quinta-feira, 24 de maio de 2007

The Aviator (Martin Scorsese) and Libertarian Philosophy

The first thing a genius needs is to breathe free air.~ Ludwig von Mises

Flying Solo,Paul Cantor "The Businessman as Visionary: Scorsese’s Hughes is heroic as a businessman, displaying a different kind of courage in his willingness to take economic risks, above all with his own money. The Aviator is unusual among movies in capturing what it is specifically to be an entrepreneur, a genuine innovator in business. Scorsese’s Hughes is creative in all his activities, not just in his work as a filmmaker. What unites his activities in the film and aviation industries is his ability to predict the future. He is always alert to emerging technological possibilities and the new demands of consumers, and he is willing to bet his own money on what he thinks the wave of the future will be. In most movie portrayals, the businessman has nothing to contribute to the common good and, in fact, makes his money only by cheating, defrauding, or otherwise exploiting the public. By contrast, The Aviator presents Hughes as a progressive force in two industries, someone who gives the public what it wants (e.g., talkies rather than silent movies) and, more remarkably, correctly anticipates what the public would want if it were made available (e.g., transcontinental and transatlantic flights in reliable, fast, and comfortable aircraft)."

"At its heart, The Aviator thus champions the American principle of free market competition against European socialism and the model of nationalized industries. At the hearing, Hughes demolishes the pretense of big government to represent the public interest and shows that corrupt senators like Brewster are simply serving one private interest (Pan Am) at the expense of another (TWA). The film clearly suggests that the public interest is, in fact, better served by an economic system in which genuine entrepreneurs are free to compete with each other to introduce innovations in the marketplace. In the Senate hearing scene, The Aviator brilliantly plays with a Hollywood stereotype.21 When one sees anyone hauled before a Senate committee on charges of corruption, one normally expects to find the public-spiritedness of the government triumph over the greed of the private individual. But Scorsese uses all his cinematic powers to craft a scene that shows just the opposite, revealing what often turns out to be the reality behind the illusion of big-government benevolence. One company is simply using its influence with the government to gain an unfair advantage over a legitimate competitor."

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