Red Dawn Rising

Red dawn came out in 1984. Besides the first ten minutes, the film was nothing more than a chicken hawk wet dream for the cold war. It is somewhat appropriate that the film was released in 1984 since it represents a major element of neoconservative thinking. At the point that it was released the Soviet Union was a walking corpse of its former self. A paper tiger now used as a means of scaring Americans into supporting defense spending and the Reagan doctrine. It feeds into the myth that a particular nation is inherently good and that it is surrounded by hostile nations/ideologies that must be destroyed because they are evil. After all, war is peace. Last night though, I came across a videogame that is going to be released called Homefront.

Wolverines for Life, Liberty, and the American Way!

I am not saying video games are evil but I want to look at the ideology behind one in particular. Like any other medium, video games can represent ideas and for this matter they are an important art form. If it’s the military fetishism/jingoism of Call of Duty or the right wing paranoia of Homefront, these ideas should be examined.

Essentially the plot of Homefront is that North Korea takes over the entire Korean peninsula then expands its control over the rest of Asia and then somehow successfully occupies the United States. Sounds familiar right? Well it’s cool to see people ripping off Phillip K Dick, but here is what really bothered me about the whole thing. In the trailer there is footage of what I guess is someone at a tea party rally saying how they hate commies. It fits into the paranoid thinking that is popular amongst many in the Tea Party movement that hostile forces in America and abroad are trying to destroy them.

There is this idea amongst the right wing in America that they are under siege. They are being attacked from liberals, Marxists, Muslim-fascist terrorists and the shadowy elite. After 9/11 it was terrorists, during the cold war it was Marxists and socialists and before that it was uppity unions. America loves the underdog and does not want to be perceived as being the country that starts the fight. They like finishing the fight though. However that image is hard to maintain when you are the de facto global military power. So they create myths about themselves.

In order for them to continue to see themselves as being inherently good they have to be able to believe in myths. The myth is that America is the only nation that is good in this world and that all its major institutions must be defended. Leo Strauss (the ideological basis of neo-conservatism) believed that a noble lie was required in order to bring purpose to a shaky society. A permanent state of emergency further embeds this myth within the conscience of America. It is much easier to think that America is threatened by Muslim instead of a few thousand followers of Sayyid Qutb. It is easier to think that powerful and evil communists are standing at the ready to undermine America than actually understand the nuances of economics and geopolitics. The key point here is that there needs to be a simple and monolithic enemy.

So the latest means of propagating the myth of American righteousness is the videogame. Maybe they are just cashing in the right wing feelings located in America at the moment. The martyr mindset of middle America is easily manipulated and can generate a great deal of money.

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