11.09.2012

Friday Funday: Comrade Bond?

Recently the blog Criticwire put out a fun piece with some strong evidence that James Bond may have been a closet socialist:

"After five films, Bond's enemies were already becoming cliché; now, after twenty-three, they're basically interchangeable cartoons. They're also, with surprising frequency, evil capitalists. Which raised a kind of silly but somewhat serious question in my mind: is James Bond, Cold War hero, secretly a socialist?
 
Here's what I mean. Let's put aside the Sean Connery and George Lazenby Bonds, which feature 007 fighting the terrorist organization SPECTRE and its leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. That leaves you with the sixteen films starring Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig which were made as the Cold War thawed and then faded into history. By my count, at least twelve of the remaining sixteen titles feature villains who could be described as "evil capitalists" -- and one of the four that doesn't, "Die Another Day," sports a North Korean colonel masquerading as an evil capitalist (for reasons known only to him and the screenwriters)."
 
By eliminating all these billionaires, Bond is, in a sense, acting as a wealth redistributor. If you think capitalizm needs government oversight to function properly, and that no system works without checks and balances, then Bond is just the action hero equivalent of the SEC. If you believe the free markets is always the best solution for society's problems, and that business should be left free of outside intervention, then we might need to reconsider the meaning of the title "From Russia with Love"."
 
Let's start by putting aside the fact that Bond is not real, and that his on-screen attributes and actions are, and always have been, the direct result of decisions by Ian Fleming and subsequent screenwriters, film makers, studios and actors. That said, looking at him as the writer above does, it is not trivial to note that his actions are, for the most part, directed by Her Majesty's government.

Does that mean that there is some nefarious socialist plot in the British governmental hierarchy? Is Bond all part of a bigger global plot to dismantle capitalism? Is MI-6 really just an organ for communism?
 
While this is all very heady stuff, I think I will just enjoy James Bond in Skyfall for what he might also represent...every boy's dream.
 
 Tip of the cap to M.A.

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