My animation: How Government Solved the Health Care Crisis

in anarchism •  3 years ago

Hello everyone. My animation, How Government Solved the Health Care Crisis, was published today. Here it is.

I rely on social media for people to see my stuff. If you like it, I value your shares and votes very highly!

Roderick T. Long’s essay, on which it’s based, tells a story very few know. I appreciate its challenge to the idea that government is the protector of the poor, guardian of their well-being. One of my motivations for making an animated adaptation of this narrative was that since making Edgar the Exploiter - in one respect a defence of the ‘greedy capitalist’ - I was looking forward to illustrating an example of how a historically greater measure of liberty enabled the working class to empower themselves and help one another.

Roderick kindly gave his blessing to the project by email before I began in earnest. I very much hope he enjoys the result.

Scroll down for a few remarks about the process of making it and what's next.

The team

My biggest thanks to my patient Patrons and to the Moving Picture Institute who jointly funded the project.

Working with @stephaniemurphy providing the narration ( was great. We scheduled a Skype appointment for the recording day so that I could listen in remotely and give direction while she did the takes. While she was recording it became clear that there were some small problems in the script that (despite the many revisions) hadn’t been apparent before. Stephanie gave some great suggestions for fixes that made it into the final recording. Her personal knowledge about, and involvement with mutual aid was apt and helpful.

Matthew Zipkin provided music and sound effects. As ever his versatility and turnaround speed were so helpful.

Time tracking

Checking the creation date of the script document I can see it’s been in production for about one and a half years. Though much of that duration was part-time so it’s hard to say exactly how long it took.

That’s a problem for me. I know that my animation work always takes a tonne of time to complete, but it’d be really helpful if I knew exactly how much, so that I can plan smarter and stand a better chance of avoiding financial trouble. With a young kid to support this problem has gotten more urgent lately.

I’ve tried using traditional time tracking apps in the past but each of them required too much self-discipline and manual interaction for me to use any of them for long. Part way through HGSTHC I discovered using PaymoPlus, a kind of automated time tracking system that tracks the document titles and apps you’re using on your machine. You can set up regex rules on the document titles to automatically assign working time on certain document titles to certain projects. The data is being collected now and I’m happy about the prospect of being able to get a better handle on exactly how much time animation work is costing me in the future.


Even without full time tracking data, I know that I spent a good deal longer on this project than the funding covered - entirely my fault. Lesson: the caution multiplier I used on my initial time estimate wasn’t high enough.

There were problems in the storyboard phase that I didn’t figure out a really solid solution to before moving on to design and animation. That’s a bad idea, ends up costing much more time and wrestling with sub-optimal visuals later on. Lesson: Fix the storyboard first, even when (especially when) it’s a struggle. On the subject of storyboards, there are a couple of very promising looking online tools in the works: and

This was the first time I’ve used a proper video editing software for editing. In my previous projects both compositing and editing was done in after effects. No-Shit-Sherlock-Lesson: Use the right tools for the job, even if you don’t know them yet, it makes things easier.


The way I’m thinking about my next independent project right now, I want to return to something much closer to the feel of George Ought to Help again - a short script that has the viewer agreeing with each claim, and feeling either the discomfort of cognitive dissonance or a little epiphany by the end. I’m looking forward to it!

I'm Tomasz Kaye. I made George Ought To Help and other pro-liberty propaganda films. You can support my work on

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Holy crap, it's bitbutter! I've been following since you first put "George" up and I've shared your videos more times than I can count. Brilliant to have you here :)


Hey @piedpiper, thanks so much! That's very encouraging to hear.

The way I’m thinking about my next independent project right now, I want to return to something much closer to the feel of George Ought to Help again - a short script that has the viewer agreeing with each claim, and feeling either the discomfort of cognitive dissonance or a little epiphany by the end.

Wooo!! That's exciting, I look forward to it very much.


Thanks! Yes, I'm excited about it too.

Well done. Very well put video, and I enjoy the style.

I never knew about the lodge practice. That is an amazing concept, and one we should re-look at as a society.

I live in South Africa, and the medical system here is disasterous, with pretty much the same symptoms as the US.


Thanks @spartanza, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I had similar thoughts when i first heard about this too.

This is absolutely amazing, Tomasz! So much easy to understand information packed into a great animated clip. I feel I have much to learn from you, my friend! I'm so glad you reached out to me, so I could follow you. I am working on my property post now and I would love to hear your take when it's up.


That's great to hear @derekareith, thanks! One of my worries was whether it may be too information dense, so I'm encouraged that you mentioned that it was easy to understand. Looking forward to your post (feel free to ping me somehow once you've posted if you like).

Good stuff man, look forward to the next independent project


Thanks very much @scaredycatguide!

You are truly an inspiration @bitbutter ! I have been sharing your videos for years and it is an exciting day when a new one is released! Thank you for everything you do to make these videos possible!

Can't wait for the next one!

a short script that has the viewer agreeing with each claim, and feeling either the discomfort of cognitive dissonance or a little epiphany by the end.

That sounds so great, reminds me of The Mirror by @larkenrose.


](The Mirror)


Thanks @cypherzealot! Ah, that's @larkenrose's interactive project, I saw mention of that a while back. I'm curious how it turns out. It sounds pretty ambitious, but he has a great track record!

A long-term ambition of mine is to make (for want of a better description) a branching interactive version of George Ought to Help. I have the technical skills now, but not currently the time - and it feels like a bigger gamble than making a short video, in terms of how many people will end up seeing it. Would be a lot of fun to do though.


a branching interactive version of George Ought to Help.

I wonder if you could do it on YouTube as a collection of short videos linking to each other. Unfortunately, though, on screen links don't work on mobile.


Yes you could, but it feels a bit messy having all those piecemeal videos. I don't think YouTube is designed to facilitate that kind of thing very well at the moment.

So wonderful to see you here, it's nice when people I follow elsewhere show up :)


Great to be here. This platform is super interesting. Hello again!

Great work! It's very interesting that healthcare was once actually treated as a service that was accountable to the market. It certainly doesn't feel that way anymore.


Thanks @louiefreeman! Yes, it certainly doesn't feel that way now.

Voted and shared! :)


Fantastic, thanks for the help @tmendieta!

Awesome vid :)

There people in poor countries use similar methods to fraternal societies today to get large sums of money- since credit is extremely important for getting out of poverty. In the documentary "Living on One Dollar" they go into more detail, but basically people who live on a dollar a day will pay ~30% of their income into a pot every month. After X months (where X is the number of people in the group- usually ~10), they get X times the amount they're putting in (so the same amount back as they donated in the first place). So if I was putting in $12/month, I'd get back ~120 after a year- enough to start a business, or buy a tiny plot of land to generate more wealth.

Helping each other is great. Good thing there are people who work well.

Have you ever used or thought of using Blender for your videos?


Hey @playerdeus. I didn't use Blender in my videos yet. Edgar the Exploiter had quite a few cinema4d rendered bits. I'm using Blender right now for game development stuff, so if I need 3d elements in future vids they'll probably come from Blender. I expect those parts to me quite subtle though - it's unlikely i'd try a fully 3d rendered production.


I was thinking more down the lines of how southpark uses maya for their 2d animations, not necessarily for 3d only. I also discovered recently that blender works well with mp4 video files as textures, I was considering using it to do some video editing, more specifically to create fake UI interactions for tutorials, with zooms and a fake mouse.

What game engine are you looking at using, or are you thinking a custom engine, or blenders engine?


Ah yes I see. I have seen some good looking 2d blender rigs. Right now I've invested enough time and muscle memory into how Harmony handles rigging that I'm probably unlikely to learn how to do the equivalent in Blender at the moment - unless a game project called for it perhaps, that is (Harmony's export pipeline to Unity is very lacking at the moment).

I use Unity for game development. And often render out little Unity scenes that I can put together with code faster than i can set up in Harmony or After effects. For instance the 'Rings of floating doctors' scenes in this new animation were scripted and rendered out of Unity as PNG sequences with transparent backgrounds.

Grade "A+" for effort and presentation.


Thanks very much @darthnava.