There is nothing left to see.
May 30, 2008 rantIn Serenity, the Operative is an otherwise nameless government agent set on stopping the rather protagonists. The relative merits of the systems - the Alliance's bureaucratic control vs. the Browncoat's libertarian bent - isn't the point here, it's the Operative himself. He is not part of the government, he is not part of the world he is helping to create and protect. He is a true believer in that better world - but is fully recognizant of his role as a monster in its defense. The Operative is - at least in his own perception - the immune system of that better world. He is not part of it, but is intrinsic to its survival.
It's not my place to ask. I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin...I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there... any more than there is for you. Malcolm... I'm a monster.What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.
I was certain this was - while a bit of smart writing on the part of Mr. Whedon et al - not the given that it is taken to be. That social change does not inherently *require* those completely separate from it. That a better world can come about without the Operative - or his equivalents - to ensure that the old order does not wreck it.
And then I learn of the Deacons for Defense, who performed a similarly protective (though not prone to the Operative's excesses) role for the largely non-violent USAian civil rights movement. Their role has been played down - even outright ignored - by popular culture.
It appears that our popular culture has submerged the history of valiant, brave people to praise the mythology of non-violence. It appears that we have lauded passive struggle while ignoring those who made the passive struggle sustainable. When else, I wonder, has this happened? Gandhi? What about the Nazarenes and other militant Jewish groups of the time of Yeshua?
When do our heroes and protectors - our societal immune system - become monsters? What is the distinction between inflammation and autoimmune disorders, between sustaining peace and becoming a police state?
When is the world better *enough*?