CHICAGO, October 29, 2011―Michael Moore is a babbling buffoon. Every time he opens his mouth he spews some of the most inane nonsense imaginable, just like his books, movies, and interviews. Their popularity demonstrates that you can sell anything to anybody, make a hefty profit, and laugh all the way to the bank.
Moore is no saint, nor is he a crusading progressive out to save the world. He is a sales huckster who found a product people will buy at a price they are willing to pay. Contrary to what he’d have you believe, he is a capitalist.
In an article on his website, he makes a couple of astounding statements:
“Didn’t you take Econ 101? Capitalism is a system, a pyramid scheme of sorts, that exploits the vast majority so that the few at the top can enrich themselves more. I make my money the old school, honest way by making things. Some years I earn a boatload of cash. Other years, like last year, I don’t have a job (no movie, no book) and so I make a lot less.”
It is clear that if Moore ever took Econ 101, he slept through it. Perhaps he took Socialist Studies 101 or Revisionist Economics for Idiots. More likely, his ramblings are part of his sales schtick. He was clearly an honor student in Hucksterism 300.
Michael Moore produces products - books, movies, and well-remunerated chatter - in a free market. He sells them in a free market, people buy them in a free market, and he profits from them in a free market. He hires people to help produce his products. His books are published and printed by corporate publishers, his movies are produced and distributed by corporations. It all happens in a free market. That is Capitalism 101.
Moore earns many multiples of his employees’ average income. Does this income and wealth inequality sound familiar? Moore is a member of the “1%.” He capitalizes and profits handsomely on the toil of others. He sits at the top of that pyramid of his.
Moore is a capitalist with a capital C. He is not fooling anyone. If anyone is guilty of exploitation, it is him. He capitalizes on human suffering - unemployment, sickness, the pain of families with murdered children. He packages this suffering for the edification of people who buy his books, watch his movies, and believe whatever he produces is the truth.
And thus he grows rich.
Moore is in the entertainment business. If there were no profit in his products, he would be a cog in someone else’s machine. But like any talented entrepreneur, he found an open economic niche, figuring out how to capitalize on progressive politics. At the end of the day, it is all about profit, maximizing revenues while minimizing costs.
Moore claims that when he made his first three million dollars from Warner Brothers twenty two years ago, he told his accountant “not to declare any deductions other than the mortgage and to pay the full federal, state and city tax rate. I proudly contributed nearly 1 million dollars for the privilege of being a citizen of this great country.”
It’s a nice story, but he should provide a link to his tax documents for that year to prove it. Like Charlie Rangel and other progressive political figures, he isn’t a trust-worthy narrator of his own tax history. As we’ve learned from his films, his narratives follow an arc in which what is true isn’t always useful, and what is useful isn’t always true.
Moore capitalizes on celebrity and is a canny guardian of his own brand. He knows that television interviews and appearances at various protests and other progressive events are more than just self-promotion for Michael Moore: They’re integral to the construction of his corporate brand. A massive one man walking, talking billboard, he is the skilled marketer of a product: Michael Moore.
There is nothing wrong with this from a business perspective. Moore has an excellent survival strategy in a capitalist free market. All good business people and the corporations they run are self-promoters. It’s just that when Ford does it, we know it’s a commercial.
Donald Trump is the epitome of self promotion. But, he is honest about it. He does not hide behind some political ideology, and in fact he treated his foray into politics like an episode of his TV show. He is up front and in your face: What he does is for the money.
Michael Moore is no Mother Teresa. He is just another shameless self promoter costumed in the over sized moo moo of progressive politics. What passes for intelligent people in this country fall for his gasbaggery.
Michael Moore can identify with the Occupy Movement, or other far left causes, all he wants. He does not have anything in common with them, just like the rest of the hypocritical celebrities who support them. They are what used to be known as the limousine liberals. They show up, prattle from their cue cards, leave a small check, and are driven off to some expensive boite to dine, drink, and laugh at the useful idiots.
Michael Moore is part and parcel of the entertainment juggernaut. An industry that does everything for profit. It is pure unadulterated capitalism. It is business. Funded by investors, including Wall Street, and facilitated by big banks. It is a perpetual cash machine. It is all about the money. Michael Moore is just another cog in the wheel of the kleptocracy he rails against.
To paraphrase Al Franken, Michael Moore is a big fat capitalist. But he’s not an idiot; he knows exactly what he’s doing.
Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance writer, freelance photographer, and consultant. He is a passionate cook and eater. He likes to be the sharp stick that pokes, annoys, and provokes. His opinions are his and his alone.
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