Wednesday, July 9, 2008

WALL-E : Not Really A Children's Film

Beware - it's not a cute little ET type film... it's environmentalist, anticapitalist, and antitechnological propaganda. It's aimed at brainwashing our kids too.

This brilliant critique by Gennady Stolyarov II, on the Mises website really hit the nail on the head.

If you don't read anything else this week - you have to read this article.

Here's an excerpt:
Virtually no one today who romanticizes the "good old days" of traditional agriculture recognizes how nasty, brutish, and short life under such conditions had been for millennia. Once the first industrial factories opened — with their long hours, dangerous equipment, and meager pay — people flocked to them in droves, because the factory conditions (including the sanitation provided and wages paid) were greatly preferable to those of toiling virtually all day on the traditional farm.

The creators of WALL-E, sitting in their comfortable Hollywood studios, did a tremendous disservice to the civilization that made their work and high standards of living possible. They glorified a lifestyle that would likely have killed them — and countless others — had it actually been revived.
Yes you see, there is a movement afoot to vilify big business, big oil, and any big money making corporations. Never mind that businessmen keep people working and earning - and produce goods and services that have made American standard of living so incredibly wonderful. Many of the people we call impoverished in this country still have cell phones and cable TV. Compare that to the real poverty in 3rd world countries... there is no comparison. We live quite well here. We even demand to live quite well here. Living well has become possible because of technology, because of businessmen who took risks to bring goods to market and because of investment.

Are some businesses ruthless and not very good corporate citizens? Sure. Are some businesses greedy? Sure. But you'd better believe that people would still be driving buggies and doing everything the hard way if there weren't money to be made by making improvements. But the market deals with bad businesses and bad businessmen as well. People have a choice to patronize businesses that they feel treat their workers better or give back to the community or don't test on animals. We see it everyday, and businesses are marketing those attributes as well as their product. We also see the market forcing adjustments on businesses like McDonalds... for example, people are demanding healthier foods and if companies like McDonalds want to stay in business they will respond to those consumer demands. That's how it works. We are seeing more organic and "healthy foods" now than ever before in the market place. It's when there is no competition or when government intervenes and the market is manipulated that we fall into trouble. Businesses can be punished for not doing the right things. That's what boycotting their goods and services is all about. That's how the market works.

Capitalism has contributed to the greatness of this country. Making money is a good thing. Tapping into a market - bringing something that people want to the market is what it is all about. That's why Socialism and Communism don't work - it takes away incentives. It gives people less choices. It makes the government your parent. Even China has begun to embrace capitalism and investment because they know that without incentive and profit an economy stagnates. A planned economy creates slavery and sameness and stagnation. Capitalism creates ingenuity and the incentives to solve problems. Technology is created that fulfills a need. A case in point is the emergence of all sorts of technologies to tackle our energy problems.

The Global warming Al Gore crowd seeks to punish people who employ technology and make advances in our culture. They'd have us weeding the fields by hand and reading by candlelight. Oh correction... they would have everyone who isn't elite living like 18th century peasants with tiny carbon footprints, while they enjoy their own jets and mansions.

WALL-E is not a child's film - it's social commentary and meant very much to influence developing minds into thinking technology and big business is bad.

Just thought you should know.


Headless Horseman said...

Look at those eyes. That capacious backside... is that Rep. David McCluskey?

Lidstrom said...

Wow. You got all of that from a computer animated film with a cute little robot in it? Amazing stuff!

Few seriously want to punish business. They want business to be a good citizen. Being a good citizen means caring about more than dollars and cents. It's not too much to ask of any entity in this nation, or even on this planet. Capitalism, at least in the way it operates in the US, is a zero sum game. It doesn't have to be that way, but those in power choose to do it that way. People are anti-big business because history is full of examples of them exploiting resources (from people to the environment and all points in between). Are all big businesses evil? No, but not all dictators are pure evil either. Not all communist thinkers are pure evil.

Lidstrom said...

One more thing I would like to add is that an argiculture-based system does not make people die. Living makes people die. Amazingly enough, though very few of us toil in an agriculture-based life, we seem to continue dying. I wonder why that is? Those evil Pixar people are going to die one day, and some already have, despite not being out plowing the fields. How do you explain it?

Daisy said...

Hmm, I thought the movie was not much of a children's movie but I enjoyed it. I didn't feel it was anti-capitalistic. Wow. Things we took away from the movie...

1. Relationships take effort and it means getting off the computer to make it happen.

2. Life isn't all about "getting stuff" and having your every desire catered to.

3. Hard work has intrinsic value.

4. We, in America, are trading our freedoms away as fast as we can so we can be taken care of by the government and we are going to be big babies unable to take care of ourselves when a real crisis comes around.

I could probably think of a few more. We thoroughly enjoyed this film and we are not liberals, not tree-huggers, not socialists...

Daisy said...

I'll add quickly that I didn't get the impression in WALL-E that "big business" was bad. I got the impression that "big government" was bad. That is what we talked about. There was no free market, no free enterprise, in WALL-E. Everything was owned by one corporation which is the very antithesis of capitalism.

Gabriel said...


I'd have to disagree with the basic presuppositions behind your statements.

Many people DO want to punish big business. What else can you call a "windfall profits" tax on oil companies? Or requiring those same companies to invest in competing technologies? There are many more examples of course. Walmart is a good one, no one wants to punish Walmart?

Secondly, capitalism in NOT a zero-sum game. Capitalism is the antithesis of a zero-sum game.

Jennifer Abel said...

I didn't take any "anti-capitalist" themes from it. Sincere question: if you have a movie set in a future time when humans had to temporarily abandon the planet, how could you come up with a "reason we had to leave Earth" that does NOT sound like a political message, to someone really determined to take offense?

Lidstrom said...

The flow of wealth into the upper 1% of earners in the United States says otherwise. For the past 30 years, the wages of the average employee in this nation have lost value against inflation. Over the last 40 years, the wages of executives in business have expanded from 20x the average employee wage to 400x the average employee wage. It is clear that there are winners and losers here, as the people at the top continue to take ever growing slices of the pie for themselves (zero sum game).

Windfall profits tax? What about the tax breaks that the oil companies already get? The ones that were extended within the past couple of years as well. Let's just forget about the billions of dollars in existing breaks that the oil companies get and whine about new taxes that are being talked about. Oil companies have received tremendous breaks and "incentives" from governments in the United States over the years. Generally more than other industries do. They aren't being punished, they are actually being given a competitive advantage over other industries and act pretty arrogant about it as well.

MikeT said...

Speaking of Big Oil, it's worth noting that their profits really haven't gotten up as a percentage of revenue. Their profits have "doubled" almost entirely because of inflation. Or, for the free-spending liberals and some Republicans, if the federal government had raped the value of the dollar, the profits of Big Oil would be half of what they are today.

Lidstrom said...

I hope you mean "if the federal government had NOT raped the value of the dollar", right?

I have a hard time laying blame at "free-spending liberals", with just an aside to "some Republicans." There were a lot of Republicans willing to spend lots of deficit dollars earlier this decade. One could say it was their complete loss of any fiscal sense that put Democrats back in charge of the House/Senate.

The devaluation of the currency has much more to do with backing off of the gold standard than anything else. It was Nixon, as I recall, that finished off the gold standard (for good?) here. I don't have to mention that he was Republican, do I? Not that I want to blame all Democrats or Republicans for these woes, but neither party is too concerned about fixing it either.

Keren said...

Yeah, those makers of WALL-E really got things wrong! Let's just take Gennady Stolyarov's word for it and
just look around: there are NO obese Americans driving around in bubble-chairs (or "cars") instead of exercising. And there is NO pollution (or "carbon dioxide") clogging our environment. And there are no big corporate entities (or "big-box stores") offering mediocre products and driving out smaller businesses.

Are Gennady Stolyarov's comments on a fictional movie the most brilliant things you have ever read? I'm definitely going to cancel going to the movies and buy all the kids Ludwig von Mises's book on economics instead. In German, of course!

Midgard Dragon said...

Brainwashing? LOL! This is the most hilariously awful thing I've read in a long time, no surprise it's coming from a conspiracy nut talking about brainwashing and bashing the very idea that just maybe being anticonsumerist is a good thing! Idiot.

Judy Aron said...

Midgard - Glad to have amused you!

Anonymous said...

This movie was big government more than big business. How do you call one organization controlling every aspect of human life a company? That's a bloated government! You also mention that this does a disservice to modern life. To be honest, I would rather work than "survive" wile having everything handed to me. That isn't satisfying. This movie shows that hard work and reward from that hard work is better than just having everything handed down to you.