Ayn Rand and Robin Hood

I've always loved the Robin Hood legend. I also really liked Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It is hard in a way to reconcile the two ideas. On one hand you have a man who defends the underdog, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. He keeps them fed, he makes sure they have enough to survive on. On the other hand, you have a story that says that those who work hard will naturally do well and earn their rewards. That the slime of the earth will seek to just sit back and steal that for their own reasons.

So I have a problem here with Robin Hood's character. I love Aragorn for example, and have written many pages about him and his qualities. Robin Hood could have done many different things to help out the poor. What he chose to do is harass the rich and steal money from them. He doesn't care who they are, if they are charitable or greedy. Maybe someone was rich because they clawed their way up, working their fingers to the bone, saving for years and years so they finally had enough to eat as an old person. If that person rides through Sherwood, they can see their life savings stolen away, because Robin feels it's his.

If Robin steals from the government (i.e. the Sheriff), it's not like the Sheriff can then give excuses to the King and people he's collecting the taxes FOR. He has to go out and get more taxes. So it doesn't really make things better. Why not organize the peasants to learn irrigation? To grow crops that are more nutritious? To lobby as a large group for less taxation?

Again, I love the Robin Hood series. But it is sort of frustrating. What if one of the villagers did really well at pottery and became famous for his pottery, after years and years of back-breaking work. What if he finally gets a good sale of his pottery and then drives back through Sherwood to go home. His hard earned money is going to be taken away and given to other villagers. It could be that those villagers are poor because they're lazy and simply liked living in a pig sty. There has to be some discretion here, and some intelligence, besides just stealing from people ...

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