“Kneel before me. I said KNEEL! Is not this simpler? Is this nor your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for Identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.”- Loki, The Avengers
“Freedom is life’s great lie. Once you accept that, in your heart, you will know peace.”- Loki, The Avengers
Loki, brother of Thor and villain in the first Avenger’s movie, has an obsession with taking over Earth. Loki’s attack on Earth also stems from his scorn at losing the right to rule his own home, Asgard. An intense need to rule coupled with his view on humans, demonstrated by the above quotes, became the driving force behind Loki’s attack and therefore the plot of the film. I have seen the Avengers twice now and each time I found myself dwelling on these two quotes. At first I found them to be absurd but, unable to shake them, I gave them a little more thought. It didn’t take me long to realize that the quotes were weighing on my mind not because they were absurd but because they had the ring of truth to them.
Some of the most basic things in life are based on our idea of freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from your parents when you are old enough to move out of the house, all freedoms that we (as American’s) strive for and take pride in owning. We have the freedom to say what we want. We have the freedom to buy our own homes and live independently from our parents and start our own lives. We have the freedom to find jobs we want to work and to eat what we want. The list of freedoms we as humans have is nearly endless but are we truly free? Take a closer look at life and realize that we are not, mainly because we choose not to be free.
Loki says that we crave subjugation and that we are meant to be ruled. While harsh and much more extreme than I believe, what he says is true. We don’t need freedom from freedom, we already have it. From birth to death, we allow ourselves some freedoms but create constructs that keep us from true freedom. It starts with our parents. While we grow up and mature we live under a certain set of rules laid down by our parents that prevent us from doing whatever we want. We are sent to school, where, by law, we must learn Math, Science, English ect under a set of rules laid down by the school. We then move on to College where another set of rules governs another period of learning. From there we either have more school or we get a job which introduces us to a boss, a set of responsibilities and a set of rules. The goal then becomes progressing at our jobs, working our way up through different responsibilities and different bosses until we reach the highs point possible. Even then there is some kind of construct in place to impede true freedom. Presidents of companies must answer to share holdings. Even the head of the American government works under a set of checks and balances to keep him from having ultimate freedom.
I am not trying to argue that government or school are bad things, I am actually trying to argue that absolute freedom is dangerous. Absolute freedom, allowing somebody to do whatever they want with no consequence, is giving somebody tremendous power that can be and historically has been abused. Even if we strip away the government, school and family constructs that limit our freedom, humans have still found a way to control freedom. Religion serves two purposes (if you have religion of course). One is to attempt to find a way to understand the unknown. The other is to give us a set of morals that we should strive to live by. Even when we don’t have other humans to keep freedom in check, we creature/invent/believe something to keep control of our own freedom.
Never did I think I would pull a post like this from the Averger’s villain but apparently even psychotic demi-gods can give some insight to humanity. Loki is wrong in saying humans need to be ruled but we do need freedom from freedom. Being the fickle creatures that we are, humans crave and fear freedom, putting us in and endless struggle to try to attain and control it all at once. What Loki doesn’t understand is that humans are made to realize that freedom and control go hand in hand, not to be mindlessly ruled and oppressed.