Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Libertarian Toy Story 3

Non-spoiler spoiler alert.

Toy Story 3 is a fantastic movie. The animation, the sound and the comedy are all on-point. The story of a boy and his beloved toys parting ways and the related theme of "growing up" and "moving on" were touching.

But there's more to this Toy Story than just what's on the surface. Toy Story 3 actually has a well-developed libertarian sub-theme that is successfully articulated, conveyed and concluded through the course of the movie, not interrupting the larger events while not dancing around them so much that the coherence of the sub-theme itself is lost. Instead, both elements are nearly perfectly integrated-- it's like watching two movies for the price of one.

In Toy Story 3, we see the war of ideas between capitalism and communism; between a society of private ownership versus a society of public ownership; between individualism and collectivism; between hierarchy and the division of labor.

Furthermore, through this metaphorical world we see reality for what it is: workers' paradises are actually prison camps; socialist systems are involuntary and built upon patronage and coercion, capitalist ones are voluntary and built upon the productive value of the participants; it is communism that is exploitative, wasteful and erected on the lie that the worker's lot under capitalism is one of dreary repetition and a lack of appreciation for the laborer's efforts; that most politicians and self-appointed "community organizers" are trying to compensate for their own psychological trauma, and have no qualms about using other individuals and their lives and emotions as means to the satisfaction of these psychological ends.

Perhaps most importantly, we can see that only under a free social order can everyone, even the tired, old and formerly hostile members of society, live in peace, harmony and abundance.

Somebody or somebodies at Disney/Pixar seem to have recently come across a copy of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. In this day and age, their timing couldn't have been better, or more bold.

Toy Story 3 is creative, dramatic, visually appealing, exciting, dynamic and downright hilarious. Even better, it's libertarian. Grab your friends, grab your family, grab your tickets and enjoy this movie as soon as you possibly can.

30 comments:

  1. Yes, just saw the movie...I think it was Barbie who made the statement about "rulers having their power only by the consent of the governed". Good movie. Disney/Pixar has made another great movie that will make them millions by offering people great entertainment on a voluntary basis. Hooray for what's left of capitalism!

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  2. Freedom School,

    You may have also noticed that Woody fulfills the role of what Hans-Hermann Hoppe calls the "nobilitas naturalis" or the natural nobility-- people who gain their "aristocratic" leadership role in a society through voluntary acquiescence from the other individual members after demonstrating superior intellect, resolve and decision-making abilities, as well as courage. This contrasts with the arbitrary nobility of most human societies where a person declares themselves nobility (usually after brutal physical conquest) and then enforces this social context by force and example-making should any individual try to deviate from it.

    Contrast the way Woody, member of the nobilitas naturalis, responds to the way the other toys sometimes doubt him, by going it alone and proving in the end the soundness of his judgment, whereas a character like Lotsa the bear routinely "makes examples" of toys straying from his rule and leadership and generally has the mentality of "if you're not with me, you're against me".

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  3. Do I have to watch the movie to fact check this post?

    Alright, I'll just assume it spot-on. There's no way I'm watching an animated motion picture.

    Let me ask you, was it realistic? As realistic as Wall-E where Earth was completely destroyed by human littering?

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  4. C-Nut,

    I forgot (didn't realize) you are completely anti-animation. I guess you won't be taking your little ones to see Despicable Me, either? (Don't let them see an ad for it or I am not sure how you will be able to resist their pleas... speaking of which, maybe I should leave the trailer on the Youngest Blogger's latest post...)

    All I can say to you is it is as realistic as an animated movie about a couple of ensouled toys can be!

    It really is a great movie, with a good message for kids, parents and libertarians alike. I suppose you can wait for it to go to DVD/Netflix, though, if you like. No rush.

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  5. I make my wife, a grandparent, or a cousin of theirs take them to the movies.

    Outsourcing, baby!

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  6. C,

    That's smart! But this is one job you may end up enjoying if you do it yourself.

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  7. Great review. Its nice to have a movie with underlying themes of individualism that appeal to into libertarianism, classical liberalism, even some real conservatism. The movement and message is more important than ever at this time. The movement is growing ever so much too.

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  8. Anon,

    Thank you for the kind remarks. I could've gone on and on about the movie (my reviews, like my other posts, tend to be voluminous) but I didn't want to get into specifics and spoilers so instead I tried to focus on the general themes that I appreciated most.

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  9. then the bear uses a lot the propaganda

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