The Instigator
socialpinko
Pro (for)
Winning
34 Points
The Contender
RationalMadman
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Nolan's Batman Trilogy as a vindication of conservatism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2012 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,596 times Debate No: 27479
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (9)

 

socialpinko

Pro

The thesis undertaken by Pro will be to show that Nolan's Batman trilogy is best interpreted as a defense/justification of modern conservatism. Con's burden will be to deconstruct/refute Pro's case with the added option of defending an opposing interpretation.


Christopher Nolan is a film-director who wrote/directed the latest 'Batman' film installment, a trilogy consisting of "Batman Begins", "The Dark Knight", and "The Dark Knight Rises".


===Rules===


1. Drops will count as concessions.
2. Semantic or abusive arguments will not be counted.
3. New arguments brought in the last round will not be counted.
4. R1 is for acceptance. Argumentation begins in R2.
5. BoP is shared between Pro and Con.
RationalMadman

Con

I think it's more to do with personal justice systems being superior to governmental ones. So quite apart from the philosophy of conservatism.

Anyway go ahead, please don't use too many sources... It's sort of irritating for me.
Debate Round No. 1
socialpinko

Pro

The Dark Knight: TDK
The Dark Knight Rises: TDK


===The Dark Knight===


In TDK, Batman creates a city-wide surveillance system in an attempt to locate the Joker. Bruce decided that locating and capturing the Joker was more important than the security of Gotham's citizenry. The scope of this privacy invasion was so massive as to lead Lucius Fox to give Batman an ultimatum, that he couldn't work with Batman so long as the surveillance system was in place. This part of the movie can be likened to the broadly defined War on Terror. In order to capture and stop terrorists who don't play by the conventional rules of war, the USFG engaged in warrantless wiretapping.


Under the 'conservative' interpretation, Batman is likened to the law-giver, the person (or entity) charged with keeping law and order in the face of a grave threat. The Joker on the other hand is likened to modern terrorism. The only way to stop the Joker is to massively violate the privacy rights of the entire city. But in Batman's own mind it's worth it. The bottom line is all that counts; much in the same way that conservatives defended Bush's warrantless wiretapping under a "bottom line" justification.


===The Dark Knight Rises===


In TDKR, Batman's new nemesis Bane who takes over Gotham by leading a quasi-communist revolution, taking out the authorities, and beginning a reign of terror over the city. Bane under the conservative interpretation represents leftist radicalism and perhaps even the Occupy movement. Batman's responsibility is to stop this socialist revolutionary. In this scenario, Batman takes the (interpretive) form of the status quo. The movie leaves us with two choices. Either the (albeit imperfect) status quo with all its inequalities or a dictatorial communist dystopia. TDKR is not idealistic. It sees both options as more or less unsatisfactory, but views everything through a pragmatic lense.


Modern capitalism isn't perfect. It opens the doors to large wealth inequalities and numerous chances for many to fall through the cracks. But with the choice of capitalist Gotham or Bane's communist dystopia, the choice is clear for Batman. Capitalism (represented by Gotham's unequal and sometimes corrupt politico-economic system) is but a necessary evil. Radical attempts to create utopias themselves become worse than what they seek to rectify.


===Con's Rival Interpretation===


Con's own interpretation of Nolan's trilogy is that "personal justice systems being superior to governmental ones". This interpretation is untenable for a few reasons. First, Batman's own opinion in TDK clearly contradicts this. In TDK, Batman is looking for someone to do his job "without a mask". This person is Harvey Dent, Gotham's new District Attorney. Batman clearly doesn't think personal justice is superior. He's simply unsatisfied with the *current* governmental one in place. This is further evidenced by Bruce's willingness to turn himself in, by him helping Gordon to cover up Dent's killing spree and thus helping to preserve the work Dent has done, and by his willingness to work with the police on numerous occasions.


Another crucial point of evidence against this interpretation comes from TDKR. A side-story comes up where Bruce and Alfred fight over Bruce's obsession with the Batman and unwillingness to give up on his vigilantism. Alfred wishes Bruce would give up the life while Bruce can't let go. At the end of the film though Bruce is content to leave the crime fighting to the police, instead choosing the live a quite life with Selena Kyle and thus in the end finally finding peace. Bruce's life as Batman wasn't something he thought was better than traditional government. He did it because he had demons he wasn't willing to face. And when he finally overcame those demons, he was content to stop.
RationalMadman

Con

I will tell you this now. I'm no fan of batman. I'm very faithful is security over privacy and issues like that and I shall now explain why, although not completely opposed to it, the Batman Trilogy (especially the First and Third) display philosophies and moral codes of conduct far beyond the realms of Law and Order.

Batman follows his own whims, he uses carbon emitting batmobile with huge energy wasted for electricity in his all-lit underground research lab. He beats sh*t out of enemies on his own whims and even is chased by conservative police for this reason.

It is pure liberty and unconservatism to beat down a man of authority (as he did in "The Dark Knight" as well as tying a man by his legs and dangling him (as he also did in the same movie). This is terrible awful unforgivable in conservative society.

Truth is truth that is all.
Debate Round No. 2
socialpinko

Pro

First, I'd like to simply extend my main argument from R2 seeing as Con has decided not to challenge it.


On to Con's own rival interpretation, I'd like to also extend my pre-emptive counter which Con also decided not to challenge. But allow me if I may to shortly summarize my previous argument against this interpretation.


No one would deny that throughout the series, Batman works mostly outside of the law. From this alone though we cannot justifiably jump to a justified interpretation of the series. For instance, in the film "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer", Henry is a homicidal psychopath who is incapable of love. Now just extrapolating from the content alone, we wouldn't be able to justifiably say that the message of the movie is that serial killing is justified or anything like that. That's simply equivocating content with message.


Furthermore, the series clearly portrays Batman's extra-legal activities as something not be idealized, but stemming from the fact that Bruce Wayne is a man with demons he's not willing to face. And in the end when he does face those, we see him finally able to give up his compulsion and live happily.


Back to Con.
RationalMadman

Con

Following one's own justice system and carrying it out in violent unlawful means =/= conservatism.
Debate Round No. 3
socialpinko

Pro

Con didn't actually post a rebuttal or defend his own case. There's more at work in Nolan's trilogy than just Batman following his own justice system as I showed in my R2 case (which Con never responded to). I think now this is my third trolled debate from Rationalmadman. Pity, vote Pro.
RationalMadman

Con

This was neither trolled nor uncontested. Your entire case falls apart when the very core values of the Batman trilogy:
  1. Following one's own personal emotionally driven sense of justice regardless of what the government think
  2. Going against what the police would approve of in a republican society (unless the government in Batman was Democrats but still it's a republic because no monarchy)
  3. Hurting villains and beating them up
  4. Having religious opposition to use of guns and preferring to beat people up
Sorry I shouldn't bring up point 4 as it's a new point in last round of debate but it just occurred to me that putting personal ethical values above that of the government's standard is against everything conservatism stands for (besides my point 1 which I have emphasised the entire debate is relevant to this).

Thus, I urge you to vote con. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
"No one would deny that throughout the series, Batman works mostly outside of the law. "

You can go even further and say that Batman's vigilantism is a pro-NRA position, as the NRA advocates the right to bear arms in the even of some sort of government encroachment/failure.

I still think a CON case is winnable, but difficult. You hit upon the two aspects I really disliked about TDK and TDKR, although there was far more total crap in TDKR that would endanger advocating any sort of cohesive theme from that movie. TDKR was a total nutjob of a script.
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
Didn't feel the need to respond to my pre-emptive counter to your interpretation?
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
lol at "The Dark Knight Rises: TDK"
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
"What's a 'vindication'? Do you mean that the trilogy represents a sustained defense of conservative princples without arguing for leftist/other contradictory principles?"

Pretty much.
Posted by Kinesis 4 years ago
Kinesis
What's a 'vindication'? Do you mean that the trilogy represents a sustained defense of conservative princples without arguing for leftist/other contradictory principles?

TDKR was a pretty overtly anti-socialist movie. There were some anti-capitalism moments too, though.
Posted by The_Chaos_Heart 4 years ago
The_Chaos_Heart
I'd take this debate, if for no reason other to see what arguments are made. But I am not versed enough in the subject to give any form of informed argument.

Someone please do accept this. I desperately want to see this debate played out...
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
Interesting....
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
socialpinkoRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Uncertain of the veracity of this premise, I was startled to read the Pro case. I was forced to consider as perfectly reasonable the argument that American Conservative memes are prominently presented in these films. The case that these were intentionally included in the new Batman movies was convincingly made. However, if the question is, "are these ideas glamorized in these films?" then the subject is less clear. Pro seems to argue that they are presented as 'struggles,' and not obvious 'vindications' of conservative ideology. (Pro-wire tapping, pro-torture, pro-violence, pro-plutocracy, anti-occupy, anti-equal opportunity, etc.) Is Bane made more villainous by his socialism - or is he humanized by it? In the end, I could not come to a satisfactory conclusion based on this debate. The complex and well-developed arguments fielded by Pro won the point, but I would like to see the discussion continue.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
socialpinkoRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con presented only the whiff of a case, only solidifying somewhat in the final round, which cannot be considered.
Vote Placed by GorefordMaximillion 4 years ago
GorefordMaximillion
socialpinkoRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate should be redone though... Pro makes quite a compelling case!!
Vote Placed by drafterman 4 years ago
drafterman
socialpinkoRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con put in no effort. Bad form.
Vote Placed by imabench 4 years ago
imabench
socialpinkoRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Horrible arguments by the con, didnt even challenge the pro's arguments, introduced arguments in the last round which is a conduct violation, and just a complete utter fail of of intelligence from con on this one.
Vote Placed by MochaShakaKhan 4 years ago
MochaShakaKhan
socialpinkoRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Sometimes a simple "you're stupid" is enough. This wasn't one of those times. Throw new arguments in the last round onto that and this debate is a done deal.
Vote Placed by Chicken 4 years ago
Chicken
socialpinkoRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Rick Rolled. Pro's argumentation was both topical and logical. Con's response to Pro's case was not even close to adequate.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
socialpinkoRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Complete fail by CON. CON totally disregarded the subject for debate, whether or not the Batman trilogy is a vindication of conservatism. CON showed extremely poor form by all but conceding multiple rounds to his opponent. I agree with PRO, quite a pity. I wouldn't mind debating this topic myself.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro treated with much more than the simple microscopic fixations on certain minor things that Con did, thus he more displayed his interpretation to be highly probable.