On Sunday, HBO Max's post-apocalyptic zombie show The Last of Us offered some surprising thoughts on communism.
The first half of Sunday's episode, "Kin," looked as though it would do the usual left-wing Hollywood dance and endorse delusional communist "utopian" ideas. The second half of the show, however, made clear that communism could never work for a nation of any significant size.
The series, based on a hit video game, is about a tough and resourceful survivor of a fungal virus epidemic named Joel (Pedro Pascal) who must escort a teenaged girl, Ellie (Bella Ramsey), across a post-apocalyptic United States.
In "Kin," Joel and Ellie make it to Jackson, Wyoming. They find Joel's brother, Tommy (Gabriel Luna), living safely on a commune in the wilderness:
Ellie: So are you, like, in charge?
Maria: No one person's in charge. I'm on the council. Democratically elected, serving 300 people, including children. Everyone pitches in. We rotate patrols, food prep, repairs, hunting, harvesting. Everything you see in our town...greenhouses, livestock, all shared.
Tommy: Collective ownership.
Joel: So, uh, communism.
Tommy: (Scoffs) Nah. Nah, it ain't like that.
Maria: It is that. Literally. This is a commune. We're communists.
After a description like that, one might presume the show would go on to endorse a destructive economic and societal philosophy that has ruined countries across the globe. Surprisingly, that's not what happens.
Ellie, who only knows of life after the apocalypse, asks Joel if the entire country used to be run like the commune. Joel gives a sane and practical answer:
Ellie: So the way they ran stuff in Jackson, was how things used to be?
Joel: No, the country was too big for that. Back then, there were basically two main ways of lookin' at things. Some people wanted to own everything.
Joel: And some people didn't want anyone to own anything at all.
Ellie: Which one were you?
Joel: Neither. I just did my job.
Ellie: Which was...building?
Joel: That's right. Houses, stores, that kinda thing. We were called "Contractors."
In other words, a country is not a kibbutz. Collective ownership by the state does not work and has never worked. Joel is a man who built things. He understands that.
His comment about how "some people didn't want anyone to own anything at all" could easily be applied to creepy World Economic Forum (WEF) advertisements bragging that "you'll own nothing and you'll be happy."
Joel is a strong and capable presence in the show. He is far too practical to waste time with foolish ideas.
This does not mean that The Last of Us is destined to woo a conservative audience in the long run. Its director already admitted that he deliberately "tricked" audiences into watching gay sexuality in the show's third episode, an episode that altered the storyline from the game.
Bella Ramsey, who plays Ellie, calls herself "non-binary" and has bragged about wearing a chest binder on set. In an interview with GQ, she told viewers to "get used to" an LGBT agenda in the series. In the original game, Ellie becomes a lesbian.
In other words, the show is not interested in promoting a communist state, but it is interested in promoting left-wing sexual obsessions.
The Last of Us's writing may be better than a lot of current dramas, but audiences won't escape an ideological agenda in the end.