Driving a highway through the mountains this summer, we are graced with a momentary view of Mount Sir Donald peeking its head through the clouds. It brings back memories of summiting this formidable mountain last year. God I love BC.
Today I saw Mockingjay part 2, and something that didn’t strike me until later is the brilliance of Snow’s speech to Katniss. How he talks about how he’s not wasteful. Snow is president of Panem, a resident of the Capitol, in the center of the height of wastefulness. Everything in the Capitol is over the top, and thrown away. Everything means nothing, is never as good as the new thing. But Snow, the leader of it all, values not being wasteful. It’s because to him, the people being overly wasteful is not wasteful, it is a necessity. To keep his power, to keep their compliance, the people of the Capitol must be totally wasteful. As a distraction, to keep them placated. If they’re always worried about having the new thing, they’re not looking at what’s really going on in their country, and they’re not worried about what it took to make this new thing for them. The people of the Capitol don’t think about how much the districts are suffering so they don’t have to, so they can have too much. So they can consume, consume, consume.
But it also serves another purpose. By always working to please the insatiable appetite of the Capitol, the districts are too busy toiling away at their jobs in order to barely survive to rise up against the Capitol. This system couldn’t work if the Capitol was ever satisfied. The moment the people of the Capitol stopped consuming, the districts would have time and energy to organize.
President Snow is not wasteful because he sees how being wasteful distracts people, and uses wastefulness as a tool to control the masses.