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  #51  
Old 11-25-2012, 06:41 PM
Sam A. Robrin Sam A. Robrin is offline
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One problem is that people tend to use the word "democracy" to mean something akin to "American patriotism" or "chauvinism," really, in the literal sense of that word. If you take the pure definition of "democracy" as majority rule, then any film that portrays an individual bucking the complacency of the crowd qualifies here.
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  #52  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:21 PM
Morgyn Morgyn is online now
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Originally Posted by Reno Nevada View Post
The one who had his heart removed by the Old Man of the Mountains, causing Li Kao and Number Ten Ox endless troubles.
Immortality's not much good without invulnerability. And anti-aging.

Damn, I've got to pull those books off the shelves again. Been too long since I've read them, and I curse the fate that prevented Hughart from writing more.
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  #53  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:40 PM
Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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To give the Devil his due, Birth of a Nation tells a rather uplifting story IF you accept the premises it takes for granted:
  • that African-Americans "Negros" are a race of imbecilic hominids, only distinguishable from the apes by a rudimentary power of speech, and incapable of existing in civilization except under the guidance of white masters- either their kindly southern owners, or the demagogic Yankees.
  • That the Civil War was due to the scheming of the emerging northern "money power", which used some progressive fanatics' ranting about slavery as an excuse for conquest.
  • That having disenfranchised the former rebels, the Yankees set up corrupt puppet governments of carpetbaggers and scalawags that looted the South; and used the Negros as their Janissaries, "payed" in permission to loot and rape.
  • And that at last, a heroic resistance arose and liberated the people* of the South from oppression.
*whites of course; negros don't count. In fact the entire Southron attitude makes perfect sense given a single premise: that Africans aren't human beings, at least not in the same sense whites are.
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  #54  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:55 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
To give the Devil his due, Birth of a Nation tells a rather uplifting story IF you accept the premises it takes for granted:
  • that African-Americans "Negros" are a race of imbecilic hominids, only distinguishable from the apes by a rudimentary power of speech, and incapable of existing in civilization except under the guidance of white masters- either their kindly southern owners, or the demagogic Yankees.
  • That the Civil War was due to the scheming of the emerging northern "money power", which used some progressive fanatics' ranting about slavery as an excuse for conquest.
  • That having disenfranchised the former rebels, the Yankees set up corrupt puppet governments of carpetbaggers and scalawags that looted the South; and used the Negros as their Janissaries, "payed" in permission to loot and rape.
  • And that at last, a heroic resistance arose and liberated the people* of the South from oppression.
*whites of course; negros don't count. In fact the entire Southron attitude makes perfect sense given a single premise: that Africans aren't human beings, at least not in the same sense whites are.
Reminds me of a Bill Hicks joke about the Rodney King beating video.

Quote:
Cop on trial: What you see in that video all depends on how you look at it.
Lawyer: What do you mean?
Cop: Well, if you watch it backward you see us help Mr. King up and send him on his way!
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  #55  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:51 AM
Human Action Human Action is offline
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Originally Posted by cckerberos View Post
In addition to what's been mentioned above, it's hard to consider The Last Samurai to be anti-democratic when Meiji Japan wasn't a democracy in any way, shape, or form.
Fair enough, but it takes the side of an aristocracy trying to keep its inborn privileges, and contrasts them with the common folk, who are depicted as uncouth levelers (refusing to show deference to a samurai and mocking his top knot) and cultural sellouts (serving in the Imperial army, and moved to tears after defeating the samural in battle, shamed at what they've done).

Thus, it advocates rule by a privileged minority over a weak, venal common mass.
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  #56  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:54 AM
Quercus Quercus is online now
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Originally Posted by RikWriter View Post
Batman doesn't rule the city, nor does he seek to. He doesn't even seek to personally punish the criminals he catches, instead turning them over to the police. Being an extra-legal vigilante doesn't make him a facsist.
Well, in the latest one, a scheming villain convinces a mob of easily-manipulate resentful losers to rise up, take over the city by force, and start having show trials (and real executions) of anyone who's seen as too rich and obnoxious. The democratically-elected city and national governments are helpless, so two strong men -- one military (Commissioner Gordon) and one industrialist (Wayne/Batman) -- ignore the law and, using the power and resources of a private business mega-conglomerate, successfully fight back and save the helpless populace. And of course, the strong men don't abuse their power; they only use it for the good of all.

How much more of an argument for fascism can a movie possibly be?

I mean, if the movie had Batman going on to rule the city with an iron fist and violently-enforced cult of personality, then it would be an anti-fascist movie, wouldn't it?

Really, I think every standard superhero movie is fascist at heart : they say that us people, even working together, can't solve our problems. We need a strong man who is above the law to come and save us from the Anarchist/Communist/Eastasia menace. And that includes super-cop/super-spy movies, too.
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  #57  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:54 AM
Human Action Human Action is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
To give the Devil his due, Birth of a Nation tells a rather uplifting story IF you accept the premises it takes for granted:
  • that African-Americans "Negros" are a race of imbecilic hominids, only distinguishable from the apes by a rudimentary power of speech, and incapable of existing in civilization except under the guidance of white masters- either their kindly southern owners, or the demagogic Yankees.
  • That the Civil War was due to the scheming of the emerging northern "money power", which used some progressive fanatics' ranting about slavery as an excuse for conquest.
  • That having disenfranchised the former rebels, the Yankees set up corrupt puppet governments of carpetbaggers and scalawags that looted the South; and used the Negros as their Janissaries, "payed" in permission to loot and rape.
  • And that at last, a heroic resistance arose and liberated the people* of the South from oppression.
*whites of course; negros don't count. In fact the entire Southron attitude makes perfect sense given a single premise: that Africans aren't human beings, at least not in the same sense whites are.
Making it all the stranger that DW Griffith's next film was Intolerance, about the harm done by man's intolerance of those who are different from himself, throughout the ages.
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  #58  
Old 11-26-2012, 10:14 AM
TV time TV time is offline
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I watched "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (the one with Errol Flynn) over the weekend and this OP came to mind. While it is true that Robin's Merry Men were more democratic than Prince John and the other bad guys, they were far from democratic. At the end especially, it was clear there was definitely a caste system flowing downwards from Richard the Lion Hearted to Sir Robin, etc.
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  #59  
Old 11-26-2012, 11:36 AM
AK84 AK84 is offline
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Originally Posted by DxZero View Post
Not the I disagree with you (I might), but what specifically about it is anti-democratic? It is anti-interventionist for sure, but the concept of democracy isn't really taken to task.
Shows democracy as being beholden to corporte interests.
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  #60  
Old 11-26-2012, 11:47 AM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
Shows democracy as being beholden to corporte interests.
That can also be seen as being pro-democracy.
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  #61  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:24 PM
RikWriter RikWriter is offline
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Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
The democratically-elected city and national governments are helpless, so two strong men -- one military (Commissioner Gordon) and one industrialist (Wayne/Batman) -- ignore the law and, using the power and resources of a private business mega-conglomerate, successfully fight back and save the helpless populace.
There's a problem with your logic there. First off, how do Gordon and Wayne "ignore the law?'" What law are they ignoring? Gordon is a police officer, after all. I didn't see him break any laws in his fight against Bane.
Also, they are fighting to RESTORE a democratically elected government, NOT to put themselves in charge. You seem to ignore that fact.
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  #62  
Old 11-26-2012, 04:54 PM
merrick merrick is offline
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If you take "democracy" literally, as meaning "government should be answerable to the people" rather than "government should conform to established practice/liberal values/the American Constitution/whatever", the challenge would be to find a film that's pro-democracy.

Most films that touch on the issue end up suggesting at least one of:
a) Constitutional government is petty, rule-bound, hopelessly slow-moving and incapable of adapting rapidly to changing conditions. In a crisis, heroes need to Tear Up The Rule Book and Do What's Right.
b) Any politicians who aren't stooges of corporate interests, Big Media or The Man in general are probably venal, self-interested, completely incompetent or flat-out crazy. "Democratic government" is a conspiracy of rich men in suits. If the Good Guys want Real Change, they aren't going to get it through the ballot box.
c) The masses are stupid/greedy/ignorant/bigoted and the people they vote for are worse. Heroes need to Stand Up To Society and make it clear that no amount of votes justifies Those People in doing Those Things.

Most of this, I think, is the need for films to have charismatic heroes overcoming odds. One Man against The System is easy to cheer for. The System shutting down one man is just bullying.
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  #63  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:55 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
And, perhaps best of all, Lincoln.
Yes indeed, as I mentioned in post 28.
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  #64  
Old 12-05-2012, 02:58 PM
Diceman Diceman is offline
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
We never really learn how the Wizard government works in the Harry Potter books or movies. Everyone doesn't vote for the Minister of Magic, for instance; seems like the Wizarding world is a semi-benign oligarchy, at best.
The Wizarding world, at least in Britain, is definitely undemocratic. The Minister of Magic is theoretically subordinate to the Prime Minister, but it's clear that there's no oversite whatsoever from the regular world, so practically speaking the Minister of Magic can do whatever he wants. The Wizengamot (ruling council) selects the Minister of Magic. I don't remember reading anything which indicates that they're elected. It seems like the council selects whoever they want to be in their ranks.
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  #65  
Old 12-05-2012, 08:20 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Originally Posted by Diceman View Post
...The Wizengamot (ruling council) selects the Minister of Magic. I don't remember reading anything which indicates that they're elected. It seems like the council selects whoever they want to be in their ranks.
Kind of like a College of Cardinals, it seems.
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  #66  
Old 12-06-2012, 05:43 AM
mbh mbh is online now
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Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
Well, in the latest one, a scheming villain convinces a mob of easily-manipulate resentful losers to rise up, take over the city by force, and start having show trials (and real executions) of anyone who's seen as too rich and obnoxious. The democratically-elected city and national governments are helpless, so two strong men -- one military (Commissioner Gordon) and one industrialist (Wayne/Batman) -- ignore the law and, using the power and resources of a private business mega-conglomerate, successfully fight back and save the helpless populace. And of course, the strong men don't abuse their power; they only use it for the good of all.

How much more of an argument for fascism can a movie possibly be?
Bane targets One-Percenters rather than Jews, but his basic premise is that the Other are conspiring to oppress the volk. Batman and Gordon generally target individual people for individual crimes. In my opinion, Bane is far more of a fascist than Batman.
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