A short thread on the Fire Nation #ATLA #AvatarTheLastAirbender

I had a discussion on here recently who believed that it would have been possible within the world of Avatar for the people of the Fire Nation to rise up and dispose of the monarchy by the end of the show. 1/
This would, of course, be a more ideal end. Zuko is not some perfect person who would not be corrupted by rulership; no such person exists, and power over others must be abolished. But in my opinion, it simply would not be feasible within the context of the show's world 2/
and history. As David Graeber points out in DEBT: THE FIRST 5,000 YEARS, popular rebellions are shockingly rare throughout history. Historically, if a class of people is told they are inherently unequal, it will take an extremely long time (hundreds and hundreds of years) for 3/
that class to even consider rising up against their oppressors. Revolution only occurs when the people know they have the potential for equality, which simply doesn't arise very often in populaces that are taught from birth that they don't have that potential. 4/
Capitalism creates a lot of revolutionary potential not just because it is an oppressive system (though to be fair that does contribute), but because all people in capitalism are ostensibly equal. We are taught we are equal from a young age, and that is why it is so much 5/
easier to see the cracks in the system, to see that we are in fact not all equal. We know we have the potential for equality, so we resist the system keeping us unequal. But the people of the Fire Nation do not believe they are equals with the royal and noble families. 6/
As Azula tells Long Feng at the end of season 2, she believes she was born with the "divine right to rule." This is an interesting turn of phrase in the Avatar world because unlike the "divine kings" of our world, the people in Avatar don't believe in an all-powerful god who 7/
can bestow the title of ruler upon someone. So I infer that Azula is instead essentially saying that she was born with some kind of gift bestowed upon her by the spirits—perhaps this connects with her extreme firebending prowess—that grants her, as she says, "true power." 8/
I believe that in the Fire Nation at the time of the show, it is most likely commonly "known" that this "true power" is held inherently by the royal family. The average Fire Nation civilian or conscript simply doesn't believe that they even have the potential for equality with 9/
someone like the Princess or Fire Lord. Thus, a liberatory revolution in the time period of the show would be nigh impossible, especially after 100 years of pro-war propaganda. I rest my case. 10/10

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