There are some who think the film It’s a Wonderful Life has a socialist theme to it. I suppose I can understand that, but I don’t believe it. The film is about one man who lives a life of sacrifice for the good of his neighbors. Government is involved only peripherally and hardly mentioned at all. No one forces George Bailey to make the choices that shape Bedford Falls into a good community and that keep it good.
In fact, if anything in It’s a Wonderful Life speaks of or stands for government, it would be Potter. Apart from force and intimidation, Potter is impotent. He has his sycophants, certainly, but he is more feared than respected. He believes that he knows what is best for people. His motivation seems to be to make himself the focus of life. We see this carried out in George’s vision of the alternate universe where it is no longer Bedford Falls but Pottersville. While Potter is the stereotypical “tycoon” and thus could be said to represent the heartless for-profit motive, his “business model” is somewhat questionable. I am pretty sure he could make more money if he partnered with George and helped him improve the community further – drawing in new businesses and factories.
But, like government, Potter can tolerate no rivalries. He must be in control even to his own detriment. Potter also reflects government in his goal to be master rather than servant. George Bailey serves his community. Potter demands service from the community. Government – under control – should be a servant. Out-of-control government, such as we have now, has subjects rather than citizens.
It’s a Wonderful Life transcends politics or social commentary. It addresses the fundamental issues of liberty and goodness. People should be as free of restraint and compulsion as possible. The importance of private property, of homeowners, investors, and small business people is emphasized. It is perhaps the source of some of the criticism of the film that a certain segment of the population will find George Bailey’s stellar character unbelievable. Yet there are many who might be George, millions of simple, honest, self-sacrificing people going about their lives every day. They do not make the news. No journalist is interested in their life story because it is so commonplace.
This brings me to George Zimmerman. Here was a man, not unlike George Bailey, going about his life, doing what he could for his community. He helped the less fortunate. He looked out for his neighbors. For his efforts, he was labeled by the media as a racist vigilante. But George Zimmerman, like the other George, had friends – people in the community who knew him, who trusted and believed in him. They refused to stand silently by as Zimmerman was electronically lynched. Even when the President sided against him, his friends stuck with him.
This, gentle reader, is the real template for the new revolution. Government intervention continues to make matter worse. Governments are going rogue from Argentina to Athens. They are ignoring the restraints of constitutions. They are failing to honor their debts. They are debasing their currencies. Like any addict, the fiat-currency-addicted governments will deny the truth and seek just one more hit. The abyss awaits. The abyss is very patient.
When the financial and governmental system finally collapses, the model we want is not post-Katrina New Orleans. It is not Mad Max, The Road, The Postman, or Zombieland. We want Bedford Falls. We will need to know who to trust.
There may be some good people in Washington, D.C., but I do not know them. I know my local banker. I know the county deputy. I know the dairy farmer up the road. I know the contractor on the other side of me, the nurseryman on the next place, and the mechanic up on the hill. I am not as involved with my local church as I used to be, but I know my pastor and some of the leaders. I know members who are reliable and like-minded. If any of my friends or relatives are targeted or attacked by central government minions – whether bureaucrats or journalists – I must be willing to defend them. And I can hope they will come to my aid if I am in need.
You see, Potter could not attack his enemy directly, but circumstances gave him a means and a plan to turn the town against George Bailey. So, too, the government always seeks to enhance its own power by dividing us as citizens one against the other. This is why the purveyors of “news” are so quick to speak of black against white, young against old, male against female, rich against poor. Without divisions and labels, the collectivist agenda is dead. When it ceases to be “the rich”, and it becomes your own hard-working, family-oriented, church-going employer, their battle is lost. When the story ceased to be a gun-crazed vigilante chasing down an innocent, immature teenager and became George Zimmerman, a man of mixed blood, a mentor to black youth, a veritable pillar of his community, the hounds where thrown off the trail.
It does not take too much digging around the internet to find people talking about guerrilla warfare tactics, violent resistance, weapons, and defense. I sincerely hope there is no need for it ever to come to that point. And I believe we can avoid it. Study the language, the metaphors, and the analogies of freedom. Know the people around you and make yourself known. The backbone of Alinsky's tactics is to identify an individual, attempt to isolate (freeze) that targeted person, and polarize him or her. Do not let that happen. We are in a war, but it is a war we can win without ever firing a shot if we will stick together. You don’t have to agree with everything someone thinks, says, or believes in order to come alongside and give them support. Turn the tables on the collectivists. Refuse to accept the artificial divisions. Focus on individuals.