Archive for the ‘capitalism’ tag
Socialism always seems to have a marketing advantage over capitalism.Â This is not surprising, because socialism is a deeply romantic notion: a dangerously seductive dream of prosperity as a function of justice, where the wise redistribute the profits of the wicked to care for the needy.Â Socialismâ€™s promises are so alluring that questions about its poor performance are dismissed as rude.Â It is a childish philosophy, and like any errant child, it receives a limitless supply of forgiveness and second chances.
The Guardian (U.K.) interviewed Pizza the Hutt.Â The Hutt was in rare, self-aggrandizingÂ form:
My films don’t have instant impact because they’re dense with ideas that people have not thought about.
I already suspected that Michael Moore never reads, possesses no historical curiosity andÂ indulges in sheer intellectual sloth, but now he seems determined to prove it. These are ideas that “people have not thought about”? Nonspecific collectivism? Vague platitudes about equality and democracy?
Here, again Michael Moore giddily imagines he is leading some kind of radical vanguard:
“Wow, they’re afraid of this movie [Sicko], they believe it can actually create a revolution.” The idea that cinema can be dangerous is a great idea.
I think Joseph Goebbels might take exception to the Hutt’s belief that he is a trailblazer in producing political films that promote “dangerous” ideas.
As I have written here before, Michael Moore’s radicalism is just a sloppier and more Twitter-friendly iteration of a collectivist impulse that dates back to antiquity.
(One more thing. The Guardian does not allow comments on their articles and I was not able to find a way to contact the author. I simply wanted to tell them they had mistaken the name of the insurance company whose former executive appeared on Bill Moyers. It is CIGNA, not Sigma. But that took about 20 seconds of Internet sleuthing, and I couldn’t reasonably expect the storied Guardian to do such a thing.)
This kind of video needs as wide dissemination as possible.Â When people in the president’s administration talk very seriously about power coming from the barrel of a gun, we need to pay attention.Â Even if it’s just a minor functionary in a vague position of indeterminable power, for the president to surround himself with so many extremists makes a clear statement to anyone willing to listen.
I think for most Americans our mental image of Communist revolutionaries is one of somewhat comical sunglasses-and-green-fatigue-wearing Latin dictators, Vietcong guerrillas from an endlessÂ list of war movies, or the grumpy old vodka-swilling Soviet Politburo members whom we defeated in the Cold War.
Human history is full of people being caught flat flooted, saying “that’s a crazy idea”Â just asÂ drastic, transformative change sweeps over them.Â It happens in the world of business every day as an innovative company quickly muscles its competition out of a market.Â It happens in the realm of politics, usually at the cost of thousands or millions of lives (the widely admired Chairman Mao for example).Â It may not be time to barricade ourselves in a remote cave stocked with food and ammunition, but it is most definitely time to start asking questions and preparing ourselves for eventualities it is very easy, convenient, and comforting to dismiss,Â telling ourselvesÂ “that’s crazy…no way that could happen in America”.
We need to change our perspective drastically.Â The Communist revolutionaries in America have decided not to play byÂ the old,Â convenient rules.Â They wont be showing up to the fight in grungy green fatigues holding signs for Marxist revolution.Â Those protestors have grown up, and apparently they’re very much in the system now, Marxist termites gnawing on the structure of American freedom, exceptionalism, and capitalism.
These revolutionaries will be well dressed, bearing advanced degrees from Harvard and Columbia.Â They are far more insidious and more dangerous than anything America has faced before.Â We need to change our perspective to fit the threat that faces us.Â I recommend exercising your 2nd amendment rights while you still have them.Â Whatever else happens, I will always believe that a few million well-armed, freedom loving Americans can accomplish anything.Â I don’t think the Gestapo would have fared quite as well in rural America as they did in Germany.Â Hopefully that theory will never be tested.
I have just started watching the series “Free to Choose,” and it is genuinely fascinating andÂ entertaining. The best part– which I was not expecting– is Milton Friedman’s endearing warmth, curiosity and joie de vivre.Â You wouldn’t guess that this man practices theÂ “dismal science.”
In this clip from Part IV: “From Cradle to Grave” (1980), he discusses theÂ deleterious effects of the welfare state:
One of the things I hold against the welfare system most seriously is that it has destroyed private charitable arrangements which are far more effective, far more compassionate, far more person-to-person in helping people who are really, through no fault of their own, in disadvantaged situations.
Doctor Zero at Hot Air demolishes Michael Moore and his latest anti-capitalist screed:
What about the little guy? Doesnâ€™t he benefit under benign socialist control? Of course not. He never has, anywhere on Earth, during the many times collective governments have gained power. The common man might realize some short-term gains when the socialist government marches into power – wow, free health care! It never lasts. It canâ€™t. Socialist control destroys the very mechanisms of prosperity it needs to pay off on its promises.
Would that Doctor Zero (or Doctor Zaius, for that matter– anyone with a greater intellectual range than Sean Hannity) had interviewed Michael Moore last night. Hannity sought, like Wolf Blitzer on CNN, to emphasize Moore’s hypocrisy for campaigning against capitalism while unashamedly indulging in its benefits. Moore is not an idiot, and he has learned to dodge and deflect these kinds of attacks, or misdirect with mock bonhomie.
The interview that I want to see is somebody confronting Moore with the mountains of evidence that a) his ideas are not new, but rather a sloppier and more Twitter-friendly iteration of a collectivist impulse that dates back to antiquity; and b) these ideas are responsible for more death, misery and brutality than any other single idea for organizing society in the history of the world.
But again, Moore is not an idiot, and he’d never agree to that interview.
Today the last chance forÂ the continued existence of the Saturn brand of car fell apart.Â We’ve givenÂ fifty billion dollarsÂ to GM, and they are still so unsuccessful that they have to shut down an entire brand and its dealership network?Â Â Isn’t thisÂ clearly enough evidence that GM sucks and capitalism is working exactly as intended?Â Â Of course before capitalism had a chance to work its corrective magic, Obama decided that the failure of GM sounded really dramatic and scary so he started throwing money at the problem.Â Hey, it’s worked for the education system, right?Â
That sound coming from Detroit is our taxpayer dollars being flushed down the toilet of government-sponsored corporate mediocrity.Â Once again, the invisible hand preempted by the government’s clumsy claw.Â “Capitalists with government help…the worst of all economic phenomenon.” – Ayn Rand (again)
The response of a public perpetually underwhelmed by Saturn’s shitty, uninspiredÂ cars remains to be seen.
GM’s bright new idea to pull their company out of bankruptcy?Â Forcing unknown, possibly disastrous depreciation losses down the throat of their dealership network, with their new “may the best car win” policy.Â Seriously, am I missing something?Â Seems like GM just opened themselves up to be the stupidest car rental company in human history.Â Good luck, guys…and remember, if your terrible ideas and shitty brands don’t work out, you can always go back to the government well for more taxpayer money.
Twenty years after “Roger & Me” introduced Michael Moore to the world as a politically engaged documentary maker with a strong knack for showmanship, “Capitalism: A Love Story” sums up his disgust with corporate America and its devastating effect on the lives of ordinary people.
The title is great and the balance of this Reuters article is reasonably well-balanced, but “[corporate America’s] devastating effect on the lives of ordinary people?”
That seems awfully strong. Corporate America is responsible for the $1 double cheeseburger that I saw on a Burger King billboard today. I am pretty ordinary and I don’t think that’s devastating. But then again, that is just anecdotal, and wouldn’t hold up to the rigorous standard of circumspection and adherence to facts that Michael Moore continues to set.