Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Liberal Projection: The Politics of The Purge

The Purge is not a good film. It's totally derivative. It adds nothing original or compelling to the films it copies. And frankly, it just wasn't very interesting. What is interesting, however, is how it twists ideologies to present a false view of conservatism. Sadly, this is all too common with liberals, that they project their own worst traits onto conservatives.

The Purge is a sort of horror movie, sort of politicized action movie which attacks American conservatives basically for being religious Nazis. The story is as follows: America has been taken over by a group called the New Founding Fathers of America. They are a mix of Tea Party types and Religious Right. On the surface, they've turned America into a sort of Stepford. To keep Stepford happy and clean (and white), the New Founding Fathers of American created "the purge." The purge is a single night each year when everyone is allowed to go crazy and kill and rob and rape anyone they want... kind of like Festival in the Star Trek episode "Return of the Archons." This idea, ostensibly, comes from a mix of psychobabble about giving people an outlet and supposed conservative ideology about purity and efficiency and making sure that only the strong, productive, pure people control America. That's why it is loudly implied that the New Founding Fathers want everyone to wipe out the homeless, the undesirables, and minorities. That's the premise.

As the story opens, it's purge night. Ethan Hawke has just sealed up his house behind his security system. Suddenly, a black man appears at his door... blech, a NEGRO! He's being chased by some wholesome rich white kids who dress like Mormons and talk like the Amish with "thou" and "thee" tossed in a lot -- a typical bit of Hollywood anti-Religious stereotyping. Said dirty minority gets into the house because Hawke's kids (particularly his disloyal, liberal daughter) are weak on the whole culling the turds mentality and actually see humans as deserving of rights. Pathetic. Hawke is then put into a hard spot -- turn over the black gentleman to be murdered or the rich kids will kill his family. Doing as all conservatives (and no liberals) would do, he opts to turn over said dirty minority.

Anyway, things don't go right. Soon the rest of Hawke's family have turned away from his button-down, white conservative worldview of culling black people, and they too want to protect this gentleman. Hawke, who clearly lacks true faith in conservatism, decides they are right and refuses. He then fights the kids. But the kids are just the beginning. See, rich conservatives are notoriously greedy and jealous, so Hawke's neighbors are hunting them too. They want to punish Hawke for his success compared to them. Damn conservatives!

Ok, stop. I can't take any more of this. This is bullship. None of this is conservatism... it's liberalism.

I can't think of a single conservative, even on the fringes, who have ever suggested purging society of undesirables. Yet, that has been the history of liberalism. In America, it was liberal justices who endorsed Eugenics. It was liberal presidents like Jefferson who represented slaveholders and engaged in the enslavement of Indians, see e.g. Jackson. It's the conservatives who wanted government to have less power over people. It was FDR who put loyal Americans into camps because they were "undesirables," i.e. Germans, Italians and Japanese. It's inner-city liberals who sent almost every black male in prison today to prison. Civil libertarians have fought all of this, and conservatives who come from libertarian or religious backgrounds have fought every step. And let's not forget that socialists, i.e. slightly fringey liberals, rounded up and purged people in Europe, Russia, China, Cambodia and a dozen other places. Show me a single purge led by a conservative ("liberal" in European parlance) government. And whose supporters are constantly having to apologize for suggesting an end to rule of law, making death threats to conservative candidates, or flooding twitter with rape comments whenever a conservative woman gains prominence?

Moreover, it's fascinating how the real motive behind the purge quickly becomes greed and envy and spite, and how this is attributed to the conservative cause. Spite and greed are antithetical to conservatism, which seeks to leave people alone, but are the very basis of modern liberalism. Riddle me this: which party screams about people taking more than their fair share and rails against "the rich" as a matter of policy? I'll give you a hint, they ain't conservatives.

This is the problem with liberalism. Liberals love to grant themselves a world of good traits they haven't earned (like a deep love of charity none of them ever seem to perform except with other people's money or tolerance, but only for views of which they approve... which ain't tolerance) and they project their own worst traits on the opposition. This is why you can't argue with liberals. If you point out their flaws or the damage they cause, they will simply accuse you of being the real cause of the consequences of their own actions. This film is a classic example of that. Here is a suppose conservative government that acts in ways which fly in the face of conservatism, and the film then uses its made up reality to chastise conservatives. That's crap.

As an aside, the first time I noticed this was actually in a John Carpenter movie. Carpenter is a big time liberal. And in the 1990s, Carpenter decided to remake Escape from New York as Escape From L.A. The movie is a turd, but here's the point. The villain in the film is the President of the United States, who has taken over the country on behalf of the Religious Right. Having done so, he tries to turn the country into a more "moral America." He does this by... banning smoking, alcohol, red meat, guns, profanity, and non-Christian religions. WTF?!

Think about this. To make his right-wing villain, Carpenter assigns him political views that all come from the left. Seriously, which side wants to ban smoking, alcohol, red meat and guns? Which side has passed laws making profanity a hate crime? Which side wants to ban religious expression? Those are all leftist causes and they always have been. Yet, Carpenter recognizes these things are wrong, so he assigns them to conservatives. That's ridiculous.

This is why liberals are so blind to the world. They can't recognize their own behavior, whether good or bad, and instead they simply claim good behaviors they don't perform and disclaim bad behaviors in which they engage, and they compartmentalize it all. I guarantee you that the same John Carpenter who sees a red meat, gun grabbing character as a villain will happy advocate banning both "for the public good" without ever recognizing the inherent contradiction.

This is yet another reason conservatives need to join the culture machine, to start portraying liberals in their real light and break their ability to idealize themselves. In the meantime, we need to call out films like The Purge for wrongly portraying liberalism as conservatism.

Thoughts?

59 comments:

Kit said...

I didn't watch The Purge because it simply looked too cynical, portraying the human race as ugly and violent.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It was. It started from the false premise that we are all jealous killers who need some outlet to let us stay "normal" all the rest of the time. And of course, the hero is just like the rest until he experiences the wrong of it and then he has the epiphany and sees the error of his ways. The film twists a bit at that point, but fundamentally nothing changes.

Kit said...

Lovely.

That premise turned me off the movie before I found out about the conservative slam.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, it's deeply nihilistic and then it tries to equate its own nihilism with conservatism.

Kit said...

Oh, and a gun-grabbing right-winger? "WTF" is right!

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, It's all projection. Ask any liberal who attacked the music industry over lyrics in the 1980s and 1990s and you'll hear: "Religious Right" or "conservatives." Who was really leading the charge? Tipper fricken Gore.

Kit said...

In their defense, some religious conservatives got in behind Tipper Gore. But they do leave her name rather conspicuously out of it.

AndrewPrice said...

Some did, but they weren't leading it. The whole thing was about Gore trying to appeal to middle America before her husband (the robot) ran for president. And don't get lost in details, that's just one of many, many examples... speech codes, hate crime laws, etc. Those are all liberalism trying to control free speech so that only approved thoughts can be spoken. Yet, liberals claim that conservatives are anti-speech and liberals are pro-free speech.

Kit said...

Andrew,

Progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson passed the most anti-Free Speech law in American history.

I'll concede that Buckley supported segregation in the South, though Klan tactics such as the Birmingham Church Bombing forced him away from that position by the mid-1960s and in 1968 he opposed George Wallace. He later conceded it was a mistake to oppose the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

Also, unlike many Democrats who "apologized" for their segregation support by saying it was politically necessary. Buckley flat out said "I was wrong".

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, And what happens when you point to liberals that the Democrats were the party of Segregation?

(1) They feign ignorance and then deny on the basis of it not being something they know.

(2) They claim that THOSE Democrats were really Republicans and became THE Republicans.

(3) They claim moral superiority over the past and claim that they would have been enlightened had they lived then... but Republicans wouldn't have been.

Those are all evasions of reality so they can live happily without being forced to answer for the things their own ideology was responsible for. You see this in particular in the law where they worship certain judges, but then overlook their support for things like force sterilizations.

As for Wilson, he would have fit right in with Harry Reid.

shawn said...

Fascism is always decending on the Right, but landing on the Left.

It was a shame about "Escape from L.A." I liked Russell in it more than in the first film. And Bruce Campbell is another high point as well, but all in all, the movie felt like a weak retread. And even back in the day I knew that conservatives didn't want to ban red meat, rock and roll or cigarettes.

I have to admit, the idea of "The Purge" is ludicrous. One night to purge yourself of all your bestial desires? How does that work in the real world? Ever see a criminal with only one arrest? Or a drug addict saying "Hmm, that heroin was great, but I won't be doing that again until next year."?

And we are to believe that preppie white kids would be chasing down helpless blacks?

Projection- it's not just a river in Egypt.

Anthony said...

The Purge's premise is terrible for reasons that have already been delved into, but its a competent (and very low budget) meat and potatoes horror movie so railing against it is probably a waste of time because audiences show up to genre films for delivery of 'the goods'. If the goods are delivered, audiences don't worry too much about the details.

I saw most of The Purge on tv once. Nothing special about it aside from the unusual for a horror movie setting. Insanely profitable film though (box office 29 times the 3 million dollar budget).

I also feel obliged to point out that most horror movies have ridiculously stupid premises which serve as little more than excuses to deliver the goods.

For what its worth, Big Hollywood is praising a horror movie named The Sacrament which goes after liberals.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2014/05/05/sacrament-review-progressive-cult-horrors

Alex said...

I mean, human beings are ugly, violent, and nihilistic...in the absence of anything to believe in, whether it be religion/belief in a higher power, faith in the rule of law, or even a secular understanding of right and wrong. This movie posits a world where Christianity--and to be fair, the Jewish beliefs it is the basis of--encourages this nihilism and barbarity. Absurd. Christianity, like most religions, mitigates and helps control the bad parts of human nature so that we can do beautiful things. Interesting concept (I, too, immediately thought of the Trek episode when I heard about this movie), terrible concept.

Andrew, you have articulated exactly why these types of movies suck: projection. Yet leftist are always the one using junk science to prove that their political enemies are mentally unstable ("creeping schizophrenia," anyone?).

AndrewPrice said...

Alex, That's the problem to me: projection. If you want to do a film about a world where the government decides to do these purges, that's fine. BUT don't pretend that this is conservatism. That's slander and that's propaganda.

As an aside, "festival" in the Archon episode made more sense because Landrew was making the humans act more like machines. So that one night was an outlet for people who had been stripped of their humanity. The only humanity stripping in "The Purge" would be if you believed that humanity needs an outlet for violence.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, It's competent, but tired. It comes across like fourth or fifth film in a series that may once have been innovation but is now just copying its own formula.

In terms of the premise, I don't have a problem with a crazy premise. That is the bread and butter of science fiction, horror and fantasy after all. What bothers me is them trying to sell this as conservatism -- just like with Carpenter trying tell his audiences that the people wanting to ban smoking, red meat, and guns are conservatives.

I'll check out the BH article. Sadly though, they tend to struggle to tell the difference between liberalism and conservatism.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, Projection- it's not just a river in Egypt. LOL! :D

I think the idea behind the purge fundamentally misunderstands human nature. It assumes that our true natures require a constant low level of violence in our lives or we end up needing one big night of violence to satiate our natures. That's crap.

But then, the film doesn't really explore that point so much as just worry about attributing the purge to conservatives and then showing how bad these purges conservatives apparently long for would be and how our secret desires are to eliminate minorities and steal from our rich neighbors... bad conservatives.

tryanmax said...

Interestingly, I remember the marketing for this film and it was portrayed almost the opposite from what you relate. The promos were actually suggestive of the Occupy movement doing the purging. So in addition to the liberal projection/idealization, they were trying a bait-n-switch, too. Almost like they were trying to lure conservatives in so they could then "show them!"

tryanmax said...

The only humanity stripping in "The Purge" would be if you believed that humanity needs an outlet for violence.

I daresay that is a belief of most liberals. Concurrent with the belief that we're all angels damaged by society.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I remember the first ads too and you are right, they suggested that this was an OWS thing. But the film isn't like that. The government might as well be called "The Religious Right/Tea Party Alliance" and the killers are all white, rich, religious kids... or rich white Republican housewives.

The only person who looks or acts the least bit OWS is the homeless black guy and the defiant daughter of Ethan Hawke... who happens to be a sort of "arms dealer" in that he sells home protection systems.

AndrewPrice said...

Good point on liberals, by the way. They definitely come from the perspective that people are incapable of controlling themselves.

tryanmax said...

If this is liberal projection, which I completely concur it is, then it has a lot to say about the limited scope of leftist politics. All the ideas come from their side of the argument. However, they attribute good results to themselves and bad results to their opponents. They seem incapable of even perceiving let alone entertaining conservative ideas.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. Leftists see the world through their own views and simply don't acknowledge anything else as legitimate. That's how they can say things like, "No one could have seen this coming," even as every conservative on the planet warmed them what would happen. They really are blind people.

Then you add the problem of them assigning themselves good results and disavowing bad results and you end up with a people who are self-righteous and incapable of learning.

Tennessee Jed said...

I would like to make a film showing liberals in their true buck naked, but for their hair shirt worst. Sadly, I don't have the capital or talent to do so, so I will try and vote with my wallet, ignoring bullshit like this. It reminds me of the kind movie someone like Natalie Maines sees before pronouncing "I keep up with current affairs; I read NEWSPAPERS" Having conquered Hollywood, the latest is take over of country music. Make it more like soft porn rock, get it the hell out of a red state like Tennessee (How bout Vegas!!!!), and then make Taylor Swift understand she best get her politics screwed on correctly to keep the promo's flowing.

KRS said...

I once looked up the stats on the number of hunters licensed to hunt deer with firearms in any given year in the US. It came out to over 15 million (after correcting for multiple licenses to hunt in different states), and that's just to hunt one species. Projections of private firearms ownership runs between 250-400 million. The membership of the NRA is more than double the size of our active duty and reserve services.

Point is, these movies that all show a dystopian future where somehow all this deadly hardware and the owners just seem to have evaporated. This gets on my last nerve. Shows like The Purge, The Road, the TV series Revolution and Jericho are such crap. Americans are armed to the teeth with high end firepower and expertise that would earn a "Sharpshooter" badge in the Army. How does anyone make that go away? Answer: you can't. Just like the illegals, the guns ain't gonna go nowheres.

But, in these fantasy dystopias - which I believe the liberals and progressives build over and over because they secretly desire to live in one - a magic wand is waved and it all goes away.

You know what a real American dystopia would look like? Gunsmoke, or perhaps the Rifleman. Think about it - in a traditional western, there's no electricity, no mobile communications, none of the vast arrays of entertainment and personal luxuries. People are not idle - they work. A man pledges his life to a woman and sticks by her through thick and thin. Sure, it's a little steampunked, but all the men are armed and all the women and children safe. That's the conservative American "dystopia."

In the liberal one, all the firearms evaporate and the black people get killed.

There I go, getting all dark again. I'll be quiet now.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I concur. Don't waste your money on movies like this. It's too bad this one made a lot of money, but movies horror/slasher movies like this do tend to make a killing when they are released at the right times.

I have noticed a leftward drift in country lately.

AndrewPrice said...

KRS, Exactly! I've been saying the same thing for years! If the world ended tomorrow, within a week, America would look a lot like the old west. Americans simply don't become murderous pirates when faced with disaster -- some do, sure, but the rest will handle them very quickly. Americans have a history of coming together, working to help each other out, and maintaining law and order.

And especially with guns, you're never going to see a world where a handful of marauders can terrorize a large group of Americans. Won't happen.

Maybe all these dystopian stories are only showing what will happen in the liberal areas?

KRS said...

Andrew - Naw, in the liberal areas, we'll just walk in and take their wimmin and vittles.

I mean, they're expecting it, right?

AndrewPrice said...

KRS, I think they'd be disappointed if we didn't!

EricP said...

Re. Carpenter, see also, They Live.

Re. Hollywood, see also, Demolition Man. Though I'm troubled by his inexplicable recent gun-control stance, still hope Sly chuckles every time he deposits a residual check from that beauty.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, Good call on Carpenter! Carpenter often went with feminist messages, but he wasn't above a basically anti-capitalist message in They Live.

Demolition Man has always made me scratch my head what politics they are implying. They seem to have mashed a bunch of religious conservatism along with hippie liberalism and imposed it all together, all run by an evil businessman. I've generally taken the guy as just a dipsh*t rather than a specific political statement though because he doesn't really give political speeches. In fact, I kind of see that movie as generically pro-libertarian.

jimmythetulip said...

This is the same problem I had with V for Vendetta. It portrayed a dystopian future British dictatorship run by ultra-Christian "conservative" (the hero's own word) fascists who want to put all gays in concentration camps. The hell? Last time I checked there's only one group who believes in big government and using oppressive measures against their opponents, and it ain't conservative Christians.

AndrewPrice said...

jimmy, I had the same problem. First, the idea at secular Britain would follow an ultra-Christian conservative was laughable. Secondly, since when have Christians advocated rounding people up and conducting genetic experiments on them? If they wanted any credibility, the government should have been communists.

Kit said...

Christians opposed

V for Vendetta was the brilliant but wacky Alan Moore's view of Thatcherite Britain.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I know. The last people who would do that are Christians.

It's funny to me how messed up the British left gets when it comes to Thatcher. They really get irrational and just pure stupid. Think about the Dr. Who episode "The Happiness Patrol" in which they freak out about Thatcher on the basis that she wanted everyone to be happy. Or think about Brazil which brilliantly lampoons the left... even though Gilliam thought he was attacking Thatcher.

Kit said...

Christians opposed eugenics. Catholic G.K. Chesterton called it an "evil".

(I left the sentence unfinished)

Kit said...

Andrew,

I think it is due to Three Reasons:
(1) she was right, (2) she was successful and (3) she was a woman.

American leftists are almost worshipful towards Reagan in comparison to the way British leftists act towards Thatcher.

Kit said...

Oh, forgot the fourth reason: She was from the Middle Class, not nobility.

T-Rav said...

Hm, no wonder my sister liked this movie. I never saw it, but that was more from apathy than antipathy. There's supposed to be a sequel coming, so that should be the same, but with weaker plotlines.

I have seen V for Vendetta and find it watchable, but what it asks the reader to buy into to set the story up is laughable. I thought it was especially ridiculous that the evil leader who created fascist Britain had the title of Chancellor, even though no such position exists in the U.K.'s government, because--you know--Hitler was a chancellor (wink, wink).

Kit said...

T-Rav,

They have a Chancellor of the Exchequer. He is the British equivalent to our Secretary of the Treasury.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Demolition Man is definitely an interesting case study... there's a bit of both sides at play: religious conservatism (the attitudes about sex and swearing, for instance) and modern liberalism as its commonly defined today (disarming people, soft on crime, etc.). And all Dennis Leary wants to do is eat a hamburger and curse... isn't that what we all want? :-)

As for The Purge, I have no interest in seeing it but I think it's a good idea... perhaps it would've made a better 30-minute Twilight Zone episode.

KRS mentioned The Road - I recently watched it. Well-made and well-acted but I kept waiting for a payoff that never came. It really was a blah movie all around.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I'm not sure where the hate comes from, but it is blinding. I remember seeing the same thing amount liberals regarding Reagan until it became clear that the public would not be swayed. After that, they pretended that they always respected him... which was a major lie.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm sure the sequel will make money. It's a simple, violent premise and people will turn out for it. Though, they'll need a new lead.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, It was better as a Star Trek episode.

Like you, I didn't see a pay off in The Road -- just an unrealistic grey/brown movie without a point.

T-Rav said...

Kit, they do, but he's a minister, not the head honcho. This was a Chancellor with a capital C, someone who was clearly supposed to be understood as the head of the country. Besides, people hear "Great Britain" and think "prime minister" the way they hear "U.S.A." and think "President." No, this was a case of evoking Nazi Germany.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Agreed. So we're supposed to believe that secular Britain elected a deeply religious fanatic who wanted to go by the same title Hitler had. Yeah, that works.

Kit said...

T-Rav,

Yep. That is what makes liberals so darn entertaining.

Anthony said...

The difference between the popularity of Reagan and Thatcher isn't surprising. Reagan would be even less popular among liberals if he had stripped all power from liberal states and handed that power to bureaucracies that answered only to him (the term in England is Quangos, Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organizations).

Good fences make for good neighbors (in England there are no formal limits on the power of the Prime Minister).

PikeBishop said...

Andrew et. al. Yeah the 'where did all the guns go" meme bothers me as well. We discussed this on another thread about one of the weak themes in PA/dystopian fiction. The wimpy but pure surviviors who only exist as punching bags for the "bikers/mutants/meth-heads/militia......." cardboard villians.

Like you said, American, unlike other nations would recover a sense of community and justice mightly fast. Over the pond, you'd the re-established Caliphate of Europe in about six weeks. (Guess who would organize the fastest).

I like to imagine PA scenarios as I jog or bike around my nice suburban Texas sub division. We are surrounded by good open land for line of sight and to grow crops and raise animals. We have a stream and two fresh water wells. We would have armed pickets a mile out on all sides, scannig for trouble. God help the "Monroe Militia" or the Mad Max biker gang that tried to attack us. We will put their horses and their confiscated Harleys to good use, after we stop their disorganized, unplanned "ooh scary" attack.

KRS said...

Scott - Yeah, The Road really stunk it up. Aside from the evaporating firearms trope, it basically said that the father was fighting to keep his son alive long enough to die badly and without hope in a world where all life is doomed. We know because Robert Duvall said so. Inspirational, ain't it? That's a French movie, not American.

Re the evaporating guns, the father had a .38 revolver with, I think, just one bullet. Now, I'm a paper puncher, not a hunter. My son and I go out to the range and easily put a 100 rounds each downrange on a pretty morning. Let's say a shooting family of 4 does this level of shooting every time they go out. That means they have to keep at least 400 rounds on hand, if they don't want to stop at the store. Things being as they are, you buy up a supply of ammo when there's a price break(not currently available!). That 400 rounds rapidly becomes 2,000 or more. Now, let's suppose this family has firearms in just 5 different calibers - a small collection - that means they're likely keeping on hand between 6,000 and10,000 rounds at minimum. The Channel 5 reporter might call that an "arsenal."

An The Road's dad let himself get down to one round in a .38. How his son didn't get eaten before the opening credits is beyond me.

AndrewPrice said...

KRS, We used to go shooting with a 357 and a 22. They sold the 22 ammo in 1,000 round and 10,000 round packs. The 375 ammo came in 50s or 100s, and we generally bought 5-10 packs depending on the sale price. So yeah, either it's ridiculous that he has one bullet or he's already shot a LOT of people.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, At one point liberals were entertaining, but then they grew old and didn't grow up and now they're just annoying.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I think the difference is that the public embraced Reagan, and that shocked liberals. When Reagan died, millions of people turned out and I think that shook liberals to the core and they started acting like they respected him.

Thatcher lived longer, no one ever defended her (even her own party crapped on her), and there was never a moment where the public got a chance to come together to show their love for her... so the Brits assume that no one loved her.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, I'm not sure what would happen in other countries, but I can tell you that law and order and civilization will continue in the US unabated. Some civil rights will vanish, sure, but we're not going to devolve into roving gangs.

PikeBishop said...

Other countres? C'mon Andrew. All those gun free zones where the government and the criminals have the weapons? In America, a good percentage of the people have protection aleady. In Europe the innocent would be quickly made victims or slaves of the already armed criminals and whoever gets to the government arsenels first. And I have a hunch that would be the guys screaming Allahu Akbar!

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, Maybe, except that people have a tendency to start taking care of themselves once the person putting them into diapers disappears.

PikeBishop said...

Of course most modern Europeans would be absolutely lost in a world without a strong central authority to tell them how to live their lives.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, That makes them easy to organize. Compare that with trying to organize Mexico under one government.

Collin Chersi said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkkGpXHVaFE

You should check this guy out.

AndrewPrice said...

"A virus more fictitious than our president's origin story." That is awesome! LOL!

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