So the previous one was thoughts, now here’s crafts. I make miniatures, mostly clothing, mostly in 1:10 scale. I only have a few things with me right now, but I am going to post them.
I can’t think of a good intro, so I’ll just start. Phrasings of ideologies are in italics. (Also, while I said ‘X-Men’, this is nearly fully about Charles and Magneto). So:
- Professor X: The way I see it, Professor X’s ideology has two main parts.
- We are going to do the right thing, be moral, etc. (The original phrasing I thought of was ‘we are going to take the moral high-ground, but that sounds more holier-than-thou than genuine, so that’s not right). In First Class, he seems to also have the idea of “and if we do that, ‘if we risk our lives to save the world” and all, we will be accepted”, but even after he sees that that’s not going to work, the idea that they still ought to act that way, that if they’re treated badly that just means they should be the better men, is still something he very much believes in. (It also, more for future reference, has two important points that can get their own phrasing- 1) Regardless of how they are treating us, we are not going to attack and kill other people, for any reason including retaliation. All our violence is limited to self-defense or defense of others. And 2) Again, regardless of how they are treating us, we are going to help and defend other people.)
- We are not going to be confrontational. He and later Storm talk about anonymity being the best defense, and they are going with that, going with pretending to be a gifted school for people like Iceman’s parents, keeping out of the public eye, not making public demands or protests or the like. I saw several places comparing the Professor X/Magneto split to Martin Luther King, Jr/Malcolm X, but really, Professor X’s ideas are more like maybe Booker T. Washington- develop ourselves, prove ourselves through good qualities and action, avoid confrontation because it would just be dangerous, etc.
This leads us into
- An absent ideology: The ideology that none of the characters, in, as far as I can tell, any of the movies seem to have is one that would accept point 1 of Professor X’s, but invert point 2- in other words, we are going to do the right thing, be moral, etc but we are going to be confrontational. This, now, would be the ideology of people like MLK, even like Gandhi or the suffragists- we’re not killing anyone, we’re not attacking anyone, we’re not doing that even if they attack us first, but we’re going to be visible, we’re going to be protesting and marching and demanding and the like. Now, the thing is that while it might seem strange that none of the characters have this, it also makes a certain amount of sense: the thing is that the groups who are known for using this method were using it to combat their status as second-class citizens, as people who were considered inferior. The mutant’s issue, meanwhile, isn’t that they’re considered inferior, it’s that they’re considered dangerous, which makes this method for them both possibly counter-productive (it might lead to people’s feeling that they’re dangerous increasing) and very likely life-threatening on a large scale (yes, the people in other rights protests also risked their lives, and many enough lost theirs, but here it’s a very real possibility that people would decide to actively try and kill them all, firing into the crowd or whatnot, and using their powers as defense would only increase the first problem.) (This does, by the way, still leave the question of why no one even mentioned this idea. The actual reason is obviously that it had nothing to do with the story, but an in-story reason is harder to come by- First Class, as far as I know history, is taking place basically in the middle of the civil rights movement, and the others take place at a time when people clearly know about it, so you’d think it would have occurred as an idea at least to someone.)
- Magneto in First Class: The thing with Magneto in First Class is that we don’t really get to know his ideology. We know several parts that are definitely there: 1) Mutants are ‘the better men’. 2) Mutants should be what they are and not try to hide. 3) When you are attacked, it is acceptable to retaliate violently. 4) Mutants should form their own society. However, this still leaves several possibilities for his overall ideology.
- Mutants should go form their own society, separate from humans. This is somewhat similar to parts of Charles’s ideas- specifically, the separation. However, for Magneto an important part of this would be that anyone who attacks us will be destroyed. This idea seems to fit pretty well, but it I doubt it is the whole thing, because it doesn’t give much material for a conflict with the X-men. Therefore, a better version would be
- Mutants should form their own society and force humans to accept it. In other words, this is like the last idea, but it precludes hiding. They’re not just going to make a society where they can be themselves, but let unknowness shield them from the world. They’re going to make sure they’re known, and deal with any attackers by force. This gives more material for a conflict, and also for argument-conflict, with Charles trying to convince Eric to at least go back to #1. It also seems to fit Mystique the best- giving her somewhere to be ‘mutant and proud’, but also going to her idea about ‘us against the world’ and ‘society should try to be more like us’.
- Mutants should rule human society. This doesn’t seem to be what he’s going for at the moment (based on the fact that he hasn’t mentioned it), but I can see it coming up eventually. In fact, one goal-progression would be trying to achieve the last three in order- first gathering mutants for a society, then making demands of the world and fighting it, then taking over.
- Mutants should destroy human society. Basically, Shaw’s plan. Now this, I really don’t think he’s going for at the moment- first, I don’t see Mystique going for it at this point, and second, I feel that wanting to kill everyone takes a certain kind of unhingedness that I don’t see in Magneto, here- but it should be kept in mind.
- Magneto in the first X-men Movie: This isn’t any on the four above, but it does seem pretty straightforward- basically, human society needs to accept mutants, and the end justifies the means. Nicely enough, him having this idea here fits pretty well with him having had either #1 or #2 back in the sixties- he’s spent time on the ‘society’ idea, there’s been confrontations and all about that, he still has that group of his, but meanwhile he’s getting older, and there’s more and more mutants now, and he can probably see that not all of them are interested in living separately, so instead he wants to get them acceptance.
- Magneto in X2: Again, this is pretty clear- in this one, he has gone right over to #4: All humans should die. Now, if we’re keeping with my continuity, this is a pretty big change, and therefore needs justification, but luckily, that is available: he has just spent the last however much time being drugged and mind-raped, and that has had an effect on his mind, giving him the aforementioned unhingedness, further evidence of which can be found in his sudden willingness to kill Charles, which he hadn’t wanted to do before (we saw his feelings after the shooting in First Class, and then he clearly could have done it in the first one, had he wanted to), and apparently doesn’t want after, based on what he says in film 3.
- Magneto in X3: This one is also, to me, clear, but it a different way- in this one, Magneto isn’t acting on an ideology at all. To continue my progression, he still hasn’t gotten over the ‘unhinged’ part, but also it’s gotten worse. In X2, he could still proceed toward a goal in a proper manner, act consistently, etc, the only difference from his previous behavior was the extremeness of the goal. Here, he doesn’t even have that. Instead, it seems like some part of his mind is trying desperately to keep all of it together, and meanwhile he is inconsistent, not fully rational, and basically all over the map, from the speech that draws on his concern (which we also saw in First Class) with a mutant-Holocaust parallel, to adopting a belief he’s never had, but I’m going to assume he came into contact with among other mutant extremists (I’m referring here to the abandonment of Mystique, which only makes sense if someone holds the belief that being mutant is like being alive and being human is like being dead- ‘someone dies, and it’s sad, we regret it, we remark on their value or achievements, but there is nothing we can do about it, and we have to leave them behind’. Likewise, the fact that his followers accept his actions makes sense if we assume they hold this belief), to expressing loyalty to Charles (in his comment to Pyro), to sending a bunch of his people into pointless slaughter while he stands and does nothing despite the fact that he would have been much more effective (plastic weapons wouldn’t do much against pieces of a bridge), while meanwhile keeping it all together with his regular ‘powerful and the visionary leader’ ways of acting. Coming from all this, it is also my interpretation that being hit with the cure also pulled him back to his proper mind, and his ‘what have I done’ was addressed not just at the situation with Jean, but at all of it. So in the park scene the Magneto we see has his mind together again, complete with the knowledge of what passed before, his focus and his control and his planning, and that is how we leave him.
And there we are.