It’s not capitalism Moore has beef with, per se, but the
Reagan-inspired culture of greed, and the financial deregulation that followed.
And in that sense, he’s made a documentary on which both sides of the political aisle
will find a lot of common ground. American capitalism, he posits, has been
subverted by a system of corporate socialism that was responsible for a massive
vertical transfer of wealth. A reasonable theory, especially in the wake of the near-total
collapse of the American financial system we’ve witnessed over the last year.
And Moore gathers plenty of anecdotal evidence to back it up, which is both the film’s greatest weakness and strength. Capitalism’s whole story is largely anecdotal. Some of
these fits and starts do support his bold thesis that “capitalism is an evil,
and you cannot regulate evil.” Moore leans heavily on interviews (peppered with
his now-tiresome stock footage gags) to demonstrate what's wrong with a blind devotion
to profit. Teens in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. were given outrageous jail sentences
because a corrupt judge was getting kickbacks from a local private prison.
Wal-Mart took out an insurance policy on an employee and netted a tidy $1.5
million from her death, without informing her husband.