance.

So, I entered a small village in rural Normandy and went to one of the finest kitchens in the country to see how they prepare a gourmet meal.

By my standards, it was a three, maybe a four-star kitchen.

It was definitely the best place to eat in town.

It was the school cafeteria.


I only had one year of French in school.

Would you like to hear my first lesson in French?

Yes. Ahem.

The French love their cheese and they eat a lot of it.

Chef Montignac had dozens of types of cheese right here in the school refrigerator.

I showed the kids what I used to do at their age when the lunch lady served us what she called Thursday Surprise.

The American way. Didn't take long to get this going.

Once a month, the school chef gets together with city and school officials and a dietician to go over the daily menu.

Why is the mayor's office concerned with what is being served in the school cafeteria?

See, here in France, lunchtime isn't just 20 minutes where you have to stuff your face as fast as you can.

They consider lunch a class.

A full hour where you learn how to eat in a civilized manner, enjoy healthy food, and serve each other.

And, yes, drink water.

Lots of water.

Mm, water.

They don't stand in a long line waiting for a bunch of slop on their plastic or Styrofoam tray.

Wow, actual real china.

Yeah.

The chefs bring the food to them.

Scallops with a curry sauce.

Wow, and-- and with carrots?

Oh, okay.

And this was just the appetizer.

C'est bon.

French fries.

Oh, oui.

Two times a year you'll have French fries.

But French is in the wording.

I couldn't find a single vending machine in the school, so I smuggled in some contraband.

Do you drink Coca-Cola? No.

You don't-- no? No Coca-Cola? No?

Coca-Cola? You don't drink-- you don't drink Coca-Cola?

No? Nobody drinks Coca-Cola?

No.

Here, try this. Try this.

No. No.

Want to try Coca-Cola?

It tastes good. It's what?

Pretty good.

It's okay?

All right, tell me how you feel in 15 minutes.

How about a sloppy joe?

Jamais. Never.

Never? Not at all.

On this day, the children were being served lamb skewers and chicken over couscous.

A four-course meal that included a cheese course and dessert.

Here's something I had never seen before.

When does a kid share his ice cream?

Come on, you've had a Whopper.

You've snuck somewhere sometime in your life and had a Whopper.

Well, you haven't lived till you've had a Whopper.

What's for lunch?

The daughter of one of our crew members is a high school student near Boston.

When she heard we were filming a school lunch, she started sending her mother pictures of what her school lunch looked like.

This is what American children eat for lunch.

Okay, yes, that looks familiar.

Does that look good to you?

No. No.

We don't know what's inside this.

No, no, no, no.

Yeah. I know, it's like I'm showing you photographs on an episode of "C.S.I." here.

Uh...

You know it's bad when the French pity you.

What's even more remarkable is that Chef Montignac spends less per lunch than we do in our schools in the United States.

And this public school is not in a wealthy area.

In fact, I got ahold of a copy of the menu from one of the poorest schools in one of the poorest towns in France, and this is what they're eating this month.

A filet of cod in a dill sauce.

Fennel and beef stew.

Moussaka.

And a choice between a caramel or vanilla flan.

Not to mention there's at least one cheese option every single day.

It seemed almost unbelievable that this country, which provides free health care for its people, nearly free day care, also makes sure that the school lunches are fit for a king.

I had to ask myself, how do the French afford all of this?

Europe, for the past four decades, has been raising taxes.

Very high income taxes.

Some higher taxes. They're sick of the high taxes.

Gérard Depardieu said, "No more!

I'm outta here."

Here's how much the average working American pays in income and social security taxes.

And those taxes get us the basic services-- police, fire, roads, water, war, and bank bailouts.

And here's what the average French worker pays in taxes.

A little more than we do.

And for paying just a little bit more, they, too, get the basic services, but they also get all this extra stuff.

We can get some of that stuff, too, but we have to pay extra.

And when we pay extra, we don't call it a tax.

We call it tuition and day care fees and the nursing home bill and copays and deductibles and on and on and on.

We don't call them taxes, but they are, and we pay a whole lot more than the French.

One more thing-- every French paycheck has a detailed list of where their taxes are going, line by line.

This is what our paycheck looks like.

Other than Social Security and Medicare, it doesn't say a damn thing.

Maybe if we saw where our income taxes were going, we wouldn't let Congress spend nearly 60% of it on this.

But the French aren't fighters, they're lovers.

♪ Sweetheart, Pepé Le Pew loves you... ♪ And if there's one thing the French know how to do right, it's passion and desire.

But where do you learn something like that?


Magical moment?

I thought the whole point of sex ed when I was in school was to scare us from ever having any.

Now, you took a risk by doing something that society condemns.

Perhaps you didn't realize some of the penalties involved syphilis.

Syphilis?

Oui?

Yeah, but what about abstinence?

Too risky? What does she mean by that?

A small high school in West Texas that does not offer sex education is dealing with an STD outbreak.

A significant rise in STDs among Utah teens.

Parents can always preach abstinence, but teens, we know, don't always listen.

A chlamydia outbreak. Chlamydia.

Chlamydia.

Why does Texas continue with abstinence education programs when they don't seem to be working?

In fact, I think we have the third highest teen pregnancy rate in the country, among all the states.

Abstinence works.

But we are the third highest teen pregnancy-- we have the third highest teen pregnancy rate among all states in the country.

The questioner's point is it doesn't seem to be working.

I'm gonna tell you from my own personal life, abstinence works.

The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is more than twice France's rate, more than six times Germany's, and more than seven times than the Swiss.

Yes, education.

I grabbed a copy of their high school textbook, "Lovemaking is Fun, Volume 1," packed up a few of their school lunches...

and hopped aboard what they call a train to a country that really was number one in education.

Finland is ranked at or near the top of having the best-educated students in the world.

Which left everyone wondering, "Really? Finland?"

These are the people who gave us the air guitar championship...

Hello? Hello?

...and the sports of cell phone throwing and wife carrying.

These are the geniuses that cracked the code to good education?

I mean, how is it that the kids in Finland are ahead of the rest of the world?

So, here's what happened.

Back in the day, Finland's schools sucked on the level that ours suck on.

When they tested the world's kids, both Finland and us were usually about the same, you know, somewhere down the list of nations.

But Finland didn't like that, so they tried some new ideas and, in no time, Finland shot to the top of the world.

Their students were number one.

How did they do that?

That was the one question I wanted an answer to.

And I went straight to see the enemy's minister of education.

Before I could say anything, she blurted out their top secret.

They do not have homework.

Wait, so you reduced the homework you give them at school?

Yes, yes.

They should have more time to be kids, to be youngsters, to enjoy the life.

How many hours of homework did you get last night?

About 10 minutes or something.

10 minutes of homework? Yeah.

Maybe 15 minutes or 20 minutes. 20 minutes.

20 minutes? Not much. Yeah.

Well, if I would've done the homework, I think it would've been like 10 minutes, tops.

Usually I don't really do homework that much.

The whole term "homework" is kind of obsolete, I think.

In that way-- Moore: Homework is obsolete?

Yeah, yeah. In that way that these kids, they have a lot of other things to do after school.

Like what? Like being together, like being with family, like doing sports, like playing music, like reading.

So they have no homework.

What if all they want to do is climb a tree?

They could climb a tree, yeah.

They can climb a tree. Then they learned how to climb a tree.

But they'll end up, while climbing the tree, probably finding out about different insects, and they can come to school next day, tell me about what they found.

Compared to the older kids, how many hours a day do the younger ones go to school?

Mondays, three hours, Tuesdays, four hours.

It varies. It's 20 hours a week.

So they're-- oh, man.

Now, does this three or four hours of school include the lunch hour?

Yes.

How are they learning anything?

How are you getting anything done?

Your brain has to-- it has to relax every now and then.

If you just constantly work, work, work, then you stop learning.

And there's no use of doing that for a longer period of time.

Finland's students have the shortest school days and the shortest school years in the entire Western world.

They do better by going to school less.

Yay!

How many languages do you speak?

English, yeah, Swedish, Spanish.

Finnish and Swedish.

Finnish, English, and German.

French, German. Finnish and English.

English. Swedish and French and Spanish.

So, you were an exchange student in the U.S.?

Yeah. When you got back here in school, what did you notice that you felt relieved about?

No more multiple choice exams. They--

No multiple choice exams here? Or very few of them, if any.

Really? 'Cause all of my exams in the U.S.--

How do you answer the question right if it isn't listed as one of the four choices?

You write your answer. You have to know it.

You have to know it, actually. Yeah.

You actually have to know it? Yeah.

If there was one thing I heard over and over again from the Finns, it was that America should stop teaching to a standardized test.

Get rid of those standardized tests. National testing.

The standardized tests. The "standardizized testings."

If what you are teaching your students is to do well on those tests, then you're not really teaching them anything.

No, we are teaching them.

We're teaching them how to flunk a test and then a bunch of schools fail the test and those schools are turned into charter schools and then somebody makes a lot of money.

But school is about finding your happiness, finding what-- you know, finding a way to learn what makes you happy.

They figured out about one-third of the school time-- the students are in school-- is spent preparing for the standardized test.

And so they've eliminated a lot of things that aren't on the test.

So, music is gone, art is gone, poetry is gone.

Art is gone? Yeah, in many schools.

Civics isn't even on the test, so now schools are dropping civics.

Really? Yes.

Civics, American civics. Okay.

Unbelievable.

We got rid of poetry. Really?

Yeah. Why?

It's a waste of time.

When are they ever gonna speak as poets when they're adults?

How does that help them get a job?

We try to teach them everything that they need so that they could actually use their brain as well as they can, including PE, including arts, including music-- anything that can actually make brain work better.

The children need to be baking, they should be singing, they should be doing art and going on nature walks and doing all these things because there's this very short time that they're allowed to be children.

If you don't have standardized tests here in Finland, how do you know which schools are the best?

You know, people need a list.

The neighborhood school is the best school.

It is not different than the school which can be, for example, situated in the town center, because all the schools in Finland, they are all equal.

When we move to a new city, we never ask where the best school is.

It's never a question.

So nobody has to shop for schools.

There's nothing different in any of our schools.

They are the same.

It is illegal in Finland to set up a school and charge tuition.

That's why, for the most part, private schools don't exist.

And what that means is that the rich parents have to make sure that the public schools are great.

And by making the rich kids go to school with everyone else, they grow up with those other kids as friends.

And when they become wealthy adults, they have to think twice before they screw them over.

In the United States, education is a business.

They're corporations making money.

Here, it's so student-centered that when we had to redo our playground, they had the architects come in and talk to the kids.

Were they listened to? Yes, yes.

There are things on our playground that the students really wanted.

Being in school here is more independent.

We are treated more like adults than in the United States.

Yeah. I mean, we don't need a hall pass to go to the bathroom during class.

Yeah. Yeah.

And we'll see students commuting on the subway, even as young as seven and eight, going on their own to school.

When I started doing teacher training practice back in the U.S., I was in these certain neighborhoods teaching these kids and telling them, "You can be anything you want to be when you grow up."

This is kind of a lie.

And when I came to Finland, a lot of my teaching is based on what the kids want and what they see for their future, so it doesn't feel so false to say, "You can really be whatever you want to be when you grow up," because they're making it happen already.

They already have such power.

That's upsetting to think about that.

That our kids don't have that.

That's really beautiful.

It's not that we have figured out something that nobody else has done in education.

That's wrong.

Many of these things that have made Finland perform well in education are initially American ideas.

We try to teach them to think for themselves and to be critical to what they're learning.

We try to teach them to be happy person, to be-- respect others and respect yourself.

You're concerned with their happiness.

Oh, yeah. What the hell do you teach?

I teach math.

So the math teacher says-- the first thing out of your mouth of what you wanted these students to get out of school was to be happy, have a happy life.

Yep.

And you're the math teacher? Yep.

When do they have their time to play and socialize with their friends and grow as human beings?

'Cause there's so much more life around than just school.

You want them to play?

I want children to play.

And that was the principal.

I'm planting the American flag right here in the middle of your school and claiming this great idea for us.

Thanks for stealing it.

Yeah, that's how we roll.

All right. I'm just saying.

So after getting a great K-12 education, where do you go next?

Deep in the heart of the eastern slopes of the Alps is the home of Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty--

Slovenia.

Not Slovakia, Slovenia.

Actually, much of Slovenia's mail gets missent to Slovakia, but that's not why I'm here.

Slovenia is a magical fairyland home to the rarest of mythical creatures-- a college student with no debt.

How much debt do you have here, being a student?

None.

None. It's free.

Slovenia is one of dozens of countries where it is essentially free to go to university.

Do you have any debts?

No.

Do you know what I mean by debt?

Not really. No?

Debt is, um, when you owe other people a whole lot of money.

Ah. We don't have it. No, we don't have any. No.

No. No.

Nothing? Nothing.

I did find one student with debt.

I actually moved here four years ago to finish my education

'cause I couldn't afford to go to CU Boulder anymore.

Really? University of Colorado, yeah.

Yeah. I still owe the government $7,000.

So, what do you pay here now? I don't pay anything.

Nothing? No.

You're an American? Why'd you decide to come here?

I couldn't even afford to finish community college.

So, then I found out the situation in Slovenia.

I had never heard anything like that before, school being so cheap. Did you even know where Slovenia was?

No, I had no idea where Slovenia was.

Yeah, but, seriously, what kind of education are you getting here?

It's miles better. Really?

Yeah, it's not even comparable.

It's like high school here is more difficult than American undergraduate work.

How do you say in Slovenian, "Any American student can come here and go to university for free?"

Wait a minute. Slow, slow.

Do you use the regular alphabet here?

A-B-C-D-E-F-G?

Yes, we do.

We have 26, right? One less, yeah.

Which one did you cut out?

Did you cut out "W" while Bush was president or was that before?

I'm just curious.

No, it's not-- it's from the beginning.

It's from the beginning. It has nothing to do with Bush.

No, nothing. Okay, all right.

Luckily, the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia offers nearly 100 courses of study that are taught in English.

Why do they do that? You're a foreigner.

I mean, it's-- their tax dollars are paying for you.

Well, I think-- the thing is that here, education is really seen as something that's really a public good, and the issue is once you start charging foreign students for education, you automatically open up the idea that you can charge everyone.

And as soon as anyone starts paying tuition, the entire idea of "free university for everyone" is under threat.

That changes the nature of school being a public good.

A while back, the government of Slovenia decided it was time to start charging students tuition.

That sent a shock wave through the country and the students responded.

We organized a protest against that law.

We spent nine months meeting with the minister for education, with the heads of the universities.

We managed to delay the law long enough for the government to eventually collapse.

Wait a minute. An organization that's got 40 to 50 active members...

Yes. ...and you helped to bring down the government... That's right.

...and force a new election? That's right.

That's amazing. That's an amazing story.

Here's what students do when the government tries to fleece them in countries like Canada...

...Germany, France, Finland, and Norway.

And here's what happens each time there's a tuition hike in the U.S.

I would like to give you a small present to memorize...

Oh, thank you. ...your visit to the university.

Here, there's a very strong tradition of lace-making.

Of lace-making? Lace-making.

But this is a metal lace.

No man has ever given me a gift of lace before, so thank you for this.

The idea of making college free and not sending 22-year-olds into a debtors' prison...

was something I could definitely take back to the United States.

I asked for a meeting with the president of Slovenia.

And, strangely enough, they gave me one.

How are you today? Welcome. Thank you.

How are you? It's such a pleasure.

No, it's an honor to meet you. Thank you for seeing me.

The president was happy to meet with me, but he ordered my crew out of the room because he did not want any witnesses to his surrender.


Thank you so much.

See how easy that was?

Success.

No casualties, no P.T.S.D., no Dick Cheney.

Just me walking away with something better than oil.

I've just met with the President of Slovakia...

...and he has surrendered to the United States.

I have invaded your country, essentially, to take this incredible idea that all college should be free for everyone.

Thank you.

Germany.

With no student loans to pay off, imagine then going into the real world and getting a job where you only work 36 hours a week, but got paid for 40, a place where you can still find a thriving middle class, even amongst people who make pencils.

We are producing pencils.

Pencils? It's still a good business.

We start in 17-- still, yes. Still?

Even with computers and everything?

They're still buying pencils.

And, by the way, last year was the best year in producing pencils in Germany ever.

Where are the pencil factories?

The pencil factory is this here, around us.

Right behind us? Yeah, yeah, those factories.

No, no, no, no. These aren't factories.

They have windows. What do you mean, windows?

Factories don't have windows.

Doch. Of course we have windows.

They must have good light.

What do they need sunlight for?

They're just making pencils.

Yeah, but good pencils and also to feel better, not to get sick.

Because if you have workers who are ill, then you have problems.

We don't want that.

I opened a door...

Hello.

...and found something that was missing in America.

The middle class.

What's everybody doing in here?

You're on a break?

You only work 36 hours a week as it is!

How many of you have a second or third job?

Nobody.

You're laughing like that's a funny idea.

You leave here at 2:00 PM. You're home at 2:30.

What do you do with all this free time?

And do what?

Nothing. Nothing?

In Germany, work is work.

And when work is over, work is done.

In fact, they're so concerned that the workplace has created so much stress that under the German universal health care system, any stressed-out German can get their doctor to write a prescription for a free three-week stay at a spa.


You don't have to cook, you don't have to wash.

I need time for me. I need more time for my children.

We have massage, gymnastics, then we go to the pool and we eat healthy.

It's very yummy.

I don't understand why the government does this.

Because it's cheaper. In the long run, it's cheaper.

Definitely. To prevent worse sickness.

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

So, it makes sense to pay before.

And what about the kids also?

Yeah, well, some kids get massage and--

The kids get massage? Yeah, yep.

Yeah.

We really like it. We are in paradise here.

If everybody takes a little bit care of the neighbor, life is more easy for everyone.

It's just common sense.

One of the reasons that German workers have all this free time and other benefits is because they have power.

Real power.

It's a law that companies have to have a supervisory board which consists 50% representatives from the workers' side.

That's right.

Not a token worker on the board.

Half of these boards are workers.

And one of the good things about having workers with power on the board is that when the company breaks the law...

End of the road.

Volkswagen, the world's largest automaker, was busted for cheating its way around the law.

...the workers make sure the company is prosecuted.

That's why companies listen to the workers.

We ask our employees, "What can we do better?"

Why? You're in charge. You're management.

Just tell them what to do.

They observe what we are doing and they make proposals, what we can do better.

Do you ever adopt any of the workers' proposals?

Yes, of course. We do it regularly.

Of course. Why? Just to keep them happy, or...?

No, no, they have good ideas.

They have good ideas? They have good ideas.

They know-- You don't really mean that.

Of course. It's true.

You're just saying that 'cause the camera's on.

No, no, no. They are so important and so intelligent.

Believe me, it's-- it's the key to success.

We know that the more you give people a say, the more they help the company to win.

The latest area that German workers have advocated for is how they're to be treated during their free time when they're not at work.

It is against the law in Germany to contact an employee while he or she is on vacation.

And now many companies in Germany have adopted the rule that the company cannot send an e-mail to employees after work.

At Mercedes, the company's computers will block any boss who tries to bother an employee at home.

Employees have the right not to answer e-mails, and bosses are not supposed to intervene on the weekends or in the vacation or after normal working hours a day into the private spheres of employees.

Ah!

No, the Germans don't want to interfere with your private sphere.

But things weren't always like this in Germany.

Here in Nuremberg, they didn't just make pencils.

They made documentaries.


My duty is to make a future without such things.

To make everything that this is never possible again.

Or to do everything.

Every day in Germany, in every school, they teach the young what their predecessors did.

We had the chance to meet survivors and they told us their stories.

And, yeah, you can't forget it.

They don't whitewash it.

They don't pretend it didn't happen.

They don't say, "Hey, that was before my time.

What's this got to do with me?

I didn't kill anyone."

I just adopted the German nationality, and I think by my adopting the German nationality, I have to adopt the history of Germans, too, and also feel responsible for the things a German did because I'm German, too.

They treat it as their original sin, a permanent mark on their collective German soul, one for which they must always seek redemption and make reparation and never forget.

And they can't forget, because outside of their homes on the sidewalk are little engravings that remind them of the name of the Jewish family that used to live in this house, but was taken away and killed.

Local artists have installed around town the "Jews Forbidden" signs from the 1930s...

...to remind today's generation that to be German isn't just about Beethoven and Bach... but also about genocide and evil.

What would our signs look like?

What would our classes teach if we wanted to teach our young the whole story of what it means to be American?

What reparations would we make?

Have we truly changed?

Until 2015, the United States never had a museum of slavery.

Why do we hide from our sins?

The first step to recovery, the first step to being a better person or a better country is to be able to just stand up and honestly say who and what you are.

"I am an American.

I live in a great country that was born in genocide and built on the backs of slaves."

If there's one thing we should steal from the Germans, it's the idea that if you acknowledge your dark side and make amends for it, you can free yourself to be a better people and to do well by others.

If they can do it, surely we can.


My invasion across Europe continued.

The next stop was Portugal, the country that helped to bring slavery to the Americas.

After a few hundred years, they gave up the slave trade, but they kept the slaves' drums.

Somehow, the Portuguese had caught wind of my invasion.

But of course this was May Day, a celebration of workers held all over the world.

In some countries, it's a day off work.

But not in the United States.

Portugal, like most countries, had a war on drugs.

And, like most countries, they were losing that war.

So they decided to try something new.

It's my understanding that you don't arrest people for using drugs anymore.

No?

Heroin? Pot? Meth? Pills? Nothing?

If I told you I had cocaine on me right now, you wouldn't do anything?

No? Okay. No.

Officers, I have cocaine in my pocket.

A whole bunch of it.

Sorry, ahem, allergies.

I found my way to the offices of Portugal's... well, I don't know what they call this guy.

I guess he's some sort of drug czar.

Nuno Capaz.

You know, you look like a drug user.

Yeah, people told me that before. I know that.

It's-- well, it helps me relate to them, so I'm okay with that.

You don't care? I don't care. No, not really.

Right. Are you a drug user?

Yes, I am. Yes, I am.

What drugs do you use?

Well, mostly alcohol, Internet, a lot of coffee, some sugar, sex, occasionally.

Well, a lot of things that make me feel good.

How many people last year went to prison for using drugs?

For using drugs? Zero.

How many people went to prison two years ago for using drugs?

Zero. Five years ago?

In the last 15 years, no one was arrested in Portugal because they were caught using drugs.

No one? No.

It's not considered a crime, so there's no legal possibility of someone getting a jail sentence out of it.

So, if I had 25 joints on me, I would be considered a user.

Mm-hmm, yeah. Yes.

Have you had an increase in drug-related crimes as a result of...

No. If there's less people using, there will be less people causing troubles because they are using.

Okay, wait a minute.

You're saying that by decriminalizing all drugs, not throwing people in jail, drug usage went down, not up?

Mm-hmm.

Um...

When you think about drug users, everybody thinks about those small 10% that are causing problems.

People don't think about the 90% of people that are not causing any troubles although they are using illicit substances.

People that are using drugs might be causing harm...

Causing harm to themselves, but not necessarily to others.

...but not necessarily to others.

I mean, they may be bringing sadness to their marriage or their family or...

So? So does Facebook.

Are we going to illegalize it?

See, we think of it the other way.

By identifying those who are using and doing drugs, we can weed them out.

We use that as the crime-- Is it working?

Well, actually, it is.

It's probably just a coincidence, but in the 1950s and '60s, the Negroes of the United States, after 400 years of oppression, got all uppity and started demanding their civil rights.

And they started to assert their power.

Our people want an end to the living hell that drug-pushing has spawned.

In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.

Down. On the ground.

On the ground, man.

On the ground.

This is one area where we cannot have budget cuts.

Drugs are menacing our society.

They're threatening our values and undercutting our institutions.

Here's how I think the history books will record all of this 100 years from now.

"Around the time that the blacks began to rise up, coincidentally, new laws were passed imposing harsher sentences on the drugs that were created for the 'urban' demographic"...

See this cute little vial here?

It's crack, rock cocaine.

This is crack cocaine.

..."while the drugs used in the white community resulted in lesser punishments."

So help me God.

I experimented with marijuana a time or two and I didn't like it, and didn't inhale, and never tried it again.

"Their leaders assassinated, the uprising grew quiet, and over the next four decades, the police coincidentally rounded up millions upon millions of black men, stripping from all of them their right to vote, with 35 states not even letting them vote after they get out of prison.

Which means that in states like Florida and Virginia, one in three black men cannot vote."

When we fight drugs, we fight the war on terror.

"And the way you get the states with the largest percentage of terrorists to become red states is by taking away their right to vote."

Yes, white America had inadvertently figured out a way to bring back slavery.

And master knew that the way to get rich was having all that free labor.

Today's masters have found our prisons to be the perfect places to make their products for as little as 23 cents an hour.

Yes, that burger you're eating, that airline reservation you've made, the software you're using to watch the pirated copy of this movie, your child's backpack with its five hours of homework.

I always wondered what Victoria's secret was.

And now I know.

It's one of many companies that have used 21st century slaves.

It was an act of pure, mad genius.

So, what do you do with your black people here?

Do you have black people here? Yep.

And you don't-- you don't have drug laws to put them in prison.

No, no.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

You're telling me that if you arrested someone who was black for usage of drugs, they wouldn't go to prison?

They wouldn't be arrested in the first place.

The usage of drugs is not an excuse to arrest anyone in Portugal, regardless of their color.

Right, but it's a way to help control the population, if you understand what I'm saying.

In the US, we have millions... I know.

...of black, mostly men...

With a criminal record, and it's--

Even though they're out of prison.

And they can't ever vote again.

Our prisoners actually vote first.

I'm here right now to steal your great idea.

I'm gonna take it back to the United States.

The thing is it won't work if you just take it there and pfft.

If you just go there and you just decriminalize drug usage, that's not going to work.

You have to steal some other good ideas that we had before.

Yeah? Like what?

A health care system that is universal and free for all.

That will increase the accessibility to treatment.

So, what you're saying is it's not just taking back the criminalization part of drugs, I am also gonna have to convince the United States to increase treatment, basically take the stick out of our ass, and help people.

Exactly.


As we were packing up to leave, the Lisbon cops asked if they could say something directly to law enforcement in the United States.

Is against that dignity? Yeah.

And you guys are cops and this is how you feel?

I don't know what to say.

A lot of work to be done, yeah.

Thank you. Thank you very much.


And I think in general...

Yeah.

Yeah.

Welcome to the Norwegian prison system, based on the principle of rehabilitation, not revenge.

I want to meet prisoners.

Yeah, you wanna meet prisoners? Yeah.

You're meeting one now.

You're-- you're a prisoner, dressed like this?

Yes.

So, this is the house and in here is the living room.

It's a nice, okay view.

And this is my room.

It's pretty okay.

Yeah, so, this is your cell.

Yes.

Do they lock you in at night?

No. I am the only one that has the key for it, so...

We watch TV, we can play basketball.

Bicycle or running, swimming. Fishing.

Wait a minute. What do you mean swimming?

You can swim to the other side?

That is not allowed.

From another side, you can swim here, but you cannot swim from here to another side.

Because they call escape.

You're in prison for murder. Yeah.

You killed somebody. Yeah.

I can't help but notice that right behind you are a whole bunch of very sharp knives.

Yeah.

Yes.

Nobody here is worried about that? No, no.

Should I be worried about that? No.

You're not worried about it. I'm not worried about it.

I love this. Yeah.

If I could get one of these to take home, I would have ketchup on everything.

That is, like, the cool-- look at it, it's still going.

Yeah.

In the weekend, it's four guards at work in another building.

That's it? Yeah, that's it.

And how many of you are there here?

115. 115 and four guards?

Yeah. Wow.

Warden, where's the punishment?

Where is the punishment?

The main idea is we're just supposed to take away their freedom.

That's the only punishment we're actually giving them.

They miss their family, they miss their friends.

Right, right.

But also I think and I hope when you speak to them, they will also feel that we're trying to help them back to the same society.

You know, this is gonna be very hard for Americans to see this.

This looks very strange to understand why you're doing it, why you do your prison system this way.

We have to show more love and affection for each other, to take care of each other in another way.

This is the way. Yeah.

This is a sense of life, you know?

If we showed a little more love and affection and kindness toward each other...

Yeah, yeah.

This is the way. And this is so important.

So important. Yeah.

The U.S. has one of the highest recidivism rates in the world.

Nearly 80% of prisoners are re-arrested within five years.

Norway has one of the lowest, at 20%.

And that was something I was claiming for the U.S.A.

Of course, I was visiting a model prison.

A place for inmates who were being rewarded for their good behavior.

I said it wasn't fair to show the American public their nicest place.

I wanted to see a maximum security facility.

And that's where I went.

When the prison first opened in 2010, the guards wanted to send a strong message to the new inmates, so they made this orientation video.


♪ There comes a time ♪

♪ When we heed a certain call ♪

♪ When the world must come together as one ♪

♪ There are people dyin' ♪

♪ And it's time to lend a hand ♪

♪ To live, the greatest gift of all ♪

♪ We can't go on ♪

♪ Pretending day by day ♪

♪ That someone somewhere will soon make a change... ♪ Is that braille? For the blind?

Yeah. For the blind, yes, yes.

It's art. Modern art.

You have modern art throughout the prison here?

♪ We are the world ♪

♪ We are the children ♪

♪ We are the ones who make a brighter day ♪

♪ So let's start givin' ♪

♪ There's a choice we're making ♪

♪ We're saving our own lives ♪

♪ It's true we'll make a better day, just you and me... ♪ How many fights have you been in?

I have never been in fights, actually.

You don't need a knife to protect yourself with?

Oh, no, no, no. No?

We don't need that. No.

Show me your wounds, the number of times you've been stabbed.

Oh, no, never. Never been stabbed.

I've never been stabbed.

How many times have you been beaten up here by other prisoners? No, never.

How many times you've been raped in the shower?

Never. That's not gonna happen because you got your own shower.

Yeah, here's the bed.

Mm-kay, that's a bed. TV.

Got the flat-screen TV. Mm-hmm.

I'm painting, and besides that, I'm studying art class, you know.

You're taking philosophy class?

I'm gonna have exam after summer.

I want to work with community problems and things like that.

Maybe politics later on.

That's not a bad idea.

Go to prison first, then become a politician.

And speaking of politicians, as in Portugal, prisoners in Norway can vote.

And in order to get their votes, candidates show up for election debates, televised live from inside the prison.

I had to keep reminding myself this was a maximum security facility.

Here, the inmates have keys, too.

And this inmate was a murderer.

They had Xboxes and a library as nice as any suburban high school library in the U.S.

They even had their own record label and a recording studio.

Music can actually open a lot of the creativity inside of them.

And if it's one thing that's said about the guys here, they are very creative in all sorts of ways.

They've got their own laundry, they've got a pantry, and, yes, they've got their own knives, too.

Where are your guns?

We don't-- We don't need it.

You don't need any guns? No.

We talk to the guys. That's our weapon.

Your weapon is your mouth? Yeah.

When it comes to do the job, they will do it good, you know, because the officers, they serve you.

You know, they're there for you.

The guards. It's not like in America.

They're there for-- beat the shit out of you.

Crawl, motherfucker, crawl!

This way. Go!

Get him! Go!

Don't get bit. You're gonna get bit.

Get down and spread! Get down and spread!

Don't move! Behave yourselves, behave yourselves.

This is Trond Blattmann, a plumber by trade.

On July 22nd, 2011, he lost his 17-year-old son when he was murdered with 54 other teenagers on a summer camp island in a lake in Norway.

One killer, who espoused neo-Nazi and racist beliefs, not only killed all of these children, but blew up a federal building in downtown Oslo.

My son called me from the island and said, "Daddy, Daddy, there's somebody shooting at us on the island.

What are we gonna do?"

I had never been on the island, so I didn't know what he meant, and I said, "Are you together with other people, other youngsters? Yes?

Well, then, hide and stick together, take care of each other, and be careful."

He called me around 5:20 and he was dead just past 6:00.

Do you wish that your son had a gun instead of a cell phone that day?

What I wished that he had done was to swim.

Because the ones who swam survived.

We don't have death sentences here in Norway, so we kind of said, "That mass murderer, he's going to have the same kind of treatment as everybody else."

The justice system is going to judge him and he's going to have his sentence.

You cared about whether he had a fair trial.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You. You yourself.

But don't you personally want to kill him?

No. No. If you had the chance?

If you had the chance? No.

But he killed your son. Yeah, but I-- no.

You don't want to kill him? No.

But he killed your son. Yeah, he killed my son.

You wouldn't want to-- But I don't want to step--

I don't want to step down on the ladder and say, "I had the same right as you thought you had to kill."

I don't have the same right.

Even though he's just a piece of scum?

Yeah, but that's-- I know he's a piece of scum, but it doesn't give me the right to shoot him or kill him.

So, after this horrible act of terrorism, Norway didn't change its system.

You don't try to institute a Patriot Act.

No.

You don't try to take away people's freedoms.

No.

You're cautiously thinking about arming the police now.

But even that is bothersome and worrisome.

Why didn't you respond the way we responded after 9/11?

Well, let me put it this way.

The whole establishment, from the prime minister through the king's family and all of the officials in Norway, all of the press, the media said, "Well, let's now take care of Norway.

As we have been used to taking care of each other, we take care of Norway.

So, we stay together, we open our hearts, we open our society.

We're gonna have more democracy, more freedom of speech, because to lock up wouldn't help us.

That would just create more hatred.

♪ It's true, we'll make a better day, just you and me ♪

♪ We are the world ♪

♪ We are the children ♪

♪ We are the ones who make a brighter day ♪

♪ So let's start givin' ♪

♪ There's a choice we're makin' ♪

♪ We're savin' our own lives ♪

♪ It's true, we'll make a better day ♪

♪ Just you and me ♪

♪ It's true, we'll make a better day ♪

♪ Just you and me. ♪

There was much I took from Norway and much more to think about.

A country that forgave.

A country that, when it locked up its citizens, it treated them as human beings.

So what was I to do now?

Where to invade next?

Sweden?

Denmark?

I could go somewhere else.

Like Iran or Brazil or even Rwanda.

But I chose Tunisia.

A country in Muslim North Africa that has something that we don't-- free government-funded women's health clinics and government-funded abortion.

We have 24 reproductive health centers in Tunisia and it is our main mission-- contraception.

We have I.U.D.s, pills, implant, and of course condoms.

So, how about abortion? Yes, of course.

In Tunisia, abortion is legal since 1973.

And the Tunisian people are okay with that?

Yes, because these kind of services help women to be the equal of men, and when a woman is well-educated, when she work, she have a better quality of life, so she will have a better life expectancy.

And I think that family planning has played a great role.

As in other countries, once women had control over their own bodies, eventually both women and men want control over their own lives.

And in Tunisia's case, that meant the dictator had to go.

We are gonna turn now to an almost inconceivable act of protest.

More than a dozen men across the Middle East have now set themselves on fire to oppose corruption and repression in their own countries.

This massive uprising began with one man-- Mohamed Bouazizi.

A 26-year-old college grad, he was unable to find work and forced to sell fruit in the street.

Last month, harassed and insulted by corrupt officials, he snapped and set himself on fire.

Mr. Bouazizi, he was a hero.

Mr. Bouazizi was a martyr. He was a hero.

He's a symbol.

He's a-- I thank him because he freed me of my fear.

Fear of what?

Fear of oppression, fear of the government.

Armed only with the fruit from Bouazizi's broken cart, the people of his town stormed the governor's mansion and the revolution had begun.

When the revolution happened, I was pregnant, and I was so proud that my babies are born free.

They are born free citizens.

They are born proud to be Tunisian.

I wasn't proud. I was so ashamed.

I studied in Paris and I was like, "I'm here, I can talk to you because it's in France. I'm safe."

But I won't have the courage to outspeak in my country because I choose life and I didn't have the courage to be persecuted.

And I'm quite ashamed about that.

So, what did you do when the revolution started?

The day of the revolution, the 14 of January, as I told you, I wasn't in the street because I was pregnant.

And I was having journalists all over Tunisia.

I was trying, really, to not censor as much as I could because censorship was everywhere.

And at some point, one of my journalists called me crying and said to me, "My brother was shot three minutes ago.

So what are you going to do now?"

And it was like a point of no return for me.

I was ready to lose my job, everything, but this guy--

I still remember when I put the phone down and I said, "Okay, stop.

There's no turning back.

His brother is dead in front of him."

So, I went into the studio and said, "Guys are shot.

We have to outspoke this."

There were many women like Amel who played a key role in the revolution.

They toppled the dictator and formed a democratic government.

But when the newly formed Islamist Party decided they didn't want women's rights as part of the new constitution, the women of Tunisia fought back.

We have many new political movements that weren't here before, and those movements are threatening women's rights.

And so now we're here to defend them and to show that we'll not lower our guards.

E.R.A.! E.R.A.!

Like with the women in Tunisia, women in America had tried to get their Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution passed back in the 1970s, but it fell three states short of ratification.

The Tunisian women were determined not to have the same fate as those in America.

They took to the streets and rallied the people.

And before long, the majority of the country was behind them.


The final vote on the constitution was passed, with 200 voting yes, four abstentions, and 12 no votes.

Although the Conservative Islamist Party controlled the most seats in Parliament, they agreed to abide by the will of the people, who wanted an equal rights provision for women in the constitution.

They also offered to voluntarily step down, even though, legally, they didn't have to.

That's really amazing that you decided to step down and follow the will of the people as opposed to following, you know, maybe what some religious leader might have told you to do.

That's not the impression that we're given in the United States of anybody who's a Muslim.

Do you require women to cover their heads here?


How do you feel about discrimination against homosexuals?

Is there something you think America can learn from Tunisia?

Americans are lucky.

They are-- they belong to the most powerful country in the world.

But being the strongest one maybe stopped them from being just curious.

I know a lot about you guys.

I know your music from the '70s until today.

I dance on your music.

I speak, as much as I can, your language.

I know Henry Miller, Kerouac, Scott Fitzgerald.

I wear your clothes.

I eat your food.

But I also have my culture.

What do you know about my culture?

Or Estonian culture?

Or Zimbabwean culture?

I read an interesting article about the average time an American spends watching the Kardashian show.

Why do you spend your time for this?

You invented the most powerful weapon in the world-- it's Internet, guys.

Use it the right way.

Check, read, watch, and then come to visit us.

We're worth it.

It's a little, small country.

Its name is Tunisia.

It's in North Africa.

And I really think we deserve, as the other countries, your attention, because if you keep this way of thinking, that you are the best and you know everything, it won't work.

I was seven when the women of Iceland went on strike on October 24th, 1975.

They marched into the center of Reykjavik and filled the streets.

90% of women did no work that day.

No schools opened. No banks opened.

No kids ate. No busses rode into town.

It was impossible to get anything done on that day because when women don't work, nothing works.

They changed the impression of the value of women for women and men alike forever, because nothing worked in Iceland that day.

So they changed the very reality that I grew up with, and they changed my view on it forever.

And five years after this day, we were the first country to democratically elect a female president.

She was a single mom.

She had a seven-year-old daughter.

You cannot help but to thank those role models-- and these women who came before us-- and think that we owe it to the next generation to empower ourselves and the generations that follow.

I campaigned all over the country and it was absolutely a unique experience.

I never slept in a hotel.

I slept in children's beds around the country, and it was arranged.

I knew who in the area would vote for me and I campaigned, and then-- and finally I was elected.

There were hundreds of people outside the house here.

My daughter, seven years old, was standing beside me.

You know, if you take the really long view of history, you have, essentially, a few thousand years of it being just one way.

Men in charge.

Men in control.

Men making the decisions, calling the shots politically, economically, socially, and personally.

Look what's happened in this time since that women's strike in '75, since your election in 1980.

How many countries have elected women?

I mean, dozens.

And that doesn't even count the women elected by parliaments.

All fathers know that their daughter is as clever as the boy, has the same intelligence.

All brothers know that their sisters have the same intelligence as they have.

I'm very proud that Iceland was the first and set an example.

Right. And, definitely, it had a very good-- a very good effect on our women and culture at home.

Okay.

That's exactly how I would've hit it.

Dead center.

I predict an eagle for this hole!

Meet Hafdís, Brynveig, and Margrét.

Aside from beating me in a game of golf on a balmy 29-degree day, these women are all C.E.O.s, one of them the former head of their Food and Drug Administration.

They're part of a generation of Icelandic women inspired by the election of President Vigdís.

I think Iceland is the best country to be a female in in the world.

There has been a lot of change since the last, maybe, 20--

15-- yeah, 15 to 20 years. To 20, yeah.

We've gone like that. Yeah.

We have the same chance as the men.

You do? Yeah, definitely.

You do feel-- in your bones, you feel that?

Yes, in your bones. We grow up believing that.

I mean, we don't even think about it.

We have a gender quota for the biggest companies.

You mean the company's board of directors?

Yep. So, you have to be either at least 40% women or 40% men.

Because you also have to think about the young men.

They need to get on the boards also, so it's a good law for them also.

Right, so-- so, yeah.

So it can't be more than 60% women.

Yeah. No, no.

That's true, yeah.

Research has shown us that-- and this is international research-- that once you have three women in the boardroom, that's when culture starts changing.

Not when you have one or two.

Because one is a token and two is a minority.

But once you have three, it all of a sudden changes the group dynamics, it changes how the dialogue is taken, what is discussed, and it's been well shown that that goes beyond the balance sheet when you have more women around the table.

They start asking more about all stakeholders, and this is what I call a different moral and ethical compass.

And I think this is extremely valuable today.

And I actually don't think you can survive long-term in business without doing this today.

Throughout my invasions, it was clear that where women had power and were true equals, people were simply better off.

Yet here in Iceland, I felt that the women had taken this to an even higher level.

And while they controlled nearly half the seats on company boards and nearly half the seats in Parliament, it did make me wonder-- what was it that the men of Iceland still controlled?

When much of the world went into recession last year, no country melted down faster than Iceland, dragging down three major banks with it.

The only bank to operate in the black is run by women.

So, does gender make a difference in the financial world?

Here's Sheila MacVicar.

Iceland's collapse was the fastest in history, with 85% of the economy wiped out in weeks.

There was only one financial institution, Audur Capital, in Iceland, that did not lose money for its customers.

Founded by two women on the investment principle of

"if we don't understand it, we're not buying it," there's a lot of talk here about the difference it would've made if more women were on the trading floors.

It's been 99% men that wanted to take risk, wanted speed, wanted individual rewards and excessive rewards.

There is new evidence emerging that some of what happens on trading floors may be partly the result of male hormones.

When testosterone levels get too high, traders become overconfident, take too much risk, and the bubble bursts.

Women, they think, "What's good for the whole?"

Where men, more, they think, "What's in it for me?"

It's a provocative question being debated around the globe.

Where would we be if it had been Lehman Sisters?

So, do you think any of this would've happened if women had been in charge in 2008?

I thought we had created a world that was on an empty pursuit for more, and I had a question about if this growth journey we had been on was really a successful business strategy that I had somehow missed during my M.B.A. education.

Is it a relentless pursuit for getting big?

Or is this the great big penis competition?

So, 20, 30 persons in Iceland has turned the whole economy on this island on its head?

Yes.

20, 30 persons?

Yes.

That's insane.

Yes, that is.

Normally stoic and proper Icelanders have started protesting.

Yo. Ahem.


His name was Jón Gnarr and he's Iceland's top comedian.

He decided to run for mayor of its capital city, Reykjavik, as a joke.

The people of Reykjavik thought it was the best way to send a message to the bankers and the people who had ruined their country.

So, why did you decide to call it the Best Party?

Well, because there's this idea of "best."

Here, we're not allowed to say that something is "best."

You mean, here-- it's not against the law.

You mean Icelandic culture.

Yeah, I'm-- it's a law. Oh, it is a law.

I cannot say that this brand of coffee is the best brand of coffee.

Oh, really? No, you-- you cannot say it.

Have you tried it? Yeah, it's very good.

But it's not the best. It's the best, but I can't say it.

It might be the-- okay.

No, but they don't have these rules in politics.

He won in a landslide.

His election was a total rebuke of these guys.

The bankers.

Anybody who has kids will know that if the kids get away with their crime, chances are they will continue.

When the bankers went to court, they went to a real criminal court.

And when the judges issued the sentence, they put the bankers away.

Far away.

Far... far... far... really far away.

They were being kept as far away from society as possible, where they could do no harm to the people of Iceland.

That's not exactly how we did it.

Well, there was that one guy named Kareem.

But since the crash of '08, not a single banker without a Muslim name has been tried in a criminal court in the United States of America.

In Iceland, nearly 70 bankers and hedge fund managers were prosecuted, with many of them sent to prison.

I went to see the top cop, the special prosecutor appointed to put the bankers in prison.

His name was Ólafur Thor Hauksson.

The bankers know him as Thor.

So, Thor, I have the files here, actually, of the people that I think helped precipitate the banking collapse in the United States.

Okay. Just take a look at that in your spare time here, if you can.

If you read through these, these files... you'll see things that will make even Icelandic hair stand up on end.

Okay. I mean, it's--

Can I keep these? You can, actually.

Yep, I wish you would. Yes.

Actually, you know, in the States, you have the ability and the knowledge to do the right thing. Yes.

In America, you had a prior incident.

You had the savings and loan scandal.

You had some prosecutions at that time.

We did. Yeah.

That's right, and people went to jail.

So, you have-- one of the prosecutors that actually worked on that, he gave us an advice.

So, our prosecutor, one of them, gave advice to your office to help you...

Yeah. Yeah. ...do this?

Jack Black?

No, no, no. Not Jack Black.

It was Bill Black, I think.

The former prosecutor in the U.S.

He was quite blunt with us.

We learned a lot from him.

Well, Thor, I've invaded Iceland because you've decided to investigate and prosecute your bankers after your banking collapse and put a number of them in prison.

And that's just a genius idea I want to take back to the United States.

Okay.

You're the man.

Thank you for this great idea.

Thank you. God bless you.

Because Iceland didn't bail out their banks and instead prosecuted the bankers and turned much of the financial decision-making over to the women, their economy has completely recovered.

In fact, it's doing better than ever.

Why do you think the United States is like this?

Why don't we have what you have?

In America, you have the American dream.

That you have-- it's a land of opportunities.

That everybody will be able to do whatever.

But in reality it isn't like that.

Every kid should have the same opportunity-- the basic opportunity to get education and health care.

It's not Communism, it's just a good society.

Mm-hmm. You play more solo.

I'm taking care of myself and my family and the rest, I don't care about.

But we are more like a big group and we try to take care of each other within that group.

Right. You structure yourself with "we" in mind and we structure ourselves with "me" in mind.

It's the women. More women.

It's women, right? It's our DNA.

Yeah.

I'm convinced.

It's my conviction.

That's my belief in women, the capacity and the intelligence of women.

If the world can be saved, it will be women that do that.

And they do not do it with war; they do it with words.

Women, if they are running society, they are looking for peace.

They want to save humanity.

They want to save their children.

When the men on Earth open up to how women see things and add it to their way of seeing things, then we get a better world.


If you were to talk to Americans, if you had two minutes to say anything you wanted to the American people, what would you say?

And don't be afraid of hurting our feelings.

No. We need some truth here.

No.

I wouldn't want to live in the States, even though you paid me.

Because there's-- the society and the way that you treat people, the way that you treat your neighbors.

I would never want to be your neighbor.

Never, ever.

Because you don't treat your fellow Americans the way you should.

How can you, in a way, come home and feel well if you know there are so many people that can't eat, they're sick, they can't go to the doctor's, they can't get any education?

How can you come home and feel okay with that?

I couldn't.

I don't feel okay about it.

No, that's good.

You shouldn't feel okay with it.


We just had, like, a hammer and chisel and we were just-- I don't know, there were a couple dozen people here, and we were just like-- the chisel and then banging away on this thing, you know?

Did this for two or three nights, and the crowd kept getting larger and larger.

And there was no hole yet in the wall, but you'd hit this steel stuff and then sooner or later, you know, a little crack would appear in the wall and the East Germans on the other side, they were just, like, having a smoke.

They didn't-- I think they knew it was over.

This is my buddy Rod from Michigan, and we've met up in Berlin now at the end of my invasions.

In November of 1989, we happened to be traveling through Berlin when we heard that a few people were down at the Berlin Wall and were chiseling on it for some reason.

We thought, "Hey, we got a couple hours to kill.

Let's check this out."

You know, there weren't that many doing it then.

It was just those first few nights.

And I don't know, I was just chiseling away on this thing and all of a sudden I looked up and you were on top of that, you know, like, dancing around on the top of the wall.

I'm trying to remember, how many Germans did it take to hoist you up to the top of that wall?

Well, there was one that got me-- you know, he sort of grabbed my foot.

And then another one grabbed my belt and kind of shoved me up, and then I was able to grab hold of the top of it.

We stayed at the wall, chiseling away for the next three days.

The thing about this is that you and I grew up in the Cold War... Yeah.

...and if there was one thing that was certain, it was that this wall would never come down. Yes.

Built to stand forever.

Impenetrable.

It lasted less than 30 years.

Yeah.

And, in a night, it was over.

I remember that, and around the same time, Mandela got out of prison and then became the president of South Africa.

And those two events-- like, from that moment on in my life, I was like, "Oh, I get it.

Anything can happen."

They always say the solution is too complicated, but there's always simple answers to these things.

You just take the hammer and you knock it down.

You know? It really was as simple as that.

Hammer, right? Chisel, down.

Down. Hammer, chisel, down.

Rinse, repeat. Hammer, chisel, down.

You know? And then three months later, it's official. Yeah.

This Cold War, this wall that was supposed to go on forever was-- boop-- gone, just like that, you know?

It's like, three years ago, gay marriage in the United States was outlawed in every state.

Yeah. Now law of the land.

It was like, wow, that was quick.

You know?

So, I'm just-- I've turned into this kind of crazy optimist that-- just name something that seems impossible, and this wall proves that that could happen.

Yeah. That, you know, suddenly-- first it's a wall, now there's a hole in the wall, and then soon the wall comes down.

Pretty cool. Yeah.

We discussed all the great things I had taken from my invasions, but I began to lament that the American dream seemed to be alive and well everywhere but America.

It was then that Rod reminded me that he and I and most of our generation went to college for practically free.

He reminded me that the Finnish education chief had said that their education ideas were American ideas, and that May Day didn't begin in Moscow or Lisbon, it began in Chicago in 1886.

That's where the fight for the eight-hour day and a vacation came from--

American unions.

The fight for the E.R.A. began eight years before Iceland elected the first female president.

The same thing with the Norwegian prison warden, that the idea of no cruel or unusual punishment was ours.

And it was our state, Michigan, that became the first English-speaking government in the world to eliminate the death penalty.

And the special prosecutor in Iceland, he based his whole investigation and prosecution of the bankers on our savings and loan scandal back in the '80s.

Even hired an American to help him with it.

These weren't European ideas.

These weren't new ideas.

These were our ideas.

We didn't need to invade all these countries to steal their ideas.

They were already ours.

We didn't need to invade.

We just needed to go to the American lost and found.

Maybe that was the answer.

Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?

You don't need to be helped any longer.

You've always had the power to go back to Kansas.

I have?

Yes, you have.

And so have we.

We've always had it.

Kansas, anyone?

♪ What's your plan for tomorrow? ♪

♪ Are you a leader or will you follow? ♪

♪ Are you a fighter or will you cower? ♪

♪ It's our time to take back the power ♪

♪ We don't need to run and hide ♪

♪ We won't be pushed off to the side ♪

♪ What's your plan for tomorrow? ♪

♪ Are you a leader or will you follow? ♪

♪ Are you a fighter or will you cower? ♪

♪ It's our time to take back the power ♪

♪ What's your plan for tomorrow? ♪

♪ Are you a leader or will you follow? ♪

♪ Are you a fighter or will you cower? ♪

♪ It's our time to take back the power ♪

♪ What's your plan for tomorrow? ♪

♪ Are you a leader or will you follow? ♪

♪ Are you a fighter or will you cower? ♪

♪ It's our time to take back the power. ♪

♪ Anything you can do, I can do better ♪

♪ I can do anything better than you ♪

♪ No, you can't ♪ ♪ Yes, I can ♪

♪ No, you can't ♪ ♪ Yes, I can ♪

♪ No, you can't ♪ ♪ Yes, I can, yes, I can ♪

♪ Anything you can be, I can be greater ♪

♪ Sooner or later, I'm greater than you ♪

♪ No, you're not ♪ ♪ Yes, I am ♪

♪ No, you're not ♪ ♪ Yes, I am ♪

♪ No, you're not ♪ ♪ Yes, I am, yes, I am ♪

♪ Anything you can sing, I can sing higher ♪

♪ I can sing anything higher than you ♪

♪ No, you can't ♪ ♪ Yes, I can ♪

♪ No, you can't ♪ ♪ Yes, I can ♪

♪ No, you can't ♪ ♪ Yes, I can ♪

♪ No, you can't ♪

♪ Yes, I can. ♪ ♪ No, you can't. ♪ Ma'am. Ma'am. Ma'am, get off the pole.

Ma'am. Ma'am!