Another great legal scholar, and friend of mine, LSU Law Professor Robert Pascal, has passed away. I previously commented on the death of my friend, LSU Law Professor Saúl Litvinoff, a giant of civil law scholarship who died in 2010. I never even knew Saúl while I was at LSU law school, but I became close friends with him shortly after my graduation in 1991, and maintained correspondence with him until his death in 2010 (he was one of the three professors who wrote recommendation letters for me to apply to the University of London’s PhD in Laws programme, the others being Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Randy Barnett).1
And another Louisiana legal titan, A.N. ‘Thanassi’ Yiannopoulos, died last year at age 88. I never met Yiannopouls at all, but we corresponded in the years before his death in 2017 about some civil law matters. He was friends with my friend Gregory Rome, a young Louisiana lawyer who co-authored Louisiana Civil Law Dictionary with me in 2011. [click to continue…]
This is my appearance on the Jan. 9, 2018 episode of the Mises UK Podcast, with host Andy Duncan. From his shownotes:
On the fourth episode of the MisesUK.Org Podcast, Andy Duncan discusses with Stephan Kinsella the concept, theory, and practice of Bitcoin ownership, amongst other topics, which include the use of Bitcoin as money, the comparison between gold and Bitcoin, and the possible collapse of states everywhere due to the current monetary revolution which states may have been too slow to respond to, for the sake of their own existence.
This is my appearance on Keith Knight’s Youtube show “Don’t Tread on Anyone” (Dec. 18, 2017), discussing a hodge-podge of issues such as the fundamentals of libertarianism, why scarcity is an important concept, Hoppe’s greatest contributions, and so on. Youtube embedded below.
This is my appearance on Let’s Talk ETC! (Ethereum Classic) (Dec. 8, 2017), discussing the referenced topics. The audience is not really a libertarian one so I explained different approaches to libertarianism and some of my thoughts about libertarian activism, the prospects of bitcoin and other technology possibly aiding in the fight for human liberty and the battle against the state, and so on. The host was very good, the discussion very civil, and the audio quality is pretty good.
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’ve been invited to contribute to a proposed new book, The Dialectics of Liberty, to be co-edited by Chris Sciabarra, Ed Younkins, and Roger Bissell, to be published by Lexington Books in 2019. My chapter is “Dialogical Arguments for Libertarian Rights,” based on my article “New Rationalist Directions in Libertarian Rights Theory,” Journal of Libertarian Studies 12:2 (Fall 1996): 313–26, updated including material drawn from other material: