Monthly Archives: November 2012

In Defense of Scrooge

Bah! Humbug! Go ahead, say it. It feels good –about as good as 45 minutes of power yoga I’d say. Though I’m no Dickensian scholar I’ve always enjoyed the story of A Christmas Carol –especially the 1970 musical version staring Albert Finney. I find the performances and the music mesmerizing. It’s one of the few musicals I own.  However, I always felt the Scrooge character-type was misunderstood. Dickens artfully uses an aging business man as the representation of greed and hatefulness.  But strip away Dickens’ biases(as mentioned in the article link below) for artistic effect and what do you have? An elderly and honest businessman who at every turn is mocked and interfered with simply for being himself.  Imagine a small, decrepit man, shuffling down Broadway, his face, body and mind the result of  a lifetime of loss and abuse who only wants to be left alone for that is the only place where he can be truly peaceful…until the ghosts appear.  You only have to revisit the scenes with the ghost of Christmas past to understand where I’m coming from. Interestingly I found an article online, on a Ludwig Von Mises site of all places, that takes the defense of Scrooge a step further. It looks at Scrooge through the filter of the Austrian School of economics and libertarian values.  In the article author Michael Levin poses some questions that are both funny and insightful. Who did Scrooge ever lie to? Who has Scrooge actually taken advantage of?  Does he have a right to be left alone?

In Defense of Scrooge by  Michael Levin