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Robert Anthony Peters on Tank Man, Hollywood, Liberty, and Stoicism

Copyright © 2024 by Ari Armstrong
This episode originally was published on June 19, 2019, and reposted here on May 2, 2024.

Self in Society Podcast #2
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Writer and Director Robert Anthony Peters discusses his short film, Tank Man, in the context of Chinese politics. Peters, an actor as well, also offers advice to young actors, discusses his advocacy of liberty, and outlines what in Stoicism he finds valuable.

Watch Peters's film, which creates a speculative account of the events leading up to the confrontation, via YouTube.

Time Markers
00 Introduction to the Tiananmen Square protests and to the film
13:31 The story of the ants as used by the film
20:31 The Hong Kong protests, Peters's planned trip, Chinese oppression, and heroic action
37:18 The production of Tank Man and the reluctance of some actors to participate
46:41 Advice for young actors and the dynamics of Hollywood
58:45 Liberty activism and libertarianism
1:04:30 Stoicism
1:12:27 Wrap-up, including notes on jury nullification

Taliesin Nexus [now Emergent Order Foundation] provided a grant for Peters's project.

CNN provides original footage of the man confronting the tank.

On the show Peters mentions another film, Empty Skies; a book by Louisa Lim, The People's Republic of Amnesia; and a documentary, The Gate of Heavenly Peace. (However, I’m not sure the Gate film is where the discussion about the ants comes from; I didn't find a mention in the transcript.) He also mentions the Foundation for Economic Education and the Fully Informed Jury Association, organizations in which he is involved.

In 2018, Peters gave a talk titled, "Stoicism: A Libertarian's Philosophy for Living."

I mentioned a couple of recent articles about Stoicism, a critical one by Aaron Smith, and a more-friendly one by Roderick Long.

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