[Marxism] Robert Jensen attack on Fahrenheit 9/11

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jul 5 12:04:07 MDT 2004


Walter Lippmann wrote:
> In my dreams, all of the current US left,
> multiplied a hundred times, would be able
> to speak to the broad mass of people in 
> the United States with as much clarity and
> political acumen as Micheal Moore has done
> in this movie. 

I am not so sure about this. The most important thing that the American 
people can understand is that the problems are a result of the 
capitalist system and not evil politicians. The reason that Michael 
Moore's movies have such entertainment value is that they revolve around 
recognizable villains, like Roger Smith, Charlton Heston and George 
Bush. In many ways, they are a throwback to the films of Frank Capra who 
pitted easy-to-like heros like James Stewart against corrupt bankers or 
politicians. As a left-populist, Moore skillfully exploits this kind of 
drama but I am afraid that a Marxist-informed documentary or fictional 
work would not necessarily lend itself to the same kind of facile 
black-and-white treament. For example, "Burn" is one of the finest 
Marxist feature films ever made, but it is far more complex than films 
in the Capraesque mold.

> He's correct when he says he
> hopes it makes a difference in the election.

Yes, he was being truthful when he said he hopes it makes a difference. 
Unfortunately, for the suffering Iraqis, there is no relief in store 
from John Kerry.

> Nothing that the rest of the left, combined,
> has done can have the impact he has. Viva
> Michael Moore!

In fact, Michael Moore could not exist without the gruntwork done by 
rank-and-file activists. We have created the climate out of which his 
films emerge.

> I admit, however, I'm waiting for a review
> which will show us that Michael Moore's 
> movie is actually a suspicious plot which
> is designed to dragoon the workers in the
> US into supporting the imperialist Kerry
> for president of the United States....

Why talk about a plot? If there's anything that Moore has made clear, it 
is that every fiber of his being is directed toward removing Bush from 
the White House? He has been completely open about this, even to the 
extent of effusing over the war criminal Wesley Clark.

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