Longtime Hit & Run readers may remember Mateusz Machaj's argument that the '80s action series The A Team was actually anarcho-capitalist propaganda. In a similar spirit, I pass along Darrin Knode's contrarian take on The Andy Griffith Show, in which the author exalts Sheriff Andy Taylor as a symbol of the nightwatchman state. Or perhaps—despite the man's profession—a society with no state at all:
Andy Griffith acted like a man. He behaved time and again like a compassionate human being and not as an officer of the state, not as an embodiment of the government, dogma incarnate. No, he was more of a negotiator than a guard or a civil violence figure, a policeman. He tried to settle matters through arbitration and restitution, which often ended in both parties being satisfied or even one admitting his wrongdoing after being reasoned with. He rarely ever arrested anyone who was truly non-violent, and even the violent were treated with a base respect for life.
And for his civil and peaceful behavior, it was he who held the respect of the whole of the community, and as the superior man to the state figure Barney. Andy constantly corrects the mistakes of Barney, who fouls up the absolute simplest of tasks. His incompetence is caused by applying almost childlike bullheadedness and forceful behavior to all scenarios and his need to be everyone's boss.