I just finished reading the first Hunger Games Book. My thoughts.
Hunger Games: Ten Tactics of Cameron's Class Warriors, and how to fight back!
"The mayor steps up to the podium and begins to read. It's the same story every year... as our reminder that the Dark Days must never be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games."
The people of the futuristic state of Panem are taught a factually incorrect version of history with many gaps. As they hear every year in a televised reality TV show, the victors in the rebellion instituted the Hunger Games as a spectacle to mark this civil war and warn against similar uprisings being repeated. The participants are from all 12 districts are treated cruelly for entertainment. District 13 was totally destroyed so no longer takes part. In a similar way the TV Show Big Brother has replaced public service entertainment with a new format of franchise which attracts attention from tabloid newspapers, but diverts the original purpose of the concept: George Orwell's book Ninteen Eighty-four.
Antidote: Tell stories
Our heroes from the futuristic mining town of District 12 counter revisionism with their own stories which capture the public's imagination. How they fall into a blossoming relationship, and how their fathers sung with the sci-fi mockingjay, a symbolic creature that is instrumental in the practialities of staying alive in and out of the show, and is broadcast as a secret symbol of the revolution told in a different way, one that is all around us. The books themselves are told from this perspective. This is dog whistle politics in a non-racist way.
"Of course, people keel over from starvation all the time, but I can’t imagine the Peacekeepers murdering a simpleminded child."
The reaping is surrounded by what appear to be storm-troopers, a term with Nazi Germany connotations, which are called peacekeepers or peacemakers in the trilogy.
Antidote: Fight back!
A hurt to one is a hurt to all of "us". So when it all kicks off, the violent death of one villager, or in our case, many young men killed by police violence, Mark Duggan being the spark of the Tottenham riots, can lead to an escalation. This only works if there are more of "us" than them, which of course there are at the moment. The media will try and spin this but the only way to de-escalate is to solve the underlying cause. In the mean time, there are plenty of ways to counter-spin, and often the best way to counter such tactics is by non-violence. Then they can't label the whole group as violent.
"Sadly, rules are rules"
The Game-makers use sophisticated technology to change the weather, create excitement, cause people to flee for their lives.
Antidote: Find a flaw. Rules are there to be broken!
At the beginning of Book 2 "Catching Fire" the hackers encourage our heroine to find a flaw in the system. There will always be one.
4. Divide and rule
Antidote: Open displays of affection
This kind of works in reverse. In the film, there is this scene where the president sees them in the opening ceremony and "they're holding hands." Viewers are allowed to twig happens next and why: to sow division. Of course the story line could easily have taken a different turn, with more bloodshed, but their mentor knows this strategy.
Antidote: Hope, not fear
In the second film, Catching Fire, the president openly admits this. Only one emotion is stronger than fear.
Similarly this was Owen Jones' message in one speech I saw.
6. Cue Cards
All politicians use them but what happens when the people pulling the strings are totally unaccountable? In the second film we see the use of cue cards.
The moment when we speak from the heart, something truly magical happens in the audience.
"Being in the woods is rejuvenating.
...unloading our thoughts while we filled our game bags. This was the
doorway to both sustenance and sanity. And we were each other's key."
8. Genetic modification
It's quite obvious from the books, set in a future world, that G.M. is a powerful tool that could turn evil if it gets into the wrong hands.
The antidote to the GM Birds is good old-fashioned sex like in Jurassic Park. Life always finds a way to survive. In the books, jabberjays are seen to mate with the female wild birds in the forest and create wild mockingjays which go native. Then our heroes learn to sing to them. This is really key by the end of Hunger Games book one!
Herbal remedies are developed for the GM wasps "tracker jacker poison", and it all comes down to natural science and identification of useful plants and poisonous berries, knowledge that is passed down the generations.
9. The mass media
"Electricity in District 12 comes and goes, usually we only have it a few hours a day. Often the evenings are spent in candlelight. The only time you can count on it is when they’re airing the Games or some important government message on television that it’s mandatory to watch."
There are a class of servants in the Capitol who had their tongues cut out as punishment. I'm not sure Cameron has gone to this extreme yet... but he would if he could!