Communist Dictator Praises Cameron’s ‘Titanic’
The Marxist Attempt to Hijack the Legacy of Titanic’s Heroes
Trivia Question: In the last fifteen years, what Hollywood blockbuster won praise from a leading Communist dictator?
Answer: James Cameron’s Titanic.
While it’s a well-known fact that James Cameron’s 1997 film Titanic garnered 11 Oscars at the 70th Academy Awards, few are aware that it won a ringing endorsement from Jiang Zemin, President of Communist China.
Zemin praised Cameron’s Titanic as “a parable of class warfare, in which ‘the third class passenger (the proletariat) struggle valiantly against the ship’s crew (craven capitalist lapdogs and stooges).’”
Yet Zemin went further, calling on fellow Marxists to study the film’s depiction of money and class. Why? Because the leader of Red China saw Cameron’s effort as a brilliant representation of Marxist ideology.
A new book, Voyagers of the Titanic, reveals this fact, and author Richard Davenport-Hines explains what Cameron effectively conveyed in his portrayal of Titanic:
James Cameron’s film Titanic diabolized the rich Americans and educated English, anathematizing their emotional restraint, good tailoring, punctilious manners, and grammatical training, while it made romantic heroes of the poor Irish and the unlettered. If Cameron’s film had caricatured the poor as it did the rich there would have been an outcry.
Cameron’s defense of his Marxist interpretation is based on the fact that of the 1,514 people who lost their lives in the tragedy, more third class passengers perished than those in first class. While this is true, he is obscuring a litany of critical facts, including eyewitness accounts that when class distinction was twice raised by passengers of different social status as the lifeboats were being loaded, it was specifically rejected as a basis for preferential treatment.
In my previous article, The Titanic Numbers Game, I discussed this controversy in depth, refuting the Marxist claims of class warfare. Here are just a few relevant statistics that are worth restating:
- The overall death toll was 9 men for every 1 woman.
- By percentage, third class women did far better than first class men.
- More than 5 times as many third class men were saved as second class men. (This was true even though second class men had better access to the lifeboats.)
- 75 third class men lived, 57 first class men lived, and 14 second class men lived.
- In retrospect, second class men had a 1 in 11 chance of survival, but third class men had a 1 in 5 chance of survival.
- Almost twice as many male crew members died as did third class males.
- The male to female death ratio for crew members was a whopping 233 to 1.
Another Marxist claim refuted by the facts of Titanic is the supposed lack of upward mobility offered by a capitalistic society — that those of lesser means can never move up the economic chain and better themselves. On Titanic, a third class passenger could upgrade to a second class cabin — launching into “the middle class” — for a mere £4 or $20. While a first class parlor suite was only accessible to the super wealthy at £870 (more than $50,000 in today’s terms), a first class ticket in the berth could be had for as little as £30 — a steep price for the poorest on board, but not unattainable for the more resourceful in the lower classes.
One of the most touching Titanic accounts which refutes the Marxist spin-doctors is that of John Jacob Astor, the wealthiest man on board Titanic. After kissing his pregnant wife goodbye on Lifeboat 4, Astor stepped back onto the deck of the sinking ship and helped a poor 19-year-old immigrant girl into the seat that could have been his. The soggy $4,000 in cash found in John Astor’s coat when his body was retrieved was far more than would have been necessary to attempt to bribe his way into one of the life boats, if he had been so inclined. Instead, Astor told his wife: “The ladies have to go first. . . . Goodbye, dearie. I’ll see you later.”
Wealthy mining magnate Benjamin Guggenheim also went down with the ship and told one of the survivors: “Tell my wife, if it should happen that my secretary and I both go down, tell her I played the game out straight to the end. No woman shall be left aboard this ship because Ben Guggenheim was a coward.”
The examples of wealthy men on Titanic giving their lives for poorer class women was not lost on observers of the day, and the tragedy was actually viewed as a positive refutation of Marxist notions of class warfare. Commenting at the time, Rev. Fredrick Hopkins noted:
Among many lessons that we could learn from such a terrible calamity, one of the most important would seem to be this: That it ought to be for a long time more difficult that ever to arouse class prejudice, when this catastrophe has so clearly shown that the first and last thought the first cabin passengers had about the poorest women in the steerage was that she should be given the first chance for her life no matter what happened to the men or women of millions and of fame.
Hopkins’ view has been turned on its head by agenda-driven revisionists such as James Cameron. The Marxists have no class, and their attempt to hijack the history of the Titanic has nothing to do with their high-minded claims of virtue, liberty, fraternity, or equality. Instead it shows their rebellion against God and against His moral order which was reflected in the examples of men of great wealth sacrificing their lives for women of little earthly means.
Cameron garnered the gleeful endorsement of his film by Red China’s dictator for good reason — President Jiang Zemin saw the $200 million depiction of Titanic as a bold and brilliantly-executed Marxist propaganda tool.
Cameron’s Marxist “parable” (Zemin’s term) will be re-released to theaters in 3-D on April 4 with much fanfare. Yet there’s no cause for celebration here.
There is reason to rejoice, however, in the true story of sacrifice displayed on Titanic, and on April 13-15, Vision Forum Ministries will honor this legacy as part of Titanic 100: An International Centennial Event, to be hosted in Branson, Missouri.
Click here to learn how you and your family can attend this anniversary gathering, which will feature living history presentations, dramatic performances, live music of the 1912 era, stirring messages, costume events, an anniversary banquet riverboat cruise, and an interactive journey through the largest Titanic museum in the world.