on Mar 14, 2006
Via Eidelblog I find this post, which in turn led me to a bit from Robert Hayes, where he makes the case that the Rebellion in Star Wars is evil, and the Empire is flawed but not nearly as bad. It makes for an interesting read.
Which got me thinking about some other recent sci-fi movies. Take, for example:
- Serenity, where the characters struggle to escape the power of an overly-meddlesome government.
- The Matrix, where a small group of rebels struggle to overthrow a system which cares for their every need, because it also denies them free will.
- Equilibrium, which is a bit like the Matrix in that the state takes your free will and in return makes sure that there are no shortages or inequality.
- Demolition Man, which had a world where the only people who were poor were the ones who refused to live in the overly-PC world of regulated safety and enforced politeness.
- Aeon Flux and Ultraviolet, which I have not seen but which seem to be along the lines of “individual vs. the state”.
- The upcoming V for Vendetta, which has a theme that should sound pretty familiar by now.
So my point: What is up with these lefty Hollywood statists (read: commies) and their libertarian / individualist themed movies? Outside of the movies, they gaze up at the massive edifice of government power and lament that it isn’t nearly big enough. Then they go back to making their stories about overthrowing the state and freeing the individual. How do they reconcile these two?
LEFT: Palpatine (who looks like Lieberman to me) favors a large and highly centralized government. RIGHT: Smash the state!
Now, who would Clooney normally vote for?
I wouldn’t expect the Cato Institute to bankroll a movie where the heroes defeat a band of rebellious capitalists and bring about an egalitarian utopia, and I don’t expect the Hollywood types to keep dry-humping individualisim and limited government onscreen while pursuing (ahem) other goals.
What’s up with that?
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.