In an interview with CNS News at the premier of his new film, Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore was quoted making the following statement:
CNSNews.com then asked Moore: “Critics would say he’s [Moore] been very successful under a capitalist system. How would you justify making a movie where you paint capitalism as evil?”
Moore said: “Well, capitalism did nothing for me, starting with my first film.”
“You know, I had to pretty much beg, borrow and steal,” he said. “The system is not set up to help somebody from the working class make a movie like this and get the truth out there.”
You can see the video of Mr. Moore’s interview here.
I have no interest in seeing Mr. Moore’s film. Largely, that is because his “documentaries” are uninformative schlock that take wide liberties with facts and the truth. However, from viewing the trailers it seems terribly out-of-place to call the film “Capitalism.” In the trailers, Moore is seen chasing down Wall Street executives and Washington insiders trying to find out what happened to the TARP and bailout funds.
Add to this the fact that Michael Moore is himself wealthy by capitalist means, making a product that people want: People with anti-American and anti-Capitalist sentiments find his films appealing and entertaining. According to the The-Numbers.com and the Los Angeles Times, he may have taken home all the profits of the $17 million in DVD sales from his previous work, Sicko.
It seems that Moore is not actually upset with capitalism, but rather fascism. No, not the colloquialism of jack-boots and swastikas. The economics of National Socialism, where government invests in and closely directs the economic activity of private industry. This was the economic policy of Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany, Franco’s Spain, and many others since. Indeed, from the trailers, it seems that Moore actually likes capitalism, where the taxpayers keep their money and government does not decide economic winners and losers.
According to wikipedia and IMDB (which are not trusted websites, so take it for what it’s worth), Moore dropped out of college. Clearly, he did not take a class in economics while he was there, or he would understand the difference between capitalism and fascism.
Let me define the terms for Mr. Moore so he won’t make this mistake in the future (these aren’t official definitions; they are meant to be understood by lay-people):
Capitalism – An economic structure where private individuals own the resources and means of production, and can use and employ them as they see fit in a free and relatively unregulated market.
State Capitalism – A hybrid form of communism and capitalism in which the central government controls most of the capital, industry, natural resources and other means of production in an effort to earn profit. Any private industry is heavily regulated.
Fascism -A form of socialism, an economic structure where private individuals own the means and resources of production and enjoy the fruits of their production, but are heavily regulated, directed and supported by government.
Communism – A form of socialism, an economic structure where resources, industry and capital are owned by the state but operates without capitalist or free market incentives, the purpose of which is to equally distribute those resources.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Moore does not understand the nature and purpose of capitalism. Without capitalism, he would not be the wealthy, successful individual he is. In hating capitalism, he has used its mechanisms and his personal drive to promote himself and his message to capitalism’s highest levels of achievement: Fame, wealth and power.
That so many people accept his message as the truth is even more unfortunate.
Cross-posted at Seeking Liberty and The Minority Report.