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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12720/might-be-worth-a-look/

Might be worth a look

May 14, 2010 by

The NYT hates Robin Hood, the movie: “This Robin is no socialist bandit practicing freelance wealth redistribution, but rather a manly libertarian rebel striking out against high taxes and a big government scheme to trample the ancient liberties of property owners and provincial nobles. Don’t tread on him!” (thanks David Hughes)


HL May 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm

NPR had a review panning it today…so maybe it is good. Can’t hurt to invest two hours to find out…

bob May 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm

It seems that their familiar version of Robin Hood is also not a socialist, but a libertarian. Robin Hood stole not simply from “the rich” but from the state, which at the time was equivalent to “the rich”; and they did not earn their riches from marketplace activities but aggressive coercion. Robin Hood’s redistribution is libertarian justice, not ideologically-driven class warfare between rich and poor, capital and labor.

Prince John is also universally hated for the specific reason that he levies oppressively high taxes. Also, he lays claim to most of the land in the kingdom, although he clearly hasn’t homesteaded such. He is comparable to the modern day dictatorial socialist leader, whose definition of “public” obviously fails to coincide with his subjects. Only, his legitimacy is delivered through monarchy, not democracy, or the ability to rig a democratic vote, or the fascist fear of a powerful external enemy.

Mitchell Powell May 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Indeed, Robin Hoods best friend was a land-owner, and it was a villain in the movie who said to her, “No one should own four thousand acres,” to which she responded “Five thousand.”

The film was not only thoroughly libertarian in nature, but one could even (perhaps this is a bit of a stretch) see the ending as a rejection of limited government as a futile goal.

HL May 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Btw, the NYT review by AO Scott is simply outrageous. A.O. Scott is a member of the terribly smug East Coast Elite who look down on movies that fail to portray the State in a favorable light. Worth three minutes of time to read it and feel an envigorating sense of anger. I am certainly watching this movie now!

Slim934 May 14, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Goodie! Stephan Kinsella on his blog pointed to an interview with Crowe about the film which essentially said the same thin.

Very happy to hear about this.

Stephan Kinsella May 14, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Slim934 — yes, that was in this post: Robin Hood, Magna Carta, and the Forest Charter

The_Orlonater May 14, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Lol! That’s funny. It is the NYT, though.

J Cortez May 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I haven’t seen it yet, but I will since the New York Times apparently doesn’t like it too much.

Michael A. Clem May 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm

The Robin Hood legends really changed a lot over time, so multiple views of Robin Hood are inevitable. What really intrigues me is that a heavier Russell Crowe is hardly a dashing, heroic-looking figure. Just a slight nod to more realism.

Lucas M. Engelhardt May 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm


My wife and I are hoping to see it before too long. Good to hear that they actually presented Robin Hood as he’s meant to be presented (as far as I’m concerned).

(Note: BBC’s TV series Robin Hood is similar, in my opinion. Early in the series, Robin even makes an argument for how high taxes kill the economy. Not a great argument, but his heart is certainly in the right place.)

SirThinkALot May 14, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Wow thats almost enough to make me want to see it!

(I didnt like Ridly Scotts other films, and this one just didnt look that good from a cinimatic standpoint).

JC Hewitt May 14, 2010 at 10:36 pm

The New York Times is essentially owned through leverage by a Mexican billionaire who requires the (teetering) government to the south to maintain its grip.

It practices widespread circulation fraud by providing “free” newspapers to colleges all over the country and news stands.

Many of those copies go unsold, unread, and are pulped.They systematically oppress their unionized workforce in order to keep landed gentry (the Sulzbergers) prancing around on horses.

They have systematically breached fiduciary duty to shareholders. Their only “asset” is a hideous glass building built in one of the worst neighborhoods in Manhattan, nearby the Port Authority (ridden by hobos, crooks, and others).

They built the building despite the fact that they had a perfectly good one already, and anyway, there’s enough vacant commercial real estate (and has been since even before 9/11) to fit several other American cities.

The New York Times can best be understood as a propaganda outlet for the Mexican government and the various advertisers that stick to the print edition – mostly corporations like Macy’s and Tiffany’s, which are in similarly dire fiscal straits.

Those advertisements generally fail to turn profit.

They’ve also pissed off their best journalists. Their only employment prospects are by going out to work in academia. Journalism schools have turned out unemployed people for many years now, and anyway fail to inculcate any sort of marketable skill-set.

One rate increase will annihilate the New York Times and many of its advertisers, bankrupt the Sulzberger clan, and leave most of the people that dedicated their lives to satisfying the venal demands of the editorial staff completely without a stable source of income.

Baghdad Bob, anyone?

I dunno if the movie is any good.

Troy Camplin May 15, 2010 at 12:08 am

Robin Hood never was a socialist hero. He never was a socialist. In every version I have ever known, he robbed from the government to give money back to the taxpayers that government had stolen. It has always annoyed me to hear of some government program described as a
“Robin Hood” program, because by definition the government in these cases has always been Prince John.

Stephan Kinsella May 16, 2010 at 7:36 am

Here in Texas, a few years back the legislature started taking local property tax dollars and redistributing it to poorer schools, helping to further ruin the public school system–it’s called the Robin Hood plan.

Johan H May 15, 2010 at 1:27 am

I suppose I should check this film out. I had a particular soft spot for Gladiator and it is great to see some pseudo-libertarian messages in a film that is about a libertarian* hero.

* socialists claim the whole “rob from the rich and give to the poor” spiel, but I wonder if this was not added later? I should probably investigate.

Ohhh Henry May 15, 2010 at 9:11 am

Notice that Robin Hood type movies seem to be never made by British filmmakers? Something has happened to Britain because of almost 100 years of relentless socialism. The fight has gone out of her people. Almost every week I read of a new, abominable socialist/fascist horror taking place in the UK, usually related to some kind of outrageous police state tactics being introduced in order to enforce yet another ridiculous law. Like the poor chump who was facing a mandatory 5 year jail sentence for bringing a weapon he found in his back yard to the police. Should have left it where it was, sorry but the law is very clear and there is no leniency. Using predator drones to catch litterbugs. And on and on and on. When you read the comments attached to the online news articles about these horrors, it’s the Americans who are adding the most outspoken criticism and urging resistance. The Brits tend to show only mild discontent (“what next I ask myself”) but express greater dismay at the frankness of the American commentators (“a little extreme mate wouldn’t you say?”). Britain is lost – it’s like Greece or Argentina with ICBMs.

mikey May 15, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I see you have been going to the headlines section of David Ickes website? Great place to keep an eye on statism in UK.Sorry about the rest of his wacky ideas. I mean the royal family are reptiles? Please.Its so obvious they’re amphibians.

Gary Hall May 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm

“Notice that Robin Hood type movies seem to be never made by British filmmakers?”

Ridley Scott is from South Shields, Tyne and Wear, England.

Luke M May 16, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Not sure if anyone came across this story earlier this year but thought I’d post this particular one just to make your head spin. Yes, that’s right – insanity is the leitmotif of today’s Britain:

PK May 17, 2010 at 8:07 am


‘There’s No Money Left,’ U.K. Minister Learns From Predecessor

Tyler Rouillard May 16, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Hmmm….that’s where my girlfriend is from, I wonder if she knows him…

I tried to see the movie on Saturday but it was sold out. I hope people take away the libertarian message that others are saying is in the movie.

Magnus May 17, 2010 at 9:26 am

It is my understanding that the original Robin Hood mythos was not focused on rich versus poor, or even on nobles versus tax-payers, but on nationalistic and ethnic grounds — it was the indigenous, Anglo-Saxon people resisting the foreign, Norman invader-occupiers.

As a practical matter, the Norman class was synonymous with the government-taxer class, and also synonymous with the rich, but the focus of the legend was on the “foreign occupier” aspect of that particular instance of oppression.

That’s why the main enemy was the Sheriff — Sheriffs were a Norman innovation in the English government. They were the direct appointees of the Norman king who did the king’s bidding, and therefore not answerable to the local nobility.

bob May 17, 2010 at 11:13 am

Every way you spin it, it’s libertarian!!!!

…except to the NYT…

Lee May 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Saw it over the weekend. I really enjoyed it. The libertarian message was clearly present, although it felt a little ham-fisted at times, but overall a really good film.

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