Blogs > Liberty and Power > TOLKIEN ON LIBERTY, POWER, AND ANARCHY

Dec 30, 2003 2:58 am


TOLKIEN ON LIBERTY, POWER, AND ANARCHY



As conservatives and even some libertarians increasingly take a benign and complacent view of American statism, it is encouraging to hear that none other than J.R.R. Tolkien was a friend of liberty and an enemy of centralized power in all forms. Alberto Mingardi at the Mises Economics Blog has found some fascinating quotations from Tolkien on power and anarchy:

"You can make the Ring into an allegory of our own time, if you like: and allegory of the inevitable fate that waits for all attempts to defeat evil power by power" (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 1995, p. 121.)

"My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) - or to `unconstitutional' Monarchy. I would arrest anybody who uses the word state (in any sense other than the inanimate realm of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remained obstinate!" (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 1995, p. 63.)

By the way, I cast my vote for The Return of the King as the best entry in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

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Oscar Chamberlain - 1/2/2004

Also from Tolkien's letters (I don't have them here or I would give a page #): Tolkien wrote in a margin that Gandalf with the ring would have been worse that Sauron because Gandalf would have tried to use the ring to do good and in the end would have made the good seem evil.

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