.... Astro Boy also encounters a cadre of comical, Karl Marx-quoting "revolutionary" robots. It's hard to know what to make of these "red" robots, but the movie's more comprehensible political messages are a real drag -- they add a level of "sophistication" that, in fact, is utterly hackneyed. Must all representatives of officialdom in the movies be evil, even in a cartoon? Will kids be anything but confused by the fact that the government's violent killer robot is named "the Peacekeeper"?
Editor's note: discussion of whether Astro-Boy is "Marxist" can be found here and here. Roger Ebert's review indicates pretty clearly that this is just move Hollywood "saviour-mongering" that supposedly communist movies like The Matrix saddled us with. --JR
The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has reportedly recently concluded that Marx’s criticism of capitalism highlights the “social alienation” felt by a “large part of humanity” that still remains excluded from economic and political decision making. The paper also opined that Marx’s work remained quite relevant today as humans seek a ‘new harmony’ between their needs and the environment.
Marx’s theories, the paper went on, can help explain the issue of income inequality in capitalist societies, posing the question: “If money as such does not multiply on its own, how are we to explain the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few?”
One could, perhaps, see it as an attempt at a larger inclusion, in a sense. Accepting the hitherto unacceptable seems to be in vogue. Thus, the Vatican last year erected a statue of Galileo, centuries after persecuting the astronomer for his views on the movement of the Earth around the Sun.
And more recently, a leading Church official declared Darwin’s theory of evolution to be compatible with the faith. And the same paper which spoke of Marx also has had words of praise for Oscar Wilde, the playwright who was hounded out of England for his homosexuality. Maybe it’s just a bad time to be a capitalist, and a good era to be a heretic!