“Sorry To Bother You” Is About Socialism, Not Capitalism


There’s something very wrong with this Guardian review of the new movie “Sorry To Bother You.” Which is that it tells us all that this is a stunning indictment of capitalism, something which really doesn’t seem to be true at all. Rather, we have something which is akin to actually existing socialism. Or at least that socialism which existed before 1989.

These questions are at the core of Sorry to Bother You, a comedy-drama starring Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson, written and directed by Boots Riley, a rapper with Oakland band the Coup. Sorry to Bother You, set in an alternative version of that Californian city, is one of the most anti-capitalist movies Hollywood has ever produced.

Anticapitalist, eh? Try this:

Sorry to Bother You plays off all this, and America’s booming private prison sector, with the invention of a chilling entity called WorryFree, a jail-like workplace that guarantees employment, housing and food for life. In the nightmarish alternate reality conjured by the film, people are so eager to leave the rat race that they join WorryFree and find themselves housed in sweatshops with bunkbeds and matching jumpsuits.

The difference between that and Mao’s, Pol Pot’s, Ceausescu’s or Brezhnev’s version of socialism is what? And they want to call this film anticapitalist?

Guaranteed but terrible housing food and employment for life without that civil liberty or freedom. This is, well, it’s capitalism or socialism? Actually existing either that is?