I was a guest last night (Sunday night, Aug. 23, 2015) on the Free Talk Live radio show, with hosts Mark Edge and Ian Freeman, discussing the common law, legislation, restitution, and related issues. For background/related:
I was a guest on Jeff Berwick’s Anarchast (ep. 51, 36 min), released today. We discussed anarchy and how such a society might be reached; the basis and origin of law and property rights and its relationship to libertarian principles, and implications for legislation versus law and the legitimacy of intellectual property; also, utilitarianism, legal positivism, scientism, and logical positivism. Description from the Anarchist site below. For more background on IP, see the C4SIF Resources page; on legislation vs. private law, see The (State’s) Corruption of (Private) Law.
Anarchast Ep. 51 with Stephan Kinsella
Jeff Berwick in Acapulco, Mexico, talks with Stephan Kinsella in Houston, Texas
– Stephan explains how he became an anarchist and some of the books that pointed him in the right direction including
– The Fountainhead (http://amzn.to/VnZwSL)
– Stephan is a practicing attorney that applies his legal knowledge with his libertarian philosophy
– He believes a free law society will only come about if a majority of people agree in libertarian principles
– Law is defined as a concrete body of rules that permits a group of people that want to be able to cooperate to be able to do so
– Jeff asks if it is necessary for everyone to agree with libertarian philosophy in order to have a free society
– Stephan thinks that a majority of people already have libertarian principles but have not been educated correctly in constancy
– He is more optimistic that most because he sees more people not accepting central planning than in the past
– Jeff thinks that there could be a backlash against free market ideas during a financial collapse where the people believe capitalism is to blame
– Stephan hopes that people will slowly find the state to be irrelevant and this will bring about a free society
– Jeff thinks that there will be a financial collapse that will make this transition unpredictable
– Stephan is an expert in libertarian Intellectual Property theory
– He explains the principles of property law
– What most people think is law today is not what law would be based on in a libertarian society
– Stephan explains the problem with legal and economic positivism
– The proper libertarian view is to be opposed to making law through legislation
– The problem with intellectual property is that you are able to use the force of the government against someone who has not aggressed against you
– Stephan explains the problems with the utilitarian Intellectual property justification
– The intellectual property system forces everyone to participate even if they don’t agree with it
Stephan is doing astounding work in libertarian legal theory you can find more in formation on his sites
I’ve written umpteen times on Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s groundbreaking “argumentation ethics” theory for libertarian rights, since 1994 or so. I still hear the same, tired old arguments and criticisms over and over. It’s amazing to me how cocksure some libertarians are, who have no theory of rights of their own, and many of them have no philosophical or scholarly backgrounds, yet they feel compelled to punkishly criticize Hoppe and his theory of rights, even though it’s clear they have read almost nothing and have no theory of their own for why they are even libertarian. They are unaware of or are intellectually incapable of recognizing Hoppe’s many contributions to economic and political theory.1
I’ve written in detail about this—see discussion and links in “Argumentation Ethics and Liberty: A Concise Guide.” (( Mises Daily (May 27, 2011) (includes “Discourse Ethics and Liberty: A Skeletal Ebook”) (supplemental resources) (archived version of the comments on the Mises blog). )) But the questions keep coming; the same old tired repsonses keep coming. I keep responding, for some reason, like Sisyphus. Anyway, here is a modified version of a recent response I wrote to some email correspondents who kept ignorantly insisting Hoppe’s AE is some bizarre crankish view. [click to continue…]
Intellectual property is one of the most controversial topics among libertarians. Can ideas be legitimate forms of property? Do the benefits of intellectual property laws, such as providing incentives for inventors, overcome the negatives, such as benefiting large corporations relative to newcomers in industry? Stephan Kinsella argues ideas are not and cannot be property, and that the negatives of IP easily outweigh the positives: IP amounts to a grant of government monopoly. Alexander Baker counters with a theory entitled “Intellectual Space” which argues that intangible goods (songs, movies, software, games) display all the same characteristics (homesteadable, useful, costly, scarce, rivalrous) as physical goods (bicycles, factories, diamonds), thus requiring property rights to eliminate conflict over their use.
Baker’s most recent ruminations on IP.”Ace” Baker will never figure out IP. He keeps trying over and over again to explain what he thinks about it, and why it may be justified. Sad. My comment: “When do you think you’ll finally figure this stuff out? Let me tell you–never. You are doing what I tried to do from about 1990 to 1994–I tried to find a good argument for IP. I kept stumbling. Finally, after having read and thought enough, I realized why I was unable to do this. Because, you know, IP is totally and utterly unjustified. I was young enough to admit my previous error and to change course. I fear you are too old now and determined to argue for IP no matter what. This is tendentious, and sad.”
Everyone seem to have an opinion about what the “correct” libertarianism is. What are its limits? What are the areas in which libertarians get bogged down in semantic arguments and minutiae, and what are the arguments that really matter? Stephan Kinsella believes that he has the answers, and will share them Monday, July 14th at 9pm EDT!
Last month I attended PorcFest 2015 and delivered this talk on intellectual property. A higher-quality version should be made available by PorcFest later this year. This one was shot by James Cox.
I also participated in a debate on anarchy and participated in a couple of radio shows (Ernie Hancock’s Freedom Phoenix and Free Talk Live). James Cox shot some other videos as well, which are up on his channel; a few of these are also embedded below.
Lecture: Intellectual Property is the Root of All Evil: Porcfest 2015