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Government Explained (video)

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Clayton replied on Thu, Mar 29 2012 3:43 PM

+1 AJ

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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Wibee replied on Thu, Mar 29 2012 7:49 PM

Was Rothbard wrong about gingers?

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I agree with AJ's point too. Graham, I like your script, but it certainly wouldn't get nearly as many views as your last video exactly because it is clear that the video is trying to advance the view that democratic decision-making is bad.  On the other hand, Government Explained wasn't "espousing" the view that governments are bad, it was just calmy suggesting it by questioning the assumption that they are good in a manner that any person supportive of skepticism would support.

Assuming you want to try to make this video have the same effect as Government Explained*, I thus think that you should find a way to make the democracy script less obviously supportive of completely voluntary, market decision-making, but more like Government Explained by asking less demanding questions about why RedHat supports voting on hats. As AJ says, it is't too clear how to masterfully achieve this like you did in the last video, but I think it can be done with some work. You don't want to put the audience on the defensive. If it becomes clear that Charlie is trying to change RedHat's view to support market decision-making instead of voting decision-making then the audience will be turned off by the message

So instead we want Charlie to act more like the alien by acting ignorant of how the voting system works and by not suggesting alternatives. Note how you never had the alien in Government Explained say, "Why don't you just get rid of government?" This question would have been too demanding. It would have turned off the audience as it would have been clear that the video was espousing anarchy. Government Explained was successful because the human answered the question of why he thought we shouldn't get rid of government, but not because he was asked that question. He answered it just in normal coversation because the belief that the alien was quitely suggesting was that the reasonable thing to do was to get rid of this horrible government.

So to apply this to the democracy script, I now see that there is a lot that needs changing.

For example, get rid of "Charlie: But why are hats something you vote on?" This is equivalent to the alien asking, "But why do you have government?" The video won't maintain that wonderful neutral feeling if you have Charlie ask such demanding questions. So instead, we need to find a way to work in RedHat's answer to this question without the question ever being asked. So at some point RedHat should say why they vote on hats, but not after being directly asked.

Is it alright with you Graham if I try to write a draft of the script myself based off the version you posted, and then post it here? It might be a more effective way for me to share my ideas for it.

*which you may not necessarily want to make it appeal to a large audience like Government Explained. Making it more blatantly anti-democratic-decision-making would mean fewer views, but you would have the upside of being able to question exactly what you think needs to be questioned. The people who would still care to watch the video knowing that they are being presented with an argument would be able to learn something from it. It just wouldn't reach as large an audience.

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@AJ, thanks for that insight, I agree completely.

@PRA, absolutely, draft a script and post here, I'd love to read it.

My thoughts now are to go back to the alien and human for another 'subtle' or 'neutral' video, and save the whole hat scenario for a later video which will be blatant about being anti-democracy and pro-secession.  I think the first script I posted (other than the last few lines) could form the basis of a script for the alien and human if it was re-worked a bit. 

Judging by the comments, the audience understood that the alien came from a planet with no government, but I think a big reason why they were not offended was because it was an alien.  If they are statists, and think anarchy means chaos because some humans are nasty or greedy or something, they probably assumed that there were no nasty or greedy aliens, so an anarchic 'utopia' is possible for the aliens but not for humans.  This was their "easy rationalization", the way they were not offended by the video.  They wouldn't have this rationalization available if the character asking questions was a human. 

Maybe I need a similar kind of "easy rationalization" for the sequel.  Perhaps it could be that the aliens are not corrupted by power, making democracy unnecessary for them, so the alien asks questions from a context of 'if some of my kind were corruptible, what system would be most sensible?' in the same way that he asked questions (or so the audience believed) from a context of 'if some of my kind were nasty, what system would be most sensible?'. 

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My thoughts now are to go back to the alien and human for another 'subtle' or 'neutral' video, and save the whole hat scenario for a later video which will be blatant about being anti-democracy and pro-secession.

:-) Right now I am (hand-)writing a script between Alien and RedHat based off just the first part of your script, not including the secessionism part.

"they probably assumed that there were no nasty or greedy aliens, so an anarchic 'utopia' is possible for the aliens but not for humans.  This was their "easy rationalization", the way they were not offended by the video.  They wouldn't have this rationalization available if the character asking questions was a human."

Definitely.

"Perhaps it could be that the aliens are not corrupted by power, making democracy unnecessary for them, so the alien asks questions from a context of 'if some of my kind were corruptible, what system would be most sensible?'"

That's a really great idea.

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Maybe rather than make not wearing a hat a crime, you could do the video on making wearing a hat a crime:
(Note: All there is to see is in the first two minutes of the video)

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AJ replied on Mon, Apr 2 2012 12:20 PM

Having considered this more, I also think the curiosity of the alien was key.

It's like he's watching you pull on a loose thread in your sock as it goes around and around, the sock getting ever shorter, but all along - instead of criticizing or pointing out what we here see as obvious - he's assuming there must be a rational explanation for it all, and he's simply fascinated as to what it might be. The viewer gets fascinated right along with him, never on the defensive, ready to make a new discovery about what they think they already know, even if they think it will only be that vicarious feeling of discovery you get when you see someone else make a discovery that you already knew about.

Along the way they realize that they themselves may not even know the answer, and strangely have never even pondered these [now fascinating] questions. This is a uniquely amenable state to get the viewer into, especially when questioning their deep-seated views.

Perhaps the alien could continue in that state of fascinated bewilderment, asking innocently about more things, all along trusting that there must be a good explanation for everything, which itself makes him even more fascinated as to what it might be. Meanwhile the viewer can't help but notice the sock of government gradually unraveling, despite no one attacking it.

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