Avatar and Property Rights

From the LA Times: Op ed by David Boaz of the Cato Institute.
http://bit.ly/bIMjmC

"Conservatives have been very critical of the Golden Globe-winning film
"Avatar" for its mystical melange of trite leftist themes. But what they have
missed is that the essential conflict in the story is a battle over property
rights."

In the film:

"The earthlings have come to Pandora to obtain unobtainium...To get the
unobtainium, RDA is willing to relocate the natives, who live on top of the
richest deposit. But alas, the land is sacred to the Na'vi, who worship the
goddess Eywa, so they're not moving. When the visitors realize that, they move
in with tanks, bulldozers and giant military robots, laying waste to a sacred
tree and any Na'vi who don't move fast enough."

"Conservatives see this as anti-American, anti-military and anti-corporate
or anti-capitalist. But they're just reacting to the leftist ethos of the film.
They fail to see what's really happening. People have traveled to Pandora to
take something that belongs to the Na'vi: their land and the minerals under it.
That's a stark violation of property rights, the foundation of the free market
and indeed of civilization."

"Avatar" is like a space operate of the Kelo case, which went to the
Supreme Court in 2005. Peaceful people defend their property against outsiders
who want it and who have vastly more power."

"Avatar" has its problems, from stilted dialogue to its embrace of the
long-discredited myth of the "noble savage" in tune with nature. But
conservatives should appreciate a rare defense of property rights coming out of
Hollywood."

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