Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 230.
This is my own audio recording of my debate on IP at the Yale Political Union (Facebook) on Tues., Dec. 5, 2017. My opponent was attorney Candice Cook. My initial argument begins at 0:04:40, followed by some Q&A, and my closing argument begins at 1:42:20. I can’t say I recommend listening to the comments of others, as none of my arguments were really addressed and the arguments given are pretty incoherent—the arguments for IP were rooted in confused utilitarianism and even the arguments against IP were mostly rooted in anti-property socialistic assumptions.
As expected, I lost the debate, by vote of the students, by a vote of about 2:1. Admittedly, it doesn’t sound too bad to get 1/3, when not even all libertarians have the right view on IP, but it’s worse than that: many of those who voted with me voted against IP for socialistic, anti-property reasons. Everyone is so confused about this topic. I knew this would be the case, I knew it would basically impossible, hopeless, to persuade mainstream left-socialistic types in a short talk of a radical position that rests upon having a sound view of property rights.
So I went ahead, giving up hope on the audience, and laid out a systematic argument against IP based the nature of human action, human interaction, and property rights. A systematic, if compressed, argument, that could possibly resonate with some open-minded people someday listening to the recording via this podcast. Thus, my initial presentation was a very condensed (15-20 minutes) but very fundamental explanation of the nature of property rights and why intellectual property is totally incompatible with property rights. Even though I knew it would be a hard sell with Yale undergrads.
As can be heard from the “hissing” (their version of booing) whenever anything pro-private-property or capitalistic was mentioned, and from the comments of some of the student political group leaders, there was a good deal of explicit Marxism and socialism among the student. But it was fun nonetheless and they were very civil and respectful.
Video of the debate available here and embedded below.
(I spoke on IP before a smaller student group back in 2014—see KOL151 | Yale Speech: Balancing Intellectual Property Rights and Civil Liberties: A Libertarian Perspective.)