“Capitalism – A Love Story” (Or, Why America should Love Michael Moore)


We can learn a lot from our friends: from observing their mistakes and triumphs in their times of crisis; and, from their advice and words of comfort to us in our times of need. But frankly, we can learn a lot more from our “enemies”—those who challenge and critique us, who force us to take a long hard look in the mirror (and perhaps for the first time, honestly contemplate what we see in the reflection) in order that we may be able to grow as individuals; or, in the case of Michael Moore’s films, that America may be able to progress as a society.

Whether you love him or hate him, you must admit, Michael Moore has done what few people have managed to do, and that is use an established system as a vehicle for social activism and open criticism of the very system itself. Think about it: Hollywood Boulevard is no less an artery feeding the heart of capitalism than Wall Street is. The stock markets beat the right ventricle on the east coast and the media beat the left ventricle on the west coast. Information and money flow together throughout the capitalist system like blood and plasma. So the fact that Michael Moore is able to produce mainstream activist documentaries in Hollywood and then have them widely distributed at conglomerate-owned megaplexes is as astonishing as it is ironic.

But then, Michael Moore specializes in astonishment and irony, doesn’t he? The astonishing and ironic actions of General Motors documented in “Roger & Me” may have been lost on the American public twenty years ago, so in his latest film, “Capitalism – A Love Story” Mr. Moore makes certain that the astonishing and ironic fact of GM’s declaration of bankruptcy is not lost on Americans today. And yet, GM’s story is but a drop in the bucket in Moore’s sweeping critique of the capitalist system, the bank bailouts, job losses, foreclosures, the demise of the American Dream, et cetera. The astonishing and ironic fact that all this takes place in the wealthiest country on the planet, where 1% of the population are worth more than 95% of the rest of the population, combined.

So why should Americans love Michael Moore? If you count him as a friend, then you can follow his example of working the system to bring about positive change and take his advice about what needs to change. If you count him as a foe, a “left-wing shit-disturber,” a communist, a “royal pain in the ass,” or whatever, then you can look inside yourself and ask “why?” Why are you opposed to considering making changes to the system that are based in compassion, equality, responsibility toward the collective good, and—heaven forbid—love? For at the end of the day, your opposition to (or “hatred” of) Michael Moore, his films, and his ideas does not come from Mr. Moore…it comes from within you. Knowing that, what can you learn about yourself? How can you grow and develop, now that you have new insight into your animosity toward your “enemy”? How can America progress as a society, after looking deep within its own soul, thanks to the tragic love story of capitalism, as told by Michael Moore?

One response to ““Capitalism – A Love Story” (Or, Why America should Love Michael Moore)

  1. Shaun Larocque

    Moore’s critique of Capitalism is America is misguided on several fronts and not because I dislike Moore. I’ve quite liked some of his other works, but he has been quite hypocritical on this one – making millions for himself by flaunting his documentaries and then criticizing the very tools that created his wealth.

    First off, for anyone who has ever had a job in this country, they need to THANK a capitalist. That’s right! You need to thank someone who was willing to risk his time, energy and capital in an effort to make money for himself (or herself) and in order to do so created a job for you. You may not have been paid well, but you were earning a paycheck because a capitalist took risks. The antithesis to Moore’s hypocrisy is the second biggest selling book of all time, “Atlas Shrugged” written by Ayn Rand in 1953 I believe and has just been released (part 1 of 3) in US theatres on April 15th. Atlas Shrugged basically asks the question – What if all the capitalists stop taking risks – or are forced to stop taking risks because the government has determined that the collective is more important than the individual? The answer was rooted in Rand’s upbringing in socialist Russia and told the story of what would happen to America if it cozied up to big business and crony capitalism replaced real capitalism.

    I said there were a few areas where Moore was misguided so here’s another: the American Dream. When did the American Dream become so intertwined with home ownership? The real American dream had nothing to do with physical possessions but the universally unique pursuits laid bare in the Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed …. with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”…

    There are some great YouTube videos about the battle between the Individual and the Collective that your readers should check out as it would serve them well.

    It is through disdain and for things we find repulsive that we will seek better alternatives.

    The ATTLAS PROJECT should have Atlas Shrugged as compulsory reading.

    Cheers!

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