Eviction Notice - Film - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper:
Let's begin with a moment in Michael Moore's first documentary, Roger & Me, which came out in the most important year of the last quarter of the 20th century, 1989. But before describing and considering the moment in Roger & Me, let's quickly revisit 1989. So many things happened that year: The Soviet Army pulled out of Afghanistan, negotiations for Nelson Mandela's release began, and, finally, the Berlin Wall fell, an event that was read as a victory for American-style capitalism and a loss for "really existing socialism." The world now had only one choice, one future, one course—American-style capitalism. Before I leave this digression and return to the moment in Roger & Me, a quick definition of American-style capitalism. It aspires to this economic condition: weak labor unions, an absence of a social safety net, the privatization of anything that can be privatized, and the transformation of citizenship into entrepreneurship. In American-style capitalism, the whole society is a market and what you bring to this market is your "human capital" (innate and learned skills). Market society (later called "ownership society") rose from the economic crisis of the 1970s, was accelerated by Ronald Reagan, and became the dominant economic model after the collapse of the Berlin Wall.