Michael Moore’s exchange with reporter Evrod Cassimy at an Occupy Denver:
Cassimy: It’s rumored you’re worth 50 million. Aren’t you part of the one percent?
Cassimy: Aren’t you part of the one percent?
Moore: I do very well. And–
Cassimy: How are you helping these people?
Moore: Because I do well. I want taxes raised on people who do well, including mine.
Cassimy: How are you helping these people with your 50 million?
Moore: I don’t have 50 million dollars.
Cassimy: That’s what it’s rumored you’re worth.
Moore: Well really, is that what you do — sell rumors?
Cassimy: We’re asking you the truth.
Moore: You’re just punk media; that’s all you are. You lie, you lie to people. Stop lying.
The fact that Michael Moore says “I do very well,” is an admission that obtaining millions via a system that thrives off of bloodsucking means that he is more successful than most at capitalizing from it. The additional implication is that people who haven’t obtained millions aren’t “doing well;” essentially the masses less well off than Moore are doing poorly.
What is ‘doing very well’ in a system of inherent oppression and exploitation?
Moore’s response was to a question about making millions. It matters not whether he is worth 50 million, or 10 million, or ever two million — it’s safe to say that he’s still worth millions of dollars, which is significantly more than most Americans. The reporter makes the point that Michael Moore is part of the one percent spoken of by Occupy movement.
Essentially, Moore is saying that making millions in a system provided to him by way of oppression is in fact a “good” thing to do. Would he still say he is “doing very well” if the system had not allowed for him to profit due to the bloodsucking around the world?
An unconventional truth
Michael Moore amassed his wealth through unconventional means, creating documentaries, writing books and speaking at events, addressing the concerns of the victims of the classist capitalist system he denounces. We enjoy and benefit from his work exposing the injustices resulting from our economic system — including those in the areas of health care, US manufacturing jobs, finance and “homeland security.” Some of these favorites include:
- Stupid White Men
- Fahrenheit 9/11
- America Is Not Broke: We Are Wisconsin! Rally (Speech, March 5, 2011)
Nevertheless, through unconventional means, Michael Moore is still a beneficiary of wealth resulting from economic exploitation of his top supporters by Wall Street. He is a member of the exclusive one percent club, and you are not invited to the party.
Moore does not want to be counted among us
If Moore wanted to be part of the 99 percent, he would simply “spread the wealth” he collected from us. Furthermore, he stated that his way of “helping” is to pay more taxes — essentially remaining part of the one percent — while maintaining the class structure of the capitalist system that allows the existence of a one versus 99 percent dynamic. This means that he has not a “middle class bias,” but one of capitalist elitism.
Is the number 99 too large?
Yes. A 20:80 ratio would be more appropriate, because the top 20 percent hold 85 percent of the wealth. Consequently, 80 percent of the people are left to share 15 percent of the wealth. Refer to the chart below, and you will see that an individual earner in the top 20 percent makes more than $58,000 per year — more than enough to live on.
Michael Moore was middle class until he began to rage against the system. Eventually, he became part of the class “occupiers” protest. Ironically, he achieved this through a series of documentary films made on behalf of the middle class, starting with Roger & Me in 1989. He fought the system because the middle class, including his own family in Flint, Michigan, was significantly affected by corporations relocating factory jobs out of the United States.
A contradiction arose at the point when he no longer belonged to the middle class. Sure, a person can fight on behalf of a group to which they do not belong, but isn’t it inconsiderate to speak on their behalf while addressing them? That is akin to George W. Bush presenting himself in Iraq as a voice for the struggle of Iraqis, while his “group” is the source of the problems of Iraqi people. On the contrary, a more appropriate approach would be to address your own criticized group (if you feel criticism is justified) and talk sense to them.
Why the wealthy feel comfortable influencing the masses
The elites sustain themselves by only allowing elites to speak to and for them. The lower classes remain lower classes because people outside those classes come in and speak for them, as if they are part of those lower classes.
I have shown how ideals from Michael Moore’s bourgeois class are in his arguments and logic. His ideals will influence the movement against his class and contribute to sustainment of that class. Even if Michael Moore isn’t fighting for the elite one percent, his defense is logically of the 19 percent, or middle class, in which he was raised.
In the film, Capitalism: A Love Story, Moore talks about wanting to go back to the time when life was good for the middle class in particular, ignoring the plight of lower classes. Interestingly, this mindset appears to be the motive of most of the so-called “99%” — uplifting and sustaining a particular class, the middle one.
While Michael Moore may have noble intentions, his own propensity toward self-preservation precludes him from being able to protect the interests of the group he intends to defend. Natural instinct takes over, and Moore actually seizes the opportunity to capitalize for the benefit of his own group. But, don’t take my word for it, here’s Michael Moore in his own words expressing how he and his cronies took over a democratic group in a Michigan county:
“I guess what I’ve tried to encourage people to do locally, and essentially we did it in Michigan — we moved up into northern Michigan to basically just, you know, be away from everything. And it’s in the woods, and it’s a county that always votes for Republicans. And there were four dues-paying members of the Democratic Party there in this county when we moved there. And so, we decided, ‘Why don’t we just take over? Let’s just get eight of our friends to come, and we’ll be the majority, and we’ll just take it over.’ That’s a lot easier than starting something new. You know, they’ve already got stationary printed, and they’ve got a logo picked out.”