The movie ‘V for Vendetta’ is set in the future, but many of the same problems that plague England in 2020 on the screen can be found in the United States today. In the movie, England is ruled by Chancellor Sutter, a fascist dictator who strips away the freedom of civilians in the name of security.
The government-run television news network provides a doomsday view of the rest of the world, including stories on the “former United States of America,” which is ravaged by diseases and a civil war. The goal, of course, is to make people so afraid that they won’t mind the government intruding into their personal lives.
Under Sutter’s rule, there is a government-ordered curfew and police vans scan the streets at night eavesdropping on conversations being held inside people’s homes. On the back of the vans is a phrase that is seen and heard throughout the country – “For Your Protection.”
It’s natural that people want to feel safe and protected. Sutter takes full advantage of this by making citizens believe that while the rules may seem harsh, they’re necessary to provide them with protection.
There are many ways to interpret what the message in ‘V for Vendetta’ is, but it’s difficult not to notice the similarities to what is happening in 2006 in the United States. As Americans, we’ve had some of our freedom stripped away since 9/11.
In December, it was revealed that President Bush had authorized wiretaps on U.S. citizens and others in the country after September 11 without getting a warrant from courts. A month later, the Bush administration wanted the search engine Google to turn over material from its database.
So, not only might the government be listening in on your phone conversations, but also checking out what you’re searching for on the Internet. What’s next, monitoring what you’re watching on television, writing in an e-mail and talking about via instant messaging?
The administration’s defense for these actions and more is always the same – national security. Bush lashed out at the New York Times, which first reported the story about the wiretapping, for damaging national security and putting citizens at risk.
Remember, it’s for our protection. We’re supposed to believe that these intrusive measures need to be taken to keep our country safe. Complain about them and 9/11 is thrown in our faces because conjuring up memories of that day brings about fear.
Certainly, the situation today isn’t anywhere near as severe as it is in ‘V for Vendetta.’ But what we have in the United States is a government that is starting to gain too much power and is using fear tactics to gain that power.
The main idea that the movie tries to get across is this: “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” Right now in the United States, it’s clear that the government is not afraid of its people..
Without getting into details regarding the plot, the character V in the movie turns to violence as the country rebels against its government. Government officials are killed and government buildings are blown up as a part of England’s rebirth.
Bullets and fireworks aren’t the answer to the problems facing the United States today. Killing the president or blowing up the White House isn’t going to solve anything.
‘V for Vendetta’ should at the very least get people thinking about the direction this country is headed in. People need to think for themselves, and not let the government do the thinking for them.