As a now registered voter, as well as being interested in political science, I think about U.S. politics a lot. Between climate change, healthcare, and systemic poverty, there are a lot of issues facing the American public right now. One of those issues, however, takes precedence over most of those issues. That issue is Money in Politics, or as many who would consider themselves on the left call it, the issue to end all issues.
I also like to think about the politics of different anime. Whether that be the macro-relationships between characters, or especially the different governing bodies of certain societies and how they operate, and the rules that govern the Fate universe are one of the more interesting things that I’ve seen come out of anime. In fact, I see a lot of fate as a metaphor for how money operates in U.S. politics.
The basic setup for Fate is that seven masters summon seven servants using magic in order to assist them in fighting for the holy grail, an all-powerful magic item that will grant the winner of the Holy Grail War. In this case of the U.S., its more like a battle for political control between the rich and the poor.
In a lot of ways, the U.S. is already controlled by the elite of American society. A recent study from 2014 found that based on the policy that gets passed by Congress the U.S. operates as an effective oligarchy, meaning that the rich control most of what gets passed.
In this metaphor, the masters are the political interests groups as well as the people themselves. Whether it be Tax Reform, Campaign Finance Reform, Initiatives to deal with Climate Change, everybody wants something. They have wishes that they want to be fulfilled, and that’s why they fight.
Politicians, therefore, are their servants, performing whatever task their master asks of them. The politicians also have their own wishes. Some want to help lift their constituents out of poverty and end racism, while others only seek to enrich themselves by working for another master while in Congress and then eventually leave and become a master themselves, in the never-ending revolving door.
Lastly, there’s the magic, and by that I mean money. Masters supply their servants with magic in order to help them fight. They continue to fight until they both achieve the holy grail and get what it is they want. Their wish could be good for the world, or it could be bad. It doesn’t really matter to them though, just so long as they get what they desire.
And then, a few years later, that same holy grail war starts over again. A new contest for the holy grail begins.