A Libertarian Rebel

Ridley Scott gets Robin Hood right.

The Ridley Scott film Robin Hood has drawn some critics’ political ire. In The Village Voice, Karina Longworth laments that “instead of robbing from the rich to give to the poor, this Robin Hood preaches about ‘liberty’ and the rights of the individual” and battles against “government greed.” New York Times critic A.O. Scott strikes a similar note, mocking the movie as a “medieval tea party” and declaring: “You may have heard that Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, but that was just liberal media propaganda. This Robin is…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.”

Whatever you may think of Scott’s newest incarnation of the Robin Hood legend, it is more than a little troubling to see alleged liberals speaking of liberty and individual rights in a tone of sarcastic dismissal. This is especially ironic since the Robin Hood of myth and folklore probably has much more in common with the “libertarian rebel” played by Russell Crowe than the medieval socialist of the “rob from the rich, give to the poor” cliché. At heart, the noble-outlaw legend that has captured the human imagination for centuries is about freedom, not redistribution, a fact that is reflected in many previous screen versions of the Robin Hood story.

The earliest Robin Hood ballads, which date back to the 13th or 14th century, contain no mention of robbing the rich to give to the poor. The one person Robin assists financially is a knight who is about to lose his lands to the machinations of greedy and unscrupulous monks at an abbey. (Corrupt clerics using the political power of the Church are among Robin Hood’s frequent targets in the ballads.) The Sheriff of Nottingham is Robin’s chief opponent; at the time, it was the sheriffs’ role as tax collectors in particular that made them objects of popular loathing. Robin Hood is also frequently shown helping men who face barbaric punishments for hunting in the royal forests, a pursuit that was permitted to English nobles but strictly forbidden to the lower classes. In other words, he opposes privilege bestowed by political power rather than earned wealth.

Later the legend evolved and was adapted to more aristocratic tastes; by the 17th century, Robin Hood turned from an outlawed farmer into a dispossessed aristocrat and, eventually, a patron of the poor. Yet the fight for liberty and against tyrannical authority remained central to the story, particularly since Robin was often portrayed as a man fighting to reclaim his unjustly confiscated lands—and against high taxes. Even the 1993 Mel Brooks parody Men in Tights has Robin tell Prince John, “If you don’t stop levying these evil taxes, I will lead the people of England in a revolt against you!”

Perhaps the most libertarian version of the Robin Hood story comes from an unlikely source—the BBC, in its 2006–09 Robin Hood series starring Jonas Armstrong. This smartly written, excellently acted show took thinly veiled digs at the idea that freedom should be abridged in the name of national security. The villainous sheriff cited King Richard’s war in the Holy Land as a justification for unusually harsh punishments to enforce law and order in wartime, and he sometimes referred to the outlaws as “terrorists.”

And the BBC’s Robin Hood’s libertarian streak is not limited to civil liberties. Robin, a local noble back from the Crusades, first runs afoul of the sheriff by suggesting that all taxes in Nottinghamshire be temporarily abolished so that the region’s faltering industry and trade can be revived. His peasant followers are on the wrong side of the law because exorbitant taxes prevent them from making an honest living. (In the words of Little John, “Taxes, we do not like.”) Robin’s robberies are directed primarily at tax collections and other ill-gotten gains; he also strives to stop a conspiracy by the sheriff and Prince John to seize power in the king’s absence and establish a tyranny that would trample “the rights of the free man.” The sheriff, meanwhile, is a miniature Stalin who revels in brute power and understands that keeping people impoverished makes them easier to control. When a confederate says that England should be purged of “the weak and the dirty and the parasites,” the sheriff replies, “My dear boy, those are the ones who do exactly what I tell them to. We need those.”

The idea of Robin Hood as an early socialist has been influential as well. Ayn Rand in her novel Atlas Shrugged declared the fabled outlaw a symbol of evil—taking from the productive and giving to the parasites. On the other side of the political spectrum, a coalition of international aid groups in England recently made the bandit their mascot when they proposed a “Robin Hood tax” on high-profit industries to help the poor in developing nations. But the original Robin Hood was, above all, a fighter for freedom from tyranny. And that’s what made him a legend. 

Contributing Editor Cathy Young (cathyyoung63@gmail.com) writes a weekly column for RealClearPolitics, where a version of this article originally appeared. She blogs at cathyyoung.wordpress.com.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Suki||

    Good morning reason!

    Nothing can hold a candle to Men in Tights.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    Are you aware Mel Brooks made other movies?

  • Suki||

    That one and Spaceballs are the only two I know well. Some friends seem to know them all.

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    Do yourself a favor and watch Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. The two films you know pale in comparison.

  • skr||

    And the original "The Producers" with Gene Wilder.

  • Suki||

    Not sure about that one. Will see if a friend has it already.

  • EMp||

    Try 'History of the World' as well....

  • ||

    I'm still waiting on Part II

  • ||

    Aren't we all!

  • Suki||

    Heard of Frankenstein and something about Blazing Saddles. Netflix, here I come!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    No? Not even Blazing Saddles? Come on!

  • rctl||

    Robin Head - Meat in Tights

  • -||

    Give it a rest, Retardo.

  • rctl||

    No head for you!

  • bleek obummer||

    Stop spoofing! Use your own name.

  • Please stop....||

    you're not funny

  • rctl||

    And you are the judge of what is funny?

  • ||

    No, but I am. And you are an old joke that started off unfunny and have only gotten worse since then.

  • rctl||

    Funny looking maybe

  • rctl||

    grunt, grunt, grunt, ahhhhhh

  • Untermensch||

    …it is should be more than a little troubling to see alleged liberals speaking of liberty and individual rights in a tone of sarcastic dismissal.

    Things that trouble me are things that I don’t expect. I would expect both modern liberals and conservatives to take this tone. So I can’t too troubled. Disappointed with the world yes.
  • Untermensch||

    Sorry, should have read:

    …it is should be more than a little troubling
  • Suki||

    A little late to the coffee table today. Are you feeling okay?

    I agree with the "troubling" aspect. Maybe I should stop being surprised by now too, but I am still surprised.

  • Untermensch||

    My wife had surgery late last week, so I’ve been pulling double duty with kids. So I am a little late to a lot of things…

  • Suki||

    Aw! Sorry. Hope she is doing better now?

  • Untermensch||

    Much better, thanks, but not up to running a marathon or anything like that...

  • LarryA||

    A marathon is just running in one direction, not nearly as hard as keeping up with kids. And I expect you’re actually on triple duty if your wife needs looking after. Vaya con Dios.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    So how big are the new boobs?

    jk! jk!

    Seriously, hope she's doing well.

  • ||

    i go with the elvis costello/nick lowe approach: :i used to be disgusted, now i try to be amused

  • ||

    New York Times critic A.O. Scott [mocks] the movie as a “medieval tea party..."

    Beneficiaries of a free press use their freedoms to mock freedom. Leftist journos have become caricatures of themselves.

  • Suki||

    Good morning Sunshine :)

    I agree and it seems like they keep getting worse. Maybe they have always been this bad and I am just becoming aware of it.

  • ||

    The philosophy hasn't changed, but their predecessors were more accomplished propagandists, I think. Contemporary MSM journos are just silly, out-of-the-closet hacks who appear to be in a race to the bottom with the blogger hoards.

  • Suki||

    Actually, I am pretty new to recognizing their folly. Can;t believe I was so blind for so long.

  • Tim||

    "I can't believe it's not butter!"

  • ||

    I accidentally ran across that review. It was absolutely distressing to see a movie critic so focused on politics that his review was more about that than about the film itself.

  • ||

    Liberal leftist journalists appear to be personally offended by the threat of unobstructed liberty. The Tea Party and libertarians and others must be insane, they reason. How could anyone believe that we humans should be responsible for own own affairs? How dare we say, "Leave us alone!"

  • ||

    that is typical of NYT reviews of books and movies. Often, they don't mention politics, though. They dis a movie and the reader can't tell why. That the reviewer dislikes the move and or despises the director, that you can tell. But the review is written in such a way that the reader does not know what the reviewer is doing. Then when you see the movie, you say aha. something in the movie caused the reviewer to say "conservative." Perhaps the movie hinted that americans were not the worst people on earth, or that a non western culture, perhaps, might be less than perfect. It always involves PC.

  • ||

    roger ebert is getting that way, too. he's always been a simpering liberal ninny, as far as i know, but didn't use to be nearly as free about injecting politics and snarky remarks about it/rightwingers/libertarians into his reviews.

    he's not as bad as the new yorker or village voice consistently are in this regards... yet

  • CE||

    New York Times critic A.O. Scott [mocks] the movie as a “medieval tea party..."

    Next he'll mock the Boston Tea Party as a "colonial tea party..."

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Cathy Young on Robin Hood! I can't look! And I won't. I feel so much better. When are we going to get Michael Young on Friar Tuck? I'd pay to see that.

  • ||

    You assholes may laugh now, but I bet one day Vanneman will have a point. Where will you jerks be then? Huh?

  • Suki||

    Blowing coffee out our noses in shock?

  • Almanian||

    Your insight does not intrigue me, and I am not interested in subscribing to your newsletter.

  • ||

    That's even lamer than the Friday Funnies, and that's saying something.

  • Man of the New Normal||

    She forgot Daffy Duck's version: guard! turn! parry! spin! thrust! ha!

  • ||

    You forgot . . *sproing* as his bill snaps upwards at a 90 degree angle.

  • ||

    "Firtht, I am happy, for I am to wed the fair Melitha. Then, I am fuuuuriouth, becauthe I dethpithe the Scarlet *Pu*-*Pu*-Pumpernickel...."

  • ||

    "this is my trusty quarter staff. actually, it was a buck and a quarter..."

  • WTF||

    Yoiks! And away!

  • EMp||

    Could it be the 'Simpsons' and 'Family Guy' are the natural heirs to the wit and subtlety of Bugs and Daffy? After all, 'Captain Planet' is what Gen X had to swallow in the 90's....

  • Cthorm||

    Not all good cartoons came from Looney Toons. I happen to like Donald Duck and his related cartoons, especially Scrooge McDuck. Ever since, I've been pursuing my life dream: a private tower full of gold coins/money that I can dive into.

  • ||

    "....my trusty quarter staff...actually it's a buck and a quarter staff, but i'm not tellin' Him that..."

  • Tim||

    I was always deeply troubled by Porky Pig never wearing pants.

  • ||

    If he wore pants, that would imply that he needed to.

  • Tim||

    But he did need to. How did he get the name Porky?

  • ||

    Clearly not in the way you think. After all, the pig isn't equipped for such things. We know this because he doesn't wear any pants.

  • Tim||

    Pigs beget pigs, ergo, they is equipped.

  • ||

    Porky was a eunuch. That's why he stuttered.

  • ||

    I find this a more compelling argument than Tim's aborted syllogism.

  • Tim||

    Nobody ever talks about Petunia Pig, Porky's one time co-star.

  • ||

    Acme brand Bacon. Now with less clothes scraps.

  • ||

    According to Mel Blanc, the "stutter" was his way to verbalize the grunting noise of farm pigs. He refers to it as verbal grunting in a doc I watched recently, and rejected the idea that Porky stuttered.

  • ||

    Pigs. We get what pigs deserve.

  • Daffy Duck||

    Nobody ever talks about Petunia Pig

    Not so. She was delicious.

  • Elmer Fudd||

    Best pussy ever = tasted like bacon!!

  • Tim||

    http://records.goldenagecartoo...../porky.bmp

    Makes you wonder what exactly he meant by; " That's all folks!"

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Believe me. Pigs never get whist they deserve.

  • WTF||

    it is more than a little troubling unsurprising to see alleged liberals speaking of liberty and individual rights in a tone of sarcastic dismissal

    FIFY

  • Tim||

    Ayn Rand meets Robin Hood! The Sequel to Atlas Shrugged! Coming in 2012

  • Suki||

    +1

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    The sexual tension will be as thick as Ayn's back hair.

  • Suki||

    Something like this? I suppose when they are in the secret forest lair discussing strategy it would resemble that play.

  • Tim||

    I know better than to click on that.

  • Suki||

    Aw, Tim. It is work safe, wholesome and refreshing advanced political discourse. Take a peek.

  • mr simple||

    It's like these people don't think there were any differences in political and economic systems between medieval England and today. Their love of government and taxation runs so deep that they dismiss the notion that the rich and the government were the same people: land owners who made their money off the serfs who worked their land. It's the same story, but because this one emphasized freedom, it's bad.

  • ||

    They wouldn't feel that way if the serfs were Mexicans.

  • Suki||

    If Mexicans were serfs, they would be going to Hawaii for the big waves.

  • ||

    Catch a taco and you're sitting on top of the world.

  • Tim||

    Which shows that that modern libs unconsciously identify medieval Aristocracy?

  • Suki||

    You mean the ones who make haubergeon from paper-clips? I think it is more than an unconscious identification.

  • Tim||

    Haubergeon? (scratches head).

  • Suki||

    Long chain mail shirt.

  • Tim||

    I distrust those smarter than me. Plus, it sounds French.

  • Suki||

    I think it is English. Found the word when looking up "chain mail" for proper spelling, or even an obscure ancient spelling.

    Oh, I get it. Yes, I know Google is my friend and you don't. You shouldn't distrust me over that. ;)

  • Planodoc||

    Not sure what "haubergeon" is...

    But it sure reminds me of "Harrison Bergeron".

    I never read Vonnegut as a libertarian until I read that story.

  • zoltan||

    Don't know how you could read that story in school and not be radically changed for life.

  • JoshINHB||

    Polician do, why wouldn't their court jesters and propagandists.

  • Suki||

    A recent Obama court jester found out the power of mongrel in chief the hard way.

  • Jason||

    Why do you think they call all those people "Czars"?

  • ||

    I was just thinking about that while listening to a lecture (Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century) on my commute. For much of history, governments and their fellow travelers directly controlled a huge percentage of their nations' wealth. Only during the last few centuries has that not been largely true.

    Interesting that some people today think we should go back to having the government and its friends control most of the wealth, isn't it?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    But it's different, because this time we'll have The Right People in Charge.

  • ||

    "Ah, that is different!" said Boxer. "If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right."

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

  • Tim||

    Well, they're smarter than us. We'd only spend our money on guns and churches and fatty foods. We wouldn't spend on bike helmets and catalytic converters.
    We'd listen to Rush Limbaugh and not NPR.

  • We||

    Jesus, we suck!

  • JoshINHB||

    Yep,

    Socialism and commmunism are actually reactionary schemes to bring back the "divine right" of assholes.

  • ||

    Well, I have a problem with people who call themselves "liberal" attempting to undo all of the blood, sweat, tears, and toil of the true liberal movement. The whole point was to eliminate (or at least weaken) entrenched power.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Modern "liberals" and classical liberals have, unfortunately, very little in common any more.

  • ||

    If there were at least an undercurrent of distrust for unlimited power, particularly in the hands of government, we'd be in much less trouble.

  • ||

    There's a complete distrust of Republican power, or any power outside their political base. Isn't that enough for you?

  • ||

    That makes them even more stupid/nuts. They have to know that the GOP will get back into power at some point, so treating unlimited government as a good thing now will reap awful dividends the next time around.

  • kda||

    Utopia and Terror is a great series. I discovered it a few years ago. The Teaching Company rocks...

  • Jason||

    I think that's why Hayek called his book The Road to Serfdom.

  • ||

    The Journolister crowd is just pissed because they like to think of Big Gooberment as "Robin Hood", when in fact it's really "Dennis Moore".

    And it must be a source of distress to them that there's no way to create a recognizable version of the story where the villain isn't the Sheriff of Nottingham (which is unavoidably a government official); they wish it could be the CEO of Teh EEEEvil Corporashun.

  • Tim||

    If only Government was Demi Moore...

  • ||

    They'll just do a "gritty reboot" with a CEO as Prince John, his VP as the Sheriff, and Robin Hood as the Working Man.

    They'll do this mostly because Hollywood doesn't have an original idea left, apparently.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    They'll just do a "gritty reboot" with a CEO as Prince John, his VP as the Sheriff, and Robin Hood as the Working Man.

    They'll do this mostly because Hollywood doesn't have an original idea left, apparently.


    It is strange that movie studios owned by capitalists would make movies that promote socialism.

  • ||

    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, is NOT in this bit . . .

  • ||

    I think people are just a bit put off that the story line isn't the traditional Robin Hood story. In this assumption, people aren't dissing libertarian values, just dissing the libertarian adaption of a character (and story) that has been "rob from rich to give to the poor".

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Resident Smartass,

    The "rob the rich to feed the poor" is the modern narrative. Not even Flynn's Robin Hood robbed the rich to feed the poor, he robbed the Treasury to give back to the poor. Even in Disney's animated feature, Robin Hood robbed the trasury to give back the taxes to the poor. Only Academia has said that Robin Hood robbed "the rich" to give to the poor.

  • ||

    Every time I hear or read about some politician being compared to Robin Hood because they want to "rob the rich to feed the poor" I chuckle to myself, for the very reason you state.

  • They're all has beens||

    Has been for a minority of the existent of the legend is the point i believe.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Even Disney's Robin Hood was all about rebelling against taxes, corrupt law enforcement, and vain, greedy, arbitrary rulers. That's not libertarian?

  • Tim||

    The next Disney version will feature an Islamic warrior princess leading forest animals in revolt against the people of England, all to a toe tapping score.

  • zoltan||

    If the forest animals were bears and wolverines that would be awesome.

  • EMp||

    It's also what the American Revolution was fought for....

  • Frankyb||

    When you consider that today's rich are public employees and unions members with fat pensions, I'm all in favor of robbing the rich to give back to the poor.

  • ||

    excuse me, can you repeat that? i can't hear you over the throaty roar of my ferrari (public employee union member here)

  • ||

    NEver thought about it that way before.

    Lou
    www.anonymous-surfing.es.tc

  • Fatty Bolger||

    You need a reboot, Lou. You've kind of sucked lately.

  • ||

    If only Government was Demi Moore...

    Unfortunately, the government acts more like STEVE SMITH.

  • Peter Jensen||

    Oh for Pete's sake!

    Now even Robin Hood has to be "analyzed" with a political angle.

    As you said yourself, the story evolved over time. There is no right or wrong version.

  • Suki||

    Robin Hood was always a political commentary.

  • ||

    it was political commentary, but not in a modern sense of wanting to change the system. Robin Hood hated King John, who was a tyrant. They were all tyrants actually,all the kings but he was more tyrannical and more greedy and disrespectful of native tradition and customs. Robin Hood wanted to get back at him. He did not want to overthrow feudalism or the church or have equality. Robin himself was a landowner, rich, probably with many serfs, whom he of course treated well (in middle ages context). He was not about to give up his inheritance.

  • Mad Max||

    In the original Hollywood version, Robin Hood led the oppressed Saxons against their evil Norman overlords (King Richard the Lionhearted was a good guy despite being Norman, but he was out of the country and couldn't protect the oppressed Saxons against the other, eviller Normans like Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham).

    Therefore, Robin Hood, as the Saxon leader, led his Saxon followers in kicking the asses of the Norman oppressors.

    This simply illustrates . . .

    . . . wait for it . . .

    Hollywood's penchant for Saxon violence.

  • Tim||

    You should be whipped.

  • ||

    Come see the violence inherant in the system . . . come see the violence inherant in the system . . .

    I'm being repressed!!!

  • ||

    Bloody peasant!

  • Untermensch||

    I love how Lionheart is considered a great English king when he set foot in England maybe three times. He was mostly a French king who happened to control England. So I’m surprised we don’t see a version in which Robin Hood uses nativist language about that horde from the south that needs to be arrested in order to kick out Lionheart and start a pure English realm, or something like that.

  • CaptainSmartass||

    An absent king is a king that can't raise taxes and steal your property. Ergo, he's a good king.

  • JEP||

    Saxon violins

    as was said yesterday on some thread or another....

  • ||

    Actually Richard the lion heart was a bloodthirsty warmonger. There was no reason for the great crusades. What really bothers me is that all these modern day stories leave out how John (though being a completed asshole) - raised much of the taxes to cover the cost of the crusades Richard campaigned so hard for. Why has no one here brought that up yet?

  • Eric||

    I'll have to see the film to believe that Robin Hood is a modern version of a libertarian.
    I wonder if there is a scene where he whines incessantly about liberals while oiling his crossbow and muttering about free markets.

  • LarryA||

    Willian Tell >> Crossbow

    Robin Hood >> Longbow

  • JEP||

    I'll have to see the film to believe that Robin Hood is a modern version of a libertarian.

    I think you'd have to learn what a libertarian is first...

  • Eric||

    I've trolled this board long enough to know what a libertarian is. However, too many here are simply republicans who think that they are now libertarians since Bush and Co ruined the brand.

  • ||

    whereas too many others think they are the great gatekeepers as to who gets to enter the libertarian kingdom and call themselves one.

  • EMp||

    To my mind, there are a few branches of libertarianism coming from a double trunk. The double trunk is 'cosmo-tarianism' and 'paleo-tarianism'. IMHO.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I'm a big tent libertarian. For example, I would not argue that Hayek and Friedman were incorrect when they self-identified as libertarian.

    But it would seem that there is a fairly large number of clueless libertarians ... for example, self-identified libertarians who got excited about Obama in 2008.

  • EMp||

    I would agree completely on the Obama point. Anyone who would vote for a "big gov't" pol, D or R, cannot claim to be libertarian in the classic sense.

    Also, IMO, any libertarian who is O.K. with "big business" monopolies does not support the stated libertarian ideal of "maximized freedom for the individual".

  • JEP||

    The Sheriff of Nottingham is Robin’s chief opponent; at the time, it was the sheriffs’ role as tax collectors in particular that made them objects of popular loathing.

    I heard a version where the Sheriff shot Robin's dog with an arrow, and that's what started the whole thing.

  • CE||

    Yeah, I heard that version too. It was after someone shipped a bundle of untaxed tobacco to Robin's house.

  • LarryA||

    [spoiler]

    The liberals must have missed the part were Robin stole the seed back from the church. In the dark ages the church was as close to a corporation as you could get.

  • Psychic Octopus||

    The horror! Will somebody please think of the cute choir boys?

  • ||

    Liberals are too obtuse to understand that the only "rich" in Robin's time were the nobility and the church. Both of these entities were the defacto government during Robin's era with the nobility doing what they pleased and the church sanctioning the behavior for their thirty pieces of silver. Who the hell do the freakin' libs think Robin stole from? The wealthy carpenter?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Both of these entities were the defacto government during Robin's era with the nobility doing what they pleased and the church sanctioning the behavior for their thirty pieces of silver.


    How were nobles a de facto government instead of a government in the truest sense?

  • Larry R Martin||

    Hear Hear!! Well said. Fits with my 55 year relationship with Robin Hood!

  • ||

    I've chosen a special mission of my own. I'm after a man whom I want to destroy. He died many centuries ago, but until the last trace of him is wiped out of mens' minds, we will not have a decent world to live in.

  • ||

    Ayn Rand in her novel Atlas Shrugged declared the fabled outlaw a symbol of evil—taking from the productive and giving to the parasites.

    No idea what Rand was talking about there--either this statement is taken out of context or neither did she. Feudal lords produced nothing; their only trade/skill was being born into the nobility. 100% of the wealth of all feudal lords originated from the land that they held by force and the indentured labor that worked it for them. Feudal lords were the government; the police, the IRS, the Pentagon, and the courts all rolled into one.

  • ||

    It is not taken completely out of context. The idea was vocalized by Ragnar Danneskjöld. His anti-Robin-Hood speech starts off with a description, not of Robin Hood as such, but of how Robin Hood is remembered--not "as a champion of property, but as a champion of need, not as a defender of the robbed, but as a provider of the poor." So it seems like Rand was vilifying the currently popular "rob-from-the-rich-give-to-the-poor" version of the legend, while recognizing that the original material did not portray such a figure.

  • ||

    You need to check the original source. Rand knew that the 'real' Robin Hood stole from the government and it's agents and gave to the taxed.

    However she also knew what his story had been twisted to symbolize.

    So when she 'declared the fabled outlaw a symbol of evil'. Rest assured she was apprised of the best information on the actuality of Robin Hood.

  • CE||

    Of course, those crushing medieval taxes were about half what we pay today....

  • HDT||

    "it is more than a little troubling to see alleged liberals speaking of liberty and individual rights in a tone of sarcastic dismissal."

    It is more than a little funny to watch arm-chair "libertarians" get all indignant when someone obliquely ridicules their religion of self-love by poking fun at the Tea Party.

  • Corey S.||

    Just admit it- You wish we were still a British colony.

  • Rich Marotta||

    Long before Mel's movies there was The 2000 Year Old Man. A big selling comedy albums. The interviewer, Carl Reiner, asks the 2000 year old man, Mel Brooks, if he knew Robin Hood. He says, "Yes" When Reiner asks what he was like, Brooks says. “He stole from the rich and kept everything."

  • David Singhiser||

    I enjoyed your article Cathy. It is more than disheartening to see liberals (I should say progressives, they don't deserve the name liberals) to be so contemptuous of civil liberties and freedom. The Sheriff was just as contemptuous.

  • HDT||

    So this is modern libertarianism? Rothbard would puke if he could read this adolescent drivel.

  • ||

    Thanks for the Robin Hood article Cathy.Many of the film critics wrote reviews of this film ranting about how Ridley Scott had gotten the legend of Robin Hood wrong. Actually some the reviews were just over the top political gibberish.Thanks for your analysis of Robin Hood,a medieval folk hero for the ages,not just a guy in green tights in a Hollywood film.

  • ||

    This article is tea-bagger garbage. Robin Hood's true legacy was fighting against the Norman aristocrats to help the Saxon peasants. During the 1950s in Indiana, Robin Hood was banned reading in some school districts because of right-wing bigots who thought Robin Hood was promoting socialism. Not that there is anything wrong with socialism.

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