Capitalism Driving Humanity's Downfall
March 7, 2010 - 9:17am
In his film Capitalism: A Love Story [set to be released on DVD and Blu-ray Monday], Michael Moore squares off with the free-market system for its role in leveraging the United States's wealth into the hands of a few.
But in one clip cut from the documentary [Moore] interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Chris Hedges, who explains how capitalism is actually contributing to the very downfall of the human race and the "degradation of the planet."
"All sorts of people who have spent their lives studying climate change, from Bill McKibben on down, have warned us that we don't have a lot of time left," Hedges said. "So it's not just that capitalism has destroyed our economic system and hijacked our political system, but it literally is extinguishing the system that sustains life. If that's not thwarted soon...then we will begin to see massive dislocations, environmental refugees, further depleting of natural resources. Overpopulation is also an issue. The UN estimates that by 2050 the size of the planet will double."
The very concept of capitalism, Moore declares in the film, is the problem because it inevitably leads to a system where the richest few control the means of production as well as the levers of power -- leading to a "plutonomy," a term used in a leaked Citigroup memo from 2005, in which the finance juggernaut concluded that the United States is no longer a democracy.
In the interview, Hedges decries America's turn toward supply-side economics over the last three decades as the cause of stagnating middle class incomes, contrasting it with the increasingly lavish fortunes of the wealthy and the aid they often receive from the government at the expense of working people.