The Truth behind Capitalism explores the precarious foundations and fallacies inherent in this widely championed economic system. In the wake of the largest global market crash in history, the film implores viewers to reconceive their notions of capitalism by providing provocative contrasts with the teachings of social scientist Karl Marx.
In 2007, the United States stock market suffered the largest point drop in its history. Banks were on the verge of complete collapse and a global recession of unparalleled magnitude seemed a foregone conclusion. In its aftermath, much of the ire focused on the U.S. banking industry, and the flagrant lack of regulations it had enjoyed and prospered from for far too long. A growing movement of citizens, however, pointed the finger at the entire capitalistic system as a whole; a charge the documentary endorses by exploring examples throughout history as a map to potential future calamities.
Karl Marx viewed capitalism as its own worst enemy in that it promoted a class struggle where the exploitation of the working people was conducted in the service of the super wealthy. Under capitalism, he argued, the fat cats would get fatter while the average laborer would continue to suffer. This poor treatment of the working class would eventually spark a revolution, and the resulting implosion would culminate in the creation of a classless society, which was a concept for which Marx was a great proponent.
The film mirrors the philosophies of Marx beside the movements occurring in our present day, particularly the Occupy protests which have taken on a global reach and significance. The protestors who lead this movement are calling for stricter regulations, and a system that supports the working class instead of demoralizing them.
In the United States, socialism is considered a dirty word, as it is widely feared that it will lead to a catastrophic loss of the freedoms and long-held ideals which have defined the country. Through a hodgepodge of newsreel footage, political hearings and assorted viral elements, The Truth behind Capitalism challenges this perception.