Why I’m Team Cap
I’m not a fascist.
Okay, some of you may have trawled through my esteemed colleagues well written and argued piece while occasionally wishing he’d look up brevity in a dictionary, but I don’t want to be accused of going too far the other way, or of making light of the issue so allow me to expand my case.
Before I go any further, let me also echo my friends point that this article isn’t to make a political statement or leave any message. It’s about a film and some comic book characters, that is all. It’s a (very) light entertainment piece about a light entertainment piece based on a light entertainment piece and should be treated as such.
One of the few disappointments I had with the Civil War film is that, for me, the major argument against the registration act and the biggest motivating factor for Captain America’s stance isn’t included: that he has lived through a time when individuals were singled out for being different, where people had to register with governments if they held certain beliefs or feelings and he (nor we) should stand through another time when people are divided or segregated in such a way.
You don’t even need to be a history buff to know how tragic and horrific the consequences were last time. The definition of insanity is top do the same thing again but expect different results. But sure, it’s going to work THIS time, right?
Many of the arguments for superhero registration are quite reasonable: accountability for a heavily super-powered hero capable of levelling whole blocks of cities and a system of checks in place stopping them from simply doing whatever the hell they like. Sounds great, but alas the real world isn’t as black-and-white. Governments have agendas, interests and hidden politics. Worse, governments could be run by Donald Trump, all of which make make undying accountability to them a bitter pill to swallow. Should the avengers be forced to prop up a flimsy or corrupt government or oppress legitimate protest simply because their U.N signed contract forces them to? Can you imagine Trump with the power of The Hulk in his tiny, little choc-dip stick like fingers? Does that sound right to you? If heroes are to be accountable to governments then who watches the watchers?
Now of course I can see the potential benefits of a state lead, trained and sponsored team. I’ve already covered some of them above and Mr. Lonsdale expands on these points in his fine piece, but there are just too many factors that simply don’t work and don’t sit right with me. However, if a super-powered individual carefully weighed up both sides of the argument and genuinely believed that registering was the correct choice for themselves and their family then so be it: And herein lies the sheer arrogance of Stark, a man who believes that you either agree with him or you must be a criminal. He is genuinely egotistical enough to believe that he speaks for everyone and his is the only voice that matters. He sees no grounds for rational discussion or to attempt compromise. It’s hypercritical to preach accountability, justification and constructive learning, yet take away any choice or debate; as Iron Man strong-arms people to support his point of view while locking up anyone who dares disagree. Or he even thinks might. The pro-registration movement, with Stark at its core has only a life on the run or in prison for somebody who doesn’t wish to divulge his identity to protect his family, or put his destiny in the precarious whims of government – or who simply having rationally discussed the issues at hand believes that such an act is wrong.
Who do you know who believes that their way of thinking is the only possible correct way; a blanket judgement laid over every and all possible situations?…Oh wait.