WINNER: TOP 25 LIBERTARIAN DOCUMENTARIES
A basic introduction to the ideas of liberty, emphasizing the relationship between personal and economic freedom. [Dir: Theo Kamecke/ Karl Keating, Susan Love Brown, Patrea Post, Stuart Smith/ 28 min/ Documentary-Educational/ Libertarianism 101, Econ 101]
The organizing mechanism for this film about the advantages of liberty is a freewheeling political conversation between four college students who, together, both ask and answer all the right questions. Interspersed within their dialogue are some compelling reenactments of misuse of government power as well as other explanatory presentations. These add both emotional appeal and humor.
The film covers, among other concepts: the nonaggression principle, risk as a necessary part of an enjoyable life, good intentions versus bad results, the link between personal and economic freedom, laws doing more harm than good, and government as a consumer not a producer of wealth.
That’s a lot to pack into such a short film, so you don’t get a lot of depth; but as a quick introduction it works just fine. It’s a well-made presentation that’s still effective, entertaining, and serviceable as an introduction to libertarian ideas.
This is one of a series of films produced by WRI Education. In the very early days of libertarianism, before the word “libertarian” had even gained common currency, let alone before the ideas it represented had blossomed into political significance, these short films were like rain on an intellectual desert. Directed at college and high school audiences, they articulated the concepts of liberty in a fun, entertaining way and thereby helped to recruit that first wave of young advocates who transformed the fledgling movement into a global intellectual force. These films are now dated, but are nonetheless interesting in their own right as a window into the early libertarian movement.
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