In 1855, the Suquamish Chief Seattle was asked to sell his land to the United States government. The chief was puzzled by the request: "The president in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?"

How indeed. The advanced, decadent stage of capitalism we're now living in is heading toward a world where the very idea of public property or common-wealth no longer exists. Ownership of land has been a done deed for ages now, but look out, because step two of the capitalist program is under way — ownership of water.

Water is the most basic of human needs, but as the documentary "Blue Gold: World Water Wars" demonstrates, corporate greed knows no limits. Director Sam Bozzo's timely film offers a stark vision of the future: "One day every drop of fresh water in the world will be privately owned and controlled. . . . Those who have the ability to pay will have access to the water, those who do not will go without." That's one hell of a claim to make, but then again, think about how much you're paying for a place to live this month.