'Hunger Games' Illustrates Horrors of Big Government

John Tamny in Forbes:

Liberals of the American variety seemed to like it for revealing how very crushing and insurmountable poverty is, conservatives perhaps liked it for televising the human error frequently behind poverty, not to mention the corruption inside media and government, and then libertarians including this writer surely enjoyed it for laying out the totally ineffective nature of the “war on drugs”, and the sheer incompetence of government.

It’s said about The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins’ blockbuster novel that will be released in movie form this Friday, that it appeals to a broad demographic ranging from teens to senior citizens. If so, it’s fair to assume that a not insignificant portion of the book’s devotees see a political message within. Cue up the hateful comments, but my libertarian instincts tell me the novel is a boisterous comment about the certain horrors of big government.

To provide background for those who’ve not yet read the book, The Hunger Games takes place in a post-modern North America where society has collapsed thanks to drought, famine and war. The country is Panem, which has a major city called Capitol run by the governing elite. Those in power oversee twelve districts.

Each year at the pleasure of brutal politicians desperate for sadistic entertainment, two representatives from the twelve districts engage in a televised game of survival whereby only one person comes out alive. Though the novel has a variety of characters, most of the story centers on Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, Hunger Games representatives from District 12 (presumably West Virginia), and their efforts to emerge from the games alive.

On its face the book reveals the oppressive cruelty that is big government. Indeed, while the global political class and their enablers in the media to this day try to explain away droughts and the resulting famines from an “Act of God” point of view, the simple truth is that economically free countries don’t suffer them.


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