[Marxism] Re: Robert Jensen attack on Faranheit 911

Billy Thekid bill_linville2222 at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 5 20:45:19 MDT 2004

Walter Lippmann writes
<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. He's correct when he says he
<hopes it makes a difference in the election.
Nothing that the rest of the left, combined,
<has done can have the impact he has. Viva
Michael Moore!

<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....

Actually, what is needed after a movie like his, and in the context of ABB running rampant, is political clarity that Michael Moore is not offering.  His website tells people to register voters.  The media is pitching it strictly as an anti-Bush film that was put out strategically for the election.  The film is much more than that   Its best stuff exposes the brutality of the occupation and slants toward a "Troops out now" argument.  But the media and the lib-lab left, want to gloss over that part of the movie and make it strictly an anti-Bush film, and  the Democrats are more than happy to go along.  Moore, of course, has been complicit in this process ( I hope Moore's comment to Time that it's more than Bush v Kerry indicates that he is now conscious of this distorton).
That's why left criticisms of his film are valuable.  The film provides an opening for the organized left to explain the complicity of the Democratic party in the whole process and win people over to a broader understanding of capitalism and imperialism (like Jensen said, it's way more than Bush).  And people do come out of the film open to more in-depth explanations.  In Madison, for example, on opening weekend, we sold 63 Socialist Worker newspapers in an hour (all we brought with us) with lots of great discussion outside of the theater!  
Without this perspective, many people will unfortunately come out of the movie thinking they should spend all their energy getting Kerry into office.  Just as troops that have come back from Iraq angry about the occupation have said they want to join the Democrats or John Kerry's campaign because there is no other alternative posed to them.  So left critiques are appropriate and necessary.  
Although I will say criticisms are different than all-out attacks and dismissals of the film offhand, which is what Jensen did.  I didn't disagree with his critiques, but the film is definitely not conservative!!  Nothing like he showed even comes close to seeing the light of day in the mainstream media. 
I think we should be extremely happy that such a film has seen the light of day.  And of course we can't expect Moore to be a Marxist, but pointing out the deficiencies of the film are important if we are to start convincing people to break with the Democrats and join a grassroots movement to get us out of Iraq. 
Bill Linville
Madison, WI

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