Friday, May 20, 2005

# Posted 12:13 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

(GALACTIC) IMPERIALIST: Apropo of my speculations about the true nature of the Dark Side, Dan Simon recommends this apologia for the Empire by Jon Last, from way back in 2002. Although wary of reading too much into Jon's humorous observations, I find it interesting that the foundation of his argument for the Empire is that
The Empire doesn't want slaves or destruction or "evil." It wants order.
Moreover, Jon says,
Palpatine is a dictator--but a relatively benign one, like Pinochet.
I wouldn't exactly call Pinochet benign, but the real point is here is that, these days, no one at the Weekly Standard would ever defend the prioritization of order over justice or of dictatorship over even the most ineffectual republic. As someone or other once said, America's most important "attempt to sacrifice freedom for the sake of stability left a continent divided and unstable."

UPDATE: After mentioning Jon Last, I figured I should go over and check out whether there is any Star Wars commentary up on Galley Slaves. The answer is yes. First of all, Jon's Star Wars retrospective/review of Episode III is now online at the Standard.

In addition, Jon was kind enough to link to my previous speculations about the Dark Side. Given Jon's prediction that
By the time the HD DVD versions of the movies are released, championing the Empire will be a respected vein of thought,
I take it as a complement that he describes the Imperial officers in Episode III as being "dressed smartly in gray and all have the look of Oxbridge men."

Finally, Jon has revised and updated his 2002 defense of the Empire. This time he makes sure to blast the Jedi for being "oligarchs" who do nothing to defend democracy. Moreover, he asks how a supposedly good Republic could tolerate legalized slavery on planets such as Tatooine. Jon still makes his point about order, but I'd say this is very much a post-Iraq, more purely neo-con defense of the Empire. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
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