Lots of people deride the Jeremy Kyle show -often with some justification- as one of the very worst examples of car-crash television, parading the weak and the feckless for the viewing public’s titilation, and I suppose it does. What it also does, however, is provide a very real and current demonstration of how voluntary associations and trade can be harnessed to aid people absent the state’s involvement.
The Jeremy Kyle show does help people. They have comprehensive aftercare and counselling as well as providing the mediation, polygraph, DNA analysis or whatever else is required to help the participants turn whatever corner in their lives they have appeared on the show to turn. Nobody is forced to appear -except by their consciences or desire for the truth- and most importantly of all, the services provided by the show are free at the point of use.
This is not to say that the producers, researchers, counselling teams or even Mr. Kyle himself are volunteers, donating their time and energy for purely altruistic reasons (not that there is anything wrong with that), they expect to profit from it. They put on a show that people watch, sell advertising and turn a profit from helping people, all without court orders or state-certified mediation services or any of the other tendrils the big state loves to infect people’s private lives with. From this we can show that absent a state, the profit motive would indeed lead enterprising people to plug the gaps in the market left by the state’s dissolution, and those enterprises would by no means be out of the reach of the poor.