Avatar as a Defense of Property Rights
In fact, Avatar is a powerful antiwar movie – and a defense of property rights. For that reason, I found it easy to identify with those whose way of life was being destroyed by military might.
This is from my defense of Avatar from charges by some free-market critics.
Another excerpt (warning: slight spoilers):
If given a choice between high-tech, with all its creature comforts, and the jungle life of Tarzan, I, like Salam and Hudgins, will take high-tech every time. But that’s not what the movie’s about. It’s about people from a high-tech civilization using technology to make war on people from a more primitive society so that they can steal their stuff. That’s a very different choice. I would choose not to kill them and take their property. What would Salam or Hudgins choose? They don’t make their answers clear, although they show zero sympathy for the victims of the attack.
In fact, the defense of property rights in Avatar is so clear that, at one point in the movie, when the bad guys are justifying their war on the grounds that they need “Unobtainium,” I turned to a libertarian friend and said, “This is the Kelo decision.” Recall that the Supreme Court, in Kelo v. City of New London, decided that it was all right to take Suzette Kelo’s property from its low-tech use as a house so that a major corporation could use it for a “grander” project.