I sometimes hear liberals saying that people shouldn’t mix their religion up with their politics, and I don’t see how a religious person can avoid doing this. When you grow up in a religion, it shapes your values, and almost everyone votes according to her values. Growing up Christian made me a lifelong liberal.
At some point in politics and political theory, certain terms start to get bandied about, and like Inigo Montoya to Vizzini in The Princess Bride, you start to wonder if those words mean what they think they mean. You might think the same, so let’s have some fun with political theory and look at liberalism.
I got the original idea to write about Battlestar Galactica (BSG) and liberalism when I first began watching the series. When I wrote my initial post, I was testing the waters, and I was delighted to discover that Persephone is doing an entire recap series, so my idea to do several posts on this is feeling pretty genius right about now. My plan is to approach this by episode, but I won’t do every episode, because as great of a show as BSG is, not every episode is relevant to my interests. As always, beware of spoilers, and I appreciate feedback! First stop, “33.”
Battlestar Galactica is not a show about liberalism. It’s primarily a show that acts as a metaphor for post-9/11 America. But in that exploration of terrorism, 9/11, and reactions to it, BSG offers rich ground for exploring the philosophy that underpins American politics (even the conservatives): liberalism. What’s more, the genre of science fiction in which BSG operates is a perfect medium for exploring an ideology that is rooted in a mythical state of nature. Warning: Major spoilers after the cut, so enter at your own risk.