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Langley, Travis: "Freedom versus Security. The Basic Human Dilemma from 9/11 to Marvel’s Civil War." In: International Journal of Comic Art 11.1 (2009), S. 426–435.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Langley2009
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Keywords: "Civil War", 9/11, Fromm. Erich, Politik, Superheld, USA
Collection: International Journal of Comic Art
|Attachments||URLs https://web.archive.org/web/20071012035230/http://fac.hsu.edu/langlet/comics_psy/Fromm_Marvel_Travis_Langley.h ...|
Psychologist Erich Fromm held that the basic human dilemma involves conflicting desires for both freedom and security. When motivated by losses in either, people often relinquish the other. Feeling vulnerable in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, many Americans accepted a lessening of liberties in the forms of wire tapping, e-mail monitoring, lengthier airplane boarding procedures, broadened government ability to engage in search and seizure, expanded regulation of financial transactions, and easing of restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering on U.S. soil. Writers Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis contemplated how these issues of civil rights versus public safety would impact the fictional world depicted in most Marvel Comics publications. Marvel’s Civil War launched a storyline that affected all series set in that world. In the storyline, a catastrophic accident leads the government to pass the Superhuman Registration Act, requiring everyone with superhuman abilities in the United States to register with the federal government, reveal their identities to authorities, and receive formal training. When some characters oppose the law on the grounds that it violates civil liberties and removes the protection that secret identities provide, conflict arises between pro-registration and anti-registration heroes. The current paper relates this conflict to Fromm’s basic human dilemma, examining how character motivations on both sides arise from positive human qualities because Fromm’s image of human nature is ultimately optimistic, holding that people on either side are struggling to find what is best for all.
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