Saturday, December 21, 2013

Capitalism: A Love Story


Negatives:
* The movie appears to confuse Mercantilism (the buying and selling of goods and services) with Capitalism (a system under which the profits of industry go to the investors of capital instead of to the workers.)

* Most of the examples in the movie are attacks on corruption instead of on the theory of capitalist economics.

* Many of the examples in the movie are attacks on the banking and finance system instead of the capitalist manufacturing system.

* The movie relies strongly on emotional appeal instead of a logical critique of the capitalist system

* The film doesn’t so much develop a coherent argument as it is just a collection of examples of capitalist excesses.

* The movie flirts with socialist ideas, but fails to present any sort of socialist program as an alternative to capitalism.

Positives
* Love him or hate him, nothing Michael Moore does is ever boring.

* The film may rely heavily on emotional appeals, but it hits this emotional appeal very skillfully.

* The film may be a critique of the excesses of capitalism and of corruption (instead of the underlying system), but it does a great job of exposing the corruption in banking and in Wall Street.

The Review
            In spite of all its flaws, a very powerful film that needs to be seen.  The film doesn’t quite present a coherent critique when viewed in isolation, but it can be a great educational tool when presented as part of a larger argument against capitalism.  This film has the potential to begin a debate that our country badly needs, and should, ideally, be seen by citizen of the United States.

Other Things I Would Write About If I Wasn’t Limiting Myself to 100 Word
* A list of all the really good points this movie makes.

8 out of 10 stars

Links:
For my other thoughts on Michael Moore see here, here , here , here and here
External Links

2 comments:

Darrell Reimer said...

A couple of years ago when Bruce Cockburn received a lifetime achievement award, his acceptance speech was, "Mercantilism sucked in the 17th Century, and it sucks now." Sums up quite a bit, I think.

Joel said...

I'd probably consider myself less opposed to Mercantilism than capitalism. (Part of my frustration when people conflate the two terms, as Michael Moore did in this movie). But when it comes right down to it, they can both be pretty brutal forms of societal arrangement.