Fine Arts

Scripting Liberty: Story, Economics, and Television Drama


Recent television dramas have told gripping stories about the crushing power of state institutions, the shifting calculus of political power, and the nature of individualism in a world where rights, responsibilities, and opportunities are all shrinking. This conference sought to consider this new trend in order to gain insight into what these dramas can tell us about twenty-first-century thoughts about liberty and the prospects of liberty-oriented material in popular media and culture.


Conference Readings

Buchanan, James M. “Saving the Soul of Classical Liberalism.” Wall Street Journal, January 1, 2000. (accessed July 16, 2014).

Buchanan, James M. “Public Choice: Politics Without Romance.” Policy Magazine 19, no. 3 (Spring 2003): 13-18.

Cantor, Paul. The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2012.

Gillespie, Nick and Jim Epstein. “David Simon Accuses Reason of Producing a "Shanked" Interview With Him. Decide for Yourself [September 21, 2012] .” (accessed July 16, 2014).

Gottschall, Jonathan. The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2012.

Hayek, Friedrich A. The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Volume I: The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism. Edited by W. W. Bartley III. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988, 1989, 1991.

Schumpeter, Joseph A. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy [3rd edition]. New York City: Harper Perennial Modern Thought, 2008.

Video. “House of Cards [United States television series].” By Beau Willimon (creator). Netflix.

Video. “Breaking Bad [United States television series].” By Vince Gilligan (creator). AMC.

Video. “The Wire [United States television series].” By David Simon (creator). HBO.

Video. “David Simon on Treme, New Orleans, the Drug War, Obama, The Wire - And Disappointing Libertarians [September 20, 2012].” By Nick Gillespie and Jim Epstein. ReasonTV

Video. “Evolution and Spontaneous Order [A lecture at the 33rd Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Germany, 1983].” By Friedrich A. Hayek.

Video. “Keynote Address at the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival [4-minute excerpt].” By Kevin Spacey. YouTube (August 22, 2013).

Video. “Milton Friedman Speaks Series, Lecture 4, "The Role of Government in a Free Society" [Stanford University, 1978].” By Milton Friedman. Free to Choose TV

Video. “Milton Friedman Speaks Series, Lecture 11, "Putting Learning Back in the Classroom" [Harlem, New York, 1978].” By Milton Friedman. Free to Choose TV.