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What films would you suggest young Liberals watch to better appreciate classical liberal values - such as a limited government and the freedom of the individual. If you make a list, please sort it by the ones you feel will make the most positive impact. What themes or message would you like the movie to have?

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Blazing Saddles


Enemy at the Gates. This film, set in WWII Russia, depicts the complete stripping of individual freedom and the dismal attempt to reclaim it. While the most popular films, politically speaking, pit tyranny vs democracy, this film notably pits one tyranny against another, and individual thought is dealt a gruesome card.


The China Syndrome is a perfect example of the harm Hollyweed’s leftist bent has done to us.
Incredible coincidence that three mile island happened right before it came out. I was in college when suddenly every idealistic young Turk was out protesting nuclear power. These are the same people beating the global warming drum.
For every hour a 600 Mw nuclear plant operates, producing zero emissions, an equivalent coal plant would burn 440 TONS of coal.

David42 Level 7 July 6, 2019

They would be better off reading.

Ha, that will be another thread someday 🙂

I would suggest they read books that have been turned into screenplays such as 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, The Scarlet Letter, The Time Machine, To Kill A Mockingbird, Faust, The Man Who Would be King, The Grapes of Wrath...the list is long but they should not watch the movies until having read the books IMHO.


1984 obviously, Brave new world, V for Vendetta, They live, Equilibrium, Matrix...

LukeGP Level 7 July 6, 2019

The Atlas Shrugged trilogy
2081 (short film)
Harrison Bergeron

Atlas Shrugged is an obvious one for many. 1984 focuses on the conceivable horrors when government gets too powerful. Harrison Bergeron (1995 starring Sean Astin) is perhaps my favorite, a world where just about every citizen believes big brother is benevolent and equality is more important than individualism. Kurt Vonnegut was a genius.

@SpikeTalon I am a long time fan of Vonnegut - good recommendations sir

@iThink, @SpikeTalon Vonnegut was a great socialist writer!

@WilyRickWiles yes he was - but I did so enjoy reading him

I would say that the majority of the great Western canon were written by socialist or socialistic minded authors. Great literature is great literature - the story, the allegory, the characters and the metaphorical development of them - how I used to love reading.
These days I can't concentrate long enough to read more than a few pages at a time max and my eyes get tired quickly.
I do not claim to be particularly well read but I do feel privileged to have read a number of great books, poems, essays over the years. Such pleasure can't be found out here in what I will call the cybersphere...well I suppose you can find any literary work you want out here but there is nothing quite like sitting quietly in a comfortable chair next to a good source of light (window pane or lamp) holding a book immersed in it's pages the imagination being pushed to and fro, riding the flo and the ebb tides of a story each paragraph enticing you to the next each page almost turning itself as time flits by unawares.

@iThink Vonnegut may have identified as a socialist, but he was also a capitalist and wasn't even aware that he was one. He had a skill, a talent for writing science fiction stories (hence my comment about him being a genius), and he didn't hesitate to capitalize on such. Socialism didn't give him wealth and recognition, it was the free-market system that did that.

@SpikeTalon If the definition of 'capitalist" is about what one does rather than what one believes, then everyone who participates in a capitalist economy is a capitalist in the same way that everyone who pays tax is a socialist.

Or you could take the position (as I do) that a such definitions are more about the ideology that one subscribes to.

@Crikey It could be about ideology that an individual subscribes to, sure. Or, maybe perhaps individuals would fall under certain names/categories against their wishes? For example, one could make a case that I'm a socialist being that I pay taxes, but I could turn around and make a case that I am a "socialist" against my will, in the sense I am more or less forced to pay taxes or suffer some sort of consequence(s) if I don't comply. Would the term socialist still be accurate to describe me? On the flip side, regarding Mr Vonnegut, there is/was no indication that he was forced to do or take the course that he did, which is why I called him a capitalist as choice was part of the equation, no one forced Vonnegut to become a writer which in turn earned him wealth and fame (regardless of the fact he did self identify as a socialist).

To go deeper on the topic, perhaps alot of names and or titles would be questionable, not just socialist or capitalist? Maybe we as a society should question such more often?

@SpikeTalon If you live in a capitalist society, then there are consequences for not participating in capitalism. There is no socialist section in the supermarket, no socialist section in the clothes shops, no free socialist housing for everyone who doesn't want to participate in capitalism. The consequences of not eating, not wearing clothes, and not having somewhere to live are at least as severe as the consequences of not paying your taxes.

It is very straightforward, there is a person's ideology and there is also the economic system that they participate in. Two distinct properties. Vonnegut participated in capitalism just as every socialist living in a capitalist economy participates in capitalism. Vonnegut just happened to be very good at what he did, and capitalism rewarded him appropriately.

@Crikey Not eating or having some sort of shelter or having no clothes most likely won't land you in jail (not directly anyway, well maybe with the exception of no clothes, being naked in public is a crime where I'm from), I can't say the same for not paying taxes. Besides, once in jail you'd have all three of those things. I get your point though, but I'd venture to say there are possible consequences in most choices we make and consequences even in economic systems.

@SpikeTalon There are choices but they are not very good choices. Participate in capitalism or starve or freeze to death. Pay your taxes or go to jail. Reality is that you are not doing your preferred ideology any favours if you are in jail or dead. Most people participate in the economic system they find themselves living under.

@Crikey That they do, as some don't get a choice in the matter...

@iThink Just a suggestion. Have you tried a dedicated "eink' book reader? I can read for twelve hours straight on one and my eyes are not fatigued. This is partly because I an make the typeface any size I want and 'eink" is clearer and denser than many paper books. I have to use a magnifier to read paper books and my eyes get tired after three or four hours.

N.B. Kindle is just Amazon's eReader. There are many other brands that are cheaper and better.

@Thasaidon thanks

@iThink If you want to know more about the "eInk" ebook readers have a lokk at the website. It has more than you want to know about eReaders. It also has a large collection of out of copyright eBooks which are free for the download.


Truth be told, I was always more influenced by what I read than what I watched. I read a lot of history and I guess that was before the revisionists taught us our founders were slave owning fascists.

I concur that reading is a better way to learn politics (and the news for that matter). But weren't the founders slave owners? Can't we recognize them in all their complexity without being tarred as revisionists? The good and the bad?



They weren't all slave owners. Some were abolitionists, others simply didn't own any. Many of those who were slave owners, like Washington, didn't like slavery. Men without incentives were never truely productive. Jefferson didn't want to own slaves, he knew it contradicted what he believed about the innate rights of men. But if he freed them he would be bankrupt. It was a complex world in which slavery was nearly universal. Slave ownership was one thread in a very tangled web.

And yet out of that tangled web, (abolitionists, non owners, reluctant and enthusiastic owners) all came to realize that America should be a separate nation, and one founded on principles that would inevitably destroy slavery.


Interesting comments. I hadn't heard the numerical breakdown of slave ownership in the Old South.

At the time of the revolution America's major exoorts were fish, rum, tobacco and indigo. Slavery was considered essential for indigo, but only marginally profitable for anything else.The founders thought slavery would wither away because it was economically ineffective and from moral considerations.

Britain's Industrial Revolution, with its textile mills, made cotton an important export. That market, and Eli Whitney's cotton gin, made slavery immensely profitable. Those 20,000 slave owners had the wealth and influence of today's Silicon Valley billionaires. And slavery became an intractable problem.


Doctor Zhivago


The suggestions already listed are good. but classical liberalism in something you could learn about from some of the very leftist films Hollywood is known for. Have them watch the leftist movie and then have them discuss the movie giving some students the liberal view to back some libertarian some conservative and you could even break the groups into smaller subgroups. Then force the students to learn and understand their viewpoints and be able to debate it in a proficient manner. Then you could have each group to defend another group's view. Forcing them to understand and debate for a view teaches them to understand why it is important to learn the other sides of a debate and how to predict the opposition's arguments. This is the basis of classical liberalism. Understand the arguments and why people believe them and don't be afraid of changing one's mind. For winning an argument is not the important thing, but being exposed to all the ideas and being able to openly process the facts, in order to find the most logical and consistent way to use those facts is what is important.


Dukes of Hazard!! ....


The Gulag Archipelago.


Hanio Hilton

AfAN Level 4 July 6, 2019

Night Crossing (1982) - true story of escape from communist East Germany in a home built hot air balloon.

An American Story (1992) - true story of WWII veterans who come home only to find corrupt politicians in their town. They take up arms and explosives and take back the town by force. A pro 2A story. Hard to find...not popular with the authorities! I have a copy.

Luther (2003) - true story of Martin Luther challenging the authority of the Pope and the RC church.

THX1138 (1971) - George Lucas’ first feature film. After a global nuclear war mankind lives underground in vast cities overseen by robotic police. One man realizes the bleakness of his existence, falls in love, and escapes his prison.


Include this one! This also gets annual, 4th of July airtime on the TCM channel... []


Great topic! Don't know if I can come up with any right off the bat that you could say have a 'positive impact' as one might think of it. The ones that come to me are more in the form of awareness, with the values being the streight stick from which to see the wrongs portrayed. I guess, if the warnings heeded in these ultimately change ones perspective to that of a classical liberal, then that would be a positive impact. Then again, knowledge without action changes nothing, so that, of course, wouldn't be considered positive. Enough jibberish. Movies that come to mind.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
-a movie who's title i can't recall, a true story about WWII veterans in a small town who fight to stop the corruption of their local election process. Local non-vets as well i believe-
1984 obviously
Devil's Advocate
V for Vendetta
Boondock Saints
The Matrix movies
the Atlas Shrugged movies

TommyB Level 7 July 6, 2019
David42 Level 7 July 6, 2019

Dr. Zhivago.



Facci Level 7 July 19, 2019
  1. Cool Hand Luke with Paul Newman
  2. The Quiet Man with John Wayne
  3. On The Waterfront with Marlon Brando
  4. Dr. Zhivago with Omar Sharif
  5. Bridge Over the River Kwai with Alex Guiness
  6. THX-1138 with Robert Duvall
Facci Level 7 July 19, 2019

The movie Howl, about the poet Allen Ginsberg and his fight in court to publish his poem Howl. It was considered to be offensive in descriptive language. He won the case, and set a precedent for the freedom to express oneself, even if offends people.
The poem Howl can be found on YouTube.


Casablanca, just to show that sometimes individual happiness has to be sacrificed for a greater purpose.


this is off topic but i was wondering why when i posted about the other 98% it didn’t show but other post went live instantly


Novel or's the full film 😉


Rambo; Live Free Or Die Hard; JFK


BTW Did you not mean conservative values?

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