Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

So. Avatar: Legend of Korra politics came up once again

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • So. Avatar: Legend of Korra politics came up once again

    This is an offtopic from the Vampire:Masquerade. I think we can keep it here and see if it raises interest

    Also, want to promote this, it's pretty great. Critics say it's too indepth of an analisis for a childrens cartoon - but Korra explicitly wanted to be more than that. Korra wanted to touch adult themes and politics, so I think it's fair to do a serious analisis about it's political message:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ModX...KayAndSkittles
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6alQ...KayAndSkittles
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DyK...KayAndSkittles
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGX2...KayAndSkittles - here it's where actual Fascism comes in

    For the uninitiated, this started as a debate about Amon being Fascist or a Socialist

    Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post

    The reason why the metaphor doesn’t work is because benders are not oppressed on the Avatar wolrd like Jews are in real life!

    Facists target easy scapegoats not popular sports players and religious figure.s
    You quoted the wrong post.

    But yeah, I agree, and then some

    Originally posted by CTPhipps
    I feel like this is a rabbit hole that falls apart the same way that saying the Friends of Humanity and Sentinels have a point. Even if you can argue it, it's not something you can without destroying the entire basis of the franchise. When the protagonists are benders, I don't think you're meant to side with the people who want to exterminate them.
    The Friends of Humanity that I remember are mutant-phobes that attack mutants 'cuz they're diferent and scary, that thrive in a place where muntants clearly don't have all the social privileges
    .
    If mutants had social privileges on top of their powers, and humans were being sistematically abused by them, then FoH would have a point in spite of their despicable methods (humans won't just stop being harassed - you need to do something about that, too . Or you would say oppresion it's ok if the ones in power have cool mutant powers backing it?).

    One can debate how oppressed are non-benders in Korra book 1.

    On the side of systemic oppression:
    *It's shown that they suffer violence from benders
    *"non benders" aren't being represented by the political class (1rst non-bending president was stated to be a consequence of Amon's revolution).
    *A lot of jobs are only for benders, including all of the military and the police
    *There aren't official sports where non-benders can participate until book 2 (also made as a consequence of what Amon did in book 1)

    On the side of this oppresion being a sham:
    *Some non benders are rich?

    One can say that benders are privileged because they *are* better (they have powers), and thus it's not unjust at all.

    But then, defenders of real life status quo say, and trully believe, the same about poor people (elitism), and also about afro-americans (racism). The fact that a few members of a minority can ger rich it's also used as a way to show there isn't any oppresion by those that would defend the status quo.

    More so: "a group of egalitarians that want to take away what makes you special, and balance everyone to the lowest common denominator" it's exactly what the far-rigth says about Socialism.

    That commies are going to turn society into a bland mass of gray, poor/powerless, ppl has been the anty-communist preach since forever ("distribution of poverty", "they're going to take away your stuff and send you to live in a monoblock"), and saying that Fascism it's the inevitable end result of Socialism (and the *real end goal* of all socialist leaders - obligatory Venezuela insert?) it's also very common among the rigth.

    Amon fails at being a Socialist because this facist distort of what true egalitarians want it's wrong, but the very fact that a muggle president was elected and a new sport was invented (as if Amon had a point) points towards the idea that the intention was to depict what they perceive as a genuine problem of egalitarianism , and not just an excuse for Facism.

    Whether intentionally or not, Amon fits right into what the far-right says about the dangers of Socialism - right into the whole fascist outbreak at the end of season 1. If the intention was for Amon to be a Nazi, like the dudes with the centinels in X-Men are, Korra did a bad job (if it needs to be said: Nazis haven't a point, much less *that* point) - Even ignoring the fact the actual ideology was never contested 'cuz Amon was a fraud that just wanted revenge all along.

    Also, Korra has book 4 for a dictatorship, complete with inner threats, segregation and concentration camps, I hear - legit Facists. And that does an even worse job than book 1 take on egalitarianism ... If Kay And Skittles it's rigth (I left in book 3 tremendously bad depiction of anarchism, so I leave that to the judgement of the ppl)

    I honestly think Korra's book 1 was the best - minus the ending. Loved Amon, loved the fear he inspired, loved the non-bender badass normal ninjas, hated that he was a fraud and the situation of non-benders was never touched upon again. It was a downhil experience from there
    Last edited by Aleph; 04-29-2021, 10:16 AM.

  • #2
    Yeah like their some rich black people. That doesn’t mean racism doesn’t exist.

    Imagine X-men if half of world leaders and politicians where mutants their where popular sports that where mutant only and everyone loved and jobs only mutants could do.
    Thank you for articulating my point! On how Korras equalists don’t make sense as either a facist or communist allegory.

    Star Vs the Forces of Evil another kids show has a oppression metaphor and a racist and genocidal villan. But guess what they actually show Monsters being oppressed! Before the Xenophobic Not!Sailor moon shows up
    Last edited by Konradleijon; 04-29-2021, 12:06 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Amon was a pure bigot posing as whatever you think the leaders of the French Revolution were. He had a personal-maybe-turned-ideological grudge against the very existence of bending and gathered support for a campaign to wipe it out by appealing to nonbenders’ sense of being second-class citizens and twisting it into genocidal sentiment against their perceived oppressors.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah but Non-benders are second class citizens.

        Plus it’s stupid to say bigotry comes from one pissed off guy with a personal grudge.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
          Amon was a pure bigot posing as whatever you think the leaders of the French Revolution were. He had a personal-maybe-turned-ideological grudge against the very existence of bending and gathered support for a campaign to wipe it out by appealing to nonbenders’ sense of being second-class citizens and twisting it into genocidal sentiment against their perceived oppressors.
          He was a traumatized child that had a thing against benders in general and the avatar in particular, and made a whole political movement to channel that.

          BUT Toph in book 4 explicitly states that Amon really wanted equality, but went too far...

          ...which it's bullshit. Toph became more blind with her age, it seems. Yet you can't tell me wise old Toph wasn't the voice of the authors there, in that scene. Maybe the authors just forgot?

          But, you see, the thing is:

          The Equalists, regardless of what Amon wanted, had a supposedly egalitarian agenda. We never see how true it's that nonbenders are second-class citizens, we only have their word for it, and some vague hints (until the waterbender takes power, cuts the ligth of nonbender neigborhoods, and cordons them there until they rat the Equalists out. Then nonbenders are clearly depicted as second-class, whose livehoods can be denied in a whim)

          The egalitarian discourse against oppresion it's there (if not in Amon, in the nonbenders that folowed). And since that discourse it's never, ever, contested (ultimately Korra doesn't even try to prove that nonbenders aren't really being oppressed, she just "unmasks" the leader as a liar),we have little choice but grant it could be true (and the show does that too, when they elect the nonbender president).

          That Amon was just a fraud and a biggot all along, and never cared about equality, it's exactly what anty-communist say about any socialist leader ever: "See how they live a rich life, while the poor toil. They say they're against unequality, but just want the riches for themselves" - that Amon looses when he's discovered as part of the "class of the oppressors" it's very alegorical of that worldview
          .
          Clearly the authors have a wrong vision of what Socialism is or stands for. That vision fails to portray real life Socialism - in my humble opinion - BUT if you see what Capitalist Realism stands for, you will see that the vision of Socialism such worldview has, it's exactly what the Equalists (and even Amon) do in the show - complete with "going the too far" thing
          Last edited by Aleph; 04-29-2021, 02:53 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah Korra could not handle complex political themes at all. Maybe if they had simpler villains like Gangs? Wouldn’t gangs make sense in the new setting of republic city?

            Comment


            • #7
              I think part of the problem is that people are taking Amon at his word when Amon's motivations are due to the fact his father was an insane wizard. The leaders of Republic City are bender but it's not a requirement that they be Benders because we KNOW it's not.



              Old Sokka was on the Council.

              The problems of Republic City are problems of CAPITALISM and the fact that the city's system are not providing enough jobs or a social safety net for the public. However, Amon is providing a scapegoat for them to hate. The fact they also have a pro-sport that only they can do is also a pretty weird line to draw for intolerables. Plenty of sports require bodies that other people don't ona professional level.

              The question is really, can ANYONE describe other than "Benders can do stuff that other people can't", how lobotomizing or killing them helps the poverty and misery that lead to the Equalists?

              That Amon was just a fraud and a bigot all along, and never cared about equality, it's exactly what anty-communist say about any socialist leader ever: "See how they live a rich life, while the poor toil. They say they're against unequality, but just want the riches for themselves" - that Amon looses when he's discovered as part of the "class of the oppressors" it's very alegorical of that worldview
              .
              Clearly the authors have a wrong vision of what Socialism is or stands for. That vision fails to portray real life Socialism - in my humble opinion - BUT if you see what Capitalist Realism stands for, you will see that the vision of Socialism such worldview has, it's exactly what the Equalists (and even Amon) do in the show - complete with "going the too far" thing
              I feel like basically you're clinging very strongly to Amon, a man who is engaged in fraud WE KNOW TO BE TRUE (because he's a blood bender with a faked backstory), when we have an actually SINCERE leveler in Zaheer. The narrative also makes it clear that Zaheer is a better person than Amon too even if he's also got his own issues.

              So why defend Amon and not Zaheer?

              Why stick up for the guy who lies to his followers, practices minority based terrorism, preaches a system of fantastic racism versus Zaheer's economics based one, and generally is far more close to a fascist ideal?

              And while socialists are the opposite of fascists, there have been authoritarian socialists who were murderous pure evil. Because authoritarianism is always evil.
              Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-29-2021, 04:12 PM.


              Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

              Forum Terms of Use
              the Contact Us link.

              Comment


              • #8
                While I haven't had time to watch all the videos, or catch completely up on the discussion in the other thread:

                I don't feel it's fair to conflate socialism and communism as one thing; esp. the modern entirely non-Marxist Communism spread by the Stalin era and post-Stalin USSR. Are we actually going to argue that guys like Stalin, Mao, and Kim did communism correctly by Marxist principles? That they didn't provide capitalists the perfect anti-communist propaganda by being power hording corrupt asshats that killed millions instead of that being pure fiction?

                "That Amon was just a fraud and a biggot all along, and never cared about equality, it's exactly what anty-communist say about any socialist leader ever." is a non-sense claim. It's what a dozen or so specific figures are framed as because... a lot of them were. The propaganda isn't that calling some really prominent bad socialists/communists out for being hypocrites, but never engaging with the history and legacy of all the Marxist/socialist/communist leaders that aren't those guys; and the hypocrisy of capitalist leaders of course. What the show gets wrong with the Equalists in historical context, is that the people that Amon represents don't start revolutionary movements: they supplant them with a totalitarian regime. You don't get Stalin without Lenin. You don't get Mao without Chen Duxiu,

                LoK either needed Amon to not be a fraud and Tarloc to be the Stalin/etc. figure that subverts his brother's movement, or needed an Equalist that was true to the ideals of the movement for Amon to supplant. A Lenin character to Amon-Stalin would have given the narrative space to explain the Equalist movement's goals and grievances without the taint of Amon's personal villainy.

                I also think it's not really a great critique to trying to have it both ways with some of the vague spots in the LoK story. "This part of things in the story isn't fully explored or defined in the setting, so we have to assume the worst interpretation that just so happens to back up our critique's conclusion," isn't really that compelling of an argument.

                Edit:

                I also think there's a huge difference between "not getting political ideologies," and not using them in the way a critic thinks is good.

                I don't think the LoK authors were actually trying to pen a take down of left-wing politics, or when left-wing politics goes "too far." It seems far more likely that their intent was to use the political upheavals of the early 1900s are a macro-reflection of Korra's emotional journey. She is a literal embodiment of a traditional system that has met the end of its utility. Her struggle to figure out what being the Avatar means in a world that no longer wants to be subject to the whims of a sole unaccountable agent of balance wandering around doling out their personal view of justice, is paralleled by a society that doesn't know where its going and is far more defined by what it's trying to no longer be.

                This isn't to say that means the political messaging doesn't deserve criticism for being handled poorly, but if you're going to make claims about what the authors were trying to do, you're putting their intentions on the table.
                Last edited by Heavy Arms; 04-29-2021, 04:43 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Phipps Sokka was a respected war hero and friends with the Avatar/magic elemental Buddha. He isn’t just a normal non bender. In 1870 Mississippi their was a black politician in Mississippi those that mean racism didn’t exist in 1870s Mississippi?

                  This has the theriom argument the writers chose to make Amon a lying hypocrites and to frame the equalists moment like nazis. Despite benders not being oppressed.

                  Thinking about it further my biggest issue with the "Equalists are supposed to be fascists" is with whom they're opposing. Benders clearly have an advantage over non-Benders. We see Bender gangs extorting mundane shop-owners, Benders comprise the entirety of the government (that no one elects the Council is true but of little relevance), and in-general Benders objectively have advantages over non-Benders. Fascists... didn't oppose any group that fits those descriptions. The Jews weren't actually in power in Germany, and obviously, it's not any more applicable to socialists.
                  Last edited by Konradleijon; 04-29-2021, 05:15 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
                    Phipps Sokka was a respected war hero and friends with the Avatar/magic elemental Buddha. He isn’t just a normal non bender. In 1870 Mississippi their was a black politician in Mississippi those that mean racism didn’t exist in 1870s Mississippi?

                    This has the theriom argument the writers chose to make Amon a lying hypocrites and to frame the equalists moment like nazis. Despite benders not being oppressed.
                    Yes, I do believe that the point of a show about Benders and the heroic nature of their power as a way to achieve social justice against unjust systems (Fire Nation, Equalists, Tyrants) is going to state that blaming Benders for social injustice is meant to be prejudice.

                    Thinking about it further my biggest issue with the "Equalists are supposed to be fascists" is with whom they're opposing. Benders clearly have an advantage over non-Benders. We see Bender gangs extorting mundane shop-owners, Benders comprise the entirety of the government (that no one elects the Council is true but of little relevance), and in-general Benders objectively have advantages over non-Benders. Fascists... didn't oppose any group that fits those descriptions. The Jews weren't actually in power in Germany, and obviously, it's not any more applicable to socialists.
                    1. Benders have superpowers but these powers do not provide them with financial success or guarantees of good lives. The biracial children of Republic City like Bolin and Mako are homeless street kids despite having the power to bend lightning and the Earth. Their power means NOTHING in terms of privilege socially or objectively.

                    2. This seems very much like an argument that fascists themselves would make. "All Benders are bad because they do crimes." Replace that with Jews, Italians, or Blacks.

                    3. And we know that it is not a requirement that you have to be a Bender to be on the Council. Essentially, this is another fascist talking point. "There's Jews in the government. Politicians meet with Jews! The Jews are controlling the government!"

                    4. It basically goes further and ignores the immense amount of privilege the Equalists have due to the power they wield. They are supported by the equivalent of Henry Ford, a man who was a noted famous Anti-Semite himself, and wield vast amounts of power due to their rising tide of ethno-nationalism. Like the Pre-Coup Nazis, their paramilitary army gives them power in a supposedly just city.

                    5. Except, Benders eventually DO end up Oppressed. Ammon takes over Republic city and institutes a lobotomy of all Benders in the city. Even if I were to accept your argument, are they fascists then?

                    Essentially, I think you're taking the Equalists as arguing in Good Faith and believing that because Anti-Bendism is a new phenomenon and not a longstanding prejudice that it can't be fascist. You've taken the view also that fascism=Punching down and communism=punching up. Except, the victims of Amon aren't just privileged Benders but the huge number of working class and even impoverished benders that exist.

                    Because it's a racial allegory. People are born Benders or they aren't as Sokka's master shows.
                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-29-2021, 05:42 PM.


                    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                    Forum Terms of Use
                    the Contact Us link.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As I mentioned before, another good video on the subject from Hello Future ME

                      Here

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You do know white people can be poor and that doesn’t invalidate racism? “White trash” doesn’t mean white supremacy doesn’t exist
                        Also The Rothschilds doesn’t mind antisemtism isn’t real.

                        Phipps are you white?

                        anyone also have issues with how season 2 of Korra tried to tackle religious fundamentalism and theocracy with a indigenous coded animist!
                        Last edited by Konradleijon; 04-29-2021, 06:20 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by omenseer View Post
                          As I mentioned before, another good video on the subject from Hello Future ME

                          Here
                          I've got to say, I do find this far more compelling. Trying to figure out what the authors are trying to say before looking at how well the allegories in a story works is, generally, a better literary analysis that something that feels like jumping the gun on what the allegories of LoK are, and then back-filling in why the strawman is bad.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            1. Benders have superpowers but these powers do not provide them with financial success or guarantees of good lives. The biracial children of Republic City like Bolin and Mako are homeless street kids despite having the power to bend lightning and the Earth. Their power means NOTHING in terms of privilege socially or objectively.
                            This.... really isn't how privilege works. Yes, some Benders don't benefit from privilege. Not all white people benefit from being white either. Benders dominate political life in the setting. Remember the Republic City is the most progressive part of the world in the setting. The elemental nations are all still ruled by Benders; even the relatively-compared-to-the-others Air and Metal Benders. Republic City is the only place non-Benders aren't inherently second class citizens, and even then not having superpowers puts them at a serious disadvantage.

                            Mako is a homeless street kid somewhat by choice. He can do something lots of people can't: go to work making electricity for the city. He clearly views it as something like trying to make ends meet by getting paid to donate blood instead of work, while non-Benders don't have a whole set of jobs waiting for them that only non-Benders can do. Though he does humble up later.

                            4. It basically goes further and ignores the immense amount of privilege the Equalists have due to the power they wield.
                            That's... not privilege. That's political power, yes, but those aren't the same thing. The Equalists (remembering that the vast majority of them are portrayed as normal citizens with at least some level of justified grievance at the inequality in their society) have to work hard for that power.

                            Even if I were to accept your argument, are they fascists then?
                            Not just to CT here...

                            Can we stop slapping labels on everything? I think this conversation would be a lot more productive if people used some common definitions of these terms and justified labels if they're going to get used. Doing some things fascists do doesn't make you a fascist. Stalin was staunchly and honestly (by all historical accounts) anti-fascist despite his version of communism doing plenty of the same moral evils as Mussolini's government did.

                            I don't see a case for the Equalists being fascists. Amon isn't even a fascist despite his deceptions. Fascism has some very specific aspects that are simply not present (such as high levels of nationalism) in the Equalist movement. That doesn't make them right, it just means the wrong words are being used to describe them.

                            Because it's a racial allegory. People are born Benders or they aren't as Sokka's master shows.
                            No, it's an allegory about what makes up identities. Race is a fictional social narrative, Bending is a real difference. Usian Bolt and I construct our identities very differently. He has to incorporate being naturally advantaged in sprinting, I have to deal with having a very poor body for athletics. It's not about the color of our skin (though that does of course have impact because we exist in a world were the racial narrative is something we have to cope with).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
                              You do know white people can be poor and that doesn’t invalidate racism? “White trash” doesn’t mean white supremacy doesn’t exist
                              Also The Rothschilds doesn’t mind antisemtism isn’t real.

                              Phipps are you white?
                              I believe white privilege exists very strongly in terms of how people are treated by authority, institutions, and systemic privilege. I also believe that this is definitely why Benders are persecuted for their religious and ethnic minority. Mind you, I know that "white privilege doesn't exist" is a lie. It's nto a sincere belief and you claim it, you're disguising much more overt white supremacy. I grew up in Kentucky and the simple fact is that people who claim these things are not actually ignorant.

                              No, they're malicious and the sooner you call them out as white supremacists the better. It's a liberal ignorance that their enemies aren't racists and bigots.

                              If you say white privilege doesn't exist, you are a white supremacist. That is my belief.

                              So does this mean I am a Bender supremacist?

                              anyone also have issues with how season 2 of Korra tried to tackle religious fundamentalism and theocracy with a indigenous coded animist!
                              Reactionary religious fundamentalists led by a man trying to be the Anti-Christ is why Season 2 is the worst Season.

                              But seriously, I worry about people trying to "both sides" a group that proposes genocide.

                              Originally posted by Heavy Arms
                              I don't see a case for the Equalists being fascists. Amon isn't even a fascist despite his deceptions. Fascism has some very specific aspects that are simply not present (such as high levels of nationalism) in the Equalist movement. That doesn't make them right, it just means the wrong words are being used to describe them.
                              He's proposing a militaristic ethno-state that scapegoats minorities and uses an appeal to Tradition (The Spirits) to justify it. It fits most of Umberto Eco's 14 points.

                              https://www.openculture.com/2016/11/...f-fascism.html

                              I think if you fall into the trap that, "Mutants are the real bigots!" I hate in X-men fandom.
                              Last edited by CTPhipps; 04-29-2021, 07:21 PM.


                              Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                              Forum Terms of Use
                              the Contact Us link.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X