Posted by: Snake Oil Baron | October 27, 2011

Have You Got Robin Hood by the Bag?

The title refers to an old Canadian joke about Robin Hood brand flour. One calls–or tells of someone who calls–a store asking if they have Robin Hood by the bag. When they reply with a yes, the caller says “Well, you’d better let him go; I can hear him screaming.” It’s not gut-bustingly funny and everyone knows the punch line but it never gets old (well it gets old fast but it stays amusing in a sense) 
 
I think of this old joke because I noticed today that seemingly every utility pole in my neighborhood has a poster for “Occupy Fredericton” using an image of Robin Hood as the symbol of their… umm… ’cause’.  
 
It’s ironically appropriate (or appropriately ironic?) that they chose Robin Hood. During his time, productive peasants in farm areas were highly taxed and Mr. H. diverted that tax money, some to go back to the peasants and some to go to other poor people who lived in forested area; those who lived off crown-land game and stealing from travelers, producing little for society.  
 
But since the original taxing was done by a different agency (the Sheriff of Nottingham), poor people didn’t notice that Mr. Hood was buying political power from them with their own money. And since forest dwelling muggers were getting a large share of the wealth generated by productive peasants that would have been stolen by the Sheriff, the government kept jacking up taxes to cover the losses. 
 
Robin Hood was a thief. He was working hand in glove with his supposed enemies, whether either side knew it or not. He justified being a thief by ideology and brought higher poverty to his society, making both himself and the sheriff more powerful and rich (they were the primary controllers of wealth in an increasingly poor society). He paid the ‘Occupy Sherwood Forest’ people to be economically unproductive, squat on public land and be loyal to him while he pulled the wool over the eyes of productive peasants. Somebody should have gotten Robin Hood by the bag and he is the perfect idol for occupiers.

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Responses

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  2. Robin hood was a representation of nature. Nice try.


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