Libertarian Violence in the Movie Drive

Every one will remember the elevator scene in the movie Drive many, many years from now. It will be a cinematic icon, like the horse head in bed in GF1 and I can think of very few scenes of absolute brutal violence that is more justified.

Driver lives by a code, protect yourself and your loved ones and do no harm beyond that protection. This protection should come in equal measure. If someone seeks to incapacitate you, you are within your right to do the same. And if someone seeks to kill you or the ones you love well--repaint the elevator in their blood if you can prove their motive in a court of law and that last piece really is a factor between self-protection and sociopathic murder, isn't it?

The violence in that scene is very Libertarian in the sense that the only time violence is justifiable is in defense of one’s life or property--property being an extension of one's life, paid for by exchanging one’s effort over time. The concept that every human being has an inalienable right to pursue happiness provided their pursuit does not infringe upon the lives or property of others is the the very core fundamental concept of the Enlightenment which produced the American Revolution with its Declaration of Independence the most perfect sentence ever written by a human being in the history of human manuscript.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

This is the core tenet of Libertarianism which holds the negative law in the highest esteem, meaning the law established to prevent infringing behavior. This is opposed to the positive law which establishes a mandate to perform a behavior (paying for someone else’ s free lunch).

Well Driver must be a Libertarian because he does no harm until he or the ones he loves are threatened and once that switch is flipped, it doesn’t unflip. Ask the guy in the elevator.

But Driver isn’t a sociopath—after all he warns the man in the diner who approaches him to talk. Driver doesn’t bash his head in although he threatens to “kick his teeth in and shut his mouth for him.” See not a sociopath, just a grumpy Libertarian who doesn’t want to deal with the people he doesn’t care about and who can blame him?

After all, that’s our right as well.