Michael Moore – Capitalism A Love Affair

Andy Klein points out that Moore’s movie is the first Hollywood feature to have the word “capitalism” in the title. The most powerful statement of the entire movie is made towards the end of the movie: Capitalism is an evil and one cannot regulate evil. The power of the above statement is rivaled only by a corollary question: WOULD JESUS BE A CAPITALIST?

Capitalism and Communism have been so polarized for a century that any criticism made of one is automatically assumed to be praise for the other. Michael Moore seems to have some third ideology as an alternative to Capitalism but does not say anything more specific than what Roosevelt proposed a year or so before his death.

I never realized that Michael Moore was raised as a Roman Catholic. Michael Moore deals at length with Roman Catholic doctrines of social justice. Moore overlooked one of the most powerful statements by a Catholic bishop in modern times. ”When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint,” said Roman Catholic Archbishop Dom Helder Camara. ”But when I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”

Here is a quotation from the official Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church which illustrated the Church’s position regarding the economics of poverty. This is to be found in Article 7 “The Seventh Commandment: You shall not steal,” paragraphs 2401 through 2463. Notice that the seventh commandment establishes the right of private property, for without some recognition of private property there could be no such thing as stealing for everything would belong to everyone. Hence one cannot accuse Catholic doctrine of supporting views expressed by French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in his book “Property is Theft.”

Article 2402 of The Catechism states that “The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence.”

Article 2403 of The Catechism states that “The right to private property, acquired by work or received from others by inheritance or gift, does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind. The universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise.”

Article 2406 of The Catechism states “Political authority has the right and duty to regulate the legitimate exercise of the right to ownership for the sake of the common good.”

Consider the exercise of “eminent domain” when highways must be constructed. Consider the anti-trust laws which prevent any single Corporation from becoming so powerful that it would exercise unfairness in the competitive market place.

The final article that I wish to quote from The Catechism is Article 2441: An increased send of God and increased self-awareness are fundamental to any full development of human society. This development multiples material goods and puts them at the service of the person and his freedom. It reduces dire poverty and economic exploitation. It makes for growth in respect for cultural identities and openness to the transcendent.

Some historic figures shown in archival footage are:
William Black …
George W. Bush
Jimmy Carter
Congressman Elijah Cummins
Baron Hill
Marcy Kaptur
John McCain
Michael Moore
Barack Obama
Sarah Palin
Ronald Reagan
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Wallace Shawn
Elizabeth Warren

“What Michael Moore is really going after is the corporatism that has made profit a goal beyond all ethical considerations. (Whether this is an inevitable result of all stripes of capitalism is a different argument.) And his alternative seems no more radical than an extension of 70-year-old New Deal ideas.” – Andy Klein

Michael Moore is obviously a brilliant man. Brilliant men can violently disagree with one another, as once can easily see from old television debates between two brilliant men such as William F. Buckley, Jr. and Noam Chomsky.

“Michael Moore has produced a jerry-rigged jeremiad about free enterprise..” – JOHN ANDERSON

The movie opens with a long comparison between ancient Rome and modern America. A growing gap between the many poor and the wealthy few is the kindling wood for rebellion. Some people saw “A Tale of Two Cities” as Dickens’ warning to Great Britain that they too might suffer a bloody revolution if they did not to anything to address the grievances of the oppressed and underprivileged. Moore shows a family in Peoria Illinois losing their farm and their heritage. Capitalism involves more taking than giving. Vultures and bottom-feeders feast on Bank of America foreclosures. Profit motive drives many an injustice. Moore finds, in an economic bill of rights proposed by FDR, who died before he could enact it, a blueprint for a way out of this mess. Companies that take out something actually called “peasant insurance” on employees who are worth more dead than alive.

“It’s easy to be No. 1 when you have no competition,” Moore says, referring to the war-torn economies of Japan and Germany.” Duane Dudek. “An exploration of the root causes of the global economic meltdown culminates in what Moore sees as the biggest robbery in American history: the transfer of U.S. taxpayer money to bail out private financial institutions.” – John Del Signore

“Plutonomies” are economies where only the actions of the wealthiest individuals actually matter. What’s different in “Capitalism” is the way Moore actively appeals to gun-toting, God-fearing Americans, with religion playing an especially vital role in the film’s one-sided debate. Moore interviews several Catholic clergy who condemn capitalism as evil and insist Jesus Christ would live outside the system. Father Derik Peterson says that Capitalism is a sin. Moore wants to get his viewers outraged and shake them out of their complacency. You may not always love his tactics, but his intentions are near impeccable. The wealthy used to have to pay a 90% tax rate.

A person’s identity is no longer connected with what he DOES but rather with what he OWNS. Jonas Salk could have become wealthy by selling the polio vaccine to some pharmaceutical company, but instead, he placed it in public domain for the common good of all. Ronald Reagan used to do advertisements for Van Heusen shirts. The rich wanted to turn the bull of unbridled prosperity loose. The plot was to destroy unions by the wholesale dismantling of the infrastructure. Sales of antidepressants skyrocketed during recent years. Flint Michigan, the birthplace of General Motors, became a city on welfare.

Wilkesberry PA Child Care. A total of 6,500 children were convicted to feed that profit motive driven penal system. Robert Powell and Judge Conahan were co-conspirators in the Child Care scheme of imprisonment for profit. One teen named Hillary made a Myspace page which criticized the government and went to jail. Problems arise when a for-profit company is given a task which should be done by state and federal government.

Hero pilot Captain “Sully” Sullenberger gives testimony in Congress that pilots earn less money than the managers of some fast-food chains. Starting pilot pay is $19,000 and they must apply for food stamps. When students graduate, they are burdened with loan debts of $100,000. Airlines skimp on safety in an effort to make a profit..

Phil Gramm was the whistle blower on the 2005-2006 Citibank confidential memo which projects that the society will become a plutonomy of the top one percent. With a growing gap between the rich and the poor, the peasants might revolt. Democracy’s majority rule is like two wolves and one sheep voting on what is for dinner.

Isthmus engineering robotics is cited as an example of an employee owned company which prospers and yet is fair to all employees. In one bread factory co-op the average assembly line worker earns $65,000 per year.
Professor William Black points out the problem that too few gifted students are going into the field of science to work for the common good, because more money is to be made in the world of banking finance.

The mathematics of financial instruments like derivatives is so complex that it is difficult to investigate the legality of such codes. Alan Greenspan gave the signal to tap into home equity like a personal piggybank. During the crisis of Iraq and Afghanistan, 10,000 FBI investigators were diverted from the area of financial crime, to home security, just at a time when lender fraudulence was epidemic.

Moore makes Bush look like a fool in one scene by likening Bush to a chicken-little, terrorizing the public with the fear that the sky was falling, the financial sky that is, instilling the fear of a Nightmare on Wall Street; an Armageddon, so that the people would pass laws which grant exorbitant powers without accountability.

Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual – collapsed because of a fundamentally unsound system built upon sand instead of bedrock. Citicorp and Travelers merge to make the largest bank in the world. Insane housing derivatives contributed to the economic collapse.

Fearing marshal law in America proponents of the Iraq Resolution advocated to wave all laws. But our justice system is sworn to defend against all enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC. Is Michael Moore the voice of a John the Baptist crying in the wilderness to make ready for the coming day of judgment? Moore hints at back room deals with Democrats; a conspiracy carefully planned. A.I.G. gave 6.8 billion dollars in bonuses in the wake of the financial collapse.

The carrot was held out to the public that they TOO could be rich some day. Schwarzenegger said he left Europe for America because the socialists ruined a chance for opportunity in Europe.

SONG: AINT NO POWER LIKE THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE.

You have become squatters in your own homes.

Scenes are shown of the Windows and Doors Company sit-down strike. A decision was finally made to pay off workers and hope revolution goes away. “How do they sleep at night” asks one journalist of the architects of this economic collapse.

During a 44 day strike in Flint, Michigan by General Motors workers, FDR sent national guard to fight off the goons and union busters. FDR planned new goals for human happiness: universal Health care, housing, pension. Europe and Japan got those things after the war, during reconstruction. The Italian constitution of 1947 guaranteed equal rights to all women. The suffering never comes to the Bernie Madoffs, but to the poor victims of the Katrina flood. A suggestion is made to replace Capitalism with Democracy. The movie ends with the song: Awake ye workers from your slumber.

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