Anyone who's seen Avatar will instantly recognize the above quote, spoken by none other than Colonel Quaritch during he and Jake's final confrontation. Midway through their battle, Quaritch taunts, "Hey, Sully, how's it feel to betray your own race?" And as a viewer, one cannot help but contemplate such a thought-provoking comment. I write this blog not to impose my own opinion, but to hear the thoughts of others on the matter by asking a few questions. Answer however you wish. I will listen keenly.
- From a perspective of our race as human beings, could Jake's allegiance to the Na'vi be considered a betrayal? Even if he was defending the lives of an oppressed peopl? If so, are there instances in life when "betrayal" is necessary to defend those who are wronged? Is there a point where a betrayal to one group becomes another's hope, so to speak?
- Bear in mind that even though Jake was defending an innocent people from the violence of his own, by the year 2156, many human lives back on Earth depended on the resources of the RDA to make their living (people like you and me who, even today, must labor for their daily bread). So even though Pandora is safe (at least for now, anyway), what does the RDA's exile from the foreign planet indicate for Earth? At best, uncertainty; for worst, a gradual descent into poverty and chaos. More to the root of the question: must one group always suffer at the expense of another? Can there ever be a balance? On Pandora, the Na'vi suffered at the hands of the RDA. And on Earth, the human race suffered from its hopeless dependence on global corporations. What compromises must be made to ever find a balance, if there even is one?
- Returning now to Quaritch's quote, it can be inferred that Quaritch is a man with a strong sense of duty and allegiance...as long as it's to his own cause, of course. Certainly every culture values allegiance, but is there a point where allegiance becomes a blind, terrible thing? So blind, in fact, that it can't even see the blood it may spill or the lives it may destroy? Everyone admires loyalty, but is loyalty really so precious when it can kill a man's conscience and coerce him to do things that he would not otherwise do? Many violent things have been done for what the masses call a just cause, with the dissenters always branded as "traitors" or "unpatriotic." But without conscience, allegiance is just a hollow word, devoid of any real worth. Simply put, loyalty without conscience is no more meaningful than procreation without love. In summation, ask yourself if it is better to serve a country, or a moral conscience. Whatever your answer, you will find that it has an acute bearing on which side you would have fought for in a scenario such as shown in Avatar: the RDA, or the Na'vi.
Food for thought.