There have been a few articles and snippets on the Mises Blog about Batman, but most are about the Batman Chronicles issue where German Batman saves Ludwig von Mises’s library — this just goes to show that I’m not the only student of Austrian economics who’s a recovering comic-book nerd — though there is a short and sweetreview of Batman Begins by Joe Salerno and a well-thought, in-depth analysis of The Dark Knight by Jeffrey Tucker. Let this article be the corresponding piece to The Dark Knight Rises.
One of the remarkable things about this Batman series is the way Hollywood — a bastion of tired, often-rehashed, leftist propaganda — has unwittingly allowed an obscenely wealthy capitalist who lives a decadent bourgeois lifestyle (when not fighting crime) to be the hero! It wasnoted somewhere that Murray Rothbard was a fan of the James Bond films partly because Bond was unrepentantly bourgeois and knew how to live it up in style. I think Rothbard — who has forgotten more about Austro-libertarianism than I could ever hope to learn in my lifetime — would have liked Christian Bale’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne, neither afraid to make large investments nor afraid to be seen driving the ladies around in his European sports cars.
Another thing about Bruce Wayne/Batman is that he’s a shining example of what can be accomplished by the private sector. None of Wayne’s state-of-the-art technology is sponsored by government grants, though there would be little doubt Wayne Enterprises sells to the government. Nonetheless, Wayne’s research is fueled by his own profits, not government grants or subsidies, and with the help of his top man, Lucius Fox, he develops the technology that enables him to be an effective one-man army and fight organized crime that borders on terrorism, while responsibly avoiding the corruption of the military-industrial complex.
CONTINUED at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Written by Zach Foster.