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There is a myth of “domestic analogy” in idealism. Domestic analogy says that states are like a “society of individuals”, relations between individuals and relations between states are similar to each other. Therefore, a nation state is not just a political, but also a social space. If the state is organized in a good way, then it can organize its domestic social relations that moral progress can occur within. The good way addresses democracy for all states because it is the least oppresive and the most free way of ruling. Democracy is government by the people, so the voice of a democratic state is really the collective voice of its society. Idealism believes that states that are not run by democracy are the main reasons of violance in the World today. Democratic states are believed to have an influence over those bad governments and this process will end up with the creation of an international democratic society. So, democratic domestic dynamics will create a one big collective international society.
Communication is the key to create the international society. Communication between good people will show that there are common benefits from acting for the collective good.
On July 2nd, satellitewstationswnoticed anwinterferencewin theirwsystems and the scientists and militarywbelievewthat it iswcaused bywmeteors. Soonwtheywrealizewthat it isworiginated fromwthewMoonwbywa hugewspacecraft. No one knew the purpose of the alien force. The scientist David Levinsonwdiscoverswthat thewaliens arewpreparing thewinvasion of Earth, destroyingwthe humanwspecies, andwhe succeedswinwreporting to the President of the United States, Thomas J. Whitmore. Withwan inferiorw technology, Whitmore decide to give a chance to Levinson’s plan of downloading a virus in the computer of the alien spacecraft as the last chance of Earth to survive.
Looking at its scenerio, Independence Day looks like a regular science-fiction movie. But there are several parts in the movie that is directly related to the concepts of idealism. The movie is has the right scenes for telling Charles Kegley’s idealist theory of international cooperation specifially in the post-Cold War era.
Starting from the opening scene, where there is a flag of United States on the moon, and moments laters the camera focuses on the signboard by US austranouts says ““We came in peace for all mankind.” The film shows many clues about Kegley’s theory even in the opening scene where there is emphasizes on the words “peace” and “all mankind”. Even from the opening scene, the movie makes references systematically to the idealist theory of “there is an international society.”
There are 4 main characters happened to be heroes of the movie: President Bill Whitmore, David, Steve and Russell. The president is a veteran fighter pilot from the Gulf War. He is young and liberal and he has a strong morality. President Whitmore represents the incorruptibility of communication, that can be understood from the scene where his wife says to him that “he is a bad liar” and advises him to “stick to the truth, that’s what you’re good at” during the chaos coming from the alien attacks. Second character is David, the scientist. He is divorced from the president’s assistant but he still has a strong commitment to her where we see him still wearing his wedding ring. David is the one who discovered the hidden alien signals. David is a morally good man, he goes to Washington to warn his ex wife and the president. Later in the movie, he will be sending a computer virus to alien ships to disable their communication to protect the World from the alien attack. Another hero in the movie is Russell, he is a drunk and locals laugh at him because he insists that 10 years earlier he was abducted by aliens. However, in the final scenes of the movie, the audience realizes that Russell was also a good man, was not lying about the aliens and were brave enough to sacrifice his life to save the World. The last hero of the movie is Steve, he is a pilot in US military who flies with David to alien craft to plant the virus to disable their defensive shields. Steve is a symbol for courage and adventure that Works for the goodness of purpose. The movie is a typical example for idealist theory because there are morally good humans who understand themselves through good communication. All characters we are introduced are all US citizens. Part of their ability to express their goodness is because they are in a democratic sovereign state by assuming that good people do good things under good organizations.
After the World find out the alien space craft attack, President Whitmore makes a speech on the issue where his ability to persuade people by his good communication. The aliens are not seen and treated as evil from the first place. Because the moral goodness of the people as it is assumed in idealism do not make bad presumptions. In his speech, the presidents says to the nation that “The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe has been answered. Although it is understandable that many of us feel a sense of hesitation or even fear, we must attempt to reserve judgment.” “To reserve judgment” means to not to assume the worst about the aliens but to assume the best about them until there is a clear evidence to the contrary. He also resists the advices for attacking the alien craft.
Another example of assuming the good until it is proved to be wrong comes from Steve, where he says to his wife he does not believe aliens to come to start a war from all distance.
The movie illustrates the goodness of humankind, for example, when aliens were destroying cities worldwide, everyone was focused on helping each other. A good cooperative behaviour is observed at all levels of society. Jasmine, wife of Steve, was the one who saved President’s wife and all others after the attacks of alien craft. Although Jasmine’s and President’s wife status were totally different from each other, that was not important during the helping process all over the country, where people choosed to stick together rather than panicking and coverng their own interest. It is believed to be possible according to idealist values that can be seen frequentşy in the movie.
Importance of communication for idealism was also mentioned in the movie. For example, US’s failure against the alien attack were connected to the fact that the communication between people and aliens were interfered and prevented to be a pure one, because the place Area 51 where studies on the issue were made, kept as a secret from the president. Communication was impairedwand badwthingswfollowedwfromwthat.
The president choosed to communicate with aliens before he takes an attempt against them. Therefore, he used telepathy which was the way of communication for aliens. After he used telepathy with an alien, he says to the alien that people want peace and a truce, and he believes that there can be many thinks that aliens and people can learn from each other. However, alien’s answer showed their bad intention and that they do not want peace with people. After that, the president choosed to defend the World because it was a pure communication, and now he has a right to defend his kind because aliens were morally bad and corrupted.
In addition, the president, as representative of good communication, fires the secretary of defense because he was the one who kept Area 51 as a secret and corrupted the good and püre communication that can be made before the alien attack. So, the secretary of defense believed to be an image of realism.
After the aliens’ bad nature turnes out to be true, the president chooses to attack to protect all people. To coordinate a worldwide counter attack against aliens, USA spreads the message for counterattack using the purest and the most universal language, which is the Morse code. The message of Indepence Day is that “ international cooperation for a just cause leads to peace.” Pure communication among societies enables states to unite around a just cause. And this just cause can be communicated because “there is an international society” according to idealism. Charles Kegley’s argument for domestic society becomes internationalized through cross border communication is assumed good and pure in the movie that symbolized as the Morse Code.
However, we can not say that the movie supports the myth “there is an international society.” Both “fear” and “US leadership” plays an important role. In the movie, fear functions to unite people. The question is “will people remain united after the fear of alien invasion is gone?”
Another issue is the US leadership. It is questionable if there is an international society really or it is just US hegemony. According to the movie, this hegemony is what the World wants as we see 2 British soldiers’ conversation, where they learn that US was coming for help, the reaction of a British soldier was “It is about bloody time”. This means that people from other countries were also waiting for US to took leadership and save the World. So, in Independence Day, it is not an international society but a global extension of US domestic society.
In the final scene of the movie where soldiers were preparing to attack the aliens, the presidents make a heroetic speech. In this speech, the president declares that US is a part of a wider community, it is the mankind. The president makes all decisions for the mankind in the movie. US army behaves on behalf of the all mankind. Instead of erasing all domestic boundaries, there is only one domestic boundary of US in the movie. So there is no international society in the movie but there appears to be an international society because US domestic society extended globally. In Independence Day, there is a combination of fear and US leadership but it is mistaken for an international society. In this movie, anarchy is replaced by hierarchy by USA.
To conclude, the movie Independence Day is a science-fiction about the aliens but there are many concepts that are hidden and directly related to idealism and what it supports. There is believed to be an international society in the movie, although it is controversial that the only leader is United States. Importance of pure and good communication and the goodness of people from nature are the main ideas that shaped the movie all along, which also are main objectives of idealism. As idealism suggests, governments acted regarding the collective good of the World against the common enemy, aliens, where at the end, these idealist policcies turned out to be the right one as thy beated the aliens together.
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