Avatar's Savage Message


Bill Ross's picture

I seriously take issue with Edward Hudgins interpretation, although his points regarding Avartars being proxies for Haliburton, Oil, etc have merit.

It is his equating of free enterprise with the "right" to exploit, steal property from and kill intelligent beings whom have been defined as savages (ie; Jews, by Nazis) that I take issue with. Therefore, because of this false definition of free enterprise, Avator is NOT an attempt by the left to discredit "free enterprise", but disputes the concept and morality of imperial rape and pillaging of peoples and environment. When the people are inevitably forced into self-defense, yes, they can be spun as "unreasonable savages" (if you ignore the history of provocation).

The messages I take away from Avatar (best Imax experience ever) are:

a) If you choose conflict, better understand your enemy - they may be able to defeat you
b) No matter how peaceful your prey, at some point, their tolerance will be exceeded. Predators are a survival hit.
c) Honest trade is the most profitable. Conflict is an unsustainable cost, unprofitable (except for those who profit) in the long run
d) We have only one planet and should be trustees.

As on planet Earth (doomed), the problem on Pandora (happy ending) is predators, who have slipped the leash of public control, reason and the "rule of law":


Bill Walker's picture

I'll agree with Mr. Ross about Dances With Smurfs. The movie is about the sanctity of property rights of the poor as well as the rich... and the Smurfdoran forest is just a metaphor for the Internet. The movie's subversion of our legionaries' "hoo-rah" tribal ethic is pretty slick, too.... libertarians take note.

(Of course there are some howlers... they have cryonics in routine use, but it doesn't occur to them to save the dying scientist... well, it's Hollywood!)

Plant Immigration Rights Supporter's picture

I am a former Objectivist so I understand where this author is coming from. Indeed I might not be a libertarian today had I not come across the writings of Ayn Rand and other Objectivist authors. However, one of the things that, even in my Objectivist days, truly annoyed me was the seeming contempt that some in the Objectivist movement had for any lifestyle that did not fit within their world-view of Romantic Realism or “modern civilization”. I remember reading (with horror) an article in The Intellectual Activist that actually justified the treatment of American Indians by European colonists and later by the United States government. The justification was basically that since some did not recognize land as property in the same way Europeans did it was perfectly OK to force them to leave where they did live. This is one of the reasons I began to drift away from Objectivism. This is doubly horrific since libertarians could easily point to the treatment of American Indians as evidence of the evil of government itself.

I saw the film and saw it as a condemnation of the Mercantilist** system. Period. Anyone who has ever seen both the classic film Lawrence of Arabia and Avatar can see close parallels between the two. Lawrence of Arabia by the way, is a great film in its own right. Like Avatar, it is best seen on a big screen.

As a side note, I found it interesting, despite some environmentalist overtones, I did not hear a word about manmade global warming. They could have easily inserted one if they wanted. It may be evidence that, even in Hollywood, word is getting out that it is a fraud.

** For those people who stumble on this web-page by accident and do not already know – mercantilism is VERY different from capitalism.

SpykerSpeed's picture

Avatar is about property rights and aggression.

I think James Cameron made the Na'vi a bit too sanctimonious (they hardly ever showed any emotion other than seriousness or reverence). Some people might find that annoying, but if they choose to live that way... it's really not our right to bulldoze them into oblivion.

tzo's picture
Evan's picture

The Na'vi had a massively powerful, sentient organic supercomputer! It could be argued that the more technologically advanced race won the war in this movie.

Plant Immigration Rights Supporter's picture

Evan, that is a good point. In that respect it kind of reminded me of Mike from Robert A. Heinlein's classic novel "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress". Except that Mike was modeled after the giant room sized computers that existed before the advent of the personal computer.