May 17, 2005

Star Wars Cultural Politics Terrain Setting

Chrenkoff writes a letter to George Lucas, and in doing so really exposes the power of Orwellian culture, how newspeak creates facts on the ground in the form of communication that tongue ties and hamstrings opponents to widespread cultural visions.

But if in your mind, it's the United States that has slowly transformed itself into an evil Empire, and therefore, logically all those who stand up to it are our story's true heroes, than I have to say that the Dark Side is very strong indeed, and I have crossed over a long time ago. If America is the Empire, then please prepare a black helmet and uniform for me too.

Chrenkoff is engaging in Orwellian language here, not the language of the tyrant, but the language of the newspeak limited resister. In accepting the limits of newspeak for survival's sake the newspeak limited resister accepts a position of linguistic weakness, of one sided disarmament. It's something that I recognize from pre-Reagan conservatism, an unnecessary acceptance of the field of debate.

Frankly, America is the Republic. It is being eaten up from within by powerful forces with hidden agendas who pose as good, kindly actors with only the Republic's best interests at heart. It's perfectly reasonable to construct those societal termites as the liberals who twist the Republic's original aims into a "living" Constitution that grows to have less and less resemblance to its original principles and purposes. It's also reasonable to put the conservatives in the black hat role using war and faux-wars to eat away at the Republic's principles.

If anything, George Lucas has provided a message that you don't always know who the good guys and who the bad guys are. Sometimes both sides are the bad guys and are either fighting to see who will be on top or are in secret alliance. There are enough real world examples for this vision to be compelling. But there is no guarantee that George Lucas himself is a white hat.

Chrenkoff, in his commentary, obeys Lucas' dividing lines, that he's a black hat, a bad guy, and that it's sometimes good to be bad. This is incorrect and counterproductive and he's trying to pull the anti-communist right along with him into the black hat category. That's just wrong and I emphatically reject it.

The Republic needs to be fought for. Our Republic needs to be fought for. If Chrenkoff has any analogue in the Star Wars characters to date, it's Jar Jar Binks naively giving the Chancellor vastly increased powers. In this case, Jar Jar Chrenkoff is striking a blow for the left and he doesn't even realize it.

Posted by TMLutas at May 17, 2005 11:34 AM