My erstwhile boss David Boaz says that Avatar is an allegory about property rights:
People have traveled to Pandora to take something that belongs to the Na’vi: their land and the minerals under it. That’s a stark violation of property rights, the foundation of the free market and indeed of civilization.
Sure, the Na’vi — who, like all of the people in lefty dreams, are psychically linked to one another and to all living creatures — probably view the land as their collective property. At least for human beings, private property rights are a much better way to secure property and prosperity. Nevertheless, it’s pretty clear that the land belongs to the Na’vi, not the Sky People.
Conservatives rallied to the defense of Susette Kelo when the Pfizer Corp. and the city of New London, Conn., tried to take her land. She was unreasonable too, like the Na’vi: She wasn’t holding out for a better price; she just didn’t want to sell her house. As Jake tells his bosses, “They’re not going to give up their home.”
“Avatar” is like a space opera of the Kelo case, which went to the Supreme Court in 2005. Peaceful people defend their property against outsiders who want it and who have vastly more power. Jake rallies the Na’vi with the stirring cry “And we will show the Sky People that they cannot take whatever they want! And that this is our land!”