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What Michael Moore Really Teaches Us About Political and Social Change In America

August 2nd, 2007 by Howard Ditkoff

Summary and Table of Contents (Part 1 of 8)

In previous blockbuster films including Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine, and Fahrenheit 9/11, filmmaker Michael Moore has inspired, focused attention and opened minds regarding injustices in deeply emotional areas ranging from corporate responsibility to gun violence to 9/11 and the Iraq War. Now in his latest movie, Sicko, and his appearances and interviews surrounding its release, the controversial and bravely confrontational Moore has boldly pursued change in the hotly-debated area of the American health care system.

But Moore’s work and life embody and demonstrate two underappreciated and crucial themes even more fundamental to social change in America than the stated topics of his films - moral courage and campaign, election and media reform. A lost virtue in our fearful times, moral courage was exemplified by figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. It allows us to break through silences and expose glaring injustices in the face of potential consequences, developing authenticity, self-trust and self-respect. Meanwhile, key tenets of Systems Thinking reveal campaign, media and election reform as the fundamental levers and leverage points for improvement in areas ranging from peace to the environment that so many of us, including thinkers like Michael Moore and Al Gore, care about most.

In this eight-part series of posts, I explore these deeply intertwined themes of moral courage and fundamental reform of the logistical mechanisms of our democracy. I discuss why they are both so central to lasting social change in America, how Michael Moore demonstrates them, and why we must transfer our passions from emotional, but symptomatic, issues to the unemotional, but fundamental, issues of democracy reform. I conclude by proposing a formula for fundamental, sustainable sociopolitical reform in which we refocus existing individual and organizational resources, promote and support several highly under-recognized democracy reform organizations, and develop programs to role model and foster the skills of moral courage in our society.

The eight posts in this series begin with this post and continue with:

Continue on to part 2 of this series, Introduction

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Related Posts

  • What Michael Moore Really Teaches Us About Political and Social Change In America - Part 8
  • What Michael Moore Really Teaches Us About Political and Social Change In America - Part 6
  • What Michael Moore Really Teaches Us About Political and Social Change In America - Part 2
  • What Michael Moore Really Teaches Us About Political and Social Change In America - Part 4
  • Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Included in: Carnival of Political Punditry for September 2, 2007, This is Not My Country Carnival, August 31, 2007, Film Junkie Carnival, September 8, 2007



    2 Responses to “What Michael Moore Really Teaches Us About Political and Social Change In America”

    1. This I Not My Country: September | hell's handmaiden Says:

      […] Ditkoff presents What Michael Moore Really Teaches Us About Political and Social Change In America posted at SystemsThinker.com Blog, saying, “In his previous films, Michael Moore opened minds […]

    2. I’m A Pundit Too » Blog Archive » carnival of political punditry - September 2, 2007 Says:

      […] Ditkoff presents What Michael Moore Really Teaches Us About Political and Social Change In America posted at SystemsThinker.com Blog, saying, “In his previous films, Michael Moore opened minds […]


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