Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of India, he ruled from the time that India gained its independence until his death. He was a supporter of Ghandi and embraced peace as the most important attribute his country could have. Due to the fact that Nehru found peace to be of utmost importance, he decided that India should follow Marxism in order to maintain the most likely course to peace. Nehru believed that following Marxism was the best path to take because violence was only used in order to gain peace in the long run. He also believed with the help of Marxism and government planning, much like the five year plans of Russia, could allow the new country of India to catch up in the world. India also took a very isolationist approach to world politics, Nehru believed that being involved in other affairs would only lead to violence with other countries, a result which he was most adverse to.
What do years of war bring? What do years of peace bring? William Cameron Menzies’s film, Things to Come, based on a novel by H.G. Wells, shows these two extremes in a dystopian future. After extended war, the human race reverts back to barbarism and no longer know how to fly planes. After extended peacetime, humans make too much progress, and the object of life is not progress, it is living. Either way, too much regression or too much progression will cause humans to lose sight of what it means to live.
In Everytown, during the long war, they cannot fly planes because they have no oil or gasoline. If we are not careful about our resources and finding alternatives to fossil fuel, this could become reality in the twenty-first century. In this way, the film is warning us of the dangers of mass destruction and mass war. On the other hand, the film warns that two much progress can take away from life and actually make us less human. So what is the message that one is supposed to take away from the film? Everything in moderation? War is bad, but so is scientific and technological progress?
Ironically, both in the time of war and in the time of peace, authoritarian leaders rose to power. There was the barbaric “Chief”, and there was the forward-looking Oswald Cabal. These leaders also have similar mindsets. The chief wants to conquer the hill people, while Cabal wants to conquer the moon, then the universe. Is this a comment on the nature of rulers, regardless of outside influences? What is the film attempting to get across to its audience?