The Revolution Will Be Streamed: Marxist Version of Netflix in Development
Silly me! All this time I was operating under the delusion that Netflix is a leftist entity. Or, rather, I've bought the lie that the people who run the online streaming service are leftists. Thankfully, the people behind Means TV have seen through Netflix's ruse and are developing a leftist version. And by "leftist," I mean Marxist.
To give credit where credit it's due, I discovered Means TV while perusing Teen Vogue. In her article, Lucy Diavolo posits this scenario:
Imagine this: Your sweetie texts you about how to spend your quiet night in together, or you’re looking for the perfect binge watch to reward yourself after a tough finals week. As you’re scrolling through the latest additions to your favorite streaming site, you realize the entire entertainment industry is actually a capitalist machine designed to monetize your eagerness to chill.
What if, instead, you could pop on something about the history of colonization, the challenges of workplace hierarchies, or socialist feminism?
Thankfully (if you're a leftist with a poor grasp of economics) the team behind Alexandria Ocasio-Ortez's viral video campaign have come to the rescue. In an interview with Jacobin, Means TV co-founder Nick Hayes explains:
Means TV is a post-capitalist subscription-based streaming service. It’s cooperatively run, and it’s a direct challenge to capitalism and the establishment entertainment structures. The best parallel is something like Netflix or Hulu. We’re a network that creates original content and acquires content from other people that we feel aligns with our values. We’ll produce and distribute that content with the goal of providing a cooperative platform for socialist writers, filmmakers, comedians, and entertainers.
While wading through the variety of articles about Means TV as prep work for this article, several thoughts bounced around my head:
- Leftists want full-on Marxism.
- Like AOC, none of them demonstrate even a rudimentary grasp of human nature or economics.
- Ironically, Nick Hayes and his partner Naomi Burton are going to make money from this: chalk one up for capitalism.
Now, for all I know, they may donate all that money to Comrade Bernie's 2020 presidential campaign. The fact remains, though, that they're exploiting a need in the market and selling a product to consumers. As I said, chalk one up for capitalism.
Those thoughts, as well as others that bounced around my head while researching Means TV, defy distillation into a short article. The important thing to note is the desire Hayes and Burton have to shape the worldview of their consumers — utilizing propaganda, of course. In the interview with Jacobin, they make Marxist claims like this:
One of the biggest myths is that there’s a middle class and everyone’s in it. All the time I hear, "I’m struggling, but I’m like lower-middle-class." It’s like, no, we’re working class. We are all working to create wealth for other people.
I'll leave it the readers to dissect the problems in that statement. For my purposes, I want to point out that the above quote is the kind of propaganda that Means TV will be feeding their customers. And, no doubt, their customer base is growing.
Becoming a fledgling Marxist in the 21st century is much easier than when I was in my late teens and twenties. Back then, you had to go through the trouble of reading books. Now, you can watch erroneous YouTube videos and, in short order, subscribe to a Marxist online streaming site. Borrowing and repurposing the words of Teen Vogue writer Lucy Diavolo, Means TV is a capitalist machine designed to monetize leftists' eagerness to ruin the economy and their desire to thwart humanity's ability to flourish.