While some saw a strong political message in Universal Studio’s recent rendition of the Dr. Seuss classic The Lorax, I have seen very little commentary on what I perceived to be an even more prominent message in the massively successful The Hunger Games.
Set aside for a moment the obvious…a massively wealthy and powerful central government keeping the rest of the nation impoverished and under its heel, walk around the intended trap, and do not engage in the speculation of whether Panem’s Capitol is a model for either extreme of the political spectrum, and go right to President Snow’s (Donald Sutherland) warning to Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley):
““Hope … it is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective; a lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.””
Interesting statement, and how do we apply it today, in our world, or most importantly, in our nation?
What constitutes “little hope”, and what would be that “lot” of hope feared by Panem’s rulers?
We, as a nation, thought that change was needed so badly that we overwhelmingly elected an untried, untested Senator, barely out of his Congressional Freshman class, whose background opens more questions than answers them, to the most powerful and influential position of leadership in the world. We did that based on nothing more than the strength of simple message of “Hope and Change”.
Yet now, many among us are equally determined to bring that President down, all based on the same idea: the hope that a new leader will make the changes needed to return the nation to its former glory, and our lives to the better days of some ambiguous earlier time. To that end, we engage in the process of selecting those who will lead us with an earnest determination borne from the idea that we, as a people, can effect change via our electoral process.
Is this that effective “little hope” that President Snow spoke about?
Have elections become little more than a placebo for the masses? Are they designed to instill in us a ray of hope in our system of government, and hide the overwhelming truth the no matter who we vote into power, the movement toward Socialism proceeds at a breakneck speed?
It has become rather obvious that the sort of change needed to stem the tide of Socialist bankruptcy rushing toward our shores, will not be engineered by the same members of our current political class that initiated it.
If elections are that “effective”, “little hope”, that contained “spark” that governments foster, and that keeps the powerful in power, what is the “dangerous” hope that they fear?
Thomas Jefferson knew the answer:
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
That was the strongest moment in young Katniss Everdeen’s life. It wasn’t surviving the game, it wasn’t outsmarting and outfighting the stronger, better prepared competitors, it was the simple refusal to be manipulated, and the decision to decide for herself the course of her life.
She brought The Capitol to its collective knees with a simple act of defiance.
“No”…the birthplace of self-determination, the alpha point of dangerous hope, the one word that tyrants of all shapes and sizes fear to their very bones.
What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? – Thomas Jefferson
Strong hope is needed again.