Thursday, July 26, 2012

Capitalism and The Godfather Movies

The History Channel recently broadcast a show called "The Godfather: Legacy."  It was a look at the three movies and was fairly informative.  Several of the key people who helped make the trilogy were interviewed, and of course, this included the director Francis Ford Coppola.  Unfortunately, Coppola said that what happened in the movie shows the consequences of capitalism.  ARGH!  Really?!?  No, no, no!  Wrong, wrong wrong!  This is wrong with wrong sauce.

While I like the movies and think that they are beautifully crafted, I cannot accept that if we had a pure capitalistic system it would look like the world of the Godfather.  A free market means that I am free to choose to buy or not to buy, hence the word "free."  A free market does not force or even threaten the use of force to get people to buy or not buy.  If there is such a threat, then we have a system other than that of a free market.  Making an offer one cannot refuse in a free market means a really good price, not the threat of being shot in the head.

A system that threatens or uses force to get its way is the opposite of the market.  Such a system is really the system of government.  Government cannot do anything without taking from someone first.  The government must take before it can do.  The only way it can take is through the use or threat of force.  So when we watch the Godfather movies do not think that this is a movie about capitalism.  If anything, they are movies about power and coercion. It is the use of power and coercion that is more closely connected to the actions of the state than to any market.


Anonymous said...

The History Channel uses the word "History" in a very loose way. When I heard the word capitalism in the manner used by Coppola and the PHD (name not remembered), I was shocked that these educated idiots could confuse thuggery and Fascism with free market capitalism.

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