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Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 403.

I was a guest today (Jan. 27, 2023) on The Bitcoin Group #343, on the World Crypto Network (Youtube channel), hosted by Thomas Hunt @MadBitcoins.

The other panelists included the CryptoRaptor (Dan Eve); Ben Arc; Martin @generalbyltes. We discussed a variety of topics.

[continue reading…]

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Yuri Maltsev, R.I.P.

As reported at Mises.org, Yuri Maltsev, the great anti-commie Soviet defector, libertarian and Austrian scholar, editor of Requiem for Marx, has passed away. David Gordon has some nice words about Yuri there. Other obituaries/comments:

I was friends with Yuri for years, since the mid 1990s from Mises Institute events. He also attended the first Property and Freedom Society Annual Meeting in 2006 and others as well, such as:

At the inaugural PFS meeting in 2006, I brought my sister, Crystal, and she delighted in meeting Yuri. I told my wife and son stories about Yuri and they laughed and laughed. He was really a joyous and life-loving man. Yuri regaled me with so many tales over the years. He became a legend in my family just from my stories about him. I recall my son clapping in glee at my re-telling of some stories from Yuri. He would have me repeat my imitations and mimicry of Yuri and his tales.

Yuri, Andy Duncan, and I were invited to speak at Mises Brasil in São Paolo in 2017, and we three had a great time together.1 I recall we spent one late night in my hotel room eating sardines of some kind from Yuri’s stash, with our fingers, since we had no utensils. Late at night, as we delved into “deep” matters like grad students in a dorm room, he told me one of his biggest philosophical influences was an obscure and eccentric Russian philosopher, Pyotr Chaadayev, in particular his Philosophical Letters & Apology of a Madman, which I did obtain, but have not yet found the stamina to dive into. Maybe it’s time I take the leap. At the same conference, Andy and I tried to talk Yuri into eating a bit healthier to lose weight, to as to live longer. Not that we were any models of physical fitness. But we wanted Yuri to slim down and get healthier, and to live longer. He listened to Andy’s hortations with patience and promised to look into it. But, … it was not to be.

He told us funny stories about how he would fly weekly from Wisconsin to DC on a Sunday or Monday to teach his weekly class at the US Naval Academy in Maryland, and he would often fly with then-Congressman Paul Ryan, whom he ended up getting to do an occasional lecture for some of his classes. He was always joyous and, like Ayn Rand, hated communism and what it had done to his country, Russia; he loved America, a bit too much, perhaps, but it’s understandable.

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  1. My talks there were: KOL222 | Mises Brasil: Intellectual Property Imperialism Versus Innovation and Freedom and KOL221 | Mises Brasil: State Legislation Versus Law and Liberty. []
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Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 402.

This is my presentation (audio only) at the Austrian Economics Discord Conference: “Inflation, Money, and the State,” Austrian Economics Discord Server (Jan. 7–8, 2023); my talk was “Inflation: Its Causes, Effects, Parallels and Death in a Bitcoin World.”

Previous appearance: KOL371 | Austrian Economics Discord Conference: Law, Decentralized and Centralized.

My talk below: [continue reading…]

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KOL401 | Sazmining Twitter Space: Bitcoin & Property Rights

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Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 401.

I appeared on a Twitter Spaces discussion Jan. 12, 2023 for Sazmining, for the topic “Bitcoin & Property Rights,” with Kent Halliburton and Logan Chipkin. A variety of questions were fielded. A synopsis and transcript are here, and re-pixeled below.

Synopsis:

Lawyer and libertarian theorist Stephan Kinsella joins Logan Chipkin and Kent Halliburton to discuss Bitcoin from a property rights perspective. If Bitcoin is not physical, how can anyone own it, if at all? [continue reading…]

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Orality and Literacy: Classifications in Preliterate Societies

Interesting findings in Walter J. Ong’s classic work Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word, 30th anniv. ed. (Routledge, 2012), pp. 50–51:

(1) Illiterate (oral) subjects identified geometrical figures by assigning them the names of objects, never abstractly as circles, squares, etc. A circle would be called a plate, sieve, bucket, watch, or moon; a square would be called a mirror, door, house, apricot drying-board. Luria’s subjects identified the designs as representations of real things they knew. They never dealt with abstract circles or squares but rather with concrete objects. Teachers’ school students on the other hand, moderately literate, identified geometrical figures by categorical geometric names: circles, squares, triangles, and so on …. They had been trained to give school-room answers, not real-life responses.

[continue reading…]

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My job here is done

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Roman Law and Hypothetical Cases

Any free society needs law—private law based on libertarian principles. This means that there is a need to identify and clarify our basic libertarian principles, and for law to develop to implement and apply these principles. As discussed in KOL345 | Kinsella’s Libertarian “Constitution” or: State Constitutions vs. the Libertarian Private Law Code (PorcFest 2021), any law code that libertarian theorists devise cannot be hyper-detailed and all-encompassing.

For one thing, many of the particular rules in a given setting will depend on contractual relationships and choices. Libertarian theorists, such as Rothbard, David Friedman, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, envision various territorial enclaves whose internal legal rules are based on local preferences, custom, and contract. For example, in Hoppe’s “covenant communities”: “a libertarian world could and likely would be one with a great variety of locally separated communities engaging distinctly different and far-reaching discrimination” (“e.g. nudists discriminating against bathing suits,” as Jeff Tucker points out in Idiot Patrol).1 [continue reading…]

  1. See Hoppe on Covenant Communities and Advocates of Alternative Lifestyles. []
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Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty

Murray Rothbard’s treatise, The Ethics of Liberty (New York: New York University Press, 1998) is online in a couple of obscure places, and some of its individual chapters or portions is available online in separate articles. I’ve listed below those I am aware of: [continue reading…]

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