Student Example Blog Post : Week 1 Capitalism

Week 1: Theme - Capitalism

(Teacher text: Adam Smith - The Wealth of Nations)

My Text: The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorcese, 2014)

How this relates to the theme?

So this film is all about the excess of capitalism and one man's desire to exploit the system. Although everything he does is illegal, Jordan Belfort constantly enjoys success after success and enjoys the best of what America has to offer. This shows how Adam Smith's ideas around 'The Invisible Hand' don't necesarily work when applied in such a crazed and self obsessed way. If people act in their own self interest so much that they do so to the detriment of others and they exploit holes in the system then the economic system does not work in the interest of everybody.

Jordan Belfort became extremely rich but also ripped off many people in the process, this is something the film rarely focuses on and many of the economic points in the film are kept in the sidelines, instead the director Martin Scorcese chooses to focus on  a crazy ride of partying, drugs, women and wild behaviour in order to make the 3 hour film not seem quite so boring as it probably should be.

I enjoyed the film and would recommend it but it is not exactly a great overview of the economic problems with capitalism but a great case study in one of the major problems of a system that prioritises individual self interest; GREED!

Other related texts: 

The Big Short (2015) 


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