We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Neill Blomkamp must be living in some parallel universe

Neill Blomkamp must be living in some parallel universe as he speaks about his new film “Elysium”:

The 33-year-old film-maker, who moved from South Africa to Canada as a teenager, adds that “healthcare, immigration and class” are his targets, and “it’s not really the future I’m talking about”. “It’s not science fiction. This is now. The divide between rich and poor is getting more and more extreme.”

Actually Neill, never in human history has there been a smaller percentage of humanity living one failed harvest away from communal starvation. Is the divide between rich and poor actually increasing and more extreme than, say, in the eighteenth century? Or any time before then actually? In reality never has a larger percentage of humanity been, by any reasonable definition, middle class, than right now.

The fact large areas of poverty exists at all in our technologically advanced age is a dark miracle wrought largely by state imposed impediments to trade, disincentives to employ, insecurity of private property title and many other government policies of the sort Matt Damon (that tireless supporter of state education whose children are in a private school) strongly approves of.

If I had the option of living in a nifty orbital torus filled with fellow capitalists, I would want it to be well defended too, Neill… mostly in order to keep out all the champagne socialists.

23 comments to Neill Blomkamp must be living in some parallel universe

  • Gareth

    It is entirely possible for the poor to get richer at the same time as the gap between poor and rich gets bigger.

    By using relative measures to determine needs (as in “to each according to his needs”) the desire for forced wealth redistribution becomes insatiable.

  • It is entirely possible for the poor to get richer at the same time as the gap between poor and rich gets bigger.

    Indeed, but in reality the evidence is very much to the contrary. If anything, the ‘big gap’ is between the ‘dirt poor’ garbage dump dweller and the next tier up the socio-economic ladder.

    The vast global petit bourgeois, who few would call ‘rich’, with their holidays, washing machines, mobile phones, antibiotics and computers, have a great many of the attributes of what in previous times would indeed have made them ‘rich’. This means that the truly mega rich now exist at well beyond a point of diminishing returns in that much of their life is not that dissimilar to people with vastly smaller bank accounts, and only at the point of supreme opulence of an Abramovich or, say, to a lesser extent Matt Damon, with yachts and huge mansions, does their ‘richness’ actually become glaringly noticeable. The life of a ‘mere millionaire’ on the other hand is actually a fairly middle class life, just with a better wine list.

  • I would like to echo Perry. Sometimes I think it would be nice not to be poor (a poverty that includes a car, the internet, a burgeoning waistline and foreign holidays). Then I think of the effort involved and give thanks that I live in this age of prosperity and inequality.

  • AKM

    I enjoyed the directors’ previous film (District 9) so I intend to see Elysium some time. However if he really thinks he is attacking capitalism with his depiction of a strict & extreme divide between the rich and poor, he should really have a look at Communist Russia (or any other socialist run society), where the party bosses had cars, dachas in the country and all the luxuries they wanted while everyone else had all the Vodka they could drink and not a lot else.

    Ironically he may inadvertently be attacking the socialist planned economy even while he think’s he’s attacking capitalist free markets. :)

  • Laird

    Well, at least it seems that Blomkamp is backing away, a tiny bit, from his earlier idiocy that “‘Elysium’ doesn’t have a message.” http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/08/07/elysium-drector-star-matt-damon-deny-movie-has-political-agenda/ Clearly it does, and he (sort of) admits it now. Of course, it’s entirely possible that he (and Matt Damon) live in such a cocoon, where everyone they know shares their worldview, that they really didn’t consciously realize how obvious and strident that message is. It’s sort of like the executives at NBC claiming that their network doesn’t have a leftist bias, when it’s painfully obvious to everyone else.

  • Scott

    Cornelius “the Commodore” Vanderbilt was once the richest man in the United States. Yet, the poorest people in America today have a better standard of living than he enjoyed. As rich as he was, no amount of money could have bought him a cell phone, cable TV, air conditioning, an automobile, refrigeration, electricity, or spend only pennies to be immunized against measles, small pox, and polio.

  • Gordon

    How many loaves of bread can this Matt Damon person eat in a day? I can remember about 25 years ago on the first day of term with no lessons I asked a teenage girl what she had done over the summer holiday. She apologized and said we could only afford the Greek Islands.
    O tempora o mores!

  • bandit

    The sad thing is there are people who actually believe his BS.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    At the risk of self-promotion, allow me to link to an essay on Samizdata from earlier in the year that I wrote:

    Putting the Gini back in the bottle

  • Jack M

    Suffering a bit of mental whiplash here. I thought from an early review this was based on the last years of the Soviet Union with Foster the nomenklatura hiding in a little bubble of Westernized affluence and Damon as the dissident from the polluted hinterland fighting for a shot of West German penicillin?

  • Chip

    I will devour anything that is science fiction.

    But the smothering fog of stupidity surrounding Damon and Blomkamp have convinced me this is one I need to miss.

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    Blomkamp is probably a victim of his environment. Growing up in South Africa meant that the apartheid system was linked with South African crony capitalism, and the use of blacks as cheap labour. Perhaps he can’t help thinking that capitalism must mean legal inequality.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Any film involving Matt Damon automatically gets me reaching for the remote and switching to something better, such as “Hot Tub Time Machine” or anything by Steve Martin.

  • rosenquist

    District 9 was a very original and entertaining bit of sci-fi so I will certainly want to see this.
    Anyone who has ever been to South Africa will know that the gap between rich and poor there is extreme, Though I and Blomkamp would probably identify very different reasons for this.

  • Actually, Damon is a very talented actor, and I enjoyed his work for quite some time – especially in the Borne franchise. Too bad he overdosed on Kool-Aid.

  • Laird

    District 9 was original, but I thought it became progressively less entertaining as it wore on. Too preachy. Which is exactly what I expect from his current offering. I’ll probably see it at some point, but not in a theater. I’ll wait until it’s on TV.

    Alisa, I agree that Damon is a talented actor, but I thought he was mis-cast in the Bourne series. He seemed too young for the role.

  • You may well have a point, Laird – although it had never occurred to me before, which means that he and the rest of the crew did a good-enough job as far as I’m concerned.

    And, I misspelled ‘Bourne’…

  • Jonathan

    Many on the left saw Blomkamps first film ‘District 9′ as an attack on apartheid, however, it was actually a pretty harsh critique of ANC run South Africa. There may be more to ‘Elysium’ than there seems at first glance.

    http://takimag.com/article/alien_nation/print#ixzz2bSEugbBx

  • The Wobbly Guy

    All things considered, I might actually prefer champagne socialists rather than islamists. Though that is a rather low bar. At least they tend to be decent neighbours (if they are white).

    I would also note that Blomkamp must be a hypocrite. Didn’t he run away from the vibrant and diverse South Africa to the modern ‘Elysium’ of the US (tho how long that will last is an issue) rather than stay and contribute to the mess that is SA today? And he has the gall to comment on his own perfidy?

  • “Shut up and Direct.”

  • Paul Marks

    I welcome this film – for it will clearly show who is a friend and who is an enemy.

    It shows Hollywood (and the rest of the media – and others) as what they are – that there is no real difference between their “liberalism” and Marxism. They are what “paranoid” people have always said they are – Communists, their support for this film shows this (beyond all reasonable doubt).

    Keep a close eye out for those who support the MESSAGE of this film – for then you will see who is an enemy. Who is a “Social Justice” type – and remember that this collectivist Social Justice (that regards “helping the poor” as a matter of “right”, FORCE, not voluntary love – charity) is the basis of Fascism, National Socialism and Islamism (not “just”) Marxism. Even Greenism has collectivist “Social Justice” as part of its core belief system.

    As for Matt Damon.

    He is a hypocrite.

    He is man who denounces the rich – whilst being rich.

    Just as he is a man who supports the teacher unions (opposes any education reform – even mild reform such as education vouchers) yet sends his own children to private school.

    A hypocrite – a Duke of Orleans (“Citizen Equality”) type person.

    The richest man in France who financed (for years) the activity that led to the French Revolution – and voted for the death of his own cousin (Louis XVI – a gentle man who had never shown him anything but kindness).

    May Matt Damon and all his kind (such as Mr Blomkamp) die the same way that the Duke of Orleans did.

    Dragged to their deaths by their own Comrades.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way – the hints are always there (if one looks carefully).

    For example in the “Bourne” film I watched a bit of (before switching it off) the good guy in Russia (who the evil faction of the CIA had destroyed) was shown to be a good guy – because he opposed “privatisation”.

    In short being bad means supporting private ownership of the means of production – and being good means supporting collective ownership (ownership by “the people”).

    Classic Marxism.

    The enemy tend to give themselves a way – without any need for thumb screws or other torture.

    Even Kim Philby and co often gave themselves away – in normal conversation (especially when under the influence of booze).

    But the people they were talking to tended to dismiss what they said as “jokes”.

    If something looks like a duck and quacks like a duck – it is a likely to be a duck, not a “joke”.

    And in the arts….

    For example – Mr Cornwall’s (the author of “Tinker, Taylor,….”) main character “George Smiley” thinks to himself (listening to Communist propaganda of the unmasked traitor at the end of the book) that everything the man is saying is TRUE.

    It was obvious to me (even as a young child) that someone who would have his main character (someone who was clearly a projection of himself) think that Communist propaganda was true, was himself a Communist.

    So later Communist propaganda stories by Mr Cornwall (such as “The Constant Gardiner”) did not come as a shock.

    Almost needless to say – Mr Cornwall calls himself a “liberal” (rather than a Communist) – as we have seen above, with the Hollywood crowd, this is a distinction without a difference.

    Someone who will support a violent invasion (to kill and destroy) for the purpose of stealing the wealth of “the rich” to give to “the masses” is an enemy.

    Whether they call themselves a Communist, a National Socialist, or a “liberal” is not relevant.

  • Steve D

    I don’t plan to watch this film or any other film by Matt Damon; ever. They’re hideous.