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The Dark Knight Rises: A Libertarian Batman?

Stephanie Slade of the Winston Group thinks that Batman in the Dark Knight Rises is a libertarian hero. I’ve not yet seen the film, but I’ll check her analysis again after I have.

Here’s Slade’s principal contention:

On the Thomas Jefferson Street blog Monday, Robert Schlesinger added one more to the list when he characterized the film’s protagonist as an “anti-libertarian.” According to Schlesinger, Bruce Wayne represents a “repudiation of Ayn Rand’s everyone-for-themself philosophy, where wealth equates to virtue.” But this reading of the man behind the Bat mask fails to hit the mark. Wayne’s character may well be antithetical to Rand’s objectivist philosophy—but there is nothing anti-libertarian about that….

The Batman is much more a libertarian archetype than a repudiation thereof. He may not be a hero of the Randian variety, but Bruce Wayne’s willingness to sacrifice for the good of others is a cinematic depiction of the best that free humans are capable of. His heroics underscore one of the foundational precepts of the libertarian movement. It doesn’t take big government to make the world a better place—it takes people choosing to do the right thing.

Her complete article is available online.

See, The Dark Knight Rises‘s Libertarian Batman in US News & World Report.

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