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…]
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.
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.
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 Power, LewRockwell.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…]
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.