Last week I watched Avengers Assemble, and there is only one part of it that followed me out of the cinema. It wasn’t the action, it wasn’t the significantly better Hulk or Black Widow and it wasn’t the post credit’s scene. It wasn’t the witty dialogue or the moment when something spoilerific happened leading to a reaction.
No, it was the argument that Loki made. He states that we were made to be ruled, but kept being tempted away by the idea of freedom. To quote:
Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.
I found this thought very hard to deal with. Can you ever be free if you let someone else rule your life?
My first thought was that this is promoting anarchy, or at the very least survival of the fittest. In a superhero film, this feels almost natural, as vigilantism is working outside of the established police powers. SHIELD is of course the exception in this film, making the question even more confusing, as it’s always been unclear in the films whether they report to anyone or not.
The more time passed, the more it bugged me. What was this film saying about freedom? Clearly, it was against people who tried to insert themselves as rulers over others, but going against the orders issued by those in authority over you seemed to be acceptable.
I decided to go back to basics; what did I think freedom was? My first thought was of an open and empty field. Stereotypical I know, but there you have it.
The important part is that it is an empty field with nobody else even visible. So, I thought, nobody there to rule over me. My definition of freedom then was clearly based on anarchy. Or so I thought.
I started imagining what I would be doing while free and I imagined myself prancing around the field. I jumped, pranced and rolled around.
And then it hit me; why was I obeying the laws of physics? This was my ideal place, my perfect world, and I couldn’t fly!
When I visualised myself flying though, it felt wrong. The person was no longer me and that broke what I saw as the fundamental law of freedom; acceptance.
So, even in my definition of freedom, there are rules. Does that mean there is a ruler as well? Sort of, there was whatever made physics work (God imho) but the key thing is that it didn’t control me. At least, it didn’t force me into doing things I didn’t want to. Except falling over, that was physics fault.
Hmm, my definition seems to accept being ruled, and being made to do some things that you regret. So what do I think freedom is?!?! The frustration and thinking continues…