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Planet of the Apes Doesn’t Fit Snugly in the "War on Humans" Category

Wesley J. Smith

Dawn_of_the_Planet_of_the_Apes.jpgIt’s part of my job as a human exceptionalism apologist to see movies that try to tear down the unique value of human life. I have some good news to report: Unlike Noah and the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes doesn’t fit snugly into the misanthropic “War on Humans” category. 

The movie has a rather trite plot about how a man-made plague — caused by attempting to find a cure for Alzheimer’s — decimated humankind. But some genetically altered chimps escaped and now they are proliferating (aptly) in Marin County.

But the humans still living in the now mostly destroyed San Francisco — homelessness remains a problem — need to access a hydroelectric dam in ape territory to save themselves. War ensues, despite the efforts of a good ape (Caesar) and a good human to prevent it. Sequel alert!

Still, there is some fun to be had in this formulaic bit of popular entertainment.

Here are Five Reasons Why Liberals Will Hate Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:

  1. Female apes are consigned to traditional roles, looking pretty, giving birth, being supportive of the male-ape folk, and being kept away from the fighting.
  2. Apes hunt deer and eat meat.
  3. Some apes really like guns and killing!
  4. Apes live in a hierarchical society.
  5. Apes clearly don’t practice family planning!

And now, Five Reasons Why Liberals Will Love Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:

  1. Apes (or some anyway) are anti-human.
  2. Apes don’t emit greenhouse gasses.
  3. Apes oppose animal research.
  4. Apes live like indigenous tribes.
  5. Apes believe in ape diversity.

In the end, it’s all our fault. We caused the villain ape to go bad by experimenting on him. We caused the plague. But the movie doesn’t argue that the world would be better off if all the humans were dead. In these days of growing anti-humanism, that’s a victory.

Cross-posted at Human Exceptionalism.

Image source: Wikipedia.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.

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Films and VideoThe War on Humans