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  • Babylon 5 and Politics

    Okay, I know this one is a little dangerous to bring up but I think we're all adults here. Found an interesting article this morning
    http://www.learnliberty.org/blog/7-f...mpaign=blog+16

    ...where B5 is used as an example of fiction that can reflect real-world politics.

    I'd say that in addition to the nationalism mentioned in the article, the way that Clark used fear to manipulate the public is also a cautionary tale.

    Let's keep any discussion to parallels to the show.

    Jan

    ETA fixed link
    Last edited by Jan; 08-02-2016, 01:40 PM.
    "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

  • #2
    Maybe it is hard to discuss these things today as they hit a bit to close to home for comfort? It is obvious though that Joe is a student of history and rather skillfully illustrates very basic human responses, mostly fear of the alien and mob mentality, and how rulers in all times have used them to manipulate people for their own gain.

    Of course when Joe wrote his stories he mostly looked at the second world war and the rise of those totalitarian governments, but today we can just as easily look at the world around us to see it happening in real time.
    Last edited by Satai with Punsch; 09-29-2016, 02:43 AM.

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    • #3
      There's a lot I'd be tempted to post about here, but... I don't actually enjoy flamewars. Still, B5 is one of the most openly political shows I know, and one clearly intended to be understood in political/historical terms, so this is something I'd love to write about in more detail at some point.
      Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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      • #4
        As JMS has said many times, B5 is a show about the process of how things happen. While I'm sure that most of us already knew that media is always going to have a bias, I think that I, at least had never entirely thought through *how* they swayed things until 'The Illusion of Truth' made it so clear. Some are more subtle than others.
        "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jonas View Post
          ... Still, B5 is one of the most openly political shows I know, and one clearly intended to be understood in political/historical terms, ...
          I agree with Jan and Joe on this one. I would not say that show is political at all, I'd rather say it is a show that shows how politics is used and the consequences of them. Two very different things.

          Then again, I'm sure it could be argued that the show is political as it takes a stand against some of the most obvious forms of manipulation, imperialism and exploitation and that act in it self is often frowned upon as furthering an evil leftist agenda ...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jan View Post
            As JMS has said many times, B5 is a show about the process of how things happen.
            One episode that I found really showed this was Deconstruction of Falling Stars, especially the 100 years in the future part. It seems that the longer it is since someone did something that was first seen as inconvenient (as Sheridan was told that he did things the inconvenient way) and then great (one of the "experts" was talking about Sheridan being seen as a hero), the greater the need to find flaws becomes. I'd say that those "experts" had gone to the next stage of cherry picking any flaws to discuss since they treated the 100 years of peace as something to mention one or two times.
            Last edited by Melanie; 11-10-2016, 10:26 AM.
            "It means living each moment as if it were your last one. It means doing each right thing because it is the right thing. The scale doesn't matter. The where, the when, the how, or in what cause... none of those things matter."

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            • #7
              The depiction of liberal (in the strict political sense of the word) academics attacking Sheridan is, I think, very heavily based on the attacks on Abraham Lincoln by postmodernist academics, which were fairly prominent in the 90s and pretty much continue today. The arguments, and the flaws in them, are extremely similar. Another aspect of the show's thematic relationship to the American Civil War.
              Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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              • #8
                So, my watching just reached "Babylon Squared." When I cam to the part when Delenn comes back in to the Gray Council, she is greeted with "For too long the 9 have been 8." That made me think of another 9 that has been 8 for too long. Then I thought how the missing one was replaced with a Warrior Caste representative through various machinations, and how that brought the Council out of balance.

                Is it just me, or is that at all similar to something else????
                "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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                • #9
                  Not just you.
                  Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WorkerCaste View Post
                    Is it just me, or is that at all similar to something else????
                    Not just you.

                    Wondering if it might be an idea to combine this with the 'B5 and Politics' thread in General? I'm thinking that there's going to be a lot of parallels and things to discuss in the foreseeable future and it would probably be good to keep it in one place. Thoughts? Note that I have *no* objection to political talk as long as it's kept respectful and labeling of people is kept to a minimum.

                    Jan
                    "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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                    • #11
                      Definitely agree it should move there if it turns into a discussion. This, for me, was just an observation related to my current viewing. :-)

                      I didn't plan on taking it any further.
                      "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WorkerCaste View Post
                        Definitely agree it should move there if it turns into a discussion. This, for me, was just an observation related to my current viewing. :-)

                        I didn't plan on taking it any further.
                        I think it should be moved as I have a feeling this will be one of many observed parallels in the future.
                        Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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                        • #13
                          Okay, I've moved several posts over here.

                          Here's another thing that's reminded me of B5 for months now: The media calling refugees by the less guilt-inducing term 'migrants'. As Julie Musante said, we've re-written the dictionary.
                          "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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                          • #14
                            Well there is this one reference:

                            Originally posted by jms
                            Membership in the Grey Council is usually for life; a person can choose to leave but only under truly extraordinary circumstances (kind of like being appointed to the Supreme Court). In Delenn's case, though, remember that she didn't quit, she was booted out.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
                              Well there is this one reference:
                              Sorry I didn't move this post over from the other thread, JoeD80. I'm not sure what it's addressing?
                              "Fascism always comes in quietly, holding a flag in one hand and a holy book in the other, inching its way in. The bugles and drums only sound after they've already taken over and believe it's too late to do anything about it." JMS Twitter Dec. 24, 2017

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