“The Hunger Games” is about a powerful central government that controls every aspect of its citizens lives. Some in this society are more fortunate than others, they receive entertainment from the lower classes who are forced to compete in the hunger games. This higher class resides in a capital city far away from the strife of middle and lower class life, they are out of touch and apathetic. Their lives are so plush and carefree that their only concern is to obsess over entertainment, specifically the brutal contest of the hunger games.

The lower classes live meager lives with only the basic necessities available to them. These lower classes participate in the hunger games for a few reasons, mainly because they are forced to, but also because some see it as a way to gain favor with the affluent part of society, and some participate because it is prideful to win.

The more wealthy parts of the lower class participate as well, their motivation is to prove dominance over the lowest classes, reinforce superiority in society, and jockey for power within their class.

In the story, the government knows that without an event such as the hunger games the less fortunate populace would become tired of their poor living conditions, lack of personal freedom, and individual liberty. An insurrection would be very likely in a distractionless world. As a result of this viewpoint the hunger games are made to be a spectacle, propagandized and glorified to garner the attention of the masses. The event offers a glimmer of hope to the people who wish to fight for a better existence. Simultaneously the hunger games are used as a way to intimidate citizens, to remind them that the government’s power is so great that their children can be forcibly removed from them and killed, and there is nothing that can be done to stop it.

To summarize how I interpret “The Hunger Games” story: There is an all powerful highly centralized government that wants its subjects to have enough hope so as not to rise up and overthrow them as a result of this discontent. At the same time they wish to minimize the amount of hope that is felt by the people to stave off a coup resulting from an emboldened, hopeful population. They also use these games to reinforce their unquestionable power over the life of each individual under their rule.

I can’t help but relate this line of thinking to our current situation as Americans. Or even to world history.

The Roman people were shown displays of government favor in the forms of bread being tossed to coliseum crowds, festivals that went on for months, and barbaric displays of aggression that were held up as the best forms of entertainment. This society also regarded military service as its most honorable profession, and service was regarded as the best way for lower class individuals to be seen as part of the elite ruling class.

Today we get “government bread” thrown to us from time to time, Obamacare, American Reinvesment Act, Social Security, etc. The “freebies” pacify the masses as they laud their government for “doing the right thing”. A loyal following of apathetic, idealistic, “useful idiots” is created through this societal bribery. Our society voluntarily participates in the hunger games; the youth of the nation sign up for military service craving respect and honor, hoping to defend our nation from harm, and put their lives on the line to protect what they love. Then they are sent to fight political wars fueled by hateful rhetoric and at times baseless accusations. Galvanizing events are used to lobby support for the wars of aggression and maintain compliance among the populace. Media and government propaganda are utilized to influence the thoughts and beliefs of citizens in order to create strong pro war advocates. The idea of war only for self defense has been demonized and written off as “unpatriotic”. As war rages, the threat of military conscription keeps the young who do not volunteer for war in fear of what may happen, and their parents in fear for their children.

In “The Hunger Games”, the upper class are so disconnected from the lower classes who are forced to fight in the contest that they actually cheer and encourage the murder of children for their entertainment. It is a sick situation that was spawned from a ruthless bloodthirsty government bent on dominating its people. Today in America, Neo-Conservative Republicans talk about “flattening” countries, and turning desert nations “into glass”, simply because they practice a different religion or have a different form of government. The “nuke ’em” advocates dismissively ignore the massive amount of collateral damage that is inflicted on innocent civilians during conflict. Clearly the aggressive, bloodthirsty foreign policy that our government has chosen to pursue has created a mindset that shows little respect to human life.

We do not yet live in a complete totalitarian state. However, I feel that the parallels between today’s America and the future America portrayed in “The Hunger Games” are many. The future of our nation may well end up similar to the America depicted in the film as a result of trends we see today.

These are just the musings of a paranoid, conspiratorial, libertarian, nutcase. Ignore them if you choose, but don’t laugh at them, because while you sit and laugh, the ruling elite and special interest continue to dismantle and pervert the law to benefit their totalitarian state agenda.

  1. manmeetsblog says:

    I don’t totally disagree with your assessment. Ron Paul and libertarianism appeal to me enough that I’ve donated to his campaign. But I have heard even Paul admit that his “utopian” version of a world without government has never actually existed. I’m not sure that it could. The person who inspires me more than Ron Paul, and the person I wish I had voted for instead of Al Gore in 2000 is Ralph Nader. Nader’s Green Party is similar to the Libertarian Party in some ways, different in others. The balancing act we always face is where government can do us good and where it should get out of the way.

    For instance, I agree with Ron Paul that governments have no business give companies like Wal-Mart huge tax breaks in order to get them to come to town. On the flip side, however, Paul supports “Right to Work”, anti-labor legislation. As a union member, I would be glad to go into detail as to why “Right to Work” doesn’t work. Are there major problems with corruption in organized labor? You bet. But “Right to Work” is hardly the answer. See the Green Party platform on labor (www.gp.org) for more.

    I tend to agree with Paul on foreign policy and civil liberties as well. My biggest issue with Libertarians is honestly this belief that capitalism works just fine without regulation. There has to be a balancing act. Government has no business keeping big banks afloat, but I do believe it has a role to regulate the smaller ones. (If our antitrust laws were enforced, big banks would most likely not exist in their current form.)

    I’ll vote for the President in November because his party is (in my opinion) the less of two evils. But I, like you, worry about our descent toward totalitarianism.

    Just my two cents.

    • swburke21 says:

      Im glad you commented, I appreciate the input.

      You touched on several things that I intend on posting about in the near future. But I will tip my hat a little and briefly explain my position on the issues that you present.

      Sometimes I think others confuse Libertarianism with Anarchism, or at least aspects of it. You may have misinterpreted previous posts of mine and assume that I am anti-government. I’m not. I don’t feel that government has no role to play, I feel that they have a very limited role to play. I feel that it is up to the public to remain vigilant and hold our government in check so as to prevent the descent into tyranny that has occurred with other nations in the past. I believe that some men ultimately want as much power as they can get, and do not care what they have to do to get it. Those men use government and religion to accomplish their goals (historically). The few take advantage of the many by using the structure that was built to protect them.

      For these reasons, I love the constitution and the enumerated powers. I understand that it was not a perfect document and was written by imperfect people. If it was perfect we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in today, arguing over the constitutionality of this and that. But in my opinion it is the best plan ever devised to create a limited, representative republic, and I feel it should be adhered to.

      In regard to unions: simply put, I believe in free markets and unionized labor can play a critical role in keeping markets fair and free. I have no qualms with a private independent labor union. I do take issue with public unions and also private unions that work hand and hand with the Federal government to collude against private industry.

      I know that Right to work is a somewhat divisive issue. I do not have a clear understanding of what all it entails and don’t feel comfortable entering a conversation on it. I would be happy to see your take on it. In the mean time I will attempt to educate myself more on the matter.

      I am under the understanding that the Federal government has the power to regulate interstate commerce and can use its power to break up monopolies. I believe that monopolies eventually cease to exist in a free market due to market corrections, supply issues, innovation, demand, and consumer sentiment. I also believe that there cannot be much of an argument mounted in defense of the Federal Governments current ability to prevent or destroy monopolies, it seems that the market does a better job while the government bails out the failing big businesses, banks, etc., or just gets in bed with them.

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