Jo Van Fleet Shrugs (Anti-Government Speech in Wild River)

Rand or Rothbard couldn’t have done a better job. This speech (watch YouTube here) has it all for libertarians. It comes from a character in Elia Kazan’s film Wild River (1960), who is fighting a land grab by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Delivered beautifully by actress Jo Van Fleet, the speech blasts FDR’s New Deal, governmental relief, and power-hungry politicians. Most of all, it eloquently defends property rights.

Van Fleet is so effective in the role that she largely undermines the pro-New Deal message in the rest of the film.

David T. Beito, a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and a retired professor of history at the University of Alabama, is the co-author of T.R.M. Howard: Doctor, Entrepreneur, Civil Rights Pioneer and is writing a new book, FDR’s War on the Bill of Rights.
Posts by David Beito | Full Biography and Publications
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