I think that it’s quite obvious that libertarianism is much more of a worldview now than anything else. Long gone are the days when libertarianism and its good friend the Austrian School were known as simple and respective political and economic philosophies. As of today, Austro-libertarianism digs so incredibly deep in various matters of sociology and the everyday life of its proponents that early thinkers like Menger and Bohm-Bawerk would be astounded if exposed to the product of its evolution.
Not too many people however hold something like the Austrian School, an economic social science, to be related to a prominent branch of human art such as film. Indeed, the Austrian School may actually represent the driving force behind movies. I am under the impression that both praxeology and Austrian spontaneous order theory are what can be used to pull a viewer into the picture, not through the economic actions of the characters of course, but by applying these theories to the characteristics of the characters themselves.
In every non-avant garde picture that has ever been made, the characters of the film have always shaped the storyline with praxeological action. Absolutely everything that the character does must always be done with meaning, meaning that will make the viewer learn about the nature of the character, meaning that will shape the character’s own experiences throughout the film. Marxist theory states that instead of focusing on the individual and this individual’s actions, that the focus should instead align with the group, the masses, and their actions.
In the way of telling an actual story, the Marxist view does indeed drive the story through. However, in the end, it is impossible for an audience to truly connect to the masses. Feeling can indeed come from them, but only as one ginormous “sound,” with bland overtones censoring any deepness that an individual member of the group may have. This is why the filmmaker is not capable of giving a “connecting soul” to the masses, the connecting soul being a personality entirely unique which drives each unique action. Therefore, Marxist theory plays out as much more of a melodramatic picture slide-show, something that attempts to apply feeling and soul to a group of marching ants, who’s basic common action is something that is only able to represent an event, rather than an event with true depth. This completely disregards the fact that the unique actions of a unique personality is what creates the platform for the spontaneous order of the picture, the story. Spontaneous order is what attracts a viewer, chaos and seemingly meaningless action yet underlying purposeful action which drags the viewer in and latches them on when the purposeful meaning behind the actions of the characters reveals itself.
Hopefully now I have documented how the principles of the free-market that the Austrian School teaches can apply to film, and have been applying to film for the period of it’s entire history. Without these principles, the characters found in movies would be there to serve only one purpose – to display an event with absolutely no depth. I think it’s important to recognize this and perhaps appreciate the Austrian principles for a little more than just “economic interactions.” (As if we weren’t already appreciating it for more than that.)
Written by John Houston (skepticalmetal)