Monday, October 12, 2009

Michael Moore's Call to Fight

So I finally got around to see Capitalism:A Love Story this weekend. I think it's the least gimmicky and most nuanced of his documentaries to date. But to me it's less a love story and more a horror story. The film compares the United States' current predicament to the fall of Rome where the elites were so concerned with their own status that they neglected the have-nots and the tenets of society that had made that civilization great, leading to its downfall. He chronicles the propaganda that equated capitalism to all that's right to good and the people, entities, and policies such as Reagan, Goldman Sachs, the Bush years, and other corporate interests that lead to today with working people losing their family homes, losing the jobs that made these corporate titans great, and even corporations profiting from the deaths of their employees. Towards the end, Moore shines a ray of hope and invokes Franklin Delano Roosevelt's second bill of rights which, because of FDR's death, never came to fruition:

  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  • The right of every family to a decent home;
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
  • The right to a good education.
  • All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
  • America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.

Profiling a family that took back their foreclosed home and a group of workers protesting the closure of their plant without final pay, Moore invites us to fight for a country that lives up to to its creed and values all its citizens.

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