Tuesday, March 28, 2006
A Collective Guilty Conscience
I guess I'm a little stuck on the movie V For Vendetta. I liked it. I plan to see it again. And again.
Although the movie is set in near-future Britain, the parallels here in the United States are hard to ignore. President Bush's administration seems hell-bent on putting an end to any and all privacy here, and in spending to (and beyond) the point that the next administration will find it very easy to justify a reactionary tax increase.
Note that, while the miniscule tax cut he pushed through was welcome, it was nowhere near big enough, and it was accompanied by less well-known tax increases not often acknowledged. Increases in fees, etc. It ought also to have been accompanied by cuts in spending, and wasn't--GWB's spending eclipses that of any previous administration. We only occasionally hear a faint mention of making those meager tax cuts permanent, and hardly ever hear mention of spending restraint. And, dammit, my car needs a new muffler.
Meanwhile, the insidious "Patriot Act," aka the Ripping the Bill of Rights to Shreds Act, has been renewed, guaranteeing that whatever rights GWB fails to destroy, his Democrat successor will have plenty of time to finish off.
Back to the subject, I've noticed that nearly all libertarians I've read like V. Libertarian reviews are full of positive comment and show agreement with the movie's view of the direction the world is heading. On the other hand, reviewers of conservative bent, every one, despise the film and, in some cases without having seen it, make their attacks focus on the terroristic element of the bombings and the assassinations.
The individual I particularly remember in this regard is Michael Medved, who apparently saw only terrorism in the movie--as did Sean Hannity.
As one of America's dumbest living politicians exclaimed, They "played on our fears!"
Why would conservatives so roundly condemn a work of art that so clearly favors a return to freedom and a hatred of tyranny? Could it be a reaction to the niggling complaints of what little is left of their consciences? Might they be remembering, with a sense of denial and embarrassment, that conservatism once, not long ago, claimed to champion capitalism and individual rights--however inconsistently? Does this movie point out a conflict that they're loathe to face?
The movie implied that America warred and spent itself into receivership, leaving us at the mercy of our not-so-benevolent allies. Not really much of a stretch, as things look from the here and now. GWB's excesses will hand a very difficult set of problems to the next administration. And the next administration will take it out on us.
"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."
Remember, VOTE FOR NO INCUMBENT!