Joe Lieberman as Robin Hood

Robin Hood . . . is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away good which he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity . . . . Until men learn that of all human symbols, Robin Hood is the most immoral and the most contemptible, there will be no justice on Earth and no way for mankind to survive.

- Ragnar Danneskj?ld

Ragnar was right but the Legend survives today in its most contemptable form. Joe Lieberman embraces the Legend and fancies himself as the modern day Robin Hood while E. J. Dionne fawns all over him.

How does it feel for cautious, moderate, mild-mannered Joe Lieberman to find himself suddenly compared to Robin Hood?

"I always liked Robin Hood," the Connecticut senator replied with that characteristic easygoing chuckle of his during an interview yesterday. "There was a quality of fairness, integrity and public service to Robin Hood." [...]

But Lieberman then turns around and restores part of the inheritance tax that is in the process of being repealed. He gets rid of Bush's dividend tax cut, raises the top rate back to 39.6 percent and applies it to married couples earning $150,000 or more. And -- here's the Robin Hood part -- he levies a 5 percent surtax on families with incomes of over $250,000. (Interestingly, Lieberman keeps the capital gains tax cuts because he thinks they promote growth.)

Where are the modern day Ragnars?

Ragnar Danneskjold: ?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 men's minds, we will not have a decent world to live in.?

Hank Rearden: ?What man??

Ragnar Danneskjold: ?Robin Hood.?

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OTOH, the actual story of

OTOH, the actual story of Robin Hood is not of some vigilante, ceteris paribus, deciding to steal from the rich and give to the poor, but rather a guerilla tax protestor who liberated stolen funds, returning them to the people they had been illegally exacted from.

Taxation wasn't as arbitrary then as now- a 33% overall tax rate back in the day of Robin Hood meant you were officially a slave- and if you were not a slave, you couldn't be taxed at such a rate. IN the absence of the legitimate authority, a pretender to the throne enacted false taxes to enrich his friends, contrary to the prevailing 'agreement' (such as it was) between ruler and ruled re: taxation.

Of course, the whole story is glossed over in favor of the "steal from the rich, give to the poor" meme that completely misses the point of Robin Hood (fighting against usurpation of authority and confiscation of private property).

Yeah, Rand acknowledged this

Yeah, Rand acknowledged this in the book:

"It is said that he fought against the looting rulers and returned the loot to those who had been robbed, but that is not the meaning of the legend which hassurvived."

- Ragnar Danneskjold



Although, sheesh, "Ragnar

Although, sheesh, "Ragnar Danneskjold"? Methinks Rand a better philosopher than fiction writer...

Brian Doss beat me to it.

Brian Doss beat me to it. The ruling classes of England were feudal scum. The land of England was no more their "property" than the U.S. "public" domain is the rightful property of the railroad, mining and timber interests it has been parcelled out to. As Mises and Rothbard said, you don't see giant tracts of land when it is appropriated by Lockean standards; you only see them when the State and the landlord classes are in collusion.

But the writer speaking through Danneskjold was the same writer who said big business was an "oppressed minority," and that the military-industrial complex was a "pernicious myth." That's the kind of "libertarianism" that takes its motto from Cool Hand Luke: "Them pore ol' bosses need all the help they can get."

Via Radly Balko: Liberals

Via Radly Balko: Liberals Have Robin Hood All Wrong. It supports some of the comments here.

I wonder though, what can be

I wonder though, what can be said for pirates who shoot at copper (?) carrying ships.