MIB 3 Movie Review - Some Thoughts from a Libertarian
Men in Black Series
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
Has it really been 15 years since the first installment of the Men in Black series? Time really does fly by. One thing is for sure though, I'm seeing the whole concept of the movie differently now.
It really is a fascinating series. I have always been interested in espionage and other forms of government secrecy themes in spite of being libertarian. It has been something I have expressed in other TV shows I enjoyed like Alias season 1, Missing (2012 TV series), Pan Am, and Fringe.
Like I mentioned in my review of the Statism in Fringe, a lot of this has something to do with people's anti-capitalistic mentality. Something that I credit Ludwig Von Mises for showing me in the chapter of his book The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality called Literature Under Capitalism.
I do understand that the movie is entirely fiction, of course, and that there is no secret government organization hiding information about extraterrestrials but I do believe that this movie can tell us a lot about how we view governance and society. I guess this review takes some sort of libertarian perspective and of course contains a lot of my other random thoughts and ideas.
MIB 3 Trailer Video
Big and Secretive Government Organizations
Since there wasn't really a big explanation on the history of the Men in Black organization and how it was really created, how it is funded up to now, and who gets to give clearances on the biggest secrets, and what is really its ultimate goal, I'll just be basing all my thoughts on random reflections and ideas about the movie (and of course references on some current practices of the US government).
Obviously, most, if not all, legislators don't even have an idea that the MIB exists and without any sort of audit or congressional oversight then that means the MIB is governing and operating without consent of the people or, at least, representatives of the people. It's not very democratic and is against the principles of a free and democratic society.
It does remind me a lot of the Federal Reserve's quasi-private organization. It really makes no sense why representatives of the people can't even audit or have oversight on such an influential organization.
Or maybe you can look at the CIA, whose actions and secrecy have gone way beyond its intended noble mandate of protecting the security and peace of the United States and the whole world.
It's just really so dangerous to have that kind of power centralized and monopolized by a small group of people. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who are guarding the guardians, yeah?
It does remind me of how computers used to be only in the hands of government for military use or whatnot. When entrepreneurs and engineers, envisioned "personal computers", ni the market, comptuers became so beneficial to society. Any sort of information or technology, when with the government becomes weaponized or kept from having beneficial use and yet when in the hands of entrepreneurs and in a competitive market, benefits and innovations will always arise.
I don't understand why aliens have to be kept from people, if ever. I can only imagine the benefits if we could only engage in voluntary and peaceful trade with them. If they actually are able to communicate with us, just as portrayed in the film, then some sort of trade agreement must always be a priority negotiation.
I understand that many humans can put us in danger. I can only imagine how religious fanatics and extremists would react and this is, perhaps, one of the main reasons of keeping the existence of aliens a secret from humanity. It's quite ironic how people who say they advocate peace or love are always the first ones to judge or act based on anger and discrimination.
All in all, there's just so many moral and ethical concerns about having such power centralized in an organization with no oversight. It monopolizes and legitimizes the immoral use of force. It creates an unmanageable amount of bureaucracy and blowback.
Capital Punishment and Prison Management
"I should have killed him" - K
He was referring to the main antagonist in the film. Instead of having him locked up in prison, he realized that he should have just killed him. More like putting justice into your own hands kind of ideology. Is that really ethical though?
Morality and ethics is really so gray sometimes. It's really so hard to decide what is right and wrong in certain situations. I have to accept the fact that there really are a lot of crazy, evil, and merciless people in the world. Is it justified to murder them when they are not caught redhanded? Without due process of the law?
Also, it does make me think a lot about capital punishment. I am personally against any sort of capital punishment being that I have distrust in the justice system. Unless we have 100% accurate CSI kind of technology when it comes to investigation and evidence, I don't think I can ever trust the State enough to give it authority to kill.
Time Travel and Memory Erasure/Manipulation
I've been watching this show Continuum recently, and there was this part there where this genius kid explains how there are actually different schools of thought regarding theories on time travel. One of them, of course, is the typical paradox idea that if you travel back in time and kill yourself in the past or your grandfather or something like that, you'll never be born to begin with which means you never even travelled back in time as well. It's really a crazy paradox when you think about it (this is the theory espoused by the Men in Black film since the idea to begin with was that K was killed in the past).
And then there's that other theory that time is not linear anyway and when you travel back in time and kill yourself or your grandfather, you just create a new timeline that is separate from your own since what has happened has already happened anyway.
I've always thought from the trailer that the story will have something to do with the memory erasure device. I was thinking that people's memories of K will get erased using the same technology and that only J wasn't affected by it. Turns out the whole story revolved on time travel which isn't that bad as well, I guess.
MIB 3 Movie Review
Well, it's a mainstream science fiction movie. It can't really take a lot of risks when it comes to the plot. So really, it's quite a generic kind of plot where the conflict gets resolved in the end. There is that dramatic twist in the end though and reveals a lot about the characters.
The first movie actually came out in 1997 and it's really been a very entertaining series. Even if there is quite a generic plot, I am looking forward to a sequel. I can't believe that Tommy Lee Jones had very little role in the film. It was more of Josh Brolin who was paying the younger version of K.
Like any of the other MIB movies, it wasn't bad at all. It was actually very entertaining.
My blog on libertarian political philosophy.
- Top 10 Libertarian Think Tanks and Organizations All Over the World
- Top 10 Libertarian Books (or at least might make you interested in it)