The Good, the Bad, and the Entrepreneurs

While I make no claim that HBO's weekly series "Deadwood" is a fount of historical realism, I am intrigued at the prospect of gaining any hints of what life in a state of true freedom is like.


One aspect that did interest me and perhaps seem plausible was in last Sunday's episode entitled "Plague". In it, when the frontier town of Deadwood is in the early stages of exposure to smallpox, it's the local proprietors who seem to come to the rescue - two saloon owners, a merchant, a publisher and a doctor commission, at cosiderable expense, three parties of riders to purchase and retrieve vaccines from the three nearest towns that might have a vaccine.

The initiator of this idea is the main "bad guy" of the show - he's killed and had killed several people in the six episodes that have aired so far. And yet he is the one who has set into motion an initiative that could presumably save most of the town from extinction. Clearly he doesn't sponsor the riders out of the goodness of his heart - and he makes no such claim. I just find it interesting that the show's writers would provide an example of how the self-interest of people - even evil people - can serve to benefit all of society when constrained by the rules of a truly free market.

P.S. Having just been to the show's website (to "borrow" a picture), I've since learned that the stories of the show are based on actual events in the town of Deadwood, South Dakota in the 1870s.

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Another instance where I

Another instance where I sort of wish I had cable teevee.

It'll come out on DVD

It'll come out on DVD eventually, John, and then we can watch it.

From what I can tell, it's

From what I can tell, it's based a lot on history. That really was the way Wild Bill Hickok was killed, his killer really was acquitted on the claim that Hickok killed his brother, Calamity Jane really did get her name from taking care of smallpox victims, and there really was an Al Swerengen. I wonder if Deadwood could be considered a good example of a historical anarcho-capitalist society. is also a great web resource.

And then we won't have to

And then we won't have to suffer through any commericials, either, Qiwi.

John - there aren't any

John - there aren't any commercials on HBO, unless they've changed their procedures since I last had cable myself.