Alan Moore, the author of the original V for Vendetta comic book explains in this interview why he took his name off the film:
The British have always had sympathy with a dashing villain. So I decided to use this to political effect by coming up with a projected Fascist state in the near future and setting an anarchist against that. As far I’m concerned, the two poles of politics were not Left Wing or Right Wing. In fact they’re just two ways of ordering an industrial society and we’re fast moving beyond the industrial societies of the 19th and 20th centuries. It seemed to me the two more absolute extremes were anarchy and fascism. This was one of the things I objected to in the recent film, where it seems to be, from the script that I read, sort of recasting it as current American neo-conservatism vs. current American liberalism. There wasn’t a mention of anarchy as far as I could see. The fascism had been completely defanged.
I think Alan Moore’s comments are particularly interesting in light of Rothbard’s analysis in Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty that Roderick Long highlighted this weekend at the ASC. In this article, Rothbard identifies conservatism as the traditional enemy of (classical) liberalism. He identifies (state) socialism as “middle-of-the-road because it tries to achieve liberal ends by the use of conservative means“.
Socialism, like liberalism and against conservatism, accepted the industrial system and the liberal goals of freedom, reason, mobility, progress, higher living standards for the masses, and an end to theocracy and war; but it tried to achieve these ends by the use of incompatible, conservative means: statism, central planning, communitarianism, etc.
Don’t get hung up on the terminology, by the way, just think about it as libertarianism vs. statism and state socialism in the middle if that helps. Is Alan Moore thinking along similar lines? He doesn’t sound far off.
[Thanks to George Gaskell in a comment on my Mises Blog post on the film.]12:12 pm on March 20, 2006 Email Stephen W. Carson