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.
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:
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.
My old friend Jack Criss, former libertarian AM radio talk show host from the 1980s and now a business journalist and publisher, throws his hat into the podcast ring. He interviewed me today. His episode page is here.
I just received my copy of the handsome new book The Dialectics of Liberty: Exploring the Context of Human Freedom, published by Lexington Books and edited by Roger Bissell, Chris Sciabarra, and Ed Younkins, which is part of the “Capitalist Thought: Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics” series (available on Amazon).
This anthology includes my contribution in Chapter 5: “Dialogical Arguments for Libertarian Rights,” based on my article “New Rationalist Directions in Libertarian Rights Theory,” Journal of Libertarian Studies 12:2 (Fall 1996), updated including material drawn from other work:
It is my distinct honor—and pleasure—to formally announce a forthcoming book: The Dialectics of Liberty: Exploring the Context of Human Freedom, a trailblazing collection of essays by a diverse group of scholars, coming from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. The anthology has been coedited by Roger E. Bissell, Chris Matthew Sciabarra, and Edward W. Younkins. It is slated for publication by Lexington Books in June 2019 and it is sure to be a provocative read for anyone interested in liberty and the contexts that nourish—or undermine—it.
“These essays explore ways that liberty can be better defended using a dialectical approach, a mode of analysis that grasps the full context of philosophical, cultural, and social factors requisite to the sustenance of human freedom. The contributors represent a variety of disciplines and perspectives who apply explicitly dialectical tools to a classical liberal / libertarian analysis of social and cultural issues. By conjoining a dialectical method, typically associated with the socialist left, to a defense of individual liberty, typically associated with the libertarian right, this anthology challenges contemporary attitudes on both ends of the political spectrum.Abstracts for all the articles that are included in the anthology can be found here and contributor biographies can be found here.”
Below is the text of the final file submitted before publication; some minor edits may have taken place after this point, so this version may deviate slightly from the version as published. I’ll proof and revise this later if necessary, and eventually post a PDF of the published chapter.
I was a guest on Episode 39 of the excellent podcast The Bob Murphy Show, discussing “Law Without the State, and the Illegitimacy of IP (Intellectual Property)”. A few people have told me this particular discussion of IP was one of my best–thorough and systematic. No doubt aided by Bob’s excellent prompting, questions, and guidance.
Bob and I had planned to also discuss argumentation ethics, but the discussion of IP ran longer than we expected so we’ll save AE for next time.
From Bob’s show notes:
Bob talks with Stephan Kinsella about the basis of libertarian law, and how we could have justice without a coercive State. They then discuss Stephan’s pathbreaking work making the case that property must be in tangible things, rendering “intellectual property” an incoherent and dangerous concept.
I was a guest today on Sal Mayweather’s “The Agora” podcast, ep. 48 (Soundcloud version below). From his shownotes:
We discussed Craig’s copyright application of the Bitcoin White Paper and whether they lend any credence to his claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto. Does a copyright application imply that CSW is actually Satoshi? Stephan also breaks down some of the torts Craig has filed against against various individuals who have said he isn’t Satoshi and/or referred to him as a fraud. Can he use the courts to force individuals to recognize him as Satoshi?
This is a great opportunity to learn the standard libertarian position on IP, the difference between a copyright and a patent & how it all applies to current crypto-community from the world’s leading expert!
This is my appearance in Episode 36 of the Did You Know Crypto Podcast, with host Dustin. We talked “about the possibility of using patents as an attack vector on Bitcoin.” As Dustin summarized in his show notes: