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Cameron’s “Avatar”: Liberal bloodlust.

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

The reviews for James Cameron’s new $500 million Avatar movie are coming in. They aren’t that great and yes, as a sci-fi fan that disappoints me. However, what disappoints me the most is the apparent intellectual bankruptcy of story-telling in Hollywood which I surmise is fallout from its over-politicization and a general crisis of creativity that has been noticeable for some time.

Essentially, as pointed out wonderfully in this review from Big Hollywood’s John Nolte, Avatar is nothing more than “a thinly disguised, heavy-handed and simplistic sci-fi fantasy/allegory critical of America from our founding straight through to the Iraq War.” The story is tired and the characters are tedious, and Nolte points out that there are so many “liberal tells” in the plot that the result is “a sanctimonious thud  of a movie so infested with one-dimensional characters and PC clichés that not a single plot turn – small or large – surprises.”

Only liberals know that political correctness fosters true love.

But what about the thrilling new special effects that Cameron was supposed to using in this movie? Nolte writes:

Visually “Avatar” doesn’t break any new ground.  It looks like a big-budget animated film with a garish color palette right off a hippie’s tie dye shirt. Never for a moment did I believe the Na’vi  or the world of Pandora was something organic or real. The fairly pointless use of 3-D certainly doesn’t help, but Steven Spielberg’s sixteen year-old dinosaurs (from Jurassic Park) are light years ahead of “Avatar” in the reality department.

So, Nolte concludes, as have most other reviewers,  that we should:

Think of Avatar as Death Wish 5 for leftists. A simplistic, revisionist revenge fantasy where if you freakin’ hate the bad guys (America), you’re able to forgive the by-the-numbers predictability of it all and still get off watching them get what they got coming.

This is interesting to me, because it comes on the heels of a long discussion I had this week with a friend who will be pitching a screenplay about the abortion debate. I will not publicly discuss his story on this blog, but I sensed from talking with him that although he has created a very interesting plot with some fantastic twists and turns, in the end it will be the same old liberal morality play.


My position was not that he should write a pro-life script if that was not his intention, but rather that he take this very creative story and make the typical “conservative” villains in it more three-dimensional. I told him that at this point in the debate, America deserves more.

And maybe, the overall work will be a little more interesting.

  1. Don
    December 21, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Have you seen the movie? I thought it was very good — if not $500M good. It’s visually stunning in 3D and the story is entertaining in a fantasy movie way — It’s not Shakespeare but then neither was Star Wars.

    As for the ideological issues, are you freakin’ serious? Are you really taking offense at the idea of murdering natives and destroying the environment for naked greed is a bad thing? Do conservatives stand in opposition to the idea of not killing innocent people and stealing their land?

    If nothing else, Avatar is pro life for Christ’s sakes. Who in their right mind can disagree with that?

    • Jason
      December 21, 2009 at 9:13 pm


    • anonymous
      December 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm

      well, there have been some stupid reviews of Avatar by conservatives, I won’t deny that. Some people seem to think that the humans somehow had the moral highground, even. but a lot more people take issue with the movie because the story was unoriginal. The characters were one-dimensional, and the plot was incredibly cliched. I think that District 9 did a better job with its story than Avatar did, although D9 wasn’t as easily accessible by the population at large.

  2. December 21, 2009 at 10:42 am

    I believe you have it all wrong. YOu are letting your politics run away with your taste to the point where your opinions are not valid. Avatar is an excellent movie with great special effects and a point that should make the entire world think. Everyone will enjoy this movie.

    • Jason
      December 21, 2009 at 9:15 pm

      If the film is overtly political, and according to some interviews I’ve read of Cameron it is, then how is it that if I disagree with his politics that I am letting my politics run away with my taste? Can’t politics be part and parcel of one’s taste? A lot of left-wing movie reviewers insist they are, so why can’t it be so for conservatives?

  3. December 22, 2009 at 6:32 am

    The bigger question is:

    Would a civilization, capable of interstellar commute, have a need to “mine”? They would surely have the technology to build matter from atomic level..

    • Hal
      January 22, 2010 at 10:29 pm

      Notice that no Libs commented on this because they just don’t get it.


  4. Big Bopper
    December 22, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Republicans hate this movie because it portrays a corporation as evil. Simple as that. To conservatives I suppose corporations are angelic things that would never destroy or exploit anything to make a profit. The hatred from the right for this movie says more about the right than it does about the movie. Do you honestly believe imperialism and corporate greed that harms people is good?

    • Jason
      December 22, 2009 at 11:14 pm

      Hey Big Bopper: (Chantilly lace and a pretty face…)

      Of course, what someone feels about art says something about them, but it also says something about the art too. If you want to know about my opinions, for instance, read this blog. No doubt what I write here says a lot about me, but it also says a lot about what I write about. It will save you from the pop-psychology you are wielding like a flaccid nerf sword.

      (…and a ponytail, hangin’ down…)

      As far as “imperialism and corporate greed” and whatever obtuse ideological trope you want me and the Right to denounce: In the movie it works to make the story very simple and uninteresting to me. As for the real world, I would need solid examples of what you’re talking about. But then, I would most likely not denounce these things because I categorize them differently. What you call greed, I see as necessity or distribution, or efficiency. Not “greed.”

      (…there aint nothing in the world like a big-eyed girl that makes me talk so funny, make me spend my money…)

      So, read my blog and you’ll get an idea of what I’m for and what I’m against. This way you won’t have to conjecture what this “right-winger” is all about.

      (…make me hang real loose, like a long-necked goose. Ohhh, baby, that’s a what I like!)

      • anonymous
        December 27, 2009 at 2:17 pm

        “As far as “imperialism and corporate greed” and whatever obtuse ideological trope you want me and the Right to denounce: In the movie it works to make the story very simple and uninteresting to me. As for the real world, I would need solid examples of what you’re talking about. But then, I would most likely not denounce these things because I categorize them differently. What you call greed, I see as necessity or distribution, or efficiency. Not “greed.” ”

        what do you mean by this? I hope you’re not justifying slaughter when it happens “for the greater good” or something

      • Jason
        December 27, 2009 at 11:22 pm

        If we want to talk about the most unmitigated, horrendous, colossal slaughters, I wonder why Hollywood continues to create imaginary victims of liberal democracy and free market enterprise, instead of doing films about the vast democide (death by government) committed by the world’s socialist or communist governments.

        Surely, “imperialism” and “greed” played a role in those all-too-real crimes that account, by far, for the vast numbers of human life wasted in the killing machine that was the “revolutionary” 20th Century. No?

      • Ryan
        December 28, 2009 at 1:31 pm

        This is an unfair statement. It can also be argued that extreme-right wing governments killed many innocents as well, and its also obvious that most social democratic governments do not, in fact, slaughter anyone, for the United States fits the definition of a social democracy itself! It has never been, nor will it ever be, a purely free market country, as many would lose their perks in a truly free market system.

      • Jason
        December 30, 2009 at 1:32 pm

        You are not clear about what exactly is unfair about my comment above. According to R.J. Rummel, who has conducted the only comprehensive study I know of on the matter of 20th Century Mortacracies, the amount of death that can attributed directly to government was caused predominantly by Communist or Socialist governments. He estimates the number to be around 180 million. Here are some charts based on his analysis:




      • Jason
        December 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm

        I also found this entry in Rummel’s Democratic Peace Blog:

        Is The U.S. The Most Violent Of All?

        [First published February 3, 2006] I’ve had the most respected academics in peace research tell me flatly that the United States is the most violent nation in the world. And after I’ve given lectures and speeches on the democratic peace, some questioners have said or implied the same thing. This myth has been widely believed among peace researchers and is a matter of religious faith on the left.

        In response, I would point out the bloody wars in Africa and Asia not involving the U.S., including the Iraq-Iran war which cost about a million lives. Then, I would note the worst domestic democides, including that of Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and so on, and compare the top annual domestic democide rates (the percent of the population murdered per year of the regime) to that for the U.S. (I always had a special page in my notes with the figures):

        U.S. = .000016
        USSR = .42
        Communist China = .12 (if 1959-1962 famine treated as nondemocidal)
        Hitler’s Germany = .09
        Pol Pot’s Cambodia 8.16

        And, I would add, here are the average overall domestic democide rates (average percent of the population murdered) for types of regimes.

        Democracies = .043, of which the U.S. = .001
        Authoritarian regimes = 1.1
        Totalitarian regimes = 3.9, of which communist = 5.2

        Particularly note how small the annual rate is for the U.S. even compared to the average for democracies.

        But, the leftist mind assumes that there has to be something bloody wrong with the U.S. (in addition to its raging imperialism, blood sucking capitalism, and ardent support for right wing dictators), and so they fall back on the civil murder rate. They say, “No one is secure in America, since Americans murder each other at a rate greater than any other nation, and that’s why it is the most violent nation in the world.”

        Well, this can be easily checked on the Internet, such as through The International Crime Victim Survey and here. From the latter source, I reproduce its rank ordered list of murder’s per nation per capita.


        Note that the U.S. is not only 24th, but that its murder rate is tiny compared to the top four nations. It is 6.9% of Colombia’s, 8.6% of South Africa’s, 13.2% of Jamaica’s, and 21.2 % of Venezuela’s.

        The next time a so called “anti-war” activist, self-righteous “peace researcher,” or blathering leftist declares that the U.S. is the most violent nation in the world, kindly tell them that their ignorance is only exceeded by their ideological blindness.

      • Greenjeans
        January 26, 2010 at 12:09 am

        Victims of communism are invariably orientals, eastern European and sub-saharan Africans. These are very poor people and therefore are largely ignored by the American public. Victims of Enron scandals, on the other hand, are all American and therefore get full attention.

        To further my point how many times in the media did you hear about 9/11 (3000 dead) compared to the Second Congolese War (6 Million dead), two events that happened roughly the same time.

  5. Derek
    December 24, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Oh! so you Love AGI’s and Fannie Mac’s company policies. The CEO’s weren’t greedy taking extra money is just a way to increase production, distribution, and ummm let me see efficiency. Your laughable and your bluff card has been pulled. There is an example agree with that.

    • Jason
      December 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm

      I’m sorry but what you just said is practically incoherent and hardly pulls my “bluff card.” Whatever that is.

      First, some corrections. The companies you want me to talk about here are not “AGI” and “Fannie Mac.” Rather, they are AIG, a multinational insurance company, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government sponsored entities (GSEs) that are the largest mortgage lenders in the United States.

      To compare the two actually proves a fundamental conservative critique; which is that government-run entities under market-controlled policies actually make things worse. AIG is a private entity and it is required to report its financials to the government through Securities and Exchange Act. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being GSEs have no such requirement. So, that means that if Fannie and Freddie Mac fail or run into financial difficulty, taxpayers are on the hook and may never know why.

      Now, if you mention AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac because you are angered about the bailouts and the cost to the taxpayers I’ll say I was opposed to all the bailouts including TARP and that was the position of a majority of Republicans in the House. So, I wonder how exactly have you called my “bluff card?'” Again, whatever that is.

      And I do not understand how to respond to such a general criticism as how I support “greed” because I think a movie is boring. Maybe I do not see “greed” in the same light as you. I see it as one of the many things in the human character that makes up the personhood of human beings. At times in my life I have been greedy and I have been generous, as have most people.

      When we are talking about politics it is best to understand that it is a fool’s dream that you can control human behavior through government micro-management. The best you can hope for is self-regulation and strict enforcement of the most blatant violations of the public trust.

      If “greed” is a human problem it is worse in the hands of government-an entity that has the power of legal coercion-than in the hands of private citizens. If you really think putting industry in the hands of government and politicians is a better deal for humanity, I have to say, your history is as suspect as is your knowledge, judging from the inaccuracies in your comment.

      • January 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm

        Derek’s comment was not worthy of your thoughtful reply. As you correctly point out, “greed” is an inherent quality of the human condition. Pitting private enterprise against government is ultimately self-defeating and naive, as the symbiotic relationship between the two should be apparent just about anyone.

  6. Ryan
    December 26, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    I think that poltical views can influence anyone’s opinions, and if this movies obvious political leanings, which I didn’t find overbearing at all really but were indeed there, offended you or bored you, thats ok by me. What I take issue with is the dishonesty in your review. Most, in fact all, the reviews I have read have been positive, with claims of a lacking plot-line scattered thoughout, but mostly positive. The link you provided to prove your claims of critical-failure is only one website, an obviously conservative website, and you directly quote obviously conservative reviewers, along with a single half-negative-half-positive review from AP. Had you offered your own opinion without trying to justify it dishonestly, I’d have no beef. You should perhaps rely on your own opinions, impulses, and arguments, rather than forming an intellectually dishonest one and using hand-picked, obviously biased info to “prove” your point. You essentially doing the same thing your accusing the movie of doing. Otherwise you seem to be intelligent and able to write effectively and persuasively, which, lord knows, is rare in the blogosphere these days… but dishonesty will not get you readers, solid and thoughful commentary will.

  7. Chuck
    December 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    After watching this movie, I came away with a couple of thoughts. #1. Ok I get it. You want me to understand that cutting down trees (the very simple message) or harming “nature” is bad. #2. Humans bad. We evil. Grunt. I was also shocked at how badly written this movie was. The characters are pretty shallow. Hey! She smokes. She cusses. She is one bad chick. Tough. She must be. I said she smoked. Which of course added to the confusion. Isn’t smoking bad as well? Why wasn’t there an anti-smoking message? The people who made this movie must hate that too… Or was that a all too easy give considering they needed her to be a tough no shit taker. Plus, the words God Damn were littering this movie which clearly shows a disrespect for the “Deity” that humans hold dear (I am not religous but I respect other people’s belief systems) yet they had a moment in this film where the scientist was amazed because she saw the blue people’s god (as she died). I could go on but I think I am getting bored… so let me make one more point and I will stop. The whole premise made shit for sense. Ok. So, the evil humans have destroyed earth (their home planet). Of course the next logical step is to seek out a planet 6 years away in order to mine a rare mineral which is worth 20 million dollars back on the dead planet. huh? We are not out looking for a planet to colonize? The investment for a 6 year flight plus the costs of the operation (the military base, the soldiers/people living in the base) the cost of shipping the mineral back to earth… would be enormous. I mean come on, 20 million dollars barely holds a large amount of total value today much less that far into the future. I did think the references to the bush doctorine were cute. Shock and awe, preemptive…

  8. MamaKass
    January 5, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Please, right-wingers…you and your kids down your prescription drugs and relax!

    You’re so heartless and YOU are immoral. You are the biggest bible freaks but don’t love every one the way Christ tells you to.

    You’d rather a poor child die, that’s why you also thought Erin Brokavich was a “liberal garbage” movie. Heartless, souls of darkness is what you are.

    Your judgment day will come.

    • Jason
      January 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm

      C’mon liberals. Is this your best shot?

      I thought you guys were the smart, rational ones?

      Refute my argument on its merits and the information provided. Not on straw men like this commentator. I have a lot of posts on my blog-and no one has made the effort to refute any of the information I have provided.

      Take down and discredit everything I say in this blog! I welcome it! I will post it if it is valid.

      Prove that your ideology is the one based on logic and what is really the best direction for society and not ressentiment.
      So far, most people have responded to my posts by either asking questions that are not on point or can’t really be clarified.
      There is also a certain amount of anger and hostility in the responses-like the one above-which is the very definition of ressentiment; a quality that is supposed to solely exist on the Right.

      I have attempted to engage some commenters here, but they refuse to clarify some of their less than coherent vilifications.

      Let’s get to the core issue here: The fact that “Avatar” really is a symbolic projection of “liberal bloodlust” cannot be denied. It is unpleasant, I understand, to have a mirror put up to your most cherished ideological fallacies, and your “heartless souls of darkness” exposed. But, in essence, that is what a real education should provide. The jobs program and bullshit that passes for professional education these days merely reinforces left-wing ressentiment, so I understand why my little blog here can be an uncomfortable read and my day of reckoning hoped for shortly.

      But, really, you have a lot of moving targets in this blog. What I believe, is right here in all my posts. No need to wish for my day of reckoning if you can discredit the information contained here. I know, it will take some effort and you won’t necessarily have a cheering mob and a professor to approve of everything you say, so it may not come off as that powerful or even convincing. But I am willing to give you an honest shot at it.

      C’mon. Take me down. Here is your chance to express your rage, your hostility, your revolutionary consciousness!
      Use this commenter as an example and bring it on!

    • Hal
      January 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm

      Idiot Libs always taking the extreme side. I don’t know anyone that didn’t like Erin Brokavich or dissagree with what she was doing to help people.

      Cameron is an extreme case of a person who simply hates America. The very place that makes him all those billions of dollars, if you don’t think so then change your medication.

      • Greenjeans
        January 24, 2010 at 6:14 am

        Come on, America isn’t even mentioned in the movie ! How is a criticism of ONE non-existing corporation that might or might not be American amount to anti-americanism ?

  9. Greenjeans
    January 6, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Jason, alot of what you and rummel said is wrong, let me correct you guys.
    Rummel is highly unreliable. Look at any other sources and you will see the soviet union and china have much lower figures. Despite this, these regimes, along with nazi germany, are clearly the world most murderous regimes.
    The most genocidal regime of the 20th century, per capita, was german south-west africa, not by any means a communist country or even left leaning.

    Lastly alot of Rummel’s statements are simply strawmen arguments. No one sane liberal, like me, believes that america is the world’s most violent and evil regime in the world. Liberal democracies and corporations are clearly less deadly than vast police states. However, even liberal democracies cause unnecessary deaths at times, look at the the iraq war, and obviously also corporations, look at what happened to the sarayaku tribe.

    As for you Jason, I don’t see why you believe that “Avatar” is anti-american or even anti-conservative. America or politics aren’t even mentioned. The evil guys in the movie might be all australian and confirmed bolsheviks.

    • Jason
      January 6, 2010 at 7:34 pm

      Show me evidence of Rummel’s unreliability. You can’t discount his research-and I’ve personally read three of his books- just because you say so.

      And he does, of course, include deaths through European colonization and they are very high, but most occurred in the 19th Century not the 20th and are over a longer period of time than those of the Chinese and Soviet Communists.

      Yes, the wars in southwest Africa were brutal, but if we want to compare them, the Armenian genocide committed by the Turks in 1916 was worse. Neither the German colonials of 1908 nor the Turks of 1916 were ruled by limited, democratic governments. For the most part they were both Imperial and monarchical, with limited constitutional freedoms.

      Rummel accounts for all of this and has the facts and figures in his books. He doesn’t avoid the issue. But still, he makes the amazing correlation that the more totalitarian a government, the more people it destroys. The more democratic, the more peaceful it is. The Turks may not have been a communist regime, but they were fighting decline and trying to defend their empire against the Russians and the Austrians and were besieged by dissent in their territories when they committed their genocide.

      On the other hand, most of the communist governments were more totalitarian (strong states) and at peace when they committed their murders. And they dwarf anything the Turks did. Rummel particularly excludes war dead in his anlaysis in order to have a better comparative analysis of which governments killed more of their own people.


      Rummel is a critic of power in the end and he is correct to see in the strong, totalitarian state that communists and socialists like to create, a threat to human life.

      Again if you actually read his stuff-I can’t do that for you-and then you want to say he is unreliable, you would have to do better than just say so. After you plow through his his vast storehouse of accumulated statistics and his dense poltical theory, show me where he is wrong. Admittedly that may take a lot of work on your part, but since you and others believe that just saying things makes them so, I hope you understand why that is a standard I cannot accept.

      this may be a start: http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/welcome.html

      • Greenjeans
        January 24, 2010 at 6:34 am

        I completely agree with Rummel’s arguments that the more totalitarian a government is the more people it kills. An all controlling state can kill much more people than an unorganized rag tag military state. I know imperial Germany and the ottoman empire were dictatorships. Democracies have never commited any genocide.
        What I am trying to say is that the actual body count of people killed in the regimes that Rummel presents to us, are very unrealiable. Look up in the body count of people killed by Stalin or Hitler from ANY other sources and you will see a much lower figure.

    • Jack Charlie
      January 27, 2010 at 9:37 am

      It takes less then two days to murder as many babies as the total amount of men, women, and soldiers who have lost their lives since the tragedy of 9/11 till now. (We as Americans fret over a war that claims thousands, while slaughtering our own kind by the millions)

      …murderous regime… ?

      (I understand this is a complete side thought to the debate at hand)

  10. Leo Reilly
    January 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    First, it should be noted that Avatar is set in the future. It is a SciFi film for God’s sake. America isn’t mentioned, and since the film is set in the future we don’t even know if there IS an America, much less that the antagonists in the film were from America. (Maybe they were all from Texas and Alaska after they seceded!)

    Second, Avatar retells a historical fact about colonialization, but sets it in the future–think the Spanish colonialization of the Americas. Why did the Spanish come to the Americas? They told us themselves–gold. And in the process of this search for gold, they raped, plundered and destroyed.

    Avatar even has the colonizers refer to the natives as “savages”, a word that colonialists used to help them sleep at night after a long, hard day of pillaging, raping and plundering.

    If you conservatives don’t like Avatar, then you probably don’t like history.

    But how is this an anti-American film?

    Or should Cameron have shot the film with Polish actors, so you would feel less threatened?

    • Jason
      January 11, 2010 at 7:33 pm

      So, according to your fundamentalist perspective, nothing in film- or any art form- is a depiction of anything other than itself. That is a very limited view of film and art in general. It is commonly acknowledged that the essence of art is its ability to represent experience symbolically, and to direct a perspective about that experience to an audience artfully.

      For instance, here is the critique of someone who agrees with the politics of Avatar, but feels that they were conveyed artlessly. He gets the message and how it apparently applies to the real world. Judging from the comments by his readers, they understand the politics of Avatar apply to the real world as well:

      from On Political Film Criticism

      But it’s not that I dislike Avatar because I have a problem with what it’s trying to say; I absolutely adore Cameron’s Aliens, for example, which features similar, if far more subtle and narratively interesting, displays of corporate maliciousness and misconduct. It’s because Avatar‘s political points are made so obviously and so artlessly, and the story, dialog, and characters are less interesting and entertaining than an afternoon spent shoveling snow from your front yard.

      As for your second statement: I think it’s ridiculous to say that Avatar is a historically accurate presentation of colonialism. As someone who does like history (just read my blog and you can see that) I am not sure I would turn to Avatar to satisfy my yearning to know about colonialism.

      But let’s say that the Avatar story does symbolically represent colonialism; how do you know? By your own words you say Avatar is “set in the future” and is a “sci-fi film for God’s sake.” Because Avatar doesn’t mention specific colonialism (German, French, English, Dutch, Muslim, Japanese) how do you know it represents the spanish colonization of Latin America? How do draw that out from a sci-fi film that doesn’t mention the spaniards at all and that’s set in the future?

      Regardless of that, one of the strings in the comments section has been the question why Hollywood, if they are so concerned with “greed” and “exploitation,” seems much more interested in making movies about the perceived sins of the West from two centuries ago, as opposed to historical experience of the 20th century communism.

      It seems to me, as a conservative, that Hollywood is selective in the history it seeks to explore. But then again, according to your fundamentalist notions of art, how does a sci-fi film, set in the future, explore history at all?

      • Ian B
        February 12, 2010 at 12:34 am

        Well I don’t think this movie is exploring history, and from what I know of what Cameron’s said it’s a comment on modern times, in particular the Iraq/Afghan war(s). To understand what it’s about you have to understand the progressivist narrative. Because this movie is just that progressivist narrative, explicitly laid out before us.

        During the 20th century the “left” developed this narrative to explain capitalism from their perspective, starting with Leninist theory. The problem they had was that Marx had predicted that capitalism was an inefficient system which would impoverish the proleteriat and destroy itself- Marxism is a determinist theory. But the evidence from the real world was opposite to that. The proleteriat were getting (slowly) better off. Capitalism wasn’t weakening, it was improving. So Lenin came up with the idea that the capitalist west was enriching itself through imperialist plunder of others. So this developed into the idea that western states use their military muscle to plunder on behalf of capitalists.

        It’s not actually true, of course. Certainly historically imperialism often has been about plunder- but plunderous imperialism is a pre-capitalist strategy, because without economic growth the only way to get better off is to steal somebody else’s stuff. That’s why society who get past Na’viesque primitivism have become plunderers, or plundered.

        Capitalism actually presented the way out of that vicious cycle, by demonstrating that one can more successfully enrich oneself by trade rather than plunder. Plunder doesn’t work in the long term. Every empire collapses under the strain of maintaining the massive military forces necessary to hold the conquered peoples in check. The British Empire proved that- we lost it because we couldn’t afford it any more. If plundering worked, how could the plunderers have run out of money?!

        So this is what progressives believe about current military operations. Rather than see them as a response (whether right or wrong) to aggression, they are seen as being undertaken on behalf of corporations (Big Oil, usually). This is why Cameron’s “marines”, (as, we may note in Aliens) are working for a corporation. Real world marines don’t hire themselves out like that, but they do in Cameron films. It’s a hamfisted parable about the present day- the unobtaniusm is oil, the corporation is Big Oil, with the military doing their bidding. Because in the leftist worldview, you can only get rich by stealing. They don’t understand trade, production, or economic growth.

        Of course, if we accept the first premise of the movie- that this is a future in which corporations run private armies that apparently dwarf the current (US) military, the rest makes no sense at all. There’d be no need to waste money on the avatar programme, no need to worry about “public opinion” and no need to win the natives’ hearts and minds. It’s a fascist future (fascism as defined by progressives as corporatist militarism). The na’vi appear to be a couple of hundred people with bows and arrows. And the oil is right under their village, and these fascists are trying to ask them to move? Are they worried some future James Cameron back on Earth will make a critical movie about them?

        It would be such a trivial operation to round up the villagers and move them, or just kill them, that the whole massive expenditure on an avatar programme makes no sense at all. In fact it makes even less sense to think that that Navaho are going to take kindly to fake Navies walking in on them. What’s the point of that? They know they’re fake. One Naboo even uses the word “demon” to describe Scullery when they first encounter him. It’s going to get no more positive reaction than trying to win favour with the Masai by donning minstrelsy blackface and singing Swannee River, is it?

        Still, as Mary Sue fanfic (“I wish I could make out with a hot blue catgirl on an alien world”) it’s not such a bad effort. As politics, it’s risible.

  11. Hal
    January 22, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Some of these countries only have 8 million people so Finland in comparision is actually more violent than the US if you consider the population.

  12. FL420
    January 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    It’s obvious that the right generates more conspiracy theories as a way of controlling the feeble minds of their pathetically paranoid and fear-consumed ilk than the left could ever dream about. This criticism of Avatar is just more of the same.
    Remember how they won the White House again in 2004 for the worst president this country has ever seen?
    No? Allow me:

    • Jason
      January 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm

      I don’t get it. Are you saying that 9/11 was a conspiracy theory? Do you believe that global terrorism doesn’t exist? It is not being “fear-consumed” to understand the realities of the world. And, it certainly is not being “pathetically paranoid” when government leaders understand the threat and warn the population about its dangers. Actually, to face the reality that radical Islam is at war with America and Americans is actually more deflating than it is hysterical and “fear-consumed.” It is an unfortunate reality that needs to be accounted for in public policy;to do otherwise would be incompetent and verges on malpractice.

  13. John
    February 1, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Yes it is certainly about death, or rather the “culture” of death as represented by the armed to the teeth techno-barbarians, and the culture of life, in all of its organic messiness and interconnectedness as represented by the Navi.

    The moral of the story being that all of the so called conservatives that loathed the film are fully paid up supporters of the “culture” of death.

  14. February 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    I just wanted to leave a quick comment to thank you for your post! I really enjoyed your blog site!!! I have a Political Satire

  15. Jake
    March 24, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Very glad I found this article. Very well written.

  1. January 18, 2010 at 7:42 am
  2. February 7, 2010 at 4:14 pm
  3. August 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm

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