I found a news article this morning that to the untrained eye seems harmless. However, as I have studied narratives of geopolitics, I felt compelled to send along a note to the reader’s of SurvivalBlog.
The comic book character “Captain America” was first released with the goal to influence popular culture of the American youth just prior to World War II to establish a national identity against Nazi Germany. The cover of the first issue of the comic displayed Captain American punching Hilter in the mouth. Why you should be interested in Captain America and his original battle with Nazi Germany is due to a news article recently released by The Washington Times in which the “new” Captain America battles right wing conservatives. Captain America was a tool used to shape public perception. He symbolized American values, and his original fight was with the Third Reich. Now, Captain America is coming after right wing conservatives.
Through using such a character as Captain America, scholars have done research that details that such “tools” are used in way that “the production and consumption of popular culture enable a master narrative of national myth to be disseminated throughout a national (or even international) market. This narrative can contain details of not only who belongs to the nation but also what `belonging’ means and what the relationship is between those who belong and those who do not.”i To clarify, this quote details how popular culture has been intentionally used to shape people’s understanding, thoughts, and even their identity. In geopolitics this area of study is called ideological power.
The first issue of Captain America was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (both Jewish Americans) and released in December of 1940. Joe Simon stated, “The United States hadn’t yet entered the war when Jack and I created Captain America, so maybe he was our way of lashing out against the Nazi Menace.”1 Territorial symbols have been used throughout history to reproduce and symbolize nations and its territory. An example of a territorial symbol is that of the flag or the bald eagle. Captain America (among other examples) is considered a rescaling icon that represents a nation and stands for the best qualities of a nation. Children cannot be taught to be a bald eagle or the flag. However, they can be taught specific ideals through a rescaling icon, such as Captain America. The famous comic book icon Stan Lee has been quoted as stating, “Captain American represents the best aspects of the United States: courage and honesty.”
The recent article by the Washington Times details that the new Captain America is fighting right wing conservatives who are a part of an “evil” militia known as “The Sons of the Serpents.” These right wing conservatives are accusing illegal immigrants of “invading a sovereign land to spread disease and crime, take American jobs, and collect welfare.”ii What’s more, the article further quotes that the story within the comic states, “by invading this sovereign land, you defy the laws of God, nature, and the United States Constitution! Therefore, I hereby apprehend you by the power vested in me by the aforementioned God, nature, et cetera, et cetera.” My concern here is this: if Captain America is fighting the “new enemy” when his original enemy was Hitler and Nazi Germany, this act details that Captain America is now associating God and the U.S. Constitution with Hitler. In contrast, Captain America is not fighting ISIS, he is not fighting Muslim extremists. Keep in mind the many news stories of recent years have reported that Muslim extremists have been known to cross our southern border. Even filmmaker James O’Keefe put on a Bin Laden mask and crossed the border without a hitch. If you ever had a shred of doubt that the U.S. is under attack, maybe this article could provide some perspective and support for your concern. If you are concerned, Captain America is coming for you.
Jason Dittmer – “America is safe while its boys and girls believe in its creeds!” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 2007, Volume 25, pages 401- 423. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=587pAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA80&dq=America+is+safe+while+its+boys+and+girls+believe+in+its+creeds!&ots=F8y4uFcZq3&sig=zNruXOhPgh-yUkqqHc5xcF-ZPm8#v=onepage&q=America%20is%20safe%20while%20its%20boys%20and%20girls%20believe%20in%20its%20creeds!&f=false
Kellan Howell – “Captain America battles right-wing conservatives in new comic” The Washington Times, October 17, 2015. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/17/captain-america-battles-right-wing-conservatives-/