What Obama and the Democratic Party support; and a debate on the movie V for Vendetta

Another artful juxtaposition of word and image from the Drudge Report:



The link at Drudge is to the Weekly Standard:

In an interview that will be aired tonight on ABC News, President Obama continues to express his commitment to the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

“The most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership letting people know that we understand their struggles and we are on their side, and that we want to set up a system in which hard work, responsibility, doing what you’re supposed to do, is rewarded,” Obama tells ABC News. “And that people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don’t feel a sense of obligation to their communities and their companies and their workers that those folks aren’t rewarded.”

Consider what the Occupiers are saying, then consider how Obama characterizes what they are saying. This is not just good cop / bad cop. It is the Mount Everest of Good Cop / Bad Cop. It’s the Mountain of Despair of Good Cop / Bad Cop.

And notice how in Obama’s sly treatment, the people who stand for “hard work, responsibility, and doing what you’re supposed to do” are the anarchist street mobs, while the people “who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don’t feel a sense of obligation to their communities and their companies and their workers” are the people who produce wealth and enable the economy to function. So Drudge’s association of Obama with the “class warfare” sign is not just clever and mischievous; it is expressing the truth.

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Andrew E. writes:

You may be unaware of this but the mask being worn by the leftist agitator in the middle of the above picture comes from the 2006 film, V for Vendetta. In the film, contemporary Britain is ruled over by an evil, right-wing fascist government (ha!!) and the main character, V, is an insurgent who was imprisoned and disfigured by the evil cabal as they were assuming power. He manages to escape and the film is the story of his efforts to bring down the rulers and prepare the British people to assume the responsibility of enacting virtuous government once he ushers in the new order. He wears this mask to conceal his scarred face.

I found the film very stirring for several reasons, the first being that the government portrayed is truly evil and deserves to be overthrown. But V is also something of a swashbuckling throwback who understands the three elements of the Good: Truth, Beauty (hence the mask) and Virtue. And it is on the basis of the Good, understood as Truth, Beauty, and Virtue, that he condemns the ruling government and justifies the need for a national re-birth. So what on the surface may have seemed like a typical liberal screed against evil conservatives actually ends up embodying the qualities that lie at the heart of traditionalism.

And of course the irony was delicious, it being the case that the actual British governing class is totalitarian, but of a leftist variety, and too deserves to be pulled down from power though not necessarily in the violent manner in which this is accomplished in the film. The sign that our masked friend is holding in the above picture makes clear he understands none of the ideas that are implied by his chosen costume.

October 19

Tim W. writes:

Perhaps Andrew E. is right and I’m wrong, but I didn’t get the same vibe from “V for Vendetta” that he did. Of course, two people can watch a movie and get two entirely different impressions.

I saw “V for Vendetta” as a call for the destruction of Western Civilization. A right-wing, Christian totalitarian regime has seized power in Britain. It’s all white and maintains its power by murdering or imprisoning Muslims, homosexuals, and immigrants. As a result, these victimized groups become allies. In one scene, a homosexual reveals to a friend that he has preserved a copy of the Koran (banned by the regime), praising it for the beauty of its words.

The film’s “hero,” wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, uses terrorism to destroy great works of British architecture. Parliament is his ultimate goal, obviously, and the viewer in encouraged to cheer him on as he blows up iconic buildings. When the regime falls, the liberated populace is a cornucopia of races and orientations, the new progressive Britain.

James R. writes:

On Andrew E. and the V for Vendetta mask:

It’s a Guy Fawkes mask, and the reason the protester is wearing it is that it became the “uniform” of “Anonymous,” the online hacker/protester/agitator group, starting with what they call “Project Chanology” (see the Wikipedia Entry for “Project Chanology,” which includes a picture of members of the group wearing the mask). The mask is not intended to represent “Beauty,” unless by Beauty one means the destructive “Beauty” of Guy Fawkes-like terrorism. Anon’s slogan is “We Are Legion,” not a slogan a group traditionalist Christians want to be associated with or look admiringly upon would adopt.

Anyhow for Andrew the film may be another one of those films that inadvertently conveys something of a traditionalist message, but the protester understands it in its intended sense. It was not meant as an anti-leftwing government film. Indeed the author of the original Graphic Novel, Alan Moore, was disgusted by the film’s director & screenwriter twisting his work to make an anti-Iraq War message. He said his work was being “turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country. It’s a thwarted and frustrated and largely impotent American liberal fantasy of someone with American liberal values standing up against a state run by neoconservatives—which was not what the comic book V for Vendetta was about. It was about fascism, it was about anarchy, it was about England.”

Andrew E. writes:

I agree with James R.that V for Vendetta wasn’t intended to convey a traditionalist message, but it nevertheless, in my view, did. Yes, I thought it was one of those liberal films that undermines itself in its execution. I should have made that clear in my comment. Similarly, I think the protester undermines himself when he associates with that sign he his holding up. V was not for advocating mindless class war or any other kind of war. V elegantly articulated precise reasons for his actions rooted in objective moral truths, the film begins with him commandeering a news station and broadcasting to the country the transgressions of the government much like the Declaration of Independence (a stretch? maybe). He had a strong nationalist streak and believed in the need for a virtuous populace if the populace were to get just government. V didn’t seek to replace the British government with world government, but rather with a new, virtuous British government. And yes, he believed in Beauty which is why he insists on keeping his scarred body and face covered for the entire film.

The destruction of Parliament could be seen metaphorically as representing the idea that the governing class is so totally corrupt and the country itself has acquiesced and stood by as this evil has taken them over that whole thing needs to be re-born. And guess what, in real life, it does! And only the British people can make it happen, just as in the film’s finale when the people finally come out of woodwork and refuse to cower anymore before their overlords. I think any traditionalist can hold in his head the idea that the actual British people who need to step forward in real life aren’t necessarily the same as those portrayed in the film.

Paul Kersey of the blog Stuff Black People Don’t Like writes:

I noticed you are having a discussion of V for Vendetta. It’s a horrendously left-wing film. The “villains” of the movie are carbon copies of Hollywood’s interpretation of “right-wing extremists” and “bigots.”

It was written by the very weird and eccentric Alan Moore as a commentary on Margaret Thatcher’s government in England back in the 1980s.

Only left-leaning libertarian types look at that movie with fondness.

Andrew E. writes:

I wouldn’t say I look at the movie with fondness, I found it stirring as I said. Whatever the original inspiration for the story, the present, actually existing British ruling class is far,far closer to the government portrayed in the movie than anything during Thatcher’s time. That’s a fact. And Britain really does need someone to step out of the shadows who will challenge, publicly, the existing order on first principles. Maybe I’m filtering out too much of the garbage from the film unfairly but I still think there is a core there that represents something that the actual Britain (and the West for that matter) does need desperately.

October 20

Paul Kersey writes:

Here’s the best article on “V for Vendetta” I could find that discusses the left-wing philosophy inherent in the film, and how England is now a left-wing, liberal tyrannical nation. Not the right-wing kind as seen in the film, but an anarcho-tyranny, left-wing state. As you’ve stated, England is dead.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 18, 2011 06:33 PM | Send

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