Friday, May 13, 2016

Libertarians: Team Cap or Team Stark?

Libertarians: Team Cap or Team Stark?

The liberty movement must decide now, once and for all, where our allegiance truly lies: Team Cap or Team Stark. We are talking, of course, about the new summer blockbuster Captain America: Civil War, and the epic showdown between Captain America and Iron Man. Warning: here be (some) spoilers.

The film starts in the aftermath of the previous Avengers movies — briefly summarized: very destructive battles between good and evil, in which the Avengers heroically save the day, but unfortunately, in their efforts, a large number of innocent people are killed. In its opening scene, Civil War shows us the danger the Avengers pose to bystanders, when Scarlet Witch and Captain America accidentally cause the deaths of seven civilians in Nigeria.

In response to this international incident, world leaders design the “Sokovia Accords” (named after the site of a previous Avengers’ battle) to regulate the superheroes. Secretary of State Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross tells the Avengers the treaty is “approved by one hundred and seventeen countries. It states that the Avengers shall no longer be a private organization. Instead, they’ll operate under the supervision of a United Nations panel, only when and if that panel deems it necessary.”

Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man) insists that the Avengers need the Accords to provide accountability and oversight. Citing their history of deadly collateral damage, he argues, “We need to be put in check! Whatever form that takes, I’m game. If we can’t accept limitations… We’re no better than the bad guys.”

But Steve Rogers (a.k.a. Captain America) warns against the dangers of government control. The UN, says Rogers, “is run by people with agendas, and agendas change. … If we sign this, we surrender our right to choose. What if this panel sends us somewhere we don’t think we should go? What if there’s somewhere we need to go, and they don’t let us? … The safest hands are still our own.”

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