Avengers: Infinity War Review (SPOILERS!!!)

Avengers: Infinity War Review
By Richard Storey

To be honest, I only watch superhero movies to see attractive people blow things up and make me laugh besides.  But, the depth of the Avengers movies has been growing as the themes reach into the heart of the problems with the West today.  In real life, Western countries are marked by ever more striking political divisions, as the 20th century taught us would happen if the Left gathered significant institutional power.  Captain America: Civil War mirrored these battling ideas and touched at the core problem. Continue reading

Libertarian Media of the Year 2017

Libertarian Media of the Year 2017
Warning – Spoilers Abound!
By Richard Storey

Movie:  Bladerunner 2049!  Never mind if you’re unfamiliar with the original masterpiece; this tech-noir classic is still perfectly viewable as a standalone.  The reason being its timeless theme which explores human nature, free will and the evil of meddling with the natural order of the human world.  Many will intuitively think the libertarianism I am celebrating here is the absolute capitalism of the universe of Bladerunner.  Not at all!  The stygian hellscape of the city is a cold sea of favelas and countless disregarded economic units.  This is not for a lack of socialism but, rather, a lack of personalism.  Let me explain. Continue reading

The Last Jedi – Serial Franchise Killer?

By Andy Duncan

I’ve seen worse movies than ‘The Last Jedi’. Well, I’ve seen one worse movie. I think that subjective honour belongs to the ungloriously appalling ‘Slipstream‘, which remarkably enough, also ‘starred’ Mark Hamill. This was a movie so bad, that it’s the only one in my entire lifetime that I can ever remember walking out of, about halfway through.

However, I do think ‘The Last Jedi’ really is the second worst movie I’ve ever had the unpleasant misfortune of witnessing. This time, I managed to get to the end without walking out, but on several occasions I really did feel tempted to do so.

But before I really get into this unfortunate though absolutely necessary demolition, let me just remind you that there are definitely spoilers ahead.

Ready to go on?

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Ready for the Red Pill?

By Andreas Tiedtke

This article first appeared recently at the Ludwig von Mises Institut, Deutschland. It has since been translated with permission from the original German into English, by Andy Duncan. Here is the original article. The references in the article below link directly to the glossary attached to the original piece. 

The fight for public opinion currently consumes the Internet. Campaigns like Hatespeech, Fakenews or Post-Facts try to denounce dangerous opinions. Two types of keyword are employed [1]. First, we have the absolutely good keywords. These triggers include ‘social democracy’, ‘justice and education’, ‘freedom and democracy’, and so on. Second, we have the necessarily bad keywords. These triggers include ‘alt-right’, ‘right-wing populism’, ‘the evils of capitalism’, and so on. Why does this never-ending fight for public opinion end up becoming so important? Well, it’s because it concerns your beliefs. It’s ultimately about your perception and your thinking. It really is all about the generation of propaganda and the consequent indoctrination of the masses, one mind at a time.

Propaganda and Indoctrination – The Matrix: A “prison for your thinking”

The Wachowski Brothers artistically described “indoctrination” within their seminal 1999 movie, The Matrix. This was understood by many at the time as simply a science fiction romp. However, it also became a Kafkaesque metaphor to describe our entire modern western society.

If you’ve seen the movie, you may recall the following pivotal scene [2] : Our hero ‘Neo’ feels that something has become misplaced within the world around him. He feels that his appraisal of reality may have always been incorrect. This confuses him, and then he encounters the enigmatic Morpheus [3]. This coolly-bespectacled figure then offers to show Neo the reality of truth. In this relatively early scene, upon which the entire movie turns, Morpheus offers Neo a choice between one of two pills; a red one or a blue one. This is the temptation he lays before Neo:

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no return. You take the blue pill – then the story ends right here, you wake up in your bed and you can believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I’ll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” [4]

Neo wants to know what’s going on, so he immediately chooses to swallow the red pill. He fails to hesitate for a second!

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Review: Blade Runner 2049

By Andy Duncan

So what to say without spoiling the movie?

It is very, very good. However, it is also very, very long.

These things need to be long, however. So I’ll give it a pass on that front. When you’re dealing on the deepest Misesian levels of what it is to act, to dream, to remember, to love, to live, to die, to actually be human, and to act as a human, it’s impossible to knock it all out in eighty-seven minutes.

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Death of an Empire?

By Andy Duncan

Ok, Hollywood, Schmollywood. Harvey Weinstein, Tiger Woods, Bill Clinton, the land of the sexually depraved. Whatever you say about Hollywood, whether it’s the font of the social justice warriors, the crucible of the champagne-drinking socialists, or the very territory of Lucifer himself (as portrayed in the wonderful Hollywood series, ‘Lucifer’), it knows how to make money.

And in our Hoppeian city-state wonderland of the future, the ability to make money will still figure.

And Hollywood knows how to make money.

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Review of “Starship Troopers”

Film Review by Sean Gabb
Starship Troopers
Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Tristar Pictures, 1997, 129 minutes
(21st February 1998)

NB: I have now read a lot of Heinlein, and am glad to have done so. SIG

I have two qualifications for reviewing this film. First, I broadly agree with the political, economic and social views of Robert A. Heinlein, on whose novel of the same title the film is based. Second, I have never read that novel. This gives me an advantage over those who have. Screen adaptations of a favourite book nearly always disappoint. Last Christmas, for example, I watched a BBC adaptation of Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White. I was horrified by the removal of the legal complexities that drive the plot smoothly forward through 500 closely printed pages, and their replacement by something about child abuse. This kept me from appreciating what others tell me was an exciting television play. Not having read Starship Troopers, I am better able to judge the film on its own merits. Continue reading