Friday, August 12, 2011

"Hip Hop & Libertarians"

Public Enemy – Can’t Do Nuttin’ For Ya Man (The best #libertarian rap song ever)…you want 6$ for what??

It is true, the twin libertarian ideals of wealth and individualism are promoted passionately in rap music. In fact, both themes are so important that they, more often than not, comprise the entire subject matter of most rap songs. The time rappers don’t spend enumerating their lavish purchases (rare), they spend tirelessly promoting themselves as the greatest poet, musician, jewelry model, venture capitalist, gangsta, etc., among their peers. This competition, as Mr. Hartfield noted, is textbook rugged individualism. Indeed, J.P. Morgan couldn’t have scripted it any better.

This is the type of confident self-assertion detested by socialists. The only thing they hate more than confident individualism is materialistic desire, and rap provides both in spades. 50 Cent, for example, rose from the adversity of nine bullet holes in his flesh to acquire great fame and wealth. That type of capitalistic work ethic makes Jack Welsh look like a lazy slob.

Capitalism is so ingrained in the rap industry’s Zeitgeist that even the poor, underground rappers who don’t have any money talk about how much money they have. Socialists call this disgusting materialism; Adam Smith would call it the admirable incentive toward upward mobility. We all know who is right.

The smartest, most market-conscious rappers in the rap game brand themselves and become true entrepreneurs. Noting the extreme value of profit, they take a step beyond making money off of their ill flow and clever rhymes, and start making money off of living life as themselves. The only thing more capitalistic than making a profit is being a profit, and this economics lesson is not lost on Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Snoop, Dr. Dre, and the other bling-blinging paradigms of free-market capitalism.

Continue reading the article, in it’s entirety here.

NOTE: This article was originally published in January 01, 2008 by The Prometheus Institute. PI is a public policy organization dedicated to pioneering innovative technology which increases civic engagement in the United States, especially among the younger generations.

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