The evolution of Michael Moore has been illuminating. From what he once was to what he is now has revealed what was really there all along. I was dragged to Fahrenheit 911 by my left wing University roommate, and I walked out of the theatre pissed off that I had spent money to see that. In that moment I made a promise to myself never to pay money for anything with Michael Moore. I had watched Bowling for Columbine some months earlier, and actually liked that movie. The part where he takes the school kids who were shot back to the Wal-Mart that sold the bullets asking for a refund was clever. I have never seen Roger and Me, but they talked about it extensively in one of those “Exposing Michael Moore” documentaries. He was pissed that General Motors left Flynt Michigan, and he wanted to take them down. And where he gloats about the failure of GM (as if to take credit) being failure of management (which contributed), in reality the biggest drain on GM were the fat contracts that the workers union had extorted in collective bargaining. Remember the unions Michael, are they not supposed to be under your tent?
Fahrenheit 911 was really his peak of influence when his work was getting a lot of run time in the theatres. But he really believed that his film would cost Bush re-election, and it did not. Bush won, and Moore withered into his foxhole. Then he did Sicko which bombed, and now theatres don’t want to play his shit. It is not a corporate conspiracy, people just don’t want to spend their money too see that "America sucks" crap anymore. Then he had his “slacker uprising” that had to be released on the internet, and low and behold the slackers didn’t really care. Then Barak Obama wins the election after the sudden collapse of Wall Street, and Michael shows up on Larry King declaring the end of Capitalism and the dawn of a new era of Marxism. He kind of disappeared for a few months, likely to shoot some “revolutionary” new webumentary on the death of capitalism, and now he is back on TV doing some kind of promotional tour that will likely be followed by a movie release. He’ll try to get it in theatres if any will have him, but we are probably looking at a straight to DVD if he can get a company to distribute them, or another internet release depending on the metrics of slacker uprising.
We now have Michael Moore now running around the country openly promoting a “capitalism is dead” agenda to sell a product which is going to support his argument. The problem for Michael is that the markets are bouncing back and it appears increasingly likely that what we just experienced was markets purging bad investments. The dot com crash was not the end of capitalism; neither will the real estate crash signal the demise of conventional economics. Bottom line is the banks loaned too much money to people who could not pay it back, both mortgages and credit cards, then turned around and leveraged those bad bets into some complicated “asset funds” that were severely overvalued because they were built on top of bad bets.
So Michael, one could easily make the case that the collapse of the banks was as much the product of the rather socialist ideal of putting low income people in nice houses as it was cooperate greed. It was a critical mass of debt that brought down the banks. President Obama has to be careful how much money he spends on some of these ambitious projects, because the bubble can hit critical mass again and potentially collapse the dollar. It is uncertain how the financial world would change if the greenback collapsed on foreign exchange markets.
I have always maintained that a small moderate amount of socialism can benefit a society, a Nash equilibrium if you will. But the extreme forms of it have failed miserably pretty much everywhere they have ever been tried. We can discuss the success or failure of Cuba and Venezuela, but I see them as economic failures in progress. When you fight success and reward failure, your productivity and sustainability suffer. One person’s greed is another person’s ambition. The desire to acquire material goods is what propels us forward. Look at the post WWII era, the golden age of capitalism. Look at how far technology has evolved in such a short period of time, thanks to global competition. The amount of computer power in an IPod would fill several football fields’ worth of vacuum tubes from the 60s. That didn’t come from Marxism. Score one for capitalism. Reaching the moon, capitalism. It is quite a long list.
Let Michael Moore run around and have his fun, but I won’t be paying attention. I know what he is; I disagree with his core beliefs, end of story. He has marginalized himself and I doubt that anyone is paying attention anymore mister Moore.
"Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff"