Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF #29: Scarface part 2

 

Today, @johnpresnall and I are wrapping up a discussion on tragedy — that is Scarface — with some political notes and also a view of the cycle of regimes presented by Socrates near the end of Plato’s Republic. Yeah, we’re working overtime to make the most despised or at least underrated of the masters, Brian De Palma, reveal his inner greatness. In the mean time, we’ll go to the shocking lengths of praising Oliver Stone and making a bit of fun of Sidney Lumet…

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There are 6 comments.

  1. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Say hello to my little friend.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_z4IuxAqpE

    • #1
    • August 23, 2019, at 7:00 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Jim Beck Member

    Hello Titus,

    Another wonderful podcast. My beef concerns the idea that a criminal would be anti-communist. I think a better fit would be that they were analogs, holding that the only morality was what supported/advanced the party/family/gang and if you have to whack your Fredo, well, you do. I have not read of such a criminal, whose has strong political anti-communist leanings. Both Stallin and Fidel released criminals while never releasing politicals. The criminals were used in the gulag as the enforcers and rats. Criminals and communists view ruthlessness as a positive good, and to them it is. Their ruthlessness is a deterrence to being attacked or even challenged. That Tony has limits, well so did Stalin. I do not think that quirk about Tony leads us to an understanding about humans in general or about humans in a free system where one can live out one’s own morals almost without restraint. Also leadership under communism drifts into worship and naming the moon after Stalin, that Tony wishes to be worshipped is part of the lust to be God, make the rules, be dependent on no one, and be worshipped for one’s power. If I could rewrite the script, Fidel and Tony would be brothers from a different mother, where we could see their similarities even more clearly as their lives played out in the different environments. Much easier being a critic than creator, like backseat driving. Your podcasts have terrific high quality, well done Titus.

    • #2
    • August 24, 2019, at 11:23 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    Thanks for the compliments, Jim!

    I think you underrate criminals. I don’t deny the positive claims you make, or your examples; they’re true. But it’s not that simple. We know from experience as well as from great writers that even a gang of thieves needs justice–that is to say, not to rob each other. Plato & Augustine make much of this, so I think you should also consider this.

    So criminals are the natural enemies of communism because they privatize! They refuse to live by the rule of the public good, whether it be genuine or spurious.

    Of course, capitalists who privatize are often themselves criminals; this happened everywhere communism collapsed. But it also happened in democracies like France & England. Vast privatizations were nothing but theft with the forms of the law. Freedom to practice morality is very little persuasion to practice morality–something else is needed to even make freedom free. I suppose that something’s lacking & that’s why so many people in so many democracies hate their elites. Not sure whether they want, on the whole, less corruption or more chance to participate in corruption, but they are good & angry at the elites.

     

    • #3
    • August 24, 2019, at 12:30 PM PDT
    • Like
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The problem with communist countries is that there’s less to steal.

    • #4
    • August 24, 2019, at 1:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Judge Mental, Secret Chimp Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    The problem with communist countries is that there’s less to steal.

    Criminals have an interest in maintaining the system, because the system provides their sustenance. And you’re right, there’s more to steal under capitalism, so they have every reason to despise communism, even without the personal experience that someone like Tony has.

    • #5
    • August 31, 2019, at 12:58 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    The problem with communist countries is that there’s less to steal.

    Criminals have an interest in maintaining the system, because the system provides their sustenance. And you’re right, there’s more to steal under capitalism, so they have every reason to despise communism, even without the personal experience that someone like Tony has.

    The other problem with communism is that the government is more than just the adversary, it is also the competition. If you try to run an old racket, they were there first with all the advantages conferred by incumbency. If you come up with a brand new racket, they want it for themselves.

    • #6
    • August 31, 2019, at 6:57 AM PDT
    • 2 likes