ByBrian Coverley, writer at
Brian Coverley

This debate -- as to whether Tony Stark/Iron Man championing a seemingly well-intentioned U.S. government initiative to have all super-powered/superhuman beings registered in order to grant them greater legitimacy in their actions and better ensure public safety was truly right, or whether Steve Rodgers/Captain America's choice to defy it was -- has been covered so thoroughly, perhaps to the point of exhaustion(?) ... But not really, considering that the prime conflict in this coming sequel/installment of the Captain America movie franchise -- I'll assume closely following Marvel Comics' "Civil War" published almost a decade ago -- is a near-perfect allegory for what I believe to be an occurring and genuinely disturbing shift upon the U.S. (and one could argue, to lesser extent, also British) sociopolitical landscape, and its underlying political philosophy...

In fact, I'll suggest that the Marvel's "Civil War" storyline is a clarion call to all of us, citizens of [ to very loosely paraphrase Alexis de Tocqueville, in his observations of a young/fledgling United States of America ] ".... this, bold and wondrous experiment in democracy...." to wake up to our [ country's ] present, and alarming circumstances, and realize that we, in a somnambulist condition, have been [ and are? ] skirting towards [ and even flirting with? ] engendering a totalitarian, statist, control-system, *in place of* the representational, democratic government our Founding Fathers envisioned and fought so hard to bring forth... and doing so, in the name of "peace" "security" ... and yes, even "freedom"

There's an oft invoked declarative by Benjamin Franklin (albeit widely and repeatedly misquoted ... even by yours truly, authoring this commentary) that goes:

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

While it's argued that Benjamin Franklin's intent with those specific words was solely pertaining to a matter of fiscal appropriations (regarding better maintenance of defense for *then colony* Pennsylvania from French and French-backed Native American raiding-parties, at the time of the Franklin's authoring the above statement), I believe Franklin's quip can and should* be applied to what I (and many, many others) believe to be our country's present dilemma (played out daily in its realpolitik behavior):

(1.) Should we partially abdicate our essential civil-liberties for an assurance of (purportedly) guaranteed security and thus presumed stability?

(2.) And if we do so... How Much?? To What Degree(s) can we relinquish that which I'll assert is what makes ( ... or dare I say: had made? ) this country looked upon by the world as role-model/exemplar, and looked up to as beacon, bastion, recourse and refuge to all those who seek and value Freedom, which, I'll argue is one of the fundamental components of Human Dignity ... i.e. a basic Human Right.

No -- the coming of Marvel's "Civil War" to the silver screen, probably couldn't have been more serendipitous, more fortuitous ...


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