Political and philosophical undertones exist in almost every movie, but did you know that the following popular movies promote libertarianism?
1. V for Vendetta:
Starting with the most obvious on this list, V for Vendetta helped to make popular the "Guy Fawkes mask," now seen at Occupy Wall Street, Anonymous, and libertarian movements across the world.
This film features a dystopian future where a mysterious revolutionary hero named "V" works to destroy the UK's totalitarian government. After enlisting the help of Evey Hammond (played by Natalie Portman), V starts a civil rebellion and blows the Parliament to pieces signaling the end of big government.
2. Robin Hood:
This tale starts with the government, a monarchy, heavily taxing its people. Much of this tax money goes to the wealthy (crony capitalism anyone?). Additionally, the people's right to privacy is infringed upon (along with their right to bear arms in some versions), and arrests are made without probably cause of breaking the law.
The hero, Robin Hood, and his friends start a voluntary society in the woods that survives without taxation and without a coercive government. They fight for their liberties and their right to keep the fruit of their labor.
Why do you think that Robin's band of "Merry Men" were so happy? They lived in liberty
Here, Robin asks that the king allow "every man to forage for his hearth, to be safe from conviction without cause or prison without charge, to work, eat, and live on the sweat of his own brow and be as merry as he can ... What we ask ... is Liberty — Liberty by law."
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:
One antagonist in this childhood classic is a bureaucrat appointed by the central government named Dolores Umbridge. She keeps students from performing 'dangerous' spells (Second Amendment rights, anyone?), gives herself the ability to inspect all owl posts (goodbye right to privacy), and begins an authoritarian government at Hogwarts.
Because of the abridgement of student rights, Fred and George Weasley decide to leave Hogwarts and open a joke shop elsewhere because Hogwarts' regulations are too restricting.
Harry Potter and his friends manage to save the day and Umbridge is forced out of Hogwarts. Unfortunately, even after her poor performance, Umbridge gets a new job in the central government.
"Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities; we didn't have to produce anything! ... I've worked in the private sector. They expect results."
After getting fired from their university jobs, a few college parapsychologists start a ghost extermination business known as "Ghostbusters." This private institution saves people from ghosts until the Environmental Protection Agency shuts them down, throws them in jail, and unleashes thousands of ghosts back into their natural habitats.
The ghosts then ravage cities worldwide and some try to start the apocalypse. The Ghostbusters are then freed by the mayor and, with government bureaucracy out of the way, proceed to save the world.
This is a classic tale about how government is going to destroy us all.
Who could forget this speech and battle cry: "They can take our lives, but they'll never take OUR FREEDOM!"
Braveheart presents a hero, this time a Scottish warrior named "William Wallace" (Mel Gibson), who fights the government and wins. When the English attempt to rule the Scottish without their consent, Wallace leads a rebellion.
Although Wallace is eventually executed, the Scottish fight on and win their freedom.
6. The Dark Knight Rises:
Batman entails the ever-important 'good vs. evil' theme, and from a libertarian perspective this story has even greater significance.
Batman starts with an ineffective; corrupt government that has a bloated police force. This government passes laws that are intended to help society, but end up creating problems.
With the ineffective government unable to defend its people and their property rights, Bane, the villain, comes into the picture.
Bane represents socialism as he wants to rid society of the upper class, make everyone "equal" (at least economically) and give Gotham to the people.
When Bane takes control of Gotham, property rights cease to exist and many homes are robbed. While watching the theft of one home, Catwoman says "This was someone's home," and her friend responds, "now it's everyone's home." The lack of individual property rights and institutionalization of communal property rights looks like socialism to the average libertarian.
Without property rights in place, anarchy (and later tyranny) ensue. Batman sees involuntary property transfers (along with murder) as immoral and so; he decides to rise up and save the day. Thanks to the private sector's provision of advanced technology, he is successful.
Once property rights and order are restored, Batman donates his property to charity — an act that libertarians rely upon to replace the governmental function of helping the poor.