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Author Topic: The lord of the Rings. In Jack boots?
CMOT Dibbler
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4117

posted 10 January 2004 10:08 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here is another prospective on the lord of the rings. The writer does make some interesting points, but I think I would rather just consider it a great movie and have done:


First a small disclaimer: I have not and most likely will not read the Lord of the Rings novels as I have very little interest. I saw the movies mainly out of morbid curiosity. This debate is exclusively about the movies. Also, I normally use a less sexist nomenclature and refer to human beings but the movies talk of 'men' and not 'people' and so in this post I do as well.

Having recently seen the last of the Lord of the Rings movies, I am convinced that the entire trilogy is a paean to fascism. The first and clearest sign of this is the placement of the good guys and the bad guys- the 'men of the West' must face the unwashed hordes of the East. Hitler and the other fascists saw themselves as the bulwark of the glorious West against the Bolshevik hordes and in this film, Gondor (Germany?) in a last desperate stand repulses the hordes of Sauron (Stalin?).

But why might this not simply be a parable of the West vs. the Communist East? Why do the movies pay tribute to fascism specifically?

First, notice the race of the good guys. The movie may as well have been called Return of the King of the White People. Not all fascists adopted the virulent racism of the Nazis but all fascists are militant nationalists and militant nationalism is not noted for its love of diversity. In the movies, humans of different races are present, but all non-whites fight on the side of Sauron (so do some whites). The forces of Sauron are notably diverse, but the forces of the West are overwhelmingly white men, with a few exceptions (the hobbits, the elves, the dwarfs [all of all three of these are white] and the ents).

Those other humans are another clue. The ones who fight on Sauron's side are mercenaries, i.e. people who have no real conviction but fight for whoever is paying more. A bedrock belief of fascists is that democracies are easily corruptible and are run by money and for wealthy interests. Thus are the other kingdoms of men (other than Gondor and its ally Rohan [Italy, which during its fascist period was attempting to resurrect the Roman Empire?]) depicted in the film. They fight for whoever pays them more and care not for anything else.

Another, more subtle clue is the situation of the kingdoms of Rohan and Gondor as the story opens. In the first, the king has been possessed by an evil curse (constitutional monarchy?) and his kingdom is run primarily by an evil adviser (a Prime Minister?). In the second, a line of stewards runs the kingdom, the last of whom loses his mind in an orgy of self-destruction. The curse possessing the king of Rohan is sent by Saruman, a servant of Sauron. This curse leaves him weak, suggestible and ineffectual- effectively a figurehead- and allows one of his servants to run the kingdom. This servant runs the kingdom into the ground, thus demonstrating the movies' belief that authority exercised by anyone but the 'right' leader is destructive (the Fuhrer principle?). In Gondor, I maintain that the line of stewards represents what the fascists believed about democracy. The stewards supposedly are not kings, but they function effectively as kings. Their power is handed down, generation after generation and despite any pretenses about not sitting on the throne of Gondor, they rule absolutely. Fascists believed that democracies were run by the wealthy, who handed down their wealth to generation after generation and that despite any pretenses to constitutionality, they rule absolutely and entirely in their own interests. Furthermore, democracies were thought to be spineless, as the Steward of Gondor shows himself to be. In both places, the 'right' leader assumes control and suddenly things are better.

To oppose the white men of the West we have the variegated hordes of Sauron, who gains his power from material things (the industrial capacity of the orcs and ultimately a ring). The West is a simple, agrarian place where people live traditional lives in traditional roles (a very fascist ideal). Mordor is dynamic, ever-changing and industrial. Mordor itself likely represents the Soviet Union (the black gates forbidding unpermitted entrance or egress, the rapid industrialization, the brutality, the absolute ruler who has a name starting with an S and ending with an N) but Mordor does not fight alone. Men of many races join Mordor, just as Westerners of many races joined the USSR in its fight against the Nazis, who saw themselves as the true heirs of the Western tradition, freed from all the detritus of spineless democracy and returned to the purity of Charlemange, Bismark, et al.

What about that ring? I think it represents the power of material things to drain the courage of men. Without it, the weaponry of the forces of Sauron are as nought against the courage and daring of the men of the West and when it is finally destroyed, when material things can no longer ensnare the spirits of men, the power of Sauron is gone.

In conclusion, let me say that I do realize that this is a rather different interpretation from the more usual monarchist view of this story, but I think it has some merit and is most importantly more amusing to consider. The Eye of Sauron is the light of freedom and progress!

And here's the link to the author-
http://www.livejournal.com/community/debate/2876030.html

[ 10 January 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]

[ 10 January 2004: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Erstwhile
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4845

posted 14 January 2004 05:18 PM      Profile for Erstwhile     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Coming soon from the same author: How to Suck the Fun out of Everything in Ten Easy Steps.

E.


From: Deepest Darkest Saskabush | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged

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