Democracy vs. capitalism, local vs. factory food

Michael Moore’s latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story, has just been released on DVD, and thanks to Maja Mielonen, we now have a copy on the Island. Maja will be showing it as one of our ‘movies that matter’ nights (and to celebrate the equinox) on Sunday, March 21. Moore’s ironic style has never been stronger, or deeper, presenting the whole sweep of American history as a struggle between capitalism and democracy – and showing how democracy can still win, despite the hijacking of the federal government by Wall Street.

Though Moore’s film is American to the core, the struggle between capitalism and democracy (or people vs. corporations) is a global one. A recent victory for democracy is covered by the excellent Yes! Magazine website in Iceland Busts the Banksters.

Yes! Magazine online is an excellent resource for resilience, and you can subscribe there (also for free) to a weekly highlights email. The current print version of Yes! also features an interview with Elinor Ostrom, a summer visitor to Manitoulin, who recently won the Nobel Prize in economics for her lifelong work on cooperation and common property.

farmersalatin_resizedAnother new DVD resource has been acquired by Chuc and Linda Willson, who are among the most active promoters of local food on Manitoulin: Food Inc. is a devastating exposé of the corporate food industry in the U.S., with a particular focus on meat production, including health issues and unfair labor practices, on Monsanto and its domination of soybean production, and on political issues in the U.S. such as labeling of GMO products. It also shows the viable (and more resilient) alternatives of organic, free-range and local food production. One of the film’s most articulate spokesmen for alternative farming is Joel Salatin, pictured here. Local and organic food advocate Michael Pollan is also featured, as he is in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, one of the extra features on the new Michael Moore DVD. Food Inc.is well researched and powerfully delivered. Despite its focus on the U.S., the tight integration of North American food systems means that it’s relevant to Canada as well. It’s a welcome addition to earlier films on food issues, King Corn and The Future of Food (which are included in the Honora Bay Resource Library).