The Future of Independent Media
The Market Provides
You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it. The argument goes:
Libertarianism sounds great in theory, but it is not practical. Or Libertarianism has no teeth, it cannot go on the offensive against political problems.
In fact, Conservative commentator Jesse Kelly just argued this critique on Part of the Problem with Dave Smith:
Kelly: …see this is my main problem with conservatism, with libertarianism, with all of it … philosophically, communism, the way it is is a religion of domination  the base tenant of it is it has to be worldwide. That’s how they destroy everything. They never stop. They’re always playing off it. It’s always advancing. Conservatism, libertarianism, whatever you want to call it, does not have an offensive mechanism built into it, because, by its very nature, it’s “live and let live,” “leave me alone.” Anybody, if you want to look at this as combat, and politics is just a continuation of that, anybody knows you can’t just hide behind the castle walls and let them pound forever. You have to have some mechanism to beat them back off the walls or they’re coming in. I don’t care how long it is. And there’s simply no offensive mechanism to it.
Big Tech is a great example of this. And I’m twisted on this myself. You have 2.6 billion people on Facebook and Twitter. It is the means of communication now. It is how people consume news, share news, talk with each other, it is the public square now. Okay, you let a bunch of communists take this over, smashing people on the Right and the only answer you get from people like me, frankly, is “well, we can’t have the government step in.” Well that’s not good enough! People who are getting crushed need some kind of solution. and if all I can say is “well, its none of my business” then they’re going to go to someone who has a solution.
Smith: Look if you were expecting me to disagree with you, I don’t think I’m going to be able to, its a real Catch-22…
Dave goes on to describe the libertarian dilemma that private companies are allowed to discriminate, but that we definitely do not want the government to get involved.
This was not the case with Jesse Kelly, but the argument he presented is often the death rattle of a statist who has realized he cannot argue against the logic of libertarianism. The statist suddenly becomes radically pragmatic.
I would posit that the solution is not to beg the government to come in and regulate. Neither is the solution to throw our collective liberty loving paws up in the air, screaming “Welp! It’s a private company bro!”
The solution is to weaponize the power of the market.
You see, there definitely are folks, even liberty folks, working on solutions. And, as much as I appreciate and respect Dave (I do immensely), I have not heard him discuss or promote them. (If I am wrong, please correct me).
My favorite alternative YouTube is Lbry.tv
I say alternative, but the truth is much bigger than that:
Lbry (pronounced “Library”) is a decentralized content marketplace that is controlled by its users. Lbry allows content creators to post all manner of files, from audio, to video, to pdf, epub, etc.
As a content creator, Lbry allows me to permanently post my content on Lbry’s blockchain. My content is hosted by other users and not a centralized server. Viewers can then consume my content there. If they like my content, they can reward me with a crypto currency called LBC (Lbry Credits).
One LBC is currently worth 11.5 cents. At its all time high, one LBC was worth $1.20. Lbry currency is exciting, because it has the potential, like other crypocurrencies, to skyrocket as more people start using the platform.
Okay Patrick, how does this solve the censorship problem? If Lbry decides it doesn’t like a certain type of content, can they take it down?
In order to comply with certain legal requirements, Lbry has to have the ability to take down certain content. However, Lbry’s blockchain is public and is accessible by everyone. This means that even if Lbry unpublishes my content, anyone can create their own version of Lbry to access the Lbry blockchain and display its content.
Now, let’s get to my favorite part.
Before YouTube began taking EVERYONE down, it engaged in and continues to engage in other forms of soft censorship. This censorship includes a clandestine algorithm that promotes certain channels and certain kinds of content.
While content on Lbry does have organic reach, Lbry rewards content creators that invest in Lbry. Likewise, users can help to control the exposure their favorite content and creators receive by investing or donating their LBC.
How does this work? (Here’s Lbry’s full explanation if you’re interested).
When I create a channel or publish a video, I can choose to deposit some LBC on that video or channel. The more I deposit on that content, the more exposure it will get on the network. Likewise, if a user approves of my content, they can send a tip in LBC. I can choose to allow that tip to continue promoting my content on the blockchain, or I can choose to unlock it and add it to my wallet.
Also important, is that Lbry allows content creators to monetize their content. If I’d like to, I can allow viewers to purchase my content for LBC. This gives me a direct way to monetize it and gives my viewers/listeners a way to access my bonus content a la carte without paying a recurring subscription fee.
Well, how do viewers get LBC?
When new LBC is created, it is airdropped to viewers through daily viewing rewards. Users can also purchase LBC with fiat currencies through Lbry.tv. As a third option, viewers can trade other crypto currencies for LBC on an exchange.
The biggest problem with Lbry? Most people are still using YouTube as their primary means of content consumption.
This is where you libertarian activists come in.
Lbry’s infrastructure is functioning right now and has 10,000,000 users. Many of your favorite liberty content creators are already there.
So, here is my call to action.
Are you sick of big tech censorship? Are you tired of people saying that libertarians have no answers? Are you confident that the answers lie within the market?
Then make your market preference known. Be part of the solution. Start watching your favorite content creators on Lbry and participate in its economy. I guarantee you’ll feel good about it.
Here’s how to get started: if you create an account on Lbry.tv today and verify it, we with both receive 8 LBC. It will cost nothing to you AND you will be participating in the libertarian solution. (Incidentally, you can then view and support more Liberty Weekly content like this).
If you do not have time to join Lbry right now, you can also help support my content by liking, sharing, and subscribing to this article. Thank you for reading!