Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Capital Idea

I haven't seen Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist but the reviews make me very reluctant to go.  It seems to be yet another one of those films about how bigoted America is.  And, as an added attraction, it's at least the hundredth film to compare capitalism with crime and violence.  (There are bad ideas, then there are boring, bad ideas.) Here's a bit from Dana Stevens in the Slate review:

But, like [the protagaonist's] disturbing reaction to the televised destruction of the towers, this facile analogy (is financial rapaciousness, however destructive, really comparable to the slaughter of innocent people?) gets glossed over too quickly on the way to a bet-hedging and dramatically unsatisfying ending.

Here's capitalism, which has done more good for more people than almost anything else, but rather than completely laugh off this tiresome analogy, Stevens admits how rapacious and destructive it can be, and in defense can only state (via a rhetorical question) "hey, it's not that bad." So I asked myself how long would it take in the comment section for someone to answer that rhetorical question, saying capitalism is a form of terrorism, or worse.

It was the first comment.  No doubt from someone who enjoys the fruits of capitalism (since everyone does) but feels morally good for criticizing it. (At least you can criticize capitalism safely--if you criticize other things in other cultures you may not get off so easily.) And it was hardly the only such comment, along with many others happily claiming America deserves to be despised.  Alas, these comments are even more predictable than movies that compare capitalism to anything bad you can think of.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alas, that comment is even more predictable than blog posts that compare capitalism to anything good you can think of.

1:13 PM, April 30, 2013  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Capitalism works, other systems don't. Unless you can refute this with evidence, I will continue to assume capitalism is good, just as I will assume democracy and basic human rights are good.

And please point me to all the blogs that constantly and explicitly assume capitalism is good, because most websites I read feel it safe to take swipes at capitalism every chance they get.

2:26 PM, April 30, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alas, I think that's beyond Anonymous's capabilities.

3:21 PM, April 30, 2013  
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