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Was he based? It seems like he was a flawed individual that did his best until he went mad. By the time of RDR2 the gang was already well past it's prime. To me Hosea seemed more so the wise one of the two. Sure Arthur understood the Pinkertons were pawns of the capitalists. Nonetheless he still thought the gang were the bad guys, maybe worse than the capitalists. He particularly despised the usury practices of Strauss and Micah's killing of innocents but went along anyways. There's also the influence the fictional writer Evelyn Miller had on Dutch's supposed ideology. Funny enough Miller admits he's an urbanite hack in side missions and ends up killing himself in the last one. The anti-civilization ideology Arthur and i assume Dutch hold is hardly expanded upon but I'm sure there's real world examples of the era the developers drew from. Despite this their gang seems to be the most civilized out of the enemy ones encountered in the game. So what's the conclusion? Was he just a caricature of leftism the same way Reyes was in the first game or something else?


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Dutch is rampantly exploitative of the lower classes (Arthur and John were both poor street urchins as children before they were recruited into the gang life by Dutch) and Dutch would freely exploit Native Americans to be used as cannon fodder against the US governments in battles he knew he couldn't win time and time again, giving the expanse of American imperialism the excuse it needed for endless genocide. While the theme of both Red Dead games is that the "taming" of the Wild West was fundamentally bad because of how much blood it brought for how little true "civilization" came from it, and how much the "civilization" that resulted from it sucked, Dutch and co. (and the gangs adjacent to them) are meant to be more the inciting incident as for why things played out as they did. Them being lawless and cutting swathes through porky's profits gave people like the Pinkertons and the US government to react with the utmost force against not only them but the people around them. At the end of the day Dutch was more of an opportunist which used the right sentiment in the people against the "civilization" of the West to his own selfish ends and destroyed the movement in the process, leading to the inevitability of the West's colonization and subsequent genocides.


Good points, i mostly made this thread because I've never seen the Red Dead series discussed from a left wing perspective. When playing through it's easy think the gang is a good thing for the people in it. By the end you realize it was all downhill from the beginning. You're only able to infer how the gang once was though the first bank robbery newspaper scrap. So that's what Arthur fondly remembers to gang doing right all things considered. When they actually gave to the poor instead of just robbing to afford escaping. Kind of why i think Hosea was a better leader than Dutch. He was honest even as a conman and was the positive influence Arthur and John needed. To me Dutch was more of a mystery what his motivations were but i guess opportunism is the correct answer. By the time of the story nobody remembers the gang for good reasons only bad ones. Nonetheless probably the game that's made me think the most in the last ten years. Unfortunately as a period piece it's probably the closest we'll get to an 1890s-1900s anarchist simulator.


I dont think this is necessarily true. I think the Van Der Linde gang are very much meant to be genuinely sympathetic and romantic American outlaws who collapse under their own contradictions, namely that despite their desire for freedom and independence, it was ironically imperial western expansion of industry and the state (clearing of indians, railroads, wagon trains, ranchers, etc) that made their entire way of life possible. Outlaws like them served like ranchers and railroad magnates as the shock troops for American empire, as you said justifying further expansion and consolidation by the state, but the Van Der Linde represent the kind of doomed but sincere idealism that was part of that process. Dutch fully believes in the American Dream and he's not insincere, he just refuses to give up his charismatic sentimentalism even when it's obviously leading to destruction. He does manipulate poor, indians, and blacks, but not out of cold heartedness, and his operation would actually be far more effective if he didnt genuinely believe in what he was saying. He buys into his rags-to-riches self-made-man yearning for freedom more than anyone else in the gang, and he is genuinely proud that his father fought against the Confederates. There's no indication that the anti-racism that allows him to embrace Lenny and Charles into the gang is at all insincere, or that he doesnt love John and Arthur as his children in spite of his unrealistic expectations for their unconditional loyalty. His full embrasure of Sean into the gang is also significant considering he is from an old american family and his main personal enemies are Irish immigrants, but he doesnt exclude Irish members of the gang on those grounds. His entire philosophy is informed by a sentimentalist east coast writer who had never set foot on the frontier until the end of RDR2 when you run into him as John. Even in the first Red Dead when Dutch is more of a two dimensional evil stepdad villian, his allegiance with the indians has enough thought behind it that when he leads them after John in Blackwater he gives speeches denouncing the racism of the anthropologist that John's working with.

Dutch is a tragic figure that represents the death of the more naive ideals of the American Revolution as much as he does the death of the western frontier. The O'Driscolls are the real unprincipled opportunists in the sense that youre describing – they recruit poor Irish immigrants en masse and throw them towards useless deaths for the enrichment of their leaders.


Also idk if you guys found it but at some point there's dialogue between I believe Dutch and Hosea speaking briefly but positively about the Paris Commune and talking about "joining up with them" as a possible contingency, lol.


Came here to mention this. He has leftist sympathies obviously, but he seems to me like a Anarcho-Primitivist.
His favourite Author and the one he always quotes in game (don't know his name) is a homage to Henry David Thoreau, so if you want to categorize him, I would put him in this camp.


Evelyn Miller was the Name. The Thoreau Thing is also just speculation from my part, but I think there is some truth in that


He's definitely not an anarcho-primitivist lol, doesnt really make sense to assign him a particular ideology when clearly a bit part of his issue is being idealistic and not making any serious political considerations. He just wants freedom in the abstract sentimental sense of the open prairie and wild horses and shit like that. It's a sympathetic and very american outlook but one that cant hold up to reality, which is shown very well in game.

He is fucking based for shooting that industrialist who owns the not-appalachian mines, and that whole arc where you meet the mine workers and found out Arthur got tuberculosis from one of them is incredible. Nothing like capping pinkertons trying to restore order among coal mine workers lol


the difference is that Thoreau actually lived out in the woods and was self sufficient and took political action like being imprisoned for refusing to pay taxes during the Mexican-American War and publicly defending John Browns raid.

you meet Evelyn Miller as John Marston and he has never actually spent any time in the wilderness and is just an idealistic greenhorn


Arthur got tuberculosis from the farmer and after Downes dies his son ends up a miner. The Pinkertons were in town for the strike but also because the gang was in the area. It is unclear what happens after the shootout. Supposedly Cornwall only had investments in the mine and was more so in the oil business.


Right right. Yeah I wouldnt claim its a "leftist" game or anything so bold but it certainly is great in the tradition of "anti-westerns" that are critical of the western genre mythos, and is also just a great game.

Worst parts imo were the sort of shooed in indian portions and the chief being basically the same sad old indian in touch with nature that are an established and lame western trope


I think the whole chapter 6 story arc was meant to set Dutch up for the first game. To give reasoning for why he's leading a gang of vengeful natives in the first place.


I played Grand Theft Auto V. Wasn't impressed and found it very forgettable. Ignored Red Dead 2 as I assumed it was the same as GTA V until I got it as a gift.

Turns out to be one of the most compelling and awe-inspiring stories in the medium. I cannot believe this was by the same company. How did that happen?


the people who write GTA used up all their good plots by GTA 4 and even then they were starting to run out and putting in filler Niko my cousin lets go bowling!
Red Dead is a pretty fresh universe which lets them explore new topics and ideas


Makes you really think. They have until now only explore the End of the Wild West. So they can make at least 2 more games with compelling Stories revolving about the "Peak" of the Frontier


They can do a reverse prequel (sorry red dead revolver). Red Dead Redemption 3 can be about the Van der linde gang at it's peak, and what made them so infamous in the first place. Of course, Dutch is gonna be in it. He's like a living breathing metaphor for the West, a Red Dead setting at this point HAS to include Dutch. He may be an antagonist in each of the games but I feel he could be the main protagonist for the Red Dead story as a whole.


Would be kino. Like everyone else, I wanted to kick his nuts in, but man do I love the Character. He hates Capitalism with a passion, wants to join the Commune and is an allround Chad. He should have read Marx instead of Evelyn Miller


Would love this, maybe the player plays as Hosea. Though I guess dying at the end is basically part of the series now.

Alternatively I'd love to play as Jack Marston during the Alaska/Yukon gold rush.


I would be fine with Jack Marston being the only returning character honestly. Especially because his story basically ended in Mexico. I feel like it would be really interesting for there to be horses and cars in the same game. If it took place in the early 1920s the cities would be dominated by cars. Whereas the countryside would still be mainly horse driven. Also prohibition could be a game changer. Making it harder to fill your deadeye core while also making alcohol a valuable commodity. Seems like the logical evolution of the series. The whole "the west is dying" is overdone at this point. Also seeing as Jack took revenge for his father's death the FBI would be the villains. Given that time period it would make for an interesting atmosphere and story. The first red scare is hardly portrayed much media i am aware of.


I don't see it with Jack Marston in the future. It will either feature an unknown Gang Member from the younger Days of Dutch's Gang, one of the Calloway Brothers who both died at the Start of RDR2 or they will feature an entirely seperate Storyline from the Van der Linde Gang.
Either way, anything past 1912 will not be explored because it would hardly be fitting the Western Genre anymore


I agree with you that they almost definitely WON'T go farther into the future, but I disagree entirely that it wouldn't be a western if they did. The genre conventions are flexible, and they're usually more interested when they're stretched a bit. Look at Yojiro or No Country For Old Men. Both stretched the definition but justified themselves entirely as westerns. The neat thing about "western" is that it really is a proper genre and you can set it in almost any time and setting if the writers/directors/developers are talented and careful enough. You could have a western in 90s LA framed around gang rivalries. The film Black '83 isn't exactly a western but draws heavily from the genre by using Ireland during the famine as the lawless, looming frontier and the British occupation vs an Irish rebel takes on the place of American occupation vs heroic Indians in the anti-western strain. There are also movies set in the classic western era with similar characters and setpieces that couldn't really be described as drawing from western genre conventions. The Revenant is a great film but is more of a mature adventure revenge epic. The new Lone Ranger movie is obviously shit, and there's plenty of shitty westerns, but it didn't even try to be anything other than a family friendly action Blockbuster. The Legend of Zorro is better and more fun but is far more of a swashbuckling Robin Hood/Three Musketeers than a western despite the setting and time.

All that to say that Red Dead could go in a lot of directions. Of course they should keep within their own thematic and narrative precedents, but they can and should stretch them pretty far to make it interesting. RDR2 is so good because, despite the enormous sales success of GTAV, they didn't settle on only making an updated version of RDR1, which was basically GTA: Wild West with overwrought caricatures and cheesy humor. Instead they made it a mature narrative and took a big chance by making the basic gameplay mechanics – everything takes much longer and feels more measured, fast travel isnt easy, youre encouraged to camp and hunt – themselves reflective of the genre and narrative.

I don't have a strong preference for where they'd go with the next game, but I'd prefer if they took a chance on the setting and moved away from the southwest/rocky mountains. The Pacific Northwest would be very cool. You could do it during the Oregon Trail, a recently underused western setpiece. You have a variety of environments, both recognizable and new, from prairie and desert to temperate rainforest and chapparal california coastline. Instead of being about the death of the west and that kind of disillusionment, it could be about the decline of native nations as over the course of the game you see the dynamic change from still-independent and thriving native societies and a few american outposts give way to proper american towns and ranches and wars with sidelined native societies. I dont expect, and almost wouldnt want, Rockstar to do this because it would mean dealing with native genocide and I dont think they could handle that properly walks the line between being an honest portrayal and being non-didactic.

But you see what I'm getting at. I also really like the other anons idea about having it focused around Jack in prohibition era Mexico. You could very easily set a western in contemporary Mexico, and Mexico very much was still mostly peasantry and using horses well into the mid-20th century, so it's not like it would be flapper girls and tommy guns or anything like that. Wide variety of environments, Mexico was still in the midst of revolutions and general social upheaval, booze smuggling in ports and border towns would allow for a wide variety of characters from all different backgrounds.


>but I disagree entirely that it wouldn't be a western if they did

Yes you are right, BUT Rockstar is, for now atleast, opting for a specific Style of Western and that is the one we all now. The Themes of Red Dead Redemption will be centered around the American Frontier between 1965 - 1912. They may become more flexible, but not with the next entry

Otherwise a very nice post. I hate to admit it, because I sound like a Consoomer, but I am exited for the next Game.


>1965 western

now that would be interesting


Haha fuck I meant 1865 obviously. But a 1965 Western in the deep South covering Issues like Segregation, Red Scare etc. maybe?


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>RDR1, which was basically GTA: Wild West with overwrought caricatures and cheesy humor

You're telling me the story in RDR1 isn't as good as RDR2? I'm one of those that played RDR2 first…

Still can't believe how enthralling the story of RDR2 is, it's literally one of the closest things I can compare it to a prestige tv show like Breaking Bad.



You mean Yojimbo?


Yeah this game just hits different.
Also all the side quests and little mysteries in this game are just endless and engaging. Check out the Channel of The Strange Man to see what I mean



Yeah lmao my bad

Yeah and its not even close. RDR1 is still a great game it's just living in RDR2's shadow now


>mfw I'm trying to grind for the Legend of the East Outfit while still in Chapter 2, because the Outfit is made for Arthur


I think the only vaguely leftist Character in RDR2 is Javier, who escaped Mexico, because of his Revolutionary Activity. People from Rockstar wanted to lump him into the broader Zapatista Movement I think


I don't know if I have ever seen cringe like this before



Why is the american frontier clouded in such mystery, while other historical frontiers rarely get mentioned at all? I mean this has been a thing before hollywood and mass media

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