I am 3/4 through the last volume of the book series “The Hunger Games” and I can hardly put the book down to sleep at night. The movie is a block buster success and has everyone who has seen it raving about it, including myself.
The book is set in the future and is about a society that has a central power, the “Capital”, that usurps the bounty of the 12 other “districts” that are controlled by fear and an iron fist. The Capital has a annual “Hunger Game” that is fought to the death. They have a lottery style drawing where 24 adolescence, two from each district, one a boy and a girl to be offered up as “tributes”. these children will be groomed and put on a “reality show” for the entertainment of all the rest of the population to watch them brutally kill each other until only one survives! the victor will live a life of opulence for the remainder of their life back in their home district. All this is to remind them of why they should not war against each other but it is really just an exercise of showing the power of the Capitol to keep the people in check year after year and it is a wildly entertaining show to occupy the Capitols citizens time who live a life of extreme excess and boredom.
I tell you all this because I find the book series a great study of human nature and how a social experiment such as socialism or Marxism can be more brutal and stifling than capitalism.
In today’s present battle for the future direction of American politics this Movie is a vivid example of what might happen in the future if we turn control over to the government. A government that promises bounty and fairness for all but in the end it will only have control without fairness because it is human nature to usurp the bounty of the weak.
The control takes place over decades, slowly at first then once the political tide changes and someone has control of the military the end of one political faction is replaced with a new government. The new government that represents “hope” or “change” for the better of all becomes a regiment of eliminating individual “acts of rights” to “community unity for the betterment of all”. A translation of this is take away the rights of the individual so they can not be more successful than their fellow citizen or “spreading the wealth”! The new government tells its citizens they have a right to share in the success of the wealthy and because there is a larger share of non-wealthy this is an easy sell to the population and they gladly turn over control so they all can share in the dream off equal wealth.
It is like telling a playground of children that the few kids who have large bags of candy will have to give it to the teachers so the teacher can disperse the candy out to all the children equally and “fairly”. The distribution starts out like this, in order for the children to get candy they need to take their shoes off and give it to the school principal. Then they need to form a line to dance and sing in a song while following a leader that leads them to a person who distributes the candy out one piece at a time. This is fun and fair and it cost so little so they all join in without reservation. Soon the game alters its cost to play, now they have to give up more clothes and after a while they don’t get to sing just dance to get the candy. Then it changes again and the don’t get to dance just line up and soon it is for a part of a piece of the candy. This creates tension and division among the children and they soon find out that if you don’t play along with everyone else and follow the rules you get punished by the principal and teachers. Soon the children are sitting around the playground with no clothes very little if any candy and the teachers and the principal are holding all the candy and don’t share it because they don’t need to because over this time they have taught the children how to make candy and it is given to the teachers and principal for the better good of the whole playground. Soon the children find that if they don’t follow the rules of making candy then they disappear and no one ever sees them again, so fear keeps the children in check.
The dangers of letting a government have too much control for the sake of distributing fairness is a slippery slide to socialism and dictatorship. The poster child of this in our present day is North Korea, one family have held total control over their people for three generations and it has had devastating consequences for the Korean people yet the dictators have lived a life of extreme wealth and privilege.
In closing I just invite you to read the very entertaining books and take a close look at the current state of politics in America, is it really that far fetched of a future scenario?
The Hunger Games