And he has a “D” after his name.
In Christopher Nolan’s 2012 film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” Bane the mercenary revolutionary emerges from the shadows after Gotham City has been at peace for eight years with a clear agenda: Destroy Gotham. He cannot abide seeing Gotham thrive.
A master of psychology and deception, Bane does not just ride into town with an army of evil henchmen. He does do that, and he even robs Gotham’s Wall Street, but mere financial gain is not his motive. He wants to turn Gotham inside out so that it devours itself, discrediting everything Gotham once stood for in the process.
Bane cloaks himself in the enticing language of social justice: “We come here not as conquerors but as liberators, to return control of this city to the people.”
He says this after commandeering a football stadium full of terrified citizens he is “liberating” from their freedom, after he has already murdered the mayor: one noble-sounding sentence in a paragraph of threats. He intends to liberate nothing, and destroy everything. He knows the language of social justice will fool enough gullible people long enough to keep them from stopping him.
Social justice language is powerful because it tugs at our human desire for fairness. It’s also a terrible lie. Selina Kyle—Catwoman—is initially won over by Bane’s tricks. At a lavish Wayne Manor party at the beginning of the film, Kyle tells billionaire Bruce Wayne whose side she is on. “There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne,” she says seductively. “You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”
Kyle could have been a speechwriter for the Democratic Party. So could Bane. They both sound like a pastiche of Antifa, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and socialist Bernie Sanders, who lost the Democratic primary battle but has won the ideological war for the party’s soul.
Shhhyeah, right. Like that coven of Commie bloodsuckers has a soul.