Decepticon Revolution?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by ILoveDinobot, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    This can be seen as history not politics, so I assume it's safe to post.

    Today in class, we viewed a film that depicted the social unrest and social movements that led to the French Revolution.

    The film depicted how the nobles and clergymen spent money, and had tons of food and yet somehow there was none for the middle class and the other lower classes.

    Everything that was shown in that film had "Megatron: Origins" written all over it. It makes you feel bad for the "ruthless" Decepticons, even though they seem to be trying to get at what they see as social justice through fear and terror. It is still their idea of social justice is.

    Maximillan Robespierre is basically Megatron, he took rebels fighting against the corrupt government. These rebels were displaced but he organized them into a group and became their leader.

    "On 5 February 1794 he stated, more succinctly:
    "La terreur n'est autre chose que la justice prompte, sévère, inflexible. ("Terror is nothing other than prompt, severe, inflexible justice."

    Check out his "Reign of Terror" here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reign_of_Terror

    Next was the killing of King Louis XVI, which was like Megatron killing Sentinel Prime. Robespierre was at the trial what he said can be found here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilien_Robespierre#The_execution_of_Louis_XVI

    I am not going to go into every detail but there are lots of similarities.
     
  2. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    Fascinating... I never thought to compare the French Revolution with the Decepticons, particularly Megatron, and the whole ideology they have that sparked the civil war on Cybertron.
     
  3. ILoveDinobot

    ILoveDinobot Arise Rodimus Prime

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    Yeah, I had no idea either. Transformers seems much more scholarly to me now. :p 
     
  4. megatronkicksas

    megatronkicksas Well-Known Member

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    I have a feeling you take AP euro. It's that or a collage course.
     
  5. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hmm... what else could we compare Transformers to, in terms of historical events?
     
  6. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    Well Animated Megatron says "Decepticons, transform and rise up". Of course people thought I was a crazy bugger for thinking of a revolution.

    But when you look at even the most horrible revolutions like the French Revolution or the rise of the Nazi party no said hey lets be evil and end up kill a bunch of people. No all revolutions start with the idea of somehow making things better only to some times make them far far worse.

    So yes I likely am crazy, but your point is good that something like the French Revolution may be how the Decepticon cause got started and got so out of control.
     
  7. Voiceroy

    Voiceroy Trans-fo-mahs!

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    I didn't care much for "Megatron: Origins" -- it seemed rushed, contrived, and a little bit of a skewed attempt to make us feel some kind of sympathy for the Decepticons. Like Decepticon propaganda, if you will. But it's also because I'm really sick of the "government is evil and corrupt" formula in fiction. In truth, people are corrupt and/or allow themselves to be corrupted by other people. And then they come into power...

    I find it much easier to accept Megatron as simply being evil "just because". Period. No "cause". No "bad childhood" crap. No "turning point" or "defining moment" background either. I just like the idea that he's simply pure evil and motivated by his all-consuming desire for ultimate power.
     
  8. buickanddeere

    buickanddeere Well-Known Member

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    Yup, nothing more revolting than a Deceptacon.
     
  9. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Hey, there's nothing in the Wiki about the years Robespierre spent honing his combat skills in secret gladiatorial arena matches!

    (of course it's Wiki, so I could change that... :ev:  )

    I've always pictured the Decepticons emerging in the form of political uprising against a stagnant, apathetic Autobot society.

    I didn't much like Megatron:Origins either... I thought it was a bit pretentious and yet too facile in it's easy allegorical depiction of Cybertronian society. I'm always disappointed when an alien culture is too easily interpreted into something incredibly similar to our own human (and even modern euro-american) culture and history.

    That said, I think you may be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Megatron has ALWAYS had an ambiguous villainy. His two G1 mottos were "Peace through tyranny" and "Everything is fodder", both of which suggest certain shades of grey in his motivations. I wouldn't suggest that this makes him less brutal, greedy or "evil", but it's nice if his goals are more nuanced than simply "being evil".

    After all, "evil" as an absolute doesn't exist... it's the way in which we pursue our goals which defines us as "evil". I don't need to feel sympathetic to Megatron, but I like to know what his real motivations were, or his plans for Cybertron.

    I see the difference between the Autobots and Megatron as being ideological. The Autobots weren't expansionists. They weren't interested in pushing their empire, or finding new fuel sources, or evolving as a species. I don't think they had to be as corrupt as depicted in Megatron:Origin, but simply too decadent and lazy. Megatron on the other hand had a grand vision of Cybertronians leading the universe... progress, control, order... and himself at the top of it all, of course. Revolution and megalomania are a dangerous combination.

    One can have lofty ideals, and have an "evil" self-interest and willingness to sacrifice others in the pursuit of your new order. And those ideals may not always allow for personal freedom or galactic altruism. Robespierre's revolution was certainly cruel, perhaps evil... though there was still a goal. As pointed out in the OP, so did the Nazis, as well as the Communists in Russia and China.

    You can't motivate a whole movement on the premise of making yourself overlord. You have to give them some reason to think that it's in their own interests as well.

    zmog
     
  10. Darkwing48

    Darkwing48 Heroic Decepticon

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    It could be possible that Megatron Origins was based off the French Revolution.

    I was told in my philosophy class that the movie Matrix, (addition to the story of Jesus) was based off of Descartes "Brain in the vat" theory with some mad scientist manipulating his senses. This some how ends up to one conclusion. "I think, therefore I am."

    (When you think about it, how can you prove that the person you see, hear, and touch exists? That you have the body you perceive, when you cannot trust your own senses?
     
  11. Voiceroy

    Voiceroy Trans-fo-mahs!

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    I actually agree with your very intelligent analysis, Smog. It's just that since G1 never detailed Megatron's background I just prefered to think of him that way.

    I really do enjoy origin stories for characters that I find interesting. I enjoy the psychological aspects of it, just how in real life I like to try to understand what makes people think and react the way they do.

    And when "Megatron: Origins" was first announced, I was rather excited about it. It was a great idea, but IMO poorly executed for my tastes. (I liked the artwork though.)

    But for me in regards to Megatron, evil to the core and consumed with absolute power explains it all. And he'll do whatever it takes to achieve it.

    Being threatened with death isn't enough? ;) 

    Reminds me of a famous quote (that I can't recall the source for at the moment, and I'm too lazy to Google it):

     
  12. Gadep

    Gadep Banned

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    MEGATRON=CALIGULA

    has the same egomaniac attitude...."let them hate as long as they remember to fear"...

    plus neither is afraid or hesitant in throwing others under the meat grinder to further their plans....
     
  13. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Well, I was thinking of the whole Con movement... without genuine support, Megatron would just be a lone renegade. You can't start a revolution purely on the premise of self-aggrandizement, though often revolutionary governments end up that way. (eg: Julius Caesar, Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein)

    Unless I miss my guess, that's Machiavelli, the most quotable dictatorial advocate of them all. :) 

    zmog
     
  14. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    A lot of revolutions, if not most, start out the way you mentioned, such as the Oktobre Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, etc. I don't think that the Megatron: Origins holds enough in Common with the French Revolution to single out that one.

    Even then, the "Decepticon Revolution" has been covered a number of different ways in different continuities, with slightly different causes in each one.

    If anything, in the Megatron:Origins story I got sort of a "Spartacus" vibe. Megatron, the cunning and powerful gladiator slave, gains weapons and followers, and rises up to turn the fat corrupt empire he lives in on its ear.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  15. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    Oooo, Spartacus. Good call. That does fit the Decepticon uprising rather well.
     
  16. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    Oh, yeah... almost forgot about that one. Just... wow... all the historical events we could compare with Megatron, the Decepticons, and their rise.
     
  17. Rodimus Prime

    Rodimus Prime Sola Gratia, Sola Fide TFW2005 Supporter

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    Megatron is essentially a fascist, from a political point of view, so comparing him to Robespierre is actually a pretty good comparison. I don't think he's based on any particular event, one way or another, but simply the type of leader who takes advantage of such situations.
     
  18. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Good observation... Megatron is certainly a capital-F Fascist. Authoritarian totalitarianism... engineered social Darwinism... imperialist expansion... mixed with idealism, the romance of the strong, of progress, of industry, of purification.

    I like to see Megatron as more than just a warlord... perhaps even a visionary of sorts. But still fundamentally "evil".

    zmog
     
  19. jorod74

    jorod74 Psycholagnist (Ret.)

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    I have gotten into hot water a few times comparing F.D. Roosevelt with Hitler. Both did similar things because they were both in similar circumstances. Their goals are what separate them. FDR and Hitler both inherited a starving nation, struggling to remain afloat during great depressions. and conspiracies aside for a moment, war and the industries needed to supply the military efforts created jobs, money was made and their countries rebounded.

    Both saved their countries from ruin, but at a huge cost, and in the end, the Nazis, well, they lost the war.

    I can see Megatron as a form of Hitler (although lacking a lot of Hitler's lesser traits) using war to unify and rebuild Cybertron, eventually ruling the whole thing himself.

    And i can see Prime in FDR's shoes; forced into a fight he didn't want, after facing the slow death of his people, and the very world he calls home.

    There's a lot of history to be found in a toy's mythos. and heck, it is fun to dig into it.
     
  20. Thundersmacker

    Thundersmacker More then meets the lie

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    In that case, here goes!

    The French revolution was important in more ways then one. Although the significance for the Transformer mythos and the Decepticon cause doesn't necessarily lie in the 'evil' actions of Robespierre and his historical counterparts, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot etc…
    Off course all these people and their movements dealt with their respective social orders in a very bloody fashion but that is the nature of revolution.

    The ascension to modernity came with the emancipation of the bourgeoisie and the rise of the ‘sovereign’ state. Ever persuasive and omnipotent the state provided opportunity, rewards & glory for the talented and the willing, achievement replaced ascription, humanity was set firmly on a course for a brave new world.

    Revolution changes the social fabric, the rules of the game changed, the rules of war and the personalities who thrived in this environment changed accordingly.

    Revolutionary fervor usually enables revolutionaries extract more energy from their environment then the establishment simply because they are more in tune to the prevailing conditions. (Or at least portray it in that way)
    Napoleon was able to ‘blitzkrieg’ through Europe via the total material & social mobilization of his subjects, Hitler managed the same feet more then a century later. Their combat effectiveness was pound for pound & man for man better then their adversaries.

    In this respect superior Decepticon strength derives from this revolutionary-trait and is not due to any racial difference.
    Decepticons resemble earth revolutionaries in one more respect, their ‘right’ grasp of reality enables them to literally transcend the socio-political conditions and gain the moral, political and strategic high ground. Decepticon flightcapabilty should be understand in this fashion.

    The last respect the Decepticons resemble earth-bound revolutionaries is their absolute believe that through their actions they can achieve peace, paradise etc…
    This has been the hallmark of every revolutionary movement since Robespierre. Communism, fascism, nazism, socialism, neoconism, Islamic-fundamentalism, every ideology which sprang from enlightenment carries the notion that physical action can achieve a metaphysical condition in the physical reality.

    Obviously this is a ludicrous notion still I content that without this notion modernity as we know it wouldn’t be possible. Whether we like it or not our lives have been shaped by dozens of earthbound Megatrons. The Optimus Primes of this world have been so utterly scarce I tend to believe he and his fellow Autobots are the truly unrealistic part of the franchise. But then again, they are probably in disguise.

    In short; we are all Decepticons.

    All Hail Megatron!
     

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