When is the market not the market?

Godless Capitalist of Gene Expression writes that "nonmarket influences" often have strong play in Hollywood.

To reiterate the bottom line: Strong nonmarket influences determine what is shown in Hollywood. Capitalism alone is not the rule - the Passion is breaking box office records (117 million in its first weekend), but it was almost strangled in the cradle!

Setting aside the other points made in his post, I have a slight semantic quibble with his assertion that there was anything "nonmarket" about the events he describes. The "market" is different things to different people. For me, it is people making choices about their lives and using what they have available to achieve their goals. The nature of those choices can vary greatly from one person to another.

A true "nonmarket intervention" would be a law forcibly forbidding people from making free choices.

So some studios chose not to distribute the film. They demonstrated what they value by doing so. So some Hollywood "moguls" have expressed their intentions to avoid working with Gibson in the future. That is their choice. Choosing to avoid is as much a part of the market as choosing to interact.

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Jonathan Wilde: A true

Jonathan Wilde: A true "nonmarket intervention" would be a law forcibly forbidding people from making free choices.

I?m a little hazy on the concept of ?free choice?. Do you think you could elaborate a bit?

What exactly is ?free choice?? Can you provide a precise definition? If your choices are ?limited? can they still be ?free?? How much (to what degree) can choices be limited before they cease to be free? Where is the exact cut off point?

Godless Capitalist

Godless Capitalist conveniently forgot to mention the retraction at the end of the article:

    An article in The Arts yesterday about Hollywood's reaction to Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" cited an executive close to David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, principals of DreamWorks, saying that the two men had privately expressed anger over the film.

    The Times should have checked directly with both men and given them an opportunity to comment on the executive's statement.

    Mr. Geffen said yesterday: "Neither Jeffrey or I have seen the movie or have formed an opinion about it."

Countless movies get rejected every day in Hollywood, many of which might have been extremely successful had they been produced. Movie producers must pick and choose based on their past experiences, and if their past experiences leads them to believe that a certain film has a good chance of being sucessful, then they must be willing to bear a high cost for rejecting that film on other grounds. I seriously doubt that many producers in Hollywood, even left-liberal Jews, would be willing to reject Gibson's film and all the money it would bring if they knew how successful it would be.

People didn't reject Battlefield Earth because of some latent anti-Church of Scientology agenda; they rejected it because they thought it would suck (and it did). Every time a movie is rejected in Hollywood, even one that would have been successful, that itself is not evidence of a conspiracy.

A free choice is one that is

A free choice is one that is not made under compulsion.

- Josh

theres lots of product

theres lots of product released that was distaseful to someone but they swallowed hard, rolled up their sleeves, and got in their Bentley,went home to BeverlyHills and cried a silent tear for the poor , the downtrodden,the forgotten, etc, and prepared to face another day of screaming into a phone because they lost .5% off foriegn royalties and their neice didn't get the lead role.
Its exactly like Hunter Thompson said. Its a shallow cruel trench full of disturbed hypocrytical filth. And thats being kind.

I deal constantly with the

I deal constantly with the same misunderstanding by social anarchists. I've repeatedly heard the claim that "markets are good, but must exist in a larger context that includes non-market activities like mutual aid, cooperation, etc."

My argument in response is that all those things are part of a market, unless they're coerced. A "market" is simply the sum total of voluntary actions, exchanges, and relationships. There's as much (more, actually) room in a free market for producers' co-ops, LETS systems, and voluntary communalism, as there is for Microsoft.

"No, no!" they reply. "A market can only be individual exchange for the purpose of profit maximization." So apparently, in popular understanding, a "market" consists only of the stereotypical actions of the crudest "economic man" parody, pinching every penny in Scrooge MacDuck fashion.

BTW, as I understand it, if we take the Austrian model of the rationally calculating individual trying to maximize his preferences as applying to non-monetized as well as conventionally "economic" decisions, it becomes impossible to distinguish between exploitative and non-exploitative forms of coercion. The distinction assumes that only those forms of coercion that result in an "economic" gain at another's expense is exploitative. Forms of coercion that control others' behavior for the sake of power itself, and don't result in increased consumption to the coercer in a monetary sense, can't be exploitative.

But if we set aside the distinction between conventionally "economic" activity and non-economic activity, ALL forms of coercion involve forcing a person to accept a less preferred outcome in order to produce an outcome desired by the coercer. Therefore, all use of force implies one person maximizing his utility at the expense of others, and is in that sense "exploitative."

Wild Pegasus: A free choice

Wild Pegasus: A free choice is one that is not made under compulsion.

Okay, define ?Compulsion?.

Because aren?t all choices always ?compelled??

Isn?t it a fact that in reality your choices are always limited to exactly One? And if you only have one option to pick from, then in what way are you really making a ?choice? at all?

Are you ?compelled? to stop at a red light, or do you ?choose? to stop at red lights?

I guess you have a ?choice? to just blindly try and run through it. If you want to call that a ?choice??

Compulsion - a threat

Compulsion - a threat against life or property by another

Isn’t it a fact that in reality your choices are always limited to exactly One?

Of course not. For example, although I chose to respond, I could have just as easily chosen not to respond.

Are you “compelled” to stop at a red light, or do you “choose” to stop at red lights?

I choose to stop. There is no immediate threat to my life or property if I don't, but I recognise the safety dangers if I don't. In my hometown of 14,500 people, if I'm driving late at night, I usually don't stop at red lights.

I guess you have a “choice” to just blindly try and run through it. If you want to call that a “choice”?

Those are English words, but they are not arranged in any order that makes sense in the English language.

- Josh

Hey Josh, Compulsion - a

Hey Josh,

Compulsion - a threat against life or property by another.

Is smoking cigarettes a compulsion?

How about stopping at a red traffic light?

The Serpent: Isn?t it a fact that in reality your choices are always limited to exactly One?

The Wild Pegasus: Of course not. For example, although I chose to respond, I could have just as easily chosen not to respond.

Are you sure?

Is it just as accurate to say that:

although you chose to be born (as Josh), you could have just as easily chosen not to be born (as Josh)?

Maybe you don?t have any choices at all. You just don?t realize it? Or maybe someone or something else is controlling your thoughts and your actions, and it has been going on for so long that you no longer realize (perceive) it?

How do you know for certain that you had any choice not to respond?

The Serpent: Are you ?compelled? to stop at a red light, or do you ?choose? to stop at red lights?

The Wild Pegasus: I choose to stop. There is no immediate threat to my life or property if I don't, but I recognise the safety dangers if I don't.

What is the precise difference between an ?immediate threat to your life?, and the ?safety dangers of running a red traffic light?? Are you saying that running a red light isn?t inherently and immediately threatening to your life?

It?s all cause and effect isn?t it? There is no ?choice? involved on your part at all per sae ? right? Based on your past experiences you perceive that it is beneficial for you to stop at red traffic lights, and it is potentially (meaning inevitable over time) harmful for you to run red traffic lights.

You are just like a computer algorithm behaving in a completely deterministic manner. I don?t see where you are making ?choices? any more than a computer algorithm ?choose? that 2 + 2 equals 4.

What am I missing?

The Wild Pegasus: In my hometown of 14,500 people, if I'm driving late at night, I usually don't stop at red lights.

Right, but isn?t that also based on past experience, and a systematic logical determination on your part of what is beneficial, and what is harmful?

The Serpent: I guess you have a ?choice? to just blindly try and run through it. If you want to call that a ?choice??

The Wild Pegasus: Those are English words, but they are not arranged in any order that makes sense in the English language.

We?re speaking English though, right?

Maybe ?choice? is a logically inconsistent term in the English language? Or maybe ?choice? means something different to Individuals who believe they possess ?free will??

Does the Moon ?choose? to orbit the Earth?

What makes you assume you had any more ?choice? in responding to my last post?

After all, you are made of atoms and nothing else, and the moon is made of atoms and nothing else.

Compulsion - a threat

Compulsion - a threat against life or property by another

This wasn't unclear. Re-read and apply.

Are you sure?

Yes.

Is it just as accurate to say that:

although you chose to be born (as Josh), you could have just as easily chosen not to be born (as Josh)?

You said, "Isn't it a fact that in reality your choices are always limited to exactly One?"

And in fact, no, that's not the case. Providing examples of things which I had no choice in (such as the choice to be born) doesn't help your argument if I provide one example where I do have choice, such as the choice to respond. There may be cases where my choice is no choice at all (such as having blond hair or blue eyes), but that is not all, obviously.

You are just like a computer algorithm behaving in a completely deterministic manner

Proof?

Right, but isn't that also based on past experience, and a systematic logical determination on your part of what is beneficial, and what is harmful?

Of course it is, but that doesn't mean it's not a choice. I could just as easily stop at red lights at 3:45 am in my hometown, there's just no point.

Does the Moon "choose" to orbit the Earth?

It is apparent to everyone except the extremely stupid that the moon and I share few characteristics.

What makes you assume you had any more "choice"; in responding to my last post?

The fact that I made the decision to do so and no one made it for me.

After all, you are made of atoms and nothing else, and the moon is made of atoms and nothing else.

However, the moon's atoms are not arranged in such a way as to give it consciousness, volition, and will. That this is in doubt shows just how truly screwed up you are.

- Josh