Politics

A Libertarian Rebel

What Ridley Scott's new film gets right about the legend of Robin Hood

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The new Ridley Scott film Robin Hood, which has opened to mixed reviews on its merits as entertainment, is also drawing some critics' political ire. In New York's leftist weekly, 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"; the film, she scoffs, is "a rousing love letter to the tea party movement." On a similar note, the New York Times' A.O. Scott mocks Robin Hood as "one big medieval tea party":

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 one may think of Scott's newest incarnation of the Robin Hood legend, it is more than a little troubling to see alleged liberals speak 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 with 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 wealth redistribution—and this is reflected in many previous screen versions of the Robin Hood story.

As scholars have noted, 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 loathing by peasants and commoners. Robin Hood is also frequently shown helping men who face barbaric punishments for hunting in the royal forests, a pursuit permitted to nobles and strictly forbidden to the lower classes in medieval England; in other words, he is opposing privilege bestowed by political power, not 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 is often portrayed as a man fighting to reclaim his unjustly confiscated lands—and against high taxes. Indeed, even the hilarious Mel Brooks parody Men in Tights (1993), a send-up of Robin Hood movie conventions, has the hero (Cary Elwes) telling Prince John, "If you don't stop levying these evil taxes, I will lead the people of England in a revolt against you!" Tea, anyone?

Perhaps the most libertarian version of the Robin Hood story comes from an unlikely source for libertarianism—the BBC, in its 2006-2009 Robin Hood series, starring Jonas Armstrong. (This smartly written, excellently acted show that gave the medieval legend a quirky modern edge, unfortunately failed to find a large audience in the United States, where it aired on the obscure BBC America cable channel.) The series 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 sometimes referred to the outlaws as "terrorists."

However, this Robin Hood's libertarian streak was 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: "Taxes, we do not like," declares Little John. This 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: 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."

Of course, the idea of Robin Hood as an early socialist has had a lot of currency as well. Ayn Rand declared the fabled outlaw a symbol of evil—taking from the productive and giving to the parasites—in her novel Atlas Shrugged; on the other side of the political spectrum, a coalition of international aid groups in England recently made him 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, while he has many different faces, is above all a fighter for freedom from tyranny—and that's what made him a legend.

Cathy Young writes a weekly column for RealClearPolitics and is also a contributing editor at Reason magazine. She blogs at cathyyoung.wordpress.com/. This article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

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  1. If it irritates the socialists at the NYT I’ll have to go see it.

    1. exactly my thoughts

    2. +1

    3. Yep. I may take the kiddies to see it too.

      1. JW never takes me to the movies. 🙁

        1. That’s because you treat every movie as a Rocky Horror Picture Show. One can only take so much squirt bottles and rice. That, and you broke your promise about the laser pointer.

          1. and him wearing nothing but buttless leather chaps can’t help either.

          2. Well, maybe you shouldn’t have taken me to the late-night double feature picture show while you were dressed in nothing but fancy gold lam? nuthuggers and a blond Ringo wig. I get confused easily.

            1. I bet you two made a lovely couple.

            2. “There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.”

              1. “I don’t hate the Dutch. I love the Dutch. That’s why I hold them to a higher standard.”

        2. Don’t worry his probation conditions are that he don’t go within 200 feet of a G of PG rated movie or a Chucky Cheese. So he probably will be looking for someone to take.

          1. Chucky set me up! I’m innocent!

            1. Ah, Chucky Cheese… does the pizza still taste like the cardboard it’s frozen too?

              1. Or, rather, “to.” Stupid typing.

              2. There was a Chuck E Cheese in my neighborhood when I was a kid. We (a group of 12/13 year-olds) used to go in there to play the video games. As soon as they found out we weren’t in a group with parental supervision, they’d kick us out.

                They shut down a year or so later. I wonder if that “get rid of customers” business model has something to do with it.

    4. Agreed. I wasn’t planning to see it. Now I will.

    5. I concur. I was never much of a Russell Crowe fan, and Robin Hood was always a myth that the looters like to invoke, but I’ll go see it anyway.

      -jcr

  2. Great article and great movie! It truly was a libertarian message that the movie portrayed, and I am glad to see that so many people are seeing the movie!

  3. Wow, the Tea Party must be gaining momentum. Hollywood’s Brits, half-Swedes, Aussies and Kiwis are making “rousing love letters to the tea party movement.” 😉 Wow.

    1. Yeah, I’m sure they based Maid Marion’s character on Sara Palin too:) I’ll have to check it out although the Costner version will be hard to beat. Alan Rickman was great as the Sheriff of Nottingham. He did one of the best dying scenes ever.

      1. I’d like to beat the people who brought us the Costner version. It sucked ass. Though Rickman was great as always.

        1. “You! Ten o’clock. You! Ten fifteen. …And bring a friend.”

          1. One of the great, underutilized talents in film.

          2. No food for the beggars and cancel Christmas. As sucky as that movie was, there can only be one Sheriff of Nottingham. Living proof there are no small parts of small movies, just small actors.

            1. Is Rickman ever not great?

              1. Never. Lots of actors can be great in a great movie. But to be great in a bad movie takes real talent.

                1. I truly cannot think of a sucky Alan Rickman performance. There may be one or two where the script/character was so crappy as to bury him, but I can’t think of one.

                  I remember liking him in The January Man, which was otherwise a disappointing (due to the strong cast) flick. I thought he and Kline worked pretty well together. In fact, I think Rickman would be a good co-star in the Otto movie I insist upon.

                  1. Dogma must qualify under your first caveat. If that movie had a bright spot, it was Al.

                  2. And January Man had some really good shots of Mary Stewart Master Antonio’s rack. I always liked her a lot. So seeing her rack made any move bearable.

                    1. I think you’re merging actresses, but I know who you’re talking about.

        2. As far as I’m concerned he was the star of the show anyways. It’s no great epic for sure, but I found it entertaining. Maybe my expectations were lower given Postman and Waterworld.

      2. I blame the Costner version for introducing gunpowder. Not every movie has to have explosions, you nimrods.

        1. I was actually somewhat pleasantly surprised by Waterworld. Of course, that may have been because I was expecting something Alexander-level terrible.

          1. Nah, it blew. Like a whale.

  4. (This smartly written, excellently acted show that gave the medieval legend a quirky modern edge, unfortunately failed to find a large audience in the United States, where it aired on the obscure BBC America cable channel.)

    I tried to watch it, but by 2007, the other fourteen million hours of ham-handed and -headed OMFG BUSH! shows had dulled the “modern edge” a bit.

  5. I’ll add that, the distinction of Robin Hood as a libertarian hero fighting against oppressive taxes and Robin Hood as “taking from the rich to give to the poor” is incredibly, utterly, and hopelessly ahistoric. Medieval and feudal societies were not capitalistic in any way we might possibly recognize, short of defining capitalism as wealth inequality. The state’s largesse, rather than the creation of wealth, served as the sole defining principle on which the distribution of wealth took place. To “rob from the rich to give to the poor” in such a society was indistinguishable from challengning excessive state power.

    1. Excellent point.

    2. Good point. If you were rich back then, it was because of your family and your political connections. There weren’t peasants building a financial empire by starting a business in their barn. Class mobility was nonexistent.

      1. Yes but there was a merchant class, especially in the high middle ages. And a lot of the noble class were really poor. Collecting taxes was hard. And if you were a middling noble, you owed the king a certain number of properly soldiers every year, which cost a fortune. If you didn’t have a well traveled bridge or a wool fair to produce revenue, you were sucking hind tit.

        That being said, the powerful nobleman did get into business. And some of them became immensely rich. John of Gaunt was the equivalent of a billionaire in his day. And they were often complete assholes who roared around the country side with large groups of armed men and no regard for anyone else’s safety or dignity. This caused a tremendous amount of resentment against the “rich” that culminated in the Peasant Revolt of 1381. Interestingly enough, people generally still loved the King. Richard personally intervened on the field at Smithfield shouting “You shall have no captain but me” and with the help of a few promises for improvements he soon broke, ended the revolt.

        1. culminated in the Peasant Revolt of 1381
          Peasants are always revolting.

          1. The chickens are revolting!

          2. Well, of course they’re revolting. Are they rebelling?

      2. Class mobility was actually just beginning. That is in fact where Robin Hood came from; he was among the first of the budding middle class of yeomen. Not unproductive and theiving nobility or oppressed agricultural serfs, but rather tradesman who would produce a product and sell it to market.

    3. Thanks for the favorable comments, guys.

      The really pathetic thing is that the early ballads Ms. Young refers to specifically cite Robin Hood as a yeoman. Given his specialty in the longbow, a clearly middle class weapon, as opposed to armored swordplay, this only makes sense. By almost any rational analysis, Robin Hood was a member of the incipient middle class. As such, it only makes sense that he would have a big problem with feudal state power.

      1. How bourgeois!

    4. Good point, but there is one point I would pick at a bit. At the time, the notion of a nation state did not even really exist yet. It was not the state’s largess that defined how wealth was distributed, but the personal largess of whatever royal or noble person controlled the area.

      1. And in what meaningful way did the royal/noble not equal the state? A guy with arms who can use them with impunity to enforce the law seems the defining characteristic of both systems.

        1. And in what meaningful way did the royal/noble not equal the state? A guy with arms who can use them with impunity to enforce the law seems the defining characteristic of both systems.

          I suspect this is how liberals view those evil corporations. Robber barons whose push for a return to a feudalistic society where the powerful ful few rule is prevented only by Holy Goverment where only the (correct and deserving) powerful few will rule.

          1. Well, there is one slight difference. No corporation has the legal authority to kill people. The feudal lord and the state both have that authority.

    5. Yeah that’s what I was thinking. When the government is rich and everyone else is poor, it’s easy to conflate opposition to government with a desire for wealth redistribution.

    6. On the other hand, John did sign the Magna Carta, which basically hulled the Divine Right Unitary theory of government. Being ruled by the King, and his father’s bastards, and his father’s father’s bastards’ sons was progress.

    7. On the other hand, John did sign the Magna Carta, which basically hulled the Divine Right Unitary theory of government. Being ruled by the King, and his father’s bastards, and his father’s father’s bastards’ sons was progress.

      1. damn you threaded comments. damn you to hell.

      2. Signed it “at swordpoint”, he didn’t really want to do it.

    8. You’re ignoring the fact that there was also a merchant class. Even in medieval times, there were a few people who got considerably richer than the average by delivering goods that people bought willingly.

      -jcr

    9. Good point.

  6. Is anyone else reminded of that Python sketch of Dennis Moore playing Robin Hood?

    “He robs from the poor, and gives to the rich. Stupid bitch.”

    So prescient.

    1. (from memory)

      Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore, galloping through the night…
      Soon every lupin in the land will be in his mighty hands!
      He steals them from the rich, and gives them to the poor!
      Mr. Moore. Lupin donor! Extra-or-dinary!

  7. alleged liberals

    Yes, they prefer the term “progressive” now – it polls much better, and has the indubitable advantage that they no longer need to be worried about appearing as though they cared a rat’s ass about liberty.

    And I agree with Enjoy Every Sandwich – knowing this movie irritates the progressives, I may just go out and see it after all.

    1. I’m on Fandango as we speak.

  8. Of course, the idea of Robin Hood as an early socialist has had a lot of currency as well. Ayn Rand declared the fabled outlaw a symbol of evil?taking from the productive and giving to the parasites?in her novel Atlas Shrugged;

    Of course, she acknowledges that the actual Robin Hood was very much in line with what she thinks, and that she is only attacking what he has become.

    1. Robin Hood: He steals from the illegitimate monarch and corrupt tax collector and gives back to the taxpayers. Way to think that through, Ayn.

      1. Erm, she does think it through? Read what I said.

        1. I did. Che Guevara has become a guy on a T-shirt at the mall, but I wouldn’t call him a symbol of the free market.

          If she had sense, she would have played up the right story, not given so much credit to the wrong one.

          1. Wow, what a lame counterattack to try to mask that you clearly did not read the post before popping off at the mouth.

            Just stop embarrassing yourself.

          2. Right story, wrong one, what’s the difference? It’s fiction. Last I heard, research into any historic antecedents of Robin Hood turned up no more than a bandit named Robert Hod.

          3. But if Ragnar Dajikold was able to steal the gifts to clyptocarcies to provide return taxes to the producers, and is a hero for doing so, and Robin Hood is a hero for stealing from illegitimate monarch and his tax collectors to give to those who earned it the idea is in agreement.

  9. “Ayn Rand declared the fabled outlaw a symbol of evil?taking from the productive and giving to the parasites?in her novel Atlas Shrugged;”

    How does anyone ever take Rand seriously?

    1. STEVE SMITH LIKE LOVE SCENES.

    2. Ok, I’ll bite the troll bait…

      Monolith, how does anyone ever take Hegel seriously? Heidegger? Schopenhauer?

      It always amazes me when people attack Rand as some kind of crank, and turn around in the next breath and quote “real philosophers” like Hegel who are basically incoherent madmen when juxtaposed with the relatively commonsensical Ayn Rand.

      Not that Monolith did this. But I’ve met plenty who have.

      1. Ever tried to read Heidigger? If there was a hell, I’m sure all his works would be in the library.

    3. Wow, that’s only been said about twenty times already, Monolith.

    4. How does anyone ever take Rand seriously?

      You realize Atlas Shrugged is work of fiction, right?

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

    “Liberal” hasn’t meant “open minded, tolerant, desirous of freedom” for what, 30 years?

    What A.O. Wilson is missing is that even in the “rob from the rich, give to the poor” versions, the rich got that way by using the state to oppress the poor. You didn’t get rich in the middle ages though hard work, or building a better mousetrap, but by squeezing as much out of the peasants as you could. Robin Hood never so much “redistributed” wealth as gave back to the poor what was unjustly taken from them.

    1. You forget: to most progressives, the difference between the two is one of semantics. One person can only become rich if he exploits another, capitalism is evil and unfair, etc.

  11. I was an early ranter about the politically motivated negative reaction of some critics.

    1. Wow, shite. 5 whole days ago? Props.

      1. Thank you, The Art. I got vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals.

  12. “even the hilarious Mel Brooks parody Men in Tights (1993)”

    Hilarious? Um, no.

    1. And why should the people listen to you?

      1. It did have Cary Elwes and Dave Chappelle. So at least I give it credit for that.

        1. Chappelle was in that flick? I did not know that.

          1. Achoo? White men can’t jump?

          2. “I did not know that.”

            ProL has been possessed by the ghost
            of Ed McMahon!

            You are correct sir!

            1. Close. That phrase was Johnny’s.

              1. DAMNIT!

                DAMNIT
                and unfortunately…
                You are correct Sir!

          3. He played Ahchoo. He had one of my favorite lines:

            Ahchoo: Hey! Blinkin!

            Blinkin: Why do you keep calling me Abe Lincoln?

            Ahchoo: I didn’t say, “Abe Lincoln.” I said, “Hey! Blinkin!”

            Classic Mel.

            1. Achoo: (puts on horn-rimmed glasses) Look at yourselves. Take a look at yourselves.

            2. Has anyone seen Kyle?

      2. I remember loving the movie as a kid. I really wish I hadn’t picked it up in the bargain bin a few months back. It was a waste of time, and it ruined a perfectly good childhood memory.

  13. Karl Hess defends Robin Hood (and, inter alia, the Tupamaros):

    http://mises.org/journals/lf/1969/1969_11_01.pdf

    1. In short, while Robin was robbing, he was doing nothing that should offend libertarian sensibilities and the fact that so much of what he was doing was aimed specifically against state authority should actually draw libertarian cheers. The subsequent fact that he took some of the loot from hls anti-state forays and returned it to the people most sorely victimized by the state should draw not only libertarian cheers but humanist ones as well.

      Good stuff… sure wish Karl were still around today…

  14. I’ve often thought you guys should claim Robin Hood, after all his main foe is the tax collecting sheriff!

    1. Yes. And John was run off by the petty nobleman middle class of the time for violating what they considered their property rights.

      1. Magna Carta is usually considered a key document in liberal (in both political senses) history. Of course, since today’s left appears to love not-very-restricted government power, it’s hardly surprising that they’d take a pro-state position (which is the implication if you don’t like the idea of people rebelling against the king).

        1. But the King could have done so much good if it hadn’t been for those obstructionist nobleman. He probably went to Oxford after all. Who are a bunch of backwoods man with peerages to tell the educated elite how to run the country?

          1. They bitterly clung to their icons and their halbreds.

  15. a coalition of international aid groups in England recently made him their mascot when they proposed a “Robin Hood tax”

    The irony is overwhelming.

    1. Yet unintentional.

    2. Nothing new about Robin Hood taxes. They have been used to redistribute wealth to fund urban school districts for years in the States.

    3. Sort of like seeing Andrew Jackson’s face on the most widely circulated Federal Reserve Note…

  16. You fuckwit losertarians are the real clich?s.

    1. Says the greifer twat who has nothing better to do with his life.

    2. You’re late.

    3. Not like internet trolling, that shit is cutting edge!

      Loserterian! It works on so many levels!

      1. Max will never admit that the three of you just wiped the floor with him.

        1. That’s because simply by replying to him, they have already lost.

          1. Noooooooooooooo.

  17. A lot of these so-called liberals tried to claim V for Vendetta as theirs, too, utterly missing that it was an allegory against both kinds of extremism (left and right) and quite a libertarian movie. The graphic novel, I am less certain about. XD I’ve long since given up reading liberal movie reviews.

    1. Agree 100 percent with your take on V. However, there are some clear liberal themes in the V movie. Namely, the gay guy with a copy of the Koran in his basement. I took that to be a shot at conservatives.

      1. There are plenty of libertarian shots to be taken at conservatives too.

      2. There were. But there were also plenty of swats at the left, too: IE, what happens anytime an unarmed population marches against those with guns? And the major theme was really ‘take responsibility for yourself, don’t let your government take it for you.’

        It had a lot of anti-Bush imagery, but it also had a lot of insidious anti-statism. I actually initially rolled my eyes when I started watching it, thinking it was the typical anti-Bush tripe without any real substance, and by the end of the movie, I was going, “Holy shit, this is awesome.”

        1. The very best part is when the cop shoots the little girl and then looks up to see about a dozen angry citizens approaching him.

          1. The very best part is when the cop shoots the little girl and then looks up to see about a dozen angry citizens approaching him.

            Not having seen the movie, how many bullets did he have left?

            1. It didn’t matter since he was unable to react. A beefy bastard with a criket bat made sure of that. The crowd finished the job. Makes one wish for this type of mob justice when cops light minors on fire and then shoot them. You know, because bullets are almost as good as water.

          2. Absolutely excellent moment in the film.

    2. Alan Moore wrote the comic book, it was not libertarian, at least not intentionally

      1. I know. But I’ll take an awesome unintentional libertarian ideal. XD

      2. Alan Moore’s anarchism at least seems to be honest, unlike the typical leftist totalitarian masquerading under that label.

        1. “typical leftist totalitarian masquerading under [anarchism]”

          I never could understand the concept of Left-anarchism. It seems like such an obvious oxymoron.

  18. “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”

    Talk about showing your true colors. She says that like it is a bad thing. Once upon a time, Liberals at least tried to maintain the lie that they were for individual liberties. Now they openly acknowledge that the individual liberty is in their opinion not a good thing.

    1. Yeah, I’m happy to see the attempt to rebrand from Liberal to Progressive now that they’ve made Liberal a dirty word. Not that Progressive is more descriptive of their true colors. But at least it’s use doesn’t besmirch the “true” liberals whom they stole the moniker from after they had made progressive a dirty word way back when.

      1. Maybe we will be able to reclaim “liberal”. I always wanted to call myself a liberal, until I found out that it doesn’t mean “leave people alone and let them do what they want if it doesn’t hurt anyone” to most people anymore.

        1. It used to. It has evolved from a starkly minarcist movement to one that incorporates government as the guarantor of certain advanced rights.

          1. Re: Tony,

            It has evolved from a starkly minarcist movement to one that incorporates government as the guarantor of certain advanced rights.

            That much is true – the government guarantees its right uber alles to take you to the cleaners.

          2. “certain advanced rights”

            e.g., “rights” that require someone else work to provide them.

            1. No, he has a right to gang up with others to take my hard-earned wealth and to distribute it among his gang. That’s what they call “natural rights” in their world. Might makes right.

              1. Your wealth is probably not “hard-earned,” and I don’t believe in natural rights for the same reason I don’t believe in leprechauns.

                I have yet to meet the libertarian who can justify some taxation and spending but not others solely on the moral claim that taxation is acquisition by force. Either taxation is collective action is legitimate or it isn’t, whether it’s to provide for a common defense or to provide universal social services is simply a policy issue, not a distinction of being voluntary or not.

                1. First off, let me say that in fact you are right that;

                  “Either taxation is collective action is legitimate or it isn’t,”

                  And the answer is that it is not legitimate, as it is an initiation of force for the purpose of taking money (or in the old days, sometimes direct goods) away from people involuntarily. It’s a relic of thousands of years of oppression, and there is nothing noble about it.

                  That said, there is a serious problem with saying that belief in natural rights is like belief in leprechauns.

                  Believing in leprechauns isn’t a philosophical issue, and as such, lack of belief doesn’t inherently imply a belief in something else – like unicorns. However, if you say you don’t believe in natural rights, you’re essentially saying that you don’t believe human beings are self-owners and have the right to control their own bodies. What you’re left with is the idea that fundamentally someone else rightfully has claim on your life, liberty and property.

                  Once we’ve established that you don’t have a right to control yourself, now it becomes a question of “who does?”.

                  In your world there is some weird legitimacy provided by majority rule, but there is no fundamental difference between the whims of the majority (which is a misnomer anyway) and the whims of an oligarchy or a dictator.

                  This also means that – as a gay man, you have no right to complain when people write laws banning homosexual activities. You don’t own your body, therefore, you cannot be surprised when someone else exercises control over it.

                  This isn’t an argument of belief in something silly or “nothing”, but an argument of two radically opposing view points on which you must choose a side.

                  Either you believe that you control you, or that it’s ok for someone else to control you. You’ve accepted that you don’t get to decide for yourself what you do… And so now you’re inevitably and perpetually open to accepting tyranny.

                2. How do you know that his wealth is not “hard-earned”? Is that *your* call? And how does it make any difference?

      2. Progressive isn’t descriptive of anything. It’s only more descriptive insofar as it’s vague and PR-tastic, instead of brazenly bullshit.

        1. Progressive is their external moniker. They commonly refer to themselves as Democratic Socialist in like company. While the term itself is oxymoronic, it does describe what their about better then Liberal or Progressive. Some may actually believe the “Democratic” part, but certainly the vanguard (elite, philosopher kings, whatever) believes in democracy only to the extent they can manipulate the masses to hand over more power to them.

        2. “Progressive” does correlate with their own self-narrative that their political vision is the inevitable future of all mankind.

    2. “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”

      Well, that sounds like some tea party shit, so there must be something wrong with it. I can’t decide if this sort of reactionary crap from progressives makes me like the tea party less or more.

    3. Really? Which liberal said that?

      The liberals you encounter are put in the position of defending government only because you are so insanely close to being anarchists that you would deny the facets of individual liberty that governments are meant to protect. We are still for individual liberty. You’re for individual liberty but only in theory, and it amounts to liberty only for those with the means to enjoy it.

      1. “Really? Which liberal said that?”

        The movie reviewer in the quote you fucking moron. She is disappointed the movie is about protecting individual rights rather than stealing from the rich, which says all you need to know about the modern liberal’s priorities.

      2. Re: Tony,

        The liberals you encounter are put in the position of defending government only because you are so insanely close to being anarchists that you would deny the facets of individual liberty that governments are meant to protect.

        That’s a red herring. Liberals (actually, Statists) have defended the State over individual liberty all the time. . . period.

        We are still for individual liberty.

        Well, strike me with a stick and call me a martyr! If by “we” you mean you and your dog down at the basement of your mom’s house, then I’ll bite.

        You’re for individual liberty but only in theory, and it amounts to liberty only for those with the means to enjoy it.

        That sounds more like something you would say – that individual liberty is good . . . . as long as NOBODY has the means to enjoy it, instead of just some. Hence your oh-so “reluctant” position of defending the State from the attacks of these here recalcitrant anarchists . . . Bwa ha ha ha ha!!!

        Give the martyr a headstone, he deserves it.

        1. Old Mexican

          Wow, you made especially quick work Tony “The Chrony” Choadny today.

        2. OM,

          To you, a self-described anarchist, everyone else (which includes almost all people) is a statist, so if that’s true then it can hardly be pejorative.

          If you understood the history of political philosophy you’d know that liberalism began as a more antigovernment movement focused on individual liberty. In the New Deal era liberalism evolved to incorporate a strong state that facilitates individual liberty, but that liberty has always been at liberalism’s core. I recognize that you can’t see this possibility, I submit that liberalism is simply a more sophisticated version of libertarianism, and that you’re just not sophisticated in your thinking.

          I defend the state here because most everyone here is to my left with respect to state power. As a liberal it is a given that abuses of the state are to be fought against. It’s the primary motivation for liberalism. It’s the common cause you and I share against more authoritarian (right-wing) people. I just recognize the other extreme (which you inhabit) as being just as detrimental to individual liberty as authoritarianism.

          1. My problem is that many or most of the people who call themselves liberals are just as responsible for the abuses of state that liberals are supposed to “fight against”.

          2. Re: Tony,

            To you, a self-described anarchist[…]

            Self avowed, Tony. Self avowed.

            […] everyone else (which includes almost all people) is a statist, so if that’s true then it can hardly be pejorative.

            For a prostitute the term “a prostitute” is hardly pejorative. What’s your point?

            If you understood the history of political philosophy you’d know that liberalism began as a more antigovernment movement focused on individual liberty.

            And then a miracle happened! Socialists started calling themselves “liberal”!

            In the New Deal era liberalism evolved to incorporate a strong state that facilitates individual liberty,

            You’re speaking in oxymorons. A strong state is anathema to individual liberty – it cannot be any other way, unless the state had a death wish.

            […]I submit that liberalism is simply a more sophisticated version of libertarianism,

            Stop torturing words so much, Tony, you’re making them bleed definitions that do not exist. Modern liberalism cannot be construed as a more sophisticated form of libertarianism unless you want to use “sophisticated” in its strictest etymological sense: from sophism, i.e. deception.

            and that you’re just not sophisticated in your thinking.

            But, you are, because you’re a liberal . . . Right?

            I defend the state here because most everyone here is to my left with respect to state power.

            This is pure nonsense. You either defend an idea because it is moral or ethical or cogent, not just because everybody hates it.

            As a liberal it is a given that abuses of the state are to be fought against. It’s the primary motivation for liberalism.

            Which explains why the liberals are so enamoured of conscription and other modern forms of State slavery.

            It’s the common cause you and I share against more authoritarian (right-wing) people [sic]. I just recognize the other extreme (which you inhabit) as being just as detrimental to individual liberty as authoritarianism.

            Don’t forget to take your meds . . . the effect is starting to dissipate.

      3. “You’re for individual liberty but only in theory, and it amounts to liberty only for those with the means to enjoy it.”

        That is just another way of saying that you value equality more than you value liberty. No thanks.

        1. I value both, and one is a means to the other.

          Nobody, anywhere has enjoyed an absolute right to every dime he gets his hands on–except tyrants. It’s not in the constitution, it’s not anywhere. Society=wealth redistribution. The only question is what the distribution is. Somewhere between communism and oligarchy is where individual freedom is maximized.

          1. That is your problem Tony. You think that oligarchies arise on their own. Oligarchies only arise with the help of governments. No one stays in power for long under a capitalist system, eventually your product becomes obsolete and organization outdated. It only with the help of government power that oligarchs stay in power.

            It is funny. You want so hard to fight the oligarchs. But everything you support does nothing but help create and sustain them.

            1. You’re making an argument for anarchy, which I know you don’t actually believe in. Since government is gonna exist, isn’t it best to safeguard it against the abuse of capitalists who might game it in their favor? How do you do that with an ineffectual government?

              1. That is what you don’t get. Monopolies never last in a capitalist system. There is too much temptation for the individual members to cheat. It is simple game theory. Monopolies only last when the monopolist can get the government to enforce it by law.

                The more government redistributes wealth and determines who wins and who loses, the more the powerful and the connected can manipulate government for their benefit. The government rarely operates in support of the little guy.

                1. John,

                  You can’t just deny something exists because it doesn’t confirm what you want to believe. Natural monopolies are quite possible and there are plenty of examples of them. They owe their existence to the absence of government intervention.

                  1. Sure, Tony… Natural monopolies can exist. And one of two things happens… Like the single grocery store that was available in the town I went to high school in, some monopolies are simply a function of a limited market and a company that fills the available needs. In this case, the monopoly may stick around for a while… But guess what, no one is remotely harmed by it.

                    The alternative is a world where that grocery store starts charging insane prices and angering their customers. Then ya know what happens? Someone else opens a new store and there is a mass exodus of customers from the first one, putting that first one out of business – or better yet, forcing both stores to innovate & lower prices.

                    That’s the way it works without government either giving special benefits to the first store, or using laws to prevent the second store from opening… Unfortunately we live in a world where government does both of those things even at the local level – repeatedly.

                    I know I’ve explained this before, and you have yet to address the arguments made here… ever.

              2. Ah-ha! We finally get to the heart of it! It’s the “abuses of the capitalists” that are the problem. Damn those capitalists!

                1. I wouldn’t say we’ve gotten to the heart of anything. By “abuses of the capitalists,” he could mean rent-seeking. He could mean businesses not being held responsible for externalities (like the BP oil spill). Or, he could mean things happening in the marketplace of which he does not personally approve. We could draw inferences based on previous comments , but that’s a time-consuming game to play.

    4. Now they openly acknowledge that the individual liberty is in their opinion not a good thing.

      No. You misunderstand. Individual liberty is wonderful…as long as you believe and act within pre-approved constrictions.

  19. Don’t the “real” (i.e. earliest) versions of the Robin Hood tale have him stealing from the rich and keeping all the money for himself?

  20. Meanwhile ? and believe me, there is a whole lot of meanwhile in this crowded, lumbering film ? King Richard has been replaced by his younger brother John (Oscar Isaac). Richard was nothing great: he nearly bankrupted the country to finance his crusades. But John is much worse…

    This sounds so strikingly familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger on it….

    1. Are you suggesting that we’ll force King Obama to sign the Extra-Magna Carta?

      1. If only.

        “Here is where you repeal and renounce ObamaCare. Here is where you allow GM and the banks to revert to their natural owners and allow them to fail. And here is where you and Nancy Pelosi publicly felch one another in the town square.”

      2. Actually, that sounds so awesome I might just use up one of my wishes.

  21. What frustrated me about the NY Times review that I linked to above (and which Cathy quotes in her article) is the needless and endless commentary on the politics of the film. Does the same reviewer go on and on about the leftist political subtext found in many more movies? I somehow doubt it.

    It’s a movie. I can like Star Trek without liking its politics. Why can’t a professional reviewer leave that crap alone?

    1. “Why can’t a professional reviewer leave that crap alone?”

      Because she swims in a sea of leftist politics. So when she sees something like Avatar, she doesn’t see politics but just the world as it is. You know, “reality has a liberal bias”. That kind of stuff. But when she sees any politics that outside the liberal New York cocoon she lives in, she is completely taken aback that there ever could be political content in a movie.

      1. Exactly! Many of these people surround themselves in their own bias that reality becomes this world they have created for themselves. I have to say my favorite thing is seeing liberals try to psycho analyze conservatives or libertarians. Like “you see the conservative male is angry because he feels threatened by females and minorities” or “they have lower IQs and are easily afraid of new things so they try to fight progress”.

    2. Re: Pro Libertate,

      Why can’t a professional reviewer leave that crap alone?

      “And the scorpion replied to the frog as both were drowning: Because that is what I do.” Aesop.

      1. I guess, but I don’t see the necessary connection.

    3. There really is “You’re wither with us or against us” menatiality on the left. Working in an .org that is breathtakingly to the left, you should see the sneers come on faces when the word ‘republican’ or ‘conservative’ is mentioned, unless of course, it’s in mock farce at a republican’s expense that exhibits all the subtlety of a 3rd grade art project.

      Conservatives have their issues as well, but at least they have an “frienemy” philosophy, not that that always produces winners.

      1. wither = either.

    4. Maybe she actually thinks people give a crap what she says?

  22. Uh, politicizing movies is so very TEAM RED TEAM BLUE. Let’s be clear here: Ridley Scott, who is a very good director, but has his…misfires, is trying to reproduce his success with Gladiator by duplicating the star, the historic nature of it, and undoubtedly the feel. I will have to see it to verify, but my initial take is that it will suck, because it’s an attempt to capture past glory.

    I love much of Ridley’s work–I’m the first person who will recommend something like White Squall–but he has also done utter shit like Hannibal.

    1. I’ll forgive him much for bringing us Alien and Bladerunner.

      Ever see The Duellists?

      1. Don’t forget G.I. Jane!

  23. Political discussion aside, I liked the movie until all suspension of disbelief ceased around the amphibious French assault scene. Medieval Higgins boats, seriously? And just in case you weren’t rolling your eyes enough, Marian shows up out of nowhere in mail with a band of adolescents. Too bad, because I really dug the rest of the movie.

    1. Ugh!! I don’t know why they have to always do that. Isn’t the real thing interesting enough? Does Hollywood have to make everything completely fucking ridiculous?

      1. Isn’t the real thing interesting enough?

        That’s what they had in Props.

    2. Maybe we can have a movie where William the Conqueror has an amphibious assault ship. Harold will defend England with his network of machine gun pillboxes. Hastings will be in doubt until William’s Harriers arrive.

      1. Saving Squire Ryan.

        1. Or the real Band of Brothers: Airborne division parachutes into France, has to hold off French tanks at Agincourt.

          1. I went back in time once. I can do it again.

            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080736/

        2. Scott actually stole the soldiers getting shot underwater scenes from ‘Private Ryan’. The movie was a in the 8 out 10 stars range until then for me.

      2. I think that many Americans wouldn’t see a problem with that, since they haven’t the faintest idea when guns were developed, who Harold was, or when airplanes were invented.

        1. Well, since Leonardo da Vinci didn’t have that hydraulic-powered battle exoskeleton until well into the 15th Century, I doubt any Europeans had machine guns in the 11th Century.

          1. Ah, yes, eccentric Florentine playboy inventor is captured by French troops, but defeats them with his arc-reactor-powered suit.

            1. Ya’know, Marvel should have made a prequel to 1602 and have done this.

    3. At the risk of spoiling the movie, could you tell me who the martial artists are in the movie?

      I hate movies that don’t include a lot of eastern martial arts.

      Think how much better Saving Private Ryan would have been if they had replaced that sissy sniper dude with a ninja. Way cooler to swarm up a sheer wall and snap a dude’s neck with a snap kick than it is to shoot him through the scope with a rifle (too unbelievable for my taste).

    4. Why does every Hollywood movie have to portray women as either hooker analogs or warrior princesses who can beat up men twice their size?

  24. When one considers tax rates in Medieval Englad were about 30% and were imposed at varying rates, one wonders when the contemporary Robin might emerge.

    1. All about the marginal utility of money. We are so much richer now. We don’t miss the 50% the government steals today near as much as people who were one bad harvest away from starvation missed the 30% back then.

      1. Who doesn’t miss the 50%??

        1. We miss it. Just not as much as they did. For them it meant starvation.

          1. That would explain my abdominal cramping.

  25. I don’t think I would like this movie even directed by the libertarianish Ridley Scott because I can’t imagine a dour Robin Hood. I loved the Errol Flynn movie when I was a kid, and if it doesn’t start in that lighthearted spirit I will only be disappointed with the outcome.

  26. One other thing to consider when thinking about the middle ages is what a force for freedom firearms have been. Before firearms, the oppressed were completely screwed. It takes tremendous skill and training to use medieval arms effectively. And the armor and the weapons are expensive. Worse still, until the invention of the pike and the perfection of the long bow, infantry was defenseless against heavy cavalry. And only the powers that be could afford cavalry. And it took years of practice to become proficient at shooting a long bow. The populace had no chance against the government.

    Robin Hood is a fantasy. It is a fantasy born out of the frustration of a people unable to rebel against their oppressors. But with the invention of cheap firearms, all that changed. Any person could shoot the king. And any group of people could form a guerrilla movement and give the government fits or even topple the government.

    1. Re: John,

      One other thing to consider when thinking about the middle ages is what a force for freedom firearms have been.

      Which explains the liberals (Statists,really) obscene hatred for firearms.

      1. Maybe one already exists, but I have never seen one. I think there is a really interesting history that could be written about the availability of firearms as a contributing factor in the rise of revolutionary movements and the end of absolute despotism.

      2. And yet another argument to allow the populace access to M1 Abrahms and Stinger Missles.

    2. The crossbow was considered evil when it was introduced because any klutz from the field could be taught in a few minutes to take out a fully-armoured knight on horseback.

      The crossbow was going to end war.

      1. So was the musket. And the handgun was considered even more evil. European governments tried to ban them out of concern for noble’s safety.

        1. The crossbow was the real end to war since it could punch through any armor that a man could carry.

    3. John, have you read the ’emberverse’ series by S.M. Stirling?

      He makes many of the same points as you.

      If not, you should, the series is pretty cool.

      1. No. I will check it out. Thanks.

  27. Whatever you believe, fine, that’s your beliefs, those are subjective. But I hate historical revisionism.

    The motto of the tea party was not “NO TAXATION.” It was “No taxation WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.” None of them were saying we shouldn’t pay taxes, rather that the colonies should have self-governance and the ability to spend our taxes on our own country, not export them to England.

    If you hate big government, taxes, social programs, etc, then say you hate those things (or say you are a Libertarian; but if you simply hate black people please don’t). Don’t call yourself the Tea Party and claim that is synonymous. History is what it is, don’t co-opt it for political purposes. That’s what the [insert hated other party here] does.

    1. If we’re going to discuss history, it’s fair to note that perhaps what upset the colonists more than anything was being forbidden from settling in the Indian lands won in the French and Indian War.

    2. The motto of the tea party was not “NO TAXATION.” It was “No taxation WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.” None of them were saying we shouldn’t pay taxes, rather that the colonies should have self-governance and the ability to spend our taxes on our own country, not export them to England.

      The problem with your narrative is that it is based upon a revision taught by fifth grade public school teachers. Taxation Without Representation was just one slogan among many, but it did not speak to the motives of the men who financed the rebellion most of which to be honest were self serving, and had little to do with political order, as the ridiculous buffoons of MSNBC would have you believe.

      The Tea Party named themselves that for the relation the original tea party had to the larger rebellion, not just one fractious event which symbolizes the spark that lit a fire as an end to itself. Why anyone thinks that there needs to be a perfect symmetry between event and group to avoid some misperceived cosmic level of hypocrisy is beyond me. It is a silly complaint.

    3. And as long as we are talking about history, it was only New England that ever got worked up about “taxation without representation”. It wasn’t until the intolerable acts where the British basically declared martial law in Boston that the mid Atlantic and the Southern colonies, fearing the same thing could happen to them, really got involved.

    4. “If you hate big government, taxes, social programs, etc, then say you hate those things”

      I hate those things!

      Also, at the time of the tea party there was no such thing as an income tax. Even if libertarians want to completely abolish the income tax we are still being more relaxed than the Boston tea partiers.

      1. The recent biography of Ben Franklin states that while he was representing the colonies in England he was told not to accept representation in parliament as a solution to the troubles.

  28. What we need in this country is sweeping Robin Hood P.R. reform.

    Seriously though, I knew I was going to see this movie as soon as I heard that the “The Village Voice” hated it.

    The judgement of Robin Hood in Atlas Shrugged was about Robin Hood as a popular symbol of socialism in a time when pro-soviet sentiment was rampant in America. I don’t think she was addressing any real historical events the legend may have been based on. The legend was being used to romanticize redistribution of wealth in America and it was on those terms that she shat on the thief in tights.

  29. What about the guy who “steals from poor and gives to rich — stupid bitch!”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp-R1o753pM

  30. Whatever one may think of Scott’s newest incarnation of the Robin Hood legend, it is more than a little troubling to see alleged liberals speak of liberty and individual rights in a tone of sarcastic dismissal.

    It would be troubling if it were something new. However, with the so-called liberals (Statists, really), dismissing individual rights comes as a matter of routine.

    1. It’s the ‘but’ clause that kills them.

      “I’m all for free speech, but…”
      “I’m all for gun ownership, but…”

      Anytime anybody throws the ‘but’ clause into a statement they’re trying to negate whatever comes before it.

      1. I’m not a racist, but…

      2. but monkeys one and all

        1. This made me laugh far more than it should have.

  31. Love how the Tea Party apparently invented the concepts of individual liberty, yet that’s still something to be sarcastic about.

    LOL! Crazy conservativerepublicianteapartylibertarians thinking government is bad. Those weirdos. Partisans have some damn short memories. Do they really think the problem in medieval England was capitalism, not tyrants?

  32. I saw this over the weekend and I felt the same way. My whole life, we are taught to believe that Robin Hood was all about redistributing wealth among his followers. In this film, he steals nothing that wasn’t taken by force. The ending is almost the perfect case for the Free State Project. After falling victom to the king’s muscle, him and his people retreat to the forest for a tax free life. Well, until the sequel anyway.

  33. BBC America occasionally airs V for Vendetta, which I find hilarious.

    1. But wasn’t that supposed to be some big post 9-11 allegory about Bush? I haven’t ever read the graphic novel. But it is my understanding that the Washowski brothers totally fucked up the book. In the book the villainous Prime Minister is actually well meaning and kind of tragic figure. The Wishowskis, being the complete morons that they are, turned it into a cartoon polemic.

      1. Yes and no. The PM in the book is just as much a poisonous villain, with a hefty dose of sexual perversion as well. The only tragedy is that he loves (in a sexual way) the computer system that allows him to exert control over the entire population through constant surveillance. He still ordered the political kidnappings and torture and the human experiments that produced V in a concentration camp.

        The tragic figure is the police captain that is repulsed by both V’s violence and the government’s action that V’s terrorism slowly reveals. (The whole virus sub-plot is not in the book, it’s just a good old fascism with heavy racial overtones takeover precipitated by a brief nuclear exchange between the USA and USSR.)

        The book actually admits that V doesn’t know what to do after his vendetta is finished, which is why he leaves up it up to Evie.

        1. Thanks. So is it fair to say the book is more complex and less of a polemic than the Washowskis made it in the movie?

          1. Much more so. They stripped all subtly out of it. By linking the movie to 9/11 Trutherism, they made it a bag of ass for the most part.

            1. I don’t know. There’s enough minarchist/anarchist sentiment in there that comes out very clearly (maybe in spite of the Wachowskis?) that I tend to ignore the completely unsubtle and caricatured digs at then-contemporary US Administration policies. It’s hokey, but I make a point to watch it on or around every 5th of November. It usually riles up my anti-government feelings more than even a Balko morning nutpunch.

          2. It depends on whether you take V’s perspective as an uncompromising anarchist as his own view or the author’s. But even then, it wasn’t really clear that anarchy was being promoted as an ideal state of society, rather than a chance to clean the slate and start over.

  34. KULTUR WAR KULTUR WAR

    Shut the fuck up, New York Times.

  35. What’s the color like in this version of Robin Hood?

    Every time I see a commercial for one of these blockbusters, it strikes me that the color pallette is so dark and almost denatured, dominated by dark blues and browns. It’s a far cry from the 1938 Errol Flynn Robin Hood and the other great three-strip Technicolor movies, which are visually lovely to watch.

  36. Michael Young, Cathy Young — can Michael Moynihan be far behind?

  37. Surely someone has lauded John Cleese’s version in Time Bandits?
    “Is that really necessary?”
    “‘e says, yeh, he’s afraid it is.”
    WHAM!

    1. “Thank you very much! Thank you very much. Thank you very very very VERY much!…What awful people.”

  38. “The poor are not just going to be absolutly thrilled, but considerably less poor.”

  39. I’m generally not that fond of quasi-history movies with a Big Message. Gladiator suffered from the same sort of historical distortions that Robin Hood appears to–i.e., Marcus Aurelius wanting to restore a Republic that had been dead for over 200 years, was based on an aristocracy of old Roman families that no longer existed, and was largely forgotten by then. Being historically inclined, I couldn’t get past this to enjoy the undeniably well-done aspects of the movie. I suspect Robin Hood is much the same.

    Reading the NYT review actually made me more likely to see it.

  40. The critic’s really mad because the movie messes with one of the left’s greatest accomplishments: changing Robin Hood from an anti-authority freedom fighter into a wealth redistributing hero.

  41. wait wait — there was something even bigger resurrected in the film: the debate over the precursor document to the Magna Carta: The Charter of Liberties. The author missing it, I can understand, but Reason commenters? C’mon!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_of_Liberties

    1. I’ve run across that reading history, but you don’t hear much about it.

      1. Right-that’s why I thought it was a big deal; the Magna Carta is somewhat obscure, but the charters that preceeded it are all the more. Someone at the center of the creative process of that film had to push really hard to get that in the film, I’m thinking.

      2. Right-that’s why I thought it was a big deal; the Magna Carta is somewhat obscure, but the charters that preceeded it are all the more. Someone at the center of the creative process of that film had to push really hard to get that in the film, I’m thinking.

  42. dont go messing with robin hood. btw check out this politics site i think u guys might like it http://www.ThePartisanDialogues.com

  43. I was actually avoided this because I believed it’d be a paean to socialism.

    Now I’ll see it in the theaters.

  44. *actually going to avoid…

  45. and in other news, a movie about the American Revolution was denounced by MSNBC for being food for “right wing tea partiers”

  46. Perhaps you can explain why “wealth redistribution” and “robbing the rich” would be at odds with libertarianism, in the thirteenth century. Just where do you think the rich people of that time *got* their wealth? They *were* the government.

    1. This is how governments originated, in Western and Central Europse: gang-bangers (8th or 9th century equivalents) succeeded in imposing their will on some specific area without killing off all the farmers and craftsmen who make the weapons and armor for the thugs. Three generations go by and the 9th or 10th Century producers believe that God gave the thugs their power; a belief encouraged by the thugs and their allies in the Roman Church of the time. Three more go by and the former gang-bangers are now God’s noblemen (women not allowed) who protect the weak, succor the poor and assist the helpless. Scratch a king or any other successful ruler and you find a thief, a charlatan and a murderer. Freedom? Only for the elites. Get it yet? Or do you need to have another Soviet Union to watch here in North America before you catch on?

  47. Why should it be troubling to read leftist – liberal – progressive criticisms of the film which denigrate liberty and freedom? What do you think their goal is, to free us from their control?? No, try this: to enslave us under the pretense of wanting to help us, superior beings that they are. Each of them sees him- or herself as a benevolent avatar of Stalin … well, that’s not fair … an avatar of Woodrow Wilson, that progressive saint.

  48. “Yeah, I’m sure they based Maid Marion’s character on Sara Palin too:)”

    Why would they base MM on Obama’s cousin?

    (But I have been working on Brian Helgeland’s brain for the last 15 years or so. bwahahaha. That’s why they all us “they”… and, uh, “them”.)

  49. “…he is opposing privilege bestowed by political power, not earned wealth.”

    Um, and the difference is? Maybe I should ask a Bush or a Kennedy.

  50. RE: “alleged liberals speak of liberty and individual rights in a tone of sarcastic dismissal”

    Actually, I think liberals, whom you call “alleged liberals” are just returning the complement. It is not freedom and individual rights that they find sadly laughable, but the movement that is claiming to own these concepts which is about as pig headed and fond of ridiculing those that disagree with any of its ideas as Marx and Lenin put together (and Cathy Young should know what I’m talking about). So many Right wing (I won’t insult Burke by calling them Conservative) blogs seem to devote 90% of their space to making up ridiculous versions of what Liberals think, and then seeing who can come up with the best zinger against these strawmen.

  51. Whatever one may think of Scott’s newest incarnation of the Robin Hood legend, it is more than a little troubling to see alleged liberals speak of liberty and individual rights in a tone of sarcastic dismissal.

  52. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.”

  53. Three more go by and the former gang-bangers are now God’s noblemen (women not allowed) who protect the weak. | RAN ran ran ??? ??? ??? |

  54. i really enjoy ridley scott and russel crowe. i will have to check out this money, thanks for the recommendation.

  55. Of course, the idea of Robin Hood as an early socialist has had a lot of currency as well.

  56. Whatever one may think of Scott’s newest incarnation of the Robin Hood legend, it is more than a little troubling to see alleged liberals speak of liberty and individual rights in a tone of sarcastic dismissal.

  57. Ridley Scott sure does know how to make great films.

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