Sep 14, 2011

The institutional economics of "The Lord of the Rings" (Part 3 of 5)

This is based on pages 200 - 300 of the "Fellowship of the Ring:"

More than rules of the game, the origin of the law, or enforcement mechanisms this part discusses the traditions one can use to deal with the evil power. (Gandalf: "There are many powers in the world, for good or for evil. Some are greater than I am. Against some I have not yet been measured."): 
  • One can set up a fire as a defence against black riders. 
  • One should not tell tales that mention names of evil beings when the enemy is near. The "Strider did not think that the tale of the great Elf-king Gilgalad should be told with the servants of the enemy at hand."  
  • One can defend oneself against evil by telling the name "Elbereth" -- a divine being of the Elves.
  • The Strider used plants to heal Frodo.
Some additional comments:
  • The origin of good and evil is unknown.
  • The Elves can choose to live or to die. "Tinuviel chose mortality."
  • Monarchy is the form of government of the Elves. The kings have power over nature: '"Who made the flood?" asked Frodo. "Elrond commanded it," answered Gandalf."The river of this valley is under his power, and it will rise in anger when he has great need to bar the Ford.'
  • The evil drives the temptation of putting on the ring: Frodo "[n]ow perceived that in putting on the Ring he obeyed not his own desire but the commanding wish of his enemies."  
  • One can become evil when a black rider's knife pierces ones heart. 

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