Quantum of Liberalism


Juan Cole on Quantum of Solace:

Forster presents us with a new phenomenon in the James Bond films, a Bond at odds with the United States, who risks his career to save Evo Morales’s leftist regime in Bolivia from being overthrown by a General Medrano, who is helped by the CIA and a private mercenary organization called Quantum. In short, this Bond is more Michael Moore than Roger Moore.

This did seem like a noteworthy development to me when I watched the film yesterday. Admittedly, a few scenes imply that backing General Medrano would be the right thing to do if his coup really would lead to an oil bonanza for the US rather than being part of a complicated double-cross. But generally speaking, Cole’s read this right. And in a sense Bond’s evolution reflects broader trends within the intelligence world. During Cold War times, there was a general solidarity within the services with the center-right Cold Warrior ideology, and enormous skepticism of the post-Vietnam left’s skepticism about the endeavor. But as we’ve moved into the 21st century, the calculus has increasingly changed, and intelligence professionals and liberals have increasingly found ourselves on the same side of fights allied against the neo-imperial hubris of the right-wing.

That said, the title of this movie is really nonsensical and the idea that the Quantum conspirators would all wear “Q” lapel pins is insane.