We’re a Long Way from the X-Files

Back in the 1990’s, Chris Carter’s the X-Files revolutionized television in Sweden in a lot of ways. Government statistics even saw a massive drop in Internet usage for an hour every time a new episode was aired here. Admittedly the show eventually went downhill, but it was great entertainment nonetheless. So why bring this up?

Reading the Drudge Report about all the fervor over Jon Stewart verbally assaulting Jim Cramer (see next post) got me thinking about how media in the United States has begun shifting to a pro-government outlook, mimicking the rest of the world. In European fiction, corporations and private organizations are virtually always the bad guys, while the government is nearly always hamstrung by laws and regulations, as well as budgetary constraints. If one analyzes this for a theme, it is readily apparent that what the authors and their publishers are saying is: If we just increase government power, we can solve the problems of the private sector. In effect, a rallying cry towards totalitarianism light, even if they don’t see it that way.

In Americana, on the other hand, individuals often struggle against the odds to succeed, more often than not hampered by the government along the way. A rallying cry for regulation of government power, towards a freer society.

America unfortunately seems to have shifted in a European direction lately. Look at excellent television sci-fi shows such as Fringe or Lost. In both, private organizations and corporations are the bad guys. Even in the wonderfully libertarian Firefly, the evil Blue Sun Corporation lurks behind the facade of the Alliance.

To me this seems really strange. Look at any period of history, and see who has caused the most death and suffering: the state, or the private sector. Hundreds of millions of lives are lost to witch hunts, concentration camps, gulags, collectivizations, and war. The Japanese government started World War 2, tested biological weapons on Chinese civilians, and started rape camps in Korea. Sony plagued us with the minidisc format. Yet the overwhelming belief outside the United States is that we need more regulation of the private sector and more government authority.

One economic crash (caused, ironically, by government regulations), has everyone scrambling for a New World Order with one currency, global government regulation, and a ban on low tax (i.e small government) nations. Everyone attacks the private sector and demands it be leashed and enslaved even further. Oddly, when governments murder people by the millions, or simply do what we’ve done in Sweden and lobotomize or castrate anyone deemed odd for 50 years, no one rallies and proclaims that we need a smaller, far more limited government. It’s sad, really. Even loud-mouth political pundits like Jan Guillou who was spied upon by the government for many years is in favor of big government.

So yeah. I miss the paranoia of the X-Files and that whole tin-foil fear of big government and what it was doing behind closed doors.

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~ by Escaping Perdition on March 14, 2009.

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