The movie Samson and Delilah is about two fourteen-year-old indigenous teenagers who steal a car, attempt to escape their bleak life, fail, and eventually return to their tiny outback community. It draws attention to the aboriginal community, reflecting social and economic inequality toward marginalized groups in modern-day society.
The rise of Capitalism and economic expansion created a gap between different citizens. In this movie’s case, the aboriginal community in Australia. Thus, the paper discusses how changing contemporary global political economy, the point of view on the market role, state role, and individual adequate as depicted in the movie Samson and Delilah. Also, it evaluates how the global economy depicted in the movie affects contemporary inequality of social and economic patterns.
The Role of The State
In the movie, it shows that the government had failed to develop the outback communities. There is limited access to electricity and clean water in the film where the main character lives. The living situation is awful, and Delilah did not appear to go to school. Instead, she just stays home and takes care of her grandmother. Indigenous Australians are probably Australia’s most disadvantaged ethnic group.
Their socioeconomic disadvantage is visible in all aspects of life, including education, employment, and housing. They have lower attendance, earlier school dropouts, fewer post-secondary qualifications, and lower numeracy and literacy levels (Hodgson, 2016). Their unemployment rate is higher, or they are more likely to work for government employment programs.
They have fewer homeowners and more people living in overcrowded housing for housing conditions. The situation is direr in rural and isolated communities, where residents usually lack affordable food, water, and housing and limited access to essential services and infrastructure.
The Australian government’s response policy to Indigenous issues has been a vicious cycle for decades. Many policy documents have been written, and government departments have come and gone, but nothing seems to work. The recent “Closing the Gap” policy, which started in 2008, has been criticized for doing nothing. In fact, the Indigenous employment gap is widened since 2011, and it has never stopped.
The government’s policy has failed to alleviate the problem. Even worse, Aboriginal communities are being forced to close by the Australian government with uncertainty surrounding the government’s plans, leading them to a more vulnerable situation by cutting their findings, despite Aboriginal populations facing serious issues like suicide, sexual abuse, and alcoholism all sorts of problems.
The Role of Markets
The market is exploitative toward marginalized group labor. Delilah and her grandma make a living selling folk art canvases, which a predatory white dealer who supplies them with the painting material buys and resells for a massive profit at a posh metropolitan gallery. Ironically, when Delilah and Sampson escape to Alice Spring, Delilah tries to sell her original painting to Chi-Chi city gallery.
Still, they didn’t even look at Delilah before they said ‘NO’. They held a certain level of discrimination toward the indigenous group. For example, when compared to individuals in other white-collar positions, such as managers and professionals, indigenous Australian citizens who work in blue-collar vocations and sales are less likely to face discrimination (Hodgson, 2016).
This might be due to the ethnic composition of the occupation: white-collar professionals are more likely to work with a more significant number of non-Indigenous individuals, who are the primary source of potential discriminators. Prevalent stereotypes that Indigenous people only work in blue-collar jobs may contribute to more excellent discrimination against individuals who work in white-collar jobs.. The advantages of a free market failed to reflect on the marginalized group.
Besides the friendly hobo, barely anyone talks or tries to help Delilah and Samson. Delilah tries to sell her painting to tourists in the movie, yet all she gets is neglect. In another scene, Delilah is kidnapped by three white men and gets beaten up by them. Hostility toward the indigenous community is nothing new.
They resemble the murder of Kwementyaye Ryder in Alice Springs in 2010 (Thomson et al., 2011). In this event, a carload of five young white guys drove around an area where Aboriginal people were camping, almost colliding with them. When Kwementyaye hurled a bottle at a car speeding straight for him, the automobile came to a halt, and the guys stepped out and beat him to death.
The Rise of Capitalism
Capitalism is the political and economic system in which a country’s trade, investment, industry, and production are controlled by private individuals and for-profit corporations rather than by the state. The emergence and growth of Capitalism in the 19th and 20th centuries has led it to become the globally dominant economic system. Capitalism has outperformed all competing systems, such as socialism and communism (Muller. 2013).
The global shift towards Capitalism due to its potential for higher profits, equality of opportunity, economic freedom, and the reduced role of the state has led to the major problem of rising economic inequality because some individuals and groups are abler than others to exploit and take advantage of what Capitalism gives them a chance (Thomson et al., 2011). The Gini coefficient in 2012 was around 0.32 in Australia, rising from about 0.27 in 1981–1982.
Capitalism has led to society’s most significant problem of widening inequality gaps that have led to further worsening issues that are becoming continuously more difficult to solve—the uneven development in different regions, causing this extreme inequality, especially in developed countries.
Exploitation and native land impoverishment were considered to maintain the motherland. However, the colonial discrimination, to some extent, came to an end in the post-industrial-British time, the gap between the poor and the rich and between the non-industrial and industrial turned to be more significant. Thus a national unity had to be created to keep away resolutions and divisions and to make all classes be united and other divisions of socialism.
Subsequently, the colonized individuals should also be advantaged from the new unity sense, which was meant to create the industrialized towns that established the wealth and the ones of traditional countryside to the ones for which the beneficiaries retired together. To some extent, there could be a need for the inferior people to be raised in the hierarchy.
In the movie, the state government has failed to create an outback of the community in terms of the access to basic resources to the citizens. Moreover, the market is very exploitative towards the people providing labor. It is depicted as Delilah selling fork art canvases for the white people but still receiving discrimination in the labor provision. Moreover, no one is willing to assist Delilah and Samson, thus creating individual agency as they try to sell their paintings to the white people, but they only receive neglect. Lastly, there is an increase and establishment of Capitalism as the private entities control most of the investments and the economy.