Libertarianism at the Movies   Leave a comment

Brad and I don’t go to the movies very often, preferring to spend our money on other things, but he’s still resting a tweaked knee so decided not to hike to our cabin site this weekend. Boredom drove him to decide we needed a date night at the movies.

Good movies and television often reflect the attitudes of the times in which they were created. Captain America: Civil War may be one of those great movies that reflect the emergence of some sort of counterculture. Here we are in 2016 where political correctness, state worship, and socialist propaganda have infected higher education and Hollywood to a seemingly monolithic extent, but Civil War shines forth a libertarian theme.

We were forewarned by a reviewer that Marvel Entertainment had “ruined” the Captain American character by making him “uncharacteristically libertarian” and invoking Ayn Rand.

That’s fine with us, but our teenager pointed out that Captain America may have always seemed a defender of liberty to those of us who read the comic books, but that he’s been a rule-breaking anarchist at the movies.

Kyle points out that in the 1st movie, Steve Rogers forged his own forms, defied orders to enter enemy territory and rescued hostages against official orders while in Winter Soldier, he became an enemy of the state. So why is anyone surprised that the character might take a position in oppisition to the US government and the United Nations in the third movie?


To be perfectly honest, Captain America is not the poster child for the United States of Power. He has consistently been a representative of individual liberty. You want an example. In the first movie, he was asked if he wanted to kill Nazis. He protested that he didn’t want to kill anyone, but that someone had to stand up to bullies. That’s very much the non-aggression principle that libertarians say is the highest ideal of their philosophy. Self-defense and standing up to bullies is justifiable because someone else iniated the aggression. In the second movie, his fight against Shield’s spy drone had nothing to do with whether people had voted for it, but because the machine’s ability to kill anyone upon collection of data showing them to be a possible threat was a violation of individual rights.


So, I’m not going to write any spoilers, but I’m going to suggest you go watch the movie. It had the requisite explosions for Kyle and Brad, but I found a lot of themes to think about as well.

I’ll give you a hint, though. Iron Man provides a foil for Captain America that is quite striking.


Posted May 21, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Anarchy, Uncategorized

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