We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

How libertarian TV can overtake public-service broadcasting


Madsen Pirie’s latest video is about mass production, but I want to talk about mass distribution. The first of his series, released just over a week ago, has, according to YouTube, been viewed 9,493 times. That seems quite encouraging, especially when you look at the viewing figures of some of Britain’s public-service television. According to The Telegraph last year:

“S4C, which gets more than £100m of subsidy from taxpayers, officially attracted zero viewers on 196 out of its 890 programmes… A zero rating means that the 196 shows were watched by fewer than 1,000 people.”

What this means is that not only can libertarian videos be produced at low cost – under £1000 for a really good set up with lighting, a camcorder and good mic – and not only can they be edited easily and cheaply (with iMovie or MAGIX Movie Edit Pro), but they can also get more viewers than expensive state-funded programmes. I’m told that the Adam Smith Institute is doubling the speed of production. Given the resourcefulness, creativity and work ethic of libertarians, I suspect that YouTube is a medium in which libertarians can win.

3 comments to How libertarian TV can overtake public-service broadcasting

  • TDK

    Normblog had an interesting comment here about the first video. He doesn’t do comments so perhaps this might be the place to respond.

    I quite like these videos but I think there is a middle ground between bow ties and loud tea-shirts

  • Mendicant Bias

    How can that compete with Sherlock (probably the best UK TV show of the decade)?

    The grim fact is, the BBC makes Sherlock and shows Borgen , the only decent programmes on UK TV.

    On YouTube, Monty Oum’s Dead Fantasy obliterates Hollywood, while Bad Lip Reading’s parodies are better than the material they parody.

  • Re: normblog’s comment:

    “But there’s a small omission from Pirie’s story: resource differentials. … But whether free exchanges are as unproblematically and universally beneficial will now be more open to question.”

    This seems to me to be untrue. The trade is still universally beneficial. The initial resource differential may be a problem, but that’s something different. (It may also be a good thing; imagine a situation where the “others” where so bad at managing the island that they where starving to death and the few people who where actually decent farmers, managers, and fishers ended up buying the entire island off their neighbours and running the entire community for example)

    The real way that trade may not be universally beneficial is if one or both parties are ignorant about what is actually of greater value to them. I’m sure most of us have experienced making this sort of mistake in our own life before. ;-) This of course isn’t an argument for central planning for the simple reason that if I can’t know my own preferences how on Earth is some bureaucrat in Canberra who doesn’t even know me from a bar of soap supposed to know them?