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Politics in the Movies

You probably wouldn't believe me if I claimed there was already a movie about the Egyptian uprising. OK, that would be an exaggeration. But movies can sometimes express the nature of political maneuvering better than thick, scholarly books that bury the essence of things under a mountain of extraneous details. There is no excuse to do so, because politics is not terribly intellectual or complex. It is irritating to wade through 500 pages of verbiage to get at the point of the whole thing.

For instance, in Braveheart a rebellion starts up in Scotland, against the English king. The lairds of Scotland had lands and titles in both Scotland and England. They played a duplicitous game regarding the rebellion, and it came across so clearly in the movie.

I have no particular criticism to aim at the current president regarding his handling of the Egyptian uprising, since if the other party was in the White House they might have already sent in the Marines while they gave speeches promising freedom and democracy to Egypt. But the president is practicing the political art of duplicity.

Any president of either party considers it unthinkable that America should go back to being a Republic instead of the militaristic, meddling, bullying empire that it is. Did it ever occur to any of these imperialists that European powers gave up being empires 50 or 60 years ago and lived to tell about it. Look at the bloody mess that France went through in IndoChina and Algeria. But today does anybody in France, besides the military lobby, really feel that they're suffering because they're not an empire anymore?

America was famously stupid about not learning anything from the French experience in IndoChina. A few years later the French "lost" the Algerian war of independence. It led to a remarkable movie, the Battle of Algiers. Watch it and you will think it was made yesterday about the American Empire's troubles in today's Middle East. An American viewer can be affected by some other country's imperialism.


XXXXX said…
Maybe that's what we need....a nice entertaining movie, very pointed, to get this idea across. I think people are highly influenced by movies...maybe more so than a good talking to.

The US is having a very difficult time not being No. 1 in everything. I guess most people here feel threatened if they are not top dog.

You are right. No president (of either party) could ever suggest such a thing. Truly, political suicide.

I actually think about leaving this country for this very reason. A quiet country tucked away somewhere that nobody bothers with sounds wonderful to me.

I do feel guilty though taking my retirement dollars out of the country instead of spending them here.

Very well written and concise. I wish this post could get wider circulation.
bp, some people think that Chile is a good country for an American ex-patriate. Simon Black writes a financial blog from there.

"Feel guilty taking retirement dollars out of the country": Don't be silly. An American CEO doesn't feel guilty about sending our jobs overseas. Why should you feel guilty about spending your own money where you wish.