Sunday, July 6, 2008

Anarchy VS Planning in...LOST!

LOST is the greatest television show...ever. I'm not kidding. It rules. If you wanna know why, watch it. It's cool, it's mysterious, it's thoughtful, and it's philosophical.

If you watch LOST and are have not caught up with season 4, then you might encounter spoilers, so beware!

Now, on to the issue at hand. My question is this: who is the anarchist, and who is the planner? You were wondering the same thing too?! No way! Well, here's the answer.

Sawyer is the Anarchist.
Jack is the Planner.

How so? you ask. And what is with the 4-toed statue?!

One thing at a time, good readers, one thing at a time.

1. The Anarchist: In the effort of honest blogging, I gotta say: Sawyer was a dick in season 1 and 2, a little dickish in 3, and was pretty much heroic in season 4. But he was an ass a LOT of the time. However, did he obey the principle of non-aggression and voluntary exchange? Yeah, pretty much.

The first thing to keep in mind before we go further is that Sawyer was a con-man prior to the island. He made his living out of defrauding people out of their property. That's bad. Off the island he frequently defied the principle of non-aggression and voluntary exchange.

(By the way, Detractor, a person cannot be said to have made a voluntary exchange if they have been conned into making the exchange. Since they have been defrauded, they are making a decision they likely wouldn't make if they knew what was happening.)

On the island, however, he changes a bit. (That's kind of a thing in LOST.) He doesn't generally come into other people's camps to steal their stuff, and if you want something he has, you have to pay for it. If you are REALLY in need, Sawyer will give it to you, as when Hurley asks for the manifest. While he is an individualist, he acts very selflessly later in the show. After some time of being a prick, the community has an effect on him, and as it is natural for humans, as social creatures, to organize and cooperate, he eventually does very heroic things like: Getting shot trying to protect Walt, protecting Claire and the baby, keeping a close eye on Hurley, and jumping of a fucking HELICOPTER for Kate.

While quite flawed, Sawyer embodies some of the more authentic heroic moments in the show.

2. The Planner: Jack Shephard is a bad ass. No lie. He performs an INSANE spinal operation while under duress. He gets his appendix out and actually tries to direct the operation while it's being done to him. He makes it his priority, nay, his modus operandi, to make sure everyoone and everything is under his control. His intentions for such an approach are simple: to make sure everyone is safe, and to get them off the island.

These are very noble intentions, and are a big reason why his character is so important. But, alas, while the Planner is able to help a few, most die or are left behind on the island by the end of season 4. His painstaking, and exhausting work only got 6 of the original passengers (including himself and Aaron) off the island.

It has recently been argued that there is a statistical happiness gap between liberals and conservatives. This has been debated endlessly, of course, but check out to check it out.

Basically, think about all the times you've seen Jack, bug-eyed and freaking out, when he can't maintain control, when his central planning clearly is only really going to work for a small few. He wants it to work for everyone, but alas, it doesn't, which makes him go kinda crazy sometimes. The fact is, central planning can only really benefit a few, because the planner is forced, by the nature of their position, to make choices as to who gets what, and is forced to make people's decisions for them. Jack, unfortunately, cannot force anyone to do anything on the island, so again we watch him go bug-eyed and crazy because he cannot control the population.

In conclusion, I'd say that Sawyer's individuality eventually leads to a natural cooperation with others, whereas Jack's approach as planner makes for polarization and leads to many deaths and only a few escaping the island. I'd say that Sawyer is more authentically helpful in the end, as it is by his sacrifice that the Oceanic 6 are able to stay in the air and find the boat.

Think Jack would have jumped? Me neither.

No comments: