So let’s get to my most controversial point: Batman/Bruce Wayne isnot a capitalist. Sorry.
This Batman-as-financier stuff is a trick played by casting the actor whose greatest role was a psychopathic i-banker. Yes, Wayne is rich, but that’s not the same as being a capitalist. The guy running the bodega down the street is more of a capitalist than Bruce Wayne. Wayne has no interest in profit, in accumulation, in investing his wealth to produce more wealth. If you don’t see M-C-M’ you don’t have capitalism. Now, the character of Bruce Wayne has always been imbued with noblesse oblige, but let’s not get that confused with what a capitalist does. Wayne funds orphanages and renewable energy in distinction to the actual capitalist, Daggett, who is trying to pillage Wayne Enterprises, Bain-Capital-style. Daggett is pointedly dissed at a party full of rich people because he’s only interested in money. Those silly noveau-riche, so gauche, am I right?
Think I’m going to continue my habit of criticizing interpretations of Batman films without actually having seen the films, but I suspect this gets the ideology wrong. At least in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, it’s not that Wayne isn’t a capitalist, it’s that he’s New-Deal-nostalgic fantasy of a “responsible” rather than “predatory” capitalist. This is reflected rather interestingly in the strange Art Deco meets Shanghai design for Gotham in Batman Begins, which sadly didn’t show up so much in The Dark Knight.