‘Carnival Row’ is going communist (and why it’s a good thing)

Try to remember the last “pro-communist” TV show or movie you watched.

You might say, “Matt, it’s all socialist palaver” and fine if that’s your point of view, but I’m talking about anything that openly touts the principles of communism.

It’s easy to find negative examples like HBO’s “Chernobyl” and the 2009 film “The Lives of Others.” Matt Damon’s “Elysium” is the only example with a pro-communist message in recent memory.

And that’s a problem because we need pro-communist films.

Listen to me.

If you’ve never been exposed to the terrain, it can be quite enticing the first time around.

When I was a kid, I remember watching “Reds” with Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton and 1983’s “Gorky Park” with William Hurt. The latter had the infamous line…

Irina Asanova: The KGB has better cars, you know.
Arkady Renko: But they don’t always take you where you want to go, do they?

… but to feel that there was a kind of dignity there, a truth.

The idea that we can shield minds from bad ideas is only true with children. As adults, we are exposed to all kinds of bad ideas. We need to taste it, to discover it for ourselves, to help us inoculate ourselves.

I worry about future generations. I am sometimes a college professor and a student recently fell for a horrific multilevel marketing scam. I could see it clear as day, but I’m Gen X. In my teens, I had to buy weed from strangers across town in dark alleys and weird houses. You develop a little street sense.

I also had other exhibitions.

The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989. The year before, my father took me to see the satellite states of the USSR. He wanted me to see communism up close and personal.

He asked me on the train in Czechoslovakia when I thought the wall might fall. I said, “Oh, I don’t know, maybe in ten years. Maybe around 1999.

The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of communism in Europe, and now even China has a form of hybrid market economy. As the decades pass, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember the dark side of communism, so much so that its allure begins to resurface.

It is in this void that the second and final season of “Carnival Row” takes place. The Amazon Prime saga brazenly made a pro-Communist argument: the clarity and moral goodness of fighting entrenched state corruption with the magic fairy (Cara Delevingne) stuck in the middle.

The show features a kind of corporate, state-run fascism that slowly creeps into the “Blut und Boden” genre. And, for a while, I was hooked. For a brilliant episode, he dared to make a compelling case for communism as a way to right the wrongs of injustice.

Then he slowly peeled back the soulless reality of communism which inevitably turns neighbor against neighbour, the absence of morality and how it inevitably descends into its own form of corruption.

After all, we are only human.

It’s a shame that this is the last season of the series, but it’s still worth a watch. If this really marks the end of the series, hopefully someone will address the idea of ​​how viral and seductive communism can become, especially when corruption at the top is limitless.


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