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  • Hollywood’s Contempt For Individual Rights

    Hollywood celebrities regularly abuse their stardom by engaging in political rhetoric. The latest perpetrator is Frances McDormand, this year’s winner of the Best Actress Oscar. She insists that both cast and crew in all movies ought to be composed of at least 50 percent women and minorities. This is her version of diversity, one that I am certain has the stamp of approval from the Left.

    How would McDormand remake classic films like Lawrence of Arabia, Patton, or The Diary of Anne Frank…I wonder? Denzel Washington as T.E. Lawrence? Will Smith as General Patton? Oprah Winfrey as Anne Frank? Wait a minute. What about Daniel Day-Lewis as Martin Luther King? Or—if we’re really aiming for diversity—Oprah Winfrey as General Patton? That’s fine if it accurately represents the director’s vision. But what if it doesn’t? McDormand doesn’t give a damn. She would employ coercion against movie producers who do not adhere to her concept of diversity.

    What I object to is not merely the contempt for creative freedom by people who work in a creative profession, but their desire to impose their will by fiat. McDormand envisions a controlling entity—harkening back to the Hays Code of the 1930s—that would impose its dictates upon Hollywood. It is symptomatic of a more pervasive disease: The encroachment of the collective over the rights of the individual.

    What makes our society unique in world history is the primacy of individual rights over government intrusion. This is a first in human development. No prior human society enjoyed as its core value the protection of individual rights. Before the Declaration of Independence, the state directed your life from birth to death. The Founding Fathers, affirming “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” created a republic designed to serve the individual and not the other way around. Respect for the individual is the keystone of our entire value system.

    We are at a dangerous moment when all that could be changing. Advocating concepts such as diversity, social justice, and political correctness, the Left is aiming to increase governmental control over every facet of our lives. The platform for this makeover is socialism, where the government takes care of everything. In every case—Soviet Russia, Maoist China, Cuba, Venezuela—socialism has been accompanied by totalitarianism, a dictatorial system demanding complete subservience to the state.

    Way back in 1848, Alexis de Toqueville wrote:

    “Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom; socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: While democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

    What is the real driving force behind the push for diversity and social justice? Is it a campaign for equality? When Dr. Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream,” he was dreaming of equality of opportunity. He was dreaming of a country where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” When the Left advocates diversity, they want people to be judged by their skin color. Character becomes irrelevant as the Left divides Americans into competing groups based on color, ethnicity, and ideology.

    With “identity politics,” where people take sides based on race, religion, sex, ethnicity, social background, affluence, etc., the American value of respect for the individual is replaced by tribalism. The Huns are at the gates of Rome once again. By empowering groups instead of individuals, says author David Horowitz in Big Agenda, the Left is attempting to destroy the inalienable rights of individuals and the right to equal treatment under the law. All of this moralizing and carrying on in the name of diversity, multiculturalism, equality, social justice, and so on, amounts to nothing more than a naked reach for power by “progressive” special interest groups.

    Supporters of the social justice movement are not interested in the betterment of mankind. Their objective is social control. Those who identify as “oppressed” want to trade places with their oppressors. This is precisely what happened in the Russian Revolution. Look how it turned out. Stalin murdered more than 20 million people.

    The U.S. is a country that values merit over entitlement. A motion picture will succeed or fail on its merits. We can’t have a cadre of leftists dictating how films are to be made. If a director wants to remake Lawrence of Arabia, don’t force him to cast 100 percent women (Laura of Arabia) because it conforms to your political ideology. On the other hand, if a director sincerely believes that Oprah will do a great job as Anne Frank, green light it.

    Allow creative people to be creative. Let the individual continue to be the focus of our value system.


    Ed Brodow

    Ed Brodow (USMC Retired), author of the brand new book, Tyranny of the Minority: How The Left is Destroying America and a contributor to and Brodow is one of the world’s leading negotiation experts and a staunch advocate of critical thinking. SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt dubbed him “The King of Negotiators.” Forbes Magazine agreed, ranking Ed as one of the nation’s top dealmakers. He is the author of six books, including the business classic, Negotiation Boot Camp: How to Resolve Conflict, Satisfy Customers, and Make Better Deals. For two decades, Ed’s acclaimed Negotiation Boot Camp® seminars have set the standard for “how to make a deal” in Corporate America. A nationally recognized television personality, Ed has appeared as negotiation guru on PBS, ABC National News, Fox News, Fortune Business Report, and Inside Edition. He is negotiation consultant to some of the world’s most prominent organizations, including Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Learjet, Ritz-Carlton, Starbucks, McKinsey, Philips, Zurich Insurance, the IRS, the GSA, and the Pentagon. As a keynote speaker, Ed has enthralled more than 1,000 audiences in Paris, Milan, Athens, Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok, Sao Paulo, Bogota, and New York with his charismatic stage presence, infectious humor, and practical ideas. In previous lives, Ed was a U.S. Marine Corps officer, corporate sales executive, and Hollywood movie actor.

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