Application of the Critical Theory

From the Drama "Nixon" - Nixon learns about Capitalism

Film Statistics
Date: 1995
Time: Approx. 190 minutes
Rated: R
Director: Oliver Stone
Writer: ??
Editor: ??

Scene: 1st part of tape 2
Cast in this scene includes: Sir Anthony Hopkins as Richard Millhouse Nixon, James Woods as H.R."Bob" Haldeman, and several miscellaneous actors and actress playing "70's" college students.

May 9,1970
4:00 am
Lincoln Memorial Washington D.C.

Nixon stands before the statue of Lincoln within the Lincoln memorial. A group of young college students discovers Nixon in the memorial.

Hi, I'm Dick Nixon. (Shakes the hands of two students)
Hi, there (Shaking the hand of a third student)
Where are you from?

Male student: Saraques.

O'ya, the Orange Men.
There is a foot ball program.
Uh, Jim Brown and Uh, the other tailback, Uh, with the blood disease.

Male Student: Ernie Davis.

Ya, right, right.
I use to play a little ball my self at Whittier, course they, use to use me as a tackling dummy (giving a subtle laugh).

Female Student 1: We didn't come here to talk about football.

I understand that.
How old are you young lady?

Female Student 1: 19

Ya, Probably most of you, think I'm a real S.O.B.
I know that, Uh,
I understand how you feel but, you know,
I want peace but peace with honor.

Female Student 1: What does that mean?

You can't have peace without a price.
Sometimes you have to be, Uh,
willing to fight for peace and sometimes to die.

Female Student 2:
Ya, tell that to the GIs that will die tomorrow in Vietnam.

Male student:
You must understand Mr. Nixon,
we are willing to die,
for what WE believe in.

Several students respond "Ya, that's the truth"

Ya. Look, that man up there (Nixon points to Lincoln).
He lived in similar times. O'ya he had chaos, civil war, hatred between the races. Sometimes I go to the Lincoln room in the White house and pray. You know, uh, liberals act like idealism belongs to them. That's no true. My family went republican because Lincoln freed the slaves. My grandmother was an abolishist. It was Quakers who, founded Whittier, my hometown, ah, to abolish slavery. They were conservative, bible folk, but they had a powerful sense of right and wrong, and uh, fourteen years ago, I was like you, looking for answers.

Students murmur, "Ya right"

My mother use to feed hobos, stopping over, at our house.

(The Secret Service agents and "Bob" Haldeman aids come running up the steps of the Lincoln memorial. As they push though the crowd of students surrounding Nixon, one of the students Yells "Don't push Pig!")

Ok Bob, were just raping my friends and I. In fact we agree on a lot of things, don't we?

Female Student 1:
No, We don't!

(Another male student in the crowd mutters "Fascist")

Female Student 1:
You say you want to end the war, So, Why don't you?

Change, always comes slowly. (sigh)
I have pulled out more than half the troops. I am trying to cut the military budget in the first time in 30 years. I want a volunteer army but, it is also a question of American creditability, our position in the world.

Male Student: Come 'on Mr. Nixon it's a civil war between Viennese.

Female Student 1:
You don't want the war.
We don't want the war.
The Viennese don't want the war.
So why does it go on?

Bob: We should be going Mr. Present
Nixon: Ok.
Bob: Please.

Female Student 1:
You can't stop it, can you?
Even if you wanted too.
Because it's not you, it's the system.
The system won't let you stop it.

Their's is more at stake here than what you want or what I want.

Female Student 1:
Than what's the point? What's the point of being President? You're powerless!

No! No I'm not powerless.
Kus, Because I understand the system.
I believe I can, Uh, control it maybe, not control it totally, but Uh, tame it enough so it can do some good.

Female Student 1:
Sounds like your talking about a wild animal.

Nixon: Maybe I am.

Bob: You really must go, Mr. President, Please.

(Bob and the Secret Service escort Nixon out of the Lincoln Memorial and down the steps.)

Nixon: She got it Bob, a 19 year old collage kid.

Bob: What?

She understood something what it has taken me 25 years in politics to understand. The CIA, the Mafia, those Wall Street bastards.

Bob: Sir?

The beast, a 19 year old kid, she called it a wild animal.

Bob: Yes Sir.

(The scene ends as Nixon, Bob, and Secret Service agents drive away.)

Though this is Oliver Stone's fictional account of Nixon's realization, it does illustrate a point about how capitalism functions. It is obvious that the 'beast' that they are referring to is capitalism. What the female student realized and then points out to Nixon, is the fact that there is no one in control of capitalism. The 'beast' should not be 'tamed' but controlled to serve all of humankind, instead of a select few. If you would like to learn about the real truth about Watergate and Nixon's beliefs that the President of the United States is 'above the law,' please watch Watergate Plus 30: Shadow of History. - Walter Jensen


Last updated on July 31, 2003