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Batman VS the OWS+Al Quaeda

Riverwolf

Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
Premium Member
I disagree. There are plenty of elements in Rises that go against the government and military. After all, it's made clear that neither one can help Gotham out of its current predicament, so its up to the masked vigilante who acts outside the law.

I, personally, see nothing wrong with a storyteller subtly planting in his or her own political position on certain issues(and you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a story where such an insertion doesn't exist), but in this case, any sense of "propaganda" is not necessarily deliberate, and more to do with the fact that the script itself could have probably used one more draft to iron out the problems. This movie is certainly not as bad as the (still very enjoyable) V for Vendetta movie.
 

apophenia

Well-Known Member
I disagree. There are plenty of elements in Rises that go against the government and military. After all, it's made clear that neither one can help Gotham out of its current predicament, so its up to the masked vigilante who acts outside the law.

I, personally, see nothing wrong with a storyteller subtly planting in his or her own political position on certain issues(and you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a story where such an insertion doesn't exist), but in this case, any sense of "propaganda" is not necessarily deliberate, and more to do with the fact that the script itself could have probably used one more draft to iron out the problems. This movie is certainly not as bad as the (still very enjoyable) V for Vendetta movie.

On a purely artistic level I thought the movie was crap.

Stuff like having his spine broken and then working out for a day or so (even a month for ****s sake) while incarcerated in a pit, and regaining all his strength , was just ridiculous.

There were so many holes in the plot, I got the impression that 'plot' was low on the list of priorities - all that mattered were some key symbolic images and the appeal of the weaponry. The rest was a mishmash with no interest whatsoever.

That is why I arrived at the conclusion I did ... there was no story here, there were 'moments' and 'images'. The comic books have far more interesting plots than this movie.

What exactly was that thing on Bain's face ? "He was terribly damaged and that was all that kept him alive". Huh ? Wha ? how ? why ?

Bain looked like that so he would look like a blend of Hannibal Lecter , Darth Vader and a BDSM dungeon freak (and of course someone from the WWF), with a touch of Darth's voice. The Dark Side ! OOh creepy !

I was bored ****less. There was no plot nor characterisation, it was just an advertisement for military weaponry and the suggestion that the socialist pinkos from OWS were dupes of international terrorists. End of story.

Pathetic.
 

Revoltingest

Pragmatic Libertarian
Premium Member
Then again, his "I am above the law" attitude could be interpreted differently if you apply it to a global scenario. :D
Tricky you are!
Not only can one find propaganda in any movie, but one can apparently read multiple agendas into it.
 

apophenia

Well-Known Member
Meanwhile, back at my theory of unconscious complicity in propaganda... 911 (the scenes of Manhattan exploding), terrorists (blatant enough, no argument) and OWS (also utterly blatant), military spending (despite the Wayne Foundation abandoning the orphans).

These elements are the fracture points of the American psyche right now. The movie just assembled them to ensure a gut reaction.

And having elicited that gut reaction, what saves Gotham ? Cutting edge military weaponry, owned by a private citizen. Which of course appeals to the oldest, most enduring symbol of America - an armed citizenry, and at the same time makes an argument for America to keep blowing the national budget on the military.

Pretty basic.
 

Riverwolf

Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
Premium Member
On a purely artistic level I thought the movie was crap.

I subjectively disagree.

Stuff like having his spine broken and then working out for a day or so (even a month for ****s sake) while incarcerated in a pit, and regaining all his strength , was just ridiculous.
It's Batman. And by the way, it was six months.

There were so many holes in the plot, I got the impression that 'plot' was low on the list of priorities - all that mattered were some key symbolic images and the appeal of the weaponry. The rest was a mishmash with no interest whatsoever.
I must disagree. I very much enjoyed it. But that's a subjective matter.

That is why I arrived at the conclusion I did ... there was no story here, there were 'moments' and 'images'. The comic books have far more interesting plots than this movie.

What exactly was that thing on Bain's face ? "He was terribly damaged and that was all that kept him alive". Huh ? Wha ? how ? why ?
It's "Bane" not "Bain". ^_^

And no, the mask did not keep him alive. It simply helped keep the pain in check. Anything beyond that is unnecessary.

Bain looked like that so he would look like a blend of Hannibal Lecter , Darth Vader and a BDSM dungeon freak (and of course someone from the WWF), with a touch of Darth's voice. The Dark Side ! OOh creepy !
You forgot a slight hint of Sean Connery. :p Though he looked far more like someone from the WWF in the comics.

But I thought he was quite effective as a villain.

I was bored ****less. There was no plot nor characterisation, it was just an advertisement for military weaponry and the suggestion that the socialist pinkos from OWS were dupes of international terrorists. End of story.

Pathetic.
You sure you're not reading a bit too much into it? I saw nothing of the OWS in there. Bane released thousands of prisoners to run amok in Gotham (a plot point from the original Knightfall story, upon which this movie is loosely based), and appealed to the frustrations of lower class workers. He essentially created a pure anarchy state, which I don't think is what the OWS is going for.

In other words, the Joker was right: when the chips are down, these civilized people, they'll eat each other.

Plus, if this was an advertisement for military weaponry, how come the bad guys were the ones using those weapons? If you're talking about Batman's toys, first of all, those are in the comics in varying degrees of manifestation and design, and second of all, the military rejected all of those devices. That's why Bruce Wayne was able to use them.

Have you ever seen any of Christopher Nolan's other movies?
 
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Riverwolf

Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
Premium Member
Meanwhile, back at my theory of unconscious complicity in propaganda... 911 (the scenes of Manhattan exploding), terrorists (blatant enough, no argument) and OWS (also utterly blatant), military spending (despite the Wayne Foundation abandoning the orphans).

These elements are the fracture points of the American psyche right now. The movie just assembled them to ensure a gut reaction.

And having elicited that gut reaction, what saves Gotham ? Cutting edge military weaponry, owned by a private citizen. Which of course appeals to the oldest, most enduring symbol of America - an armed citizenry, and at the same time makes an argument for America to keep blowing the national budget on the military.

Pretty basic.

...huh? Since when has an armed citizenry been the oldest, most enduring symbol of America? I've never seen that, even in Michael Bay movies, which are about as American as they come.
 

YmirGF

Bodhisattva in Recovery
Both of those comments seem to miss my point.

To suggest that it isn't propaganda because it's Hollywood is like saying Blackwater aren't military because they're a private enterprise.

And yes, I know that any form of art has a social agenda. The significant point is that Hollywood and TV are major shaping forces of the community psyche, and are taking the place of religion and political rhetoric in that process. And they do it by stealth - the audience is seduced into passive reception, and the political agenda is not necessarily flagged as such.

Until recently art didn't have that degree of impact, unless it was specifically and overtly in the service of religion or political rhetoric. And when it was overtly in the service of religion (icons arguably had more power than text in a context of an illiterate community ) or political rhetoric (the posters during Mao's revolution for example), it was clearly the sharp end of a philosophical wedge.

So yes ymirGF, it is Hollywood ( well duh ! I had noticed), and yes Revoltingest, movies in general could be seen as propaganda - as could everything posted here on the forums if you want to make that argument - but these forums don't have the reach to be socially significant.

To dismiss the idea that it is powerful, nation-shaping propaganda with the arguments "it's just Hollywood" or "all public expression can be seen as propaganda" is to miss one of the most significant developments in modern history.

Maybe it is just too close, too familiar, to be seen clearly.

I am not suggesting that it is an evil scheme emanating from a monolithic source. I made clear that it is complicity rather than conspiracy. It is more like a positive feedback loop which can take a tendency and amplify it, similar to Tesla's oscillators tuned to the resonant frequency of a structure - the result of a continuous reinforcement can be a destructive level of force. That is how propaganda works. Find a tendency and amplify it with consistently applied stimulus.

A pathological tendency is not necessarily deliberate. And a mechanism can be potentially helpful or harmful depending on its application.
Sorry apophenia, but this is hardly news. I do pity folks that don't realize the somewhat insidious nature of modern media. It's all about whatever narrative you want to reinforce, to get heads bobbing. Hehe, next you will be watching movies backwards looking for secretly encoded messages. :D
 

Revoltingest

Pragmatic Libertarian
Premium Member
Meanwhile, back at my theory of unconscious complicity in propaganda... 911 (the scenes of Manhattan exploding), terrorists (blatant enough, no argument) and OWS (also utterly blatant), military spending (despite the Wayne Foundation abandoning the orphans).
These elements are the fracture points of the American psyche right now. The movie just assembled them to ensure a gut reaction.
And having elicited that gut reaction, what saves Gotham ? Cutting edge military weaponry, owned by a private citizen. Which of course appeals to the oldest, most enduring symbol of America - an armed citizenry, and at the same time makes an argument for America to keep blowing the national budget on the military.
Pretty basic.
Why select this single movie for analysis of propaganda? Any movie could be found guilty of it, so it doesn't mean anything unless there's a pattern of propagandizing out of Hollywood.
Here are some messages I get from movie propaganda:
- Corporations are inherently evil.
- Corporations are run by old white guys who delight in perpetrating evil.
- Black guys are either police captains, drug dealers, pimps or sports stars.
- Black women hang on black guys' arms.
- Asians all know kung fu.
- Women will hit men, who deserve it because of something they said. Men who hit women for something they said are vicious bad guys.
- Drunks are happy.....& always men.
- Cops who beat confessions & info out of people are the good guys.
- Government functions only because a lone good guy bucks the system.
- Bad guys are foreigners.
- Batman doesn't need guns, because bad guys play fair, & won't use guns either.
- Small women always know kung fu, & can beat up large men....even the ones who also know kung fu.
- A hero will take a one in ten thousand chance that some last ditch effort will succeed, & 99% of the time it works.
- Lead bullets give off sparks when they hit brick walls. OK...this isn't propaganda, but can't believe they still do this stupid effect.

Is there any coherent message in all these themes?
 
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Riverwolf

Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
Premium Member
Why select this single movie for analysis of propaganda? Any movie could be found guilty of it, so it doesn't mean anything unless there's a pattern of propagandizing out of Hollywood.
Here are some messages I get from movie propaganda:
- Corporations are inherently evil.
- Corporations are run by old white guys who delight in perpetrating evil.
- Black guys are either police captains, drug dealers, pimps or sports stars.
- Black women hang on black guys' arms.
- Asians all know kung fu.
- Women will hit men, who deserve it because of something they said. Men who hit women for something they said are vicious bad guys.
- Drunks are happy.....& always men.
- Cops who beat confessions & info out of people are the good guys.
- Government functions only because a lone good guy bucks the system.
- Bad guys are foreigners.
- Batman doesn't need guns, because bad guys play fair, & won't use guns either.
- Small women always know kung fu, & can beat up large men....even the ones who also know kung fu.
- A hero will take a one in ten thousand chance that some last ditch effort will succeed, & 99% of the time it works.
- Lead bullets give off sparks when they hit brick walls. OK...this isn't propaganda, but can't believe they still do this stupid effect.

Is there any coherent message in all these themes?

Not really, as those are simply story tropes and cliches that gained popularity. The evil corporation thing probably really took off with the popularity of the Resident Evil games, which features an evil pharmaceutical company, Umbrella Corp, that created a zombie virus with the intention of using it for biological warfare. I think before that, the evil corporation thing was really only used in cyberpunk futuristic stories, rather than ones set in the modern day.

Oh, and you forgot the big bad government that hides the truth from us all, which was popularized in the X-Files.

The big propaganda movies are the ones that paint the US military (or government) as pure good, invincible, and 100% competent(something that Dark Knight Rises most definitely does not). These manifest primarily these days in Michael Bay movies(and movies like his), though it's present in '80s action movies, too, like Top Gun (a movie that I do still enjoy despite it's propaganda elements.)
 

Nepenthe

Tu Stultus Es
Just saw The Dark Night Rises.

What a load of bollocks.

This was clearly pay-as-you-go propaganda.

Not that people notice. I remember 'Starship Troopers' and the war against the Iraq-nid Empire. Those nasty insects in the desert ... I could not believe the stone cold poker-faced ignorance of people who told me I was a 'conspiracy theorist' when I pointed out that this was basically propaganda to support the idea of a second invasion of Iraq. I mean, come on people, Iraq-nids ?
Wait.. what? You're getting "Iraq-nids" from Starship Troopers "Arachnids"? Seriously? :facepalm:

I won’t dwell on the Starship Troopers issue since Verhoeven’s film is clearly satire and blatantly criticizes the U.S.’s instigation of the Gulf war. Verhoeven himself has said this in numerous interviews and confirms it on the film’s commentary track- he has also acknowledged that he intentionally cast terrible but pretty actors as an example of how fascism’s veneer is attractive to young jingoists despite the ugliness underneath. Verhoeven grew up near a German base in the Netherlands and his family was almost killed by allied forces bombs- this was a fertile training ground for expressing his interests in violence and jingoism in his films. Robocop as well as Starship’ are both satirical mockeries of fascism.
Anyway, the Dark Knight, if you hadn't noticed,blatantly conflates the Occupy Wall Street movement and Al Quaeda as a single threat to American free-market capitalism. Bruce Wayne/Batman conflates the 1% super-wealthy (portrayed as self-sacrificing philanthropists) and the Military Industrial Complex (the wonderful armoury produced by Fox).
No. The Dark Knight Rises is clearly based on A Tale of Two Cities as the Nolan bros. were interested in telling a story about the excess of revolutions on both sides. The Nolans started writing TDKRs script in late 2008 and they based it on Dicken’s novel right away- OWS came long after of course and had nothing to do with the film. In fact Nolan was originally going to do some reshoots to incorporate OWS protesters then decided against it as he was quoted as saying something to the effect that he didn’t want to diminish the works of a legitimate social movement by associating the activists with a fantasy film. Nolan has been blunt about TDKRs and his politics: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/christopher-nolan-dark-knight-rises-isn-t-political-20120720
The evil Bain and the other inhabitants of The Pit look like arabs in their shawls etc (more Iraq-nids ?) and present in Wall St with the political philosophy of OWS.

The insane expenditure on arms (USA accounts for 41% of the planet earth's military budget) is justified with the lavish display of lethal techno-fetish in the name of protecting the good people of Gotham (give me a break).

Modern US culture has established an extraordinary new development in the world of propaganda - sell it with popcorn and coke. The herd just laps it up.

The audience just doesn't join the dots.
The Pit prison exteriors were filmed in Jadhpur India and while in the comics Ra’s al Ghul was born near Arabia in a village whose ancestors migrated from China, his origins are never specified in the films. In the comics Bane escapes from pit which is located in the Carribbean somewhere. So Ra’s al Ghul’s ethnicity is ambiguous at best, as is the Pit’s location- though Ghul’s name is Arabic for “Demon head” and in the film the prisoners are chanting Deshi Basara which, according to Hans Zimmer, is Moroccan for "rise up".

So the actual location of the prison is anyone’s guess as is the ethnicity of its inhabitants. The film never gave me the impression that the prison was anything other than an eclectic gathering of those who had defied Ra’s al Ghul, not specifically Arabs. Anyway, Nolan is drawing from nearly 40-years of history from the comics so blaming him for suggesting Ra's al Ghul and the Pit as being somewhere in the Middle East as it was portrayed in their 1971 first comic book appearance (and his origin fully explained in 1992's Batman: Birth of the Demon) is hardly some propagandistic move on his part.
 

Nepenthe

Tu Stultus Es
The Current Batman Triology is based on Frank Miller's works, right? That would explain a lot.
A little bit at best, but not really for the most part.

The Nolan’s Batman films are original screenplays very loosely based on the Batman comics. Batman Begins was influenced by Batman: Year One (which is a Miller comic),The Man Who Falls (Dennis O’Neil), but mostly inspired by Batman: The Long Halloween (Jeph Loeb). The Dark Knight bears elements of Batman issue #1 (1940, Bill Kane), The Killing Joke (Alan Moore), and Batman: The Long Halloween again. The Dark Knight Rises is based on Knightfall (Chuck Dixon), No Man’s Land (several writers none of which are Miller), and A Tale of Two Cities.
 

Nepenthe

Tu Stultus Es
[edit]..it was just an advertisement for military weaponry and the suggestion that the socialist pinkos from OWS were dupes of international terrorists. End of story.
This criticism is so vague it can be applied to any techno-porn from Iron Man to Blade Runner regardless the film. It's easy to impose one's personal bias on the rorschach test of storytelling. A far more interesting take than your rambling barely coherent scree on The Dark knight Rises is that like Dickens, Nolan’s TDKRs best reflects royalist agitprop, since the plebian masses could never function adequately if not for the intervention of their King Batman. And this in turn leads to the argument that any and all superhero tales are inherently fascist in that they portray a bourgeois fetishization with crime and vigilantes. It's how fascist's misinterpret and glom onto a simple concept like Nietche's ubermensch and shape it into their lassaiz faire concept of how individual worth trumps all and I've-got-mine-to-hell-with-you-all attitude accompanied with a heavy dollop of how weapons technology is the be all end all of any free entity. Hell, Iron Man is far more egregious on this matter than any of Nolan’s films.

This is a far more compelling analysis than looking at TDKRs as a defense of occupying Iraq- your posts are an "I just stumbled across an Introduction to Film Theory at their community college" level type of interpretation.

 

Nepenthe

Tu Stultus Es
Not really, as those are simply story tropes and cliches that gained popularity. The evil corporation thing probably really took off with the popularity of the Resident Evil games, which features an evil pharmaceutical company, Umbrella Corp, that created a zombie virus with the intention of using it for biological warfare. I think before that, the evil corporation thing was really only used in cyberpunk futuristic stories, rather than ones set in the modern day.
I think the evil corporation in film was well established long before Umbrella: we have the Weyland-Yutani Corp., Tyrell, Cyberdyne, Soylent Corp.- and that's just sci-fi. Hell, Charles Foster Kane's manipulation of the New York Inquirer and his ruthless rise to power could be added to the list!
 

Riverwolf

Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
Premium Member
I think the evil corporation in film was well established long before Umbrella: we have the Weyland-Yutani Corp., Tyrell, Cyberdyne, Soylent Corp.- and that's just sci-fi. Hell, Charles Foster Kane's manipulation of the New York Inquirer and his ruthless rise to power could be added to the list!

I will admit that my knowledge of that trope is somewhat limited to its modern manifestations. Umbrella has kind of become the microcosmic symbol of the evil corporation, and it was the first instance of that trope that I was introduced to. I don't even know what stories those corporations you're referring to are, except Cyberdyne, which I would argue wasn't evil, but naive. After all, once they realized Skynet had become self-aware, they tried to pull the plug on it, probably because they knew what would happen if it stayed like that. (And I don't count whatever reasons the third or fourth movies gave, as I pretend those don't exist.)

...and for the record, I didn't see Citizen Kane until a few years ago for a film class... and frankly I hated the movie. (Not for any criticism of the movie itself, but for my own preferences and biases. It's a fantastic film that I happen to hate, at least for now. Maybe I'll like it better as I get older and wiser.) Nevertheless, you mentioning it as an example is a good point that I had not considered.

I really need to study more about the evolution of common tropes. :yes:
 
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Shadow Wolf

Certified People sTabber
People will see what they want, regardless of content. Sure there is some propaganda out their, but people screamed that rock 'n roll and heavy metal contained pro-Satanic and pro-suicide propaganda when played backwards. And of course Communist propaganda was waiting around every corner to deceive the good Capitalist folks during the 50's.


Meanwhile, back at my theory of unconscious complicity in propaganda... 911 (the scenes of Manhattan exploding), terrorists (blatant enough, no argument) and OWS (also utterly blatant), military spending (despite the Wayne Foundation abandoning the orphans).

These elements are the fracture points of the American psyche right now. The movie just assembled them to ensure a gut reaction.
Or it could just be an action movie with explosions, big guns, and vigilante justice that are based in a world that features a well-established 73-year old action hero. These elements attract movie goers and make people money. And what hero's story can be complete without a good villain?
I really doubt there is any real propaganda in the film, as big Hollywood budget movie makers and studios, like other businesses, care about the bottom line. And they aren't stupid; many of them know that subtle propaganda will not be noticed by the average movie goer.
 

Riverwolf

Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
Premium Member
Or it could just be an action movie with explosions, big guns, and vigilante justice that are based in a world that features a well-established 73-year old action hero.

If you'll allow me to be a bit nitpicky, I'd think this movie wasn't so much an action movie, as it was a drama with action scenes.

It's certainly less of an action movie than Avengers was.
 

Shadow Wolf

Certified People sTabber
If you'll allow me to be a bit nitpicky, I'd think this movie wasn't so much an action movie, as it was a drama with action scenes.

It's certainly less of an action movie than Avengers was.
I've not seen it yet. But anyways, then it's probably just a drama movie with all the stuff I mentioned above.
 

TheKnight

Guardian of Life
Just saw The Dark Night Rises.

What a load of bollocks.

This was clearly pay-as-you-go propaganda.

Not that people notice. I remember 'Starship Troopers' and the war against the Iraq-nid Empire. Those nasty insects in the desert ... I could not believe the stone cold poker-faced ignorance of people who told me I was a 'conspiracy theorist' when I pointed out that this was basically propaganda to support the idea of a second invasion of Iraq. I mean, come on people, Iraq-nids ?

Anyway, the Dark Knight, if you hadn't noticed,blatantly conflates the Occupy Wall Street movement and Al Quaeda as a single threat to American free-market capitalism. Bruce Wayne/Batman conflates the 1% super-wealthy (portrayed as self-sacrificing philanthropists) and the Military Industrial Complex (the wonderful armoury produced by Fox).

The evil Bain and the other inhabitants of The Pit look like arabs in their shawls etc (more Iraq-nids ?) and present in Wall St with the political philosophy of OWS.

The insane expenditure on arms (USA accounts for 41% of the planet earth's military budget) is justified with the lavish display of lethal techno-fetish in the name of protecting the good people of Gotham (give me a break).

Modern US culture has established an extraordinary new development in the world of propaganda - sell it with popcorn and coke. The herd just laps it up.

The audience just doesn't join the dots.


I'm not going to deny that there is definitely a play on the whole rich vs poor game that is played in America through the manifestations of Wayne and his empire and Bain and his gang of miscreants, but to insist that it is propaganda is to, in my opinion, completely miss the point.

So you didn't like the story, fair enough, I'm not a Batman fan either. But to get upset over the unrealistic aspects of a super-hero movie is, well, quite foolish. It's not supposed to be realistic.

Moreover, it is clearly obvious that the movie's theme is human nature. Whatever you might thing of the context the story is placed in, ultimately it is a story of human nature. If you were familiar with the entire trilogy (which I'm going to bet you aren't) then it would be obvious. From the very beginning the story has been about human nature, the corruptability of human beings, and the battle (both internal and external) between good and evil.

In the first movie, Wayne is trained by Ghul who explains (and this was in 2005--long before OWS) that he created the league of shadows to get back at those (specifically the rich) who endorse corruption in order to fuel their extravagant lifestyles. Wayne was deeply influenced by Ghul, but ultimately kills the league of shadows and leaves Ghul for dead.

In the second movie, the battle between good and evil continues. The actual theme of the movie is best represented near the end, when the Joker places civilians on one ship and convicted criminals on another and places the lives of the people on the other ships in the hands of each ship. The Joker expects the fear of the people and their corruption to lead them to kill each other. Batman, believing in the good in people (Rachel Dawes tells him before she dies "to never stop believing in humanity"), fights the Joker. Ultimately the people meet Batman's expectations. At the end, Harvey Dent (the other hero of the movie) is corrupted specifically because he lost his faith in people. The Joker, regardless of the political context he fits into in the Gotham political structure, represents a loss of faith in humanity (hence all the backstory).

Finally, the third movie ties up the good/evil concept with Bain bringing out the evil nature in people, attempting to show that Ghul was right. That people are ultimately corrupt and in so being will destroy themselves. Batman, still believing in humanity, returns to fight Bain and to help save Gotham (it wasn't the unmanned drone that did it, but Batman's prowess).


Don't get me wrong, I'm no Batman lover. But if you're going to criticize a movie don't completely miss the point of it. Use of current political events to frame and structure the context of the politics of the movie is simply clever artistry in order to make the movie seem more realistic and personal to the viewers. It isn't necessarily propaganda. And even if it is, your assessment is completely skewed (by what is obviously political bias).

The military-industrial aspect of Wayne Enterprises is something Fox is against in the second movie, and something Wayne is against in the third. The re-production of military equipment is done in Wayne's absence as he recovers from the death of his lover Rachel Dawes. If anything, the 1% represented in the movie is nothing short of evil. Moreover, the OWS-like references that Bain makes are less about a political agenda than they are about framing the battle between good and evil that the entire trilogy is about.

You looked at a picture and judged the frame, completely forgetting that the point is not the frame, but the picture itself.
 
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