Of Bankers and Social Change in America

On the red carpet of Capitalism: A Love Story
On the red carpet of Capitalism: A Love Story

In front of the Uptown theater in Washington, DC, I played one of three bankers that Michael Moore drags in to see his new film, Capitalism: A Love Story. He dragged us down to the front row and put us in front of the huge adoring crowd. It was great fun! Thanks to the ever creative David Vyorst, my film maker and partner for arranging this!

Michael spoke after this devastating and entertaining film. His heart is genuine. His assault on capitalism is more systematic than I believe in. I truly believe the evils of this civilization are due as much to a betrayal of Adam Smith as to the evils of private enterprise. And Michael often points in the film to the far greater fairness in Germany and other countries that, in my mind, combine the values that Adam Smith advocated, and are hardly socialist countries in the classic sense. In any case, old and young alike should see this film immediately. America has been deteriorating really since Reagan, and we must change course. It is Michael’s uncompromising moral compass that should be taken seriously by everyone. But what he has uncovered in this film will shock many Americans when it opens on Friday.

I wish that the nonviolent rebellion Michael seeks as middle classes are destroyed would come in a progressive form, but history does not indicate that. History suggests that Germany, as it also suffered in the 20’s from uncontrolled greed, descended into a radical splintering, with most people eventually being satisfied with a dictator who would ‘answer’ the bankers, then identified falsely as ‘the Jews’.

What I see happening now is radical greed destroying the middle in the country, and demagogues of the right, Beck, Limbaugh, Delay, the preachers, capitalizing on this desperation. We really must wake up to the danger, and force Obama and Congress to do the right thing. It is the only way they can do the right thing, considering how powerful greed has become, and as Michael wisely reminds us, this is precisely what FDR, the wisest president of the twentieth century in my opinion, demanded of his constituency, force him to do the right thing.

I thought my job in this country was over on January 20, and I could go back to putting my energies into that other out-of-control nexus in the world, the Middle East, and Israel. But I cannot. We cannot. America is our home and our problem. See the film and judge for yourselves.

© Marc Gopin