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Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 275.

This is my appearance in Episode 54 of the Did You Know Crypto Podcast, with host Dustin Dreifuerst. We talked about ownership of bitcoin and related issues.  As Dustin summarized in his show notes:

Stephan and I talk about…

  • Ownership, Control & Property as Legal concepts
  • Why you cant actually “own” Bitcoin
  • How Bitcoin is about secrets not property
  • Ownership is a state augmentation
  • Why this isn’t an attack on Bitcoin

(I previously appeared on this podcast: KOL266 | Did You Know Crypto Podcast, Ep. 36: Bitcoin Patent Trolling.)

For more information see this episode and related show notes: KOL274 | Nobody Owns Bitcoin (PFS 2019).

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KOL274 | Nobody Owns Bitcoin (PFS 2019)

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Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 274.

This is my presentation to the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Property and Freedom Society on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. Powerpoint slides embedded below. Youtube embedded below.

[continue reading…]

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KOL273 | Peter Quinones Interview on Argumentation Ethics

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Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 273.

This is my appearance as a guest on Episode 302: “Stephan Kinsella Explains Hoppe’s Argumentation Ethics“, of the Free Man Beyond the Wall podcast, by host Pete Quinones (formerly known as “Mance Rayder”), hosted by The Libertarian Institute. From his shownotes:

Many libertarian/anarchists have heard of the concept of Argumentation Ethics as developed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe but have never looked to see what it’s all about.

Stephan Kinsella has studied AEs, applied it to his own work and even developed the thought process further. Here, he gives a lengthy explanation that can serve as your doorway into the subject.

Stephan is an attorney in Houston, director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom, and editor of Libertarian Papers.

The A Priori of Argumentation

Longer Hoppe Video 

Stephan’s Website

A Concise Guide to Argumentation Ethics

Indiegogo for The Monopoly on Violence

Pete’s Patreon

Pete’s Bitbacker

See also:

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Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 272.

This is my appearance on the Ernie Hancock “Declare your Independence” show for Aug. 21 (Hour 2).  We discussed defamation law and reputation rights, and some related matters.

Related links:

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J. Neil Schulman, R.I.P.

A longtime friend and stalwart of the libertarian movement, J. Neil Schulman, has passed (born April 16, 1953, died Aug. 10, 2019), according to libertarian Tom Knapp. I’ve been writing too many of these obituaries of libertarian luminary friends lately.1

I read Neil’s libertarian sci-fi novels Alongside Night and The Rainbow Cadenza in college and law school. Neil was a decade older than me, but we somehow encountered each other, even before the Internet took full flower. In the late 1980s/early 90s we were on some fora together, such as the GEnie Science Fiction and Fantasy RoundTable, one of the early precursors to the Internet. I devoured his The Robert Heinlein Interview and Other Heinleiniana and even did a little review of it on the GEnie forum, which Neil appreciated and used for blurbs later on (he was never shy about that).2

We gradually become friends, via emails, phone calls, etc., though as I adopted an anti-intellectual property position at odds with Neil’s “logorights” theory, we started disagreeing substantively, at least on this issue, though we both remained fellow anarcho-libertarians.3 I had the pleasure to finally meet Neil in person at Libertopia in San Diego in 2012.4 He was physically frail even then; I recall that it took him almost 20 minutes to slowly ascend the stairs to the second floor of one building–my own talk against IP, if I recall, so he could sit in the back and lob criticisms during the Q&A–and I offered to help him up the stairs. He would not allow it, but did consent to my carrying his briefcase up the stairs for him to meet him at the top.

We stayed friends over the years and talked for many hours on the phone, many, many times.  Often I would muse that “I should have recorded this conversation.” He would chuckle and carry on. We did do a podcast together, one time,5 and, at his request, I agreed to write the “introduction” to one of his arguments for his ever-evolving version of IP (a term he often scorned). He was broad-minded enough to allow one of his opponents to write the introduction for his own work. That takes some balls, and integrity, and courage, and a bit of a sense of humor.6

A few months ago we talked several hours into the night, and I probed him in depth about his history: his childhood, his parents, his education, his early adulthood and profession and novels, and how he came to be where he was. He was self-honest and perceptive, and spoke on and on. It was a fascinating story. Several times I implored him: Neil, go ahead and admit you were wrong on IP, before it’s too late! Do it! You could do so much good, have a huge effect on this issue, given your pro-IP prominence. Now’s your chance! He would chuckle, change the subject–and carry on.

From my experience, Neil was a smart man, a decent man, and a good libertarian. He made some personal mistakes, like most of us do, and I don’t think he always very “practical” in life; in that way, he was very much the driven intellectual libertarian. Till the end, he was trying to find ways to monetize his various creative works, against all odds. I argued with him many hours when he had financial troubles, trying to exhort him to just get a normal job to pay the bills; ever the optimist, he thought a big payday might be just around the corner.

His health was an obvious issue, and it apparently finally caught up with him. My understanding is that Neil suffered a pulmonary embolism resulting in cardiac arrest, then multiple organ failure. He was in the hospital a couple days, with a low chance of survival, and that played out. Neil was a sweet and earnest soul, gentle and sincere and fervent, and a strong, strong believer in liberty, and truth, and justice. He made his mark on the libertarian movement, foremost and especially with his novel Alongside Night. I am honored and pleased I was able to know him and learn from him, and will miss him. Requiescet in pace, my friend.

Update: Other obituaries/remembrances:

  1. Justin Raimondo, R.I.P. (2019); Norman Stone (2019), Anthony de Jasay (2019), Ralph Raico (2016); Tibor Machan (2016). []
  2. See Book Review of Schulman, The Robert Heinlein Interview and Other Heinleiniana (1991). []
  3.  Replies to Neil Schulman and Neil Smith re IP; Reply to Schulman on the State, IP, and Carson; On J. Neil Schulman’s Logorights; Schulman: “If you copy my novel, I’ll kill you”; Schulman: Kinsella is “the foremost enemy of property rights”; Query for Schulman on Patents and Logorights; Kinsella v. Schulman on Logorights and IP. []
  4. KOL236 | Intellectual Nonsense: Fallacious Arguments for IP (Libertopia 2012). []
  5. KOL208 | Conversation with Schulman about Logorights and Media-Carried Property . []
  6. “Introduction” to J. Neil Schulman’s Origitent: Why Original Content is Property. []
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Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 271.

This is my appearance on Let’s Talk ETC! #87 (June 24, 2019), with host Dr. Christian Seberino. From his shownotes:

Stephan Kinsella is a Houston patent lawyer and libertarian advocate. He joins me for an informative discussion about libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism and related blockchain legal issues. Topics addressed include how blockchain technologies impact privacy, tax collection, copyrights, patents, obscenity laws and more.

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Justin Raimondo, R.I.P.

As noted on Antiwar.com, libertarian stalwart and heroic antiwar activist Justin Raimondo has passed away at the age of 67, from lung cancer. He follows several other noted libertarian/adjacent thinkers who have died recently (at least among the ones I knew personally), such as Norman Stone (2019), Anthony de Jasay (2019), Ralph Raico (2016) and Tibor Machan (2016).

I didn’t know Justin well personally but I  encountered him from time to time at various libertarian events, and read a lot of his work over the years, such as Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement (1993) and his numerous articles, almost all expressing strong anti-war or pro-libertarian sentiments, themes, or insights. I was often impressed by his strident, clear, forceful prose, and appreciated that it was informed by an obvious passion for liberty and a deep, scholarly knowledge of history and political philosophy.

I met Justin in person first at Mises Institute conference in the mid-late 1990s, probably 1995 or ’96. I had consumed and enjoyed his Reclaiming the American Right, but thought his thesis that Ayn Rand had “plagiarized” Garet Garrett’s novel The Driver for her novel Atlas Shrugged was frankly absurd or even contrived (I still do; it’s a ridiculous notion, as I noted on the Mises blog in 2007). I remember vividly. It was at the Auburn Hotel and Conference Center, between sessions. I walked up to Justin and introduced myself, and explained that I enjoyed his book but I thought his thesis about Rand “plagiarizing” Garrett was unfounded and exaggerated. He sputtered some outrage, refused to engage me, and stalked away.

I wish I had more to add, but that’s all I got. He was a very good writer and passionate about liberty. Would that this could be said about more people. At least the latter. Not everyone needs to be a writer. But more people need to be libertarians.

Update: I should mention that Justin wrote one of my favorite articles ever: his devastating review (Chronicles, June 1994) of David Horowitz’s annoying, self-serving memoir Radical Son.

Justin also appeared and spoke at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Property and Freedom Society, and he wrote about it in “Bodrum is Heaven,” in “Out and About,” Taki’s Magazine (June 16, 2008). His presentations at the 2008 PFS meeting are embedded below:

 

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KOL270 | Corbett Report: Law Without The State

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Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 270.

This is my second appearance on The Corbett Report (Ep. 1453, 25 June 2019), with host James Corbett (from Japan):

Interview 1453 – Stephan Kinsella on Law Without the State

Stephan Kinsella joins us today to discuss the concept of law without the state. Is law and order possible without a state? What would that look like? And just what is “the law,” anyway? Find out more in this fascinating conversation on law, history, philosophy and anarchy.

Related:

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