Sample excerpt from LFS 2020 Worldcon panel discussion:
“Here is a novel (The Lord of the Rings) about a ring of power, ‘one ring to rule them all.’ What does Tolkien shows us about that ring?,” LFS president William Stoddard said.
“He shows us first that it is a danger to the world, that it enables its possessor to conquer and enslave free people, to go out and subjugate and rule them, according to his vision of how things should be, with no input from anyone else.
But also he also shows us, through other characters, that the ring is dangerous to have. That it is corrupting. Gandalf and Galadriel both dread the thought of having the ring because it would tempt them to use their power in ways that would destroy them…
“We see it has a steadily corrupting influence on Frodo. In a sense, Frodo and and Gollum are spiritual twins. Gollum is what Frodo is in danger of becoming. Tolkien shows us that the drive to power is addictive,” Stoddard said.
“I’m baffled myself why some people read the trilogy and don’t get a libertarian theme out of it.”