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A Review of "Capitalism, a Love Story"

Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics



"Capitalism: A love Story" is a documentary by Michael Moore. The story is based on the United State's economic crisis experienced in the late 2000 and the government's reactions on the same. In this film, Moore first presents a picture of the current economic status in the country and defines what capitalism is. He then focuses on Wall Street's tycoons and how their self-interests has caused poverty among the majority of the less privileged in the society. Another focus in this film is injustices that result from love of money and capitalism. Such injustices include illegal detentions and jailing as a form of generating more money, paying workers peanuts though they work hard, evicting innocent citizens from their homes in order to leave space for “development”, high level corruption and other ills in the society. Moore also interviews priests to find their opinions on the concept of capitalism. Further, he endeavors to figure out Jesus Christ's take on capitalism had he been on earth today. Moore's essence in this film is to showcase the danger of capitalism with highlights from the American perspective.

Message of the Film

The documentary by Moore appears to disclose the root cause of economic woes presently experienced in America. It depicts wealth hoarding and accumulation by Wall Street tycoons at the expense of the majority who are below poverty level, high level corruption by the government officials and human rights abuses. Moore points out how Wall streets elites who owns large junks of property and businesses entities are fleecing the citizens through hiking prices of essential commodities and exploitation of workers. This film also depicts a set of networks in the under dealings by the government officials and tycoons. Through Moores presentation, this network is also depicted in cases involving disappearance of public money; child theft syndicate, poor treatment of pilots and scandals in the Insurance companies whereby; there are companies such as Wal Mart which have fake insurance rights.

In "Capitalism: A love story", Moore is out to show his audience how capitalism has created a lot of injustices and inequality in the society. Some of the examples he gives as resulting of capitalism include illegal eviction of citizens from their homes, high level corruption in government entities and also various scandals that are even covered up by the government. Moore also shows how this system has caused economic crisis in the country. He explains that the few elites control the wealth of the nation at the expense of majority who are poor. According to Moore, the nation’s wealth is centered on financial entities and major banks. These financial entities are centered on Wall Street, thus the reason why Moore accuses Wall Street of condoning the vice. Moore observes that financial controllers at Wall Street have got personal motives and that they have no interest in service the public.

At another point, Moore is saddened by the fact that the gap between the rich and the poor for the Americans continues to widen day-by-day. From his perspective, economic woes experienced currently in the country can rightly be labelled as social injustices. This status is created as a result of unequal distribution of national resources and the self-interest of those who hold them.

According to Amato, (2010), the Wall Street scandal involving the mortgage industry has not yet eloped from many peoples’ minds. It is a nightmare that continues to eat into many people's hearts. This scandal caused many who had involved themselves in the deal to lose their hard earned money. Amatoin in his book also observes that there is no need to embrace an ideology such as capitalism if it can not be able to meet the needs of the general populace. He further argues that this system has only helped a few cliques of wealthy individuals at the expense of the majority poor. This vividly echoes the message contained in this film "Capitalism: A love story".

Relevance of the Movie

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In this movie, Moore seems to be emotionally incensed at Wall Street tycoons and also at the government for encouraging the holding of wealth and money in a private basis. According to him, the issues of individuals and even the government loving money and hording large junks of property are a vice that should be eliminated at all costs. However, Moore shows a different perspective on this issue to those entrepreneurs who have no self interest in their business undertakings. Moores’ personal opinions of capitalism are that, it is wrong at all costs and that citizens as well as the government of the day should develop a better system to solve the woes caused by capitalism.

My Critique of Moore's Argument

From the documentary, Moore could be described as an eloquent speaker who can lure many towards his opinions and sentiments. In an attempt to make people believe him and accept his sentiments, he presents all possible evidence and facts in the documentary which he deems could add credibility to his arguments. From this perspective, Moore seems to follow Hayton’s expressions about the art persuasion. In this context, Hayton articulates that if one wants to lure his audience towards his or her sentiments, he must be able to employ possible means of catching their attention and his trust.

Although this film can be labelled as a documentary, it is not boring as many of the documentaries could be. Moore has deployed a sense of humour and amusement through out his storyline in order to capture the attention of the audience and reduce boredom. A good example of his sense of humor in his story is shown in his descriptions of the Roman Empire and his description of President Bush using cartoons.This causes humor and amusement in the storyline. Morse's presentation skills can also be described as exemplary. He is also good at changing a reader's emotions; the depictions of violent police officers mercilessly breaking people’s houses can easily alter someone’s emotions. According to Audrieth, employing the art of humor to receive the attention of your audience could be very gainful, especially when one is addressing negative issues in the society.

From the proceeding of the film, it appears that Moore has a strong believe that capitalism can not be effective in a sound society. This is also what he wants to portray to his audiences. In the commentary on Moores point on capitalism, Markowitz expresses that Moore's stand can be based on ethical principals, that if social justice was to be acclaimed, all of the people should be given free access to the nations resources.In comparisons of the present system of capitalism to an earlier one at the time of Moore's father, Moore finds a great difference in the sense that workers were better treated at that time in comparison to today system. This maltreatment of citizens due to corruption and is according to Markowitz what has prevented goodness for the common good.

Moores sentiments echoes those of Aristotle (Cited in Lewis)

“The end of human association, then, is also a good, a good that makes that association intelligible. It is usually called the common good. The common good names the regulative principle of social and political life. Its most basic meaning is that the community and its institutions should serve the good of all its citizens and not just the restricted good of a particular ruler or class” (Lewis, p3 and 4)

This means that by leaving the resources of a country to a few hands, the government in particular is denying the rights of the citizens.

Through presenting factual evidence in his story line, Moore succeeds in catching the attention of the audience more. This also he does through amusing and interesting segments s such as “Awful Truth,” "TV Nation" etc. His corruption accounts involving illegally imprisonment of children by judges is also vividly and courageously narrated, leaving the audience with Wahoo feeling. There is also an appealing scene of employees rioting because they have not been paid their dues by the government.

A look at the documentary makes ones to reflect on the role of the government in terms of serving its people. One is made to ask himself or herself whether the undertakings and evidences acclaimed by Moore are credible or not, and if they are, what is the government doing about it? By presenting factual evidence, Moore sheds light on the route cause of America’s economic woes and who are the culprits behind that. Additionally, he does not leave the listeners with no option but challenges them to join hands and end this vice.

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