Michael Moore may be the only man alive who can make a two-hour documentary about capitalism and finish not knowing any more about the subject than he did when he started.
“Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil,” the two-hour movie concludes.
“You have to eliminate it and replace it with something that is good for all people and that something is democracy.”
I’m pretty sure it would require another two-hour documentary to unravel all the stupidity in those two sentences. But since I don’t have the wherewithal to make it, let me do what I can in just a couple paragraphs.
It is difficult to listen to the old “capitalism is evil” canard from a man of Michael Moore’s means. I’m not inclined to be lectured about the Ol’ Debbil Profit from a guy who lives on the Upper West Side of New York City and flies around in a private jet. But that’s the easy accusation to make against Moore and his fellow nanny staters, whose only gainful employment seems to be raking in cash hand over fist telling us just how evil raking in cash hand over fist is. Progressivism is rife with rank hypocrisy, so it’s no surprise to see that Moore is just as big a hypocrite (bigger, if you go on sheer tonnage) as the rest of his talking point-spewing crowd.
It’s the second sentence, really, that boggles the mind. Not only does Moore get capitalism completely wrong but democracy as well — and not just wrong, but so completely wrong that he’s concocted a brand new fantasy definition of the word that has never before been seen in the universe the rest of us inhabit.
First, democracy has never, ever been “good for all the people” and it never will be. Democracy is consensual rule by the majority, which means, by definition, there will always be a minority whose good is not being catered to. It is competitive and in any democratic exercise there will be winners and losers.
Capitalism is exactly like democracy in that sense. The free market operates on the will of the majority. What the consumers want, the consumers get, unless some grasping government hand comes in and stops them from getting what they want (as in the case of, say, health care, where government intrusion has moved the purchasing decisions from the consumers and have limited choice). That immutable economic fact is the underpinning of the law of supply and demand.
Moore should understand that. Years ago, people wanted to watch a small, clever documentary on the decline of the auto industry and the slow death of an all-American town. Since then, they’ve been willing to fork over for yet another jeremiad about the death of America and why the country needs to resemble Michael Moore Land. Indeed, his hate-fest Fahrenheit 911 has grossed well over 200 million dollars worldwide. If not for capitalism, and the fact that consumers make democratic choices to spend their money in ways they desire, Michael Moore wouldn’t be a multimillionaire today.
Capitalism and democracy work together. Where one exists, the other is not long in coming. Indeed, if you try to have one without the other, you find that the one you don’t want shoves its way in no matter how hard you try to repress it. Look at China, where capitalism is pushing the country toward greater levels of democracy or Iraq where democracy (democracy which, by the way, Michael Moore staunchly opposed) is spawning nearly miraculous levels of capitalism. Again, this is something Moore should know. He doesn’t, because he despises the freedom you have to choose something he doesn’t think you should choose. In his ideal world, people make political choices only from a slate people who think like him allow them and their economic choices are limited by what his fellow progressives decide are “good for all people”.
Whatever you wish to call that — totalitarianism, statism, fascism, Marxism — it is definitely not democracy.
(via The Anchoress)