Listen to America

Captain America, that is. From the latest issue (Captain America #22, Nov. 2006), here’s a conversation on the Superhuman Registration Act between Captain America (Steve Rogers) and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 13 (Sharon Carter):

AGENT 13: The rule of law is what this country is founded on.

Captain America CAPTAIN AMERICA: No … it was founded on breaking the law. Because the law was wrong.

AGENT 13: That’s semantics, Steve. You know what I mean.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: It’s not semantics, Sharon. It’s the heart of this issue. The Registration Act is another step toward government control. And, while I love my country, I don’t trust many politicians. Not when they’re having their strings pulled by corporate donors. And not when they’re willing to trade freedom for security.

AGENT 13: Now you’re going to quote Ben Franklin at me? Give me a break.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: How about Thomas Paine? “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” …

AGENT 13: The Registration Act is law. If Captain America doesn’t follow the law, then who does?

CAPTAIN AMERICA: That’s why I can’t.


19 Responses to Listen to America

  1. Rad Geek October 2, 2006 at 12:30 am #

    Captain America was a Red.

  2. Administrator October 2, 2006 at 11:12 am #

    While National Review has always been evil, there was a time when it at least took its lipservice to liberty seriously enough that it actually published people like Frank Chodorov, Isabel Paterson, and Murray Rothbard. But, in C. S. Lewis’s words, there’s no more Tashlan nonsense now.

  3. Norman Horn October 2, 2006 at 1:33 pm #

    I am really enjoying the main installments of the Civil War series, I’m probably going to go buy these side issues too. Boy, am I going to be out of money by the end of this one!

  4. Rad Geek October 3, 2006 at 4:05 am #

    Incidentally, Medved also rehashed the same material in a longer whitepaper for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies [sic], which he co-authored with Michael Lackner, entitled “The Betrayal of Captain America.” (I’m surprised they didn’t go for a title like “Subversion of the Innocent.”) Lackner is especially outraged by the suggestion that U.S. intelligence agencies would ever be involved in drug-running, and Medved is up in arms at the “blame-America logic” involved in stories about the use of African-American G.I.s for life-destroying medical experimentation.

    God knows that could never happen here.

  5. Tim October 3, 2006 at 10:45 am #

    I always thought Herge’s “Tintin” was a more genuinely libertarian comic book hero than government manufactured super-soldiers like Captain America or illegal alien New Deal refugees like Superman. Spiderman was certainly better, and well …no one can explain how the Incredible Hulk always managed to stay in untorn pants.

    Tintin had no super-powers other than personal courage, sagacity, loyalty to his friends… and a dog. He worked in the private sector, as a reporter, but he didn’t ever seem to file any stories. Presumably he was against gun control. He wouldn’t mind borrowing a pistol from a friendly cop to trade bullets with runaway villains.

    In his first adventure, “Tintin in the land of the Soviets”, published 1930, not artistically the best story all told, reporter Tintin displayed a more accurate take on Stalin’s tyranny than did the New York Time’s Walter Duranty, who is a truly comic tale actually won the 1932 Pullitzer prize for his fanciful ‘reporting’ from the USSR.

    Tintin was no one eyed anticommunist either. In his “Tintin in America” the brave reporter confronts a plot hatched by a band of government backed gangsters to swindle poverty stricken Indians out of their oil rich lands.

    Herge’s Tintin even confronted colonialism as this extract from wikipedia points out:

    “….As another result of his friendship with Zhang (Chang), Hergé became increasing aware of the problems of colonialism, in particular the Japanese Empire’s advances into China. The Blue Lotus carries a bold anti-imperialist message, contrary to the prevailing view in the West, which was sympathetic to Japan and the colonial enterprise.”

    “Tintin is a direct witness to the South Manchurian railway incident (Mukden incident), Japan’s excuse to attack and occupy China and start the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese and some European characters are portrayed as brutal and evil, and their cartoon forms are somewhat racist.”

    “Japanese characters like Mitsuhirato and the soldiers are shown with beaming teeth, while the Chinese are shown as tight-lipped.”

    “As a result, it drew sharp criticism from various parties, including a protest by Japanese diplomats to the Belgian Foreign Ministry. However, the passage of time has since vindicated Hergé’s criticism of Japan’s occupation.”

    “The Republic of China was so pleased with the album that its leader at the time, Chiang Kai-shek, invited Hergé for a visit…” The invite from Chiang and the sledging of Stalin of course didn’t win kudos from Mao Tse Tung. Although the 1960 “Tintin In Tibet”, voted the best french language graphic novel, in which Tintin meets a friendly Yeti probably wouldn’t have won many favours from Mao either.

    Tintin was not so much an anti-government campaigner, he volunteered to ship out on the first space ship to the moon, a government ship, when he got the chance, but then again, who wouldn’t?

    Tintin has been accused of racism, mainly because of ‘Tintin in the Congo’ also published in the early 1930s when author Herge was maybe 19 years old. Later editions softened the racial stereotypes, however Herge and tintin have been on both sides of the race and censorship debate, as this extract from ‘the Tintinologist’ shows:

    “…Two incidents regarding the publishing of Tintin in America exemplify a shift in what are perceived as proper values to instill in American youth. In 1959, before the books were allowed to be published in America, Hergé consented to redraw panels in The Crab with the Golden Claws, changing a Black deckhand into a man of another, light-skinned origin because “the US censors didn’t approve of mixing races in children’s books” (Owens, 2004). Much more recently, however, a Tintin book was censored for the entirely opposite reason: it was seen as racist! In 1995, Tintin in America was found to “contain bias and stereotypes” and was pulled from school libraries in the Spokane, Washington School District (American Libraries, 1995)…”

    Of course Tintin would be regarded as politically incorrect and probably racist in these post-modern days, but all told his political sins are less than the norm for the statist muscle men of Marvel and DC comics!!

  6. Administrator October 3, 2006 at 2:51 pm #

    One of my favourite things about Tintin was that he was (presumably) a minor, but nobody ever noticed or treated him like one; it was taken for granted that this underage kid would be a reporter and would be traveling alone all over the world.

  7. Tim October 4, 2006 at 12:25 am #

    Well according the Canadian Medical Journal (see here) Tintin may be suffering from “acquired growth hormone deficiency and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism” due to “repeated head trauma”. Indeed it is suspected he is “first case of traumatic pituitary injury described in the literature.” The actual documented incidence of head trauma sustained by Tintin over the years is extreme (see here), …so in many ways he should be considered something of a role model to the whole cerebrally concussed community. Another reason for placing Tintin ahead of various mutated and biomedically engineered supermen.

  8. Administrator October 4, 2006 at 11:02 am #

    Of course anybody interested in anti-statist superheroes is hereby commanded NOT to click here.


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