Where to Invade Next
Directed by Michael Moore
Maori TV showed Michael Moore’s 2015 documentary earlier this week. Like many of his films, it seems aimed at young Americans aged 10-12 with little knowledge of politics or other cultures. Like most of his films, it’s characterized by a total absence of political analysis, ie he makes no effort to explain the the political or economic forces responsible for the various social situations he encounters.
The premise of the film – the notion of Moore “invading” foreign countries to bring home desirable social programs to correct major flaws in US society – is extremely flimsy. He mostly focuses on surviving democratic socialist programs in various European countries, without once mentioning that coercive US diplomacy is forcing most of Europe (via free trade, hostile foreign investment, waves of mass immigration from US war zones, IMF privatization schemes, CIA meddling) to abandon their democratic socialist programs in favor of US-style neoliberalism.
That being said, this is probably a good film for pre-teens, providing they watch it with parents. There are some very disturbing scenes of US police and prison guards beating the shit out of black men.
Specific features Moore wants to “capture” from other countries include
- Italy – up to seven weeks paid vacation, with virtually no productivity loss, owing to reduced stress and illness among workers – and 5 months paid maternity leave (only the US and Papua New Guinea fail to mandate paid maternity leave.
- France – healthy and nutrient-rich school lunches for the same price as US junk food school lunches.
- Finland – produces the most well educated students in the world, by reducing the school week (to 20 hours) and eliminating homework and multiple choice exams.
- Slovenia – free university education for both domestic and foreign students, including wide range of courses in English for US and UK students seeking to avoid student loan debt.
- Norway – has replaced prisons with rehabilitation centers, resulting in on 20% re-offending (after 5 years), in contrast to US 80% re-offending rate.
- Tunisia – full equality for women.
- Germany – 36-hour work week, federal law against phoning or emailing employees when they aren’t at work, extensive school and public education program about dark history of the Third Reich genocide (instead of sweeping their genocidal history under the rug like US does).
- Portugal – reduced drug abuse and drug-related crimes by legalizing ALL drugs of addition and providing easier access to treatment.
- Iceland – prosecuted bankers responsible for the country’s 2008 economic collapse, women control half the corporate board seats (owing to law mandating 40% representation) and half the parliamentary seats. Woman-owned bank has released studies showing that a lot of reckless investment trading behavior is testosterone driven.
Where to invade next can be viewed at the Maori TV website for the next 27 days: