“It’s not rocket appliances, just supply and command!”
The long awaited 8th season of The Trailer Park Boys has finally been released on Netflix, and as always there are some interesting philosophical and economic concepts hidden in the comedy. The specific recurring theme that I am going to discuss in this article is Agorism.
Agorism is a strategy of noncompliance that uses counter economics and underground markets as a way of keeping power in the hands of the average people, thus slowly diminishing the power and relevance of the control structure. Growing food, using bitcoin, homeschooling, running a small business without licenses, bartering and starting community currencies are all examples of Agorist activities.
Some Agorists are even so bold as to create businesses that will challenge existing state monopolies, like we saw last year when Detroit residents created their own community protection agencies because the police were no longer responding to 911 calls. It is as simple as finding a need in your community for a particular good or service, and attempting to provide that value without any sort of interaction with the government or any other unchosen 3rd parties. In other words, the basic idea is to try solving the problem yourself, with your community instead of waiting around for a politician to make the problem worse.
Unfortunately, the Trailer Park Boys are not a perfect representation of what Agorism is all about, because they regularly violate the non-aggression principle, committing acts of force, fraud, theft and coercion that Agorists would find unnaceptable. It is important to mention that while Agorists make a point to break bad laws, they believe that it is immoral to violate the health, freedom or property of another human being. With that being said, there are also many nonviolent activities that the Trailer Park Boys get involved in with hopes of making a living and providing services for their neighbors.
1- Ricky’s Hash Coins
Ricky of the Trailer Park Boys may not be the most well read character on the show, but many times his simplistic view of complex social issues makes a lot more sense than anything that you would hear from a politician. In many police encounters throughout the series, Ricky regularly points out that the police are people just like he is, and they don’t have any extra rights just because they are wearing silly costumes.
In the recent made-for-TV movie Trailer Park Boys: Live in F**kin’ Dublin Ricky attempts to get on a private jet with drugs, and is shocked and appalled when he was threatened with arrest by customs agents. In the altercation Ricky told the agents that he was going to be on a private jet, and that “private means I can do what the f*!% I want!”. So even if he doesn’t understand the full scope of what he is saying, on a fundamental level Ricky understands that property is freedom.
In the newest season, Ricky has great success minting and distributing his own currency. Ricky decided that instead of spending all day selling his drugs to make money, he would just literally turn his drugs directly into money. He did this by minting coins with hash oil, according to weight, and convincing other people in his community to trade with them.
While Ricky’s approach at alternative currency may seem far fetched, it is economically sound, and it is sending a positive message to the youth.
2 – Building Without Permits
Ricky, Julian and Bubbles have taken on a wide range of home improvement and building projects in the many years that they have been friends, and getting permits has never been on their agenda. In the first few minutes of the new season the boys install a massive air conditioner in the trailer park, which they plan on hooking up to multiple trailers. While they are working, they are approached by their arch nemesis, newly appointed trailer park supervisor, Randy Bobandy.
Bobandy asks the group if they had all of the permits needed to install the air conditioner and they told him to get lost. Eventually, Bobandy agrees not to report them to the government after Bubbles convinced him that the air conditioner wasn’t being used for a grow room.
3 – Julian’s Sports Bar & Gym
Julian turns his trailer into a sports bar where he is able to sell alcoholic beverages without a liquor license, by giving the drinks away for free and then accepting donations from his customers. He makes a point to mention that these donations are “tax free”.
4- Roc Vodka
In Season 8, J-Roc leaves the hip hop industry to become an entrepreneur, creating his own homemade “Roc Vodka”, an alcoholic beverage that is loved by everyone in the trailer park. J-Roc appears to employ at least a half-dozen people with his new business and has a distribution arrangement with Julian’s Bar and Gym.
5 – The Dirty Dancer
When faced with some last minute fundraising challenges, the Trailer Park Boys decide to open up an unlicensed strip club in the park called “The Dirty Dancer”. The employees are paid with Ricky’s hash coins and Roc Vodka is served at the bar. When the police arrive to shut down the event, the boys insist that they were only having a house party, so they can avoid licensing and regulation fees.
6 -Bubbles’ Shed & Breakfast
Bubbles has a vision of creating a bed & breakfast on his property for people who want to travel with their cats and sleep in sheds. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end up very successful, and Bubbles has a hard time bringing in customers. Luckily, they are able to salvage the business by turning it into a prostitution hotel for the nearby “Dirty Dancer”. Eventually, Bubbles Shed & Breakfast becomes the site of a hash oil extraction operation, which leads to a $125,000 score that helped the boys purchase shares in the park.
7. Coconut’s Jungle Hut
Coconut, a friend of Ricky and Julian, sets up a bar and grill in the middle of a hardware store parking lot, where he attracts customers with his talking parrot.
8 – Black Market Activity
Whether they are growing weed and smuggling it across national borders with hair metal musician Sebastian Bach, making moonshine, running a prostitution ring or buying unregistered weapons, the Trailer Park Boys are not strangers to the black market. Still, the trio work hard on their “semi-legit” businesses so they can retire and not worry about getting sent to jail anymore.
9 – Emancipation Through Asserting Property Rights
Throughout the Trailer Park Boys saga, the group has always been at odds with the trailer park’s management. The supervisors of the park are always poking their noses around in everyone’s lives, and they have always kept tabs on Ricky, Bubbles and Julian. Over the years, the boys learned that the best way to achieve freedom in the trailer park is to buy it themselves, so the people of the park can live in peace without wanna-be-cop trailer park supervisors always trying to ruin their good time.