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Our Favorite Killer for the State

November 17, 2006

As the much-anticipated Casino Royale opens today, I wonder why it is that many libertarians — perhaps even a disproportionate percentage — like James Bond so much, even though he's a cold-blooded killer for the state?

Some of us may have gotten started with Bond because Ian Fleming was one of the few twentieth-century authors other than herself whom Ayn Rand could endorse. Or maybe it's for the reasons Murray Rothbard stated in his Libertarian Forum review of Live and Let Die:

The Ian Fleming novels, and for the most part the movies in the Bond series, were the quintessence of the Old Culture: marvelous plot, exciting action, hero vs. villains, spy plots, crisp dialogue and the frank enjoyment of bourgeois luxury and fascinating technological gadgets.

That seems right to me: the "Old Culture" and more specifically — at least in the books and older movies — not a hint of political correctness. Rothbard adds: "It is also a pleasure to see Old Culture seduction on the screen again, shorn of all angst, kvetching, and endless bleatings about sensitivity, commitment, 'relationships,' and 'parenting.'"

Rothbard reviews Bond:

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