What The Dark Knight Rises Teaches Us About American Values

In honor of the “The Dark Knight Rises” being released on Blu Ray, I decided to focus on the American Value that is espoused most by Batman: Might FOR Right.

Being America’s first knight, Batman comes from a tradition wrapped in honor, myth and a reality that was not always as noble as it looks at the Renaissance Fair.  It was the mythological hero, King Arthur, who first fought against the idea that Might MAKES Right, as it did for so many centuries all over the world.  He first came up with the idea that Might should be used FOR right, and that knights should live by a code of honor that defended the right, instead of deciding what was right.

This is the idea that Batman/Bruce Wayne lives by in Gotham City.  He is the Dark Knight living by the ideas of chivalry espoused in King Arthur’s Camelot.  (Ironically, as a sidenote, both King ArthBatmobile The Dark Knight Risesur and Batman seem to have a problem with women).  The use of Bruce Wayne’s wealth, his connection to powerful people, his ability to use the most modern warfare technology, is all very Arthurian in concept.  It is also a very American concept.

Whether you agree with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war in Kuwait, Bill Clinton’s actions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the ideas behind it (as given to the American people) and what the soldiers thought they were fighting for was very clear, they believed they were fighting for people’s freedom.  In Bosnia, it was the freedom to worship.  In Iraq and Kuwait, it was the freedom from dictatorship.  The idea that military force can be used as a weapon of liberty was first planted in our minds by the legend of King Arthur, but solidified by the success of the American Revolution.

dkrcoverBatman is the continuation of the idea that Might should be used for Right.  A knights power, his armor, his Batmobile, even his own body, should be used to protect the defenseless, preserve liberty, and spread the ideas of chivalry.  The Dark Knight (despite his bad taste in women) has continued the tradition of our Founding Fathers, that Might should not be used to oppress a minority, or enforce unrighteous ideas.  Bruce Wayne is an embodiment of chivalry as it exists in the modern age.  The Dark Knight is the nobility of American Value of Might for Right when enforced and lived by an individual through personal sacrifice.