Alex Massie

The Madness of Michael Moore

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Not, I suppose, terribly surprising that Michael Moore's latest "documentary*" should receive an enthusiastic review from the Guardian, but even by Moore's lofty standards this new venture sounds exceptionally stupid:

Capitalism: A Love Story is by turns crude and sentimental, impassioned and invigorating. It posits a simple moral universe inhabited by good little guys and evil big ones, yet the basic thrust of its argument proves hard to resist...

Moore's conclusion? That capitalism is both un-Christian and un-American, an evil that deserves not regulation but elimination. No doubt he had concluded all this anyway, well in advance of making the film, but no matter. There is something energising – even moving – about the sight of him setting out to prove it all over again. Like some shambling Columbo, he amasses the evidence, takes witness statements from the victims and then starts doorstepping the guilty parties.

Or, of course, you could conclude that capitalism is responsible for lifting us out of poverty and immeasurably improving living standards, life expectancy and everything else. Moore's entitled to his opinion, but it's still a little dispiriting to see it accepted so uncritically even by Guardian arts journalists.

*In fairness to Moore, Roger & Me is pretty good. Everything since then? Not so much.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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