The truth about Robin Hood and the Peasants’ Revolt

The tale of Robin Hood has been seized upon by collectivist market opponents as proving that the rich exploit the poor and action must be taken to stop that. In this enlightening Freeman piece, however, B. K. Marcus points out that Robin Hood and more generally the Peasants’ Revolt was not a reaction to capitalist exploitation, but instead a reaction to governmental measures that got in the way of individual efforts at maximizing their income. The problem was not that capitalists (of whom, there were almost none in the 14th century) were exploiting the poor, but rather that the government had attempted to support entrenched feudal interests with laws that inhibited the labor market from working.

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