At a time where many on the left are spinning doomsday scenarios as Trump gets inaugurated, it is useful to remember that a liberal utopian fantasy can be just as dangerous, if not more, than conservative ideas taken to their extreme. By looking at the real-life inspired film “Patty Hearst” from 1988 and the fictional but still relevant 1986 film “The Mosquito Coast,” we can see how radical leftism, rather than leading to a glorious utopia, instead leads to shattered dreams and chaos.
“Patty Hearst,’ for example, shows us the lengths that radical leftists, in this case the Symbionese Liberation Army (or S.L.A.), will go to indoctrinate someone into their group fantasy, or cult. Patty Heart is a nice, conservative woman going to U.C. Berkeley who is kidnapped, blindfolded, and then tormented and indoctrinated for months. She is repeatedly raped and loses all connection to the world. Once she loses her sense of identity, she becomes an ideal candidate to be indoctrinated into beliefs and fantasies of equality that she does not share, in part because the alternative is death. She becomes a puppet for a radical leftist organization and assists in robbing banks. It is only when she leaves this radical group and is arrested that she regains some semblance of herself. She ends up (probably unfairly) in jail but has regained her identity.
“The Mosquito Coast,” on the other hand, is about a brilliant but mentally ill inventor named Allie Fox (played by Harrison Ford) who believes that society is on the verge of ruin. Tired of the rat race, he takes his wife and children to the fringes of Africa, where his invention leads to a utopian existence for a time. He scorns religion and believes not only that he is his own man but that everyone else should follow his beliefs. Unfortunately things go wrong and his deteriorating mental state makes it impossible for him to adjust. He tells lies to keep his fantasies going and he ends up dead.
Basically, one can see facets of Obama in both characters. Like Patty Hearst, he has been indoctrinated into a rigid left-wing cult that believes in bringing down the elite and making everyone “equal.” And like Allie Fox, he is clinging to his left-wing ideals long after it should be obvious that they do not work. The S.L.A. would applaud his open-borders and universal requirement of health care for every American. And Allie Fox would applaud his scorn of basic Christian values in favor of an “I am right, dammit!’ approach.
We thought we were getting a pragmatist and we ended up getting a radical ideologue, Thanks, Obama! Check out these two movies to see where things went wrong. And remember, the road to radicalism begins with good intentions, so stay vigilant!