Last night, my wife and I went to see the new computer-animated film “9″. After watching it, I had some somewhat spoiler-y thoughts… (Don’t read more unless you don’t mind spoilers!)For those who don’t mind spoilers…
The basic premise behind “9″ is that there was a war between machines and humans. “9″ picks up after the war when only a few little animate dolls and a mechanical cat “survived”.
Throughout the movie, the backstory gets revealed in more detail. What we find out:
“The Machine” was built by a scientist, and was designed to make more of itself.
“The Chancellor” (and obviously dictatorial figure) declared that “The Machine” would “usher in a new era of prosperity for the State”.
“The Machine” then turned against the people, and the war began.
One doesn’t have to think too hard to draw parallels between “The Machine” and “The State” as we know it.
Many interventions are designed by (social) scientists – often well-meaning ones.
As Mises notes, interventions do result in more interventions being created. (We need new interventions to fix the problems caused by old ones.)
Massive interventions are often hailed as beginning a new era by those in power (New Deal, Great Society, etc.).
As Hayek notes, the State often turns on its people as the “Worst Get on Top”.
Naturally, there are other possible interpretations – that’s the nature of literature – but it’s nice when there’s an Austro-libertarian one so close to the surface.