While the majority of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and one emergency away from financial peril, a new study shows that the 500 richest people in the world gained a combined $1.2 trillion in wealth in 2019. In the U.S., the richest 0.1% now control a bigger share of the pie than at any time since the beginning of the Great Depression.
But what happens when the very people hoarding this wealth at the expense of democracy, the environment and an equitable society, re-brand themselves as the people who will fix society’s problems? What happens when the arsonists pose as the firefighters?
Anand Giridharadas has been studying these questions and he joins Michael Moore to name names and discuss what to do about it.
we got we got to sit down in the front04:56row there were three empty seats are my04:58sister and my friend and I we were all05:00there and we sat there for four or five05:02hours watching the debate and in the05:05vote and I’m telling you it’s not likeit is on c-spanthese fan is such a you knowtwo-dimensional flattens everything outvery strictly framed you don’t get theperipheral vision on c-span one of the05:19things I tell my crew and I if I if I’m05:23allowed to when I’m invited to the film05:25schools to talk to students I always05:27tell them that you’re gonna find more05:29truth in the peripheral hmm then in the05:32in the spot-on because in the spot-on05:34you’re getting the official story you’re05:37getting me you know whatever it is they05:40want you to report but what’s going on05:42over here what’s going on around you if05:44you have a sense of trying to pay05:46attention to that you’ll find these05:47things that that you’ll never see in a05:50documentary or in a movie or on the05:52nightly news and so what I saw from that05:57front row of the gallery last Wednesday05:59was both a bit exhilarating and06:04frightening exhilarating in the sense06:06that you could see that on the06:08Democratic side that they many of them06:11had found the courage of their06:13convictions had found their their soul06:15their guts to stand up for this even06:18though the polls show it’s kind of a06:2150/50 in the country on impeachment a06:23little more in favor of it but06:26nonetheless a risky proposition06:28especially for a number of Democrats in06:30swing districts the fact that they would06:32take that stand in such a profound way29:13electoral states remember Hillary only29:14lost Michigan by two votes per precinct29:18that’s it and it’s not because lunch29:20bucket Joe stayed home you know or voted29:24for Trump it’s it’s because the the when29:28they talk about the working-class Amy I29:29just accessorize me crazy oh you know29:31Trump won all these working-class votes29:32in Michigan in Pennsylvania no what29:35happened was is that the Democratic29:36Party didn’t stand up in the way that29:40they should have for what the youth29:41wanted for what people of color neededand and the the there are 90,000 peoplein Michigan almost 90,000 who went tothe polls mostly Democrats and verylarge numbers of them in Detroit FlintPontiac Saginaw all these are all blackcities majority black they stood in linein the cold for two to three hours tovote they went in there and they votedfor state Rep state Senate CountyCommission we don’t have dogcatcher wehave drain commissioner the person incharge of the sewage that’s the lowestname on the ballotthey stood there they voted for theDemocrats all down ballot and left thetop box blank 19th only lost Michigan by10 11 thousand votes 90,000wanted to send a message to theDemocratic Party you forgot us a longtime ago out here and we will not put upwith us anymore we’re not gonna vote forTrump but we’re not gonna we’re not30:36going to tolerate you sending us another30:38Republican White Democrat if we go that30:42route if we go that route it’s30:44guaranteed we will lose the electoral30:46college we will win when we put somebody30:48on that ballot that excites the base30:51women people of color young people when30:55they wake up that morning they feel the30:56way that many of us many of you watching30:57felt the morning that you were gonna in30:592008 and you were gonna get to go and31:01vote for Barack Obama and you couldn’t
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times compared Celsius 41.11 unfavorably to FahrenHYPE 9/11, another documentary film aimed at rebutting the arguments made by Michael Moore. While Dargis felt that the purpose of FahrenHYPE 9/11 was the detailed rebutting of the arguments put forward by Moore’s film, she felt that the purpose of Celsius 41.11 was to “make you afraid — very, very afraid”. She stated that Celsius 41.11 “presents a vision of the world verging on the apocalyptic“. Dargis concluded “finally [the film is] interesting only because it represents another unconvincing effort on the part of conservatives to mount a viable critique of Mr. Moore.”
Criticisms of the production
The Boston Globe and the New York Times both questioned the reliability of some of the individuals interviewed. The Globe called the experts “occasionally dubious” saying that they “offer[ed] drive-by disses and plain untruths“. Manohla Dargis of the New York Timeswas particularly critical of the film for not detailing the extent of Mansoor Ijaz‘s investments in the Middle East or “just how intimately familiar he was with the nonsense of the Clinton White House”. Both publications, however, spoke well of the contributions of Fred Thompson with the New York Times calling him “thoughtful” and the Globe adding that “with his level head and reflective words, [he] makes partisanship seem dignified.”
Several critics felt that insufficient time had been spent on the film. Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide said that it “bears all the hallmarks of having been thrown together in a heated rush”, a criticism echoed by Robert Koehler of Variety who called the editing “choppy”.Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe described the film as “a seemingly last-minute series of talking heads and montages”. A number of critics compared the style of the film to that of a PowerPoint presentation.
And a backlash against liberals — a backlash that most liberals don’t seem to realize they’re causing — is going to get President Trump re-elected.
People often vote against things instead of voting for them: against ideas, candidates and parties. Democrats, like Republicans, appreciate this whenever they portray their opponents as negatively as possible. But members of political tribes seem to have trouble recognizing that they, too, can push people away and energize them to vote for the other side. Nowhere is this more on display today than in liberal control of the commanding heights of American culture.
.. Liberals dominate the entertainment industry, many of the most influential news sources and America’s universities. This means that people with progressive leanings are everywhere in the public eye — and are also on the college campuses attended by many people’s children or grandkids. These platforms come with a lot of power to express values, confer credibility and celebrity and start national conversations that others really can’t ignore.
But this makes liberals feel more powerful than they are. Or, more accurately, this kind of power is double-edged. Liberals often don’t realize how provocative or inflammatory they can be. In exercising their power, they regularly not only persuade and attract but also annoy and repel.
In fact, liberals may be more effective at causing resentment than in getting people to come their way. I’m not talking about the possibility that jokes at the 2011 correspondents’ association dinner may have pushed Mr. Trump to run for president to begin with. I mean that the “army of comedy” that Michael Moore thought would bring Mr. Trump down will instead be what builds him up in the minds of millions of voters.
.. Some liberals have gotten far out ahead of their fellow Americans but are nonetheless quick to criticize those who haven’t caught up with them.
.. Liberals denounce “cultural appropriation” without, in many cases, doing the work of persuading people that there is anything wrong with, say, a teenager not of Chinese descent wearing a Chinese-style dress to prom or eating at a burrito cart run by two non-Latino women.
.. Pressing a political view from the Oscar stage, declaring a conservative campus speaker unacceptable, flatly categorizing huge segments of the country as misguided — these reveal a tremendous intellectual and moral self-confidence that smacks of superiority. It’s one thing to police your own language and a very different one to police other people’s. The former can set an example. The latter is domineering.
.. This judgmental tendency became stronger during the administration of President Barack Obama, though not necessarily because of anything Mr. Obama did. Feeling increasingly emboldened, liberals were more convinced than ever that conservatives were their intellectual and even moral inferiors.
.. college campuses — which many take to be what a world run by liberals would look like — seemed increasingly intolerant of free inquiry.
.. It was during these years that the University of California included the phrase “America is the land of opportunity” on a list of discouraged microaggressions.
.. Champions of inclusion can watch what they say and explain what they’re doing without presuming to regulate what words come out of other people’s mouths. Campus activists can allow invited visitors to speak and then, after that event, hold a teach-in discussing what they disagree with. After the Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that states had to allow same-sex marriage, the fight, in some quarters, turned to pizza places unwilling to cater such weddings. Maybe don’t pick that fight?
.. Liberals can act as if they’re not so certain — and maybe actually not be so certain — that bigotry motivates people who disagree with them on issues like immigration.
.. Without sacrificing their principles, liberals can come across as more respectful of others. Self-righteousness is rarely attractive, and even more rarely rewarded.
.. many liberals seem primed to write off nearly half the country as irredeemable.
.. But it is an unjustified leap to conclude that anyone who supports him in any way is racist, just as it would be a leap to say that anyone who supported Hillary Clinton was racist because she once made veiled references to “superpredators.”
Liberals are trapped in a self-reinforcing cycle. When they use their positions in American culture to lecture, judge and disdain, they push more people into an opposing coalition that liberals are increasingly prone to think of as deplorable. That only validates their own worst prejudices about the other America.