With the release of the new 2018 film, Robin Hood, progressives in the political realm are beginning to use the titular character’s story as an analogy for socialism. The story of Robin Hood, in a nutshell, is that of a noble henchman who steals from the rich and gives to the poor.
Progressives view politicians such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as real-life versions of the heroic Robin Hood. Some supporters have even adopted the iconic Robin Hood hat as a mascot for their movement.
It’s easy to see how they make this mistake. The progressive/socialist platform advocates for “taxing the rich,” just like Robin Hood did, right?
The root of this misunderstanding is directly related to their misconception of what taxation is. To put it bluntly, as the old libertarian saying goes, ”taxation is theft.”
“Theft” is the taking of another person’s property or services without that person’s consent. This is inherent in the definition of a tax. By being taxed, you are, at the threat of violence, forced to give your money – your property – to the government, whether you do so willingly or not.
The only true difference between regular theft and government-sponsored theft, taxation, is that the government has a monopoly on the use of force. Not even Robin Hood had the power to use this type of force, even if he wanted to. But the medieval rulers of his time did.
There really isn’t much difference between the progressive politicians of today and the medieval kings of Robin Hood’s time. Once you understand this basic truth, you will see where the left’s conception of Robin Hood goes awry.
It should be noted that in the story of Robin Hood he wasn’t simply stealing from the rich, but, rather, he was taking back what was stolen from the poor by the tax collectors. At the end of the day, that’s all a king truly is: a tax collector.
If Robin Hood was stealing from innocent rich people who acquired their wealth through voluntary transactions, then he wouldn’t be a hero. In fact, stealing from innocent people would only make him the villain of the story.
When the proper analogy of Robin Hood is applied to today, you will find, ironically, that it is the likes of Bernie Sanders and company are in fact the ruling class who are stealing people’s money. Not only is Sanders stealing money from innocent people, but he is also getting stinking rich through the process. Bernie does, after all, own three houses, despite having never had a real job outside of politics. Sounds like a king’s life to me.
Not only does this faulty analogy backfire on progressives, but it shines a light on those who are the true Robin Hoods of today. That, of course, being the libertarians as well as the conservatives who advocate for lower taxes; or better yet, the abolition of the income tax.
After all, the income tax is simply legalized theft. You work and make money, then a group of people called “the government” gets to take it from you and use it to buy themselves three houses. Obviously, this is barbaric and unjustified. In fact, the first time the income tax was proposed in America in 1895, it was deemed unconstitutional and invalidated by the Supreme Court.
The only part of the progressive Robin Hood analogy that is actually true, is that they are stealing from people.
Sometimes the people they steal from are rich, sometimes they aren’t. But at the end of the day, no matter how noble they think their causes are, stealing is never justified.
If they truly want to be like Robin Hood, they can start by giving the people they rule over tax cuts. Until then, they are nothing more than the rich medieval kings themselves, and Robin Hood is Ron Paul.