17 October 2009 | virek213
The Politics Of Greed, Fear, And Predatory Behavior Exposed By Michael Moore
He took on our nation's obsession with guns in BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE. He took on the politics of Bush/Cheney fear mongering in FAHRENHEIT 9/11. He even took on the health care insurance industry in SICKO. And once more, the tenacious rabble-rouser from Flint, Michigan, Michael Moore, takes on the powers-that-be in a cinematic broadside that needs to be seen--CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY.
In this new opus from the man who has always gotten under the skin of the nattering nabobs of negativity on the Far Right, Moore posits some very chilling questions about our system of Capitalism: Is it really intrinsically evil? Should it be abolished? And he does so with the kind of simmering populist outrage that has been his stock-in-trade since his 1989 breakthrough ROGER AND ME (which is in fact part of the archival footage he uses here). In it, he details how America's financial system got overheated by deregulation and predatory loan practices that struck at the heart of the poor and middle class, the ones who actually make up the heart and soul of America and who are always the most vulnerable, leaving the rich to walk away with billions in taxpayer bailout money. It also shows us how corporate greed, far from enriching our lives, has actually corroded them, and subsequently corroded our political system so that the villains of this whole scheme are the same ones that buy off our elected representatives to sit there and save their sorry behinds.
But for each horror story he tells us (and there are many, make no mistake), there are stirring examples of common people standing up against the faceless corporate bullies and exercising their democratic rights (what a novel concept!): homeowners in Miami who refuse to budge from a foreclosed home; union workers in Chicago who refuse to leave their place of employment, a manufacturer of doors and windows, even after Bank of America has foreclosed; people in Congress who have finally had enough and scream "BULLS**T!" to the corporate interests.
All of this may seem like Moore is going to his usual excessive lengths to make his point, particularly when it comes to the idea of abolishing the capitalist framework altogether--a pipe dream, if ever there was one. But when doing a satirical documentary like this, a little excess can go a long way to expose some hidden truths about our country; and the fact that Moore exposes truths that we either disagree with or don't want to know about inevitably makes him a target for blind followers of the Far Right and the Palin/McCain/Joe The Plumber sect, whom Moore once again is able to skewer with their own words. And he doesn't go so easy on Bill Clinton's administration either, as several members of that administration themselves were involved in setting up the self-fulfilling prophecy that led to the near-complete collapse of the American economy in 2008.
It was Michael Douglas' character Gordon Gekko who, in Oliver Stone's hard-hitting 1987 film WALL STREET, said to the audience at a stockholders' meeting: "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed works!" Well, as CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY shows, just the opposite is true. It is unrestrained greed and unrestrained fear that pushed America to the brink of total economic meltdown. And it is those same elements that have led Moore to the conclusion that Capitalism is evil. If he is wrong in his conclusion, then it is unfortunately not by much. And that is why CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY should be seen. We may not be able to abolish the capitalist system that has kept America a world power, but unless we do fundamental things now to place regulations on those that profit from greed, fear, and predatory behavior, then America may one day in the future go over the edge into the abyss with no hope to recover its lost greatness.