Michael Moore Is a "Big Fat Capitalist Pig"
By: David Goetsch
Millionaire Michael Moore hates capitalists, which is ironic because he is one. In fact, to parrot him and some of his fellow travelers on the left, Michael Moore is a big, fat capitalist pig. Moore claims to be for the “little man,” when, in fact, he is not little himself in any sense of the word, and certainly not financially. His latest anti-American diatribe on film, Capitalism: A Love Story, is anything but a love story. In it he attacks the usual cast of characters—George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan—but he also attacks Democrats in Congress. In fact, he even takes a muted swipe at President Obama.
His message in this film is little more than a rehash of the types of anti-capitalism attacks the left has been making for decades. That they are being made by a millionaire who has benefitted substantially from the practice of capitalism seems to elude Moore’s fans and Moore himself. Moore’s approach in this film is the same one he has used in all of his previous efforts (e.g. ambush interviews, oversimplification of complex issues, statistics that are taken out of context or twisted as necessary to support his assertions, etc.). The one new addition in this film consists of tear-jerking examples of people who have supposedly been trampled on by the hobnailed boots of wicked capitalists.
Moore actually makes some valid points in this film about financial greed on Wall Street that is just encouraged by political greed in Washington, D.C.—although in typical Michael Moore fashion, even his valid points are over done. It is this practice of blatant overstatement—coupled with his obvious hypocrisy—that robs Moore of the credibility he obviously desires and that undermines any chance his films have of moving people to action. Fans seem to respond to Moore’s films in the same way they respond to over-the-top political comedy—fun to watch but not to be taken too seriously.
Although he likes to name names and attack specific individuals by making broad, sweeping, oversimplified charges, Moore’s real target in “Capitalism” is capitalism itself. Since this is the case, I would like to pose a few questions that Moore somehow overlooked when making this movie:
•Why do people in capitalist countries have greater levels of income and a higher standard of living than those in socialist and communist countries?
•Why do people in capitalist countries enjoy greater protections of their human rights than those in socialist and communist countries?
•Why do people in capitalist countries enjoy greater freedom and liberty than those in socialist and communist countries?
•Why do the poor of the world try so hard to escape their countries of origin and come to the United States, even if it means entering illegally?
•Why don’t the poor of the world immigrate to Cuba, Russia, or China?
It is difficult to know what Michael Moore thinks would be an acceptable substitute for capitalism—he is better at criticizing than at offering alternatives. However, in the field of economics there are few options. If you rule out capitalism, as Moore does, you are left with socialism. If we assume that Michael Moore would—like his fellow travelers on the left—prefer socialism to capitalism, a few additional questions come to mind:
•Since socialism has not worked any where it has been tried, why do you think it would work in America?
•Since socialism has been shown to bring out the worse in people—sloth, laziness, idleness, irresponsible behavior—why would you recommend it over an economic system that encourages entrepreneurship and a work ethic based on such values as thrift, diligence, responsibility, accountability, deferred gratification, and hard work?
•Since many of the problems pointed out in your film are caused by government tampering with the country’s capitalist economic system rather than capitalism itself, are you not blaming the wrong entity for the problems depicted in your film?
Winston Churchill once said words to the effect that Democracy is the worst possible system of government, except all the others. One could say the same thing about capitalism because it shares the same Achille’s heel as Democracy. If its practitioners are not solidly grounded on a strong foundation of morality, greed and abuse are not just possible but likely. As long as there is sin in the hearts of man, there will be greed and abuse. This fact also applies to socialism. But a free-market system has checks and balances that encourage appropriate behavior in a capitalist system. These checks and balances do not exist in a socialist system.
In his latest film, Michael Moore blames capitalism for behaviors that, in reality, were government-induced. He also uses a favorite tactic of the left—making his point using the exceptions rather than the rule. Michael Moore will fatten his capitalist wallet with this film, but viewers will respond to it in the same way they have responded to all of his previous films. They will watch, laugh a little, feel indignantly superior for a short period of time, and then forget about it.