July 26, 2012
'The Dark Knight' is no capitalist
A brilliant piece by Gavin Mueller in Jacobin:
Wayne has no interest in profit, in accumulation, in investing his wealth to produce more wealth. If you don’t see M-C-M’ you don’t have capitalism. Now, the character of Bruce Wayne has always been imbued with noblesse oblige, but let’s not get that confused with what a capitalist does. Wayne funds orphanages and renewable energy in distinction to the actual capitalist, Daggett, who is trying to pillage Wayne Enterprises, Bain-Capital-style. Daggett is pointedly dissed at a party full of rich people because he’s only interested in money. Those silly noveau-riche, so gauche, am I right?
...[T]his is a class struggle all right, but it’s not between Bane’s pseudo-proles and Gotham’s elite with their cop army. That’s a sideshow. The struggle is within the ruling class itself, between the capitalist Daggett and the aristocratic Wayne. Wayne is far more feudalism than finance: heir to a manor complete with fawning manservant, unconcerned with business or money-making, bound by duty and honor even if it makes him a recluse.
Meanwhile, Daggett represents the rapaciousness and self-destructiveness of unfettered acquisition, stooping to working with terrorists to edge out Wayne’s position on the board of directors. And so we’re presented with a choice, which like with so much ideology is a false one: be ruled by the chaotic profit motive who holds out empty promises of liberation, or by an unaccountable violent lord who nevertheless promises to look out for our best interests. Using the French Revolution for inspiration, the Nolans have restaged the question of bourgeois revolution, but in reverse. They want you to stand with the monarchists.
Here’s where the renewable energy plot comes in. Wayne invested heavily in fusion power, which was apparently successful. However, he shuttered the project at great personal cost because he was worried about it being weaponized. This is why we can’t have nice things, world! Your betters have constructed cheap, clean, renewable energy, but it could be turned into a weapon by evil people (Russians of course, those reliable tragic mullatoes of global cinema – so white and so good at science, yet so ethnically other that things always go badly). So Wayne mothballs it “to keep it out of the wrong hands.” He alone determines the fate of the realm – in the name of the people, of course – as he hobbles around his mansion.
Read the rest here.
Posted by Zujaja Tauqeer at 10:11 AM | Permalink