by Scott Norton
Michael Moore’s new documentary, ‘Capitalism: A love Story’ , attempts to broach the subject of corporate greed in American society and begins by illustrating the fact that one percent of the population in America control ninety-six percent of the wealth. Moore’s latest movie is thought provoking as well as extremely moving in the way that it puts a face to the victims of the ongoing recession, but, it reeks of hypocrisy on the part of Moore, who no doubt earns a pretty penny from intellectual property rights. Moore is a great social commentator, yes, his crude tactics attract the public’s attention, yes, but unfortunately this movie does not deal with the real reasons behind capitalism’s failure. Mankind’s greed!
He, Moore, points the finger at the major corporations and the banking system. He lays blame solely at the feet of the wealthy one percent and rightly condemns the underhand practices of big business. But, while these are the men and women (mostly men) who control the economy and perpetuate wealth inequality, it is the majority who cling to the ideal of the ‘American dream’ who allow these inequalities to continue and prosper. Moore has bypassed or omitted the simple fact that everyone wants this wealth and neglects to criticise the protectors of capitalist society; his viewers the people.
‘Capitalism: A love Story’ is a shallow attempt at addressing serious issues concerning not only Americas economic society, but every capitalist society in the world. It glosses over the fact that it is everyone’s greed, and not just corporate greed, that has led to booming house prices and record levels of individual debt.Tracing the rise of Capitalism and depicting the struggles of those worst effected by the recent economic recession is all well and good but this documentary only skims the subject and uses almost ludicrous tactics to captivate the viewer’s attention. Wrapping wall street in crime scene tape and standing outside banks with a a dollar sign bag declaring that you want the taxpayers money back serves only one purpose, publicity. I have no doubt that Moore believes he is opening the American publics eyes to the problems facing capitalist society but, he surely must realise the hypocrisy of his argument when he deposits his royalties cheque in the same banks he is protesting against.
Moore is correct however. Capitalism no longer works for the majority, if it ever did, and it will be up to us, the people, to come up with an alternative that does. Socialism and Communism are two already available alternatives to Capitalism but neither has been proven to be any better than that which we have already embraced. In the working models of Socialism and Communism we can clearly witness the inequalities already evident in our own society, so it should not only be our goal, it should be our duty to provide an original working alternative to our failed Capitalist experiment.
It is our duty as members of society, regardless of race, class, religion or political standpoint, to ensure that individual economies, as well as the world economy, are built upon a foundation that will not crumble under pressure, will not discriminate and perpetuate inequality and, most of all, will provide every man woman and child the opportunity, at least, to succeed in life and enjoy freedoms which we claim, as democratic societies, to already possess. Inequalities have only widened and it is high time that these inequalities are addressed properly without the aid of gimmicks and publicity stunts.