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The Avengers


Marching under the Stars & Stripes

Midway through the first attack on our planet, the arguably evil Loki, a sort of god with mischief on his mind, tells Nick Fury that the problem with human beings is their insistence on freedom. Fury lives up to his name & disagrees. He organizes a band of heroes, who are naturally like-minded, & means to fight. Unfortunately, men who do not take orders from gods are unlikely to take orders from other men…

Energy is the matter between mankind & the invading gods. The kind of energy that the sun produces & the kind of energy that human beings need to power their technology are the same, scientifically speaking. Whether this kind of energy is the same as the heroes’ powers is the very difficult, but fundamental question. If men, however excellent, are no different to sun & stars, then science may control them to give us power.

The quarrel between the heroes does not come to blows, but to political arguments. Cosmic phenomena included, the question is between liberals & conservatives. Liberals – here, limousine liberals – berate conservatives for fighting wars, or having others fight wars, or having people make extraordinary weapons of war. The conservatives point out that liberals also benefit from peace & are also involved in making weapons, whether scientists or industrialists; lawyers & politicians might be added, now that things are getting ugly.

Whether arms attract enemies & therefore start wars or wars are inevitable & arms necessary is the question. Liberals lose once again the argument about national security, partly because they are armed themselves, partly because science produces weapons naturally, & liberals adore science. This, of course, changes nothing, because there is still no political agreement, so the alliance is broken, the house is divided against itself. Shockingly, Captain America apparently leans liberal.

Two clues about what is happening are all we get. One is that Captain America is organizing the war. The other is that the monsters the heroes are fighting recall primitive tribes & prehistoric monsters. It should not be too surprising that a science that creates power sees being as mysterious, just like what is called animistic primitive religion. There is a terror in both cases that the world is both unreasonable & murderous.

In the end, war must unite Americans, because otherwise they’ll die. People who fear for their lives might band together if they believe that together they are not as weak as apart, but that is not enough. Spiritedness confronted with necessity has but one solution: The art of war. The liberal-conservative compromise therefore looks like this: Conservatives try to prepare the country for war & liberals to protect the people from the consequences of war fever.

Perhaps the year’s most popular superhero movie & the most exciting entertainment.