(urth) OT - Watchmen on trial

James Wynn thewynns at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 22 07:13:47 PST 2005

> On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 17:48:50 -0600, James Wynn <thewynns at earthlink.net> 
> wrote:
>>>Blattid said
>>>No. [The Watchmen is] not a "profoundly fascist" work. It is a profound
>>>work_about_fascism. Gaaaaah.
>>I'd be interested in your explanation of how it was "about" fascism rather
>>than founded on it. I'm not sure how you can say Alan Moore did not
>>**embrace** the most fascistic elements of the comic book superhero genre
>>in "The Watchmen". Are you suggesting Ozy is presented as anything but
>>a hero?

And then Blattid posted a spirited and thoughtful defense of "The Watchmen" 
graphic novel although I must say I'm far from convinced.

>The only people in _Watchmen_ who are actually portrayed as in any
>way heroic are some of the people who die on the streetcorner when
>Veidt's monster materializes...Ozymandias and his actions are
>portrayed as morally ambiguous - _he_
>thinks he's a hero because, inna final analysis, he believes that his
>plan has worked. But is he? He kills the Comedian (the _apparent
>_ facist - who cries his eyes out when he realizes what Veidt is
>doing) to protect his secrets...Yes, Osterman - another character
>of high moral ambiguity

The Comedian is not a fascist. He's a misandrist nihlist. He's painted as 
nothing less than a villian. Ozy is an anti-hero, but a hero nonetheless. 
His manner in killing the Comedian (in much the way Severian kills Typhon) 
is an architypical heroic act. Mr. Manhattan is a melancholy character who 
is somewhat deterministic (to an extent that is difficult to separate from 
fatalistic). But he is painted as nothing if not enlightened. His bestowal 
of his blessing on Ozy's plan cannot be labeled merely ambiguous.

>I wonder if you understand Nietzsche half so well as you think you do.
>"Beware when you wrestle with monsters..." might stand as the motto
>to TDKR.

I probably do not, however, I recommend to you "The Closing of the American 
Mind" by Nietzsche scholar Allan Bloom in the 80s. He devotes a significant 
portion of the book to Nietzsche's philosophy and an entire chapter to the 
political Left's reconstruction and embracing of that philosopher. I found 
that book illuminating as to how leftist writers like Miller and Moore could 
adopt the stances they take in TDKR and TW.

>>In a shameless rip-off of this theme,

>This is simply insulting. Moore had plotted _Watchmen_ LONG before
>TDKR was published.

Plotted is not written, and Manhattan's justification of Ozy's plan almost 
word-for-word mirroring Com. Gordon's justification of Batman simply cannot 
be ignored.

>You want to know a classic that's facistic as all hell?
>Read _Dune_ and pay attention to what's actually going on.
>Master race, fuhrerprinzip, the whole works.

I'll check that out next time I read it. I don't recall any mention of a 
"master race". But the connections some are making between feudalism and 
Wolfe's governments and fascism I do not believe are warranted. The view of 
the King in Christendom cannot be separated from the view of God having a 
theologically rightful place of authority in Heaven. The King is not a 
"leader", he is God's executive. The Roman Empire could be seen possibly as 
proto-fascistic but Egypt and most of Asia (with their god-kings) could not 
IMO. It is hard for me to imagine true fascism (except by analogy) being at 
all related to a religion in which the Leader acts as a **servant** of God.

So the Autarch IMO is not a fascist ruler and neither was King Arthur or 
Silk or Fidel Casto or any other "liberator" or defender of his people 
against powerful aggressors.

~ Crush 

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