Commerce and Culture

1. The Economic Basis of Culture

Media and Culture

07/24/2006Audio/Video
Paul Cantor is self-taught in most areas. He did, however, take two courses under Mises and earned a PhD in Literature. He states that culture is the last battleground between Marxism and free markets. Marxists lost the economic arguments.

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2. Shakespeare's Theater

Media and Culture

07/25/2006Audio/Video
This is a great example of commercial art and a great commercial artist – Shakespeare. Nobody does like competition, but competition, like Marlowe and Johnson, is healthy for culture. Shakespeare had to approach entrepreneurial backers in London who had surplus wealth to invest in a capital...

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3. The Economics of Painting: Patronage vs. the Market

Media and CulturePhilosophy and Methodology

07/25/2006Audio/Video
A priceless Klimt painting turned out at auction to have a price - $135 million. Scholarship on painting is sympathetic to markets, unlike scholarship on music. Picasso was even called an entrepreneur. Picasso was quite wealthy early in his career and died a billionaire. Not every artist starves.

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4. The Economics of Classical Music: Patronage vs. the Market

Media and CultureCalculation and Knowledge

07/26/2006Audio/Video
There was a conflict between patronage and the market in music, as reflected in the book, Quarter Notes and Banknotes. The classical music tradition is traced back to Paris. The Court of Burgundy in the 14 th and 15 th Century begins to get interesting.

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5. The Serialized Novel in the Nineteenth Century

Media and CultureWorld History

07/26/2006Audio/Video
Dickens’ work reflects popular culture as a feedback mechanism. He saluted middle class virtues. He praised capitalism. He had high regard for free enterprise. Dickens was the greatest novelist in English. Dickens died a very wealthy man...

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6. The Economics of Modernism

Media and CultureCalculation and Knowledge

07/27/2006Audio/Video
Modernism was a reaction to mass culture and totalitarianism government support. Are artists better off being shielded from markets and commercial pressures? There are pluses and minuses to commercial systems.

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7. Totalitarianism and the Arts in the 20th Century

Media and CultureWorld HistoryPolitical Theory

07/27/2006Audio/Video
Art can flourish under any conditions. Many falsely imagine that commercialization is always a bad thing, but the commercial system has produced great art, too. Totalitarianism and modernism is the last thing anyone wants to say anything good about.

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8. The Rise of the Motion Picture

Media and Culture

07/28/2006Audio/Video
The motion picture is purely commercial art. Lack of taste can earn a producer a fortune. This is the perfect intersection of commerce and culture. Most movies are bad, but many are very good. The movie form is so recent, that its history is right there to see. It was just a novelty item at first.

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9. When is a Network Not a Network?

Media and Culture

07/28/2006Audio/Video
Television is not better because you don’t want it to be. The relation of government and television and movies are certainly not free markets, just relatively free markets. TV has always been in a regulated environment. TV is licensed by the federal government...

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10. Conclusion: Culture as Pop Culture

Media and Culture

07/29/2006Audio/Video
We have such a bias against commercial art in our culture that Cantor tries to show that some of the great art of the past grew out of commercial activity. Cantor had never played a video game, so he had to work through those. He sees that this is where things are going.

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