Thermidor

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The Desperate Ideology Of Zootopia

Recent decades have seen Americans become familiar with the hopes and dreams of various species of Anthropomorphic Mammals. They’ve gone from being a trope to an outright tradition for animators at Disney-Pixar, who have used them as the smiling, furry vehicles of their ideological agendas. The latest instalment of this phenomenon has been the cinematic abomination entitled: Zootopia, which has received a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and as of this writing, is currently on pace to be one of the Top Grossing Disney films of all time. Some might say this is due to the film’s snappy, humorous dialogue and first-rate voice acting. Others, such as myself, would maintain that the key to the film’s success is the overwhelming gravitational pull of its pure and unadulterated Ideology.

Zootopia’s premise is one which speaks to the present anxieties of our effete Liberal ruling class. The anthropomorphic heroine (an idealistic rabbit) is a country bumpkin dreaming of making it as a city cop in faraway Zootopia. Zootopia, we are told, is the pinnacle of anthropomorphic mammal civilization. A bastion of multi-species tolerance and prosperity where even formerly feared predators such as lions and bears now breezily mingle with helpless prey species without even the slightest hint of predatory desire. Somehow the Predators have now evolved past their basic biology. In Zootopia, the lion lays down with the lamb, as in literally, the Mayor of Zootopia (a lion) works in close collaboration with his co-mayor (a lamb).

Heavy-handed moralizing about bias pervades the entire film. It is almost as if studio executives picked a theme, anti-racism and the glories of multiculturalism, and then just added a script and animated animals to go along with it. It’s only at this point when the film’s moralizing is at its most concentrated; that its actual content, which is profoundly cynical, comes into view. Beneath the film’s seemingly uncritical celebration of Multiculturalism lies its real message: Ultimately Multiculturalism doesn’t work, but we must not let this stop us from pursuing Multiculturalism.

We observe this internal tension play itself out as our Heroine rabbit continues further down her path of self-actualization. After moving to the city and becoming the city’s first rabbit police officer, she quickly enlists the help of a local Con-Artist (a stereotypical “Sly Fox”) to help her solve the mystery of a spate of Predator abductions. After some further cartoonish sleuthing about, the duo discovers all the missing predators imprisoned in an abandoned building and the truth behind their disappearance soon comes to light. All the Predators were imprisoned because they had “gone savage” and returned to their Predatory ways; they had been abducted to prevent this horrifying reality from becoming public and upending the harmonious interspecies coexistence enjoyed by the progressive residents of Zootopia.

This is the vital crux of the entire film’s plot, the hinge upon which we can see the Liberal mind’s rationalization hamster wheel spin at warp speed, like a runaway nuclear centrifuge. The leading theory among Zootopia’s scientific community is that this “return to savagery” amongst the city’s Predators is a result of Biology, they are merely reverting to their natural ways of living. Succumbing to the Dark God of Biomechanics divine laws, which were written into their very DNA. This Dark Revelation (a reality which threatens to implode the Social Contract of Zootopia’s cosmopolitan dream) creates a crisis both within Zootopia’s multi-cultural society and within the personal life of its Protagonist. The Herbivore society of Zootopia (Ranging from the lowliest field mouse to the most muscle bound elephant) quickly descends into a panic after the revelation that the reversion to Savagery amongst the city’s Predators is probably based in biology. Similar difficulties face our sleuthing Rabbit and Fox duo, upon the discovery of the crisis’ roots in biology they quickly experience a falling out. With the Fox accusing his former partner of Bigotry and of secretly suspecting him of being a savage as well. Though promoted due to her success in solving the crime, our heroic rabbit leaves Zootopia (which has begun to enact a series of apartheid-like measures against Predators) dejected over the loss of her friendship and multicultural ideals.

Of course, in reality, this is where the film should have ended, with the lofty pretensions and ideals of the Zootopian cosmopolitans smashed against the brick wall of a harsh biological reality, with the city quickly degenerating into a vicious anthropomorphic Sarajevo. The differences between Predators and Prey, after all, run even deeper than the cultural differences (the Predators being the obvious stand-ins for Muslims or Inner City Blacks) the film attempts to show as being illusory. Predator species (such as wolves and big cats) literally cannot survive without consuming flesh; their digestive tracts simply cannot process vegetation. It is never even casually explained how the Predators of Zootopia manage magically to become vegans.

Lacanian psychoanalysis offers us perhaps the most thorough and elegant (if unorthodox) explanation for this radical disruption of the Multiculturalist Narrative we observe in Zootopia. In the Lacanian Schema, “The Real” is understood as all that is unable to be expressed within a symbolic order (Language game, etc.), “The Real” shows itself as a phenomenon which is entirely resistant to symbolization. Thus “The Real” frequently expresses itself as pure terror (almost in a Lovecraftian sense), a mysterious and violent force from the beyond which intrudes upon our well-ordered everyday lives. “The Real” is an alien invasion of our symbolic order.

Is this not the role played by the revelation of predatory biological determinism we observe in Zootopia? As a horrifying intrusion of “The Real” into an otherwise placid symbolic order? Is it not this same intrusion of “The Real”, in the form of irreconcilable cultural differences, which has so shaken the pretensions of European Multiculturalism? Like the harried anthropomorphic mammals of Zootopia, our Liberal, Globalist elites have no way other than horror to respond to such a violent intrusion. There is simply no place within the symbolic order of Liberalism for the reality of cultural or biological differences between population groups. Since the very assertions and premises of the Liberal Multiculturalist project (Liberté, égalité, fraternité, etc. ) preclude the possibility of these very differences a priori, making their expression within the symbolic order of Liberal discourse impossible.

The reality of racial or cultural differences is for the Liberal as a false Papal statement issued ex-cathedra is for the Devout Catholic. An Absurdity, a square circle, an utter impossibility. A brute event, which if actual would upend the entire symbolic order.

With the symbolic order of Multiculturalist Liberalism thrown into chaos by the intrusion of the Real, the only avenue of escape for the Liberal is to throw herself headlong into a fantasy space. This is precisely what happens in the plot of Zootopia, instead of the appearance of “The Real” heralding the end of the Zootopian project of interspecies harmony; a fantastical solution is found to maintain it.

Our rabbit protagonist dejected and back in her hometown after a traumatic encounter with “The Real”, stumbles upon an unlikely and fantastical solution. She can somehow deduce that the rash of predatory savagery is being caused, not by innate predatory instincts preordained by biology, but by exposure to a rare plant which causes bouts of aggressive mania to any who ingest it. Elated by this discovery, she quickly races back to Zootopia and reconciles with her former Partner (the Sly Fox). Together they quickly can uncover an insidious plot, carried out by a group of power-hungry herbivores including the deputy mayor, to frame and entrap the Predators. By clandestinely shooting them with a potent mixture of the aforementioned, mania-inducing plant the Herbivores can turn the Predators into a convenient scapegoat around which they will be able to both rally Herbivore society and defraud and exploit the Predators themselves.

The Heroic Rabbit and Fox duo are, unsurprisingly, able to thwart the insidious plot of the vile, plant chewing reactionaries and thus return harmony and Multiculturalism to Zootopia. Only through the imposition of a fantastical conspiracy theory, to obscure the horrifying intrusion of The Real is the symbolic order saved from utter annihilation.

Is not this very same strategy employed by today’s Multiculturalists? Faced with a terrifying intrusion of “The Real” (the persistent crime and degeneracy of Black Ghettos, the inherent illiberal violence of an Islam which demands the imposition of Sharia and the Glory of Martyrdom, etc.) the Multiculturalist is forced to embrace the most absurd of fantasies.

Is not the entire plot of Zootopia an almost direct parody, literally a cartoonish one, of the conspiracy theory popularized by various Black Nationalists which accused the CIA of masterminding the Crack Cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, which wreaked so much havoc in inner city Black Neighborhoods? Since Blacks, being a victim class and therefore unable to bear any responsibility for their own cultural failures, a priori must be innocent of wrongdoing. The responsibility must ultimately lie with the oppressor class, whose secret and maniacal plots seek to enshackle the sainted victims even tighter into their web of institutional racism.

Likewise with Radical Islam, Muslims are a victim class of non-whites and thus serve as totems of the sacred for the Liberal Multiculturalist. Thus, they are, a priori, always the innocent victim whose violence must be explained by an appeal to fantastical conspiracies. Is the rhetoric of the Obama administration (ISIS isn’t genuinely Islamic, Islam is a religion of peace which is being distorted by vile sociopaths, etc.) really so different than the rantings of the Loopy far left? Who insist that ISIS is actually a CIA operation whose fighters are trained and supplied by the US? Both narratives are works of inventive fiction which serve the purpose of emancipating Islam from the responsibility, which it richly deserves, for the abominations of the Islamic State.

Zootopia, seen now in its proper light, is the ultimate on-screen manifestation of the Multiculturalist project. Its message, far from being the celebration of diversity and condemnation of bigotry hailed by so many simple-minded film critics, is a cynical one. That ultimately the Liberal Multiculturalist narrative is a fraud, an intellectual Rube Goldberg machine that necessitates a credulous public willing to indulge in even the darkest of absurdist fantasies to avoid its obvious contradictions from appearing.

It is perhaps the most ideological film of our times, a “Triumph of the Will” for Weimerica’s Post-Modern Rainbow Reich. A projection of our most self-flattering delusions, which contains within the strained confines of their own fictions a damning condemnation.

Editors note: This article was originally published at WCR.