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At some point in the movie In Time, the main character Will Salas and the daughter of powerful businessman Weis decide to rob banks belonging to her father. The first robbery just shows the two protagonists crashing an armored bank vehicle into the glass wall of a bank in the "ghetto zone", and then taking with them time capsules from the safe. How did they get that vehicle?

If robbing banks is so easy, why did nobody try it before? In an area where people die in the street when their time counter reaches zero, you'd think they'd have high incentives to rob such an easy target.

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I think that a conclusion can easily be drawn between that movie scene and slavery in the South before the Civil War. The simple answer is that they were quite frankly unaware that something like that could even be done. Slaves believed that they were unable to fight back and so most of the time did not. They were afraid of the powers that existed to hold them in their chains. I could go on and on, but this is the essential idea behind the scene you are discussing. For reference, I include an article on slavery in the South before the Civil War.

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    You mean it wasn't just because the citizens didn't have the proper skull structure to even consider robbing a time bank? ;-) – Napoleon Wilson Nov 6 '13 at 16:17
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    A better example would be a wooden stake holding a grown elephant in place. In reality, slaves in the South rarely wore chains, and many had no desire to "fight back". In most cases, they had grown up on the plantations as did their parents and maybe even grandparents. Ironically, the harsh treatment popularized by movies was far more evident in the Northern states prior to the Civil War. – Omegacron Dec 8 '15 at 18:36
  • Haven't seen the movie, but this answer is ahistorical. There is ample evidence of slave resistance in the prewar south, ranging from individual acts of running away to work slowdowns to mass rebellions. I encourage you to read the relevant chapter from Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States," available for free here: historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinncolorline.html . – Mike Haskel Feb 11 '18 at 16:49
  • My takeaway is that the plantation owners kept control largely by limiting slaves' ability to plan and cooperate and ensuring that the cost of failure was grim, not by eliminating the desire to rebel, which they couldn't quite manage. – Mike Haskel Feb 11 '18 at 16:52

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