***NOTE: This article contains major spoilers for Season 8, Episode 5 of Game of Thrones."****
Elizabeth Warren's unfortunate attempt to liken "Game of Thrones" to the worker's struggle reveals a whole lot more about the nature of socialism than she intended. In April, the presidential candidate wrote an ode to the popular HBO series and, in particular, Warren's favorite character:
Daenerys “Stormborn” Targaryen has been my favorite from the first moment she walked through fire. Despite being the daughter of the Mad King and the last rightful Targaryen heir to the Iron Throne (until this week), Dany didn’t grow up in the lavish palace walls of the Red Keep. She was born during the chaos of her father’s overthrow, in the last great civil war between the rich and powerful family houses. Dany grew up in exile, wandering the so-called Free Cities of the East — many of which weren’t free at all but propped up by slave markets to serve their masters.
Warren rather obviously sees herself as a Daenerys-like figure--a would-be leader of the working class who will free it from the oppression of the tyranny of American capitalism.
In the season-eight premiere, our Khaleesi finally arrives at Winterfell with Jon Snow and her army of the Unsullied to “save the North,” not conquer it. She states her mission clearly in season seven: “I’m not here to murder. All I want to destroy is the wheel that has rolled over everyone both rich and poor, to the benefit of no one but the Cersei Lannisters of the world.” And as much as Dany wants to take on her family’s enemies and take back the Iron Throne, she knows that she must first fight the army of the dead that threatens all mankind. This is a revolutionary idea, in Westeros or anywhere else. A queen who declares that she doesn’t serve the interests of the rich and powerful? A ruler who doesn’t want to control the political system but to break the system as it is known? It’s no wonder that the people she meets in Westeros are skeptical. Skeptical, because they’ve seen another kind of woman on the Iron Throne: the villain we love to hate, Queen Cersei of Casterly Rock.
In her rather obvious metaphor, Cersei is Donald Trump.
The Lannisters have long been the richest family in Westeros, and they’ve paid an enormous price to become richer and more powerful....Unlike Dany, Cersei doesn’t expect to win with the people — she expects to win in spite of them....With all these powerful women preparing for battle, will the mighty bank silence the army of the people? Will the army of the dead heading straight for Winterfell make all of this talk about breaking wheels irrelevant? We’ve got five episodes to find out if the people can truly break their chains, destroy the wheel, and rise up together to win.
Turns out Warren should have waited a few episodes before writing this piece: On Sunday, Daenerys used her dragon to burn the city of King's Landing to the ground and kill tens of thousands of innocent people.
However unintended though it may have been, however, this turns out to be a perfect metaphor for socialism itself. An idealistic leader with a movement of the people behind him (or, in this case, her) flies in with promises of liberating the masses from the oppression of the wealthy and politically connected. Once inside the city gates, though, and once the prior government is overthrown, socialism unleashes its dragon and destroys everything that the prior economy had built.
And whether in Russia, North Korea, China, Cuba, or Venezuela, working people were always the ones who ended up burned.
Dan discussed this extensively on Monday's "Dan O'Donnell Show." Listen below: