Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stephan Kinsella: Intellectual Property and Libertarianism

"I finally realized that the reason I couldn't find a way to justify IP was because it's unlibertarian. We libertarians already realize that many so-called intellectual rights, such as the right to reputation protected by defamation law, are illegitimate. Why would we believe that artificial rights that are solely the product of legislation that's the decrees of a fake law-making wing of a criminal state, would be valid."

via LibertarianChristians.com


  1. An amazing speech. Not only does Kinsella do a masterful job debunking the whole notion of intellectual property rights, but he also provides what's probably the best explanation of libertarianism that I've ever heard. Echoing Murrary Rothard, Kinsella defines a libertarian as one who believes in self-ownership. In other words, unlike everyone else out there, libertarians believe that each person owns himself and is therefore not a slave to anyone else.

  2. That's an interesting interpretation of the cult of ego that pervades libertarians.

    I'm curious how far any libertarian would get if they were dropped in a forest at birth and left to fend for themselves.

    I'm not trying to suggest anyone (or even society) owns anyone, but everyone owes others many things because no one is truly self-made. From parents to school teachers to essential services provided for that individual, even survival in adulthood is an interdependency.

    This whole notion of self-empowerment is really just... well, liberal garbage meant to make people feel better. You aren't who you are because of you alone, sorry.

  3. There might be a "cult of ego" that pervades the robotic Randroids of Objectivism (though the ego being worshiped by them is Ayn Rand's), but as for libertarians in general, I don't know what you're talking about, Ginx.

    I'm curious how far any libertarian would get if they were dropped in a forest at birth and left to fend for themselves.

    ??? This statement makes no sense and is a complete straw man. What libertarian denies we live in a society of other people with whom we voluntarily cooperate? Because libertarians are not "dropped into the forest at birth", and do not discover by themselves all the accumulated knowledge of the human race, and do not do every last thing all on their own, there is therefore no such thing as individualism or self-ownership?


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