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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6906/flying-solo-the-aviator-and-libertarian-philosophy/

Flying Solo: The Aviator and Libertarian Philosophy

July 27, 2007 by

Even though Scorsese may share the left-wing political opinions typical of Hollywood, writes Paul Cantor, The Aviator in many respects celebrates the spirit of free enterprise and, more generally, embodies a kind of libertarian philosophy. One may profitably interpret the film in terms of concepts derived from classic defenders of the free market such as Adam Smith and also draw on the work of the Austrian school of economics, one of whose chief representatives is Ludwig von Mises. The emphasis in Austrian economics on the special role of the entrepreneur and his ability to deal with the risk and uncertainty endemic to economic life makes it particularly relevant to understanding The Aviator. FULL ARTICLE


Ohhh Henry July 27, 2007 at 9:40 pm

One would think that more Hollywood filmmakers would appreciate the role of the entrepreneur, given the fact that filmmaking is one of the most entrepreneurial of businesses.

I think they appreciate entrepreneurialism all right, but Hollywood is the capital city of phoneyness. They present themselves as left-wing to distract the envious public away from their enormous wealth and to keep the government off their backs.

Atom Egoyan made a similar comment with respect to the level of intellect and education of Hollywood moguls – he said they’re all extremely smart and well-read, but for business reasons they have to act like the simpleminded everyman. Kind of like when Frasier Crane sits down to read Tale of Two Cities aloud to the gang down at “Cheers”, and quickly realizes he has to turn it into a sex- and gore-fest if he’s going to keep their attention.

French filmmaking is superficially opposite – even when they’re filming a romp of a movie full of T&A, they feel obliged to lard it heavy doses of intellectual talk. But they do it for similar reasons – to pander to the intellectual pretensions of their public and to keep the government subsidies rolling in.

TLWP Sam July 28, 2007 at 3:04 am

Well if you liked that review of the The Aviator you’ll love this review:


Ray G July 28, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Yeah, but will the general public understand the basic message?

On a forum I was posting on when this movie first came out, somehow Tripp came up as a topic, and everyone was surprised when I was critical of the man. The typical protrait of the man is a visionary, and a great businessman.

Ohhh Henry July 28, 2007 at 8:31 pm

Just saw The Simpsons Movie. Hoo boy, Matt Groenig is not a fan of government.

Ray G July 29, 2007 at 12:32 am


I took him for a Left wing type from some of the interviews and such over the years. i.e. his criticism of govt was outweighed by his criticism of the market

Salvius July 29, 2007 at 2:40 am

FWIW, this article echoes (much more articulately, and in much greater depth) the comments I made back when I first saw the film.

David July 29, 2007 at 9:36 pm

Great essay, especially since the author distinguished the real Howard Hughes from Martin Scorcese’s somewhat idealized film charachter.

I’m not usually one to isolate libertarian viewpoints or meanings in books and films, but every point made in this essay was very much in line with how I saw the film.

Also, very interesting to compare and contrast between this review/essay and the one posted on the World Socialist web site (see previous comment)!

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