In the recent Captain America: The Winter Soldier, HYDRA is the science wing of the Nazi SS during World War II. Almost 70 years after the war’s conclusion, the organization lives on as a secret society whose acolytes include many defense personnel, government bureaucrats and politicians. With the American defense agency S.H.I.E.L.D. now controlled by HYDRA, they plan to launch a preemptive strike on the global public, killing 20 million people identified by data mining and NSA-style panopticon surveillance as potential dangers to world order.
(Their vision, in other words, is to make sure everything goes on largely as it has been. Hard to think of a more damning comment on America’s status quo.)
Much as I otherwise enjoyed the movie, using HYDRA to explain S.H.I.E.L.D.’s corruption was lazy. We have recent examples to illustrate that it doesn’t take a secret society to corrupt the State.
For instance, it’s not like Lois Lerner and her fellow Obamatons whispered some leftoid equivalent of “Hail HYDRA” in one another’s ears as they hatched the plan to use the IRS to target conservatives. (If they did, it would be something alliterative and collectivist, yet also alternative lifestyle-positive. “Masturbate Marx”, perhaps.) Instead, they all simply shared the same understanding–the same conceptual metaphor–of their political adversaries. Some variation of “conservatives are evil”, evil in this case being a noun rather than an adjective.