American liberals fear Robin Hood

Patrick Gibbons

*Liberty, freedom, property rights, just government and lower taxes!

He’s not stealing from the rich to give to the poor, he is fighting against a corrupt government and high taxes. Robin Hood is a Hollywood movie that doesn’t follow the liberal establishment’s ideology, and it’s ticking off liberal critics. Ironically, the new movie may be a little more historically accurate than the liberal fantasy of good government in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Governments of the 12th and 13th centuries (around the time of Robin Hood and certainly years before and after) were overwelmingly corrupt, elitist (what do you think a King is, after all?) tyrannical and oppressive. They didn’t respect free speech or private property, people were guilty until proven innocent, and might languish in jail without ever getting a trial (why do you think all of this was in the U.S. Constitution?). Don’t forget, taxes were very high relative to the people’s income at the time. Oh, and guess who paid the most in taxes. Commoners – who represented well over 95 percent of the population (remember, this is pre-capitalism, when most peasants didn’t own land, but rather land was held in commons or owned by feudal lords).

So these movie critics want to defend authoritarian, fuedal monarchies … just because they like taxes? Really? Back to reality.

The Robin Hood legend itself is over 700 years old and it has changed over time. Liberal American commentators are visibly upset that the new Robin Hood looks like a Tea Party protestor … but with a long bow. The idea that Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor wasn’t popularized until the Victorian era (betwen 100 and 200 years ago). Thus, Ridley Scott’s new Robin Hood is closer to the original story than the Disney movie that is stuck playing in the critics’ collective (and collectivist) heads.

Read the Cato Institute’s blog on the subject. Cato highlights some of the criticisms among liberal commentators. It’s quite amusing.