Illuminating lecture by the late, great Petr Beckmann. For more on Beckmann, see my posts:
My memoriam for Tibor Machan, R.I.P., was published today at FEE.org: Remembering Tibor Machan, Libertarian Mentor and Friend: Reflections on a Giant.
A local copy is repixeled below.
One of my long-time friends, libertarian philosopher Tibor Machan, passed away last month, on Thursday, March 24, 2016. He was 77. Many other libertarians have already posted their memories of Tibor,1 Which is not surprising, given his significant, longtime, and tireless work for liberty and libertarian theory.
I became familiar with Tibor’s work while I was in college, especially Human Rights and Human Liberties (1975) and Individuals and Their Rights (1989), my two favorite of his works. I was also reading Reason at the time, the magazine Tibor co-founded. My friend Jack Criss, who also knew Tibor, commended him to me as well. I began to correspond with Tibor; he kindly responded to a great number of letters, later emails, over the years, often giving me useful reading suggestions and responding thoughtfully and gently to my philosophical and political questions and arguments. He published my first scholarly paper, “Estoppel: A New Justification for Individual Rights,” in the Fall 1992 issue of his journal Reason Papers. We remained and became closer friends over the next 24 years. [click to continue…]
- E.g., these memories and obituaries by my friends Jeff Tucker; Chris Sciabarra; Sheldon Richman; Aeon Skoble; and David Kelley; see also those by Nick Gillespie at Reason, David Gordon, IES-Europe, David Henderson, Timothy Sandefur, Irfan Khawaja, and Nicolas Capaldi (from Tibor’s festschrift, more about which later). [↩]
I’ve been on various Reddit subreddits participating in AMA’s a few times:
- I am Stephan Kinsella, a patent attorney and Austrian economics and anarchist libertarian writer who thinks patent and copyright should be abolished. AMA (IAmA subreddit, Jan 22, 2013) (Facebook thread)
- I am Stephan Kinsella, libertarian writer and patent attorney. Ask Me Anything! (Libertarian subreddit, Oct. 22, 2013) (secondary thread)
- I am Stephan Kinsella, anarcho-libertarian writer and patent attorney. Ask Me Anything! (Anarch-capitalism subreddit, Jan. 16, 2014)
I’ve been ruminating recently about my “libertarian career”—the one that has run parallel to my law career.1 Here are a few more thoughts and recollections, focused on the libertarian topic that has always greatly interested me: rights theory: what our rights are, what rights mean, how we justify them. (N.b.: This is a bit self-indulgent and probably only of interest to a very small number of people, so trudge on at your peril…)
When I was younger I was interested both in STEM topics as well as philosophy, but had almost no views on political or economic topics. I was basically tabula rasa. Reading Ayn Rand in high school catapulted me into deeper interest in philosophy, political theory, economics. I ended up going to LSU and studying electrical engineering (started in 1983), but I was also devouring this other kind of material “on the side.” I started getting the itch to have conversations or interactions on these topics with others, but it was hard to find anyone to talk about them with. Frustrating. You can’t find engineering students who care about this stuff. And there was no Internet back then. This itch is probably one reason I eventually gravitated towards law school. I gradually realized I would not be satisfied being a practicing engineer. I liked using normative and verbal and legal type reasoning and argumentation too much, plus the scholarship opportunities a law career can offer. I liked writing. Engineering would not have suited me—it would have been too stultifying and boring. [click to continue…]
This is my interview, mostly on IP, by Josh Havins, of the Lafayette County (Mississippi) Libertarian Party: Their episode: “Ask a Libertarian #6 – Stephan Kinsella – Against Intellectual Property” (video embedded below).
A patent litigator friend of mine in Houston, Sandeep (Sandy) Seth, and I have squabbled about intellectual property law before. So he came over to my house and we had a little conversation where I tried to find a way to get him to see why IP law should be abolished. The results were predictable. The video is embedded below.
- “Conversation with an author about copyright and publishing in a free society”
- “The Non-Aggression Principle as a Limit on Action, Not on Property Rights,” StephanKinsella.com Blog (Jan. 22, 2010)
- “IP and Aggression as Limits on Property Rights: How They Differ,”StephanKinsella.com Blog (Jan. 22, 2010)
- Discussion on Facebook
- “Legal Scholars: Thumbs Down on Patent and Copyright” (Oct. 23, 2012)
- “The Overwhelming Empirical Case Against Patent and Copyright” (Oct. 23, 2012)
Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 208.
A conversation about intellectual property and libertarian and property theory with my old friend J. Neil Schulman. We discussed our differing views on IP, as a result of my comments on a recent post Patrick Smith: Un-Intellectual Property. Hey, I tried my best, but we never quite saw eye to eye.
See also the comments here to The Origins of Libertarian IP Abolitionism and My Unfinished 30-Year-Old Debate with Wendy McElroy. For further material about Schulman’s logorights theory, see:
- Query for Schulman on Patents and Logorights;
- Kinsella v. Schulman on Logorights and IP;
- Schulman: “If you copy my novel, I’ll kill you”
- Replies to Neil Schulman and Neil Smith re IP;
- Schulman: Kinsella is “the foremost enemy of property rights”;
- On J. Neil Schulman’s Logorights;
- Reply to Schulman on the State, IP, and Carson.
For some related material discussed, see
I originally began this post as a short note about my experience with libertarian speaking over the past few years, but I began rambling and it became a bit longer, something of an adjunct to my earlier How I Became A Libertarian.
A couple years ago, maybe early 2013, I resolved to stop traveling to speak at libertarian events for a while, except for attending the annual Property and Freedom Society meeting in Turkey at least every other year. I wanted to take a break. It was just becoming too much of a time such and distraction from other matters. But let me back up a bit, in hopes this may be of interest to some young libertarian scholars.
When I was a young lawyer, around 1994 (I started practicing in 1992), I started attending libertarian events, initially mostly as an attendee. I had attended an Objectivist conference in Dallas in 1988 during law school with my friend Jack Criss, and a couple of LSU campus Libertarian events (where I listened to Ron Paul speak in an LSU classroom, during his 1988 Presidential run), but that was about it. When I started practicing law in 1992, I started publishing on both legal as well as libertarian topics. I’ve discussed my legal publishing before,1 and while I did it partly for career development reasons (publishing is one way for young lawyers at big law firms to get their names out there, develop clients, and so on), it was mainly because I found law and legal theory interesting, and enjoyed writing. It’s the same reason I started publishing in the area of libertarian legal theory as well—such as my first scholarly article sketching out my developing theory of rights, Estoppel: A New Justification for Individual Rights, published in Reason Papers No. 17 (Fall 1992). I wrote it (by hand, in cursive!) while I was a grad law student at King’s College London—University of London in 1991. Somewhat naïvely, I submitted it to King’s College Law School’s law review, whereupon it was summarily rejected. Not daunted, I submitted an improved draft to Tibor Machan for his journal Reason Papers. In any case, a succession of both scholarly articles and books, and more popular-format articles, on both the legal and libertarian sides followed over the last two decades.2 One of them was my article The Undeniable Morality of Capitalism,3 a lengthy and favorable review essay of Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s book The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (1993). For many of my libertarian articles, I would try to publish them in standard law reviews, both to get the word out to more mainstream audiences and also to burnish my legal résumé.
While the legal publishing helped in my law career (and also led to lucrative publishing contracts later on), the libertarian publishing opened up doors for me in the libertarian world. As I recounted in How I Became A Libertarian: [click to continue…]
- See New Publisher, Co-Editor for my Legal Treatise, and how I got started with legal publishing; Preface and Introduction to International Investment, Political Risk, and Dispute Resolution: A Practitioner’s Guide; Louisiana Civil Law Dictionary Review. [↩]
- For my legal publications, see KinsellaLaw.com/publications; libertarian-related lectures and publications are at www.StephanKinsella.com/publications. [↩]
- 25 St. Mary’s Law Journal 1419 (1994). [↩]