Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More "Vendetta"


























Dr. Strauss provides comments on this celebration of anarchy on Stop The Spirit Of Zossen:
The original's anarchist view (the V and the 1980s “A” for anarchy not accidentally similar) is and was self indulgently childish — especially when the reality Moore railed against is now so much more immediate than his overcooked imaginings just twenty years ago.
Apropos "A" for Anarchy check out the "A" is for Anarchy in the Wall Street Journal. It's an interesting review/history of the anarchist movement by Todd Seavey. What Seavey and others fail to point out is that "V" is not fighting against a middle class liberal democratic regime but against a Fascist dictatorhsip. Would he label the partisans fighting against the Vichy regime in France as "anarchists?"
And it's not surprising that the Tory Anarchist aka Daniel McCarthy gave it "V for … Very Good, Actually:"
Glamourized sadism is an apt description of the Wachowkis’ last few flicks, and that’s what I expected from “V” as well. (Even though they were only adapting the script from Alan Moore’s comic book.) But I was pleasantly surprised. There’s nothing profound about “V,” but the characters have at least half a dimension more than those of the average Hollywood blockbuster. The same can be said, more mutedly, about the film’s social commentary — it’s very heavy-handed in places, but as a middlebrow political thriller it’s better than most.

In a very interesting review of the filmEunomia serves as a witness for the defense of Guy Fawkes, who in 1605 tried to blow up King James I (and "V" succeeds in doing):
What is the difference between the Gunpowder Plot and terrorist attacks that use and target civilians? In other words, why would the Gunpowder Plot, if successful, have been completely different from 9/11, and why is the comparison of the two a ridiculous one? The answer should be rather obvious. Fawkes targeted the heart of the government he was out to topple, and he sought to do it without threatening the lives of civilians. He did not seek to blow up a train, a hotel, a marketplace, a stock exchange, a bustling port, a school or a place of worship, or any other place that would involve the deliberate targeting of civilians. He targeted the seat of a government he believed (and not entirely unreasonably) to be illegitimate. Given the same chance under similar circumstances, I doubt that most of the heroes of Whig history would not have done just as Fawkes and his crew tried, and failed, to do.

And on LewRockwell.com Butler Shaffer writes:
My wife and I attended the opening day of this film and, I am happy to report, it far exceeded my expectations. Not only is this the most powerful anti-state film I have ever seen – one that makes no compromises with the system – but is, purely from a film-making perspective, one of the best movies I have seen in some time. Had the subject matter of this film been anti-vivisectionism, the depletion of the rainforests, or the sorrows of divorcĂ©es, its acting, writing, direction, and other production features would have made watching it an enjoyable experience.
And this:
The openly anarchistic nature of this movie will produce shudders in well-conditioned statists who, in the words of F.A. Hayek, cling to their “fear of trusting uncontrolled social forces.” Such people will trot out historic instances in which self-proclaimed “anarchists” killed a few score of people, as evidence of the need for government. That states managed, in the 20th century alone, to slaughter some 200,000,000 people in wars and genocides has never provided an occasion for defenders of political systems to do a practical cost/benefit analysis of these alternative systems!
While V for Vendetta contains a great deal of violence, “V” reminds us, early on, of the social application of Newton’s Third Law of Motion: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In a political context, it is as childish to posit the violence engaged in by one group as “peacekeeping” and the opposing group as “terrorism,” as it is to regard one side as “good” and the other as “evil.” It is the interdependent violence inherent in all political systems that is made evident in this film.

Just one or two words as a follow-up to my earlier post on the movie. Unlike Shaffer, "Vendetta" wasn't "one of the best movies I have seen in some time." It won't appear on my list of the 100 Great Movies (Btw, my personal list begins with Carol Reed's The Third Man). And I certainly don't but into the entire political message of the film and especially some of its more p.c. elements. But it's a timely warning to all of us about the way the State can become a monster if and when fears encourage us to give more power to government to "protect" us.

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