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When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

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When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby bright dot-dasher » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:39 pm

So when Syndrome monologues about his plans when he's admired as a super, he mentions: "And when I'm old and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so that everyone can be super. And when everyone's super...no one will be."

Is that really so much of a bad thing? I mean, imagine if you were a normal citizen, admiring supers all the time, then a new hero comes along and offers gadgets so you can have those powers you've always dreamed of.
I mean, I know he means that would mean original, real supers would no longer be needed when everyone's at their level and can do things themselves. But...it's not really evil to plan for people to be equal, right? People would want that, and Syndrome would be doing them a favor, right? Ok, imagine you're that citizen again. Say you heard about this guy who invented ways for you to be super, but real supers stopped him from it. Wouldn't you feel as if the supers are trying to remain on top and special?

It seems like it does more good than evil to me...
I remember reading this review online where someone said the moral he felt he got from The Incredibles was that "some people are better than others, and that's the way it should stay". I know that's not the real intended moral, but how do you argue with that?
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:28 am

Because if everyone has super powers, then the "common man" could commit crimes like nobody's business, just like a super could. Everyone would be capable of anything. That's all I can think of. :P
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby The Star Swordsman » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:17 am

The sad unfortunate thing is that if everyone is super, then being super would have no value. It's like saying everyone is great. Everyone is the same, so "great" has no positive meaning.
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby definedancing » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:36 am

I agree with TSS. I think Brad Bird touches on this in Ratatouille aswell, in that we should preserve talents and unique skills, rather than trying to make everyone the same. Not everybody can be a superhero, or a cook, or an artist, or a writer, or a visionary, but the people who can need to be encouraged to achieve their goals.
To put things into perspective, imagine if John Lasseter wasn't the son of an art teacher, and wasn't encouraged by Disney and his parents to take it up as a career, and wasn't inspired by Walt Disney and those who taught him? Would he be where he is today? I would say unlikely. Because as talented an artist and visionary he may be, it's not much good unless you do something with it, and often that takes hard work and encouragment. Thats why it makes me angry when high schools cut funding for music and art, because whilst they are "niche" unacademic subjects, some people are very talented in them. I'm going off on a tagent a bit here, but people should stick to their own talents rather than trying to be someone they're not.
But some people will disagree and say I'm being too harsh. 8D
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:21 pm

You're not being too harsh! I agree entirely. Luckily, our school still has art classes and band, chorus, theater, etc. But some schools aren't s lucky.
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby Rac_Rules » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:48 pm

There was a debate like this on TVTropes. I think the main argument against it was that Syndrome's methods of getting to that point were undeniably despicable. Launching an entire robot attack that's bound to kill thousands just so you can play hero is an act of terrorism no matter how you look at it. Also, as someone above said, its incredibly dangerous to have everyone and anyone get access to weapons that could potentially destroy cities with the click of a button. The only thing that can result from that, in my opinion, is worldwide war. We might as well pass out nukes to everyone.

However, another problem there would be, that I don't think even Syndrome thought of, is that there are countries where most people can't afford food and water, much less high-tech weaponry. There is no way that "everyone" will get to be super. Tech as powerful as his will most likely end up in the exact hands who don't need it: the incredibly rich. It will create an upper-class so powerful no one has a hope of defying them. With natural superpowers, anyone can be born super, from poor to rich, so it balances out. Its like designer genes. Yeah, its a nice idea for the people who can afford it, but it will only leave those who can't without any hope of moving up in society.

Its hard to deny that Mr. Incredible is a bit of a superpowered supremist. Personally, I think that humanizes him. He wants to keep what's special about him special. We aren't meant to agree with him at all times, and moral ambiguity is a sign of good storytelling. The fact that we're even having this conversation tells a whole lot about Pixar's ability.
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby The Star Swordsman » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:58 pm

So if Syndrome were to sell his inventions, he would actually be achieving the opposite of what he wanted to accomplish. NOt everyone can be super because only the people with money can aford those inventions. So in a way, should his plan suceed, everyone Super will be valued more than the average person.
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby lisamaria » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:46 pm

Yes there is the issue of the fact that not everyone will have access to the "super" technology, but if they did I think Syndrome would be right. In our current society we have crime etc and everyone pretty much has the same physical abilities. Yet if we all had the ability to fly and become stronger etc everything would be balanced again so in reality it wouldn't make a difference. It's kind of like how they say if there was no "evil" we wouldn't know what "good" was because there would be no way to compare the two extremities.
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby Rac_Rules » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:44 am

You may be right, "if they did." But they can't. There is no way for everyone in the world to get this advanced technology at an equal level; if there was, people around the world wouldn't be starving while others got fat.

But if you think about it, the only thing that could come out of people having more power to defy each other would be more destruction. If somehow we managed to give these weapons to everybody, I personally think the only thing that would happen is that we kill each other faster. Then there's the fact that if your idea was to work, the government would need to regulate who gets what so one group of people don't end up with all the destructive weapons, which would mean that the governments of the world would need to actually cooperate to make sure these policies stay safe and regulated, and I think we all know the chances of THAT happening.
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:39 am

You make good points, Rac.I actually failed to think of any of those. :oops: 8D
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby The Star Swordsman » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:35 am

That's okay IV. It just takes some deep thinking and critical analysis, comparing the messages in the movie with every day life.
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby thedriveintheatre » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:56 am

I have actually read a review which mentions this moral hypocrisy in The Incredibles. It's a very Orwellian kind of alternate universe where "Some people are more equal than others". It's admirable that Mr Incredible is using his powers for good, but that of course calls into question the whole supremacist ideal of should we hide our powers to fit into society or should we reveal them, even if it brings potential danger to others? If a person wanted to experience a superhero's powers (whether it be through Syndrome's toys or maybe some form of absorbing a superhero's powers), does he have the right to? What if a superhero chooses not to use his powers, but the government wants him to? What if a superhero chooses to use his powers to work for a private security force with commercial interests?

Of course, this is a rich bed of fanfic ideas right there. But yeah, as some of you mentioned, it is irresponsible of Syndrome to just give away weapons to people and provide them the means to becoming egomaniacal supervillains (I in fact portrayed Syndrome as Philip Seymour Hoffman's arms dealer character in my Mission: Incredible spoof mashup). But really, how is it different from being given superpowers at birth? Okay, yeah, you can't 'buy' superhero powers at birth, but on an objective level, what if a guy wanted to use Syndrome's weapons for good (like say, to be a one-man army like The Punisher or supercop like Green Lantern)? Would that make him better than a person born with superpowers that chooses to go bad?

And why are most of the villains in The Incredibles ordinary humans who perform their acts with the aid of machinery? Bomb Voyage, Syndrome, The Underminer... none of them have any remarkable superhuman powers other than intelligence or foolhardiness.
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Re: When everyones super, no one will be...Is that really bad?

Postby Rac_Rules » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:35 am

It think the main thing we need to accept is that people are never, ever going to be equal. That's the problem with Communism in the first place; trying to put everyone at the same level is not only unrealistic, but discourages people who have strong natural abilities to use them to their full potential. There was an interesting story one person told on TVTropes, about a girl in their class who was graded more harshly than everyone else because of her natural extreme intellect. Is that fair? Do we need to deny these people to make others feel special?

As a strong Capitalist, part of the reason I'm against this idea of letting everyone get superpowers is because of the amount of government involvement that would be required to get anything even resembling a safe and equal system. In my opinion, Buddy had plenty of right to build his toys. But to sell bombs and robots and rocket boots on mass market? Like gun laws, there IS a reason the government is there, and those weapons are just too dangerous to hand out. Just because little Billy wants to be the greatest cop in the world doesn't mean we hand him a pistol; he needs to prove himself responsible enough to be trusted with it first.

One of my ideas when I make a webcomic/cartoon I'm planning is to analyze superhuman supremacy. It takes place in a world where the superheroes are employed by the government, but non-powered heroes are discriminated against to the point that they will never be hired no matter how good they are. One of the characters is a non-powered vigilante who grew up in a city where the superheroes are so utterly incompetent that she risks getting arrested to go out and fight crime herself.
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