I saw the much-anticipated and highly touted debut of The Hunger Games this weekend and found the movie to be apropos given the current political climate. The Games, which raked in a record-breaking $214 million between the U.S. and Canada, has made for interesting discussion – just not the discussion you’ve heard on primetime television. If you peer past the teen-heart-throb characters and the media blow-up over the film’s violence, you discover a much more glaring topic to ponder: the dangers of big government.
Without going into detail here, the film features all those things that make you feel warm and fuzzy: an all-powerful and dictatorial state, a decadent ruling-class which resides in the pristine “Capitol”, complete subjugation and impoverishment of the citizenry who reside in the 12 districts outside the Capitol, the eradication of most individual freedoms among the people of the districts…Sounds like a storybook we’d all like to inhabit.
If you’re unfamiliar with the plot, here’s the synopsis by the New York Daily News :
The film, as well as the literary trilogy by Suzanne Collins, is set in a futuristic America where heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her sister’s place as one of 24 kids locked in the titular life-and-death competition for the amusement of the denizens of the Capitol city. Overseeing it all is President Snow (Donald Sutherland), who seems to have run on a platform of oppressing dissenters in the outlying districts.
Well, if progressives get their way – we could be headed down a similar road. I don’t see many parallels being made to our current path and the one portrayed in the movie – especially coming from some of the liberals who appear in the film – Donald Sutherland and Woody Harrelson. But the parallel is there. Could this exact storyline play out? Sure. Is it likely or probable? No. But, we would all do well to take notice of the movie’s central theme – i.e. the cliff that progressives would love to take us over. Unlike the fantastical stories of other popular movies, this story could actually play out. There are no dragons or wizards. No space ships or fantasy worlds. Just real people in a not-so distant future – totally within the realm of possibility given the right circumstances.
I’ve noticed plenty of banter on various blogs and other sites concerning the political persuasions of Collins. Is she a liberal? Libertarian? Anarchist? Regardless, the film sends a very clear message whatever Collins’ intentions may have been: Statism and individualism are incompatible in a free society. Bigger government leads to a loss of personal freedom. Of course, liberals see the film in a different light, liberals such as Emily Gould – also of the New York Daily News:
Since she (Collins) wrote it, Americans have risen up in widespread protest of bank bailouts, foreclosures and mass unemployment. Coupled with horrific scenes of police violence against Occupy Wall Street protesters, it’s started to come into focus: America has never been hungrier for a popular entertainment that excoriates the ultra-rich.
“The Hunger Games” is, at its core, a critique of winner-take-all capitalism — a writ-large version of the same struggle that’s given us the Occupy movement and the idea that America’s top 1% is ruling badly and unjustly, with disastrous consequences. Again and again, the books contrast Katniss’s poor but noble hometown, full of dying miners and starving children, with her country’s corrupt Capitol, a fortress city where overdressed aristocrats vomit during banquets in order to stuff themselves again.
So there you have it from Ms. Gould. Capitalism leads to an all-powerful state. The free market leads to a ruling class that subjugates the citizenry. Not liberalism. Not socialism. Not progressivism. Gould doesn’t see a correlation between the plot of the film and the big-government statists, liberal Democrats, and RINOs that run our government. Does she see a correlation between the movie and the progressivism of Barack Obama? Harry Reid? Nancy Pelosi? No of course not. They wouldn’t lead us down such a road. They have such big hearts, unlike conservatives and the Republican Party in general. As you know, they make up the evil 1% not wealthy Democrats.
Ms. Gould, let me clarify something for you: free markets and unbridled capitalism lead to prosperity. The problem in this country is not wealth and its creation. The problems we have stem from progressivism, big government and crony capitalism. Pursuit of liberal ideology, collectivism and big-hearted government welfare leads not to your long-sought-after panacea, but to dependency and a loss of freedom.
They lead to Panem.