Friday, September 17, 2010

Jonathan Kay vs. David McNally

Jonathan Kay vs. David McNally on capitalism, communism, and what Michael Moore has to say about America

Jonathan Kay, David McNally
National Post

Icelanders hang capitalist doll
As part of the National Post's weekly Arts and Life "popcorn panel" feature, pundits are brought together to debate newly released films. This Saturday's installment will feature excerpts from an email debate between National Post comment editor Jonathan Kay and York University political science professor David McNally on Michael Moore's new film Capitalism: A love story.

What follows below is the full uncut version of their exchange.

Jonathan Kay: I know why I was picked for this panel: because Terry Corcoran wasn't available, and you wanted a right-wing true-believer to batter America's iconic left-wing punching bag. But I'm not co-operating -- at least not entirely. Capitalism: A Love Story may be larded up with all sorts of gratuitous, intellectually dishonest stunts. Even so, Moore makes a strong case for his core thesis that unregulated capitalism has destabilized American middle class society in cruel and unsustainable ways. I'm a big fan of the free market. But when Moore introduces us to airline pilots making $17,000 a year, and selling blood plasma to make ends meet, it becomes clear that America's collective value system has gone off the rails.

David McNally: Well, as the left-winger here, I agree that the “collective value system” that dominates American life “has gone off the rails.” But before we start turning warm and fuzzy and declaring our agreement, let’s cut to the chase. After all, Michael Moore is doing more than denouncing the obscenity of pilots living below the poverty line and selling their plasma to make ends meet. He is insisting that poverty, homelessness, disregard for the lives of working people are inherent in a system driven by the maximization of corporate profits. And this is the strength of the film. More than just expose injustice, it insists there is a social-economic system at fault: capitalism.

Read more HERE.

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