Afterthoughts from Mr. Wolfe:
When Mr. Sylazhov first approached me about contributing this article, I was immediately hooked by the promise of appreciating Peace Walker in new and culturally relevant ways. The social commentary of Peace Walker has always felt a bit flat to me compared to the games which came before it, but as I learned the scope of Mr. Sylazhov’s intentions I began to realize that the opposite might be true for millions of people around the world. Peace Walker — which was originally going to be called “Metal Gear Solid 5” due to its importance in the series and shouldn’t be underestimated as an expression of Kojima’s worldview — went to extreme lengths to respectfully pay homage to the leftist revolutionaries who fought against the CIA on behalf of the people. The social commentary was much more relevant than I ever gave it credit for, because I never realized how potent these topics — these folk heroes of populist liberation — are to the Latin world today. Kojima was wise to model Big Boss after these Latin patriots, who were willing to stand up to the capitalist world at any cost, if he wanted to truly give Big Boss’s roots some legitimacy as a folk hero worthy of global renown.
The USA’s empire continues to cast its shadow of fear, corruption and aggression over many parts of the world, with unmanned drones, networks of spies, media brainwashing, and illegitimate politicians backed by the CIA. I recently wrote about the role of Special Forces and the military industrial complex in To Be A Patriot, but I could never capture the frustration and struggle of the victims of American foreign policy like Mr. Sylazhov, whose family and friends have been impacted directly. Whether they suffer from trade restrictions or military occupation, it’s clear that the world hates the United States for far more than their “freedom”. They hate its population for being so docile in the face of clear corruption, and they don’t understand how it’s possible for so many people to be so stupid. I’ve received many emails over the years from international readers who wanted to thank me for being openly critical of the American empire, saying that they’d given up hope of finding a clear-thinking intellectual from North America! And while I’m personally a political defeatist who believes the Western system of government is beyond any reform, I sympathize deeply with the need for recognition and truth in the world. Hideo Kojima has been trying to shed some light on the suffering of the world, exposing the cycles of violence and prejudice that are created by war, along with the natural evolution of war into emotional and information control; it’s my pleasure to help disrupt that control and shed some light through this website.
If you want more from Mr. Sylazhov, please visit his site and check out his suspenseful dystopian novel, SOVREV.