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  1. #106
    Astonishing Member Ptrvc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missing Username View Post
    If they were in the minority, I wouldn't have made this thread.

    Show a page of Doom killing or hurting a person. 9 out of 10 fans will argue that Doom is right and his victims deserve what is happening to them.



    I don't know how you missed it, but I am not the one saying that the definition of fascism by scholars don't matter and only the fascists can identify themselves as such.
    People cheer for fictional villains all the time.

    Because they're NOT REAL.

    You don't get to decide what fictional stories people enjoy or don't, or their reasons why.

    Get over yourself.

  2. #107

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    You are far too emotional about this.

    I couldn't care less about people cheering for villains. Want to see Doom spanking the Fantastic Four because you find them lame and thinks that Doom is awesome? By all means, do it. Wanna defend that Doom is the real hero, that however suffers at his hand deserves it because of how righteous his fight is and that his victims are in the wrong when they so much as react? Then I will look at you with different eyes.

    My primary problem here is with in-universe characters, anyway. A nerd in a forum looking up to Doom is one thing. A young superhero aimed at children doing it is another. And we can always go back to the fact that, in an inifite number of Universes, only the Earths under a fascist dictatorship are considered "good".

  3. #108
    Astonishing Member Ptrvc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missing Username View Post
    You are far too emotional about this.

    I couldn't care less about people cheering for villains. Want to see Doom spanking the Fantastic Four because you find them lame and thinks that Doom is awesome? By all means, do it. Wanna defend that Doom is the real hero, that however suffers at his hand deserves it because of how righteous his fight is and that his victims are in the wrong when they so much as react? Then I will look at you with different eyes.

    My primary problem here is with in-universe characters, anyway. A nerd in a forum looking up to Doom is one thing. A young superhero aimed at children doing it is another. And we can always go back to the fact that, in an inifite number of Universes, only the Earths under a fascist dictatorship are considered "good".
    Blunt ain't the same as emotional.

    Don't try to retreat into the minutiae. You toss around the fascist label as a weapon, use it enough and maybe it'll stick, especially in a universe many writer's of many years.

    But really it's about control. Is it Doom you hate? Marvel as a whole? Bthe fact that the future always looks to be Doomed (heh) to destruction?

    Of course it is! The world is always destined for destruction in the MU. It's so the heroes can save it!

    These are superhero comics. That's the point.

  4. #109

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    We have an actual and concrete definition of fascism back in the #4 reply to this thread. But I have noticed that, rather than specific characters, the superhero genre itself may inadvertently promote some fascism ideas.
    * "the cult of action for action's sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection." That's basically the creed of several, if not all, superheroes; and in particular the most popular ones.
    * "Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups." Which is the basic superhero idea? That there are criminals out there. That the common man is helpless against them, and that police is useless. That a strong and gifted individual can rise and do what the police can't. Isn't it, at its core, a result of social frustation over real-life crime?
    * "For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare". And superhero literature is a never-ending narration of fight after fight, conflict after conflict, with no ending in sight for the hero. And the fans would not like it any other way.
    * "Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak." And yes, superhero comics are all about saving the weak, but there is an underlined comtempt over the non-supers. They are intended to remain perpetually as victims for the hero to save. What if the police actually shows up and does things the way they have to be done? What if some organization like SHIELD gears up to deal with superhuman threats themselves? They are treated an an obstacle, narrated as corrupt and useless, and the moral of the story is that the weak must abandon themselves to the good will of their uber saviors.
    * "In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm." And that's what happens when we read a story set in a shared universe, or even a superhero group: that heroism is not exceptional, but the norm for all lead characters.

    Does this mean that superhero comics are fascists? No. It only means that it promotes some ideas that may be sound for fiction, but may easily lead to fascism if tried to apply in the real world.

  5. #110
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missing Username View Post
    You are far too emotional about this.

    I couldn't care less about people cheering for villains. Want to see Doom spanking the Fantastic Four because you find them lame and thinks that Doom is awesome? By all means, do it. Wanna defend that Doom is the real hero, that however suffers at his hand deserves it because of how righteous his fight is and that his victims are in the wrong when they so much as react? Then I will look at you with different eyes.

    My primary problem here is with in-universe characters, anyway. A nerd in a forum looking up to Doom is one thing. A young superhero aimed at children doing it is another. And we can always go back to the fact that, in an inifite number of Universes, only the Earths under a fascist dictatorship are considered "good".
    You are taking one isolated case in DoomWar, which was advocated by the God Bast, and assuming this is true for all timelines. Since this is work of fiction, the butterfly effect can be engaged. What may have been true back then at that moment it time will not be true now, especially in a Post Secret Wars era. Almost all of the multiverse was destroyed except for the remnants that Doom used to hold together Battleworld. Reed and his family have since been putting things back together. The future that Bast had foreseen is null and void. So don't worry. Be happy.

  6. #111
    Ultimate Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    You are taking one isolated case in DoomWar, which was advocated by the God Bast, and assuming this is true for all timelines. Since this is work of fiction, the butterfly effect can be engaged. What may have been true back then at that moment it time will not be true now, especially in a Post Secret Wars era. Almost all of the multiverse was destroyed except for the remnants that Doom used to hold together Battleworld. Reed and his family have since been putting things back together. The future that Bast had foreseen is null and void. So don't worry. Be happy.
    Indeed, as my sig also says in its own way.
    “And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.” ― Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

  7. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woozie View Post
    I mean, you completely misread what that first post you quoted said.

    He said nothing about declaration. He said expression. Aka Doom needs to show he's specifically facist in ideology rather than you just claiming he is because he's a Dictator
    He suppressed the wills of everyone on the planet; using the purple man. He created Battleworld; a nightmarish realm where force and fear were used to maintain order.

  8. #113
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    We have an actual and concrete definition of fascism back in the #4 reply to this thread. But I have noticed that, rather than specific characters, the superhero genre itself may inadvertently promote some fascism ideas.
    Eco's list, while extremely valuable and insightful, is more of a characterisation than a definition. But that's more of a quibble, and it can be used as a good starting point for comparison with superhero comics. However, I interpret things differently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    * "the cult of action for action's sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection." That's basically the creed of several, if not all, superheroes; and in particular the most popular ones.
    Is it? Now, I'm more well-read with DC's superheroes, but I'm currently rereading the starting adventures of Wonder Woman. She very seldom takes action for action's sake. She sees something wrong, but then she is willing to go into danger (like allowing herself to be captured) to find out what exactly is wrong before she takes any action.

    What she shows isn't action for action's sake, but deliberate or purposeful action. It is also something that is clearly an element in the Captain Marvel and Black Panther movies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    * "Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups." Which is the basic superhero idea? That there are criminals out there. That the common man is helpless against them, and that police is useless. That a strong and gifted individual can rise and do what the police can't. Isn't it, at its core, a result of social frustation over real-life crime?
    This looks interesting, but it breaks down when looking at the details of the historical record. Fascist movements build their own good squads or militias or posses, and these have been aimed at suppression of dissent or for targeting vulnerable groups. Meanwhile, the early superhero comics appeared in a period as justice became professionalised, as a fantasy of individual justice. They are also putting a lot of focus on individual action and conscience, not subjugating under the will of the leader. Perhaps most importantly, a lot of superhero stories are about protecting others from harm.

    The classic superhero story is much like many classic westerns: a morality tale. The question isn't if the hero can defeat the villain, the question is if and when the hero is obligated to take action against the villain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    * "For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare". And superhero literature is a never-ending narration of fight after fight, conflict after conflict, with no ending in sight for the hero. And the fans would not like it any other way.
    This is a shared problem for many serial storytelling formats, and especially with the current idea of long storylines with constant cliffhangers. But there is nothing inherent to the genre that requires this, and good writers know the need to take breather episodes to let us know and care for the characters.

    So this is arguably more a narrative problem than a moral one. Taken in isolation, one can claim that Star Trek: TOS or Voyager fits this theme, but those are very far from any sort of fascism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    * "Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak." And yes, superhero comics are all about saving the weak, but there is an underlined comtempt over the non-supers. They are intended to remain perpetually as victims for the hero to save. What if the police actually shows up and does things the way they have to be done? What if some organization like SHIELD gears up to deal with superhuman threats themselves? They are treated an an obstacle, narrated as corrupt and useless, and the moral of the story is that the weak must abandon themselves to the good will of their uber saviors.
    Again, this criticism can be made against any type of heroic fiction. (I also note that this is one of Eco's weaker statements, since fascism is inherently anti-aristocratic. It does always bring about contempt for weakness, however.) And again, while you can find superhero stories that fit this mold, I'd argue that good superhero stories make us care about the "weak" people in the story, or recognises them as heroes as well.

    Lets go to two of the most memorable scenes of superheroism in superhero movies. The first is Spiderman saving the train in Spider-Man 2. The second is No Man's Land in Wonder Woman. While they are structurally built up rather dissimilar, they share a couple of elements.

    First is that the hero takes deliberate action, and that action is to help other people. The second is that their action is witnessed by and inspires bystanders. The third is that the hero can be an example and can show the way, but they cannot succeed on their own. Spiderman saves the train, but the train passengers save him. Wonder Woman is pinned down by machine guns, but she gave Steve's men and the Entente soldiers the opening they needed so they could help her cover the last pieces of ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    * "In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm." And that's what happens when we read a story set in a shared universe, or even a superhero group: that heroism is not exceptional, but the norm for all lead characters.
    That is arguably a storytelling problem for modern superhero comics: that there are so few "normal" people around. But it was not so much a problem for the early superhero comics.

    To me, this is less of a moral problem but a narrative one. The proper heroic movement needs the bystanders who react to the hero's decisive intervention. We as readers need people we know and care about who are threatened or in danger. It's what creates lasting drama, and them being missing from superhero comics is one large piece to why a lot of superhero comics currently are stuck in a rut threat inflation, lackluster events, or contrived hero-versus-hero fights.

    ETA: Add to this that Eco's characteristics cannot and should not be viewed isolated from each other. The above list includes less than half of them, and only the more general ones that can be found in many other types of thoughts or narratives.
    Last edited by kjn; 07-24-2019 at 03:23 PM.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  9. #114
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Captain America View Post
    We have an actual and concrete definition of fascism back in the #4 reply to this thread. But I have noticed that, rather than specific characters, the superhero genre itself may inadvertently promote some fascism ideas.
    * "the cult of action for action's sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection." That's basically the creed of several, if not all, superheroes; and in particular the most popular ones.
    * "Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration. That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups." Which is the basic superhero idea? That there are criminals out there. That the common man is helpless against them, and that police is useless. That a strong and gifted individual can rise and do what the police can't. Isn't it, at its core, a result of social frustation over real-life crime?
    * "For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle. Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare". And superhero literature is a never-ending narration of fight after fight, conflict after conflict, with no ending in sight for the hero. And the fans would not like it any other way.
    * "Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak." And yes, superhero comics are all about saving the weak, but there is an underlined comtempt over the non-supers. They are intended to remain perpetually as victims for the hero to save. What if the police actually shows up and does things the way they have to be done? What if some organization like SHIELD gears up to deal with superhuman threats themselves? They are treated an an obstacle, narrated as corrupt and useless, and the moral of the story is that the weak must abandon themselves to the good will of their uber saviors.
    * "In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm." And that's what happens when we read a story set in a shared universe, or even a superhero group: that heroism is not exceptional, but the norm for all lead characters.

    Does this mean that superhero comics are fascists? No. It only means that it promotes some ideas that may be sound for fiction, but may easily lead to fascism if tried to apply in the real world.
    Pretty much what I was trying to say about the superhero genre and how it relates to fascism, but you did it better than I did. Kudos.
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