May 9, 2007

The Godfather: Libertarian Treatise

Ilya Somin makes an interesting case for Mario Puzo’s novel (and, by extension, the movies which faithfully adapted it) as a libertarian treatise.  Certainly, Professor Somin recognizes that the real focus of the story is personal – the corruption of Michael Corleone – and that the story’s exploration of similarities between the Mafia, big business, and the government reaches a point of demonstrating their general moral equivalence, which sounds more liberal than libertarian to me.  But the backdrop is based on a (perhaps unconsciously) libertarian world view about protective associations in the style of Robert Nozick, the dangers of political corruption and inefficacy within the state, and the dangers of violence and social degradation that result from criminalizing substances, both narcotic and alcoholic.


zzi said...

Let's not forget the best line in the book.

"A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns."

Transplanted Lawyer said...