For me, the question is not whether Michael Moore's movies do anything to convince Democrat or Republican politicians to do anything different, but on whether they help to cohere and to radicalize the national debate (such as it is) on questions like health care, war, guns, and so forth.

If you poll the country, you'll find that most people want socialized health care (maybe without use of that word); but everybody feels alienated, disattached from each other, not knowing what to do to bring ANYTHING on a national level to boil. And so we get groups like UFPJ promoting lobbying of the Democrats, voting for Democrats, etc.

What we need here is what is happening today in Oaxaca -- massive direct action (and not just "protests") to implement the people's will on these issues: Massive GI and citizen-resistance to the war; setting up liberated zones with liberated hospitals; massive exposure on what's causing people to develop cancers to begin with and physically blockading their release into air and water, and so forth.

In other words, to reject the liberal dead-end approach to ALL of these issues, and to pull together revolutionary alternatives. I am hoping that SICKO contributes to that movement by breaking through the atomization, sense of isolation and impotence which are channelled into "lobbying" and "voting" as so-called alternatives. A little radical direct action, please!


-----Original Message-----
>From: Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Jul 4, 2007 1:03 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: A critical review of "SiCKO" on Robert Scheer's Truthdig site
>Okay, really last post this time. Carrol and Phil say that the choir Moore
>was preaching to was very big, because the film did so well at the box
>office. In fact the choir was much, much bigger than the box office: It
>consisted of every Democratic voter who was already resolved to vote against
>Bush in the 2004 election. If we are judging the film's propaganda value, it
>would have to be on the basis of how many pro-Bush or Republican voters it
>convinced to vote for Kerry (or abstain), in other words, by how effectively
>it expanded the numbers in the choir. If anyone here has figures on that
>question, it would be very interesting. But it obviously wasn't enough to
>give Kerry the win (although I certainly don't blame Moore for Kerry's
>disastrous campaign), and so I do think we need to think about what Moore
>might have done differently to make the film more effective. Not starting
>with a choir-pleaser like the famous Wolfowitz comb-licking scene might have
>been one choice, among many others.
>cheers, Michael
>Michael Balter
>Contributing Correspondent, Science
>[log in to unmask]