February 11, 2004

To Boycott or Not to Boycott

Which market niches should remain unfilled? That's the question being pondered by Evan Kirchoff over at 101-280 in response to the creation of BoycottMTV.com. It's an interesting debate here because both sides agree that government restrictions are not the answer.

I have to side with boycott MTV on this one. If libertarianism has any distinction from libertinism it is in the ability of people who wish to maintain and promulgate moral standards to freely espouse and associate with similarly minded people for the purpose of advocating their ideas of morality. Evan Kirchoff thinks that this is a bad idea because the moralists might win, and win too easily.

I find this unpersuasive. I have no doubt that there are hardy capitalists who have robust business plans that will survive boycotts to present the kind of degenerate smut that is in penthouse, much less MTV. My sympathy for them is somewhat limited. Aw, they have to adjust their business plans to create new revenue models, poor babies.

I think that they should not be prevented by the state from their consensual business but I think that moral disapproval, where felt, needs to have healthy freedom-friendly outlets where it can express itself otherwise it'll come out in unhealthier forms like a rock through a window or worse.

Ultimately, the solution is to sever the link between advertisers sponsoring programs and make the advertising relationship between the advertisers and the consumers with consumers being paid to watch ads and buying up the programs of their choice with the ad credits they have earned.

Posted by TMLutas at February 11, 2004 12:25 PM