September 9, 2009

Capitalism: A Love Story

Hatched by Dave Ross

So, Michael Moore thinks Capitalism is a bad idea. What a surprise!

Moore has written and directed the ironically titled film: Capitalism: a Love Story. If you have guessed that this movie is not a tribute to Capitalism, give yourself a cigar.

I’m not sure that anyone has ever made this observation before, but Moore’s movie titles are all stupid and irritating. If I were to suggest some titles that might fit Moore’s oeuvre, they might be: Slobbo, Bowling for Calories, Avoirdupois 911 or Marx & Me. His films have always had a yen to bash corporate America, at the same time celebrating corpulent America.

These movies always feature Moore prominently on screen. He is nothing if not self-indulgent, with the unshakable belief, apparently shared by our current president, that people never tire of seeing him. Well, it’s a cinch that when he’s on the screen, they won't see much of anything else, unless it’s the Parthenon; and not much of that if he’s standing in front of it. And I guess he’s right that some people never tire; that is what Capitalism is about: people paying their own money for something that they want. (In the world that Moore evidently prefers, people would pay to see movies they don’t want in the interests of fairness.)

Moore makes his living as a result of the largesse of the capitalist system, which serves the economic ends even of those who would destroy it: Lenin predicted that the last capitalist would sell the rope that would be used to hang him. In a way, Moore is basically an economic illiterate, or else a complete hypocrite. He is one of those artists who, after becoming ridiculously wealthy because Capitalism rewards talent, though not always intelligence or wisdom -- and certainly not virtue! -- spend all their free time biting the multiple hands that feed them.

I have to think that the companies which fund Moore’s so-called documentaries -- out-and-out propaganda, in the grand tradition of Triumph of the Will -- are modern day examples of those rope-selling capitalists that Lenin joked about, if it can ever be said that Lenin joked about anything.

But as Winston Churchill once said of democracy, Capitalism is the worst of all economic systems, except for all the others. As "unfair" as it may be, it's better than the rest because it's based on the idea that freedom, specifically economic freedom, is good.

What people like Moore, and the idiots who worship at his shrine, fail to grasp is that the freedom that allows General Motors to run itself into the ground and throw thousands of employees to the winds of chance is the same freedom that allows you or me to start a small business and turn it into a profitable venture. Or to buy a ranch and raise cattle. Or make movies that Euroweenies line up to watch because they get an electric tingle out of the America bashing. Moore’s movies don’t do quite as well in the U.S., but there’s always someone willing to pay to see them (not me!)

Moore ends his film with this taunt: "I refuse to live in a country like this, and I’m not leaving." Thankfully there are other alternatives, which given Moore’s lifestyle, are more likely to come into play even before President Obama finishes his attempt to destroy Capitalism. If I thought it would help, I'd send him a case of Twinkies.

Hatched by Dave Ross on this day, September 9, 2009, at the time of 10:23 PM

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The following hissed in response by: dref

A better way to see it is not that capitalism gave General Motors the freedom to run itself into the ground, but that capitalism rightly punished GM (not to mention the greedy UAW union who share a lions share of the blame for the auto industry's woes) for it's bad decisions with bankruptcy and financial ruin and refuses to allow it the freedom to make bad products and decisions and get away with it. Capitalism in fact does not allow for the freedom to be non-productive and do whatever you want regardless of how inefficient you've become. What it gives it can take away if you get too complacent. GM's employees might be cast away into the winds of luck but they and the country as a whole will be better off on the long run as the removal of GM would allow better and smarter companies to flourish and serve the public better and those former employees could get jobs at healthier and more productive companies. And perhaps work they might enjoy more. In the end, capitalism is the fairest economic system possible.

Unfortunately, under socialism dead wood is not so easily cleared away as governments can prop up their own failing enterprises through the unlimited funds known as tax payers pockets and through government power and exemption and sadly the dead wood of GM is being propped up by that same socialism. The distortions that government cause in the free market are preventing the market from moving on from GM and it causing all sorts of economic problems.

Also, I think Moore's alleged ability to bring down capitalism is greatly overblown. This guy will never have any power to destroy anyone with. The only damage he can do is maybe embolden bums who are already stupid and anti-capitalistic to begin with and who would find another source to gorge on even without Moore. You can't expect the publishers and movie studios who "finance" his work to ignore and refuse to deal with anyone and everyone who might disagree with them, not only is that bad business but it would lead them open to charges of gross censorship and being anti-free speech. Trust me, I doubt any organization is truly afraid of this big idiot. In fact, they are laughing all the way to the bank as Moore is inadvertently helping to line their pockets while he himself still remains relatively insignificant. He's the one being sold the rope with which he'll hang himself.

Also, another aside, it's not true that capitalism doesn't always reward intelligence, wisdom and virtue. What it doesn't do is reward *overall* intelligence, wisdom and virtue, but it does reward those attributes when applied on the open market. Overall, Moore is not virtuous, wise or intelligent, but when it comes to making documentaries that serve a niche audience, he does begrudgingly have those qualities in that area at least. But actually on the whole capitalism rewards intelligence and wisdom and punishes irrationality. (As in the case of GM or Chrysler, well before the feds came along and interfered in the free market process which was punishing those companies for their indiscretions.) And who knows, maybe some day Moore's irrationality will bite him in his sizable butt, as the public turns on him and his "work" fails to make any money and his wallet shrinks and he falls flat on his face. In fact, when compared to how much conservative books sell, he's way in the back of the pack. The rewards he's reaping are mild compared to the rewards conservatives are rightly getting because unlike him they are actually serving the needs of society as a whole and not just niches with their books. In fact, you can say capitalism *is* punishing him somewhat, as he is not doing nearly as well as he could have if he became a sensible conservative and not a commie boob.

And in regards to virtue overall, capitalism does reward virtue, if not always personal behavior type virtue, but the virtue of productiveness and serving your fellow man. For example, Cornelius Vanderbilt might personally have not always been a nice guy, but when it came to his destroying the Fulton steamship government created monopoly, lowering dramatically the rates on passenger travel and providing exceptional and efficient service he was as virtuous in helping his fellow man as any charity worker is or was.

The above hissed in response by: dref [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2009 2:17 AM

The following hissed in response by: Geoman

All other systems worry over how to divide the exisitng economic pie. Capilism is the only system that bakes a bigger pie in the first place.

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2009 3:40 PM

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