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by Fábio de Oliveira Ribeiro
Saturday, Apr. 12, 2014 at 2:21 PM
Reflections on an irrelevant movie.
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I saw the movie yesterday. The movie plot is predictable as a Comic Book and can be summarized in a single sentence . In the name of true Americanism and leading a military rebellion, Captain America saves the USA to put in place a program of anti-American extermination designed by Nazi infiltrators in charge of the country and its Armed Forces.
At the beginning of the movie the hero runs with a veteran soldier and asks him to "turn left" several times. This is precisely the veteran who will help Captain America defeat the enemy. The symbol looks powerful, but has no practical effect.
Americanism assumes the superiority of American values , the USA exceptionalism and high morality in the conduct of private business and government activity in the USA. Americanism includes anti -communism, that American nationalism is good and the other nationalisms are inadmissible or pathological, that the use of force is justified to impose the will of beneficial USA domination abroad and that militarism led by White House is different from other militarisms In its simplified version, Americanism suggests that there is a conflict between good (represented by the USA) and the evil (any country that resists the will of rulers and American business men) and that diplomacy is always a second option. I believe it does not exist and can not be an Left Americanism, because Americanism is an Right ideology inherently.
Even though they criticize their country, American veterans are the biggest defenders of Americanism. They have been conditioned to believe in American nationalism, in virtue of obedience to the authorities, and especially the USA "manifest destiny" and its civilizing mission. Moreover , they know USA military history and know very well how Douglas MacCarthur brutally dispersed a rebellion of World War 1 veterans in the 1930s.
The rebellion that the movie Captain America 2 suggests, therefore, a political- ideological impossibility. A cinematic exploration of the theme works, but only as an imaginary escape valve to relieve the repression that dulled the "collective consciousness" of Americans and froze their policy options now that they are on a collision course with the Russians and pressed by frightening growth of militarism within the country itself. Moreover, in the USA the aesthetic use of Americanism is the sure guarantee of public and profit. Outside it movie like Captain America 2 reinforce musty image of a country whose real imperialist and brutal actions do not resemble the ideologically artistic versions of the same.
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