Showing posts with label movie review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movie review. Show all posts

6/12/2013

Oblivion: Pro-Humanity, Anti-Illuminati

At first glance Oblivion is just another post-apocalyptic science fiction film that is strong in the special effects department but weak in the storyline.  Rotten Tomatoes gave Oblivion 55% with a consensus of "Visually striking but thinly scripted".  The professional reviews more or less agreed, with CNN declaring "Oblivion shoots for the moon and falls short", and Breitbart feeling that awkward questions were left unanswered.  NPR was particularly nasty, saying Oblivion is the "most incoherent piece of storytelling since John Travolta's Battlefield Earth" before wondering if "Cruise was trying to beat out fellow Scientologist John Travolta for the worst plotted sci-fi movie ever".

Like every other conceivable topic, radio-host Alex Jones had a radically different take on Oblivion.  When I heard him praise the movie and call it an anti-illuminati tour de force, I decided to give it a shot despite the unimpressive previews and the mixed reviews.  I'm certainly glad I did, as Oblivion is the only movie I can remember seeing twice in the theaters.  It now ranks amongst my all-time favorite "everything is a lie" movies where the protagonist wakes up to an earth-shattering paradigm-shift such as They Live, Solyent Green, and The Matrix.  Oblivion is an amazingly profound movie with a plot that is air tight as long as you understand the symbolism and the messages it is promoting.  Unfortunately, I think that was lost on most viewers, but I'm happy to explain in the hopes that Oblivion receives the credit it deserves.

Symbolism - Jack Harper and the Tet

The year is 2077, and Tech 49 Jack Harper believes he is one of the last humans on planet Earth.  Sixty years ago an alien attack destroyed the moon causing cataclysmic events on Earth, which was followed by a ground invasion by the "Scavs".  The surviving humans were able to defeat the aliens using nuclear weapons, but at the cost of making the earth mostly inhospitable for human life.  The humans built a giant tetrahedral space station called the Tet and migrated to Titan, a moon of Saturn.  Jack is a member of the "mop-up crew" on planet Earth, watching over flying power stations that create fusion energy from sea water.  His mission is to protect these power stations from the remaining Scavs by repairing the autonomous, weaponized drones, which protect the power stations and hunt down Scavs.  Due to the criticality of his mission, Jack's memory was wiped out 5 years ago, but in two short weeks he will go with his partner Victoria to reunite with his human brethren on Titan.  At least, that's what he thinks.

As Jack Harper discovers during the course of the film, the reality concerning his own identity, the Scavs, and the Tet is the opposite of what he was lead to believe.  The Scavs are not the alien menace he thought, but are the tattered remains of human civilization that live underground and disguise their appearance to avoid the murderous drones.  The Tet is not of human creation, but is itself the source of the alien attack that destroyed the moon and most of the life on planet Earth.  And finally, Jack Harper is not a man with a mere 5 year memory wipe, but is one of countless clones of a NASA pilot who was captured by the Tet 60 years ago.  The first wave of the Tet's ground invasion consisted of armies of Jack Harpers programmed to destroy their own kind.  Now in the next phase, the Jack Harper clones serve the more efficient role of repairmen, delegating the job of hunting and killing to the drones.

So what does the Tet symbolize?  When Jack has his final confrontation with the Tet he encounters a sentient, upside-down pyramid with an all-seeing eye that says "I am your God!".  The Tet exists to destroy humanity while controlling them like cattle when they can serve its purpose.  The Tet has perfected the art of concealing the truth and programing human beings with a false reality so that these "useful idiots" may assist in the fulfillment of its master plan.  The Tet is the Illuminati.

The final villain is a pyramid with an all-seeing eye, could the symbolism be more obvious?  Like Brave New Bookstore, Oblivion inverts the Illuminati symbol as a sign of resistance and disrespect to their top-down power structure.

For those only familiar with the Illuminati and its symbolic all-seeing eye pyramid through Dan Brown novels, the National Treasure movies, or the back of the $1 bill, the historical Illuminati was a secret society founded by Adam Weishaupt on May 1st, 1776 in Bavaria.  The ruler of Bavaria later banned all secret societies, including the Order of the Illuminati, and this resulted in many of their secret documents being seized and published in 1787 as their members fled and disbanded.

While no one denies that the Bavarian Illuminati existed, any reference to such a group after their suppression in Bavaria is pure conjecture and the object of ridicule.  Various conspiracy theorists will point to the hand of the Illuminati pulling strings and planning events ranging from the French Revolution, the Federal Reserve System, JFK's assassination, and the various maneuverings towards a one-world government, or a New World Order, up to this day.

Take a close look at a $1 bill and ask yourself, when did an all-seeing eye pyramid become an American symbol?

Whether or not the Illuminati exists a la Eyes Wide Shut, the prevalence of its concept and symbolism is hard to deny.  Consider the pyramid and the all-seeing eye.  The bottom of the pyramid is the foundation and the widest part of the structure.  Here lie the masses that prop the power structure up and are in turn dominated by those above them.  Each succeeding level of the pyramid represents fewer people with a higher level of understanding and greater power over those below them.  At the very top of the pyramid you reach "illumination" with god-like power and knowledge.  This symbol would accurately represent the functioning of any secret society, such as the Masons, where it is argued that "porch Masons" at the bottom think their organization is all about charity and fraternity, but only select members that advance through the ranks to ultimately reach the status of the 33rd degree would be made privy to the true secrets and goals of their organization.  This compartmentalized structure common in all secret societies makes plausible the claim that the Illuminati did not disband after Bavaria, but merely infiltrated other shadowy organizations.

With a secret society being, by definition, officially non-existent, the same group may be referred to by various names such as the Illuminati, the New World Order, or the Insiders.  Call it what you will.  However, credibility becomes an issue when you cannot point to anything more concrete than a hypothetical shadowy group, so it is important to note these claims are not only found on obscure websites where people can say anything.  Dr. Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University wrote Tragedy and Hope, which exposed the true role that elite secret societies have played in the historical events of the last 100 years.  He also wrote The Anglo-American Establishment, which documented how Cecil Rhodes used his fortune to set up secret societies known by various names, including the "Round Table Group" and the "Milner Group", which in turn created front organizations including the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Institute of Pacific Relations, and the Council on Foreign Relations.  In his books Quigley made it clear that he was aligned with this nameless secret society, he agreed with their methods and goals, he just believed that their true role in history is too important to be left in the shadows.  And the shadows is exactly where they would prefer to stay.

So if the Tet represents the Illuminati, what does Jack Harper represent?  The original NASA pilot Jack Harper was captured by the Tet, with his last memory being engulfed (illuminated?) in a bright white light.  Fast forward 60 years, and Tech 49 Jack Harper is one of countless clones created, grown, and programmed by the Tet.  Jack Harper has been taught an official story to explain his surroundings, and as long as he obeys authority and doesn't go outside of his prescribed boundaries his reality is mostly coherent.  Day by day he wakes up, puts his pants on one leg at a time, and does his job of repairing drones and killing Scavs, waiting to be rewarded for his service with his retirement on Titan.  Jack Harper has no idea that his actions are serving a sinister agenda that he would take no part in if he understood the full truth.

Jack Harper could be generally thought of as the American booboisie.  He is a man born in America, numbered and tracked from birth, raised in a government school that teaches him that everything good in the world comes from government and that it is perfectly normal to have every activity he wants to engage in licensed, regulated, and dictated by his superiors.  Jack Harper is the man who is taught that the highest form of morality is to obey authority, whether that is the teacher, the drill Sargent, or the President.  Jack Harper is the American who swears an oath to protect and defend the constitution, but has no idea what it means.  He is the man that sheds a tear at the pledge of allegiance, but has no concept of the principles that America was founded upon.  Jack Harper is the 18-year old high school senior that wants to serve his country, puts trust in the authority of those around him, and ends up massacring innocent people in 3rd world countries.  Perhaps the closest comparison is to the 22 year-old serial-killer drone pilot, as he, like Jack, doesn't get up close and personal to the Scavs he believes are his enemies, and is thus prevented from recognizing their common humanity.  It's hard to be angry at a Jack Harper, pity is the most appropriate response.  All you can try to do is wake him up, and if that fails, forgive him because "he knows not what he does".

The Implications of Serving the Tet

Recognizing the Tet as the Illuminati, or whatever name you choose to give the power behind the throne, and Jack Harper as the useful idiot who serves them, several powerful messages are readily apparent.  The first is to recognize that Jack Harper and those like him that serve evil usually think they are doing good.  Creating such a person is accomplished through instilling the belief in obeying authority rather than thinking for oneself, being brainwashed with a false history, and staying within very narrow confines of reality that constitute one's compartmentalization.

For Tech 49 Jack Harper, the compartmentalization couldn't be more obvious.  Jack is told that the whole world is radioactive and inhospitable, such that he never leaves the designated area that he is assigned to monitor.  Whenever his spacecraft approaches the edge of the box that he is confined in, flashing lights warn him to turn around before he enters the deadly radiation zone.  As long as he stays within the boundaries of his pre-approved reality he will continue to be a trusting and obedient servant to his masters.  But the moment he breaks out of the radiation zone and comes face to face with Tech 52, a clone of himself, he realizes that his entire life is based on lies.

Drones aren't so cool when they're pointed at you.  As Tech 49 Jack Harper says, "It's just a machine, I'm the weapon."

Another of Oblivion's messages is that you can't join evil.  You may serve it, but you are still the enemy.  Jack Harper and Victoria of station 49 believe that their 5 year duty is almost up and they'll finally get their just rewards on Titan.  But that's not the way the Tet works.  If they continued to serve the Tet then they'd only have 2 weeks left before they would be liquidated and replaced with new clones off the factory line.  The odds of beating the Tet may seem insurmountable to Jack, but at least by facing reality and turning against his true enemy he has a fighting chance, and more importantly, is not willfully working towards his own destruction.

While Tech 49 Jack Harper at least shows curiosity and a willingness to disobey authority, his partner Victoria represents the willfully ignorant.  She never questions authority, and she never disobeys.  Jack sees beauty in a flower and brings it to her, but all she sees is a violation of their regulations such that she quickly throws it away under the excuse that "it could have germs".  When Jack commits an offense against authority so severe in her eyes she betrays him and turns him in to the Tet, it's not only Jack that the drone turns against, but it actually kills Victoria first.  Thus, there is no winning when serving evil.  You can, like Victoria, turn away from the awful truth and say, "I don't want to know!" while sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich.  But that's what the evil wants, it depends on your naiveté, your inability to comprehend the darkness in the heart of man.  When your head is in the sand you are a much easier target.

A Message of Hope: Wake up and Fight!

The most uplifting message in Oblivion is that it's never too late to wake up, regain your humanity, and join in the fight against evil.  Many complain, myself included, about the dangerous tyranny that seems to be accelerating towards our front door, but what do we face compared to the living nightmare of Oblivion?  And yet there is hope.  No matter how much propaganda and disinformation the system puts out, all it takes is someone with a little curiosity and love in their hearts to recognize the lies for what they are and break out of their conditioning.

Jack is curious, but he is also courageous.  He is irrevocably changed when he witnesses a drone killing human beings in sleep pods that crash-landed in his sector.  When he interposes himself between a total stranger and the drone that he was responsible for fixing, totally willing to die in order to save the life of another, he has crossed the tipping point.  Morgan Freeman's character is a leader of the Scavs / Humans, and he remarks that he first thought Tech 49 Jack Harper was different when he saw him pick up a book and display curiosity, but when he saw Jack risk his life to save another from the drone, he knew Jack was the one he was looking for.

Mentioning the Illuminati requires a reference to numerology: note that Tech 49 Jack Harper and the main drone he fights, #166, both add up to 13, which is supposedly a sacred number to the Illuminati, referring to their 13 bloodlines.

Once Jack Harper obeys a moral law rather than the law of authority, once he chooses to protect a stranger against the drone that he is ordered to serve, not only does the system turn against him, but he finally sees the truth of the world around him.  His entire paradigm is turned upside down in a moment.  This is the symbolic death of Tech 49 drone-repairman Jack Harper and the rebirth of someone new, someone like the NASA pilot captured 60 years before.  As bad as things are, the system always has a weak spot because it is built on a foundation of lies and it completely depends on the Jack Harpers of the world to follow orders and never cross outside of their designated zone.  But all it takes is a little curiosity, a willingness to disobey authority, to ask "why?" rather than to say "yes, sir", and the whole evil system can be brought down in the blink of an eye.

Conclusion: Recognize the reborn Jack Harpers all around us

When Jack Harper sees the drone that he is ordered to serve murder innocent people in front of his eyes, all of his training, programming, and brainwashing goes out the window.  He risks his very life to stand up against a gross injustice, even though it goes against everything he was taught to believe.  He is a hero, and we should learn to recognize the heroes around us that answer to a higher morality than that of blindly obeying authority.  When our overseers call them traitors, we need to ask just what have they committed treason against - good or evil?

They called him a traitor, now we call him a hero.
Think of Hugh Thompson, the helicopter pilot that stopped the My Lai Massacre when he flew his helicopter between the fleeing civilians and his own troops and ordered them to stop massacring women and children or he would open fire.  Though he was trained to see the Vietnamese as sub-human Scavs, he broke out of his conditioning to stand up for what was right.

Think of Bradley Manning as he rots in a secret prison somewhere.  He too saw that his supposed enemies did not deserve to be shot like dogs in the street, and he risked everything, his very freedom, to expose the "collateral murder" that occurred in his name.

Today the cries of treason are being launched against Edward Snowden.  He has risked everything he is and has to expose the blatantly unconstitutional violations committed by our government, explaining that he doesn't want to live in a world where everything he says and does is recorded.  The question is the title of a hundred articles, is he a traitor or a hero?

Whether you decide traitor or hero for a particular circumstance, at least we still live in a world where human beings have the capacity to choose whether to follow orders or obey a higher law.  As is made terrifyingly clear in Oblivion, weaponized, autonomous drones will not question orders.  They will obey their masters, always.  We're not there yet, and we should make every effort to keep it that way.

4/03/2012

Hunger Games: an Opportunity for Reflection

Last weekend the movie Hunger Games opened to rave reviews and brought in over $150 million, breaking box office records as the biggest non-sequel midnight opening.  Hunger Games takes place a century or so into the future, long after a series of apocalyptic events brought the North American population down to manageable numbers, resulting in a neo-feudal system where a superclass of technocratic elites live in super-advanced paradise cities while the serf class live at the brink of starvation in managed districts to provide slave labor for their masters.  Long ago, a revolt of the districts resulted in severe retaliation from their masters, with one district being exterminated altogether.  In order to ensure the slaves remember the price of insubordination, for the next 74 years an annual harvesting occurs where one boy and girl from each district, aged 12-18, would be chosen as a human sacrifice.  Rather than die through a dull public execution, the children are trained and compelled to fight and kill one another in a gladiatorial event for the entertainment of the elite.

Does the plot sound outrageous and unbelievable?  I contend that a movie would not be this popular if it didn't have a right of truth to it.  Certainly, most of human history closely resembles the world of Hunger Games with respect to the distribution of wealth, power, and rights.  On nearly every continent of the globe one can find historical or present day examples of societies with two mutually exclusive classes, the elites and the slaves.  And going back in history one always finds the tradition of human sacrifice, where sometimes the greatest warrior in the tribe, an adult male, would be the sacrifice, but more often it would be the virgin children that would have their hearts torn out and thrown into a fiery pit.

But it isn't some kind of ancestral memory that is sending flocks of American teenagers to this film, and it's definitely not because they recognize the historical parallels.  Hunger Games has captured the attention of Americans of all ages because it reflects our current society, not in degree, but in its form, direction, and philosophy.  For a movie that is supposedly successful because of its shock value, the shocking thing is how easily average Americans can relate to the hopeless slaves of District 12.  Considering how many of the constitutional safe guards that would prevent such a dystopian system have been slowly rolled back in recent decades, in many ways we are already halfway there.

Contrasting Hunger Games to the American Ideal

To summarize a previous post, I believe America is a great country because of the radical libertarian beliefs of the Jeffersonian branch of the founding fathers.  America has certainly not lived up to that ideal, but just as no Christian can completely live up to the example set by his Christ, this doesn't mean the goal is not worth pursuing.  Those ideals can be summarized by the first two sentences of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
It's hard to think of a proposition less self-evident then this for someone living in District 12.  First off, all men are not created equal. Some are born into the caste of the elite, and it is their job to rule the lesser people from the capital city.  Those not so fortunate are forever tied to the district of their birth, where they are sentenced to work, live, and die without exception.

Using the libertarian definition of a right, I wouldn't say that the peasants of District 12 have no rights, but just like the 160+ million poor souls killed in the 20th century by various governments, their rights were infringed, or not respected to say the least.  What does an unalienable right to life mean when every year you have a random chance of being murdered by your government?  What does an unalienable right to liberty mean when your right to travel is infringed, as you're not allowed to leave your district under penalty of death?  Furthermore, while trapped in your district you are denied your natural right of self-preservation, as you're not allowed to hunt the land or enjoy the fruits of your labor.  In the world of the Hunger Games the only way to legally avoid starvation is to "voluntarily" submit your name for additional chances to be chosen as the sacrifice in exchange for government rations.  When the system you are born into is structured around the denial and systemic infringement of your most basic natural rights, the only independent decision your peers and rulers recognize is the right to volunteer to fight and die in the Hunger Games.

For the people of District 12, the idea that their government was instituted to protect their rights is laughable.  The government they know was created by the elites to serve the elites, and the laws it passes is not meant to keep them free, but to keep them in chains.  Consent of the governed is another knee-slapper.  The last time a district withdrew its consent to be governed it resulted in a brutal crackdown, the annihilation of an entire district, and the genesis of the first Hunger Games to remind the insubordinate slaves the price of disobedience.  There is no such thing as a redress of grievances, a violation of due process, or an appeal to an impartial authority when your child is chosen to be murdered for entertainment; the best you can do is cheer for your team and repeat the mantra of the state, "May the Odds be Ever in your Favor".

At least the military police adopt white uniforms in the future, all black is so 21st century.

Rights violated, or just bad Odds?

"May the Odds be Ever in your Favor."  This quote is repeated many times throughout the movie with religious zeal by the government fanatics and with a roll of the eyes by the peasants of District 12.  This mantra captures the essential characteristic that differentiates the worldview of the Hunger Games from our own experience, particularly compared to the American ideal of natural rights and government by consent.  How absurd would it be to see a parent witness the unjustifiable murder of his child, only to shrug his shoulders and attribute the act to bad luck?  No one today would call such a serious crime a matter of unfavorable odds, but would correctly identify it as a violation of natural rights demanding justice for the victim and punishment for the killer.

After 74 years of Hunger Games, the people no longer see things so clearly, and those that do are too frightened by their murderous government to do anything about it.  A slave in District 12 was born into this system; it was there before his birth, and he expects it to remain after his death.  When punishment, especially the ultimate punishment, is given not based on law or facts but on odds, and everyone else seems to tolerate the situation, what is there to do when the dice don't roll in your favor?

Another way to describe "Governance by Odds" is selective enforcement.  Under selective enforcement not everyone guilty of breaking a particular "law" gets the same punishment.  Who is punished and who is spared is determined by the government agent.  Whether that selection process is based on a boss-hog system or a pure random lottery, the outcome is the same; the government becomes not an agent of law and order but of corruption and decadence.

It Can't Happen Here

It's hard to imagine willingly letting your child be taken by strangers to be put to death.  Many red-blooded Americans boast that a tyrannous government will have to take their guns from their cold, dead hands; I would assume they'd feel equally passionate about their children.  But that compares the spirit of the American who understands his natural rights with a future world that has had 74 years of Hunger Games and who knows what prior catastrophic events.  The history of free people allowing themselves to be made slaves to tyrannical government testify that radical transformation is always achieved by taking things slowly.  The frog will immediately leap upon being thrown into boiling water, but start him off at room temperature and slowly raising the heat achieves frog stew.

Of the dozen books I've read on the history of Nazi Germany, I believe the most important is Milton Mayer's They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45.  Memorizing the who, what, and where of battles, events, and turning points in the war may interest the student of military history, but this book covers a much more important subject.  Mayer, a Jew with German ancestry, went to live in a small German town after World War II to answer the question of how and why "decent men" became Nazis.  The life stories of ten law-abiding citizens of Nazi Germany offer an amazing insight into what it is like to live in a country where you "think you are free" while the rest of the world sees you as a world terror.  The interviews reveal year after year of incremental changes, the slow erosion of the rule of law, and being subject to constant propaganda extolling the virtues of your government and denouncing the sub-human hobgoblins that caused the national crisis.  If we are to learn anything from the nightmare that was the Holocaust, the ability to identify the traits and characteristics of a government that is moving in this direction is of the upmost importance.

My favorite passage from the book, quoted below, reveals why the boiling-frog method to transforming society is so effective:

"The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being … To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it …. Each step was so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted', that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures' that no 'patriotic German' could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing.  One day it is over his head."

"One doesn't see exactly where or how to move … Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse.  You wait for the next and the next.  You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow.  You don't want to act, or even talk, alone; you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble'.  Why not? - Well, you are not in the habit of doing it.  And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty."

"You speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say?  They say, 'It's not so bad' or 'You're seeing things' or 'You're an alarmist'."

"And you are an alarmist.  You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can't prove it.  These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don't know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end?"

"But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes.  That's the difficulty.  If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked… But off course this isn't the way it happens.  In between comes all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you to not be shocked by the next.  Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C?  And so on to step D."

"And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you.  The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident … collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose.  The world you live in - your nation, your people - is not the world you were born in at all.  The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses , the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays.  But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed.  Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed."

"On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles.  You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father… could not have imagined"
In America the boiling frog effect is accomplished with the two party system

How Close are we to the Hunger Games?

No one is electrifying the fence around your District or forcing you to submit your children for the Reaping, but learning a lesson from the Germans by paying close attention to the spirit of our country and not the superficial forms, can we make a valid comparison of the nightmare world of the Hunger Games to our current society?

Tackling the most obvious point of comparison first, it's no wonder the Hunger Games is so popular among teenagers, as they can most readily relate to a slave in District 12.  American children in the 12-18 age group are forced into compulsory schooling regardless of the wishes of themselves or their parents, where, like the heroine Katniss, they are given orders by random adults about where to go, what to do, what to wear, how to act, and what to say.  While playing 'hooky' in the off-limits forest could be a death sentence in District 12, a teenager in America who decides to exercise his rights in that manner will be charged with truancy, assigned a probation officer, and then criminally charged at the first probation violation.  Not only will the child be aggressed upon, but the parents may be criminally charged for this "offense", even if there isn't a law.  Going to school doesn't necessarily preclude one from a criminal record either, as a harmless food fight can quickly escalate into misdemeanor charges, handcuffs, shackles, and striped suits.

Hunger Games: A food fight brings criminal charges against 2nd class citizens

This revelation may not enrage the American populace because we were born into this system of compulsory schooling so we inherently defend it like a victim with Stockholm syndrome.  A better point of comparison may be the numerous examples of how we have abandoned our birth right of natural rights and exchanged them for laws that are selectively enforced, bringing us closer and closer to a Hunger Games scenario where we cannot appeal to the facts or the law, but only cross our fingers for the odds to be in our favor.

Consider how the unalienable right of free speech, constitutionally guaranteed at both the state and federal level, has slowly transformed over the last 10 years from a natural right to a privilege granted by the state.  Beginning with the "reasonable" request to keep free speech from clogging up public roads, it has turned into the excuse for police to arrest hundreds of peaceful protestors at a time when their free speech falls outside of the designated "free speech zone".  The point of comparison isn't merely the gradual transfer of a right into the status of a privilege, but with respect to the selective enforcement of the new law. Not all free speech is prohibited outside of a designated free speech area, only speech that is dangerous to the government and the status quo.

Free Speech: an indivdual natural right, to a privilege, to a crime.

One last example that should unite people across the political spectrum is the disgrace we've made of our airports.  The natural right to travel and the right to privacy no longer exists when one has the misfortune of traveling by air.  Without any constitutional authority, we have allowed the government to monopolize the service of airport security and created a legion of unsworn goons and perverts dressed in blue costumes that think their wish is our command.  However, if you truly need to get home for a loved one's funeral or some other emergency, you can always pray for the odds to be in your favor.  Not everyone is forced through the naked body scanner, and not everyone is given the enhanced pat-down treatment, but if you would prefer to avoid the humiliation you might need to re-think your travel plans.  If the metal detector decides to give a random beep to indicate additional mandatory screening, there is no appeal to law, due process, reason, fact, or rights - the hands are going down the pants.

Conclusion

Hunger Games is being heralded as both a libertarian masterpiece as well as an example of scientific predictive programming that will prepare the American people to live in a nightmare world outlined in the United Nation's Agenda 21.  If the movie is viewed as just another action flick with a bizarre story line cashing in on popular teenage novels then a great opportunity has been lost.  Instead, the Hunger Games can be used as an educational tool to start a dialogue about our own society and the direction it's headed.  Ask a young person what is morally wrong with the world of the Hunger Games, what is the relationship between the people of the districts and the rulers of the capital city, why would the peasants go along with such a system, how are the crazy laws enforced, and how should the people resist their rulers if it could mean suffering another annihilation by their government?

By asking those questions, we just might find the answers to some of our own problems.
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