For over 20 years Michael Moore has been examining one of my favorite topics, the horrific impacts corporate America and the credit system has on the everyday lives of Americans. Passionately digging below the surface of the culprits, the American film-maker with an Irish background does not lose his temper when describing the evil of capitalism. Instead, he narrates with his great sense of humor, while taking the viewer into uncharted territories, asking taboo questions that evoke a sense of outrage, which I believe is long overdue.
Where did the American dream go? It was originally sold to us based on the ideas of corporate America: banking, consumerism, politics. Letï¿½s take a longer look at the nightmarish price that families pay now by losing their jobs, their homes and their savings. It is like a sweet and promising love affair gone astray: lies, abuse, betrayal, inferior motives, various self serving agendas…and 14,000 jobs being lost every day.
Does history repeat itself? We know that to be a fact from history classes in school. ï¿½John Paul II. said after the Berlin wall came down: ï¿½Even after communism is gone, there is another system that has its evils,ï¿½ and he spoke against capitalism,ï¿½ says Moore.
We teach about the Holocaust so that it would not get repeated again. But, something inhuman does not need to look like gas chambers. It can look like a love affair. Blinders on everyone, or human nature?
In his movie Michael Moore points out that in America the top one percent has more financial wealth than the 99 percent under them combined. Do you realize how crazy this will look to anthropologists and historians when they dig us up? That we allowed that to happen? They are going to go: Wow! One percent ran everything. And the other 99 percent ran around going: Look at us, we are free! We live in a democracy!
Oh really? You know what they are going to call us? They are going to call us slaves. 400 years from now, thatï¿½s what they are going to call us. They will have a term for it, probably ï¿½Wage Slaves,ï¿½ says Moore.
ï¿½They thought they werenï¿½t slaves, because they got a paycheck,ï¿½ he continues. ï¿½The future historians will say: Wow, these people actually had the power and they ceded it to the one percent willingly. The one percent didnï¿½t have to take it through violence. The percentage of Goldman Sachsï¿½ income that went to taxes last year: one percent. It was 34 percent the year before.ï¿½
Thank God he has a sense of humor. It easies the spirit when you start thinking about the reality of the topic: Capitalism.
ï¿½That sounds like box-office death, doesnï¿½t it? But thatï¿½s one of the reasons why I did it,ï¿½ Moore says. ï¿½Because I thought this is a challenge. I believe that if you make a really good movie you could call it ï¿½Shit drying on the wallï¿½ and people will go to see it, if they heard it was a good movie. Because people are always dying to see a good movie.
Humor is the absolute thing in order to survive. Humor is some way to alleviate the darkness. I think humor is a lethal political weapon.ï¿½
The Roosevelt footage in the movie is priceless. It makes Americans cry when they watch it, because we think about what could have been, that we could have had these things for 60 years.
ï¿½How many people in your country (referring to Europe where I was born) were evicted from their house, because they couldnï¿½t afford to pay their doctor? Zero, of course. Just as in France or Canada or the UK. How many people were thrown out of their homes in America because of medical bills? Itï¿½s the number one cause for foreclosures and bankruptcies.ï¿½
Despite the enormous success of his latest movie, in which Michael Moore is trying to arrest Wall Street CEOs and challenge the foundations of Americaï¿½s economic system, he says he does not have any investments and never owned a share of stocks. I share this with him. Despite of being an economist myself, I never felt any high yield investment was transparent enough for me to even bother worrying. It was also an intuition that proved itself right in the end.
So, how can we change the mess we are in?
ï¿½I donï¿½t believe in individual action. The only way we change anything is through collective action,ï¿½ Moore concludes.
Isnï¿½t it time we wake up and look behind the charms of a love story that we have been part of all along whether consciously or not? Maybe it is not too late!