I reserve the right to be wrong.
Tonight watching a silly but very entertaining action movie put me in a blogging mood.
So the movie Fast Five is set in Rio de Janeiro, and sets its plot against the backdrop of Brazilian economic inequality. Interestingly the villain is a rather wicked kingpin who is said to own the city, but not by naked cruelty or viciousness. His empire is one of carrots and sticks.
In one scene early on in the film this villain, Reyes, is talking to a couple of potential business partners in a plushly appointed office, and he contrasts the Spaniards with the Portuguese in their respective colonisation policies towards the area that is now Brazil.
The Spaniards charged in, killing everywhere they went, and in turn were slaughtered by the more numerous locals. The Portuguese, on the other hand, gave the natives gifts, which then turned into a form of bondage, by making the natives rely on them.
This Reyes treats the slum-dwellers in much the same way, by funding schoolrooms, water pipes, and power for the favelas. This reminds me of certain institutions in the real world. But who could I be talking about?
We don't choose where we're born, so we don't choose which society to be born into, and what kind of rulers we end up with. By and large there's only so much room in society for us humans to act, whether to produce, sell, give, whatever! And in the civilian sector it is only voluntary production, selling and giving.
The state sector can do these three things as well, of course. The Soviet Union did a marvellous job of it, and Cuba, Laos and North Korea are doing a marvellous job of it now, having succeeded in reducing their civil societies to husks in the face of massive state co-option.
This only serves to illustrate the moral bankruptcy of any unaccountable, irreplaceable mafia. Well, guess what, Fast Five showed me an irreplaceable regime get replaced.
This movie's twin themes are family and freedom. Seems pretty legit to me. The band of fiendish robbers are doing their dastardly deed with the express intent of undoing the unaccountable tyrant Reyes and destroying his hold over the people of the favelas. It's a bit of a vendetta against this evil gangster too, and admittedly the end kinda jumps over the impact his defeat will have on those who were subservient to him.
In any case, the imprisonment of being made reliant on an outsider who does not know or care about you is a gut feeling we all know, whatever our political bias. Our struggle continues, whether it be the struggle to be free, or merely the struggle to be heard, to be listened to, to simply be taken seriously!
For now, I reserve the right to be wrong, and watch as many shitty movies as I like, and infer whatever Libertarian mumbo-jumbo I want to from them!
On the next Ecomony Blogtime; ECON 3a, the economy as national system!