mrosa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrosa posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Another great scene from Mark Gruenwald's era:

So how is he going to use that money for good?

Sadly on the inauguration day, a new villain called Flag-Smasher crashes by and threatens to kill some civilians unless Cap let's him make a speech:

I think it's hilarious his massage doesn't get through and he's branded as commie right on the spot.

Cap's hotline, by the way, became an important part of Gruenwald's run for many issues. I still think it was a neat concept.

Date: 2013-01-08 11:05 pm (UTC)
filthysize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filthysize
All that for a million bucks? Uhhh, Cap better be charging people or he'll run out of money in less than 6 months.

Date: 2013-01-08 11:18 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Well, this was a quarter of a century ago now, plus I imagine he'll get a LOT of pro-bono work and volunteers, just so the companies can say they're helping CAPTAIN AMERICA!!!

Date: 2013-01-09 09:25 pm (UTC)
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)
From: [personal profile] wizardru
Yeah, with inflation that was probably worth 2 million dollars in today's money...but more importantly the cachet of working on a charity with Cap, combined with him having some VERY influential friends and coworkers? Well, I can see the money going a long way, especially if some of the people are working pro-bono.

Date: 2013-01-08 11:09 pm (UTC)
filthysize: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filthysize
Also, Cap's reply doesn't really address the grievances put forth by Flag Smasher at all there. He kinda skirts around it, actually.

Date: 2013-01-08 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
it's hard to address grievances that are entirely matters of opinion

Date: 2013-01-09 12:27 am (UTC)
filkertom: (Default)
From: [personal profile] filkertom
Yeah -- when Flag-Smasher says he's against all countries, the very concept of nations, what he really means is he's against civilization. I mean, I suppose it's possible that the human species could naturally fall into the Land Of Do As You Please that V (for Vendetta) talked about, but it's not likely.

Countries exist because people organize into larger and larger forms of government, to handle collectively the problems they cannot solve individually. Flag-Smasher's declaration of uber-libertarianism doesn't work in the real world.

But, that was likely too heady a concept for the comic back in those days. The take on Love Your Ethnicity, Respect Your Neighbor, Remember We're All In This Together, and Never Speak In Public Again is a perfect message for Cap.

Date: 2013-01-09 04:31 am (UTC)
deleonjh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deleonjh
States and nations are not the same thing and it's possible to have one without the other. Nationalism itself is only about 200 years old and older states such as the Holy Roman Empire didn't care whether their citizens spoke the same language or cheered for the same soccer team as long as they paid their taxes and didn't get any ideas about rebelling. The citizens didn't really care who their rulers were either as long as their taxes weren't too much. This was how rulers could trade cities and provinces back and forth in diplomatic settlements without giving a crap about what the residents wanted and without those residents rising up in arms.

Nations can also exist without states, one of the biggest examples being the Jewish nation, which had no country to call its own for a fair bit of time.

So while Flag-Smasher might be an anarchist, nothing he is saying necessarily indicates that. He might just be against nationalism. Sure, the current model of state we have is the nation-state but maybe he just wants to get rid of that hyphen in front.

Date: 2013-01-09 12:29 am (UTC)
leoboiko: manga-style picture of a female-identified person with long hair, face not drawn, putting on a Japanese fox-spirit max (Default)
From: [personal profile] leoboiko
I like Flag Smasher a lot.

Date: 2013-01-09 12:50 am (UTC)
salinea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] salinea
I remember him getting his ass kicked at some point in the Civil War Runaways, in great straw man Anarchist fashion.

Date: 2013-01-09 12:55 am (UTC)
ext_502445: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I looked him up on Wikipedia, and that was actually his successor. Because, unfortunately, the original Flag-Smasher ended up getting killed off.

Here's the entry on both:

Date: 2013-01-09 12:58 am (UTC)
salinea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] salinea
... I'm somewhat relieved, actually.

I mean, that the strawman version wasn't the same as a character drawn in a more nuanced way.

Date: 2013-01-09 04:46 am (UTC)
deleonjh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deleonjh
Was that the same guy ranting about Marx in Runaways? Because that was the definition of cartoonish.

Date: 2013-01-09 10:52 am (UTC)
akodo_rokku: (Default)
From: [personal profile] akodo_rokku
To be fair he was killed off after he was *installed as a head of state* which meant the entire point of the character was already dead.

Date: 2013-01-09 01:48 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
I like how his name encapsulates the flaw in his philosophy. You can't smash flags, dummy, they're made of cloth!

Date: 2013-01-09 05:25 am (UTC)
ext_502445: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
He could have thought of a better name, true. The name by itself conjures an image of somebody with a sledgehammer laying a flag on the ground, hitting it over and over again, and getting very frustrated.

Date: 2013-01-09 05:36 am (UTC)
thanekos: Yoshikage Kira as Kosaku Kawajiri, after the second arrow. (Default)
From: [personal profile] thanekos
Well, he could've gone with Flag-Burner, but then he'd only be able to justify that pistol he's carrying around.

So he went with the option that let him carry a mace as well.

Date: 2013-01-09 02:00 pm (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
He probably wanted to be called flag POLE smasher, but it was too long to fit on his business card.

Date: 2013-01-09 12:40 am (UTC)
chrisdv: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chrisdv
You are through to the Captain America hotline! Unfortunately, we cannot take your call right, as Cap is saving the world.
If you are calling because Tony Stark is drunk in bar, please press 1...

Date: 2013-01-09 12:44 am (UTC)
ext_502445: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Flag Smasher was going too far by using violent methods against innocents, but what he said was spot on.

(I hope I'm not stating the obvious below, and I apologize if I am. I don't want to patronize anybody. With that said...)

Back when I was a lot more naive, I thought that there were ways of conducting war that didn't take a toll on civilians. Well, after years of seeing the news out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gaza Strip, to name just a handful, I realize now that this isn't true. You can take all the precautions you like, but you're going to kill civilians along with the soldiers or guerillas or terrorists you're fighting, and you're going to kill a lot of civilians.

Which means that we really need to avoid war at all costs. So let's look at the three conflicts I mentioned. What is the root cause of all three of them?

What do the justifications "We can't have another 9/11," "They're developing weapons of mass destruction," and "Terrorists there are launching rockets at us" have in common?

In all three cases, the speaker was saying "OUR survival matters more than OTHER people's survival. If bombing this place makes US safer but puts the civilians who actually live there at risk, then that's okay, because their safety is less important than ours."

That's the national and/or cultural identity Flag Smasher was talking about affecting people's judgment, making them think they were special and had a right to survive at the expense of people from another nation or another culture, just as he said.

Cap's answer should have been something like "I don't condone my opponent's methods for getting his message out there, but he made some good points. That's not to say I agree with him on everything; I don't think you should be ashamed to be American, or that there should be no United States of America. But you shouldn't take excessive pride in being American any more than you should be ashamed of it. You shouldn't consider yourselves superior to, say, Russian people. I don't because, like he said--like our founding fathers said--all men are equal. Not just Americans. Everybody."

Date: 2013-01-09 02:13 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
I do feel like I generally have the right to ensure my survival over someone else's, though. I mean, even at the individual level. That's not a matter of pride, that's the basic human instinct of self-preservation.

Of course, it's not as if al Qaeda actually had the capacity to threaten the continued existence of the United States, and it's not as if invading Iraq/Afghanistan/the fighting on the Gaza Strip actually served to eliminate the threat and ensure people's safety. But going to war to protect your own (or someone else's) survival is I think the only morally legitimate reason to go to war at all.

Date: 2013-01-09 04:53 am (UTC)
deleonjh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deleonjh
What does instinct have to do with rights? I don't understand the connection you're making. "I instinctively desire to live, therefore I have the right to kill others to ensure my survival"?

Date: 2013-01-09 05:19 am (UTC)
ext_502445: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
This. It's perfectly natural to want to keep on living, nothing wrong with that. It's a different story to be willing to endanger or outright sacrifice other people to that end, or to accept others doing so on your behalf.

Date: 2013-01-09 05:24 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
Well this is assuming self-defense, that the other parties are direct threats to my continued existence, and that's why I need to kill them to continue existing.

I have a right to preserve my own life, within reason. Valuing your own survival over someone else's survival is a natural reaction if you are in a fight and the other person is trying to kill you. You don't need an ideological justification of your own innate superiority to believe that.

Date: 2013-01-09 05:37 am (UTC)
ext_502445: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I agree with you about self-defense, if we're talking about individuals and if the other individual pulls a knife on you or something like that.

But Flag-Smasher was talking about all out wars or the possibility of them, and when those happen it isn't purely self-defense. It's partly "We want to kill these guys who are trying to kill our citizens and/or invade our country," but it's also "If, in trying to kill those people, we take out some innocent bystanders too, that's regrettable but it's acceptable nevertheless. I mean, so long as they aren't citizens of OUR country."

Date: 2013-01-09 05:59 am (UTC)
sadoeuphemist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sadoeuphemist
That seems needlessly .... short-sighted? If a nation is forced to fight a war partly on its own territory, or on the territory of one of its allies, it knows that some of its own civilians will be killed in the process but it's willing to accept defend the nation as a whole.

Not to mention, it's not the soldiers on the front lines who make the choice to start a war in the first place. Nor do they dictate where and when they will be deployed. Excepting countries under military rule, it is the civilian leadership that makes the choice to go to war. Even excepting the government, civilians often aid the war effort through funding and as a labor force for weapons manufacturing and so on.

It's like you're dividing nations up into the soldiers who go off to fight, and the citizens (civilians) who sit at home and have nothing to do with the whole thing, and that's not how nations work.

Date: 2013-01-09 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
the problem is, not everyone cares about saving civilians lives.

Date: 2013-01-09 04:55 am (UTC)
deleonjh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deleonjh
Yes, it's a problem that not everyone cares about saving civilians' lives. So what?

Date: 2013-01-09 11:00 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
it makes it hard to make a functioning plan for dealing with the rest of the world

Date: 2013-01-10 01:51 am (UTC)
deleonjh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deleonjh
"Don't kill civilians" seems like a pretty workable plan, along with the corollary "Don't support people who kill civilians".

Date: 2013-01-10 02:15 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
and what do you do to deal with people who's plan is.. "We will kill their civilians and we will hide behind our civilians." is my point.

Date: 2013-01-10 02:29 am (UTC)
deleonjh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deleonjh
I'm pretty sure I didn't write "Don't kill civilians unless doing so is more convenient for you". Fine, so this amorphous "they" kills civilians. Does this mean you must also kill civilians, like not doing so makes you uncool or something?

Also, you do realize all this collateral damage talk implicitly assumes that a military response is the correct solution to all conflict?
Edited Date: 2013-01-10 02:34 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-01-10 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
well what do you do when someone on the other side of some conflict wants to kill your people? That is their goal

Date: 2013-01-11 01:36 am (UTC)
deleonjh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deleonjh
You try to stop them, of course, while avoiding to the utmost the deaths of civilians and even of your enemies if possible. I don't understand what the confusion is here. The Mafia kills civilians all the time while hiding among the local population and yet Italian jets have yet to bomb Sicily.

Date: 2013-01-11 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jlbarnett
well, that's easy. Italian law enforcement is legally allowed to function there.

Date: 2013-01-10 11:41 am (UTC)
lbd_nytetrayn: Star Force Dragonzord Power! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lbd_nytetrayn
So... what wound up happening to the hotline?


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