Michael Moore talks 'Capitalism' and how Irish background shapes his views


“My Irish American background has a lot to do with my work, both in terms of the values that I was raised with -- that we’ll be judged by how we treat the least among us -- and that the rich man is basically up to no good,” he says.

“I think that we as Irish Americans have a fairly dark view of the world in general and that accounts for a dark sense of humor, and in fact it accounts for the need for a sense of humor because we sense that the human condition in all of its manifestations and that rotten core that exists in so much of what we have to go through necessitates a good sense of humor, or another pint, or both.”

In time for the 20-year anniversary of his groundbreaking documentary “Roger & Me,” Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” returns to the issue that he’s been examining throughout his career -- the impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, on the rest of the world).

In scene after scene Moore poses the same simple question that has remained taboo in America for decades -- what is the price that America pays for its love of capitalism? 

To find an answer, Moore also takes us into the homes of ordinary people whose lives have been turned upside down. He travels to Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.

And in the film’s hilarious climatic scenes he even attempts to make a citizens arrest of the CEOs of Goldman Sachs and several other Wall Street titans who received our bailout money with no plan to pay it back. In the process he criticizes both Republicans and Democrats for the abuses he sees around him.

“All of our political parties are bought and paid for by corporate America, Wall Street, and the wealthy interests,” says Moore. “The Republican Party more so, but the Democrats take their share of the loot too. I’ve always been about exposing those who are making decisions that are not in the best interests of the people, and it doesn’t matter to me what party they belong to.”

Moore says that most media commentators in America do not come from the working class and they get very nervous around people like himself who do.

“I take much of the attacks and the criticism toward me as being very class-based, but as Americans we don’t like to acknowledge that reality,” Moore says.

Capitalism, the film concludes, is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil.

Says Moore, “You have to eliminate it and replace it with something that is good for all people, and that something is democracy.”