David Edmond Moore’s documentary, History’s Hidden Engine, breaks new ground in its exploration of socionomic theory. We turned the tables and interviewed David about his thoughts on making the film.
Q: What inspired you to create a documentary on socionomics?
A: I first became interested in socionomics after reading Bob Prechter’s report, “Popular Culture and The Stock Market.” It was the first time I had heard of the Wave Principle. I found it remarkable that the stock market correlated with trends in fashion, movies and music. I wasn’t really a finance guy. I was just out of school, and pop culture was what interested me. What drove it home for me was that after reading the report I noticed a correlation between the crash in 1987 and a change in the music of U2 and R.E.M. Both groups went from being just rock bands to releasing two very political albums in 87. Later still, after the market recovered from the 87 crash and we extended the massive bull market through the late 80s and 90s, U2 and R.E.M. released “happy” albums. U2 went so far as to call their album Pop. You can’t say it any clearer.
It was only later that I found out about the true breadth of the Wave Principle—that it doesn’t stop with the markets or even pop culture, but correlates to politics, the economy and—most exciting—biology and psychology. To think that U2 releasing an album called Pop coincident with one of the strongest, positive times in our society could have primal underpinnings was amazing to me.
The more I read Prechter’s work, the more I realized that visuals would really drive socionomic ideas home. So a documentary was the obvious route.
Q: What were your greatest challenges in producing the film?
A: I could talk for a month about that topic! It was the first documentary I’ve made, so that was the first challenge. I had had some success in short fictional narratives and on-demand work, so at first I applied the same approaches to the documentary, and they didn’t work. I had to wrap my head around what a documentary is. I realized that documentaries aren’t all the same, that there is a variety of approaches. The one thing I didn’t want to do is make a film in the style of Michael Moore—you know, inserting my ideas and opinions into the documentary, as opposed to staying behind the scenes. Also, I knew that the ideas behind socionomics were too new and complex to explore every aspect and create a debate on film. I decided to create a piece that laid out the basic ideas with plenty of examples in a very accessible form. My hope is that this will then start the debate, and these ideas will be thoroughly examined, and socionomics can move to the next stage toward becoming a science.
Q: What intrigues you most about socionomics?
A: The most important thing is its potential to change the way we look at the world. It is obvious that initiative in creation, exploration and knowledge are driving forces of humankind. The quality ideas that Prechter and the others at the Socionomics Institute have put forth help further these pursuits. How could adding to these areas not be exciting? It’s like an archeologist unearthing an ancient artifact and then hypothesizing about the role it once played in the world. I’ve always thought the Wave Principle and socionomics had this type of parallel, just in a more philosophical way. Also, it’s cool to be part of an early science and help the ideas develop. I feel like I’m a part of something still uniquely underground and thriving, like discovering a great new movie or band before anyone else. I don’t mean that in a pretentious way. I mean that whenever you discover something new that you are interested in, it reshapes the way you think, and who you are in general. Socionomics—its whole design—reshapes the way you think.