What they said: Consumer choice

Yet who has done more to normalize profanity, vulgarity, sadistic violence, and gratuitous sex, or to export them abroad as the premier product of the United States, than the entertainment industry?

Addison Del Mastro

It is not the fault of the entrepreneurs that the consumers—the people, the common man—prefer liquor to Bibles and detective stories to serious books, and that governments prefer guns to butter. The entrepreneur does not make greater profits in selling “bad” things than in selling “good” things. His profits are the greater the better he succeeds in providing the consumers with those things they ask for most intensely. People do not drink intoxicating beverages in order to make the “alcohol capital” happy, and they do not go to war in order to increase the profits of the merchants of death.” The existence of the armaments industries is a consequence of the warlike spirit, not its cause.

It is not the business of the entrepreneurs to make people substitute sound ideologies for unsound. It rests with the philosophers to change people’s ideas and ideals. The entrepreneur serves the consumers as they are today, however wicked and ignorant.

Ludwig von Mises

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18 Responses to What they said: Consumer choice

  1. Herodotus

    The sexual revolution that started after WW2, accelerated through the hippy years with the advent of the pill and the adage “if it feels good, do it” has fragmented and faltered in a rather bizarre fashion.

    Let’s leave to one side for now the various theories about leftists seeking to undermine society by promoting licentiousness and pornography. Same goes for the denaturing of marriage, firstly by making it dispoable and sequential (serial monogamy?) via no fault divorce and welfare for single mothers.

    It’s really strange to look at where we are now. There’s a return to prudishness on the one hand, and a splurge of gender bending and wayward indocrination of children on the other.

    Men who were already shy of commitment will not be encouraged by the new antagonism for anything hinting at being atttracted to a woman. Admittedly this is at its worst amongst the younger set, particularly university millenials for whom no space is safe enough.

    Where these two diverse strands are leading society is up for debate. The return of coyness as portrayed in Oklahoma (People Will Say We’re In Love) has something to recommend it, but that’s probably not where we’re headed. It might be into a mixture of what Lizzie has referred to as LUG (lesbian until graduation, or perhaps longer) while blokes agree with other blokes that some actual sex is what they’re after, be it ever so imperfect, and the’ll play with each other’s dicks until they get a better offer. All this with a sideshow serve from the confused qwerty people running their own mental demolition derby, a sort of tawdry version of Fellini’s Satyricon.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    Curiously the entertainment industry is now obsessively trying to sell what people don’t actually want. Here’s a Drudge headline I saw just now:

    Disney Debuts ‘First Boy Princess’

    The logic of the episode seems to be that “princess” is a set of attributes rather than an entity which is specifically feminine. As such, a boy could be a princess just as much as a girl could. But, as far as I can tell, the episode doesn’t actually express what those attributes are. It certainly doesn’t outline any “traditionally female” behaviors or inclinations that Marco still possesses even though it turns out he’s actually a boy.

    Their fetish with lefty stuff is interesting since over and over we’ve seen lefty movies faceplant at the box office. It’s getting so bad that notorious lefties like Jennifer Lawrence are now box office poison to the movies they are cast in. People look at the cast list and decide if someone like them is in the movie they ain’t going bother with it.

    So if Hollywood would dispense with the profanity, vulgarity, sadistic violence, and gratuitous sex in their own studios and reintroduce some profanity, vulgarity, sadistic violence, and gratuitous sex into their movies they might actually sell some tickets. So long as it isn’t gratuitous homosexual sex. That is a real turn off for the punters.

  3. NuThink

    I read once that a well known movie director (or whatever) said that he actually liked the era of censorship, as he felt that it required cleverness and skill and talent to put your message across, whereas nowadays it is just the number of four letters that count, and no skill required in usage of the language.

  4. Tel

    The merchants of death have had some level of influence in Washington, although I’m sure war is also very convenient to the people in government when it comes to awarding themselves additional powers.

  5. struth

    Curiously the entertainment industry is now obsessively trying to sell what people don’t actually want. Here’s a Drudge headline I saw just now:

    The key word is “trying”

  6. lotocoti

    Curiously the entertainment industry is now obsessively trying to sell what people don’t actually want.

    The bludgeon doesn’t work.

  7. The American psyche is well defined by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s opening of The Scarlet Letter, when he observed that when the pilgrim fathers settled in America the first things they built were a church and a prison.

  8. stackja

    GWTW did give a damn. And was popular.

  9. Re the merchants of death etc schtick, in the end humans have free will.

  10. Rob MW

    It is not the business of the entrepreneurs to make people substitute sound ideologies for unsound.

    That’s true to the extent that only if you class propaganda entrepreneurs as not being entrepreneurial. Sound judgement is always skewed, one way or other, by the advice and optics of the salesmen (persons).

  11. Leo G

    It’s not as if those entrepereneurs employ advertisers who might in turn use propaganda to influence consumer spending by persuading consumers what is “desirable”.

  12. Charlie

    Who cares about that Sinc? Hollywood has shown repeatedly they are on the side of progressives so any reason to kick them while their down is a good reason.

  13. Roger

    Free choice is good, but it is not the Good. It is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

    The Western tradition, before the present triumph of nihilism, maintained that free choice was only properly exercised by choosing the Good.

    Libertarianism, by contrast, seems to be a cul de sac rather than a road out of our present malaise. It may be a very pleasant place to live for those who choose it, but in the end of the barbarians will over run it.

  14. overburdened

    That would be free choice as opposed to free will. Free will is a neutral concept with no moral imperatives. I profess to know nothing of free choice.

  15. Dr Fred Lenin

    Hollywood movies stink these days the left have turned it into a soviet style propaganda machine . The films I really hate are the Canadian ones made by pretentious arrogant interlekchool Quebecois, they make even the Parisian snob interlekchools look like ministry of housing bogans ,like giliard and Hanson . The Canadian , taxpayers must fund them , they certainly wouldn’t earn money. These are the people who gave you Cirque de Soleil another pack of pretentious wankers I wouldn’t cross the street to see for free .

  16. Bad Samaritan

    Hang on. Let’s get real….

    How often do we see “right-thinking” people get worn down by the incessant march of the left through every institution? Of course we should stand firm against the shrieking and the oppression and the never ending misrepresentations etc, but the reality is that most people are worn down.

    This is no different to the endless shrieking of the kids in the supermarket aisles. Sure the parents can say “no”; can refuse to pay, but after a thousand such tantrums, with other shoppers tut-tutting, with the myriad TV advertisements programming the kids to wear you down, it can be difficult to fight on.

    As for the left currently devouring their own, this is but a charade as was the original “offence” a charade. Decades back when the righteous left were decrying sexism and misogyny etc, we now know they were all full of BS. Now that the righteous left is again decrying misogyny and sexism in their own it simply has to be taken a more BS. There is zero chance that the current leftists currently condemning the “sins of the past” are not committing the same sins every day today. Diversions guys, diversions.

  17. John Constantine

    The biggest consumption markets will become China and India.

    Predictions for massive monster, machine, robot, masked superhero movies, where a bit of subtitle and dubbing cAn give the studios another few hundred potential middle class clients.

  18. André M


    Professor Jarvis disagrees that technology companies need further regulation, describing the idea as a “techno-panic”.
    “It’s a luddite view which says technology is at fault for society’s problems,” he said.
    “Mass media is to fault for many of the problems we have in society today [like] cats, Kardashians and Donald Trump.”
    “Mass media gives us a business model that leads to these ills. Mass media is at fault.”

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