Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

September 21, 2018

Fahrenheit 11/9

Filed under: comedy,Counterpunch,Film — louisproyect @ 12:48 pm


Michael Moore fans will be happy to hear that “Fahrenheit 11/9”, which opens today at theaters everywhere, is his best film in years, even in spots achieving the brilliance of “Roger and Me”. As pure entertainment, it is on a par with the best of Saturday Night Live, the Stephen Colbert show or any other pop culture attempts to rally people against Donald Trump even if it is unlikely that any such comedy so wedded to the Democratic Party will have any effect.

The film is a blunderbuss attack on the Trump administration and the Democratic Party establishment that includes Bill and Hillary Clinton. Even Barack Obama gets the Michael Moore treatment in an obvious display of buyer’s remorse. If you’ve seen the 2009 “Capitalism, a Love Story”, you might recall that the film portrays him as a knight in shining armor. Two days after Obama was elected for his first term Moore said, “The Republicans aren’t kidding when they say he’s the ‘most liberal’ member of the Senate. … He is our best possible chance to step back from the edge of the cliff.” In keeping with the general drift of the left, Moore now regards him as a total sell-out. In a lengthy segment on the Flint water crisis, we see Obama as a total jack-ass making a “joke” at a mass meeting of parents worried sick about their children’s health by asking for a glass of water. He repeats this stunt at another meeting with doctors and community leaders.

For Moore, the original sin was Bill Clinton becoming the equivalent of a moderate Republican in his first term. Since organized labor was not as powerful as it was in the past, especially in places like Moore’s hometown Flint, Clinton decided to cater to big business that would provide the necessary funding for him to be elected and then re-elected. This meant putting an end to Glass-Steagall, Aid to Families with Dependent Children and other policies falling under the rubric of neo-liberalism.

Continue reading


  1. Sounds better than other MM films in recent years. He was interviewed this morning by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now on WBAI (repeated in NYC area early evening on the CUNY tv channel). It seems like the new film will focus marginally less on MM and his powerful self regard and more on actual working class people who are not sucking up to him. And useful analogous information, Louis, on growth of fascism in Germany, more than MM will provide. Maybe MM will finally stop begging centrist Democrats to run for office.

    Comment by Elliot Podwill — September 21, 2018 @ 1:38 pm

  2. Michael Moore, while amusing, always returns to his lodging within the capitalist system. In fact, almost all “socialists” are promoting a capitalist welfare state (a non-starter), and I can’t find a person or group that is pursuing a revolutionary exit out of capitalism into a human future. The human species has become politically bankrupt as it undergoes terminal capitalist foreclosure.

    I thank you for yet another of your excellent reviews/essays/polemics, Louis, but aren’t you and everyone else failing to address the reality that there is no revolutionary organizing theory or action to be found in our beyond-desperate situation? We are going down without a fight.

    So, Louis and others, how about a discussion of the “left’s” failure to engage the root problem of capitalism and develop a transformational theory of human liberation and realization? And after discussion comes praxis?

    Comment by Joe Barnwell — September 21, 2018 @ 4:25 pm

  3. “Can we expect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be more like Rosa Luxemburg, as the DSA would have you believe, or like Hermann Müller?” The jury will soon be in, and she will prove to be like Müller.

    Comment by Systemic Disorder — September 21, 2018 @ 5:34 pm

  4. If she were Rosa Luxemburg, she wouldn’t enter politics.

    Comment by nathan johnson — September 21, 2018 @ 8:43 pm

  5. You should identify Hermann Mueller as A Social Democrat imo.

    Comment by David McDonald — September 22, 2018 @ 7:52 am

  6. failure to . . . develop a transformational theory . . .

    One’s tempted to say we have enough or nearly enough theory (interpretation of the world).

    Are we waiting for some hitherto unimaginable Einstein?

    Comment by Farans Kalosar — September 24, 2018 @ 2:24 pm

  7. Farans, I didn’t point to an absence of theories interpreting the world, but to the stark reality that capitalism is killing us all, and that no revolutionary/socially transformational theory has been developed in response. This is true, and this situation must be corrected–NOW.

    Yes, there is an “Einsteinian” solution to the human species’ imminent self-destruction, and it comes from the new sciences of organizational relations. Some 4 billion years ago organic molecules in Earth’s primordial atmosphere autocatalyzed (self-organized) into the first primitive living system(s), and this pattern of organization of life’s systemic process has been maintained by all living systems since. The extraordinarily diverse living systems of an ecosystem–cells to grizzlies– all maintain the same pattern of organization.

    Human beings are material living systems and must consciously organize in life’s hitherto invisible pattern of organization.

    Miraculously, this common pattern of organization is not only understood but has been modeled in a simple conceptual triangle that could enable all humans to understand life’s rules and organize our social systems accordingly.

    Human cognition sees life’s things (and reductively separates them), but is blind to the organization that brings matter to life. The difficulty people have in engaging living organization is akin to the problems people have in seeing and feeling Einstein’s 4-dimensional spacetime.

    The above comments and the underlying science are congruent with Marxism/communism. The dialectic shows life to be a systemic process, and the tripartite model of living organization to which I referred shows the ORGANIZATION of this process. This is transcendentally revolutionary, but I have been unable to get anyone on the left to look at what I call “Capra’s Triangle” for 19 fucking years. I am pissed, and the human species is currently doomed.

    Engels at Marx’s funeral: “Science was for Marx a historically dynamic, revolutionary force.”

    Comment by Joe Barnwell — September 30, 2018 @ 5:11 pm

  8. Michael Moore, the 300 pound, $50 million dollar proletarian, Goldman Sachs sponsored gorilla. Politicians are criminals. He forgot to mention that when he interviewed them.

    Comment by Eric McCoo — October 1, 2018 @ 9:33 pm

  9. […] COUNTERPUNCH, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018 Michael Moore fans will be happy to hear that “Fahrenheit 11/9”… […]

    Pingback by Fahrenheit 11/9 — Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist - Ungroovygords — November 18, 2018 @ 7:06 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: