Capitalism: A Love Story

capitalismI haven’t read any reviews of the movie yet, but I can hear everyone on the Right talking about this movie – Capitalism – over a hail of Communist-inspired anthems.  “Destroy capitalism?” they’ll say, “I told you Michael Moore was a nut.  Here’s the proof!”

That’s when you stop listening and watch the movie yourself.  Moore is talking about trading democracy for communism, he’s talking about turning our current capitalism (which is really a plutocracy) into something else.

Most of the movie deals with how what we’re doing now isn’t working.  Moore shows us the history of capitalism – why, on paper, it’s a good idea – and then moves on to the modern day perversion of the ideal.  He shows how the privatization of previously public institutions (schools, jails, etc.) has changed to a moneymaking scheme where the poor get screwed over and the rich don’t think twice.  He shows how communities have suffered because of various claims that joblessness is good for the economy.  Mostly though, he shows how hard the Little Guy has to work just to get what should be rightfully his (a decent wage, a house, health insurance, etc.).

He, of course, does the usual Michael Moore thing of acting outrageous while also pretending to be too dumb to realize what he’s doing.  He does the (expected) brazen thing and offers to put the CEOs of various companies under citizen’s arrest.  He wraps a police tape around the New York Stock Exchange and he backs a money truck up to a bank.  I expected all that.  What I didn’t expect was three particular moments:

I didn’t expect to feel as lucky as I do about being in a union.  It seems that all the hard luck stories in the movie started in a place where people no longer had unionized representation and were therefore screwed over (factory workers and airline pilots come to mind).

I didn’t expect to feel as moved by FDR’s (up until now unseen) speech about a second bill or rights including the right to a quality education, the right to a free health care, and the right to have a job that covered your expenses.  FDR’s whole life was based on stability for the country.  Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to be stable than to have everyone given these basic societal needs.  I can see why he served four terms.  The man was amazing.

I didn’t expect to be persuaded to Moore’s point of view.  The basic premise of the movie is that capitalism is evil, at least in its current state.  It cannot be controlled or regulated – you’re trying to regulate and control the human desire for “more.”  Ain’t gon hap’n.  We should replace capitalism with true democracy – one person, one vote.  It’s hard to make money from someone else’s misery if that person gets a say in how the money is distributed.

Don’t get me wrong, the movie had its funny parts too:

Here’s FDR’s Second Bill of Rights speech:

And don’t argue that democracy isn’t an economic system.  I know that.


10 Responses

  1. Perhaps what you haven’t considered is that democracy isn’t an economic system.

  2. Read the last sentence, loudmouth.

  3. At the time you wrote that, my comment was the last sentence. And at the time I’m reading your comment, that’s the last sentence, and I’m already reading that.

    Therefore, I cannot see how your comment informs mine.

  4. just say you didnt read the last sentence of the article man.

  5. I knew I should’ve put that last sentence before the videos.
    I’ve done that before too. It’s bad posting etiquette to put videos in the middle of articles because:
    1) No one reads the article, they just watch the video.
    2) No one reads what’s after the video because it’s assumed that’s the end.

  6. “And don’t argue that democracy isn’t an economic system.”

    “Perhaps what you haven’t considered is that democracy isn’t an economic system.”

    The similar phrasing is SUGGESTIVE OF SOMETHING.

  7. Is it suggesting that you’re yelling “suggestive of someting”?

  8. It is not, as the capitalized phrase follows the referenced similar phrasing, the similar phrasing as not prophetic, and the words simply wouldn’t bear the proposed meaning.

    The capitalized phrase is, itself, suggestive of something, beyond its denotation, but that thing is not volume.

  9. Are you sure?
    When I read all caps, I hear yelling in my head.

  10. That would suggest that Pokey the Penguin is always yelling, along with every other inhabitant of the arctic circle. Such a position is UNTENABLE.

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