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No.117876
The politics of KorraAnonymous
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I've been reflecting on these last few seasons a bit and something struck me.

For all the talk of "Change", doesn't LoK come off as leaning towards a rather conservative angle?
Not even that. It can be read as an endorsement of authoritarian absolutism even.

>The revolutionary movement is headed up by a fraud and quickly dies down when he's defeated.
>The newly, due to public pressure elected president is an incompetent rubber-neck and opposes the heroes at all turns.
>The Avatar makes live-changing decisions for the entire world without consulting the public first.
>Otherwise she's only concerned with maintaining the status quo.
>The killing of a despotic tyrant is ultimately showcased as a negative thing.

And take a look at the supporting cast:

Korra is best pals with a severe police chief and dated her favourite billy club.
She also hangs out with two high society ponces, the leader of an entire nation, a general (son of another ruler) and Ayn Rand. Plus she's the daughter of a chieftain and technically a princess herself now.

Season 3 is literally a a group of rich, powerful folk (who for the most part got to where they are through birthright and nepotism), bringing an army to flatten a ragtag group of rebels.

This kinda doesn't sit easy with me.
No.117877
Anonymous
Replies:>>117879
To be fair, in the case of the Earth Queen, it wasn't so much that her death as a bad thing, so much that it lead to her nation immediately falling prey to looting, arson and (probably) murder as soon as it happened.

If she were replaced democratically, people probably wouldn't have reacted to it so badly.
No.117878
Anonymous
>>117876
I would say Korra hanging around with rich/powerful people is less "rich people are better kick the poor people in the dick" and has a more meta reasoning behind it.

>The revolutionary movement is headed up by a fraud and quickly dies down when he's defeated.
Well the short answer for this is that LOK is not a show about solving classism issues, which is what was really causing the anger behind the Equalist movement. It's not necessarily a show about politics. Nobody wants to tune in and watch 22 minutes of round-table discussion on the class gap in Republic City. Raiko, a non-bender, was elected to reflect that the Equalist movement did in some way impact the people of the city in a way that didn't lead to them thinking wiping out benders was a good idea.

>The newly, due to public pressure elected president is an incompetent rubber-neck and opposes the heroes at all turns.
Do we actually know if Raiko is incompetent or are people expecting him to be an Obama and pull miracles out of his ass?

>The Avatar makes live-changing decisions for the entire world without consulting the public first.
Uh I mean if you're gonna slam LOK for this you might as well slam the entire franchise too. Avatars kind of do that, they have that kind of authority because they're the embodiment of a spirit of peace and balance.

>Otherwise she's only concerned with maintaining the status quo.
The status quo in the case being the world NOT being plunged into total anarchy and chaos?

>The killing of a despotic tyrant is ultimately showcased as a negative thing.
Probably because in an ideal world she would actually be brought to justice via a trial of some kind, not brutally murdered and her country left in a state of chaos because her murderers actually TOLD the people to go crazy and riot. I sincerely doubt anyone in the fandom (or the Krew) was sad to see her go but that doesn't mean what the RL did was right.

>Korra is best pals with a severe police chief and dated her favourite billy club.
Meh, this only really holds weight in Republic City and the show doesn't seem to be centering on it anymore.

>She also hangs out with two high society ponces, the leader of an entire nation, a general (son of another ruler) and Ayn Rand.
Asami's wealth in the show doesn't play much of a role beyond that she provides the Krew's means of transportation, which they do need a steady access to if they're going to be jumping all over the place in the seasons. Toph played a similar role in some episodes in ATLA because she was a Beifong. And I don't think Varrick was really a positive depiction wealthy people, considering he was secretly trying to start a world ward. Iroh also doesn't get to do whatever he wants because he's royalty, Raiko threatened him with a court martial at one point iirc.


Like I said earlier, Korra hanging out with rich/privileged people isn't really about saying the rich are better than the poor. It's more about how the rich have certain privileges that the poor wouldn't at the time have that, as the protagonist of the show, Korra would benefit from like Asami's airships.

> Plus she's the daughter of a chieftain and technically a princess herself now.
Whiiiiich likely doesn't mean squat outside of the SWT and even there I doubt people would start calling her Princess.

>Season 3 is literally a a group of rich, powerful folk (who for the most part got to where they are through birthright and nepotism), bringing an army to flatten a ragtag group of rebels.
See when you describe the RL as a 'ragtag group of rebels' you make them sound more sympathetic than they really are. They chained up a 17 year old girl and poisoned her with the intent of killing her. Homes and possibly lives were lost in the riots in Ba Sing Se and now apparently the entire country is dissolving into a chaotic state (let's not forget what potential impact that could have on the spirits). Wanting to put an end to a corrupt government = good. Putting an end to it and then telling the entire populace to do *whatever the hell they want* =/= not good.
No.117879
Anonymous
Replies:>>117881
>>117877
How exactly though? Historically most despots were only taken down once it reached the point of violent revolution, followed by several years of chaos and bloodshed, and in the eventually someone comes along to pacify the chaos in the situations where it ends up panning out to something decent and not same as the old. Can't think of many who were dispatched peacefully and methodically, who had actual power over the people.
No.117880
The politics of Korra
Of course the villains are portrayed as villains and ultimately harmful.
Of course the Avatar has a heavenly hall pass to whatever he/she pleases and it will ultimately be the right thing.
Dissecting the show in that way doesn't really do anything but regurgitate the things that play out on the surface level.
We're talking about subtext here.

Also, Varrick isn't Ayn Rand, Sujin is.
No.117881
Anonymous
Replies:>>117883
>>117879
Well typically when someone hears that the president/the queen/the pope is dead, their first thought usually isn't to riot, which is probably why Zaheer went to the radio and specifically told people the city was theirs again. Remember it wasn't really a revolution staged by the people of Ba Sing Se, it was done by a group of people whose end goal is to plunge the world into chaos and anarchy.
No.117883
Anonymous
Replies:>>117884
>>117881
Yeah, but typically people don't live under oppressive regimes for generations, keeping the social structure rigidly separated by literal stone walls.
You'd do well to remember that you can't equate that to our situation in any way.

A little rioting seems to fit the occasion, wouldn't you say?

Especially since doing away with the Queen alone wouldn't solve anything in the long run.
No.117884
Anonymous
Replies:>>117885
>>117883
>A little rioting seems to fit the occasion, wouldn't you say?
Well people could still riot but under normal circumstances even when a figurehead dies there's still a government behind them to keep the peace until a new one is put into position. If the EQ had died from, say, choking on a peanut the Dai Li and royal forces would step in and keeps things in order.
No.117885
Bunker !OFOzVPOG0g
>>117884
they seemed to have lost some of their infrastructure since ATLA reporting directly to the Queen. So without her there was no longer anyone in charge. The one guard that joined the looting showed how far the loyalty to the Royal Line went.
No.117887
Anonymous
>>117876
It could easily be argued that fantasy is conservative by definition. Not only that, in this particular case, there could be a strong argument for it. The avatar is a position conservative in nature, in the sense that its main function is to uphold the status quo. Let's not forget that one of its tasks for generations was maintain ethnic and cultural segregation between the nations. And bending is the pure definition of birthright privilege. Seriously, just the fact that they managed to introduce some nuance in the Chosen One blueprint is worthy of merit in my book.
No.117893
Anonymous
Hey OP, just to be clear, by conservative are you sure you're not confusing it with right-wing? I guess in your case the two overlap, but a lot of people make that mistake elsewhere, even though in context conservative can refer to a society which is radically leftist by our standards refusing to change to a more centrist one (like a Communist society refusing to allow for market economics, or a longtime anarchist society banning the institution of any formal government).
No.117897
EspanolBot
Most characters in fantasy seem to come from privileged backgrounds (Katara and Sokka are/were just as much "royalty" as Korra, for example). It's just a trope that crops up because having something (be it material power like wealth or intangible stuff like religion, magic or whatever) enables the protagonists to change the world easier.

Hell, even Harry Potter had a trust fund! And was allowed to get away with shit that would get other students expelled due to who his parents were...

I'm just glad that Korra is progressing as a character, and is able to justify her authority with wisdom and experience now, rather than falling back on the "Do what I say because I'm the Avatar!" mode she was in when she first arrived in Republic City.
No.117898
Anonymous
Replies:>>117902
>>117897
Probably, yeah.
But Harry Potter and Aang had the advantage of being up against literal nazis and Imperialsm respectively.
Korra is, however you look at it, "the man" now.
And setting her up against well-meaning extremists leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Mostly because the show generally pusses out on actually exploring said themes and defaults back to a general "we good, they evil" polemic.
I was kinda impressed that Korra actually tried to reason with Zaheer for once (however pathetic the attempt was).

My feeling is that if you have a villain with a valid point, they should have some kind of lasting impression on the hero and influence the way they look at things.
The finale completely circumvented that. The only reason for the Tonraq death fake-out seemed to be, that Korra would have an excuse to mercilessly come down on Zaheer. And Zaheer turns cartoonishly evil in the last couple of minutes so we don't have any lingering feelings on him (and for the sake of a lame gag).

I think LoK's refusal to adhere to its themes with any sort of conviction, is still its biggest weakness.
No.117899
Anonymous
Replies:>>117900
>>117897
Precisely, and not only in fantasy. Protagonists need to have agency, and rich people do.
No.117900
Anonymous
Replies:>>117903
>>117899
>My feeling is that if you have a villain with a valid point, they should have some kind of lasting impression on the hero and influence the way they look at things.
>The finale completely circumvented that. The only reason for the Tonraq death fake-out seemed to be, that Korra would have an excuse to mercilessly come down on Zaheer. And Zaheer turns cartoonishly evil in the last couple of minutes so we don't have any lingering feelings on him (and for the sake of a lame gag).

Eh well Unalaq sort of did that with Korra deciding to leave the portals open. As for Zaheer, Korra didn't disagree with him that corrupt government figures should be removed from office, she just doesn't think they should be killed off and their domains left to rebuild itself after lots of death and violence. As for whether or not she'll decide to actually do something else about corrupt government we should probably wait until book 4, I don't exactly blame a wheelchair-bound Korra dealing with PTSD and to announce her plan to start investigating the Fire Nation royal family or something.
No.117902
EspanolBot
>>117898

Well intentioned, yes. But the RL killed dozens of people in the course of their rampage (with Ming Hua's escape alone she flung number WL guards into lava, for example), deliberately threw a city into chaos by encouraging the downtrodden citizenry to just start looting and burning stuff (if Bolin and Mako hadn't come along, their entire extended family would have all burnt to death for example), and threatened to kill off the new Air Nation if they didn't get what they wanted.

Hell, the reason why they ended up in jail in the first place is that they wanted to kidnap and brainwash a four year old girl... who they most likely would have executed once they'd used her to do what they did in Ba Sing Se to the rest of the world.

Wanting a brighter world is one thing, but using murder and threats of violence to bring about a world with no laws protecting you and your family besides who has the bigger stick to defend/rob you is kind of ridiculous.
No.117903
Anonymous
>>117900
What I mean is that even if Zaheer was clearly a fanatic and kind of a nutjob, he had sound ideals and a clear idea of how he thought the world could be improved.
Korra on the other hand seems to be oblivious to anything going on in the world beyond her small spectrum.
Maybe that has to do with my bigger beef of Korra being a purely reactionary character, but she doesn't seem to make any conclusions of her own.
That's why the whole Season 2 conclusion is so jarring. It seemed entirely impromptu, not like a decision based on experience and introspection.
What she could have learned from Zaheer, was that the world at large deserves her attention and there's a lesson about personal freedom in there, that just never materialized.


I get the feeling that that's also what keeps LoK from ever being a great show.
We don't get to see characters experience catharsis.

It would have been very satisfying to me for Korra to muster an actual verbal blow against Zaheer along with all the physical ones.
No.118263
Anonymous
... So Kuvira in Junketsu when?
No.118264
Anonymous
Replies:>>118267
I know it's a show directed at younger audiences, so it might have sent the audience mixed messages, but I would've thought Kuvira would be tactful enough to declare her new hegemony as a federation rather than an empire considering the connotations. Even if the former is a misnomer for PR's sake, the latter has blatant connotations of being the same monarchy she was decrying but on steroids.
No.118267
Anonymous
>>118264
So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.