5.30.2015

Jurassic Park and Capitalism

SOURCE: OSCARS.ORG

I never imagined this day would come, a day I can write about two of my favorite things: dinosaurs and capitalism. Yet here I am. In case you didn't know Jurassic World, the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park films is set to premiere in theaters on June 12th. Because the release date is fast approaching, conversations are bound to come up in regards to the nature of the film. I recently had a discussion with someone who proclaimed, "Jurassic Park perfectly depicts why capitalism is evil".

It prompted me to want to debunk the statement. Jurassic Park does not depict the evils of capitalism, it is, however, an allegory for the fall of man, and the consequences that come after man's attempt at playing the role of G-d. Greed is a major theme in these films, no doubt, but only someone who equates greed with capitalism will connect those two together. The unfortunate truth is that danger and greed are found in every ideology and system that is backed by man because man is inherently flawed and earth is not paradise.

Let's quickly summarize the first film. In 1993 we are introduced to a man named John Hammond who has led the way, alongside a team of researchers and scientists, in the re-engineering of dinosaurs. He decides to capitalize on the creatures with the concept of a dinosaur theme park. He invites two paleontologists and a mathematician to the island, the location of the dinosaurs' habitat, to gain support and approval to prevent the loss of investors. Many felt uneasy about the park due to the recent death of an employee. Long story short: chaos ensues and more blood is shed due to human and dinosaur contact. In the second film we see that Hammond is a changed man who wants to have the island quarantined. He declared on CNN, "These creatures require our absence to survive, not our help. And if we could only step aside and trust in nature, life will find a way." Here we saw redemption in man.

As for Jurassic World, it is set twenty-two years after the events of 1993. The movie trailer shows the dinosaur theme park open to the public with several thousand visitors. As if that's not enough, the scientists decide to take it one step further by creating a new genetically modified dinosaur. And yes, more people are killed. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that none of the attendees were forced at gunpoint to visit the park. If we lived in a world where the catastrophic events depicted in the films took place, everyone would have known about the devastation of human and dinosaur interaction. Books would have been written, documentaries filmed, and classes taught in school. Then, of course, there's good old common sense. There's no logical explanation for the attendees' willful ignorance. They decided to risk their own lives to see dinosaurs up close and personal for the sake of entertainment. Let's not dismiss the consumer's role in this entire debacle, something anti-capitalists often overlook in general.

I am a capitalist, however, if I lived in a science fiction universe in which dinosaurs roamed the earth once more, I would have been outspokenly opposed to the concept of a dinosaur theme park. If you truly hate capitalism, go right ahead, however using the example of men who gamble human life for profit to back your claim of the "evils of capitalism" isn't a well thought out approach. You are essentially capitalizing on a corrupt man's use of an economic system that you oppose to make gains on your preferred system. It's easy to highlight flawed men who utilize something that you hate, the challenge is to acknowledge the good that capitalism has done for the world—which continues to outweigh all its evil men.

CHARLENE ZALE

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