by Sean Gangol
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Not too long ago I had published an article about certain movies that come off libertarian whether it was the intentions of the makers or not. I mentioned movies such as Ghostbusters II, BeautyShop and Aviator. At the end of the article, I made a brief reference to the Kingsman movies, but I wrote that I would need another article to do those movies justice. For those who haven’t seen any of the movies, they center around an organization called the Kingsman, an organization of spies who are charged with protecting the world from those who would threaten it. What I loved most about the movies besides the fast-paced action sequences, is the movie’s tongue in cheek approach to all of it. Basically what the James Bond movies were before the Daniel Craig era. There is even a reference made in the movie about the spy genre losing the very humor that made it fun to watch.
What makes the first movie, Kingsman: The Secret Service, libertarian, you may ask. For starters The Kingsman is a private organization that doesn’t seem to answer to any government. If that is not enough, the villain (Samuel L. Jackson) is a rich environmentalist that wants to reduce the world’s population to a few elites. The people who were willingly to go along with the plan were the mega wealthy and the mega powerful people in the government, including the president of the US and his cabinet. I don’t want to give away the ending, but the outcome is hilariously satisfying, especially for the president and his cabinet.
In the second installment, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, continues in the same libertarian fashion. This time the antagonist is a drug lord (Julianne Moore) who maintains a total monopoly over the world’s narcotics. She then poisons drug users around the world and holds the antidote to ransom the government into legalizing drugs. It does seem unlikely that any drug lord would ever want an end to the drug war, since it would lower the profits if the product was ever legalized. Like many others things in the Kingsman movies, this plot-hole does require a suspension of disbelief. What makes this installment libertarian? Once again the president of the US is a scumbag, though instead of participating in a genocidal plot to reduce the world’s population, this time around the president decides to use this as an opportunity to win the drug war. He just sits by and allows the drug users to waste away, even when one of them is a member of his own staff who only smokes Marijuana to deal with stress. It basically shows that those harmed in the drug war aren’t necessarily addicts, but people who occasionally engage in recreational drug use without harming anyone around them.
There was a third installment, The King’s Man, which is actually a prequel that shows the formation of the Kingsman. Unless you are a completist like myself you can actually skip this one. Not necessarily because it doesn’t have the same libertarian bent, but due to it not being as fun to watch as the previous installments. While it did have decent action sequences, the tongue-in-cheek humor that made the previous movies so fun to watch was almost nonexistent in the prequel. So, I definitely recommend the first two, but you can avoid the prequel, unless you are a completist.
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