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Cinematic NihilismEncounters, Confrontations, Overcomings$
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John Marmysz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474424561

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424561.001.0001

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Rooting for the Fascists in Avatar

Rooting for the Fascists in Avatar

Chapter:
(p.160) Chapter 8 Rooting for the Fascists in Avatar
Source:
Cinematic Nihilism
Author(s):

John Marmysz

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474424561.003.0012

This chapter explores James Cameron’s filmAvatar, suggesting that in the utopian culture of the film’s heroes, the Na'vi, Cameron has created a world in which the cultural overcoming of nihilism is made possible by a form of fascism in which individuals are subsumed to the collective. The chapter discusses the philosophy of fascism, as well as drawing on nine principles of Nazi psychology, outlined by Jay Y. Gonen in his book The Roots of Nazi Psychology, in order to demonstrate the robust similarity between the Na’vi culture depicted in the film and the fascist/Nazi worldview. It is argued that by stripping fascism of its familiar face, Cameron has made this way of thinking appealing to a new generation of viewers seeking a way out of the nihilistic predicament of contemporary times. The popularity of the film, furthermore, indicates American enthusiasm for, and susceptibility to, fascist ways of thought.

Keywords:   Avatar, Cameron, James, Fascism, Gonen, Jay Y., Nazis, Nihilism, The Roots of Nazi Psychology

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