Michael Moore’s latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story takes aim at the elite bankers and CEOs who are steering America’s economy into the gutter, and among the bad guys he goes after is none other than the world’s largest and most brutal retailer, Wal-Mart (now re-branded as Walmart). Moore exposes Walmart’s dirty practice of taking out insurance claims on its employees and cashing in on their deaths without telling their families.
So it may come as a bit of a surprise that Moore’s anti-capitalism, anti-Walmart documentary goes on sale today…in Walmart. Yes, you can buy the DVD at your local low-wage, environment-destroying, human-rights abusing Walmart, as well as at Amazon and other video retailers. Moore thinks that the reason Walmart is happily carrying Capitalism: A Love Story is due to the fact that they are uber-comfy in their position of ruler of the world. In an email sent out today, he writes:
The fact that Wal-Mart is carrying this movie — a movie that specifically exposes Wal-Mart’s past practice of taking out secret “dead peasant” life insurance policies on its employees and naming itself as the lone beneficiary should the employee meet an “untimely” early death — well, my friends, need you any further proof that Corporate America is so secure in its position as the ruler of our country, so sure of its infallible power that, yes, they can even sell a movie that attacks them because it poses absolutely no threat to them?
A sane person would think that Wal-Mart would never carry “Capitalism: A Love Story” because it’s simply not in their best interests to inform their customers of their shady past. After all, many Wal-Mart stores wouldn’t carry “Bowling for Columbine” back in 2003. That was *Kmart* I went after (for selling the ammo to the Columbine killers)! But I guess that was too Mart-y close for Wal-Mart — so no DVDs were allowed of that film on the shelves of some of the world’s biggest retail chain’s stores (the movie studio estimated that cost them $2.5 million in sales).
But seven years later, it’s a new day in America. The corporate coup is complete. Corporations like Wal-Mart now call all the shots, write all the laws, pay off almost all the congressmen and essentially (along with the other Fortune 500 companies and Wall Street) rule the nation. They’ve helped to eliminate consumer choice and the free market while convincing you they are all for “free enterprise” and the “U.S.A.”
Moore also reminds us that Walmart is co-opting criticism by appropriating green rhetoric and organic retail practices. This was recently, shamelessly highlighted in the Academy Award nominated documentary Food, Inc:
More importantly, they’ve snuffed out any criticism or opposition. They’ve even co-opted liberals, like the people who made the wonderful documentary, “Food, Inc.” The last half-hour of this movie includes — I kid you not — an homage to Wal-Mart as the filmmakers swoon over this kinder, gentler company that has decided to — bless them! — put an organic food counter in their stores! Thank you, Wamart! Kumbaya! (And hey, granolaheads, don’t forget to flash a smile on the way out of the store at the “greeter” who can’t afford to see a doctor.)
So the question remains – with critical interventions like Moore’s documentary on sale at Walmart, are we past the point of no return when it comes to revolutionizing our economic system into one that is just, fair and sustainable? Or should we just buy the movie for cheap, watch it, and go back to business?