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Review of Michael Moore's “Capitalism – A Love Story”

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I didn't know what to expect with this latest Michael Moore film. I knew what to expect going into "Sicko" and "Farenheit 451" and "Bowling for Columbine". As I watched this new effort unfold on the screen, I realized this is a very different Michael Moore movie.

Previous Moore movies hit you over the head with what they wanted from you. The intent of Sicko was to motivate the country to seek Universal Healthcare for all. The purpose of Farenheit 451 was to stop the war in Iraq. Bowling for Columbine was a clear call for more gun regulation. "Capitalism -- A Love Story" is more subtle with what it expects from us.

I'm sure that Conservative Pundits will spin the movie as a call for Socialism or Communism. Lazy thinking would certainly lead someone in that direction, i.e., "Well, if he doesn't like Capitalism, what other economic systems are out there?". I hope this subtlety doesn't end up hurting the film. People who can (and are willing to) think will figure out what Moore is trying to say with this movie.

Moore's ire is not aimed at Capitalism in general, but what American Capitalism has become since the 1970's and 80's. Moore speaks lovingly, albeit indirectly, about the brand of Capitalism that existed in the US in the 1940's, 50's and 1960's, using examples from his own family and his father's tenure in the auto industry replete with good health insurance and a good pension that cannot be taken away.

This film shows how something has gone wrong since then, something that we need to fix. The movie addresses US home evictions, the destruction of American manufacturing, the bailouts of the financial industry and much more. But consider what I wrote above about Moore's father. Michael Moore's dad worked over 30 years with the same company, he wasn't laid-off or furloughed, and he had great benefits including healthcare and a pension for life after retirement. What has happened to all of that? Did we get something better in return for having given that up? Not that we had a choice, those kinds of things were simply taken away from us.

If we could all vote to go back to the economic system in the 1950's and 1960's versus the system we have now, what do you think the vote would be like? I think it would be 85% for the 1950's and 1960's and 15% for what we have now. So what do the 85% of us do, if anything? That is the question with which Michael Moore intentionally leaves us. In some ways, not having "what to do" wrapped up all nicely for us is refreshing. It makes one think, assuming one is inclined to do so.

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The most interesting rub in this is, even if you are in the wealthiest 1% or a CEO or both, what has to hit you is that American businesses were more successful in the 1950s and 1960s than they have been since. "Capitalism -- A Love Story" is a great film that should be seen by everyone. We have lost something in this country and this movie makes that clear.

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A political blogger for the International Business Times, Steve Leser is a hot national political pundit. He has appeared on MSNBC's Coundown with Keith Olbermann, Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Russia Today's (RT) Crosstalk with (more...)

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Steven, welcome to my libertarian world! Fiscally ... by Patrick Henry on Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 at 4:12:35 PM
Laissez-Fairism is the problem, not the solution.B... by Steven Leser on Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 at 4:37:48 PM
oh man, I thought we had you but then we lost you ... by Patrick Henry on Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 at 5:51:08 PM
This is only part of the problem that Patrick Henr... by R. A. Louis on Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 at 9:20:15 PM
I agree... Cut military expenditures? Yes. Prison-... by Patrick Henry on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 11:12:04 AM
The problem I have with libertarians is basically ... by arlen custer on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 9:02:22 PM
it's hard to respond when you give no indication o... by Patrick Henry on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 9:33:40 PM
I would say that from what you wrote it is clear w... by arlen custer on Monday, Oct 5, 2009 at 7:46:52 AM
see the movie... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 at 5:14:37 PM
you lament the lost 50's when people could save mo... by liberalsrock on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 9:22:48 AM
You now get the award for the stupidest comment I'... by Patrick Henry on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 11:01:38 AM
The other movie was Fahrenheit 911, not 451... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Saturday, Oct 3, 2009 at 5:12:58 PM
It took place when TARP was rejected and then Paul... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 8:54:43 AM
If there was true Capitalism, a good thing, there ... by Steven G. Erickson on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 11:41:41 AM
Libertarians aren't much different than the right ... by shirley reese on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 8:06:27 PM
Libertarians are completely against bank bailouts ... by Patrick Henry on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 10:16:42 PM
"For Those of You on Your Way to Church This Morni... by shirley reese on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 8:10:13 PM
I haven't seen the movie yet. They were sold out o... by Steve Moyer on Sunday, Oct 4, 2009 at 8:13:49 PM
This article is a perceptive analysis of Michael M... by Eugene Elander on Monday, Oct 5, 2009 at 6:41:37 AM
There is really a simple answer to all the worlds ... by arlen custer on Monday, Oct 5, 2009 at 9:12:21 PM