June 05, 2007

'and that's why turning a profit has to be removed from the system' The title comes from the last line of a clip of Michael Moore on Oprah. They are discussing Moore's new film, 'Sicko,' about the crisis not only of health care in the US but of egotism, greed, and capitalism. CR has a clip and transcript of Moore's appearance on the show. Read and watch the whole thing. I had chills. Really. A sense of space and possibility (call me a naive optimist...). It was incredible to see Oprah approaching socialism, taking it seriously, and even calling upon her millions of viewers to think about it, talk about it. CR writes, in an altogether wonderful post: The slow but distinct re-discovery of what that word, "socialism," might mean by a figure obviously not associated with words like that. The discovery that we already very much have elements of it all around us, elements that we would never willingly part with. The emergence that a better synonym for "socialism" would be "universality," rather than "Stalinism" or "gulag" or "bread-lines" that it's usually equated with, when it's mentioned at all, in the US. The revelation of the fact that "socialism" in fact provides very simple, but persuasive answers to issues that only at first seem incredibly complex, impossible to repair, and as if natural, inevitable features of our sociopolitical landscape. In short, I think this little episode renders abundantly clear why exactly socialized medicine is such an important - perhaps the important - issue today in the US. It's not just about health...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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