Shhh….Don’t tell Matt Damon, but something went sideways and he made a conservative manifesto in Elysium.
It’s pretty much a warning about what will happen to Earth if socialism wins.
Elysium takes place in the near future, after the entire earth suffers under the kind of economic meltdown threatening some of our great cities now. It’s dusty. It’s dirty. It’s unkept. No one has families or cars decent homes or fresh clothes or, apparently, showers. Jobs are dreary and dangerous and unsatisfying, if you can find them at all.
Basically, it’s Detroit.
Total economic meltdown. Here is a partial list of places where this sort of systematic economic failure has happened or looms: Detroit. California. Illinois. The Soviet Union. Cuba. Greece. Spain.
Not, say, Texas or Virginia.
In this fantasy dystopian future, as in socialist Greece, Spain, and Detroit, the wealthy do fine.
The ultimate white flight has taken place to a distant low-orbit suburb. Those with the means to do so have moved on up to a deluxe space-age apartment in the sky.
Wouldn’t you? If you could? After all, Elysium has trees, lakes, clean air, and effective hair care products.
I hear even Matt Damon doesn’t live in Compton.
So I’m assuming it was socialist policies that brought the earth to its dystopian future. The elite have done their damage and left. Fair, based on the historical evidence, right?
But wait..there’s more. The rich people of Elysium have something more: Magic.
It’s presented as science, but it’s really magic. They have medical beds which will fix any ailment. Leukemia? No problem. A face torn off by a grenade? Please. A persistent pimple? Step on up.
The sufferer lays down on a sort of futuristic tanning bed, and — abracadabra — it’s all fixed by a wave of the machine’s pseudo scientific wand. For free!
Naturally, Elysium-ites would kill rather than share these magic machines with the stinky riff-raff below them.
Because they’re mean.
Matt Damon is Max, an orphan of Earth whose poverty has not ruined his good looks. The Man, in the form of police droids, keeps keepin’ him down, but Max keeps on keepin’ on.
That is, until an industrial accident in his heartless factory sentences him to a nasty death. Dismissed without so much as a thank you, he hatches a plan to break into orbit and heal himself.
As you can imagine, his plan meets resistance by those who would rather lose a highly trained and reliable worker than give him a ride on the costless healing machine.
Because they’re mean.
And have no concept of economics.
This resistance leads to several gruesome battles to the death, lots of staggering about half-dead dripping blood, and an icky medical procedure that is not AMA approved. All this violence earns the film an R rating. It’s studded with profanity but devoid of sexuality. Apparently their lives are too dreary, desperate, and poverty-stricken to enjoy the pleasures of sex.
It features that strobe-light, screechy-sound, gritty, gory, intense violence that some love. If you like that style (I usually don’t), it’s well done. My husband loved it.
Let’s just say gun control is not an issue in this particular liberal world.
Damon, always a fine actor, does a decent job as wounded anti-hero Max but Jodie Foster is wasted as a one-dimensional power-hungry security honcho. In fact, this film suffers from a black and white one-dimensionality that leaves all the characters flat and unrelatable.
Director Neil Blomkamp, who also wrote the script, hails originally from South Africa. His fantastic 2009 film District 9 and Elysium are very much him working through issues related to South African oppression and apartheid. People trying to fit his movies into an American frame of reference will find it doesn’t exactly fit.
But as it’s the only frame of reference we have, we will try.
Here goes: The movie is subversively conservative.
You see, the teeming masses of Earth are desperate for one thing: to physically get to Elysium. They cannot think of any way to solve their problems other than physically inhabiting the glorious mansions with their magic medical tanning booths.
In fact, the only person with any enterprise in the entire movie, from Elysium or Earth, the only one who actually produces a something of value, presumably to sell, is a random woman with a cart full of pigs. She seems to be doing fine.
The rest of the populace sits around planning minor heists and gambling in the streets. They are victims, and only victims, never taking a step toward their own futures.
They stare at the great habitat in the sky in helpless longing. It is all they are capable of.
Once again, liberals secretly despise the people for whom they say they are fighting. Those people could never build a society worth living in. Those people can only be rescued through redistributing other people’s stuff. Those people are incapable of helping themselves.
And when they do – SPOILER – finally overrun Elysium, the watcher squirms, knowing that Elysium, which is roughly the size of New York City, cannot possibly contain all of the huddled masses of the entire earth. Its wealth will be distributed and then will be gone like a whiff of air.
Memo to Matt Damon, et al: The only way to lasting prosperity is to create production, not to take something. Because once you take what you take, it is gone and there is nothing to replace it.
It’s enough to make one run out and change voter registration. Or start a small business.
Thanks, Matt Damon, for the morality play showing us EXACTLY what we don’t want.
Update: Here’s how the movie actually pays tribute to George W. Bush. For realsies.
Want more? Follow me on Twitter.
This review (and a few films I have seen lately) do confirm that Americans are very strange. So many times I have seen dystopian scenarios including the absence of universal health care – yet the U.S. is the only wealthy country without one. But when the economy goes bad, they invariably blame “the left” and point to European countries, totally oblivious to the fact Europe’s problems are a direct result of American stupidity, ie their mismanagement of private financial institutions. Stunning, unfathomable, complete ignorance. And those are the people who are supposedly the leaders of the free world!
Direct result? Wow!
BTW, I was just in Europe and never heard that viewpoint, so I’m not sure you’re speaking for all Europeans, there, Frank.
Am I supposed to know what this means?
Good review. I love movies but if you are looking for real solutions to economic problems you would have more success watching a Milton Friedman lecture on You Tube.
A socialist future looks like an apocalyptic world? LOL. Right….That’s why all of Europe is in ruin, sure. Rebecca, you know nothing. You say you were just in Europe? Maybe Detroit. Your a sad, angry, hating right wing who cares nothing for humanity, only your pocket book. And this review proves you know nothing. People who blame the left for everything are the one’s of cause the most problems. please quit writing and join Ann Coulter.
I feel like I just drank a cup of Ayn Rand’s retarded baby’s vomit
I’ll get right on that.
So refreshed, then?
Spot on – a lucid review – This film is in fact hyper-conservative. It’s made to be looked at in two different ways – tilt the lens this way, and it seems to be liberal – tilt it that, and you can see it’s conservative.
Hilarious! Only those who can afford to live on Elysium live on Elysium in their protective cocoon ignoring the plight of billions below. And it’s supposed to be a conservative movie? It’s so obviously a commentary on the increasingly division between the wealthy and poor, it could only be more clear if Blomkamp wrote it with a Sharpie on every still throughout the film. Amazing how people see what they want to see tho. Truly amazing.
this article is garbage and I think totally did not understand where the reality of the american politics are, can this writer explain that if 90% republican action benefit the rich and are responsible for , higher cost of education in colleges, expensive medical care, banking system and the huge list continues, why in the world will you turn republican. The writer of this article as well as her crazy fellow Americans should just use their lovely gun and kill them self. Shameless at its best rBECCA CUsey
“They stare at the great habitat in the sky in helpless longing. It is all they are capable of.”
Because they’re all lazy leftists, right? It’s not because the resources and value has been systematically extracted from Earth and transferred to Elysium.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the movie explicitly give the absence of available resources as the reason for the Earth’s condition? The most enterprising workers in the world can’t generate something from nothing.
You seem to be stepping a bit outside the boundaries of your role as critic, Rebecca. It’s not your job to edit the plot to suit your views. Tell us why the movie’s not worth seeing or why you disagree with its political undertones, but please, leave it intact while you do it.
Right wing garbage. I had to comment when I saw this tripe on rotten tomatoes, who will be hearing from me and many others boycotting your inclusion with other mostly reputable FILM critics. Keep you political agenda to yourself and review a film, if you can. Blomkamp does comment on many social issues in his films (watch District 9, after polishing your guns & picketing planned parenthood centers), but your suggestions are typical of a conservative mind. Also Rebecca, I live in metro Detroit with 3+ million others who would much rather live here than in Texas or Virginia. So do something original instead of piling on a region that has had to overcome generations of mismanagement by civic leaders, and misguided residents, and is still thriving (see domestic auto industry). Your ideals, like your political affiliation are outdated. Stick to doing something your good at, because film criticism sure isn’t one of them. Have a nice weekend!
This is a really dumb review.
Here’s my explanation: “90% republican action benefit the rich and are responsible for , higher cost of education in colleges, expensive medical care, banking system and the huge list continues” <—-untrue
Your premise is wrong.
It gives pollution and overpopulation as the reasons. Which is total cockamamie.
There are clearly resources. People are alive, so there are resources.
But you raise a good point. The movie does not make sense within its own framework.
I didn’t realize censorship of those with whom you disagree was a liberal value. Ok then. Good luck with that.
just to add, personally I don’t think the conservative outlook
is pointing to the dangers of “socialism” specifically – I think it’s
more just generally conservative – pointing to the rise of the
“masses” as a prelude to utter chaos, whether the “masses”
rise within a socialist or capitalist system I think is besides the point
in this case (and of course the word; “rise” i use in a vague sense –
the film seems to refer mostly to an out-of-control population explosion); the film simply points to a distrust of the idea of the majority being able to control or regulate itself, so the core feeling here is essentially conservative (Oh, look at the Great Unwashed, andhow they shamble about like cattle), whilst another idea is also presented; “This isn’t fair”, which seems to be liberal. So, I totally agree -this film is conservative, and yet can also be seen as liberal – an ideological equivalent of an optical illusion.
Yeah, sorry. I’m not sure where you got the whole conservative take on this film. It had a very clear liberal “Citizenship and free healthcare for everyone!” message.
It’s pretty difficult to miss the parallels between illegal immigration. (Blomkamp essentially beat the audience over the head with that one.) and references to the society being socialist are nowhere to be found. It’s more crony capitalism, as the corporation is contracted, not owned, by the government. The real problem with the movie is it didn’t really spend any time on those themes in an intelligent manner. It started by bringing up the ideas, and then threw out any intelligent exploration of the themes in favor of (in my opinion) poorly edited action shots…
But regardless of your opinion of the movie as a film. I have no idea where you got the opinion that this had a conservative message.
Good points all, Kirk. Smart people like us know that the true soul of intellect is to boycott any ideas that do not exactly comport with our own. Brilliant! I also like how you slipped in the argument that it is important for Blomkamp to have a political viewpoint while arguing that the reviewer should not have one. I’m betting you’re some sort of professor.
Wait, what? Why can’t pollution and overpopulation be the reasons?
As a work of fiction, the movie operates on its own terms and its own premise. It isn’t obligated to trace a logical path between today’s world and the world it creates that fits your outlook; if the movie says that’s why the Earth is a garbage heap in 2154, then that’s the reason why.
If I write a story that’s intended as political allegory that tilts to the left then — I hate to break it to you — but, that’s what it is. If you don’t like my story, then that’s all well and good, but that doesn’t mean you’re empowered to declare it intended to be something that it isn’t.
Isn’t the Elysium model essentially a product of pure capitalism, though – a select few rich-get-richer and the poor get poorer, with those rich owning the means of production and capital?
It seems like a purely capitalist system is what would lead to a limited number of billionaires who have access to a vast amount of resources while the have-nots suffer?
I don’t think it *intended* to be conservative. I think it accidentally ended up that way.
Film critic or master troll? Let the evidence speak for itself.
But historically, capitalism leads to prosperity for all and socialism leads to depressed economics. Soviet Union vs US is a prime example.
The poorest Americans live better than people in, say, Vietnam.
So I think your premise is incorrect. But I very much appreciate your civil comment. Thank you.
I agree with your assessment of beating over the head and losing those threads in the action. Thanks for your civil comment.
I agree that is what is intended. The result is an effective argument for conservatism.
I’m amazed to what extreme an ignorant conservative would go to. You
clearly have no idea of what the problem is or how it can be solved. You claim production is the solution and like other jerks in the GOP say taxes are the problem. You even dare state Texas will never have any problems cause its misguided
liberalism. Let me share some knowledge. Conservatives say a lot of companies
move to Texas it’s because of the “lack of corporate taxes”. Thetruth is when they move to a city like Austin is not because of lack of”corporate taxes”. The reason is high education level and its liberal views. If they move to other cities in Texas is because of cheap labor costs, why do you think companies move to China? You are the dumbest critic I have ever read. Go work at FOX News.
Well, then I’m going to simply have to disagree with you there. To me that sounds like such utter nonsense.
Try and find anyone else online who looks at this movie and sees a conservative message being delivered. What you’ll find is plenty of people faulting Blomkamp for being too heavy-handed in his leftist-inspired plot devices — hell, I think he’s lacking in subtlety myself. But that it accidentally ends up a conservative story? Good God.
This review reads as an attempt to finesse the interpretation of the film in order to somehow “defeat” what the movie tries to do. And it’s really not a very convincing one.
I’m wealthy and it’s only because I’m fortunate. I’m successful because my parents subsidized the shit out of me for 26 years and bailed me out of a lot of situations that would have put most people in prison for a few years. I had more chances than most people get and I can’t pretend America is a meritocracy when everything I have and everything I am is the result of other people.
Ah, and the masque is finally drawn aside.
“[Arbitrary movie] is actually a conservative manifesto because [ginned up horseshit]!” chapter 239429320
Yes. I’ve been working as a critic for eight years, quietly building my career, just so I could troll y’all on this movie.
My secret plot is revealed.
Indeed. I often wonder if there’s a difference.
Let’s disagree. I’m down with that.
And I very much appreciate you reading and taking the time to thoughtfully comment.
Me too. We have something in common.
You don’t deserve to be censored, you deserve more attention. Heck, you should be one of the faces of the American right-wing. Blinkered, myopic ideologues like you are the reason the GOP has lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections and will keep on doing so. And I like that. The more the right-wing movement is defined by people such as yourself, the better.
But to the point of this review, you didn’t understand the movie at all. Or, more accurately, I think you did, but intentionally “misunderstood” it because it allowed you to write that nonsense up there. When all art is just politics, as it is to people such as yourself, there can be no understanding or appreciation of what is truly artistic.
In other words, you’re a tedious, uncultured boor.
I hope that’s clear enough. Have a good one!
You should crack a history book not written by Amity Schlaes or some other hackish McCarthy-apologist. “[C]apitalism leads to prosperity for all”? It leads to prosperity for many, not all. No economic system leads to prosperity for all, at least none that has been created yet. Capitalism — which is not what you think it is — is superior to the known alternatives, but the notion that it leads to “prosperity for all” is the sort of silliness spouted by simpletons.
Things are only so simple for robotic ideologues. Reading Ayn Rand doesn’t make you an economics expert. She wasn’t an economist, she was a degenerate cult leader and hack writer who wrote silly speeches instead of stories [sort like your speech-instead-of-a-review above].
Oh this is hilarious. I hope the Onion picks this piece up. I commend your satire ability Ms. Cusey.
And the poor in some Socialist countries, e.g., England, definitely live better than the poor in the US.
hmmm… not conceding that. I’d say the standard of living is pretty comparable.
Thanks for clearing that up!
Frank, I traveled to the UK about 3 years ago (I actually travel there frequently to visit family) and was hearing this same complaint back then. We in the US have no idea how inextricably linked the US financial machine is to the rest of the world. Blissful ignorance, I guess. You make an excellent point.
Apparently, NOT reading Ayn Rand doesn’t make you an economics expert either.
Yes it’s all America’s fault because America makes the laws about labor, taxes, high petrol costs, tariffs, pensions, and so on.
You lost me. Because to me it seems the opposite of wanting to register as a Republican. But maybe it will cause more people to click the link wondering…
Pretty sure you’re not speaking the language of every country you visit in Europe so y’know, just handwave it all away as nonsense.
Thanks for asking. I had a lovely, long trip to one country, Italy, where my children and I stayed with dear Italian friends and dined with many other dear friends. We had long conversations over wine that were more open and honest than anything I’m seeing here.
So I’m confident I understood them. If I didn’t, I made sure I did. Because that’s what you do with people you respect.
It was delightful.
I don’t think this movie will inspire anyone to register as a Republican. I think Republicans who see this movie through already-Republican eyes, as you did, will feel justified in their political POV…as you did. But the myopia has to be there first in order for the message to resonate.
Not saying it’s all America’s fault. Just saying that our financial recession affected the world economy.
So you’re basing your opinions based on a “lovely, long trip” to Italy to visit “dear Italian friends”? If so, then you’re discounting opposing opinions just as easily as others are discounting yours.
Oh. Undoubtedly. We’re all linked.
Why are those words in scare quotes?
I honestly don’t get what you’re saying here. Some of the things my friends said I did not agree with or were surprising to me. But nowhere did I hear “Blame America for everything.” Because that would be silly and my friends are very honest and well-thought people who understand and discuss complexity.
What a massive oversimplification – a reduction of the world’s economics to a posit a (non-existent) situation where every economy of the globe is EITHER capitalism OR socialism. In reality, they’re usually neither. There’s no such thing as pure, un-tethered capitalism working within any market on the planet. Here in the United States, there is a tightly regulated market, which arguably has allowed more people to attain a higher standard of living – instead of allowing monopolies. Still we have a demonstrably growing gap between the rich and the poor here, which Elysium ably portrays. We have CEOs whose income has increased at an astronomical rate compared to their employees, but who don’t do 200 times the work. We have entire companies which pay less in the taxes than their poorest employees. Etc, etc, etc.
Then we misunderstand each other. I do not advocate blaming America for everything. I was simply agreeing (somewhat) with Frank’s assessment it was a widely held belief abroad (and according to my research, a belief rooted in truth) that the US’s subprime mortgage debacle (which is what I understand Frank to be referring to) helped tank the world economy. In my travels to the UK, it’s a matter that is discussed at length with my friends and family and has been for years now.
I was wondering if your inclination not to believe that the poor in the UK are better off than many of the poor in America, and your disagreement that the US contributed to the failing world economy was based on your trip to Italy and conversations with your friends. Because that seems a small sphere of information from which to draw.
And I used your words, verbatim, in my response to you, and since they’re your words not mine, I used quotes — that’s all.
I detect sarcasm in your brevity. Am I reading into your response?
Not at all. You detect “I have to do a full day’s work before leaving early for a wedding.”
Which will also be the correct interpretation of my silence this afternoon.
Wow! What a self-important jackass you are. Why don’t you just solve all the world’s problems, then, while you still know everything. As opposed to, say, being an internet troll and extolling the unproven virtues of liberalism. Where is this liberal utopia you seem to think exists, where everyone is equal and there are no poor or sick? I suppose you live in Cuba, Venezuela or some other communist utopia, because surely you don’t benefit from capitalism while you espouse your hatred of such. Hypocrite much?
It’s kinda like you’re arguing with someone else’s post, as you posit things I never said (Cuba, Venezuela, as utopias) and don’t respond to any of may actual thoughts. Given that it’s often the nature of the extreme right to go chasing after bogie men of their own invention (or hallucination) – and given your name (Abort Democrats? Wow.) – I shouldn’t be surprised at your lack of coherency.
The person who wrote this seems to have a severely outdated and myopic understanding of the terms ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’, not only from a historical perspective, but also from within the practical agendas, pursued policies, and end results of the actions of those within the major American parties claiming to embody said ideologies. The writer doesn’t betray even a whisper of understanding the difference between polemics and practice, rhetoric and results within her bland revisionism of the terms ‘liberalism’ and ‘conservatism’, instead replacing these terms with some primitive Mad Libs version she must have picked up aping talking points as regurgitated to her about isolated topics of interest instead of actually thinking things through. If the writer understood the politics she unnecessarily but obsessively injected into her review, if she took time to take a cursory perusal of the words vs actions of the politicians of different stripes, if she stopped for even a moment from her infantile political fever dream, maybe, just maybe, she’d suddenly become cognizant of the extreme disconnect between what actually happens when liberal and conservative policies are put into action and what the original rhetoric promised to deliver; and if she were to become aware of how moronic her review of this movie was based on that sudden discovery, she might come to grips with how applying a Spark Notes comprehension of complex ideologies to an escapist sci-fi entertainment about a dystopian world where the haves and have-nots are divided written and directed by a foreigner who couldn’t care less about the inane “Us vs Them” sports team oriented contentions within the American political spectrum, well, that might be more than a little naive.
The Nordic countries seem to be doing pretty well. Lower unemployment, universal healthcare, longer life expectancy and lower infant mortality and the rich are still rich. They’re only “socialist” by American standards.
What’s interesting is that UHC is actually more tax efficient. Government spending on healthcare in the United States is the second highest in the world. This is hard to believe considering a large chunk of our population insures themselves but it’s true. This is because there are no price controls on healthcare in the United States.
England is not a socialist country. By those standards America was a socialist country in the 1970s.
…So, it looks like SOMEBODY doesn’t actually understand socialism.
That’s EXACTLY my point though, you went to a single country where you don’t speak the language and spoke to a small amount of people. You didn’t visit the numerous other countries in Europe where we speak a variety of other languages and you didn’t get into conversations with those people about how the financial system over here has been affected by what went on over in the US.
So just like you were accusing Frank of speaking for all Europeans you’re suggesting that your limited interactions with a tiny subsection of Europeans is the norm.
NO you live in a fantasy, which will turn into a nightmare if you where in control.
DO REAL RESEACH AND YOU WILL FIND THE LIST TO BE ENDLESS and remember democrate themself are soft conservative and no where near Liberal.
You caught me. I’m not a European polling firm. Nor do I have a PhD in European thought.
Good thing I never claimed either of those things.
The subprime mortgage meltdown was terrible and did have a massive effect. (And are a result of government interference in the private sector as well as of greed on a massive scale.) However, European economies are strong or not in their own right (Germany seems to have weathered it just fine) for reasons that are internal and not external.
Good advice. I will DO REAL RESEARCH AND FIND THIS ENDLESS LIST!!!!!!!
Sounds like your parents are very longsuffering.
Also sounds like maybe you’re growing up and fixing to pay it back by becoming a contributing member of society. Having a debt you owe isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can make one a better person.
Wow. The book is that long?
Where can I find this book? Sounds tailor made for me!
And I commend your taste in avatars.
One can only hope.
Myopia works both ways.
The person who wrote this has a hard time focusing enough to read through the entire comment.
But the person who wrote this does agree that the movie is more informed by South African history than American politics. As noted in the person who wrote this’s review.
However, as the left is and will interpret it according to American politics (especially UHC and immigration), the person who wrote this decided to do the same.
I love that “go work at FOX News” is the ultimate insult.
I really appreciate that you commented and stated your opinion without suggesting I shoot myself. Seriously.
Succinct and not overly reactionary. Well done.
Wait…”Tax efficient” is a thing?
Sounds like an oxymoron to me.
Really? , You do know that if you are poor in Britain and living pay check by pay check, you do not have to worry about a medical bill ruining your family life because hospitals are free. You do not have to worry about bank using your money for open market gambling because they are highly regulated and indeed serve the people. Even if you are born very very poor, you will have a full chance in education, even through community college and chance that your child could have a much better future from almost nothing with just hard work, something not possible because of bad reputation of community college in US and over hiked college free structure . Did you just wake up ad wrote this article with out having literally no knowledge at all.
Hospitals are never “free.” Never, ever, ever, ever, ever.
Hospitals are paid for out of that meager paycheck. If the hypothetical person weren’t paying for a bloated, inefficient medical system out of his scrawny paycheck, maybe he could stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Unlike in the movie, real medical care isn’t magic and isn’t free.
I TOTALLY agree with you about the college fee structure, though. Community college is a good deal. Four year university is a bubble that is bursting. Bad investment.
See? Common ground!
I found the review formulaic and some
words seem to have been placed incorrectly, in this piece. Conservative should
have read Social Democratic, Socialist and Socialism should have read
Neo-liberal and Neo-liberalism and the word liberals should have read
conservatives…hmm was this a Harry Tuttle type error in the Orwellian machine
that printed it out?
This movie was in NO-WAY conservative.
Either your article is satire, or you are not aware of the conservative agenda.
The world and Elysium are more like what the world WILL be like with capitalism run-amok, where one rich guy owns a paradise in the sky, decides the laws, and controls not only the government, but the police force,
“In fact, the only person with any enterprise in the entire movie, from Elysium or
Earth, the only one who actually produces a something of value, presumably to
sell, is a random woman with a cart full of pigs.”
Actually you are missing a huge example of ingenuity and resource by the earth people – Spider’s tech expertise and smuggling operation.
He was creating something of value and his tech was good enough
The larger point I would like to make, though, is that I don’t agree with your premise that the movie will (inadvertendly, against the wishes of the film’s creators) make some viewers see conservatism and capitalism as the salvation or answer etc to society’s woes.
Rather I think the movie plays very well to the common understanding of
conservative/Republicans’ political motivations, stated or otherwise.
Because of the election Republicans now agree there needs to be immigration
reform but it is not hard to imagine that they would prefer to stick to their
old “build a wall/self-deport them” mentality.
A major objection to Obamacare has been that people are afraid that THEIR
healthcare will be disrupted. Never mind that our current model is
unsustainable and will continue to drive health costs to unsustainable
heights. Also I suspect there is – as the movie portrayed – a sense of the”I don’t want to sit next to the unwashed masses in a doctor’s waiting room” mentality among Obamacare haters. I read that the new IRS commissioner has said he doesn’t want to lose his government funded health care, for example. Which is fine, and understandable – who wouldn’t want to be on the federal government’s plan — but would he be willing to share that system with, say, me. I am a freelancer and buy my insurance on the open market. I would love to be able to buy from the federal system. Heck I would even pay full price for it. Yet when that suggestion was floated in 2008 Republicans went into hysterics.
The freedom/liberty flag.
The Jodi Foster character waived “we need to commit
these human rights violations in the name of our freedom, liberty” flag.
Now here I am going to give you that Obama is continuing many of the same
policies that Bush started—and he waived the freedom flag to sneak these
initiatives by Congress and by a then terror stricken nation. But let’s face
it, Bush was the one to first play that particular card and for the moment
people associate it mainly with him and Republicans. That may change if Obama
doesn’t get off his duff about Gitmo and the recent NSA revelations.
The only nod to religion was the nun who was doing what the people of Elysium refused to do – take care of orphaned children — which any decent society would do. For decades Republicans have successfully claimed the cross, wrapped themselves up in the alter cloth and proclaimed themselves the keeper of all things moral and true and good. That is changing.
PS – I really like your polite style of answering critics. I say that sincerely; there
is way too much verbal abuse on the Internet.
I’m sure you did the best you could with the review. Bless your little pea pickin’ heart.
Economically, Nixon was a socialist.
I’m sure your community college degree makes you far better qualified than any statistician with a Ph.D. to measure and discern public opinion.
Milton Friedman was a dangerous fraud.
No, but I’m sure you can gin-up an interpretation and defend it.
No she’s just that stupid.
Wait, wait, wait, you admit that this movie is pretty much about Apartheid because that is what all the prior works of the writer are about – Apartheid in a sci-fi setting – and then try and make the jump that this is a condemnation of socialism?
I found your comment, amusing.
Do cogent arguments for liberalism really exist?
Loved the article, Rebecca, and your replies to comments even more. Well done indeed.
Rebecca Cusey what are you on about the privacy sector has made people rich? you see you got it all wrong. it is the technological inventions/science that made things “balance out” the way concerning class and inequalities etc. the hierarchy has always been there and is right now, in all of our ways of society, with or without politics in the way. In a privately owned corp. like Apple or in a communist camp. Its all the same. One person using ways to control the other one with any means necessary/possible. With religion/race, politics and now economics with monetary means. And so in other words, it has been since the day people stopped believing that God/King would save us all and went for the other illusion “money”. This movie represents how things can go theoretically if we do not change our ways. 1-3% getting even more power, and the rest of us nothing. I haven’t seen the film, but I am basing it on the trailer left me with a bitter sweet taste in my mouth. I would really like to know what you where thinking? I think I already do know, but please enlighten me. (One example) Think of a whore house. The pimp giving orders and so on. The whores makes it happen, then the whores comes back and gives the “earned money” to the pimp, and the pimp in turn gives the whores their share of the earnings. That means that the people that work as whores can buy food, so that they can survive. In what scenario do you find that fair? Thats right, its only fair, as long everyone agrees it is okay, but let me ask you this, is it? Where do we as the people draw the line? When do we stop supporting this bullshit, and how is it that people don’t think it is, bullshit? Every step in our evolution has its flaws, thats we learn from our mistakes. Food for thought. /Michael
Wow! Did you miss the point.
Clearly this movie depicts in marvellous detail what happens when everyone in society pitches in to lift everyone up (as opposed to, say, the haves lifting themselves over the have nots and using them menial labour).
I probably cant be more opposite your views idiologically being a swedish socialist, but i really loved your review. Very fun writing and precise in pointing out the obvious idiocies in the movie.
Also really fun retorts to many comments.
I don’t see where you think Frank is ‘speaking for all Europeans’ in his post. BTW, that your Italian friends weren’t spouting off about how the US is responsible for much of the global financial collapse isn’t exactly a rebuttal now, is it?
You’ll actually find that most Europeans are more than aware of the utter mess that was created by your bloated financial institutions betting trillions on poor and low-income families being able to keep up their mortgage payments. Don’t forget the bit where one of the biggest actually internally bet against the market whilst promoting it!
Dystopian-future stories are invariably representative of the ‘human condition’ irrespective of the flavour of dysfunctional politic it is meant to have been caused by.
Socialism is a great system that could never work. Capitalism is the worst system that does work. A blend of both is needed and the US healthcare system should be the first in line for reform. Non-profit all the way.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, so can’t comment on much of this review. But I do know that the Catholic Church has always warned against both unbridled free market capitalism and socialism. They see them both as two ends of the same bell curve, each with major drawbacks. My husband saw the movie. I asked if it made him feel like ‘registering Republican’…. he said it gave him the opposite impression. Not that we’d register Democrat anytime soon. I tell people ‘we’re Catholic, so neither party speaks for us.’ Six of one, half dozen of the other.
I thought it was an attempt to show a connection between Elysium and where Damon, James Cameron (http://www.celebrityhousepictures.com/james-cameron.php) and all of their Hollywood pals live and the regular socialist drones of the rest of LA.
You get points for humor and originality. Maybe you should have a column here!
Ok. Let’s break this down. The tax dollar comes from where? Where does that dollar come from?
The government does not produce wealth. It only takes it.
The money comes from your hypothetical man’s paycheck. That’s where it comes from. The same man struggling paycheck to paycheck is having money taken out of each paycheck to support the medical system. Which means, in general, this struggling man is paying to support people sicker than him and whose life decisions have left them ill. He’s paying for lifetime smokers’ treatment, for drug addicts’ treatment, for obese people’s treatment, for alcoholics’ new livers. Because that’s what is expensive in the system.
So, when you look at what he’s paying over time out of his paycheck, his medical bill is not at all cheap. Not at all.
If your man worked hard and, say, grew watermelons (it could be producing any product, but let’s say watermelons), he produced something that is was not existent in the world before. He created something. Then he sold them and his work created wealth. Wealth that did not exist before.
Then the government comes along and takes it to pay for some smoker’s treatment?
That’s just not fair.
You make some excellent points. Thank you for taking the time to comment.
I agree absolutely on your assessment of the banking meltdown. Much of it was caused by greed and shady practices on the part of the banks. And some of it was caused by government programs that either forced the banks to make bad loans or removed the incentive for them not to do so. (Which pretty much amounts to the same thing). This is reflected in many scholars’ study of the meltdown, but antidotally, I have a family member who was president of a small bank for a while, and who said they were not allowed by law to turn down loans that were clearly not going to be paid back.
So there was a misguided effort to put people in homes who were bad risks in terms of loans. The desire to extend home ownership to poor and minority people was a good desire. The methods left the banks at risk. That’s basically a socialist desire, btw, to give something to someone who hasn’t earned it.
I am not for unbridled capitalism. Businesses will always act in their own best interest, which much of the time is the same interest as society, but there are plenty of cases where it isn’t. For instance, any corporation would love to just pull up to the nearest river and dump its toxic waste. That would be cheapest and best for the company. But we can’t allow that. So laws must protect the greater good and I think we’re all ok with that.
What I’m not ok with is taking money from people who have earned it and giving it to those who haven’t, whether that money is in the form of cash or health care or risky loans.
Catholic teaching is rich and deep, and as a protestant I am deeply grateful for all I’ve learned from our papist brothers, but in general I find American Catholicism usually too friendly with the socialist side of things for my taste.
Good idea! I think it means
Follow Bush and move to the right.
Wait. Wait. Wait.
Who in the movie (besides the lady with the pigs) pitched in on anything? Who did anything to lift anyone up? All they did was take.
Sometimes the taking may be justified. Within the philosophical world of this silly film, I think armed rebellion was justified.
But nobody “pitched in” or lifted up. That’s a different thing.
Wow! I don’t think so.
Thanks very much, Brian. Too much fun. And it keeps me off the streets.
Thanks very much Fal. And thanks for taking time to read and comment. Unlike the people who suggested I be censored and/or shoot myself, I enjoy very much hearing from people who disagree with me.
Adds spice to life.
Please come back again.
Why can’t it be both?
But, yes, it works much better in an Apartheid context than in an American one. Still, it’s an American star and being talked about in America, so we might as well examine it that way.
Great review. Agree with all. Read the comments. Pig lady an anomaly of the first order. She was also just about the only one with a lovely, spontaneous, selfless smile. Well, except for the heroine.
Do you always spend this much time engaging with your readers?
Oh, one disagreement: the poorest people in America live pretty much like the poorest people anywhere else. Homeless, exposed to the elements, scavenging for food, friends of garbage, reduced to begging. America is prettier than the ghettos built on garbage dumps, but that’s about all, no?
Thank you very much Erika. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
On your first point, I agree that Spider was very enterprising, but he still wasn’t creating anything new or creating any wealth. All of his enterprise was built on the concept of taking what Elysium had instead of making his own world better in its own right. If he’d used that same energy to build a business (which the film implies is impossible but in real life is not), he would have created a better life for himself and his employees and families.
On Immigration: I’m pretty pro-immigration, actually, and dislike the direction the party is taking on it. If you remember, Bush was ready to address immigration and I liked his realistic take on it. But 9/11 happened and that was that. I actually think the system needs to be reformed in a realistic way, allowing people into the country and securing the border. Making laws that make sense and that can actually be followed considering the financial incentives we have is better for everyone, employer and employee. Plus, I hate that immigrants are victimized by evil coyotes. We need to stop that too.
On Universal Health Care: I just spent a day at the DMV. I don’t want to go there when I’m sick. The system is pretty screwed up but I think the answer is more privatization, not less.
Unfortunately, I was subjected to a four year degree which taught me: Women are better than men. White men are the evil bane of the world. Black lesbian handicapped poets are the best poets. America is the bane of the world….because white men. And drink a LOT!
I WISH I’d gone to community college where they would teach me how to actually do something. I had to learn that part on my own.
Thanks Susan. She did have a nice smile.
I try to keep up with my readers. Sometimes I can’t, but I try. They’re fun and engaging and interesting.
I don’t think in America poverty = homelessness. Homelessness is a different issue generally. Usually related to drug abuse and/or mental illness. It is tragic and horrible and awful. And, sadly, I don’t think that anybody knows how to deal with it in a way that helps those people and gets them off the streets. Rather, there are many, many successful examples of ministries (usually Christian, to be honest) and programs getting people off the streets, but we don’t see those do we? Because they’re off the streets. We just see the ones that all the caring and money and assistance have failed to help. If it were merely a matter of caring, time, and money, there wouldn’t be a single person on the street in America.
Poverty, really, is innercity and extremely rural. It has a roof over its head but not a very nice roof. It has running water and electricity. Often electronics. Clothes to wear. Food to eat. Better by far than the desperate poverty in a third world slum.
Yeah. I don’t see it that way, although that’s a vibrant analogy.
A man or woman earns enough money to buy, say, a mechanic shop. He earns this money working as a mechanic, saves it, and eventually buys the building, the lifts, the tools, the supplies.
These things belong to him because he earned them.
If he hires someone to help him in the shop, he gives that person a fair chance to earn enough to buy his own shop someday, a chance to provide for that person’s family and make money.
Together, the owner and worker provide a valuable service to the community. Together they make a profit.
But the owner has invested more and owns more. He pays the worker an agreed upon price, based on supply and demand of that type of labor in the workforce, but does not owe the worker more than that.
He is not a pimp and the worker is not a hooker. They both have dignity and value. But they are not equal in risk, in investment, or in profit.
Same thing can be extrapolated into large factories, large companies, etc.
Devastating. Just devastating wit there.
I think people would like to believe that homelessness is due to mental illness and drugs/alcohol. Certainly that’s true, but there is a whole other group that were a paycheck and a family away from homelessness. Those are the ones we don’t want to see. The ones we would be willing to take in. The “there but for the Grace of God go I” types. We can compromise and call them the temporarily homeless. Otherwise, again, agree with all. Thank you for your response.
I know, right? Not quite Archimedes indeed.
I had written a fairly sizable response to this but I quickly came to the realization that I was arguing about analogies. You can make anything into an analogy about anything if you look hard enough.
Let’s break down the movie a little, shall we? Elysium is set in a world that has a cheap, robot labour workforce that has apparently achieved artificial intelligence, but humans are still labouring in factories. There are instant-healing doctor beds that run much the same yet, despite the fact that we have public health in most countries in our world, there is still apparently such a thing as a medical problem.
Why is Earth in the setting not a utopian setting? Why do humans need to work at all when there is a more-or-less inexhaustible supply of robot labour and easy medical care?
Perhaps it’s copyright law? Could the villains in this movie be corporate greed, whereby those with the power to change things refuse to do so because it allows them power and exclusivity?
Or perhaps the villain is colonialism, whereby one group or country have realized that their lifestyles will diminish ever so slightly if they allow other countries to have control over the resources within their borders?
Or perhaps the villain is atheism, since people’s materialistic goals and lack of religion drive them to become increasingly uncaring about their fellow human beings?
Let’s even say it’s religion; where ideology about an immutable Earth led to massive resource depletion, etc.
I could go on. You’re looking for a message in a movie you already know the message of (“Apartheid was bad”) that fits your political views and, if you look hard enough at anything, you’ll find a reflection of yourself in it.
Define “liberalism”. What is “liberal” has a different meaning by country, time period, and topic of discussion. Classically, anarchists, for example, are the ultimate liberal, decrying any sort of governance or authority, whereas a fascist state is the ultimate conservative, limiting all change and freedom.
You know nothing, John Snow.
Sorry…went to a different place there for a second.
I heart this comment so much I want to take it to dinner, get down on one knee, and ask it to marry me.
Let’s just define it as “Obama.” m’kay?
If your answer to the question of “What is liberalism?” is “People I don’t like”, you are pretty terrible at this whole politics thing.
Hold on a teeny tiny moment.
I don’t dislike Obama. I think he’s smart. I think he’s a good husband and dad, from what I can tell. I think he’s sincere in what he wants to do.
I think he would be fun to have a beer with and talk to.
And he has good taste in music.
But does that mean I think he is correct in his policies? Does that mean I think he is leading the country well and representing us well to the rest of the world?
No. No I do not.
As he is the leader of the “Democratic Party” which is the definer of what is “liberal” and what is not, I think defining “liberalism” as “what Obama is for” is not a bad ad hoc definition.
I’d define the Democratic Party and those within it as “Democrats”. Given how there is no central ethos, no defining philosophy, this is a pretty poor definition of “liberalism”, especially how they’re further right than the Liberal Party up here in Canada.
Funny, the guy who made the movie is a white South African (90% black) who fled to Canada ( 95% white) and everyone thinks its about CLASS not RACE…er, OK.
Clearly he doesn’t find Elysium bad, as long as its residents have majority status. As another commentator noted, in Sweden (or Canada for health care) are Socialist, and NOT dystopias, because of RACE. Hell, North Korea is better than Detroit in many ways. The movie is about a unwashed horde ruining the decent life the minority has created for itself, made by a man who fled that condition in South Africa and went to a very very white country. Sure, he wants to make money and not be crucified for thought crime, so he mixes up the racial identities, but this is very obviously a racial parable. He says as much in his interviews.
All the Liberals commenting on here are wholly mistaken because they think that America, with its heavy burden of Diversity, could ever function as a Socialist nation (see California: collapse of). Socialism requires high public trust and cohesion due to the danger of moral hazard/ free riders and government power, whereas the tribalism of Diversity results in hi levels of Public Corruption and encourages free riding. All the PC Conservatives on here are just as blind, because they think that Capitalism can cure anything. Hint: South Africa is NOT Socialist, and its just as bad as Detroit…but, they do have other things common besides their violent crime rate, STD rate, rates of political corruption, test scores, etc.
Yes, Socialism is less productive…so only mono-ethnic nations of the highly productive latitudes can afford it. Yes, Capitalism is highly productive, but chaotic, and can only work well in orderly societies, like say the Anglo-sphere that invented it. Neither system can work well in a low productivity, low order society.
And in a Mixed Society like South Africa or Elysium/ Earth, the redistribution that can come with majority political power falling in the wrong hands, means killing the pale goose that lays the golden egg, THAT is the subversive message of this movie. And everyone knows it, because everyone reading this, lib or conservative, lives in a segregated address- see this map http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/map_of_the_week/2013/08/segregation_in_america_every_neighborhood_in_the_u_s_mapped_along_racial.html
you are so stupid I feel embarrassed that I have to teach you basis 101 tax system of Britain or any other responsible country.
If you are a rich man, it always through some interaction from demand and supply in the society, unless you got it from a lottery.
If you earn, lets say 1500 pound a month, you would be considered poor here. The amount of tax return you would do annually would be zero. But obviously he still pay taxes in from of the goods he purchase to buy food so that is like 8-12% depending on what he eats, then electricity, petrol and so on . So in turn 30% of his salary is still going in taxes, one way or the other. But all the money I generate is coming from the money that is printed by the government and circulated in the market.
But now lets look at the other side, if I am earning 150000 pound, I would be taxed near to 45%. But is that fair, I have earned that money from the system?
hmmm, lets see if i earn 150000 pound, what I would spend on personal need. If I would to spend on basic petrol, electricity and all other convinces I would spend less then 1.5% of my salary, so less then 1.5% of money would be circulated back into the economy or rest would be spent on other then basics.
That would mean, if I employ a worker today, who I would pay 20000 pound would be, raised by a much heavy burden of the poor, who would eat less to educate or provide for his family, where I would be keeping a huge chunk to my self. But it still does not sound wrong.
But it is wrong in the sense, that would keep us away from the goal, which every civil society is build upon. that is to come close to an Utopian society. which is where a country is at its peak and that is what separates us from the time when kings ruled over poor farmers.
now the 1% in space are the kings, while other are the poor farmers.
The reason government is made, is to provide for every one an equal chance, that is why every one can vote and any one can become the president.
It is not for one person to take 98% of the resourced and while he himself would have from the family who depended on the very bridge that he(republican ) are trying to break. It is not like liberal are asking from every one to earn equally. Hell no!, but to make a balance that would not shift one side as high as the sky and let the other one sunk in the dept of the hell.
Your example of paying of smoker was pathetic attempt to, maybe elute yourself away from the truth. Because you see a smoker being treated, but I see thousands upon thousands students, from every small house that earns 2000 pounds, send their children to good schools and colleges so that, they might have a better life. With that hope they try hard to improve the future generation. So what if a smoker or alcoholic is treated, is that soo bad. If so, then we should just shoot them with a gun, right?
Thank you for the comment. I appreciate the time you took to type it out.
My goal is not for everyone in society to have equality of outcomes. Everyone to have the same house and the same car and the same vacations.
Because that is impossible. And, when you come down to it, not fair.
My goal is for everyone to have an equal chance and to get to keep the things they earn.
If I work hard, I should be able to succeed. If I succeed, I should enjoy the benefits of that.
That is what keeps societies going and, in fact, what raises everyone’s standards of living. People working to build something for themselves and for their families.
If a person chooses to ruin their health by smoking or doing crack for 20 years, I should not have to bail them out of their bad choices.
That is not fair.
Of course they should not be shot. They should be responsible for their choices.
And even in America as it is now, they will get medical care.
But I should not have to pay for it out of my kids’ college funds. (To spell that out….I, who do not smoke nor do crack and work hard, should not have taxes taken out of my paycheck, money that I would invest in my kids’ college fund, to pay for their treatment.)
If I choose to donate to charity, that is my choice. If I have money forcibly taken to be given to others (which is what taxes are), that is inherently wrong.
And calling me stupid is just plain mean.
you are a troll, and greedy because 55% of your sucess if not benefit, you want 100%
an no you are not working towards giving every body the same chance.
Dont lie to your self
republican state that the largest, inequality and the lest chance of you being successful if you are from a lower economy.
This is my last msg because you are a troll or incredibly dumb. I mean really incredibly dumb and ignorant, which is a trade mark for stupid Americans.
and yes we have to save the smoker too, because he is also paying into the system through his taxes, for the love of god, there is no college fund in Britain that I have to save for, IT IS FREE.
R u this retarded, I so am controlling to call you B—– word , but real bitches might be offended.
And whose policies – the Left’s or the Right’s – were more to blame for the “US’s subprime mortgage debacle?”
The Left’s. By a wide margin.
Also regarding Frank’s comment, do more foreigners go to the UK or the US for life-saving medical treatment?
Who waits longer for ordinary medical procedures and appointments, Americans or those who live in countries with “universal health insurance?” (Note I did NOT use Frank’s term “universal health care,” because that’s NOT what you get in Canada or the UK. You get insurance, but you don’t get care.)
That’s the full extent of your argument? To make a statement, with no backup? Try harder next time.
Because “price controls” have worked so well wherever they’ve been tried, huh?
And how big are the Nordic countries’ defense and military budgets, and how free would they be today if not for AMERICA’S defense and military budget? It’s easy to be a spendthrift when the enormous cost of your freedom is effectively guaranteed and paid for by someone else.
As for their “lower” infant mortality, that canard has long since been debunked by the fact that America defines an “infant” at a much younger age than does nearly anyone else on earth, so what WE count as an “infant” dying prematurely THEY don’t count at all. It’s easy to have lower mortality rates when you use a different metric for your numerator.
“Right wing garbage. I had to comment when I saw this tripe on rotten
tomatoes, who will be hearing from me and many others boycotting your
inclusion with other mostly reputable FILM critics. Keep you political
agenda to yourself and review a film, if you can.”
Nice hypocrisy, Kirk. How ’bout YOU explain how the review is “Right wing garbage” instead of just stating that opinion and thinking you’ve actually made a coherent argument? If you can…
Also, it’s lovely that 3+ million Detroiters chose you as their spokesman. Musta missed that election. Tell me, how many of them WOULD leave Detroit IF they had the financial means to do so? Do you know the answer to THAT question? I suspect you should, since you know those 3+ million Detroiters well, so well in fact that you speak for them!
You are aware, aren’t you, that the population of Detroit has declined steadily for the past SIXTY years, including an astounding 26% drop from 2000 to 2010? Tell me you do know this.
Instead of stating opinions and thinking you’ve made an argument, how about you actually, y’know, MAKE an argument.
Also, do you understand nothing about the Electoral College, its purpose, campaign strategies to win the most Electoral votes, and the utter meaningless of the “popular vote” in that context? Or do you just repeat the mindless pabulum that the American corrupt “mainstream” media feed you?
Because if you could think for yourself you wouldn’t trot out the brainless “popular vote” argument.
No, what’s really dumb is that your juvenile, 3rd-grade-quality comment garnered 18 “Likes!” You 18 ought to be embarrassed.
How many healthy, prosperous, generous, free countries or societies can you point to where the rich DON’T own the means of production? Would you rather be a poor person in America or a poor person in Cuba/Venezuela/(former) Soviet Union? Do you have any idea how well, RELATIVELY SPEAKING, the poor have it in countries where the “rich” rather than the government own the means of production?
And when governments own the means of production, who do you think really owns them? Some nebulous notion of “government?” Or maybe the select few individuals, in government and with political power or political connections, who benefit most from those means? Y’know…the “rich.”
Why do Libs have such difficulty with rational, logical thinking, and with observing the world as it really is?
Capitalism leads to “prosperity for all” relative to Socialism. The point is, the poor under capitalism fare far better than the poor under Socialism. Do you deny that? Or are you only interested in parsing the literal rather than the substantive point of Ms. Cusey’s comment?
“…you do not have to worry about a medical bill ruining your family life because hospitals are free…”
No, you only have to worry about the NHS denying you medical care on financial grounds, because NOTHING in life is “free,” and having that denial kill you. Nothing like dying to ruin your family life.
Your comment about hospitals being “free” betrays your utter ignorance about economics. You must be a Liberal.
Reminds of the time Katie Couric asked a guest on her show (years ago), “would you agree to higher taxes in exchange for free health care?”
It apparently never dawned on that ditz that PAYING HIGHER TAXES by definition would mean the health care wouldn’t be “free!!”
So America is defined by your, and only your, experiences? Thus, it’s not a meritocracy because you, and only you, have what you don’t deserve?
If everything you have and everything you are is the result of other people, then do the honorable thing and give it all away and start from scratch, doing it all by yourself and owing no one.
Or, thank your parents for taking advantage of the meritocracy that America really IS, because it’s that meritocracy that enabled them to build the life that allowed them to bail out your still-sorry ass so many times.
Why don’t YOU explain it, then? Or can’t you?
And here we diverge!
I don’t dislike Obama, because I don’t know him well enough to like or dislike him.
I don’t think he’s smart; where’s the evidence of his intelligence? No grades or transcripts from Occidental, Columbia, or Harvard. If he got in on his smarts, what’s the evidence?
He thinks there’s an intercontinental railroad, an Austrian language, a corpse-man, a Cinco de Cuatro holiday, and three Gulf ports in Charleston, Jacksonville, and Savannah. He’s referred to 57 States and his “Muslim religion.”
These are utterances of a man who is not smart enough to know when words escaping his mouth are patently absurd.
He’s a man who, without the slightest knowledge of the incident, proclaimed that the Cambridge police acted stupidly, and asserted that if he’d had a son he’d look like Trayvon Martin, and just recently made a statement that was blatant Unlawful Command Influence regarding military sexual assault claims. He has said the wants to “fundamentally transform America.” Can you name anything that you love that you want to fundamentally transform? He can claim zero legislative accomplishments, either in the IL or the US Senate.
He is not a smart man, and I wouldn’t want to share a cab with him let alone have a beer with him. So yeah, maybe he’s a great father and husband. Big deal. There’s millions of us like that out here. (Then again, he took his kids to Reverend Wright’s church and exposed them, at impressionable ages, to Wright’s venom until it was politically expedient to throw Wright under the bus, so how good a dad is he, really?)
Yeah. You’ve totally convinced me. Well done.
I have to address the underlying message here. I do not believe in any way that pale skinned people are inherently better than dark skinned people.
I reject that unequivocally.
So, yes, mostly. I agree that there is A LOT to attack and dislike about his public record. A LOT. Almost everything.
He’s good on fatherhood policy. I thought he was very presidential after the Boston Bombings. But those are small things versus the list you make above, which I agree with for the most part.
So there’s plenty to discuss in his job that I don’t like. I don’t see any reason to move that into the personal sphere.
Can’t he be a nice guy who’s bad at his job? Like Carter?
Unlike, say Nixon or Clinton, who were tools who were good at their jobs.
I think both Ayn Rand and Karl Marx would feel vindicated by this movie because they would each make assumptions based on what it doesn’t show — how the people in the 1% make their money. Interestingly, the only people we see working on Elysium are government employees, plus the factory boss who commutes to Earth. We don’t see job creators and innovators among the wealthy, though they may be there. What we do see is a completely clampdown on any opportunity for upward mobility, which suggests a rather Pharonic economic structure. You’d think it would make economic sense to support education and innovation on Earth, to create a class of consumers and future job creators, who will certainly be needed as apparently people on Elysium are not aging but they are reproducing. So sustainable growth is going to have to be built into the system somehow, and the brief glimpses we get of a class of people who seem to consume but not produce does not provide any indication that they are working on that.
Jesus Christ dude, that really went over your head didn’t it?
? You must be confusing me with the writer of this article.
He can, but he’s not (a nice guy who’s just bad at his job). He’s not a nice guy. He’s petulant and hostile toward anyone who deigns to disagree with him. He’s re-defined thin-skinned. I haven’t seen any evidence that he’s a “nice guy.” But if it’s out there, I’m more than willing to adjust my opinion.
Regarding his “personal sphere,” I only go there when someone else already has. He’s forever being lauded as a “good father.” Ok, tell me: no matter what else good I do with and for my kids, if I TAKE THEM to x-rated movies, would I still be lauded as a “good father?” Probably not, and my doing that would be fair game for criticism.
He TOOK his kids to Wright’s despicable church and exposed them to his vile rantings for how many years? And only stopped doing so when it was politically expedient for HIM? He didn’t stop going when it would’ve been healthy for his kids to stop going. No, he kept dragging them there.
My “personal sphere” comments have nothing to do with his children, who are off-limits. But his raising of those children is fair game, when others try to laud him for his fatherhood. Well, going to Wright’s church is part of his “fatherhood.” I’m a bad father if I take my kids to x-rated movies for years. He’s a bad father for having subjected his kids to Wright’s crap for years.
Your slip is showing, Robert. The “wealthy” and the “poor” in America are more upwardly (and downwardly) mobile than perhaps anywhere on the planet. The notion that the wealthy are always wealthy, and that the poor are always poor, is a fiction that lives only in the economically-illiterate heads of Liberals.
Furthermore, the plight of the “poor” in America, and their opportunities to pull themselves out of that rank, are far better than the plight of the “poor” in countries where Liberal-favored Socialism has taken full root. As I’ve asked elsewhere, would you rather be poor in America or in Cuba?
Would you rather be dropped into America without a dime to your name and only your intelligence and work ethic to start with, or dropped into Cuba or North Korea or Venezuela without a dime and with only your brain and personal initiative?
Elysium is a metaphor for, is a microcosm of, the full realization of Liberal/Leftist/Prog governance.
See also: Detroit. They’re interchangeable. And Detroit has been governed by Libs/Leftists/Progs for a half-century.
The facts are there, folks. Reality is, well, real. It’s only you Libs who are incapable of acknowledging it, of seeing it, of changing your views to comport with the real world. I guess what someone once said is true: Liberalism is a mental disorder.
I am appalled that you watched this movie and formed a different opinion than I. I am also appalled that you do not view the world through a leftist lens. You are a racist and just a plain horrible person, no doubt. There can be no other explanation for your point of view, none whatsoever!
Wonderfully written article Rebecca, keep ’em coming!
Rebecca, thanks for the review. I loved the film, and you’ve given me even more to think about.
Seriously? You are a mind child and if you have to refrain from using the B word you are …a man child and pathetic and uncivilized. LoL and ouch.
Seriously i was following your argument until you degenerated into a middle schooler. There is a difference between giving everyone equal money regardless of what they do and giving everyone an equal chance to succeed. Even if there are problems with equal chances in America that doesn’t mean the problem isn’t trying to be solved.
Not many intelligent liberal arguments on this page… Most of the liberal arguments sound like me when i was 9 and angry/jealous of my Sister.
Paleness of skin or darkness of skin of course are trivial aspects of differing human groups. Some of the highest performing sub-groups of the Indian subcontinent are very dark skinned, though generally there the higher performing elites are lighter skinned than the general populace. And the qualification “inherently better” is exceedingly broad. So let’s narrow things down to have a better, more factual exchange.
Socialism, defined here as government ownership and/ or monopoly of economic sectors, all things being equal, tends to create less wealth over time then Capitalism. But another equally true generalization is that different peoples have very different degrees of success in creating modern, orderly, technological civilizations. So just as one has North and South Korea and East and West Germany illustrating socialism (Stalinist variant) vs. capitalism, one has North Korea or East Germany vs, say, any sub-Saharan African nation, or black Caribbean nation, illustrating the differing outcomes of people groups in aggregate.
One is free to form ones own opinions regarding what is better or worse between various nations and peoples. But, it is inescapable that if you want a nation that is at the higher end of the spectrum of economic productivity, or social order, you must look for a nation that is all or majority populated by the peoples originating in Europe or North-East Asia. If you want to find a nation at the bottom of the same spectrum, one must look for all or majority sub-Saharan black nations. The nations and peoples in neither of those categories fall intermediately between those poles. These are facts, not subject to opinion.
I submit those facts might logically be seen to influence the world view of the director who left a place where a white minority maintains a fragile grip on a first world like civilization amidst a very majority population who lives near the opposite pole, and who fled to another anglosphere nation whose main difference is neither legal regimen nor type of government, but population type. Or no, maybe he’s really thinking about West versus East Germany.
I concur with Robert and would like to point out that the writer of this article is not, as of press time, a dude.
Thanks so much, Rick. I intend to do just that.
Your “trick” to take the critical social commentary of “Elysium”, squeeze it through the tiny lense of your own conservative mindset and come up with a triumphant “Even my enemy’s propaganda shows I’m right!” is not as clever as you think.
Let’s take a look at your “arguments”:
“Total economic meltdown. Here is a partial list of places where this
sort of systematic economic failure has happened or looms: Detroit.
California. Illinois. The Soviet Union. Cuba. Greece. Spain.”
Only two of those regions/nations were/are state “socialist”… the rest are capitalist economies. I can’t fathom why you would describe the centre of the US computer industry or the heartland of Fordism as areas where “socialism has won”.
The main reason for the economic and social problems in those areas is the capitalist mode of production and its’ inherent contradictions, as is true for Spain and Greece. “Free Market” ideologues like you might come up with some ridiculous ideas about the responsibility of “socialist” state intervention and “blood sucking unions” for the calamities, but you fail to answer the question why those policies and labor organizing were implemented in the first place. The short answer is: Because the capitalist system you adore doesn’t care for people, but for profits.
“So I’m assuming it was socialist policies that brought the earth to
its dystopian future. The elite have done their damage and left. Fair,
based on the historical evidence, right?”
Actually, the elites of all those capitalist states and regions you mentioned above (and called socialist) are still very much in power. They are busy implementing “austerity” (=poverty for millions) to get the capitalist economy going again.
“Naturally, Elysium-ites would kill rather than share these magic machines with the stinky riff-raff below them. Because they’re mean.”
Well, take a look at the pharma- industry of today… do they share the medications they produce with people who can’t pay the prices they are asking? Do the agro- corporations send their harvests to the one billion (!!!) starving people of this planet to keep them alive? No? Are they just “mean”? Or are they capitalist douchebags who follow the imperatives of the profit- system instead of human need?
“As you can imagine, his plan meets resistance by those who would
rather lose a highly trained and reliable worker than give him a ride on
the costless healing machine.”
Why do you believe that the healing machine is “costless”? That’s just your assumption because you want to believe that the whole theme of the movie is illogical. Think about the technology necessary to heal people from every desease or wound in seconds. It’s not “magic”, but a technology that is “advanced enough [to be] indistinguishable from magic” (Arthur C. Clarke). It must work on a molecular or even atomic level, using nanotech, huge amounts of energy and unknown resources to build it. Such a “Med-Pod 3000” is sure to cost millions in construction and upkeep, because the producer (Armadyne?) is interested in making maximum profits in addition to production costs. It may be that they have a monopoly on the technology because it is their “intellectual property” .
“You see, the teeming masses of Earth are desperate for one thing: to
physically get to Elysium. They cannot think of any way to solve their
problems other than physically inhabiting the glorious mansions with
their magic medical tanning booths.[…] They stare at the great habitat in the sky in helpless longing. It is all they are capable of.”
And how could they do otherwise? What have they got to actually better their lives? Do they have education, credit, any other means of producion than their own manual labor power? It speaks of unbelievable ignorance or even cruel indifference to depict the poor of Elysium – and accordingly those of todays Earth – as effectively too stupid or “greedy” to get out of their situation. Had you been born in a slum in Lagos, Mumbay, Rio or Detroit, your chances of making it out of there would be slim to nonexisting.
“Once again, liberals secretly despise the people for whom they say they are fighting.”
The difference between those moralistic liberals and you? You despise the poor openly. You don’t even know enough about the living conditions of the poor and the economic realities of billions of human beings to understand that the whole conservative concept of “working their way out of poverty” is useless for the vast majority of them. Can everybody be a self- made man/woman? Who would do all the manual labor, who would actually produce the goods, who would enable capitalists to expropriate them of the worth of their labor (profits)? Just take a look at the structure of society even in western countries… how many of the working class can actually move up on the social ladder?
“And when they do – SPOILER – finally overrun Elysium, the watcher squirms, knowing that Elysium, which is roughly the size of New York City, cannot possibly contain all of the huddled masses of the entire earth. Its wealth will be distributed and then will be gone like a whiff of air.”
Now we see some honesty from you: You follow exactly the same mindset you just accused the liberals of having. After all, it’s impossible that the people controlling Elysium after the revolution (Spider and his rebels) will actually be “enterprizing”, organize humanity and use the technology at hand to make live better for everyone. Instead of following your own critique, you take a 180 degree turn and show us the ugly face of the malthusian Bourgeois who fears that there are once again “too many mouths to feed”.
“The only way to lasting prosperity is to create production, not to take something.”
Elysium was taken over and that includes all the production facilities needed to keep such a gargantuan station in top condition, propably including med- pod assembly lines, space craft dockyards and dozens of other production sites. I would also speculate that those controlling Elysium have power over the means of productions of the former owners, meaning everything on earth that was still working at the time. This is the start of an actual social revolution, including the expropriation of the expropriators… So, you were actually correct when you told your readers that socialist politics featured prominently in the movie… you just confused the timeline.
“Well, take a look at the pharma- industry of today… do they share the medications they produce with people who can’t pay the prices they are asking? Do the agro- corporations send their harvests to the one billion (!!!) starving people of this planet to keep them alive? No? Are they just “mean”?”
Why yes, yes they do.
Our foreign food aid is massive. MASSIVE. And the only time we withhold it is when thugs in the country use it for their own corrupt benefit and not for the people.
As for pharma: One word: PEPFAR.
And that’s not the only example.
I am actually astounded by the ignorance of your claims. And I’m not easily astounded.
Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.
Yeah, “massive” food aid… that’s why 1 billion people on this planet are starving….
You don’t get my point- I wasn’t talking about some band aid on a gaping chest wound to calm the liberal’s consciousness, I was talking about actually sending the harvest to all those who need it. The same goes for the pharma industry… you mention PEPFAR, but that was a government project, not something producers did because of human need. The same is true for US food aid. Where did I mention the US government? And why do you believe that all those nasty socialist policies are any good all of a sudden?
Well, at least I made you angry enough to delete my postings.
Honeychild, I didn’t delete anyone’s postings. I do that rarely and almost always because of excessive profanity or disgustingness, not opinion.
But this blog is moderated. If a comment doesn’t appear quickly, it’s generally because I’m off doing something and not moderating comments. In this case, I was making homemade pizza for my family on a Sunday evening.
Hmmm…where are those one billion people starving (which I’m not sure of your number, but I’ll go with it)????
China. North Korea. Certain African states.
Places that are a) Communist or b) totalitarian in some way
Where are they not starving and people flock to because there is opportunity for a better, non-starving life?
America. Western Europe. What’s common there? Oh, right… a history of freedom and fair economic practices. Capitalism.
Thank you for making my point for me.
Then, who sends, yes government aid, but also billions and billions and billions of private aid to the destitute? Once again, those capitalists. People big and small who are grateful for what they have and share it, voluntarily, with the world. Religious people who know that to share the blessings God has given them with others is a great joy.
Shall we talk about the charity medical clinics and hospitals dotting Africa and Asia? Shall we talk about doctors and nurses who sneak into places they’re not officially welcome like taliban parts of Afghanistan and North Korea to deliver care and medication? Shall we talk about organizations whose sole mission is to deliver food and aid to the suffering, with budgets in the millions and hundred millions? Shall we put a number on charity given to the world?
Let me fill you in: it’s ginormous.
What you are describing is happening.
It is happening because capitalism creates wealth that then can be and is shared. That does not happen with socialism/communism.
Yes. You are absolutely correct. Thank you.
The means of production and the market for that production didn’t make sense, even within the weird setup of the movie.
Yes. Very good point. If anyone lives the Elysium life, it’s Matt Damon, Al Gore, and their ilk.
I think your strong reaction to this movie is like when someone gets told they are doing something wrong and they get defensive and angry. When movies show you how wrong conservative ideas are, and how much suffering they cause among the masses, your reflex is to get defensive. hashtag:lookinthemirror.
That’s ok, you can get back in the echo chamber and fawn over Kirk Cameron or something, while attending AEI dinners and only observing the poor though car windows after taking a wrong turn.
Your flattering – yet somewhat disturbing – deep perusal of my Twitter feed notwithstanding, you don’t know me. None of the assumptions you make is true, except that I did proudly attend the AEI dinner. They served a nice sea bass.
Unlike what I read in your comment, I do not think the other side is evil. I think progressives and conservatives want the same thing: A stable, fair, just society in which poverty is eradicated or at least mitigated and people can be free to pursue a good life.
We disagree on how to get there.
I do not believe conservative policies bring suffering to the masses. On the contrary, they are the only policies that do not. Suffering comes from socialist policies.
However, I do not ascribe bad motives to true-believer liberals. I know enough to know that they are working toward what they believe is a better future for all.
In a perfect world of rainbows and unicorns, my fellow conservatives and I would be extended the same respect.
Honestly, I have more in common with a liberal who cares and works and thinks than with someone who can’t be bothered to care. At least we have a starting point.
Get over it. The guy just pooped all over your bigoted defensive observation. As for your justification with a few of those so-called massive aids and references to certain countries, you don’t even realize the oxymoron in your argument. Capitalism for instance, is too busy creating new intellectual properties in health care and shoving money into the pockets of board of directors at the expense of potential patients’ lives. Whether Republican or Democrat, the politicians you vouch for are merely waiting for ROI by supporting the lobbies created by the capitalist free market. Your blind eye and inability to distinguish what goes on in reality and what you are blasted with by media sensationalism is truly astounding.
Return on Investment. Yes. A beautiful thing.
People invest because they desire to make money. They develop drugs because they desire to make money. And those drugs help people.
Um, what drugs has socialism produced? Hummm??
Did socialism find a cocktail cure for the symptoms of AIDS? And perhaps a vaccine?
No, you say? Interesting.
The story is repeated a thousand times. Cancer treatment? Capitalism. Diabetes treatment? Capitalism.
People investing money to create a service or product because they want to make money actually helps people. Actually moves the world forward.
People having their work and investment taken away, well, suddenly they don’t want to work so hard. Ask Greece or Italy or Spain or Canada what cutting edge research they’re doing. Socialized medicine does not benefit humanity in that way.
You can be all mean and scary and call me bigoted because that’s a powerful but meaningless phrase and try to make it sound evil.
But it’s not.
You are f****** retarded. And its hilarious how you have misinterpreted the film.
*ed note, original comment was edited for profanity.
Momma always said profanity was a sign of a poor vocabulary.
Im european (scottish) (uk) and your saying the nordic countries are doing great in an aspect yes. the nordic countries who are non EU sweden, etc except germany are doing okay. But are now having growing issues. Right now the floods of europeans from italy, greece and all the other failing governments countries coming in by the bucket load and all you need is a passport cause you come from an EU country. Also a mass gross of africans, bulgarians, indans. Causing issues with or national health service, our goverment houses and our crime rate is rising. I understand people have issues but Scotland is barely growing and the economy is weak. Floods of people we cannot afford to look after. Also many people come here have no interest i working just to take , take and take. Elysium here i come.
Why do you americans liberals always use my country National Health Service as a bloody example (britain). Our health service is being abused left right and centre. Our health system is in massive dept due to immigrants pretending to be british so they can get free operations. Also our rise in obesity is going to cripple the national health system in the next ten years easy. I don’t blame america for not getting a National Health Service. They are so much corruption within the hospitals. Many places have been closed down put under new management due to abuse to patients. Americans dont get National Health Service just make regulations for cheap health insurance.
You may want to Google “social mobility in the united states”.
If coherency was an issue I would apologize. My post was not easily readable or somehow not easy to understand? If, on the other hand, your complaint is that I was not lock-step with your thought patterns then perhaps you are right. But, how else would one read the ‘increasing division between rich and poor’ but as a political jab? Perhaps you mean the new poor due to Obama’s economy? Or is everyone rich now? You never mentioned Cuba or Venezuela, but they are very-oft presented as Marxist utopias by everyone except people who actually have ever lived there. If ascribing them to your descriptions is wrong the please accept my apology. Otherwise, I would gladly pay any Democrat woman who wishes to abort her child any fee equal to the cost of her abortion. If Democrats want to kill their own babies then so be it, let us not slow their demise. Obviously economics and politics are not Democrat strongpoints, as can be determined by their years of control in this country. Weakness, hatred and racism will always be Democrat virtues…
And do your work for you? No thanks.
If you have an argument to make, make it.
I would rather be poor in Canada then USA.
“I tend to think a lot about the topic of wealth discrepancy,” Blomkamp said in a statement. “I think the further we go down the path that we are on, the more the world will represent the one in ‘Elysium’… In Mexico City, in Johannesburg, in Rio, you have pockets of great wealth, gated communities, amidst a sea of poverty. And I think that’s where the cities of the US are going to end up, too.”
Well, it seems that the director himself settles the very long-winded argument on this article.
Americans have to pay taxes AND pay for private heath care? How is that fair?
Also America’s quality of life is rated below signapore. And are wage disparity is the same as Mexico. We are rated 21st in quality of life. Guess who’s the top 10? Yea all those nordic “socialist” areas like Sweden, Swizterland, Norway, and Denmark. US is on the BOTTOM of the list of all developed countries where even i health care the creed is greed.How embarassing
Capitalism is only fair is it is properly regulated. Otherwise you got issues with monopolies and crony capitalism that uses money as leverage to arm wrestle other business. Capitalism works only works well when there is a proper moral and ethics system integrated into it. America is a place where capitalism has become crony and corrupt where every aspect of life is looked under the lense of greed and money is used as a tool of power. This put too much power at the hands of few people who do not know how to handle power or weath. Capitalism works the best in mixed market economies where private and government sector work together, similar to the Nordic systems. Pure capitalism is heartless and lets the poor rot in the ground. The drug cartels and prostitution are a wonderful example of pure capitalism.
In any other cases, the world will end like the world in Elysium if we let capitalism and corporations destroy everything for the sake of their wealth.
We could be implementing solar energies and much more technology, but guess what? The corporations aren’t interested in that, that’s why petroleum is still the most important resource in the world.
I just have to ask, do you know what historical materialism is?, have your ever read the communist manifesto? Or is this commentary on socialism basically the result of the same media, state and cultural propaganda that was being funded back in the 70’s and 80’s to try to stigmatize the real socialist and communist objective? Do you still really think that the Soviet Union (was/we’re), North Korea and/or Cuba are a completed communist project?
Please i’m not trying to offend you or your intellect, but I do encourage you to read a little bit of more history, Eric Hobsbawm for an example.
Obama is not a socialist, and the United Stated is nowhere near a socialist country, please, just end this wrong conspiracy theory.
If you’re afraid or hate corporations, guess what? I’m a communist and I also hate corporations, and I also hate Obama, and Bush, and Nixon, and Reagan. This is just a sick way to stigmatize another ideology. We should be attacking the ones in power, not the ones who don’t have it.
Workers of all the world, unite!
I think this is a reasonable comment. I’ve been dabbling in literature and ideas from all of the spectrum of the ultra-libertarian to the die-hard fanatic communist, and still I find myself struggling to find the balance between public and private sectors. My opinion so far is that overall ignorance of the system is what is an effect, but the cause always seems to be that the few ambitious always seem to engineer a system of perpetual ignorance on behalf of the masses. John Kenneth Galbraith was using the more educated citizenry of Switzerland as his example of a conscious citizenry as the most effective buffer against this spiral down to what can only be described as feudalism. Galbraith’s ideal model was the Keynesian where public expenditure eventually equals the private sector, which might seem beyond extreme to the libertarian but somewhat acceptable to the socialist. He argued that certain infrastructural elements of any civilized society need to be publicly funded and thus directly publicly accountable. That certainly can open a can of worms depending on the society at hand, but he, as all Keynesians tend to do, resorted to the Swiss as his educated buffer against abuse of power and misappropriation of wealth via corruption of the public sector to serve only an ever shrinking elite in the private sector who in turn more often than not have direct partnerships and presence in the public sector.
I’m still undecided, but the verbal abuse this lady Rebecca Cusey, is subjected to by “liberal minded” individuals is certainly not warranted. If anything, she certainly keeps her composure most admirably. I don’t see any honesty behind the belligerence of the “leftists” here. If you wish her to see the Keynesian side of the argument, for example, don’t shoot her to do it.
Personally, I am suspicious of libertarianism in its extreme forms, as those such as Hernando de Soto and his “loans for the barrio” ideas, but can certainly understand the libertarian distrust of lobbyists and those who leverage the public sector to concentrate power “ultimately by way of the gun” as Harry Browne would put it.
The creation of wealth, the very fundamentals, are not grasped by most. I congratulate you on working with ideas at this level. It took me many years of struggle after college “education” and the propagation of half-truths to come to a similar conclusion as you above.
I must say publicly that the catalysts who helped see things in a more fundamental manner as you above were the elderly who had gone through the shifts and evolutions in economic thought as common sense common citizens. One such man was my own father who had actually been through the phases of money from true gold deposits and possession to a paper money “promissory note”, which eventually was “downgraded” to a worthless paper currency that somehow “forgot” the original gold deposit and promise of redemption. He lived in a French colony, but history shows that all “developed” countries and their colonies went, almost uniformly, though the same “abstraction of wealth” phases.
You are absolutely on the money on this. Wealth should ALWAYS still be measured in real terms by EVERYONE involved, which is, no matter what “isms” you have in place, the ONLY safeguard. That is my opinion.
Exactly. The reality is that when you redistribute wealth, you run out of wealth. All you do is succeed in making those who were comparatively well-off poorer.
When you build wealth by enterprise, you end up making those who were comparatively badly-off richer.
I’d rather be poor in Canada than in the USA as well.
But, overall, I’d rather NOT be poor anywhere.
I find it funny how some (*caugh* USA) connects socialism with communism and there for, Cuba, North Korea and such disasters. It´s like if, other countries would say, “i don´t want banks, corporations and stuff like that because i don´t want capitalism, just look at the USA, nature suffers, wealth is distributed among 1% of the people and they they think they´re the world police, and god forbid… free healthcare!”. i think the movie clearly showed how the capitalism, in it´s worst form could be, just like North Korea shows the rest of the world how bad communism can be. Wealth distributed among the few, all living in some sort of utopian places, have access to the most advanced technology there is, hiding behind the illusion (for the most of us) that the “dream” could come true for us all… I think we will need to make big changes. 70 – 80 of all our problems is money / monetary system. Imagine if money would disappear and a society like http://www.thevenusproject.com would be established. We wouldn´t have all the crimes associated with money and people wouldn´t have to be poor. If we continue with the monetary system, we´re doomed to the same fate, over and over again until resources are exhausted and we´ll truly see some sort of Elysium, so… what will it be… “Elysium” or The Venus Project? :-p
I like your comment very much even though I disagree with almost every word of it. But your hopeful and earnest tone win me over. I can almost see your vision.
Unfortunately, I think if the problem of evil in human hearts was so easily solved, we’d already have that formula for society. I think that systems of government are important, to be sure, but true change must come from within each heart. And that’s a very tall order.
(Are you there, God? It’s us, humanity!)
Corporations, like people, need to be subject to laws that protect other people (or corporations) from their selfish behavior. However, corporations, like people, can be tremendous force for good in the world.
Indeed, corporations are made of people. And people building, working, creating, and taking care of their responsibilities are the only force for building prosperity and peace the world has ever known.
Hmm… and yet we have seas of moderately wealthy and content people with small pockets of poverty (which still have running water, electricity, and food, not to mention X-boxes and cable). So, not Elysium. Not even close.
What a joke this film is!! The WORST movie EVER made!!! just shows ow the idiots below are now going to run Elysium into the ground..GOOD JOB!!
Just shows how unintelligent people ruin the world a la Cuba, now Socialist Europe, etc etc.. When will those Socialistl/Marxist/Communist bozos EVER LEARN???? They are now screwing up the USA…Thuggery..sure just blast your way in and overrun an organized successful land and take what u haven’t earned. Thugs and ghouls and criminals COME ON IN!!!! This film is it totally backfired!
oh and Free healthcare??? What moron thinks anything is FREE???? SOMEBODY has to pay and it’s ALWAYS those of us working our butts off paying for the slackers and takers..free cell phones on our dime. Go live in France.
This is one of the most ludicrous movies EVER made. The premise is let all the thugs force their way into a protected SOVEREIGN community and terrorize everyone. What a JOKE!! Then they will trash Elysium up just like they trashed their communities. GOOD JOB!!!
I see that we have tried to post 4 times so there is obvious censorship on this blog…Typical of the far left. There is no freedom under Socialism..only what THEY want u to hear! They have now hoisted themselves on their own pitard!
This is one of the most ludicrous movies EVER made. The premise is let all the thugs force their way into a protected SOVEREIGN community and terrorize everyone. What a JOKE!! Then they will trash Elysium up just like they trashed their communities. GOOD JOB!!!
how about we switch roles and look at America as the rich people and other country’s as poor? in the movie we take earth call it Cuba Elysium is America call those wanting better health and cleaner air communist because the world has gone to shit thanks to all of are doing. but yet up there there is a magic health machine that cures it all with the touch of a button and we Americans are keeping it for are self’s. now think of America with supply’s it could be giving Cuba but then think about the evil lady in the movie that’s are American government not wanting to share because we look at those people as communist when its just one man we don’t like. the people of Cuba are in need of supply’s but cant have them because of are embargo but fuck them because Fidel is a communist. now I’m not saying go down there fight a war and take out Fidel Castro. but I am saying that there are places in this world that could use supply’s to help people and you cant just put an embargo on a government in a country and forbid anyone from helping them get the supply’s they need. there is one thing in America we should be proud of having a system of supply and trade that works and the fact that we are not as poor as a lot of other countries are. we keep saying stuff like let them fend for there self’s but really if the tables where turned we would want to be getting into America so keep in mind that America may have its own sort of poor but we don’t know what poverty under lack of care is about and that is one reason why are America is so great but its are ignorance are lack of understanding the out side world because of are rich government is depicting it how ever they see fit with lies and misguided info on are news to feed mass media and sort of distract are own people and make them think one way while corrupt world leaders do crooked shit behind the people’s backs this is the only reason we are looked at as stupid to the outside world are lack of understanding will be this country’s downfall. the only benefit you get from being American is the good care and protection and a hope to start a family foundation and be able to have that opportunity. the day will come how ever that America will drop the ball and all the countries will seek to fix what they hate most about America so are focus should be on are government and are people and full understanding of every culture color and religion and to see the rich help the poor the racist shit stop and also educational ways to help people understand religions and cultures because we are a mixing pot that is divided and cant focus on the personal growth of are country with are government the way it is. anyway it was a good movie loved it
Brilliant review! I guess the writer just assumes it is obvious to the audience that (even though they don’t even live on the planet anymore) the rich are causing all the problem for the poor earthlings. Equally, it is obvious that the rich would deny medical treatment to the poor for no reason, so no explanation required for either.
How STUPID are you Ms. Cusey?! This is one of the most liberal movies ever. The 1% are completelt demonized as vicious callous assholes. The heroes are all poor, brown, or criminals. Smugglers are heros, illegals are portrayed with sympathy. Jodie Foster is a cross between dick cheyney and michael hayden. Matt Damon and Spider literally engage in a socialist if not marxist revolution with access to universal healthcare at the heart of Damons sacrifice. Elysium is the polar opposite of Atlas Shrugged. You are either stupid, ignorant of all political meanings, or simply dishonest. But the idea that a movie about a socialist revolution against the 1% for access to healthcare is conservative is beyond laughable.
Read something moron. America is one of the least mobile developed nations. And it is THE most unequal, with our GINI coeffecient lower than Irans. The movie is literally about a socialist or communist revolution. But conservatives live in an alternate reality, which is clearly the only way you could think this movie was in any ways conservative. You cant like Atlas Shrugged and Elysium for their messages, they are polar opposites. Elysiums makes demons out of the 1%, AS sucks them off.
Ms. Cusey you are a dunce. The government doesnt produce wealth? What then are government jobs or contracts? William Ficthners character literally engages in a coup because he is enticed by the wealth of a government contract! If you mean the government doesnt turn a profit youre right, but its not supposed to. Its supposed to reinvest every dollar back into the citizens. Unfortunately thanks to campaign finance laws the government now only works for the 1% (Elysium) which is strongly hinted at? And if you are unaware that the US has the worst healthcare and life expectancy of any developed nation please go read something other than fox news. Britian doesn even hav the best healthcare but they whoop us, and they pay far less. So yes it is much more fair to take taxes from people, cut out the absurd insurance middle men, and use money much more efficiently to treat your own citizens.
So you share the conservative idea of “let them die.” Explain to me again how Elysium is not a direct attack on people of exaclty that political mindset? What a disgusting and foolish person you are.
“Your mother was wrong” from Dewey Cox
See the conservative arguement about the deficit then. Your righties seriously have the most disconnected and incoherent world view.
Yeah, because it is 100% of GOP action that aim to benefit the rich. They have not one policy that demonstrates otherwise.
It means you are a worthless propagandist.
Matt Damon and a bunch of thugs hackers and smugglers risked their lives to give everyone on earth a better life. What is your deluded self talking about? Damon the hero died doing just that. Your idiocy is baffling.
You just agreed with a conservative commenter that said elyisum was a conservative paradise. Its obvious you are not a serious person.
So go live in Iran then. I hear the equality is wonderful this time of year.
as much as i think shes wrong she left my posts up and i flamed her. so lets not attck boogie men
Thank you for your responsible response to that neonazi. I just hope posts like that show you why the conservative brand has been labeled as racist, because your tent includeds a lot of people like that.
yeah, I don’t think anybody missed that. this movie had the subtlety of an episode of Power Rangers…
Pretty stupid, if you ask my teen daughter. But I stand by my review that the movie misfires in its stupid, over-the-top, and illogical liberalism that it will move more to conservatism than to socialism. Plus, it’s kinda boring.
Thanks! Do you mean the writer of the movie assumes that? Or the writer of this review? Which would me me. I’m that writer.
Because I think I addressed that.
So you must mean the scriptwriter.
Would you like some dressing with your word salad?
I contend the problems of Cuba are caused BY Castro, not by us. And so on.
But really, my brain froze up reading this comment. I think I need a vodka tonic.
a) Um….this blog is not far left. No one has ever accused this blog of being far left.
b) No censorship as your posts have all posted. But the blog is moderated and if this blog’s moderator isn’t immediately available, the posts will have a lag time before showing up on this blog.
Agree agree agree.
I am nothing if not deadly deadly serious. Serious like a drone. Serious like an unexplained rash. Serious like your girlfriend’s father.
Very seriousy. All the time.
Thank you. I sincerely appreciate that.
There are extreme and wrong people in both tents. I try not to label broad movements by their fringes. I recommend others do the same.
Umm… Everything you said, but the opposite.
I do not.
And, I don’t think I am disgusting and foolish, but you’d have to ask my husband. He seems to like me still.
(Whispers…I think he/she needs to go back and read the review again. I don’t think it means what he/she thinks it means.)
When you are not smart to find a way to cure something then you must find a way to create a “dogma” to justifie your cleansing actions towards it. This is the only way that a barbaric mind can perceive as solution. Internazi followers are dogmatizing sociological and economical theories and on the other hand nazis are dogmatizing sociological and biological theories. Because they are barbarians and they cannot understand that science is no dogma it will never going to be a dogma and that is why anything that comes from such combinations is doomed to fail in time. There is always something new something better to come, science changes and evolves by the time i write those lines and trying to “freeze” her inside political, economical and biological theories is just not smart. But when there is need for cleansing because some people misused the freedoms of democracy than i guess stupidity will preveal in the end no matter what i say and new dogmas based on the latest scientific criteria will emerge eventually, since there is no other way to fix things. Unfortunately yes… it could happen again somehow. And that is where Elysium comes in. What really is striking in the movie is the complete absence of any middle civilian class. In this futuristic hell called Elysium the only ones that exist are the extremely rich and the extremely poor, nothing in between. So this cannot be a capitalists world as some “geniuses” are claiming in the forum, nor Matt Damon is a rebelius leftist who fights for some sort of an internazi liberalist paradise. No it is more than clear that Elysium is already a futuristic internazi hell. The company that ended all companies is the company citie-state of Elysium the pinnacle of internazi evolution. But of course i have to admit that is poorly done in the movie somehow it could be better. And yes since there is no balance in dogmas who try to eliminate one each other i have to admit that after watching the movie you’ll want to register as a republican…for now.
Damon is garbage. So was the movie!
Okay, I am not American, so please explain something to me (by the way I watched the film yesterday).
At first I thought this article is pure satire, which criticizes the movie’s portrayal of the future and (presumably) a socialist government (eg. look socialism leads to this) as bad. So I thought the writer was a liberal.
However reading the comments, a lot of them accuse her of promoting right-wing propaganda, implying that the article is meant to be taken literally.
Right now, this all seem like a mess. I mean, who is who? What does this mean in the US? What are the sides of the debate? What these sides want? And what have they thought about the message of the movie, is it a different message for different sides?
Just give some basic American political-education for me, please. Because this is totally confusing. And I want to understand what people are arguing about.
I finally watched this and I can’t believe how much propaganda this is.
So the Wealthy leave the Earth after being over populated and stripped.
Then, those without and desperate chase after those who created a place to live and start over just to take what they have created for themselves.
Who is wrong in this film?
In my experience when you become educated and civilized you end up breeding less and obtain better jobs that require education and higher skills.
Somehow I guess that the film suggests that the rich stripped the planet then fled when what I got from the film the poor created their mess by uncontrolled breeding and taking from the nanny state.
The rich decided that they had enough and built a brand new haven where there is equality and proper management of resources.
The left Earth for an isolated Island that was somewhat self sustaining.
Low and behold those that are without once again feel it is so damn unfair that the wealthy that created this paradise should keep it all to themselves.
In my opinion the poor and uneducated seem to breed out of control. they have a history of having children that they can not sustain and expect others to give them a hand. Please send all donations to the fly ridden black kid that lives in a desert where food can’t grow. Send them food and money so they can grow up and continue the cycle of bad behavior.
What a ridiculous film for welfare and feeling sorry for ILLEGAL ALIENS that break into our country because their own can’t sustain them.
If you said you were going to moderate I wouldn’t have bothered because I know your type censor all who do not agree.
And you’re in favour of the grotesque medical system in England, full of dirty, MRSA-infested hospitals and incompetent, heartless staff, and where someone can die of an aneurism while waiting their turn in the queue? Shame on you. Ideology and good intentions do not excuse you for mucking up society.
Great, more production is the answer…how did the earth get like that in movie? Socialism you say?