Leftists are realizing Millennials top book and movie choices are expose’s on Totalitarianism
I read several articles over the weekend written by progressives upset that American youngsters do not seem to be drinking the collectivist koolaid…
Each column made the case that the popularity of the Hunger Games books and movies (and other dystopian novels and media) meant that the younguns weren’t absorbing hope n change the way the elites have planned.
When I was in high school in the 80’s the rebel movies like Red Dawn and Ferris Bueller were popular with a certain segment of my class, but the “smart kids” always tended towards leftism because so many perks (and high grades) were tied to students eating the Marxist Swill and enjoying it.
As my adult children have come of age I have been so grateful for these books and movies, which we have often watched, discussed, and read together. They were the perfect antidote to history texts like A Peoples History written by Communist Howard Zinn, which was required reading for school.
Here are a few quotes from the articles I read.
“You might say, wait, they’re all about freedom and truth and oppressive societies, but the kind of freedom that’s being advocated in The Hunger Games and Divergent is, as Salon magazine recently pointed out, more like “agit-prop for capitalism”.
Waging Non Violence
“Both Morrison and O’Hehir bemoan the individualism of the YA dystopian fiction genre on the grounds that many of the stories revolve around extraordinary individuals. In “The Hunger Games,” Katniss Everdeen is an unusually skilled hunter. Meanwhile, in “Divergent,” Tris and other heroes are genetically divergent from the rest of society, and the protagonist in “The Giver,” Jonas, possesses psychic memory. O’Hehir calls these traits “propaganda for the ethos of individualism, the central ideology of consumer capitalism, which also undergirds both major political parties and almost all American public discourse.” But what he’s missing is the basic fact that adolescents connect with these kinds of characters because they themselves are also carefully crafting their own identities. In short, O’Hehir is confusing character development with the ideology of individualism.”
“Yet watching Catching Fire in 2013, the narrative is decidedly different. This is a Tea Party movie. The evil government is effete, urban, and quasi-Stalinist. And like the Tea Party Patriots, the good guys are rural populists, fighting for traditional values, and for freedom from the federal government.”
“Today’s genre books are full of future dystopias, which only have one weakness: teenagers. And everybody knows that most dystopias are kind of contrived. But here are 10 lessons from real-life rebellions against repressive regimes, that we wish the creators of fictional dystopias would pay attention to.”
“I think what these films tell us is that we’re taking a future of environmental catastrophe for granted,” Klein says in Episode 129 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “And that’s the hardest part of my work, actually convincing people that we’re capable of something other than this brutal response to disaster.”
Reason (This article wasn’t leftist hand wringing, but I included it because of the prescient analysis)
“Youth-oriented fiction about worlds gone awry is not new. The tradition stretches back generations and involves works now revered as classics. Some of the giants of what was then called juvenile science fiction-Robert Heinlein, Andre Norton, Poul Anderson-wrote what now would be classified as YA dystopias. But the exponential recent growth of the genre suggests something else at play: a generation’s lost wonder and mounting anxiety.”
“Yet with the upcoming release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, poised to be the biggest film of the year, it’s just as worthwhile to consider what these films don’t seem to fear. While recent dystopias warn youth about over-reliance on computers, totalitarian rule, class warfare, pandemic panics and global warming, very few ask audiences to think deeply about sexism and racism.”
“In Camazotz, the novel’s dystopia, “all of the children on the street bounce their balls in strictly exact unison.” (Hintz and Ostry, 7) The protagonist returns home to the United States, the novel’s real good place, where, despite the suffering experienced by those who are different (in this case, the magical clairvoyants) experience, difference is tolerated.”
Salon – (This article was quoted in many of the previous ones, it is perhaps the best to read to get a feel for our progressive pals angst.)
“To begin with, if we accept the maxim that all fictional works about the imagined future are really about the present, what do these works have to say? They contain no intelligible level of social critique or social satire, as “1984” or “The Matrix” do, since the worlds they depict bear no relationship to any real or proposed society. Where, in the contemporary West, do we encounter the overtly fascistic forces of lockstep conformity, social segregation and workplace regimentation seen in these stories? I’m not asking whether these things exist, or could exist, I’m asking where we encounter them as ideology, as positive models for living.”
I will end this post by sharing some words from Nick at Reason Mag. (One of my favorite thinkers)…
“What is it about the growing surveillance state in the U.K. and the U.S. that might freak the kids out a bit and cause them to long for a place beyond all-seeing adults who get to tell them what jobs they will take? And while communism and socialism seem pretty well dead (not coming back in fashion anywhere these days, really, despite coff, coff “late capitalism”‘s desperate need for novelty), the planned society really is not a favorite with anybody except the planners themselves. Don’t blame markets for that one. The 20th century was chockful of nuts who planned everybody’s life for them. Didn’t work out too swell.”
When my children were teens I purchased big over sized copies of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged for our home library. We went to see Atlas when it hit the movie theatre and in the car to and from the movie we had one of the best conversations about freedom ever. The books were so large that my teens were intimidated by them, but the movies made the stories more palatable.
Almost every day we read a chapter from The Book of Mormon together as a family. This book of scripture is the best anti communist book that has ever been written.
But the novels of young adult fiction are also powerful antidotes to the collective hive mind that often feels like it is harboring in every nook and cranny of our public discourse.
I remember how I felt the first time I read A Wrinkle in Time.
I was able to meet Madeleine L Engle at BYU when she came for a symposium. She was so gracious and kind.
I would love to direct that story on the stage.
The stories of our youth shape and frame who we become as adults. I am grateful for a generation of young people who desire all of the good things that life has to offer.
I look forward to seeing them kick totalitarian heiny in the decades to come!