"Greed is good"
“Greed is good,” states the corrupt banker Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s film Wall Street. In this movie Michael Douglas (Gordon Gekko) plays the quintessential bad guy who steals to make his way to the tippy-top. While watching this movie it bothered me how black and white these characters seemed to be. The line between good and evil, and bourgeoisie and the proletariat, was deeply drawn. The distinction between good and evil reminded me of Nietzsche perspective on this subject. While Wall Street made it painfully obvious whom they wanted the audience to root for, Nietzsche provides a more thoughtful explanation or viewpoint on the concept of good verses bad. Perhaps if we look at the character Gordon Gekko as a man acting out his nature then maybe we would not label him completely bad. From the movie we are told that Gekko comes from humble background. Maybe we can assume that Gekko is getting ahead the only way he knows how. He is playing with the cards of faith he was dealt at birth. Like Nietzsche says, we need to get beyond using words like good and evil. According to Nietzsche the most self-less acts are the most selfish.
Marxist philosophy can also be seen in the film between Gekko and Bud Fox’s father. These two men represent Marxist battle between bourgeoisie capitalism, being Gekko, and communist proletariat, being Fox’s father and his union pals.
There was one scene in the film that reminded me of material we had studied last semester. When Gekko
is standing on the beach coercing Fox to do his dirty work the camera zooms out as to show Gekko standing alone against this huge ocean background. The image of man facing sublime nature reminded me of the painting The Wanderer. This is another representation of human potential and power.