Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Star Wars, Republic and Empire

The disintegration of the American republic into an empire with empty republican forms as happened to Rome has now become obvious to many. The Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer saw this coming over 25 years ago and located the cause in the idolatry of personal peace and affluence. One of the more astonishing features of the American scene today is how Christians, many of whom know and honor Schaeffer, are foremost in despising his warning and in heartily embracing the abominable values that he identified as the root of the trouble.
But then they despise the words of Jesus in their Bibles in the same way, so what's the matter with me that this should surprise me?!

It has struck me for a long time that the enormously popular Star Wars movies fascinate Americans because they portray the struggle between America as it would like to see itself and America as it truly is. Even in such details as the empire ruling subject planets through local thugs like Jabba the Hutt, the portrayal of American empire is very realistic. The dress, demeanor, speech, and behavior of imperial storm troopers is also most accurately portrayed - compare the resemblance of the scene in Tatooine with the Americans in Baghdad, so similar except for the far greater brutality seen in real life Baghdad, Tel Afar, and Fallujah.

This illustrates another point in which Francis Schaeffer showed great understanding - the importance of arts and culture in revealing the deep realities of any society and its true beliefs.



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