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Klavan On The Culture

The Mask of Fascism

October 24th, 2011 - 6:55 am

Some of the Occupy Wall Street protesters have been wearing the Guy Fawkes mask from the film V for Vendetta.  I think this is appropriate.  I have not read the graphic novel on which the movie is based and make no comment on it, but the film itself, which wears the mask of a liberating screed, is in fact one of the most purely fascist American films ever made.  It is a despicable apologia for murderous violence against free institutions, and presents a pitifully unrealistic rationalization for some of the most oppressive ideas currently in vogue.

Like all leftist art, V for Vendetta achieves its occasionally powerful effects by re-writing reality to fit the upside-down progressive imagination. For instance, the film suggests Christianity lies at the heart of political oppression. But in Realworld, no matter what you might like to believe, the simple fact is that Christianity has been in on the ground floor of every truly free society on earth since the fall of Rome. (The one arguable exception is Israel — go figure.) The film depicts the west’s war with Islamo-fascism as an Orwellian mix of racist propaganda and eternal mock-warfare. That in itself is an Orwellian lie.  Whatever its merits as a religious philosophy, Islam has produced violent and oppressive states since its beginning — and was oppressive even in its cultural heyday, now almost nine centuries ago. It’s difficult to imagine any genuine vision of a free world that does not include the suppression of Islam’s violent extremists.

More. The film’s central gay character extols the beauty of the Koran, the followers of which would endorse his murder — yet he is murdered by Christians who, in life, might condemn his practices but would also preach his loving acceptance as a fellow sinner. The same supposedly enlightened character also rhapsodizes on the work of Robert Mapplethorpe, whose sado-masochistic photos of leather-clad men could easily have illustrated the sexual imaginations of the brownshirts who facilitated Hitler’s rise to power.

By turning the world-as-it-is on its head, the film manages to dramatically justify torture and terrorism in defense of oppressive and violent conformity.  It positively envisions a world in which all people will come together as one to support acts of terrorism against free institutions. This united people even end up wearing the signature mask that will remove from them every trace of individuality. The target of their climactic attack is the British Parliament, the mother of all Parliaments, and thus the starting point of every modern free society. Earlier, the terrorists also strike at the Old Bailey, a symbol of the rule of law.

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