The Libertarian Tradition

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J.R.R. Tolkien as Libertarian

The Libertarian Tradition

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01/26/2010Jeff Riggenbach

Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is thought to be the greatest work of the 20th century with 150 million readers. The book's thesis - Evil power cannot be defeated by power - is libertarian. Lord Acton phrased this concept as Power tends to corrupt and Absolute power corrupts absolutely. This was why the one ring in Lord of the Rings had to be destroyed.


Jeff Riggenbach

Jeff Riggenbach was a journalist, author, editor, broadcaster, and educator. A member of the Organization of American Historians and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute, he wrote for such newspapers as the New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle; such magazines as Reason, Inquiry, and Liberty; and such websites as,, and His books include In Praise of Decadence (1998), Why American History Is Not What They Say: An Introduction to Revisionism (2009), and Persuaded by Reason: Joan Kennedy Taylor & the Rebirth of American Individualism (2014). Drawing on vocal skills he honed in classical and all-news radio in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston, Riggenbach also narrated the audiobook versions of numerous libertarian works, many of them available on


Podcast episode for 26 January 2010. Jeff Riggenbach is a journalist, author, editor, broadcaster, and educator. [17:03]

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