You Don’t Have to Look Far to Find a Certain Kind of Freedom

pro-freedom entertainmentLiberty is important, not for its own sake, but because it’s the condition that allows life to flourish. So, you could call the list below “pro-life.” However, since we don’t want to confuse this with an abortion debate, let’s just call it “Pro-Freedom.”

Two weeks ago, I published a list of important history books. Now, I’d like to start a list of pro-freedom entertainment: films, TV shows, and music that inspired me towards freedom, or opened my mind, or encouraged me, or in any way (to use a great but forgotten word) edified me. I’m casting a wide net.

I should note, by the way, that these are not all serious works – some are comedies, even a stupid comedy or two – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable in their way.

I made this list fairly quickly, which means that I’m probably missing an awful lot. So, please add to the list if you can.

Here we go:


The Shawshank Redemption

V For Vendetta

The Matrix


Alongside Night

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1

Atlas Shrugged, Part 2

The Fountainhead

The Great Dictator

The Dead Poets Society


Fahrenheit 451

They Live

The Caine Mutiny


Enemy of the State


Rocky Balboa


Apollo 13

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)

Chariots of Fire


Gran Torino

October Sky

The Sound of Music



Young Sherlock Holmes

The Time Machine (1960)

The Legend of 1900

The Lives of Others

Television Series


Star Trek, Original Series, especially episodes #28, 34, 55 & 63

Have Gun Will Travel

The Twilight Zone, original series


Kung Fu

Kung Fu: The Legend Continues

Northern Exposure

Babylon 5


Steve McQueen, Sheryl Crow

Icarus: Bourne on Wings of Steel, Kansas

Purify, Lacuna Coil

Going Mobile, The Who

Won’t Get Fooled Again, The Who

I’m Free, The Who

Dream On, Aerosmith

Taxman, The Beatles

Hand Me Down World, The Guess Who

At The Stars, Better Than Ezra

Woodstock, Crosby, Stills & Nash

Carry On, Crosby, Stills & Nash

Highway Star, Deep Purple

Already Gone, The Eagles

Roll With The Changes, REO Speedwagon

Riding The Storm Out, REO Speedwagon

Ventura Highway, America

Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen

Étude in C minor (Revolutionary), Frederic Chopin

Polonaise in A Flat Major (Heroic), Frederic Chopin

Born To Be Wild, Steppenwolf

I’ve Got A Name, Jim Croche

Hero, David Crosby

The Morning After, Maureen McGovern

The Grand Illusion, Styx

Come Sail Away, Styx


Here are a few things that seem to have been important to a number of liberty people when they were young:

Peter And The Wolf, the audio version narrated by Sterling Holloway

Flatland : A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin Abbott (Yes, this is a book.)

Deus Ex, a video game, versions 1 and 3


What can you add as great examples of Pro-Freedom (pro-life) Entertainment?

Paul Rosenberg

23 thoughts on “You Don’t Have to Look Far to Find a Certain Kind of Freedom”

  1. I would add Metallica’s “And Justice for All,” basically the entire album, but especially the song by the same title (track 2), and “Eye of the Beholder” (track 3). When I was a young teenager & loved Metallica, I appreciated the pure musical genius of it. Now I’m older & a libertarian, I appreciate the meaning of the lyrics, & I love it even more. Those are the two most libertarian songs ever written, I think.
    Also, there’s a CD by a band called Propagandhi, titled “How to Clean Everything,” that is chock full of libertarian anthems. I recommend it highly.

  2. The Mists of Avalon – Mini series
    In a Western culture that has been over-run by the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Yes, they all share the same God), it’s important to recognize that one of the fastest growing families of religion in the West are Earth-Based, or Neo-Pagan religions. The Mists of Avalon, by way of Arthurian legend not only honors the Pagan paths, but displays the tension between the ‘Old Religions’ and those imposed at the point of a sword.

    Suggested marathon viewing: Excalibur followed by the Mists of Avalon. Hours of insightful entertainment.

  3. The film which has altered my thinking the most and which taught that one human being can totally change the world of another and bring that person completely out of prison was the original “Miracle Worker” starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. Utterly brilliant script, direction and, especially, acting of the highest order. I own a copy and watch it at least once a year. (Skip any colorized versions as the starkness of the b&w is very much a part of the impact.)

  4. The best in a TV series it “The Prisoner” from the late 50’s. Google it to see free online.

  5. Off the top of my head (with a bit of help from my current playlist) I’d have to add Rush, System of a Down (B.Y.O.B., Fuck the System, pretty well anything), OutKast (War, Bombs Over Bagdad, Gasoline Dreams) , Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Can’t Stop, Throw Away Your Television). I think my overall favourite in the “pro-life” category would by Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz.

  6. Please add to the movies list the film version of George Kaufman’s
    incisive and hilarious You Can’t Take it With You. Whenever I really
    need a boost in morale I re-copy it to my hard drive and watch it.

    “Are you a lily?”

  7. Although I am familiar with many books, movies and music on the list here, [what, no Repairman Jack novels, no “How I Found Freedom In an Unfree World”? 🙂 ], as far as I am concerned , by far the most important, life changing film in my entire life [I’m over 60] did not come out until 2007-8.

    It is by an amateur film maker and can be viewed for free on the internet.

    The movie is called “September Clues” and was composed alone [plus all of the electronic music as well] by lone 9/11 researcher Simon Shack.

    The movie is a real life “red pill”, to use an analogy from the first [and best] Matrix movie, because it acts as an introduction to Shacks 9/11 research hosted at his website, research which shows clearly how all of the MSM US TV networks broadcast faked “live” imagery on 911 of planes hitting towers, and of towers collapsing at impossible speed, to fool us all.

    “September Clues” :

    Regards, onebornfree.

  8. Book: Waters Flowing Eastward by: L. Fry

    Song: HaHa Charade You Are by: Pink Floyd

    Movies: Bruce Lee movies & Twilight Zone movies, in particular the episode where Burgess Merideth plays a librarian on trial, “for being obsolete”, by the state.

  9. I Forgot to mention some other books of immense importance: Pawns in the Game by William Guy Carr & The Secrets of the federal reserve by Eustace Mullins

  10. The Neverending Story. “The Nothing” is to me the embodiment of the evil malaise and entropy that is The State.

  11. Great list, Paul. I definitely have V for Vendetta, The Matrix, and Firefly/Serenity at the top of my list too. Doug Casey put together a great list of movies in an interview several years ago.
    For music I have to highlight most of Rush’s music, but especially their song Territories. Also Jordan Page’s album Liberty.
    Finally, I’m amazed you neglected to mention any fiction books (perhaps you’re saving your book list for a separate article?). Science fiction in particular often has strong pro-life, pro-freedom themes. The top three authors are easily Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and Isaac Asimov. Almost everything by Heinlein is worth reading, but my favorite by far is “The Moon is A Harsh Mistress”. Doug Casey prefers to call sci-fi “speculative fiction” and put together an excellent list in an interview a few years ago. And I highly recommend a free onlne novella called And Then There Were None by Eric Frank Russell, featuring a unique trade currency called ‘obs’ which, rather than trying to accumulate, people go to great lengths to avoid receiving. 🙂 Other worthwhile fiction includes Ayn Rand, Mickey Spillane (the Mike Hammer private eye series), and the recent Jack Reacher series by Lee Child.

    1. I like Scottish writer Ian Rankin’s novels, set in Edinborough. His main character is an independent, problem-solving man which gets up the nose of think-only-in-the-box types..

  12. Also, regarding the uselessness of the phrase “pro-life”, about a year ago my 18yo daughter & I were discussing the abortion debate and how locked-in many people are to their “pro-life” and “pro-choice” labels. She had a great idea, and we both resolved from then on anytime we encountered the abortion issue, we will ask the other person(s) whether they are “anti-life” or “anti-choice”, in hopes of pushing beyond the conditioned, knee-jerk responses to some original thoughts and opinions. 🙂

  13. “The Probability Broach” by L. Neil Smith. His first, a deliberate effort not just to present the ideals of a fully voluntary society, and also one of those rare stories which is unabashedly enthusiastic about the benefits of Liberty.

    Here’s the “graphic novel” version:

  14. Scent of a Woman – so many good scenes and lines in this movie. Al Pacino nails his role as Lt Col Frank Slade US Army (Retired), and even though he’s a rough nut, he delivers many pearls of wisdom.

  15. Please consider (and promote widely) the songs War as sung by Edwin Starr and many of the songs of Phil Ochs such as When I’m Gone and Cops of the World. Paul, I really am glad that I have come across your writings. You promote Freedom that way that (I think) God would have us (all) do.

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