Marcus A. Roberts is Deputy General Secretary of the Fabian Society and tweets on politics, sci-fi and comic books as @marcusaroberts.
As a precocious DC child of the ‘80s I knew three things: Ronald Reagan was bad, Maggie Thatcher was bad, Batman was awesome. And for twenty five years I have never had reason to doubt those precepts.
And then along came Christopher Nolan's Batman.
Simply, painfully put, this Batman is of the Right. And it’s probably closer to the Tea Party then the Tory Right at that.
Now I have cast my mind through contortions trying to create a Left wing logical thread but to no avail. And whilst I salute my comrade Conor Pope in his attempt to claim Batman for the Left (fuelled, I imagine, by the same childhood impulse to fight the vile Right and adore the Dark Knight) it's time to face facts: Batman is of the Right, and it's a pretty badass Right at that.
Let's consider the evidence. Philosophically. Nolan's Batman represents the struggle between the individual (good) and the collective (bad). So far, so Manichean. But it gets worse. First, there’s the stereotype of Alfred's stern Victorian fathering ('I'm punishing you for your own good Master Bruce!' famed Ayn Rand reader Michael Caine all but screams throughout the film). Next we see the stereotypical right-wing fear fantasy that is Bain's dystopian collectivist vision of Occupy Gotham in which after the bankers are shot; the remaining rich are reduced to the gulag; and show trials of the ex-ruling class are presided over by Scarecrow.