Comments: Opening Weekend

I can't be objective, since I saw it yesterday, but I think it's Michael Moore's best movie yet. Y'all done good!

I wish there's been a little more about the alternative to capitalism, and I thought Moore sidestepped that at the end when he said it's "democracy", but I understand making the call that was made.

Posted by will shetterly at October 3, 2009 10:10 PM

Mr Schwarz, do you have an acting role in this movie? If yes, are you acting as your self? Then I would recognise you and I can comment about your role and the movie!!!

ps You see, I do not know what you look like!

Posted by Rupa Shah at October 3, 2009 10:31 PM

Rupa Shah - Look at the poster for the movie "Eraserhead". That's what Jon looks like - at least, it's what he looked like circa 1992. I believe he's not been seen in public since that time.....

Posted by Aaron Datesman at October 3, 2009 11:49 PM

bad ass

Posted by Cloud at October 4, 2009 12:53 AM

will shetterly:

I wish there's been a little more about the alternative to capitalism, and I thought Moore sidestepped that at the end when he said it's "democracy", but I understand making the call that was made.

Yes -- that's like nine other movies. But there was at least a little bit about the co-ops.

Rupa Shah:

Mr Schwarz, do you have an acting role in this movie?

No, I'm all behind the scenes in this. But stay tuned!

Aaron:

Look at the poster for the movie "Eraserhead". That's what Jon looks like - at least, it's what he looked like circa 1992.

Now I look like the Eraserhead oozing chicken.

Cloud:

bad ass

I can't deny it.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at October 4, 2009 01:28 AM

Wow, what an exciting development. Congrats on the film and your part in it. I can't think of a writer better suited to the job, frankly.

While I've met plenty of Moore critics, I've never met any who were also poor or working people of color. I hope his newest only reaffirms to those hardest hit that they are not alone.

Posted by JRB at October 4, 2009 02:03 AM

JRB:

While I've met plenty of Moore critics, I've never met any who were also poor or working people of color.

It's not strange that the right-wing despises Michael Moore with a white hot fury. But the nice white liberal sniffing about him is pretty gross. "If only this loudmouth rabblerouser weren't making trouble, we'd be able to sit down with Mitch McConnell and come to an agreement, like reasonable people."

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at October 4, 2009 02:26 AM

Michael Moore is a big fat millionaire who probably has his valet artistically age his tee-shirts, but I don't care. Nothing matters except that he tells the truth and he tells it loud. I REVERE him. You are so lucky to have contributed even a little to his movie. I would follow him around picking up his old fingernails if I could.

Posted by Rosemary Molloy at October 4, 2009 06:29 AM

Good Luck, Mr Schwarz! hope the movie does well and encourages people to start raising their pitchforks - or at the least realize they can do something to change their predicament :)

Posted by almostinfamous at October 4, 2009 08:08 AM

many happy returns. super awesome secret project ever.

i heard tonight that cindy sheehan thought there should be more cruise missile fascist octopuses. i am personally of the opininion that in the current situation, "it's the banksters, stupid" was the right message.

now, between the movie and the public citizen speech, the naked threats at dems came in just a tick above neolib jesus.

Posted by hapa at October 4, 2009 09:42 AM

It was a bluggy production, with Charles Davis also working on it, plus Bob Harris, Matt Stoller, Kagro X, Tom Geoghegan and Rick Perlstein all lending a hand at important moments.

Why, it's almost like a vast left-wing conspiracy!

Posted by SteveB at October 4, 2009 10:32 AM

"While I've met plenty of Moore critics, I've never met any who were also poor or working people of color."

Well I have, and I think there are plenty more of them who wouldn't like his films if they saw them. The old lumpenproletariat was around before Marx gave it that great name, and from these birther and teabag rallies it doesn't look to me like it's going away anytime soon (though i'm sure that some of that bunch has money).

But I agree that the real contempt for Moore comes from the professional classes, and especially the punditocracy.

Posted by N E at October 4, 2009 11:06 AM

I suppose I was disappointed (saw it last night) but I suppose the film was aimed at a completely different audience. An American audience for one. It seemed like an iconoclastic film attacking a religion I never subscribed to / know little about and it seemed like baby steps but to one of the cultists perhaps it would be powerful. I really have no idea.

Michael Moore has always disappointed me in how conservative he is of course, but again that says nothing about whether he can speak to his people. The film seems aimed at the American poor and even perhaps especially at the Republican poor, although I doubt many would go to see it because of partisan loyalties.

So for what its worth I preferred Sicko or Farenheit 911.

Having just said I am in no position to judge it, if I had to anyway I would say it seemed a bit meandering. But I understand people disagree on the best way to try and de-program cultist behaviour. I suppose all he's trying to say is something like, "Could capitalism be wrong?" but in the end perhaps all he got was more, "America is really screwed up" which is, well yeah tell us something we don't already know. I think that being a lot more aggressive would have been more effective. I think aiming the anti-capitalist idea at what passes for the American left would have been more effective.

But then as I say Moore isn't really that left. He really isn't against capitalism; I would guess he's someone who thinks the problems are due to an "excess" or "corruption" and are not inherent. A message of "a few things need tweaking" will always be weaker than "revolution".

Posted by DavidByron at October 4, 2009 12:04 PM

My wife liked it.
She's going to see it again with some other people.

Posted by DavidByron at October 4, 2009 12:58 PM

I've been a bit worried by reports about Moore's big ol' Obama crush, but if you're involved, it can't be all bad. As soon as I have more than $5 to my name (and who knows when that'll be) I'll go see it.

Posted by ethan at October 4, 2009 01:11 PM

If I knew you were involved I would have scanned the credits harder. I will just assume that you were responsible for all the funny parts.

Posted by StO at October 4, 2009 01:15 PM

I have already seen it somethere...

Posted by Robor at October 4, 2009 01:57 PM

Rosemary Molloy:

who probably has his valet artistically age his tee-shirts

And of course the liberal MSM refuses to report this. THEIR HYPOCRISY STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN!!!

almostinfamous:

hope the movie does well and encourages people to start raising their pitchforks

One thing Michael Moore has been saying on TV recently is: the people who financed this movie did it on the assumption that everyone will just watch it and go home and do nothing. If you do do something, they'll never give me the money to do this again. So I'm begging you: end my career.

hapa:

i heard tonight that cindy sheehan thought there should be more cruise missile fascist octopuses.

What did she say? I missed this.

SteveB:

Why, it's almost like a vast left-wing conspiracy!

Yes, though given the size of the "left," in America, I don't think anything it does can be vast.

N E:

the real contempt for Moore comes from the professional classes, and especially the punditocracy.

Being a pundit really is a horrible job, because your entire livelihood rests on the idea that politics is too complicated for normal people to understand. So it's no surprise you'll get mad at someone who says that's not true.

David Byron:

Michael Moore has always disappointed me in how conservative he is

Well, that's America for you. Unless you support generous subsidies to enable the rich to eat the poor, you are Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

Ethan:

As soon as I have more than $5 to my name (and who knows when that'll be) I'll go see it.

I hate to tell you now, but there were a bunch of free screenings on Thursday.

Out on DVD December 29th!

StO:

If I knew you were involved I would have scanned the credits harder

I believe I am listed as "Criminal Mastermind."

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at October 4, 2009 02:19 PM

I wish there's been a little more about the alternative to capitalism, and I thought Moore sidestepped that at the end when he said it's "democracy", but I understand making the call that was made.

This is a problem for the left in general and has been for a very long time...the general population doesn't need anyone to tell them that capitalism sucks, never mind the rest of the worlds general population....they know already from their own life experience but the left doesn't offer any compelling alternative or vision so people accept their fate and do the best they can...this is something Michael Albert at Z is always harping on and he is right whether you agree with him on the alternative he advocates or not....we spend a lot of our time saying whats wrong with the world-which again most people know about already- and not enough on presenting solutions or a vision that will inspire people to try to make it better...big, big, big problem.-Tony

Posted by tony at October 4, 2009 02:35 PM

Mr Schwarz, it is so great to have you back, FINALLY!

Posted by Rupa Shah at October 4, 2009 02:36 PM

This is a problem for the left in general and has been for a very long time...the general population doesn't need anyone to tell them that capitalism sucks

Hmmm. Replace "need" with "want" and you are onto something there, I think. But then that raises the question of what "the left" is doing to offer alternatives. The current "left" in America is busy making excuses for corporate-assistance socialism. It does so by arguing against cartoonish proposals to such an exhaustive degree that when a more modest proposal is raised, the "left" says "this is what we need," despite the fact that the more modest proposal is still corporate-assistance socialism.

It's sorta like "marketing" where a retailer first marks something up by like 40% and then has a "40% off sale" -- ummm, isn't that just about nothing like a sale reduction?

Posted by The Anti-Federalist at October 4, 2009 02:44 PM

AF: Hmmm. Replace "need" with "want" and you are onto something there, I think. But then that raises the question of what "the left" is doing to offer alternatives. The current "left" in America is busy making excuses for corporate-assistance


I dont know about "want"...I think part of what you say is correct if I understand what you are getting at...People dont like to be talked at and told by others what is reality and so on..I know I dont...sometime the left can be this way...especially the marxist left, no offense to any marxists on the list but that has been my experience...there can be the know it all attitude that seems to come with certain authoritarian ideologies.

AF: The current "left" in America is busy making excuses for corporate-assistance socialism.

I think we maybe talking about different things here...By left I mean true leftists like someone like Paul Street and not liberals who I think you maybe thinking of which is not the left to me....So Obama is not the left...he isnt even a progressive regardless what reactionary proto-fascists lunatics on the right think..so I agree with your quotes around left above...liberals aren't the left..they are part of the problem...but more to my point, even actual leftists dont offer much in the way of solutions or alternatives....given that, we should not be surprised that we cant inspire people to be active and more radical.

AF:despite the fact that the more modest proposal is still corporate-assistance socialism.

I would be very hesitant to attach the word socialism to corporate bailouts and such.....If socialism means anything at all it means worker or popular control over the means of production...no one in Washington-outside Bernie Sanders, I think-who is in favor of corporate bailouts is in favor of popular control over the means of production..so it has nothing to do with socialism...to attach the word socialism to bailouts while doing nothing about the basic structure of the economy and such just leads to confusion. ...its corporate welfare to save the economic elites place of power,dominance and control..that's a far cry from socialism.-Tony

Posted by tony at October 4, 2009 03:19 PM

And to clarify a bit, by mentioning Paul Street i did not mean to imply that he doesn't offer solutions or point to some offered by others..On the contrary, the last 30 or so pages of his book on Obama is about alternatives. I only mentioned him as someone I think of as representing the actual left as opposed to some liberal middle of the road corporatist, even if it is the radical left which is where i stand also which I also know is not the majority.-Tony

Posted by tony at October 4, 2009 03:35 PM

It's all coming together -- the insane asylum in Michigan, the disappearance, the secret project, the mystery -- I'm glad it was for a useful end, with some good folks.

Michael Moore is not Trotsky, Joe Hill or even Bernie Sanders, but he is not a traitor to his class and he has been talking about Flint and autos and unions and bosses for 20 years and I admire him for his persistence. His politics aren't mine, but he has earned a lifetime's worth of "I told you so".

Congratulations to all.

Posted by drip at October 4, 2009 04:52 PM

(the hearsay source sez cindy sheehan commented via facebook)

Posted by hapa at October 4, 2009 04:57 PM

So I take it this was the little vacation you've been indulging in, rather than spending your days and nights composing blog entries bashing the Man for the entertainment of your tens of readers? (Well, hopefully much larger than that).

Enough frivolity. Back to work.

Posted by Donald Johnson at October 4, 2009 05:25 PM

drip:

It's all coming together -- the insane asylum in Michigan, the disappearance, the secret project

I got the insane asylum because someone else didn't want it. It was a genuinely beautiful apartment, if you could ignore the sound of a hundred years of human screaming.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at October 4, 2009 05:25 PM

Donald Johnson:

Enough frivolity. Back to work.

The frivolity actually may continue for a while, preventing me from working at my True Calling. We'll see.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at October 4, 2009 05:28 PM

Another point of clarification, I don't want what I have said to come of as bashing Michael Moore. I like him and admire his work...I haven't seen the new film but I am sure it is good...I use to like his old TV shows...One was called TV Nation, I think, and I forget what the other one was...they were both good and very funny...both lasted about a two weeks on network TV...my comments about the left in this country not offering a compelling alternative to "capitalism" are about the left in general and not about Moore...

I saw him on "Countdown..." saying that there needs to be rebellion for things to change and he hopes his films inspire people to get up and act to make it so...I could not agree more.-Tony

Posted by tony at October 4, 2009 05:38 PM

"The frivolity actually may continue for a while, preventing me from working at my True Calling. "

That's cool, actually. Much as I appreciate good blogging, if a smidgeon of Tiny Revolution-like thinking can be introduced to a few million people, one could argue that it might actually do a bit more good. I gotta balance my own personal entertainment and educational (almost forgot that) needs against my desire for a slightly more intelligent public discourse, but it's a tough call.

Posted by Donald Johnson at October 4, 2009 05:42 PM

Could you post a torrent to the screener dvdrip, please.

Posted by abb1 at October 4, 2009 05:47 PM

About Capitalism; I liked it, and the person I saw it with, loved it.
A prediction on where the Health Care thing is going: There will be two bills, one of which gives the insurance companies billions in corporate welfare, and the other which calls for the immediate euthanasia of all kittens. And puppies. While Beck and Limbaugh will make a strong case for killing all the cute baby animals, the majority of Americans will want to do the right thing, and demand that the other bill (known as "Save the Kittens") be passed and implemented immediately.

Posted by Murfyn at October 4, 2009 06:18 PM

Tony -

Socialism isn't always something that arises with a left orientation. Fascism is a right-side/right-ish construct and it is corporate socialism. Socialism merely means spreading something's costs across the people governed. Sounds to me like you're assuming something extra here.

The problem exists because of a reference to a right-left spectrum and the fact that in most folks minds, fascism is associated with the "right" while socialism is associated with the "left" even though fascism is corporate socialism. Fascism is where the corporate business class spreads its costs across the populace but privatizes the benefits of business operation ("profits"). That's what Mussolini did, it's what Hitler did, and it's what Clinton/Gore, Bush/Cheney, and Obama/Biden have done.

Personally, I don't care about right/left dichotomies -- and on that note, I might even half-jokingly suggest that if Bernie Sanders is a socialist then I want to know what costs he's spreading socially. Bernie may be the most left-ish member of the Congress but he's not Mao Tse-Tung by any stretch. I'd prefer to judge politicians, ideas, agendas by which people they help/benefit and which people they tax. I mean, certain "conservative" pundits and people are saying Obama is a "commie" and while I'd agree he's a socialist (the corporate type, as I said above) I think it's pretty obvious he's not a communist because he believes in and propels forward the notions of privatized profits and property.

"Liberals" in the USA seem to consider themselves the "left" even if they are well right of Paul Street. You're correct that Paul Street is not of a similar mind with most "liberals." So that's a fine example of why I say left-right is useless.

Posted by The Anti-Federalist at October 4, 2009 07:06 PM

I had already saved this film to my Netflix queue and was planning on skipping the theatrical release until I saw that our host played a part in its creation. I was at a theatre buying a ticket not 30 minutes later, and I'm delighted to have skipped the wait. This is probably Moore's very best work, bringing his usual blend of whip-smart comedy, faux naivete, and naked sentimentalism to the very root of corruption. "Capitalism" almost functions as a prequel to his other films. Highly recommended, and a hearty congratulations to you, Mr. Schwarz.

Posted by Michael Hughes at October 4, 2009 07:10 PM

Mr.Schwarz

No, I'm all behind the scenes in this. But stay tuned.

and
The frivolity actually may continue for a while, preventing me from working at my True Calling.

Does this mean that Mr. Moore has another movie in the works and you are already preparing to or are acting in it? Or, as I remember, quite a while ago, you had mentioned about making a movie yourself ( sorry, forget what about) and that you are going to start producing/directing and acting in it?

Posted by Rupa Shah at October 4, 2009 07:41 PM

we spend a lot of our time saying whats wrong with the world-which again most people know about already

They know it, but they don't know that other people know it. They don't know its something that's done to them, that the system is rigged. They don't know that they can say no.

Frankly I think we need to spend a lot more time pointing out what's wrong with the world. The solutions are often bloody obvious once you actually acknowledge there's a problem.

Posted by DavidByron at October 4, 2009 08:32 PM

I saw the movie today and thought it was very well made. The archival footage in his films is always of the time period being talked about - if Moore is focusing on 1950s legislation, only images from the 1950s are presented. That sounds like an obvious thing to do, but it isn't always adhered to today, as people are less historically aware and American audiences in particular won't likely be able to discriminate between footage from the 1930s and footage from the 1950s. I'm glad Moore gets it right. If you had anything to do with that, thanks.

I didn't enjoy it as much as "Sicko", as "Capitalism" seems to be pandering to American values by focusing on things like his subjects' gun ownership and "Support the Troops" ribbons and to Moore's own Christian beliefs. I do think that the US focus will make it more appealing to Americans, which perhaps accounts for the fact that it's opening weekend has been better attended than "Sicko"'s was.

It is moving, though, from that perspective.

I don't agree that Moore doesn't suggest alternatives or present ideas, as some here and many elsewhere say. While he doesn't spell out what his audiences should do in "Capitalism", he does talk about Roosevelt's "2nd Bill of Rights", something which could be pursued anew; communities organized to prevent evictions; cops who refuse to evict people; workers who hold a sit-in until they receive severance pay; workers who form a cooperatively run factory; etc, all hints that couldn't be any stronger. In "Sicko," he used a similar strategy, presenting other countries' health care systems as real-world examples of what could be pursued here.

And he says loud and clear in "Capitalism" that capitalism is an evil that cannot be merely reformed but must be done away with. He's no reformist on that issue, even if he focuses on making things a little less bad.

His "Obama crush" is a problem, but in the film he focuses more on the population's hope at Obama's election more than on Obama's own record. The people's enthusiasm may be what Moore hopes will inspire people to act. He has admitted recently to Naomi Klein that Obama is now responsible for his policy choices, that it's not just evil advisors around Obama, but he had to be prodded to admit it.

Posted by deang at October 4, 2009 08:32 PM

Hello Anti-Federalist,

I think our points of agreement are far greater than our disagreements which mostly center over the word socialism and our understanding of such...comments below.

AF:Socialism isn't always something that arises with a left orientation.


I don't know what this means....

Socialism has historically always been rooted in the working class and about working class struggle and has always been about-in its most basic sense-about worker or popular control over the means of production...yes there are different strands of socialism..so you have say traditional Marxism with its focus on gaining state power and "democratic centralism" through the communist party as means of bringing about socialism...in other words a top down system with the communist party in control directing the actions,as best they can, of the struggle of the population to bring about socialism....this can be compared to the more anarchist or libertarian understanding of socialism-where I stand- that states that socialism can never be brought about through political parties and through control of the state...it is not something that can be imposed or directed from above and can only come into being through the actions of the working class by themselves outside of the state...there is a very long history on this that is way beyond what we can cover in this comments section..so I wont go into anymore than these brief comments...as historical examples of the two types you can look at Russia under the Bolsheviks and say Spain during the Spanish Revolution....and remember one of the main slogans of the Russian revolution was "All power to the Soviets..."-a libertarian anarchist idea-and not all power to the Bolshevik party, and certainly not all power to the state, and most certainly not all power to Lenin...again a very long history that cant be covered here...

AF:Fascism is a right-side/right-ish

Well to certain extent I agree but fascism can also be found on the left through traditional Marxism which to me is very fascist in nature in that it is a top down hierarchy...all decisions come from above and flow one way....Marx spoke of the need for "democratic centralism'-a contradiction in terms- and those who followed his ideas brought about some pretty horrible results....

AF...it is corporate socialism.

That's fascism not Socialism...Again socialism refers to the working class being in control of the means of production...not through the state but through their own actions often against the wishes of the state as say in Spain...

Now I can see how one would want to equate the state using its money to benefit corporate power as an instances of socialism but that is a misunderstanding of what socialism is...it is simply not a matter of how the state uses its money...I know some people think this but that is not the history of socialism....So yes you can look at say European states and they are described as social democratic which is good as far as it goes....I would much rather live in a state with a very broad social contract that protected the weak and the poor and generally provided for the population-aka a civilized society- than a neo-liberal free market jungle that protects the rich and powerful while the majority suffer the consequences....but a social democratic state is very remotely approaching socialism if all it does is just uses the populations money for the good of the population, which again I am all for but that is not socialism..It may be on the road to socialism but it is not socialism...


AF:Socialism merely means spreading something's costs across the people governed.

Well not really...it is much more than this..see above..you seem to be describing a social democratic state, which again I think is good thing as far as it goes but it is not socialism....which again has to do-in its most basic form-with the population having control over the means of production, the population having meaningful say in decisions that effect them....Socialism looks at the division labor and asks how is that to be determined, how is allocation determined and so forth....Your understanding, as best I can tell, is limited to costs appraisal or how public money is spent which every state or federal structure needs to look at...how that is answered and determined can take many forms...it can be fascist, or democratic or whatever...simply spreading the cost around does not make it socialists....

AF:The problem exists because of a reference to a right-left spectrum and the fact that in most folks minds, fascism is associated with the "right" while socialism is associated with the "left" even though fascism is corporate socialism.

I dont disagree with you here...except in your understanding of what socialism is which I explained above...Corporations by their very nature are fascist structures...the use of public money for their benefit and the merging of the state and corporate power is fascism in action...but we don't agree on the use of the term socialism for the reasons I gave above...it is far more than what the state does with the public's money.....


AF:Personally, I don't care about right/left dichotomies

well it is important if one can come to an agreement on what the terms mean and stand for which I agree isn't easy to do...but if someone says they are on the right I would assume there are beliefs and opinions and a general world view that they would have that would not be the same that one would have if they identified themselves as being on the left, but that is another topic for another time...

AF:-- and on that note, I might even half-jokingly suggest that if Bernie Sanders is a socialist then I want to know what costs he's spreading socially.

I really don't know what Sanders believes in...I just used him because he has described himself as a socialist and he seems the most left to me as far as politicians in DC goes which is not saying much...and the few times i have heard him speak his sentiment was in the right place..he advocates, I think, a type of social democratic state that one finds in Europe which again is all well and good but not socialism which has to do with what I mentioned above.... but as to whether he thinks the means of production should be under popular control or not I have no idea.

AF:Fascism is where the corporate business class spreads its costs across the populace but privatizes the benefits of business operation ("profits"). That's what Mussolini did, it's what Hitler did, and it's what Clinton/Gore, Bush/Cheney, and Obama/Biden have done.

I dont disagree as far as this goes but fascism also means a certain political structure which is a rigid top down authoritarianism that can also find expression on the left...so, again, Bolshevism is an example...any top down hierarchy that is unaccountable to those below it is fascist in nature...

AF:I'd prefer to judge politicians, ideas, agendas by which people they help/benefit and which people they tax.

I agree...

AF:I mean, certain "conservative" pundits and people are saying Obama is a "commie"

as I said in another posts...reactionary proto-fascist lunatics....Obama is a corporatist not a socialists..

AF:and while I'd agree he's a socialist (the corporate type, as I said above) I think it's pretty obvious he's not a communist because he believes in and propels forward the notions of privatized profits and property.

Correct...how can it be otherwise....it is impossible to be otherwise...if he didnt believe in the legitimacy of the corporate structure and all that that stands for he would not be president..he would never have gotten the money needed to even make a run at the presidency to begin with...You don't become the CEO of the empire by questioning the right of the empire to rule.


AF:Liberals" in the USA seem to consider themselves the "left" even if they are well right of Paul Street.


Liberals are not the left in any meaningful sense of the word left...Liberal dont question the right of the USA to do as it pleases...liberals vote for wars of aggression all of the time...a leftists is opposed..liberals vote for Wall St hand outs then vote for social spending cuts that hurt the population and so on...I am not saying that they are all the same...some are certainly worse that others but on core issues there is a uniform view on what politicians do once they enter into the toilet that is Washington which is a result of the corrupt system of politics that we have in this country...and why I dont waste my time with electoral politics...I vote but that is not where i spend the majority of my efforts since voting doesnt bring about change in any real sense....

AF:You're correct that Paul Street is not of a similar mind with most "liberals." So that's a fine example of why I say left-right is useless.

Except to show the difference between an actual leftist and a liberal.-Tony

Posted by tony at October 4, 2009 10:17 PM

tony:

One was called TV Nation, I think, and I forget what the other one was

The other one was the Awful Truth. It's amazing that either of them got on TV in the nineties. They really paved the way for the Daily Show.

Donald Johnson:

if a smidgeon of Tiny Revolution-like thinking can be introduced to a few million people, one could argue that it might actually do a bit more good

It seemed for a while there was a possibility that something I'd written here might make it into the movie. Didn't happen, though.

I will leave it to you to imagine what that might have been.

abb1:

Could you post a torrent to the screener dvdrip, please.

The way that movies are now essentially like word processing documents that can be copied in seconds (or at most minutes) it's amazing that it takes them as long as a week to be on sale on the streets of Hong Kong.

Murfyn:

While Beck and Limbaugh will make a strong case for killing all the cute baby animals, the majority of Americans will want to do the right thing, and demand that the other bill (known as "Save the Kittens") be passed and implemented immediately.

I believe the official name is the Save All Kittens Always from Killing bill of 2009, or SAVAK for short.

Michael Hughes:

Highly recommended, and a hearty congratulations to you, Mr. Schwarz.

Thanks -- I was lucky to get a chance to work on it. It was a great experience.

Rupa Shah:

Does this mean that Mr. Moore has another movie in the works and you are already preparing to or are acting in it?

No, but one way or another I will be doing something in which I appear.

DavidByron:

They know it, but they don't know that other people know it. They don't know its something that's done to them, that the system is rigged. They don't know that they can say no.

Yes. Just to get people discussing there is such a thing as capitalism is a step forward in America, where it's kind of thought of like gravity -- it was there when we got here.

deang:

The archival footage in his films is always of the time period being talked about - if Moore is focusing on 1950s legislation, only images from the 1950s are presented. That sounds like an obvious thing to do, but it isn't always adhered to today, as people are less historically aware and American audiences in particular won't likely be able to discriminate between footage from the 1930s and footage from the 1950s. I'm glad Moore gets it right. If you had anything to do with that, thanks.

I didn't, but I agree with you. The archivists did amazing work -- especially finding the FDR footage. The movie is worth $11 for that alone.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at October 4, 2009 10:21 PM

Down here in Asheville, the matinee cost $5.75. It was well worth it. I gave $8 to a women who is among the working poor and told her to use it to see this movie.

I wish I could buy the DVD for Christmas presents, because I have a liberal, Democratic family who really don't know a lot of shit that they should know.

Posted by Susan at October 4, 2009 11:41 PM

Tony, what does it mean to "socialise" a cost?

Doesn't it mean to spread the cost across the society?

You are talking from a leftist perspective, when I say the left is irrelevant, as is the right, as is the whole linear political spectrum. Such uses of "left" and "right" are practical only to divide and conquer. They are irrelevant to what I'm saying here -- that the most important thing regarding ANY aspect of government planning is to ask this:

who pays the cost?

who gets the benefit?

if the costs are paid by the society, spread out along the society, it's socialised. end of story.

as Stan Goff often says, "-isms" are pretty useless when it comes to political theory. why? the attachment, the quasi-religious fervor, that trails behind such things as "socialism." somehow it's now a quaint, romantic notion of an ideal. but according to whom?

Marx.

Lenin.

and those two cats are dead, they aren't here, they don't see what's happening, and they weren't even in America. they should be left to the dustbin of history, those two. neither said anything that I haven't observed independent of reading their thoughts. so what do they offer me?

nothing.

and their "-ism" offers me nothing either.

who benefits?

who pays?

that's all we need to know.

Posted by The Anti-Federalist at October 5, 2009 12:06 AM

Tony:

fascism also means a certain political structure which is a rigid top down authoritarianism

No, I'm sorry, you're mistaken here. You're speaking in leftist pejorative.

Fascism simply is the marriage of corporate interest and government. Nothing more. It can be combined with totalitarian, authoritarian systems or it can be indirect and passive-aggressive. Either way it is what Benito described as fascism.

You're using the term as in the denigrating method, such as what people on the "left" blamed Bush/Cheney of being -- fascist, because they were authoritarian.

If you want to talk honestly with me, you need to drop the tribal affinity. I don't play that game. I don't think the "left" is any better than the "right." Pejoratives and denigators that originate from a perspective assuming the "left" is superior in any way, I'll just ignore them as pointless division. I have no interest in declaring myself superior to another tribe. I want to see what is happening and fix it. And I don't think tribal affinity will help spot what's wrong, nor will it help fix things.

So if you want to advance a "winning team" then please continue advocating for "the left" and using stilted meanings of "socialism" and "fascism." You won't get my agreement on those notions, because they're not worth agreeing on, because they're just wedges used to divide people in a society.

Posted by The Anti-Federalist at October 5, 2009 12:14 AM

AF:Tony, what does it mean to "socialise" a cost?

Doesn't it mean to spread the cost across the society?

Yes...I said I agreed with you on this but it doesn't make it socialist....So when the govt uses our tax dollars to bail out Wall St. from their own bad bets we have paid the cost of their actions and they have benefited...But socialism as i have stated over and over is not about how the govt spends peoples tax dollars...If the govt was socialist or had a socialist intent,then the population would have a meaningful say in how it is spent...we don't...the govt would be a much more social democratic one than we have since the population has social democratic leanings on issue after issue and as I have said this is certainly a move toward actual socialism-ie the population having meaningful say in decisions that affect them-but not the end of the road...In a socialists society, again, the population would have control over the means of production...we don't...nothing even close...we would have worker and community councils determining what is to be produced and how it is produced...we would take into account how our actions affect others and the environment and so on...again to just say that how the govt spends its money is not what socialism is about...In a true socialist society there would not even be a state since from the socialist perspective the state represent class interests and one of the goals of socialism is to do away with a class society....

AF:You are talking from a leftist perspective,

Yes I am a leftist....Historically socialism is a left perspective of society that looks to have the population in control of their own lives and looks to replace capitalism as the economic system since the private ownership of the means of production leads to all sorts of horrible outcomes...yes that is leftists and that is what socialism is....

AF:when I say the left is irrelevant, as is the right, as is the whole linear political spectrum.

I have no idea what this means....we live in class society, if you dont want to use the terms left and right so be it, but we live in the world we do with a tiny minority benefiting off the backs of the majority simply through the means of ownership....that creates a class of hierarchy that socialism looks to overturn and do a way with...the left, the true left, not some liberal politicians or political parties,let alone a president who is in the position he is to protect and enhance the class and power of that minority, sees this and works to get rid of this structure....those on the right do not,as far as I know.. they do the exact opposite...be they liberal or conservative....they both represent and serve the same interest in society and it is not us...

AF: Such uses of "left" and "right" are practical only to divide and conquer.

Well we have to agree to disagree on this for the reasons given above...there is great difference between the left and the right which in the end comes down to a question of class which exists.. they are just not some words used to divide and conquer

AF:They are irrelevant to what I'm saying here --

ok


who pays the cost?

who gets the benefit?

In general in our society we pay the cost.. the general population and the small tiny elite that own the economy, and the world for that matter, benefit...yeah we agree on this


if the costs are paid by the society, spread out along the society, it's socialised. end of story.

well it is the end of the story for you but you don't understand what socialism means or the history of such....its two different things as I have said from the beginning...spreading costs out over society is not what socialism is about...I stated what it is about numerous times so i wont repeat.


as Stan Goff often says, "-isms" are pretty useless when it comes to political theory.

this is a pretty ignorant comment given the history of the world but maybe I don't understand what he really means

AF:why? the attachment, the quasi-religious fervor, that trails behind such things as "socialism." somehow it's now a quaint, romantic notion of an ideal. but according to whom?


this is just nonsense...

according to whom? According to the people struggling to make their lives better not words out of some book written by the great sages... two of whom you list below that shows that you don't understand socialism all that well or that you don't read what i have written since I gave both as examples of the authoritarian socialists and contrasted them to the libertarian wing which warned about traditional Marxism and Bolshevism and predicted at the time of Marx that those following his words would bring about a totalitarian dungeon.


as long as there are classes and there is private control over the means of production, or as long as people don't have real say in decisions that affect their lives, and as long as people are used as tools and means to an end for the benefit of others and so on, then there will always be struggle between those that have and those that don't...there is no way around this...

so maybe the people living in total degradation in the third world and brave enough to do something about it should listen to the wise words of Stan Goff and realize their actions are just "quaint" and "romantic" and they should just crawl back into their holes and accept their fate and not waste their time pursuing some "romantic notion of an ideal."


as i say above, total nonsense.

AF:Marx.

Lenin.

and those two cats are dead, they aren't here, they don't see what's happening, and they weren't even in America. they should be left to the dustbin of history, those two. neither said anything that I haven't observed independent of reading their thoughts. so what do they offer me?

see above...I gave neither as an example of anything I ascribe too...In fact I did the exact opposite and used both as examples of the opposite of what i am talking about...I specifically named both..yet you use them as if I gave them as what my ideal are!! The fact that use them just tells me you don't know what you are talking about and have a very limited understanding of socialism if at all


there are people right now as we speak struggling to make their lives better by taking over their society and working to make it better with socialists ideas as their guiding principle...that you don't know about it and can only throw out two straw men from the past, both of who, again, I gave as examples of what not to do and follow, as examples of socialism speaks to a real ignorance of not only the past but of the present also.-Tony


Posted by tony at October 5, 2009 09:52 AM

AF,

I will get to you other post later today...No time now have to go to work.-Tony

Posted by tony at October 5, 2009 09:53 AM

Tony,

you should try to offer facts, rather than ad hominem characterizations of "ignorance," or general statements that "history is different."

you sound like Michael Albert's puppet. Albert has some good ideas, but he's no master of reality. like your comments here, his comments are always fettered by the notion that we need a leftist system.

remind me when leftists in America have been realistic, would you please? I've never encountered a single one. most of them have been duped into supporting corporatist Democrats, most have happily joined the "fight" against "rethugs" and "teabaggers" and the like.

the vast majority of commenters here, they are "leftists" like Obama is a "leftist."

left vs right is irrelevant because it's about perspective -- if someone like you can claim to be a leftist while issuing rhetorical cant that is both ideologically blind, and factually erroneous, where is the truth in the "left" being superior? it's not demonstrated by your short-fused blasts at my "ignorance" of "history," nor by your refusal to be objective on what are socialism, fascism, totalitarianism.

as I said above several times now, "-isms" are pointless because they are so vague. try sticking to facts, Tony. maybe begin with the facts you know about what I know. maybe start by admitting you don't know me, and so admitting the ad hominem attacks about my "ignorance" are a cover for what you're afraid to examine.

the only thing you've been consistent on is your own claim to "leftism" and your pride in that claim. I guess that counts for something -- what, I don't know. hubris, perhaps. ironically that's something that "leftists" typically accuse "rethugs" of suffering.

Posted by The Anti-Federalist at October 5, 2009 11:41 AM

If socialism literally is the device by which government costs are spread across the populace, why should we re-define it to mean Tony's Leftist Paradise?

Why can't we just examine what's happening, rather than sticking to a war of Left vs Right? How is Left vs Right in any way superior to Democrat vs Republican?

Tony, you just want to divide people into winners and losers, and affiliate yourself with winners. I see that as being no better than a blind Obama apologist, or a "teabagger."

Posted by The Anti-Federalist at October 5, 2009 11:44 AM

Anti-Federalist, lets put it this way. There is NO such thing as Socialist government no matter how much historian revisionists claim it to be (not saying your one of course). At the same time you have a valid point. European politicians who call themselves "Social democrats" aren't really socialist by any stretch of the imagination.

Anyway, without outright saying it, Tony implies that before Socialism is to begin government must be abolished in its entirety. Socialism cannot exist alongside an authoritarian hierarchy. I hope that clears up some things.

Posted by Nikolay Levin at October 5, 2009 01:04 PM

AF,

I am typing from work so I may make some spelling errors because I have to type fast and such....

AF: you should try to offer facts, rather than ad hominem characterizations of "ignorance," or general statements that "history is different."

This i s not an ad hominem attack...your comments are ignorant..sorry... since you have no understanding of socialism and have offered none to counter what I have said which again is grounded in the history of socialism..ie worker control over the means of production, people having meaningful say decisions that effect them, using the productive assets of society for the benefit of people and not profit and so on...you have commented not one iota on all of this because you don't know it..ie ignorant of that history..if you did you woulr challenge me on all of it and say, no that is not what socialism is about and you are wrong because of such and such reason..you haven't...you just go on and on and on and on about socialized risk across society and then say that makes it socialism....again you're ignorant and dont know what you're talking about..


AF:you sound like Michael Albert's puppet.

How so?...and Michael Albert doesn't need me to speak for him...If yo have a problem with anything he has said you can take it up with him...maybe you can post the results here for all to see?

Albert has some good ideas, but he's no master of reality.

No one is...and this is another one of your straw men since Albert has never said as much

AF:like your comments here, his comments are always fettered by the notion that we need a leftist system.

Because he is a leftist...we believe in it!!! Some of your comments are beyond belief....are you being serious?

If you don't agree with leftism or socialism then dont work for it!!!...simple..work to protect the status quo or whatever it is you believe in...dont work to bring about a society based on mutual concern, popular control of the means of production and the product of such used for the benefit of all and not for profit and the minority and so forth...don't do it...I never said you had to..

but to accuse someone of being leftist so therefor what he is says is left based or from that tradition is beyond comment...

here is a heads up... Tim Wise is a race based activist who spends his time trying deal with white privilege and how that impacts people of color negatively in or society among other things, but, you know, his comments are so based on race and race issues!!

I hate to break reality to you but the world is made up of conflicting interest and classes....You sound like Obama when he says we have to get by the politics of conflict and work together to get things done and other such neo-liberal middle of road BS that in the end gets nothing done except to keep power and control in the hands of those that own the world....Politics is inherently about conflict, AF,because society is made up of different groups and classes that are very often at odds with one another.....This is politics 101...to say that when we break down things in a left right divide and that we have to move past that is just sheer nonsense...sorry

AF:remind me when leftists in America have been realistic, would you please?


What does this mean? Your just showing your ignorance once again...

Try learning about labor history...we live in the world we do with say a eight hour day, or a five day work week because of leftist...there are plenty of other examples...maybe you can learn about them before you make your next ignorant statement about "leftist in american."

AF:I've never encountered a single one.

and there is the large body of evidence for AF grand claim about the "leftist in america"...he has never met one..geez with an argument so strong as this i dont know what to saye in rebuttal...perhaps you are talking to the wrong people

AF:most of them have been duped into supporting corporatist Democrats,

yeah... like Michael Albert

AF:most have happily joined the "fight" against "rethugs" and "teabaggers" and the like.

Maybe you can give an example?

AF:the vast majority of commenters here, they are "leftists" like Obama is a "leftist."

can you be more condescending? I dont see many people offering apologies for Obama on this list...maybe you can point to example of such?

AF:left vs right is irrelevant

Earth to AF...politics is about conflict due to class differences and power in society and the control over the political apparatus to protect those differences..so left vs. right is not irrelevant.

because it's about perspective -- if someone like you can claim to be a leftist while issuing rhetorical cant that is both ideologically blind, and factually erroneous,

really where? Give me an example and quote me where I am factually wrong like I quote you...please do so.

AF:where is the truth in the "left" being superior?

Get off of your elitist high horse...

I am a leftist because of the values it speaks to and the world it envisions and so on...I think following such a path leads to a better world..I never used the word "superior" to express my views...whether ones views are desirable to another is for one to decide for themselves on the merits of the views...

AF:it's not demonstrated by your short-fused blasts at my "ignorance" of "history,"

you mean the history I pointed out to you and you ignore and refuse to respond to time and again...you mean that history...I'll stand by my words...you don't know what you are talking about.

AF:nor by your refusal to be objective on what are socialism,

I gave a definition of it time and again....go read a history book on socialism....you literally don't know what the word means...sorry

AF:fascism

I gave examples of it different from the traditional one of the merging of the state and corporate power..

so yes any top down hierarchical structure that stands above those below and is not answerable to those below or acts in such away that the interest of those above, the ruling class elite if you will, are put above and is steadfastly opposed to those below then yes that structure is, yep, fascist in nature...

so that can be a corporation which is ultra fascist since all orders, options ,perspective, what gets done etc and so on, are a rigid top down system in which those below either follow the orders of those above or leave the system.....true those above have to make changes for the slaves when the slaves get a little to upitty and organized and demand such but that does not stop it from being a fascist structure...

So I gave traditional marxism and bolshevism as such since they have acted in such away in the past..you ignored all of this when I gave it since i assume you know nothing about all of this also..so yeah there are plenty on the left that don't agree with my view regarding traditional marxism and bolshevism but that doesnt mean that my view is not correct or that the actions of those groups cant be described as fascist in nature....It has to be demonstrated why my views are wrong...you ignore them.

So lets look at a standard Websters dictionary definition of Fascism:

"a political doctrine favoring centralized authority and opposed to democratic principles; active intolerance."

Does that describe corporate america irregardless of any state action? You bet it does.....

Does that describe traditional Marxism...Often but not always but again Marx spoke of the need of "democratic centralism" and strict party control over the masses once the party assumed political power....

Does that describe Lenin and the Bolsheviks....no question about it to anyone who knows the history of the russian revolution...

So maybe you can point to the historical errors you mentioned but gave no examples of before?

AF:totalitarianism.

as far as i know this was never asked unless i missed it..so i didn't make any comments about it...so yes the bolsheviks were totalitarians since they worked to eliminate all that questioned their right to rule be it political parties or anarchist or free Soviets and so on...

Corporate america exhibits the same mentality
since they don't want anyone, lest of all the population, interfering with their operation and profits and such...they dont want the the govt passing laws making their business more difficult for them since this interferes with profits and so on...the only want the govt there to subsidize their profits through R+D, protectionism, smashing open markets for them, bailing them out when things go belly-up and so on...they dont even want competition which they all claim they are for but they arent

Both political parties don't want this also since a third party-a second one actually since both parties represent the same people, might take away from both parties power and control and influence...this can be seen time and again when a third party candidate tries to make a run at the White House, which is not going to happen anyway because of the money issue in politics...

So yeah all of the above are examples of both fascist structures and totalitarian world views..they are not the same thing but they mutually reinforce one another.

AF:as I said above several times now, "-isms" are pointless because they are so vague. try sticking to facts, Tony.


can you be more pointless in your comments? "ism are pointless because they are so vague?" What on earth are you talking about?

I've stuck to the facts and gave plenty of them...you've basically ignored all of them and they say things like isms are pointless? Actually I laughed out loud when I read what you wrote.

What facts are you talking about? You've mentioned very few....you talk about "isms" but give no example of such except to rant on in a silly po/moish gibberish kind of way about the left and the right dividing people ignoring, dare I say it, Facts of class issues, or the fact that politics by its very nature is about conflict and differences...as if corporate america and working people are all just in the same boat while the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and have less and less say in matters that effect them....

but, you know, there is no right or left and "isms" are pointless regarding all of this..things will just get better on their own or maybe you can make them better somehow by espousing some political theory or economic theory that doesn't end in "ism" since all of them are "pointless."


as I said already...total utter nonsense...

AF;maybe begin with the facts you know about what I know. maybe start by admitting you don't know me, and so admitting the ad hominem attacks about my "ignorance" are a cover for what you're afraid to examine.

Whatever you say AF...I take your words at face value and show why they are nonsense, or why they are ignorant....That's not attacking you...I've quoted you constantly and showed why you were wrong....You've ignored everything I've written and come back with more shouting from the roof tops and so on.....


AF;the only thing you've been consistent on is your own claim to "leftism" and your pride in that claim. I guess that counts for something -- what, I don't know. hubris, perhaps. ironically that's something that "leftists" typically accuse "rethugs" of suffering.

I hope others can see the utter arrogant elitism and condescension in your own words..

"rethugs?" would that happen to be people suffering in our society but don't know what to do about it since maybe there is nothing positive there for them to gravitate to or look towards except hateful right wing ideology....

if you respond to anything i have written please quote me and have something of substance to say besides your vague concern about "isms", whatever they maybe, or your post modern gibberish about there being no real right or left and how those terms are just instruments to divide people and conquer them.-Tony


Posted by tony at October 5, 2009 04:28 PM

Mr Schwarz, CONGRATULATIONS.... even if you played only a tiny role in making the movie. I saw the movie and found it shocking, sad, inspiring and moving. There is still reason to hope. And some of the music.... all I can say is wow!

Posted by Rupa Shah at October 5, 2009 06:10 PM

I guess this means I have to stop hanging out at hippy bluegrass festivals and go see a movie. Very happy to hear you had some input, Jon, but very angry with Moore for keeping you away from entertaining me with your blurgh. That's the real crime here, after all.

Posted by buermann at October 6, 2009 01:23 AM

Cool! I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Posted by Batocchio at October 6, 2009 01:41 PM

I suspect Jon of providing the voice of Jesus.

(Assuming it wasn't also taken from archival footage, that is.)

Posted by John Caruso at October 6, 2009 05:52 PM

European politicians who call themselves "Social democrats" aren't really socialist by any stretch of the imagination. And Democrats aren't democrats and Republicans aren't republicans and Greens aren't green.

tony, get a blog or get an editor.

Posted by drip at October 7, 2009 07:27 AM

tony, get a blog or get an editor.

Good one drip!

Actually i hate to get into conversations like I did with AF but when something is addressed to me I feel I have to respond and I try to respond to each point raised as best i can.-Tony

Posted by tony at October 7, 2009 08:22 AM

tony -- Well played.

d

Posted by drip at October 7, 2009 02:39 PM

And Drip, get some glasses. That was me you quoted.

Posted by Nikolay Levin at October 8, 2009 03:04 AM


Paul Street's latest Znet article on the movie, Moore's move from Dickens to Marx-at least metaphorically, and Moore's attitude toward Obama, the dems and politics in general. Another fantastic article by Street.-Tony

http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/22823

Posted by tony at October 9, 2009 08:32 AM