Table of contents

Live Free or Die Hard

Democracy & heroes

This is the last of a kind. The men grow old; the young are not men. The daughter rebels against her nobody father; she apparently owes him nothing. Maybe his family’s abandonment makes it easier for him to risk his life… The boy John McClane must protect is white, meek, a computer expert.

The evil is astoundingly young, also a computer expert. But he is ruthless, kills his enemies, & endeavors to take over America. He knows that science is power; that men are nowadays easily terrified. Efficiency & bureaucracy have effectively replaced citizenship in humiliating manliness. The man who can withhold comforts & necessities, who stands between people & luxury – people fear hell opens in his path.

The internet will kill us all. Clever men can destroy much more than we imagine by destroying the internet connecting things. The technology working around us: How are the parts put together to form a whole? None of us know – we ignore the source of our power & are therefore weak. This man wanted to save his country but the country would not let him – so he will destroy it. Shakespeare’s Coriolanus & Lincoln’s Lyceum Address talk about this man, who has or desires the greatest glory. Should not the wisest man rule? Is not the man who knows the science the wisest?

Old John has no future. – His young enemy, in a fit of pettiness, deletes his retirement fund. What good things has America brought to him? He has saved his city twice. What is his reward? Fame? Honor? Power? Such are we: Ungrateful, resentful, fearful. Heroes come in crises – they portend disaster; we fear that they provoke it… They are the most obvious enemies of comfort & cowardice. In fact, what does it mean anymore to live free or die? But this was the motto of Massachusetts.

This evil young man, whose ambition only exceeds his calculation, is everything John McClane ought to be. This is the last lesson taught by this unusual character. It seems John McClane can deny this man’s tyrannical desires because he himself has never achieved anything. He does not mind his anonymity. In his old age, he is the servant he was when young, always minding the public business, never presuming to rule. What kind of soul could compass the excellences required to save one’s country from self-destruction at the hands of the ambitious youth & from the disasters created by the rule of the excessive youth, but never exceed his small fortune & never desire power? Who will risk his life to save those who would not save themselves, much less reward him?

See it if you haven’t.

Go Here to Read the Review of Die Hard.
Go Here to Read the Review of Die Hard: With a Vengeance.