Movie Review: “Where To Invade Next” By Michael Moore – Hammer, Chisel, Down For Social Humanism
By Dr Gideon Polya
23 April, 2016
Michael Moore's latest movie “Where to invade next” is testament to the failure of democracy in One Percenter-dominated America. Moore invades 9 countries to steal their ideas for America e.g. Italy (generous holidays), France (healthy gourmet lunches for school kids), Finland (best education with least schooling), Slovenia (students saved free university education), Germany (worker empowerment and history truth-telling), Norway (humane prisons and no death penalty), Portugal (drug decriminalization works), Tunisia (equal rights for women), and Iceland (female empowerment and jailing of banker criminals). Punchlines: (1) Americans actually first proposed these ideas, and (2) Hammer, Chisel, Down for Social Humanism.
Michael Moore is an iconic activist for a decent society for all Americans and is most famous around the world for his satirical program “The Awful Truth” (exposing deadly and debilitating absurdities in One Percenter-dominated America) and his movies “Fahrenheit 9/11” (2004) (about George W. Bush war crimes), “Bowling for Columbine” (2002) (about American gun culture and school massacres), and “Sicko” (2007) (about deadly lack of access to health care in the US). Michael Moore uses laughter at absurdities to make a powerful case for a more humane American society that can be readily achieved in one of the world's richest countries via a social humanist culture of maximizing human happiness, dignity and opportunity for all Americans. “Where to invade next” is marvellous further satirical and funny advocacy in support of social decency in America [1, 2].
However, as detailed this review, Michael Moore's work can be criticized by numbers-informed scientist pedants such as myself for not going far enough in exposing an America in which 1.7 million Americans die preventably each year [3-6] and 27% of African Americans live in dire poverty  ; that has returned to Segregationist schooling via a system of wealth- and race-based Educational Apartheid ; that has an appalling record of ongoing human rights abuse, notably trashing secular governance, modernity, democracy, women's rights and children's rights across the Muslim world ; and that has invaded 70 nations [10, 11], subverts all nations, and in its War on Terror (aka the Zionist-promoted US War on Muslims) has been complicit in 27 million Muslim deaths from deprivation and 5 million deaths from violence in 20 countries subject to US Alliance invasion since the US Government's 9-11 false flag atrocity [12-18]. The Awful Truth is far, far worse than even the marvellous Michael Moore has exposed in his succession of powerful “J'accuse” movies.
Michael Moore starts his movie with shock and awe images of US invasions of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen and a notional invitation for Michael Moore to visit the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The US has been repeatedly defeated by Indigenous People around the world in wars to ostensibly protect and export the American Way of Life , so Michael Moore proposes that he (rather than the Marines) be sent to invade other countries to steal valuable ideas (rather than oil) in order to make a Better America. Michael Moore takes us on a tour of European countries plus Tunisia, planting the American flag and stealing wonderful ideas that could make life so much better for Americans. Of course equitable social policy costs money but the long-term accrual cost of the War on Terror is now $6 trillion, the $0.8 trillion annual US defense commitment is 22% of the US Federal budget, and there is an upper estimate of $40 trillion for the long term accrual cost to America of nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist–run, genocidally racist, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel, the racist Zionist (RZ) tail wagging the American dog . The policies of the pro-death, pro-Zionist, One Percenter American Establishment are associated with 1.7 million preventable American deaths each year and 25 million preventable American deaths since the US Government's false flag 9-11 atrocity [5, 6].
In Italy Moore discovers that Italian workers get about 2 months holiday each year that make them happier and healthier workers. In contrast, in the ultra-capitalist US many low-paid workers need several jobs to survive and there are no holidays except for those negotiated by unions. Michael Moore accordingly plants the American flag and steals this idea for America.
In France Moore goes to a school in a working class town and discovers that the children are personally served high nutrition gourmet meals for lunch (Camembert is their favourite on the cheese platter) . The French kids are horrified by the fat plus sugar American hamburger and coke diet. The “Where to invade next” website reports that 13.7% of American high school children are obese . Out of 1.7 million Americans who die preventably each year, 300,000 die from obesity-related causes .
In Finland Moore discovers that Finnish children lead the world in educational outcomes but this is achieved in a system that insists that all schools are the same for rich or poor (there are no private schools, no “good neighbourhoods” for schooling, and no Educational Apartheid obscenities). Further, Finnish children are formally taught much less than other children, there is minimal homework, and children learn and develop heaps through reading, art, music and interacting with other children. In contrast, in the US there has been a massive return to wealth- and race-based Segregation, and children are maleducated to pass competency tests rather than being educated in the fullest sense of the word as in Finland .
In Slovenia Moore discovers that university education is free and that when the government proposed university fees, massive student protests stopped it and the government fell. Moore pans to US student reaction to a fee hike with images of scattered students happily sunning themselves on a college lawn. As indicated by Moore in a shot of national flags, about 20 countries around the world have no university fees, the list including (GDP per capita in US dollars in brackets; UN data, 2014): Argentina ($12,645) , Brazil ($11,387), China ($7,617), Cuba ($7,274), Czech Republic ($19,470), Denmark ($61,294), Ecuador ($6,346), Estonia ($20,122), Finland ($49,678), France ($42, 802), Germany ($47,966), Greece ($21,414), Iceland ($52,048), Libya ($6,602), Mauritius ($9,945), Norway ($97,226), Scotland ($24,060), Slovenia ($23,954), and Sweden ($58,856) but not the Anglosphere countries of Australia ($62,290), Canada ($50,169), Ireland ($53,648), New Zealand ($44,189), UK ($46,461) and the US ($54,306). In addition, Chile ($14,528) gives free university education to students from its 50% poorest families, and in Nigeria ($3,203), university education is free for Science, Education & Technology students [21, 22]. The “Where to invade next” website reports that the total US student loan debt is now $1.3 trillion .
In Germany workers at the Faber-Castell pencil factory have happy and cheerful working conditions and generous lunch time. In German corporations there is massive worker representation on boards. Of course, German children have free primary, secondary and tertiary (university) education. Michael Moore discovers that German school children are taught about the WW2 Jewish Holocaust so that this kind of genocidal atrocity will never happen again at the hands of Germans. Sadly, one observes that Germany has been (a) complicit through provision of military forces in the ongoing Afghan Holocaust and Afghan Genocide (6 million dead since 9-11 due to violence or war-imposed deprivation) [13, 14]; (b) complicit, through massive financial and diplomatic support for Apartheid Israel, in the ongoing Palestinian Genocide (90% of Palestine now ethnically cleansed and 2 million Palestinians killed since the 1930s due to violence , 0.1 million, or to Zionist-imposed deprivation, 1.9 million) [13, 16]; (c) complicit in the ongoing Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust in which 17 million people, half of them children, die avoidable each year on Spaceship Earth with the rich countries in charge of the flight deck ; and (d) complicit as a major greenhouse gas (GHG) polluter in the worsening Climate Genocide that could kill 10 billion people this century due to unaddressed, man-made global warming (Germany ranking 23rd worst out of about 190 countries in terms of weighted annual per capita GHG pollution [23, 24]. Michael Moore observes that in contrast Americans do not carry a sense of collective guilt for centuries of Indian Genocide and slavery. Indeed post-1950 US Asian wars have been associated with 40 million Asian deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation, but primary American concerns are with the immense cost and the inability of mighty America to win wars.
In Norway Michael Moore visits both high and low security prisons and finds earnest attempts to keep the prisoners happy and to avoid cruel punishment. The pro-Zionist, neo-Nazi, Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik has been sentenced to the Norwegian maximum of 21 years imprisonment, and the father of one of the young victims does not want the death penalty. In contrast, the US has the death penalty and brutalizing conditions of violence and rape for its huge, world-leading prison population that is disproportionately Black American .
In Portugal Michael Moore steals the idea of non-criminalization of drugs that are illicit in the US and much of the World. In Portugal drug crime is low and rehabilitation is free. In contrast, in the US the enforcement of drug laws has disproportionately impacted African American males, many of whom have lost basic rights such as the right to vote through felony laws. This has created a new underclass of African American male felons who are slave labour as prisoners and denied basic rights on release. Dr Michelle Alexander (author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” , and former director of the Racial Justice Project of the ACLU in Northern California): “If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas have been labeled felons for life. (In the Chicago area, the figure is nearly 80 percent.) These men are part of a growing undercaste—not class, caste—permanently relegated by law to a second-class status. They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits, much as their grandparents and great-grandparents were during the Jim Crow era” .
In Tunisia Moore discovers that women achieved equal rights after the removal of the dictator and establishment of democracy. A democratically–elected Islamic government acceded to the secular constitutional demand for equal rights for women because it was favoured by a democratic majority. In contrast, equal rights for women has not been established in the US. While free fertility clinics operate in Tunisia, in the US a woman's right to choose is vociferously opposed by the religious Right. The “Where to invade next” website reports that women working full time in the US typically are paid 79 percent of what men are paid and that it will take 100 years to close the gap . Ignored in “Where to invade next” , in the Mainstream narrative and by Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI)-perverted and subverted Western Mainstream media are the 1.2 million people who have died world-wide since 9-11 due to US Alliance restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry from 6% of world market share in 2001 to 93% in 2007, the breakdown (as of 2015) including 280,000 Americans, 256,000 Indonesians, 68,000 Iranians, 25,000 British, 14,000 Canadians, 10,000 Germans, and 5,000 Australians .
In Iceland Michael Moore discovers that the only bank to survive the Global Financial Crisis was a bank run by women. Whereas American bankers were bailed out by the Federal Government as vast expense to ordinary taxpayers, in Iceland about 70 bankers were tried and sent to jail. Michael Moore elicited a powerful comment from an Icelandic woman who said that US society was unacceptable to her because it was based on individual success, whereas in Iceland people had a much greater sense of community and community obligations. Indeed that sense of community obligation is reflected in accessible health care in the Western European countries visited by Michael Moore, whereas lack of medical insurance kills 45,000 Americans each year and callous disregard of Amercian lives by Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI)-perverted and subverted American Governments means that 1.7 million Americans die preventably each year and 25 million have died thus since the US Government's false flag 9-11 atrocity [5, 6].
Finally, Michael Moore returns to Germany and recalls people chipping away at the Berlin Wall with hammers and chisels before it eventually came down. Michael Moore's powerful and funny film concludes with the exhortation “Hammer Chisel Down” that brought down the Berlin Wall and may eventually give ordinary Americans the sort of decent society they long for. The great irony exposed by Michael Moore is that many of the ideas he stole from the countries he invaded were originally espoused by Americans. Thus the Declaration of Independence crucially states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”.
Michael Moore's “Where to invade next” is a very funny movie but with a very serious message. America has led the world with a huge body of marvellous, humane philosophers, writers, entertainers, scientists and activists showing America and the world how a decent life is possible for everyone. However Democracy in America and the West that should reflect the basic desires of the people has been steadily perverted and converted to Plutocracy, Kleptocracy, Murdochracy, Lobbyocracy, Corporatocracy and Dollarocracy by One Percenter Big Money that purchases people, politicians, parties, policies, public perception of reality, political power and thence more power and profit for One Percenters. America is in the grip of merciless neoliberalism that demands maximal freedom for the smart and advantaged to exploit the human and natural resources of the world for private profit rather than for public good. In stark contrast, decent, humane people argue for social humanism (democratic socialism) that through evolving intra-national and inter-national contracts aims to maximize the happiness, opportunity and dignity of all people [27, 28]. However One Percenter control of Mainstream media and consequent egregious lying by commission and lying by omission have ensured that insatiable One Percenter neoliberal greed prevails over social humanism [29, 30]. The consequent enormous contradictions provide rich pickings for humane satirists like Michael Moore.
A fundamental parameter that reflects the success or otherwise for everybody of social policies is avoidable mortality that is otherwise referred to as avoidable death, excess mortality, excess death, untimely death, premature death or death that should not have happened. However serious consideration of grim avoidable death realities is incompatible with funny satire and hence the concept of avoidable death merely lurks beneath the surface of Michael Moore's “Where to invade next” . Thus, for example, the most charming segment of “Where to invade next” involves nutritionally sound gourmet lunches for French school kids as opposed to obesity-promoting junk food (fat- and sugar-rich food) that causes both child obesity and later adult obesity. Missing from generously-proportioned Michael Moore's analysis is the appalling statistic that obesity is associated with 300,000 preventable American deaths each year [5, 6].
The dark, premature mortality underbelly of One Percenter neoliberalism is revealed by the following statistics. If democracy is about expression of the fundamental desires of the people , then the most basic desire of all – remaining alive - is not being adequately satisfied in neoliberal, One Percenter-dominated and Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist (NAZI)- subverted and perverted America. 1.7 million Americans die preventably each year, the annual breakdown including (1) 443,000 from smoking-related causes, (2) 440,000 from adverse events in hospitals, (3) 300,000 from obesity-related causes , (4) 200,000 from air pollution (e.g. from coal burning, vehicle exhaust, and carbon burning in general), (5) 75,000 from alcohol-related causes, (6) 45,000 from lack of medical insurance , (7) 38,000 US drug-related deaths (this including 21,000 US opiate drug-related deaths annually from US restoration and protection of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry), (8) 33,000 killed by motor vehicles, (9) 31,000 gun-related deaths, (10) 30,000 from suicide (with 7,000 being US veterans), (11) 21,000 avoidable under-5 year old infant deaths, (12) 15,000 violently murdered, and (13) only 3 killed by “terrorists” since the US Government's false flag 9-11 atrocity [6, 31].
For all that the hard issue of avoidable death is avoided as incompatible with humour and entertainment, Michael Moore's “Where to invade next” is a powerful, must-see argument for a decent America and a decent world. The recent phenomena of hugely popular socialists in the West, namely Bernie Sanders (US) and Jeremy Corbyn (UK), give rise to some faint hope that a new social humanist age will dawn before neoliberal capitalism destroys the Biosphere and Humanity. Every person must stand up for Humanity and the Biosphere in the One Percenter War on Terra led by America under mendacious, war criminal and climate criminal Obama who is soon to be replaced either by Racist Religious Right Republican (R4) demagogue Donald Trump or by the even more dangerous war criminal, climate criminal and mass murderess Hillary Clinton. What can decent people do? Decent people must (a) inform everyone they can, and (b) urge and apply Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) against all politicians, parties, corporations and countries disproportionately complicit in the genocidal and indeed terracidal neoliberal betrayal of humane values.
. “Michael Moore”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Moore .
. ”Where to invade next”, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_to_Invade_Next .
. Gideon Polya, “One million Americans die preventably annually in USA ”, Countercurrents, 18 February 2012: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya180212.htm .
. Gideon Polya, “American Holocaust, Millions Of Untimely American Deaths And $40 Trillion Cost Of Israel To Americans”, Countercurrents, 27 August, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya270813.htm
. Gideon Polya, “One Percenter Greed & War Means Over 1.5 Million Americans Die Preventably Each Year”, Countercurrents, 19 September, 2014: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya190914.htm .
. Gideon Polya, “West Ignores 11 Million Muslim War Deaths & 23 Million Preventable American Deaths Since US Government's False-flag 9-11 Atrocity”, Countercurrents, 9 September, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya090915.htm
. Gideon Polya, “Truth & Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) Can Overcome Huge Inequities Suffered By African Americans Under American Apartheid”, Countercurrents, 29 September, 2014: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya290914.htm .
. “Educational Apartheid”: https://sites.google.com/site/educationalapartheid/ .
. Gideon Polya, “Fundamentalist America Has Trashed Secular Governance, Modernity, Democracy, Women's Rights And Children's Rights In The Muslim World”, Countercurrents, 21 May, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya210515.htm .
. Gideon Polya, “US has invaded 70 nations Since 1776 – make 4 July Independence From America Day”, Countercurrents, 5 July 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya050713.htm .
. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, that includes an avoidable mortality-related history of every country from Neolithic times and is now available for free perusal on the web : http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/ .
. Gideon Polya, “Paris Atrocity Context: 27 Million Muslim Avoidable Deaths From Imposed Deprivation In 20 Countries Violated By US Alliance Since 9-11”, Countercurrents, 22 November, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya221115.htm .
. “Muslim Holocaust Muslim Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/muslimholocaustmuslimgenocide/ .
. “Afghan Holocaust Afghan Genocide” : https://sites.google.com/site/afghanholocaustafghangenocide/ .
. “Iraqi Holocaust, Iraqi Genocide”: http://sites.google.com/site/iraqiholocaustiraqigenocide/ .
. “Palestinian Genocide” : http://sites.google.com/site/palestiniangenocide/ .
. “Stop state terrorism”: https://sites.google.com/site/stopstateterrorism/ .
. "State crime and non-state terrorism": https://sites.google.com/site/statecrimeandnonstateterrorism/ .
. “Where to invade next”: http://wheretoinvadenext.com/ .
. “Educational Apartheid”: https://sites.google.com/site/educationalapartheid/ .
. “Free University Education”: https://sites.google.com/site/freeuniversityeducation/home .
. Gideon Polya, “Free University Education Via Accredited Remote Learning – All Education Should Be Free For All”, Countercurrents, 31 January, 2016: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya310116.htm .
. Gideon Polya, “Exposing And Thence Punishing Worst Polluter Nations Via Weighted Annual Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Pollution Scores”, Countercurrents, 19 March, 2016: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya190316.htm .
. “Climate Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/climategenocide/ .
. Michelle Alexander, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”, The New Press, 2010.
. Michelle Alexander, “The war on drugs and the New Jim Crow”, Race, Poverty, Environment, Vol. 17, No. 1 | Spring 2010: http://reimaginerpe.org/20years/alexander .
. Brian Ellis, “Social Humanism. A New Metaphysics” , Routledge , UK , 2012.
. Gideon Polya, “Book Review: “Social Humanism. A New Metaphysics - Last Chance To Save Planet?”, Countercurrents, 19 August, 2012: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya190812.htm .
. “Mainstream media censorship”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/home .
. “Mainstream media lying”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammedialying/ .
. “Experts: US did 9-11”: https://sites.google.com/site/expertsusdid911/ .
Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript
) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine ; Gideon Polya: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/home ; Gideon Polya Writing: https://sites.google.com/site/gideonpolyawriting/ ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Polya ) . When words fail one can say it in pictures - for images of Gideon Polya's huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/ .