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A Review of the Movie “Capitalism A Love Story” Is Michael Moore a Permanent (Anti-) Capitalist gadfly or Change Age

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After several books and movies, the verdict is finally in on Michael Moore: He stirs up the pot, pitches a "one man hissy fit, jumping up and down for media attention like the signifying monkey, and then laughs all the way to the bank as he moves on to the next mega-million moneymaking project.

With "Roger Rabbit, that warned about the impending Detroit meltdown, which occurred on schedule as he had predicted: no one in the U.S. moved a muscle and we all just watched as Detroit sunk to the bottom of lake Michigan. In "Bowling with Columbine, where with great skill (if lacking subtlety and finesse), he exposed the machination of the gun merchants and their protectors the heavy-handed gun lobbyists. One thought there would be a great national outcry and a final serious move against the gun lobbyists and the weak kneed Congressmen that continue to cower under their threats, yet not a peek out of the still comatose American public. Then, just as our senior citizens were chartering caravans of buses on a Jihad across the border into Canada to purchase the same drugs being charged ten times as much to them in the U.S., came "Sicko: a devastating critique of the "sickness for profit system that we call our national health care system, but again, not a solitary growl from the sleeping giant known as the American public?

Now we have "Capitalism: A Love Story, perhaps the renegade filmmaker's best yet. It is a documentary about how both our present and past Presidents and Congress are "wholly owned subsidiaries of Goldman and Sachs, and about how the Congress and the last President hijacked the economy under a false scare that they themselves had conjured up (with "credit default swaps and other nonsensical financial derivatives). This carefully engineered economic meltdown was only different in scope from the ones they had engineered about two decades before: first in the Keating-McCain scandal and then in the Burt Lance-Jimmy Carter BCCI scandal.

It was also about now they and their lobbyist's friends continue to screw the nation in both the front (with the Obama bailout and the second healthcare mess) and in the rear (with offshore tax dodges, insurance policies on employees, tax cuts for the rich, obscene salaries and golden parachutes for themselves, but only low wages and outsourcing and down-sizing for everyone else -- but of course all in the name of all our most cherished patriotic symbols. Never has there been a more thorough and devastating critique of the way the American middle class, the American farmer, the American poor, and the American homeowner, have been screwed by the greedy money-hungry "drive-by criminals running the Congress and Wall Street. Yet, I am going to go out on a limb and predict that nothing will happen as a result of this fine film, either.

Why is it the case that when Michael Moore tells the unvarnished truth about what is happening right before our own eyes, no one seems to care? It can't just be that they don't like Moore's brand of politics, because the nation is divided right down the middle between liberals and conservatives (excuse me, between "progressives and conservatives), so that can't be the underlying reason. It also can't be that Michael is just another capitalist himself with a capital "C. The movie and Moore avowedly are not against capitalism, just against the kind of "vampire capitalism and unregulated "casino capitalism being perpetrated against the American people today by the Wall Street crowd.

Thus, I believe the reason goes much deeper and suggests that we are now "in a fix we may never be able to extricate ourselves from. The grid of parallel fault lines making up the sectors that divide the country have now been Balkanized to the max. There are no more ways remaining by which we further can be divided as a people. As a result, the U.S. has become a virtually ungovernable political entity. And this is exactly what the greedy criminal Plutocrats (with their Congressional and Presidential lap dogs) have been angling towards, since FDR's New Deal. They have achieved their goal. There is no longer a "common good, only "special interests. And whose interests are the most special of all? Guess? All the real democrats (little "d ) hate each other's guts and would rather see the country fall than yield one narrow ideological point to another side. All the Balkanized sectors are at right angles to each other. There is no overlap. It's a multidimensional zero-sum game in every direction.

That basically is where our democracy is today, and that's very sad. In the mean time, we elected Obama as the change candidate (that is to say, we only elected him to get rid of the village idiot, that was the change we were all most seeking) and he has distinguished himself by showing us how to "duck and dodge all of the issues that divide us. What else can the poor guy do? Become a real leader, god forbid? Did we forget, that that is not what he promised, he didn't promise leadership, just change. Well, how does that saying go: If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, smells like a duck, and ducks like a duck, it is, as Reverend Wright said: Just another Chicago politician. And as Hillary reminded us, he can give a good speech. I am beginning to dislike Obama's "slipping and sliding as much as I disliked Bush's incompetence, and I am a black man.

Oh, we already know what will happen should "Capitalism: A Love Story begin to really threaten to gain traction. The Plutocrats will circle the wagons and roll out their first line of defense, the racist "intellectually challenged rightwing media pundits like Limbaugh, Beck and Dobbs. Should the concerned and aware American public then began to wake up and see through this emotional smoke screen (which they rarely do) there still will be graft to spread around on the Hill like cow manure to our "morally challenged Congressmen, most of whom have yet to see a bag of money or a campaign contribution they could refuse. As a last resort, they will saturate the executive office with a revolving door list of Wall Street's "who's who in the world of how to screw the American people. And failing that, they can always find somewhere else to start another false war of necessity.

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Retired Foreign Service Officer and past Manager of Political and Military Affairs at the US Department of State. For a brief time an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Denver and the University of Washington at (more...)
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