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Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore

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In case you didn't realize, my post was hyperbole. I don't actually wish death upon billions. I'm just trying to point out how the hundred million Communism has already killed has not stirred enough people. So many people still believe Communism was a great idea.

I'm not a sociopath and I don't have an "anti-life" view of the world. My point is that it seems to take dramatic events to stir the ignorant to attention. I wish there were a better way, but one can't spend one's life educating those ignorant of philosophy.

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One thing that Illusionist Penn Jillette pointed out: Michael Moore's message seems to be that the little guy has no chance against the corporate bigwigs. How does he explain his own success? Here is a guy who is no threat to Brad Pitt in the looks department, is no great orator, no great intellect, yet his documentaries have been making millions! And his message is so explicitly anti-business.

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Moore, who is from Michigan, is having a series of "private screenings" (likely attending by his wealthy liberal friends) at a theater in Detroit today. Given that Detroit is the least capitalist, most corrupt major city in the US, I'd say it's a pretty fitting place for the movie to be shown.

Here's an article from the Detroit News on Moore. Just like everything I read about him, it's full of ridiculous statements and contradictions. I'll post the whole thing because I think you have to be a subscriber to access their articles.

Moore takes on capitalism, greed

BY TOM LONG

Detroit News Film Critic

TORONTO

Say you want a revolution?

Michael Moore says you might get one.

“The revolution is already simmering right beneath the surface here,” says Moore, the always-controversial Michigan filmmaker whose latest movie, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” will have its Michigan premiere Saturday in tiny Bellaire, near Moore’s home.

“I don’t know what the tipping point would be; but if you’ve got one-in-eight homes in delinquency or foreclosure, you’ve got an agitated public at that point,” Moore says, sitting in a posh hotel room last week at the Toronto International Film Festival. “Nervous. Full of fear and anxiety. Ripped off. Conned.”

“Capitalism” is classic Moore, a canny and entertaining mix of commentary and commando theatrics— he storms Wall Street, trying to get the bailout money back — mixed with orchestrated historic footage and pop-culture reflections of a seemingly more stable world.

It has one simple point: The overwhelming majority of Americans are not reaping the benefits of our current economic system.

“This is wrong, this system is wrong. Any system that operates where it’s all about the few benefiting at the expense of the many is a wrong system,” Moore says.

“The number one cause of bankruptcy, remember, is medical bills. So people are being asked to choose between having a roof over their head or their health,” Moore says.

Moore himself has no such problems, of course. Far and away the most successful documentary filmmaker of all time, his movies have brought in more than $172 million over the past 20 years. Right now he’s staying at The Hazelton, the only five-star hotel in Toronto.

How can such a wealthy man question capitalism?

Moore breaks into a radio announcer’s voice: “We’re here today with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

Hey, you guys are wealthy landowners, the British system is very good to you. What are you doing talking about revolution? What are you whining about?”

Moore continues. “I’m not complaining about money. I have nothing against people making money, doing well, starting a business, selling shoes. I’m talking about exploitation, greed,” he says.

There’s certainly a lot of that uncovered in “Capitalism,” from the glaringly obvious — the bailout and mortgage debacles — to lesserknown evils, including a widely used, little-known program in which corporations take out life insurance policies on their employees, listing the company as the beneficiary, essentially hoping a good number of them will die so the company can cash in.

Say what you will about Moore, he is an expert at digging up revealing footage. His true coup in this movie is a newsreel that was never shown in public, in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposes a second bill of rights that would protect the middle class.

“The Roosevelt footage, no one’s ever seen that, it was lost. The Roosevelt family told us it didn’t exist,” Moore says. “We found it in South Carolina, buried, totally buried. Now they have it in the presidential library.”

Moore says “Capitalism,” with its broad subject matter, was his most difficult movie to make.

“I’m dealing with economic theory, but this is a movie I’m asking people to go see on a Friday night,” Moore says. “And instead of the easy way of having the boo-hiss villain— the Roger Smith or Charlton Heston — there’s no one personified character that is the villain.

“So (the audience) is going to have to work a little bit, and I’m going to have to work at making this really compelling. A lot of thought goes into this,” he says.

Moore also says this is his most personal film. It includes home movie footage from his childhood, and a walk through his hometown of Flint with his father. And it spends a lot of time looking at the fiscal woes of the Detroit area. He even tries to talk with execs at General Motors again, just as he did in his first film, “Roger and Me.”

He’s hoping it changes perceptions about him.

“I’m pretty darn tired of reading and hearing about a fictional character created by the Fox News channel and Rush Limbaugh and others, a fictional character named Michael Moore that they’ve invented, who hates America and is Godless,” he says.

“I’m the opposite of all those things and I’m going to (bleeping) straighten it out,” he says.

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Attacks on the man's appearance have no bearing on the discussion his philosophy. Comments like this remind of a time I heard Ayn Rand described as, "that haggard, shriveled [REDACTED]". I'm sure most here would agree that her appearance has had no impact on your understanding of Objectivism, or your willingness to accept that A is A.

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Attacks on the man's appearance have no bearing on the discussion his philosophy. Comments like this remind of a time I heard Ayn Rand described as, "that haggard, shriveled [REDACTED]". I'm sure most here would agree that her appearance has had no impact on your understanding of Objectivism, or your willingness to accept that A is A.

On the contrary.

Rand believed (as do I) that a man's appearance (the way he presents himself, his bearing, as well as his face) has everything to do with his character and subsequently, his philosophy.

All you need to do is look at Michael Moore and you know exactly what sort of person he is. His grotesque, corpulent physique, slovenly hygiene, squashed, bulbous face, and beady eyes are a direct reflection of his soul.

Edited by Myself
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All you need to do is look at Michael Moore and you know exactly what sort of person he is. His grotesque, corpulent physique, slovenly hygiene, squashed, bulbous face, and beady eyes are a direct reflection of his soul.

I had an occasion to converse with Michael Moore about 16 years ago. I concur with your impression entirely. The man hates the best parts of our society for being the best and no other reason. At his root, he hates the good. He has nothing positive whatsoever to offer. What an evil toad he is.

Bob Kolker

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I thought that this was interesting:

"There’s certainly a lot of that uncovered in “Capitalism,” from the glaringly obvious — the bailout and mortgage debacles — to lesserknown evils, including a widely used, little-known program in which corporations take out life insurance policies on their employees, listing the company as the beneficiary, essentially hoping a good number of them will die so the company can cash in." (emphasis added)

Obviously Moore knows little or nothing about the businesses he's so quick to criticize. Companies frequently take out life insurance policies on key employees because they are difficult and expensive to replace. If a key person passes away, the insurance policy is meant to mitigate the risk associated with losing that person and to help defray the cost of the search for a new employee (anywhere from 20% to 50% of the person's salary for some executives). To make the absurd claim that businesses are hoping a good number of their employees will die reveals Moore to be both an unintelligent buffoon and a disingenuous purveyor of sleazy propaganda (as if that wasn't already abundantly clear).

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On the contrary.

Rand believed (as do I) that a man's appearance (the way he presents himself, his bearing, as well as his face) has everything to do with his character and subsequently, his philosophy.

All you need to do is look at Michael Moore and you know exactly what sort of person he is. His grotesque, corpulent physique, slovenly hygiene, squashed, bulbous face, and beady eyes are a direct reflection of his soul.

Facial characteristics are largely determined by genetics. If by "squashed" you are referring to the proportions emanating from his craniofacial structure, then this is plainly a form of genetic determinism every bit as pernicious as predestination, and you ought to reconsider it.

The human body can be shaped to a certain degree by the force of man's will, but only so far, and it is monstrously wrong to impute moral dimensions to it beyond that point.

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Attacks on the man's appearance have no bearing on the discussion his philosophy. Comments like this remind of a time I heard Ayn Rand described as, "that haggard, shriveled [REDACTED]". I'm sure most here would agree that her appearance has had no impact on your understanding of Objectivism, or your willingness to accept that A is A.

I would agree with you if Moore were a serious character attempting to conduct a serious discussion about Capitalism, or any other topic for that matter. To the contrary, he's a fool and a liar who deserves every bit of criticism he receives, whether in good taste or not. His tactics are dishonest and I wholeheartedly agree with all atempts to marginalize and make fun of him and his views.

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Facial characteristics are largely determined by genetics. If by "squashed" you are referring to the proportions emanating from his craniofacial structure, then this is plainly a form of genetic determinism every bit as pernicious as predestination, and you ought to reconsider it.

It's not determinism, it's physiognomy.

Physiognomy is a very complex subject, one that Rand infuses throughout all of her fiction, and is remarkably, something that nobody picks up on. I think it deserves its own discussion, so if you'll wait a few hours, I'm going to start a seperate thread where we can discuss it further. I have to dig up my notes on the subject and organize my thoughts first, but you should see it up later tonight.

Edited by Myself
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It's not determinism, it's physiognomy.

Physiognomy is a very complex subject, one that Rand infuses throughout all of her fiction, and is remarkably, something that nobody picks up on. I think it deserves its own discussion, so if you'll wait a few hours, I'm going to start a seperate thread where we can discuss it further. I have to dig up my notes on the subject and organize my thoughts first, but you should see it up later tonight.

Your mistake is in confusing the manmade fact of the author's choice in presenting an ideal character with the metaphysically-given fact of a person in real life who is saddled with an unpleasing physiognomy through no fault of his own. You cannot justly impute to the person in real life the author's responsibility. A heroic character can be made an example of ideal beauty through writing, and it is completely proper to hail the author's work in this respect. A real person sometimes cannot be made beautiful even with the best surgical techniques available to modern science, and it is wholly improper to judge his character or soul on that account.

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Physiognomy????? The discredited and disproved witchcraft of Giambattista Della Porta and others?

What?

I have no idea who Della Porta is and physiognomy is most emphatically not witchcraft. As I mentioned, I'm in the middle of writing a post to start a new thread on the topic, which should be along sometime tonight.

Suffice to say for now that physiognomy is the one common variable in all of Rand's writing that has never been explored in any depth up to this point. Not only is it present in her writing, but it's clear that she wholeheartedly believed in it as well.

Physiognomy is an extremely complex and fascinating subject that should make for an interesting discussion. Stay tuned.

Edit: I looked up Della Porta and I see he did write a text on physiognomy. I haven't read it so I can't evaluate any merits it may or may not have. I will say that physiognomy as a proper science has barely begun and research on the subject right now is scarce. It is, however, a legitimate field of inquiry as I'll explain in detail in my thread.

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Dude, Myself, what you're talking about has nothing to do with physiognomy. Presenting heroes and heroines as physically attractive is part of the literary process. You make a person's appearance fit his personality - that's how you write fiction!!!! It makes perfect sense for Peter Keating to be the pretty boy because that fits his personality.

That doesn't mean Rand believed your physical appearance was determined by your philosophy, because that would logically require that you have a philosophy as an embryo. BECAUSE YOUR APPEARANCE IS DETERMINED BY GENES.

Now, what Rand was talking about was that someone with self-esteem naturally wants to keep their body clean and keep good hygiene. They would also tend to dress in a manner that expresses their sense of self-worth. Galt having striking facial features has nothing to do with that and everything to do with writing good fiction.

Don't try to bring the racist physiognomy BS into Objectivism, because it has no place.

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....and physiognomy is most emphatically not witchcraft.

It most certainly is. A rational person will seek to assess a person's character, personality and merit by evaluating their actions, which reflect that person's intellectual background.

According to physiognomy, you can learn all that without the troublesome intellectual activity of using your brain and instead it gets these magical results by analyzing the height and width of the face, the shape of the nose, the set of the eyes, and all measurements in between. You know, anything except actually engaging the person in intellectual discourse.

I am quite sure that you're a defender of palmistry as well--- after all, if you can tell a person's intellectual contents from measuring the face and body, imagine all the goodies you can find by looking at their squiggly palm-lines!

I do not care if I am moderated for this, but this is [personal attack deleted - CF]

Edited by Capitalism Forever
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What's next on the discussion block, the benefits of bloodletting and leeches? Someone get me a barber, I need someone to operate on me.

Actually abrbers, and butchers, were employed in surgery because they ahd the cutting equipment and the skill to use it. They lacked all knowledge of anatomy and the causes fo disease, yes, but so did almost everyone else including physicians (at that butchers knew the anatomy of cattle pretty well and they still do).

I've heard some rumors from time to time as to the effectiveness of leaches, but nothing of importance. Bloodletting can be a treatment of last resort for hemochromatosis (an excess of iron in the blood), though of course transfussions and dialysis are better options. Honey, on the other hand, does have some medicinal properties as a dressing for wounds; it prevents infection and reduces inflamation (also honey never spoils; it can crystalize and be eaten, but it never goes bad).

The thing is that the ancients were just ignorant, not stupid. Many of their rudimentary methods did some good, so they stuck with them. What methods did no good but little or no harm were kept because they were seen as better than doing nothing. Consider the more sophisticated XVIII and XIX Century doctors, who knew for certain that amputating a wounded limb sharply reduced the risk of a systemic infection. They were right, and they saved many lives. But aid stations during the Civil War were grissly scenes of disembodied arms and legs stacked in piles right outside.

Anyway, if you wish to hunt for nonsense that is nonsense, the product of ignorance and superstition alone, try numerology, phrenology, atrology, dianetics and cargo cults.

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Dude, Myself, what you're talking about has nothing to do with physiognomy. Presenting heroes and heroines as physically attractive is part of the literary process. You make a person's appearance fit his personality - that's how you write fiction!!!! It makes perfect sense for Peter Keating to be the pretty boy because that fits his personality.

That doesn't mean Rand believed your physical appearance was determined by your philosophy, because that would logically require that you have a philosophy as an embryo. BECAUSE YOUR APPEARANCE IS DETERMINED BY GENES.

Now, what Rand was talking about was that someone with self-esteem naturally wants to keep their body clean and keep good hygiene. They would also tend to dress in a manner that expresses their sense of self-worth. Galt having striking facial features has nothing to do with that and everything to do with writing good fiction.

Don't try to bring the racist physiognomy BS into Objectivism, because it has no place.

It's not "racist". Here is the way I'd assess this subject. A person's physical appearance, the way they are born, is decoupled from the way they think. Since people can be objective and come to an actual understanding of the real world, this means that a person's outward appearance need not affect their thinking. If I come to understand Newtonian mechanics, it doesn't matter how big or small my eyes, nose, etc. are, I still understand the theory. So, physiognomy clearly does contradict the Objectivist philosophy, and, I think, the evidence around us.

I do believe that ones appearance has a big affect on one's life. I mean, Brad Pitt has benefited enormously from being attractive, but that is a different matter altogether.

I don't consider it to be witchcraft. Witchcraft requires mystical belief. Physiognomy is an erroneous view of the connection between thinking and appearance.

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