24 votes

Easy Rider (1969)

Just an old quote that a lot of DP'ers can probably relate to...

George (Jack Nicholson): "You know, this used to be a helluva good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it.

Billy (Dennis Hopper): Huh. Man, everybody got chicken, that's what happened, man. Hey, we can't even get into like, uh, second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel. You dig? They think we're gonna cut their throat or something, man. They're scared, man.

George: Oh, they're not scared of you. They're scared of what you represent to 'em.

Billy: Hey man. All we represent to them, man, is somebody needs a haircut.

George: Oh no. What you represent to them is freedom.

Billy: What the hell's wrong with freedom, man? That's what it's all about.

George: Oh yeah, that's right, that's what it's all about, all right. But talkin' about it and bein' it - that's two different things. I mean, it's real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. 'Course, don't ever tell anybody that they're not free 'cause then they're gonna get real busy killin' and maimin' to prove to you that they are. Oh yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom, but they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em.

Billy: Mmmm, well, that don't make 'em runnin' scared.

George: No, it makes 'em dangerous."


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if you haven't yet seen it

Go watch the whole thing. It is rather depressing though. I see lot of speculation about what this dialogue means and I get the impression many haven't actually seen it in context.

On a positive note, this is why I like riding my bike around the country...makes me feel free!



"I mean, it's real hard to be free when you are bought and sold"

"in the marketplace." In other words we could all really be free if we did away with the market place and had socialism. More Hollywood leftist drivel. Too bad more folks don't see through it.

I don't see this as a call to

I don't see this as a call to eliminate "free" markets but to point out how we the people are pawns and financial collateral, debt slaves, to the central bank, government, corporate partnership.

You're reading what you want into it then

He says 'the market place', nothing about central banks or governments.


George was saying this in response to Billy's comment about being villified for being essentially a 'libertarian'. George sums up what we now call Neocons and RINOs, so I have to agree with gsuitter.

"Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!"- Homer Simpson

ytc's picture

yup, "in the corporatism-infested compromised marketplace"

is more like it. And I trust that many conscientious socialists, leftists & progressives CAN be brought to that realization by and by.

Probably not

They find commerce itself dehumanizing, it 'commodifies' people and is akin to slavery. That's what this rant is about in the movie. And contrary to opposing government intervention that subverts the market they instead support this and find it superior to a free market. The extent to which government disrupts commerce and attempts to manage it by force is the extent to which it's 'democratized' according to them. Look up Noam Chomsky's nonsense about businesses being 'unaccountable private tyrannies.' Really they just want free shit and to be taken care of without having to do anything for anyone else.

I think this though, if 'progressives' and socialists are shamed and their arguments completely smashed by us the way Tom Woods does it I think they'll be a lot less emboldened in espousing their bullshit. But that's the way to do it, not by being nice to them and trying to convince them nicely. They aren't attracted to an ideology of maximizing government violence because they're nice people.

ytc's picture

1969: the glorious "Man on the Moon" year

. . . when young men were hounded into the fodder mix for vietnam war.

SteveMT's picture

Bump for the best film of the 1960s.

Captain America and Billy the Kid

The symbolism in this movie is striking.