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I just attended PorcFest 2015 and participated in a debate on anarchy, presented and IP talk, and participated in a couple of radio shows (Ernie Hancock’s Freedom Phoenix and Free Talk Live); more on these later.

This is an impromptu video shot by James Cox of some discussions with Larken Rose who was sitting under his “rock” for several days.


Foreword to A Spontaneous Order

Below is the text of my foreword to the recently released book A Spontaneous Order: The Capitalist Case for a Stateless Society, authored by Chase Rachels.


Modern libertarian theory is only about five decades old. The ideas that have influenced our greatest thinkers can be traced back centuries, of course,1 to luminaries such as Hugo Grotius, John Locke, Thomas Paine, Herbert Spencer, David Hume, and John Stuart Mill, and to more recent and largely even more radical thinkers such as Gustave de Molinari, Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, Bertrand de Jouvenal, Franz Oppenheimer, and Albert Jay Nock.2

The beginnings of the modern movement can be detected in the works of the “three furies of libertarianism,” as Brian Doherty calls them: Rose Wilder Lane, Ayn Rand, and Isabel Patterson, whose respective books The Discovery of Freedom, The Fountainhead, and The God of the Machine were all published, rather remarkably, in the same year: 1943.3 But in its more modern form, libertarianism originated in the 1960s and 1970s from thinkers based primarily in the United States, notably Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard. Other significant influences on the nascent libertarian movement include Ludwig von Mises, author of Liberalism (1927) and Human Action (1949, with a predecessor version published in German in 1940); Nobel laureate F.A. von Hayek, author of The Road to Serfdom (1944); Leonard Read, head of the Foundation for Economic Education (founded 1946); and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, author of the influential Capitalism and Freedom (1962). [click to continue…]

  1. For more on this, see Brian Doherty, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement (2008), and David Boaz, The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao Tzu to Milton Friedman (1998). []
  2.  See Boaz, The Libertarian Reader, id. []
  3. See Doherty, Radicals for Capitalism, id. []

PorcFest 2015: Anarchism, for and against: a debate

I’ll be speaking at PorcFest 2015 (Jun. 24-27) on “Intellectual Property: The Root of All Evil”, 5:00pm EST, Fri. June 26.

Earlier that morning, at 10:30am, I’ll be participating in Anarchism, for and against: a debate,” debating Objectivist Will Thomas, with noted Objectivist philosopher David Kelley moderating.

My main writing on anarchy can be found in my rights theory and in my article What It Means To Be an Anarcho-Capitalist. For more resources on related topics, see:

Event description:

Does a commitment to liberty imply a commitment to anarchy, or the total elimination of government? Is a stable, anarchic system of liberty possible or desirable? David Kelley will moderate a debate on these issues between Stephan Kinsella Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom and William Thomas of The Atlas Society.


avatar for David Kelley

David Kelley

Chief Intellectual Officer, The Atlas Society
David Kelley is the founder and Chief Intellectual Officer of The Atlas Society. After earning a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1975, he joined the philosophy department of Vassar College, where he remained until 1984. He has also taught at Brandeis University as a Visiting Lecturer. Among his books are Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence; The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand; The Evidence of the Senses, a… Read More →


avatar for Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella

Executive Editor, Libertarian Papers
Stephan Kinsella is a practicing patent attorney and a libertarian writer and speaker. He Founder and Executive Editor of Libertarian Papers, Director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom (C4SIF). A former adjunct professor at South Texas College of Law, he has published numerous articles and books on IP law, international law, and the application of libertarian principles to legal topics, including Against Intellectual Property… Read More →

avatar for William Thomas

William Thomas

Director of Programs, The Atlas Society – The Center for Objectivism
William R Thomas is Director of Programs at The Atlas Society. He has a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Michigan, and has served as Lecturer in Economics there and at the University at Albany. He has been a lecturer at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia and conducted research under the auspices of the People’s University of China. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Thomas is the… Read More →



My article, Beware the Trans-Pacific Partnership: It’s Not About Free Trade, was published yesterday at BAMSouth. Unfortunately, some free market thinkers seem to be in support of the TPP, e.g. Tyler Cowen, some people at Cato, etc. (see Cato vs. Public Citizen on IP and the TPP).

Reprinted at FEE.org.

Related links:

Full text:

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Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 182.

In January 2014, Stefan Molyneux (of FreeDomain Radio) and I had a discussion with Harrison Fischberg about the foundation of libertarian ethics. I just realized that I never put this on my podcast feed so—here it is.


On Selling Immigration Rights

Some fun old LewRockwell.com posts from a while back—which I was reminded of by this recent article: Malta Offers Citizenship and All Its Perks for a Price: “But the residency requirements, meant to make the program more palatable, are only increasing the consternation among critics, who say the program has resulted in the sale of citizenship to the global 0.1 percent.”

Immigration Idea

How about this compromise: we remove all barriers to immigration except one: we charge a fee. I propose we charge somewhere between $1 million and $10 million per family. That way you guarantee you get fairly decent (non-criminal, educated, successful, civil, etc.) quality immigrants.

If, say, 100,000 families (about 400,000 people, say) immigrate per year and pay $1 million each, that’s $100 billion per year.

5:20 pm on September 22, 2004

[click to continue…]


My Religious and Political Conversions

I’ve explained part of my intellectual progress to libertarianism before,1 On occasion I’m asked about my views on philosophy, Ayn Rand/Objectivism, and religion. So a short précis is in order.

I was born in 1965 in Louisiana and attended private Catholic schools. I a good student, bookish, and loved philosophy and science. I was very interested in religion and was very devout; I was an altar boy for several years. For a while I was reading books on various occult or pseudoscientific topics, e.g. pyramid power, Nostradamus, Chariots of the Gods, how to cast spells, and the like. I never really believed it, I think (though I did try a few spells), but it stoked my imagination, just as Star Wars and sci-fi and novels and comics did. [click to continue…]

  1.  How I Became A LibertarianLewRockwell.com, December 18, 2002; published as “Being a Libertarian” in I Chose Liberty: Autobiographies of Contemporary Libertarians (compiled by Walter Block; Mises Institute 2010). See also The Greatest Libertarian Books. []

My article New Rationalist Directions in Libertarian Rights Theory, originally published in the Journal of Libertarian Studies in 1996,1 which had previously been translated into Dutch, has now been translated, by João Marcos Theodoro (revisão de Marcos Paulo Silva do Nascimento), into Portugese, as Novas Direções Racionalistas nas Teorias Libertárias do Direito. This article discusses and summarizes Hoppe’s argumentation ethics defense of libertarian rights,2 my complementary estoppel-based defense of rights,3 and related ethical/normative theories. The article served as the initial basis for two Wikipedia pages: discourse ethics and argumentation ethics.

Nowadays, everyone knows me for my IP views, but this is my true interest and passion.

To date, my writing has been translated into fourteen languages.

  1. Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall 1996, pp. 313–26. []
  2. See my Argumentation Ethics and Liberty: A Concise Guide. []
  3. See KOL181 | Tom Woods Show: It Is Impossible to Argue Against Libertarianism Without Contradiction and links collected there. []

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