Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Monday, May 03, 2010

Wanted: A Modern Robin Hood


'Geoffrey Trease's novel Bows against the Barons [1934] had Robin and his "comrades" leading a (failed) peasant uprising'

With social inequality in Britain at its greatest levels since records began (after 13 years of New Labour government), it is timely that Ridley Scott has decided to make a new film about the legendary 'social bandit' Robin Hood, even if from what I have seen of the film (which stars Russell Crowe as Robin) so far makes it look rather like a remake of Gladiator set in mediaeval England. Anyway, The Guardian had an interesting article in it on Saturday by Adam Thorpe on representations of the enduring heroic symbol of peasant resistance in TV, literature and film which is worth a quick read. Though the article notes the Robin Hood Tax campaign, it seems to me that a truly modern Robin Hood that would actually genuinely fight for a massive redistribution of wealth and power from rich to poor would look more like the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition than anything else currently fighting this election campaign. Indeed, arguably, a 'modern Robin Hood' would represent a mass revolutionary socialist party standing in the tradition of Lenin's Bolsheviks - though I guess that whether that is the conclusion the majority of people who see Ridley Scott's film will draw after seeing the film seems unlikely.

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