Warning *Spoiler Alerts*
Ok, in terms of cinema it’s not a great movie. It’s a 2-hour fight scene that has about 30 minutes of storyline. I’ve not enjoyed a movie in recent years since Hugo. But that’s another story. This is about Avengers: Infinity War. And your question Is understandable: What? Is Hollywood going conservative?
I don’t think it’s a general trend. But in this movie, there is a subtext of honesty that conservatives should recognize and acknowledge. It’s something we’ve been looking forward to seeing for several decades. I dare say that this movie is making pro-life overtures. No, it’s not formally or confessedly pro-life. But it is stepping up to that ethical line. Here’s how:
The plot line includes a plain and undeniable element: The reduction of population will lead to greater prosperity and comfort. That’s what Thanos wants, and he wants it with a clear conscience. He does not act as any sort of malevolent entity, an evil person who is beyond or beneath a moral foundation. He, in fact, has a moral foundation, a highly utilitarian one. At the end of the movie, he rests in the satisfaction that he has brought this peace and prosperity to the whole universe.
This idea has been floated for the past two or so centuries. From Thomas Malthus’ discussions of war, population, and food supply, to Margaret Sanger’s appeals to Malthus to Planned Parenthood’s economic stability theme of “every child a wanted child” the progressive era has appealed to the death of innocents as part of the path toward prosperity. Poor people, it has been plainly taught, will be better off without the burden of children. One recent President also proclaimed that he would not want his daughters burdened with unwanted children.
The conservative movement has denounced this desire for bloodshed as evil and has not minced words on the subject. Hollywood likewise has produced a great number of movies and other pieces to defend these principles. But Hollywood is no monolith. So we shouldn’t expect that they would all accept what has been taught in this movie — that the progressive utilitarian principle of killing innocents is unacceptable in all its iterations. But we should acknowledge that it is both present and plain.
This movie shows that there is a conscience in Hollywood. There are some who, like conservatives, reject at least certain aspects of the progressive programme. This movie, along with others that would express the same sentiment, show us that, though Hollywood may not be moving toward conservatism, there is a notable honesty in their rejection of these worst features of progressive ideology.
Now if only the writers would stop confusing slick one-liners with actual comedy.