≡ Menu

Libertarian Answer Man: Does It Matter How Law is Made?

From a libertarian colleague:

What do you think about this proposition:  “It doesn’t matter how the law is made or who enforces it.  What matters is simply that the law is reasonably and fairly enforced and it is compatible with a reasonable interpretation of our principle.”  Isn’t this what we want?

Walter Block was cc’d and—as usual, sigh—he complained that the only problem with my remarks is that only a small group would see them. In other words, as usual, he’s exhorting me to “publish” more. So … in response, here’s my informal, quick reply (lightly edited):

I’m not quite sure how to respond to these kinds of propositions. I think the law is the result of a process. Necessarily. Necessarily. Necessarily. This is important. I think it cannot be divorced from institutions. And normative analysis and theory plays its role in that process. My goal as a libertarian is primarily to understand liberty and in a political sphere, to understand what interpersonal norms should guide the development and evaluation of extant (positive) law. I think we can adjudge certain laws and state practices and policies as unjust to the extent they more or less obviously deviate from some incontrovertible norms, like the NAP or its propertarian concomitants,1 but I don’t think this leads to the idea that we are fine with any institution that enforces “law” “so long as” it complies with the non-aggression principle (NAP). [continue reading…]

  1. See related posts: on the distinction between abstract normative principles and concrete legal rules, see Fraud, Restitution, and Retaliation: The Libertarian Approach and KOL345 | Kinsella’s Libertarian “Constitution” or: State Constitutions vs. the Libertarian Private Law Code (PorcFest 2021); see also Legislation and the Discovery of Law in a Free Society; Legislation and Law in a Free Society; The Limits of Armchair Theorizing: The case of Threats. []
Share
{ 0 comments }

KOL361 | Libertarian Answer Man: Oaths: With Kent Wellington

Play

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 361.

A nice young man, self-described as “generally an anarchist? But also a statist (monarchist? ie ‘the kingdom of heaven’) in the spiritual sense” had some questions for me since he doesn’t have a lot of people to bounce his ideas off of. I agreed to do it if we could record it, in case anything interesting came out of it. You be the judge.

A variety of topics came up, primarily his interest in the problem of “oaths” as the root evil in the modern world, and related/other issues like the nature of contracts, usury as evil, Pournelle’s “iron law of bureaucracy,” Jesus, and the evils of the Uniform Commercial Code (something to do with Babylon), and Galambos.

 

Share
{ 0 comments }
Play

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 360.

Isaac Funderburk sent me this email:

Hello, Mr. Kinsella! I’m an economics student in Tennessee looking to get involved in the discourse around Austrian economics and libertarianism, particularly through culture change and academic organizations. Would it be possible to talk for a few minutes sometime this weekend or next week?

I’m currently working with Turning Point USA as a social media manager and event organizer for a local ambassador, and I am involved with the Libertarian Party in the area. I’ve been familiar with Austrian economics for years now, but I had the good fortune to get an Austrian economics professor this semester and he has influenced me to pursue connections within the Mises Institute. I came across the many Mises Institute lectures and articles, and realized this is something I could get behind.

I’ve recently spoken to Dr. Jonathan Newman, Mr. Jeff Deist, and Dr. Patrick Newman. I’m interested in understanding contract theory on a deeper level and found your lectures on intellectual property to be insightful.

Would it be possible to arrange a brief phone call this week? Thank you for your time.

We talked about college and what a libertarians goals should be, activism, careers, publishing, and economic and libertarian issues such as intellectual property.

Related:

Share
{ 0 comments }
Play

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 359.

From the recently-concluded Fifteenth Annual (2021) Meeting of the PFS, Bodrum, Turkey (Sept. 16–21, 2021).

For others, see the links in the Program, or the PFS YouTube channel, including the growing PFS 2021 YouTube Playlist. Additional media of the proceedings will be released presently.

For a similar talk, see KOL345 | Kinsella’s Libertarian “Constitution” or: State Constitutions vs. the Libertarian Private Law Code (PorcFest 2021).

The followup panel discussion later that day is here:

My notes are below: [continue reading…]

Share
{ 0 comments }
Play

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 358.

I was interviewed by Marc Victor and Andy Marcantel of the Live and Let Live project about libertarianism.

 

Share
{ 0 comments }
Play

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 357.

I was a guest recently on Peter Quiñones’ show Free Man Beyond The Wall, Episode 631 (Sept. 15, 2021). From his shownotes:

Pete and Stephan discuss the Constitutionality of Biden’s vaccine mandate and then get into discussions about Hoppe’s plan for local politics and how it can fight against overreach by the Feds.

I post this from Bodrum, Turkey, at the 2021 PFS meeting, watching Saif Ammous talk about bitcoin. The internet is wonderful.

Youtube TBD–

Share
{ 1 comment }

I just came across this draft article in my files. I believe it was written in 2005, as a followup to A Libertarian Defense of Kelo and Limited Federal PowerLewRockwell.com, June 27, 2005. I may not agree with everything in it, and can’t recall why I never published it. It is also not complete–I apparently meant to add some more links and research, and to stitch together a few sections. I may do this at some point. But here it is for now, in its draft form, for what it’s worth.

 

Judicial Activism and the Presumption of Unconstitutionality 

by N. Stephan Kinsella

Draft, July 2005

A recent Reason article by Damon W. Root carries a refreshingly frank title: Unleash the Judges: The libertarian case for judicial activism. Root calls for “a principled form of libertarian judicial activism—that is, one that consistently upholds individual rights while strictly limiting state power,” in contrast to conservatives who “exalt[] the will of the majority over the liberties of unpopular minorities.” [continue reading…]

Share
{ 0 comments }
Play

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 356.

I was interviewed by Caleb Brown on the topic of IP–explained what it is, its origins, how it’s a type of crony capitalism, and how it emerged historically and acquired the name “intellectual property.” Recorded Sep. 4, 2021.

Share
{ 0 comments }

Bad Behavior has blocked 1482 access attempts in the last 7 days.

© 2012-2021 StephanKinsella.com CC0 To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to material on this Site, unless indicated otherwise. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.

-- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright