1010 N Tennessee St
Published November 12, 2010 in Movies by Zach Varnell
Marshall Fritz explains the ABCs of libertarianism. [Dir: Dennis Colvin/ Host: Marshall Fritz/ 90 min/ Documentary-Educational/ Libertarian Compendium/ Retailer #9]
This isn’t a film in the usual sense but rather a series of short filmed lectures. Marshall Fritz, the founder of the Advocates for Self-Government, is a good speaker, and he explains libertarian concepts with a simplicity and clarity that should make them comprehensible to anyone. That makes this a suitable introduction for those who open to libertarian ideas. The presentation is broken into five parts. Part I makes the moral argument for libertarian ideas: if aggression is wrong, we shouldn’t let the government do it; taxation equals theft; personal responsibility and tolerance are essentials of self-government; thou shalt not aggress. Part II explains where libertarians fit in the political spectrum: the traditional Left-Right political spectrum is inadequate to describe the real world; America is gradually becoming less libertarian; non-libertarians try to get what they want through compulsion and prohibition, whereas libertarians persuade and trade. Part III explains the benefits of libertarianism: it creates increased tolerance and productivity; lower cost of government leads to greater personal wealth; free people create new things and introduce new ideas. Part IV makes the argument that libertarian ideas are practical: examples are given of the private sector being more productive than the government sector; ultimate proof of the advantages of freedom is that the people always migrate to it. Part V suggests that the viewer become involved through self-education, by being a self-governor, and spreading libertarian ideas. Interspersed with Parts I-V are brief interviews with ordinary libertarians. All that might seem like a great deal of material to pack into just an hour and a half, but the presentations are paced in such a way as to make them easily digestible. The only downside to this video is that it’s not a high-budget product. Aside from the occasional use of graphics, it’s just a speaker talking to an audience so it’s sort of like attending a class. Nonetheless, this is a useful introduction and outreach tool, and other than the now dated Incredible Bread Machine, it’s the only Libertarianism 101 tape out there. This film is recommended for outreach material. An expanded version of Part V, explaining how we are likely to get to a libertarian society and the role each of us needs to play, is also available in a separate tape entitled Is Victory Possible for These Ideas?
This article was reprinted from Jon Osborne's Miss Liberty's Guide to Film and Video: Movies for the Libertarian Millenium, available in the Advocates Liberty Store.