Capitalism: a love story

27Nov09

Last week, we did anti-capitalist students in Nikes and keffiyahs. This week, anti-capitalist warriors with stocks in the military-industrial complex. Warning: sources are right-wing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Michael Moore:

According to Fortune Magazine, Moore’s films have grossed over $300 million worldwide. His highest grossing film was “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which critiques the Bush administration’s handling of the war in Iraq and earned over $200 million worldwide.

Moore reportedly was paid $21 million by Disney for producing, directing and creating the film.

Moore also earned 50 percent of the profits of his 2007 film “Sicko,” totaling $25 million plus DVD sales, according to Vanity Fair.

The Los Angeles Times
reported that Moore would receive all of the profits made from DVD sales of “Sicko,” sales of which have been estimated at over $17 million. [source]

Over the past five years, Moore’s holdings have “included such evil pharmaceutical and medical companies as Pfizer, Merck, Genzyme, Elan PLC, Eli Lilly, Becton Dickinson and Boston Scientific,” writes Schweizer, whose earlier works include “The Bushes” and “Reagan’s War.”

“Moore’s supposedly nonexistent portfolio also includes big bad energy giants like Sunoco, Noble Energy, Schlumberger, Williams Companies, Transocean Sedco Forex and Anadarko, all firms that ‘deplete irreplaceable fossil fuels in the name of profit’ as he put it in ‘Dude, Where’s My Country?’

“And in perhaps the ultimate irony, he also has owned shares in Halliburton. According to IRS filings, Moore sold Halliburton for a 15 percent profit and bought shares in Noble, Ford, General Electric (another defense contractor), AOL Time Warner (evil corporate media) and McDonald’s.

“Also on Moore’s investment menu: defense contractors Honeywell, Boeing and Loral.”

Does Moore share the stock proceeds of his “foundation” with charitable causes, you might ask?

Schweizer found that “for a man who by 2002 had a net worth in eight figures, he gave away a modest $36,000 through the foundation, much of it to his friends in the film business or tony cultural organizations that later provided him with venues to promote his books and film.” [source]

Noam Chomsky:

[…] But trusts can’t be all bad. After all, Chomsky, with a net worth north of $2,000,000, decided to create one for himself. A few years back he went to Boston’s venerable white-shoe law firm, Palmer and Dodge, and, with the help of a tax attorney specializing in “income-tax planning,” set up an irrevocable trust to protect his assets from Uncle Sam. He named his tax attorney (every socialist radical needs one!) and a daughter as trustees. To the Diane Chomsky Irrevocable Trust (named for another daughter) he has assigned the copyright of several of his books, including multiple international editions.[…]

Chomsky’s business works something like this. He gives speeches on college campuses around the country at $12,000 a pop, often dozens of times a year.

Can’t go and hear him in person? No problem: you can go online and download clips from earlier speeches—for a fee. You can hear Chomsky talk for one minute about “Property Rights”; it will cost you 79 cents. You can also buy a CD with clips from previous speeches for $12.99.

But books are Chomsky’s mainstay, and on the international market he has become a publishing phenomenon. The Chomsky brand means instant sales. As publicist Dana O’Hare of Pluto Press explains: “All we have to do is put Chomsky’s name on a book and it sells out immediately!”[…]

Chomsky’s marketing efforts shortly after September 11 give new meaning to the term war profiteer. In the days after the tragedy, he raised his speaking fee from $9,000 to $12,000 because he was suddenly in greater demand. [source]

See also: Michael Moore’s antisemitism?; What’s wrong with Noam Chomsky?

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7 Responses to “Capitalism: a love story”

  1. 1 Ben

    Humans are such funny creatures.

  2. ad hominem

  3. All we have to do is put Chomsky’s name on a book and it sells out immediately.

  4. 4 Who cares

    Moralism.


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  3. 3 A Serge/Sontag footnote, or an excuse for defending the anti-Stalinist tradition | Poumista

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