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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5908/our-favorite-killer-for-the-state/

Our Favorite Killer for the State

November 17, 2006 by

As the much-anticipated Casino Royale opens today, I wonder why it is that many libertarians — perhaps even a disproportionate percentage — like James Bond so much, even though he’s a cold-blooded killer for the state?

Some of us may have gotten started with Bond because Ian Fleming was one of the few twentieth-century authors other than herself whom Ayn Rand could endorse. Or maybe it’s for the reasons Murray Rothbard stated in his Libertarian Forum review of Live and Let Die:

The Ian Fleming novels, and for the most part the movies in the Bond series, were
the quintessence of the Old Culture: marvelous plot, exciting action, hero vs. villains, spy plots, crisp dialogue and the frank enjoyment of bourgeois luxury and fascinating technological gadgets.

That seems right to me: the “Old Culture” and more specifically — at least in the books and older movies — not a hint of political correctness. Rothbard adds: “It is also a pleasure to see Old Culture seduction on the screen again, shorn of all angst, kvetching, and endless bleatings about sensitivity, commitment, ‘relationships,’ and ‘parenting.’”

Rothbard reviews Bond:

Live and Let Die
The Spy Who Loved Me
Never Say Never Again


Stranger November 17, 2006 at 5:25 am

There’s a certain freedom romanticism in the character as well. Bond travels around the world, crossing state borders and defying the local thugs as if they don’t exist.

Who could dream of walking the DMZ between North and South Korea? James Bond could.

David J. Heinrich November 17, 2006 at 9:44 am

Well, there’s something about the characters that people like too. Despite being a libertarian, my favorite character from Star Wars is still Darth Vader.

Michael November 17, 2006 at 4:40 pm

I’m sorry, but Rothbard got it wrong on this one. The Bond series has nothing whatsoever to do with “Old Culture.” Bond is nothing but a cold blooded tool of the Leviathan State and the books and films are mere propaganda.

Huebert and Heinrich have just outed themselves as closet statists!

banker November 17, 2006 at 5:39 pm

As sad and sadistic the thought might be, and as much as one would like to adhere to the strictest moral standards, there is a certain fantasy of being able to live a life of no rules. Bond can do anything and go anywhere he wants.

Stephan Kinsella November 20, 2006 at 2:58 pm

Interesting contrast: Objectivist Robert Bidinotto hails this as the best bond ever.

J. H. Huebert November 20, 2006 at 3:11 pm

Bidinotto has this one about right. It could have used a touch more levity to balance the deadly seriousness, and the excellent Craig cannot match Connery’s charisma, but it still is outstanding among the Bond movies.

John January 24, 2008 at 10:53 pm

’77 was a bad year for Rothbard movie reviews. He didn’t like Star Wars (June’s review) and wanted a return to sci-fi movies as good as “The Thing” and “It came from outer space.” I can’t tell if he’s kidding or not.

J. H. Huebert January 24, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Says Rothbard: “Carrie Fisher is ugly and abrasive, and if one could care very much about
the hero one would hope that nothing came of thelr proto-romance.”

I like Star Wars a lot but, c’mon, that’s good stuff!

Nitroadict January 25, 2008 at 1:17 am

Sometimes is just a movie, and watching it for enjoyment is not necessarily something to be guilty of.

I know for a fact I can’t be online 24/7 re-educating myself from the State’s previous government schooling without a break here and there ;D.

That being said, multiple viewings yield multiple impressions; it’ll certainly be fascinating to watch casino royale again after reading rothbard’s (and the linked Bidinottot) view!

richard scott January 25, 2008 at 3:04 am

I’m 60, James Bond is Sean Connery. There is no other.
The Ian Flemming books were pure escapism and fun. And who would not wish to be Bond for a day?
Even if one had considered it, it wouldn’t have mattered at all that Bond was a paid Westminster assassin. Things seemed more simple then even though they weren’t. Now we have the internet and are hopefully better informed. Nevertheless the simple good v evil plot still works. I’m not thinking of ’24′ here.
The movies started off by being within reasonable reach of the books but Thunderball and subsequent movies went off on an ever increasing gadget tangent.
Casino Royale? I think watsisname would look just fine armed with a hod laden with bricks.

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