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My chapter in Gene Basler’s book Environmental Non-Policy: Interviews on Environment, War and Liberty

I appeared last year on the Gene Basler Show, discussing a variety of anarcho-libertarian matters–environmentalism, nuclear power, state propaganda in government schools, class action lawsuits, reparations, how to achieve an anarcho-libertarian society, animal rights, positive rights and obligations, forced heirship, and so on (May 30, 2010). Apparently Basler has a book coming out, Environmental Non-Policy: Interviews on Environment, War and Liberty, which features an edited transcript of our discussion as a chapter.

Listen to internet radio with Gene Basler on Blog Talk Radio

He has some excerpts of my chapter here:

Stephan Kinsella Discusses Environmentalists

This conversation alone is worth getting the e-book. Click here to be notified as soon as the e-book is available for purchase.


(I also intend to pre-publish the index,to give folks an idea of the zillion topics mentioned in the collection of interviews.)


Here are a few highlights:


Gene:“Do you think the existence of patent law is really nothing more than just one more way government runs block for favored and well-connected market participants by protecting environmentally irresponsible means and methods of production? And if so,does this not logically follow that patent law harms the environment?”


Stephan Kinsella:“Well,that’s an interesting connection. For years now,I’ve been trying to trace out all the harms from patent law. Environmentalism is not one I have made yet. I could see that some arguments could be made…I’d be open to the argument.”


Regarding class actions:“I would say that…until someone comes up with [a good theory based on solid libertarian principles to argue in favor of class actions]—and I don’t have one,I would tentatively go with Rothbard’s negative opinion about class actions.” ~Stephan Kinsella


“…if you were in favor of the environment,the last agency you would entrust to protect it is the—is any government,especially the United States central government.” ~Stephan Kinsella


Gene:“It seems to me like that protection actually helps to limit the liability of the polluter,because if you had the risk of an obscene number of lawsuits from an indeterminate number of complainants,all of whose property had been trespassed by your polluted water or your polluted air,then you would really have a much,much stronger incentive to engage in non-polluting methods of production,in my opinion.”

Stephan Kinsella:“Well,you know,that’s interesting. I’ve never heard it put that way. There’s something to that. I think it’s possible:I mean,I think the state’s mechanism messed up everything.”


“…people [could] become gradually more economically literate…which could happen over time. For example,right now,most people are much more literate about the evils of communism than they were 20 years ago. Right? Just the fall of Russia itself educated almost everyone to a degree.” ~Stephan Kinsella


“This my litmus test for environmentalists:If someone claims to be an environmentalist and they’re not in favor of nuclear power,then in my opinion,either they’re an idiot,they’re ignorant or they’re evil. They’re misanthropic. In other words,they really want humanity to starve off because of lack of energy,or they know nothing about physics and engineering and technology,in which case they should really be quiet and just read their papers.” ~Stephan Kinsella


Gene:And is there such thing as collective property ownership? Or I guess in an anarchistic society,there’s no reason why there couldn’t be collective property ownership.


Stephan Kinsella:I agree with that. I think there certainly could be collective ownership,because people can act cooperatively,so of course there can be collective or cooperative action among people. But that doesn’t mean that the collective agencies exist that are some kind of separate entity with separate rights. Society or some community is only composed of individual human beings that themselves have rights.

Gene:Are there such things as positive rights?


Stephan Kinsella:I think there are such things as positive rights. I think libertarians go a little bit astray when they so blithely say there’s no positive rights…But,other than [certain] cases,which are all the results of voluntarily chosen human action,I don’t think there are any positive rights.


There’s much more! Click here to get an email notice when the e-book is available for purchase.

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