Stephan Kinsella:

Even if private property owners were not prohibited from inviting whomever they wish onto their own property, the guest would have a hard time getting there, or leaving, without using, say, the public roads. So merely prohibiting non-citizens from using public property would be one means of establishing de facto immigration restrictions. It need not literally prohibit private property owners from having illegal immigrants on their property. It need only prevent them from using the roads or ports – which it owns.

Note: the above quotation and link is not intended as a claim that Stephan ultimately supports state immigration laws or closed border (see comments) but to compare the argument he describes in light of other considerations.

Roderick Long (mp3):

Suppose that you homestead an area like this [draws square] and then I come along and homestead an area like this [draw a larger, concentric square]. You want to leave your property now. And I say, “Sorry. Unless you have a helicopter or something, you’re not leaving; or at least you’re not leaving unless you pay me a heck of a lot” or whatever. Is that legitimate? I would say no, I don’t have the right to interfere with your coming and going and so I have to allow you some form of getting onto and off of your land. In law, this is known as an easement.

It seems to me that if you hold the latter to be the right position then it would be difficult to hold the former position without some creative juggling. Read the rest of this entry »

So, if you haven’t heard, the state wants to tell you to stick your preference for flavored tobacco in your pipe and smoke it. Round up all the (now extra, extra) pissed-off goth kids you know and get them to become agorists (they already have the uniform). Counter-economy anyone?

The following video footage captures a Spooky Kid, undoubtedly with contraband clove cigarettes hidden somewhere in his (what is that? vinyl) white jumpsuit thingy, running from the cops. This could just as easily be you:


April 27, 2009

Mark Helprin was on NPR yesterday reminding me that I am barbaric. His new book, Digital Barbarism: A Writer’s Manifesto, argues for an extension of current copyright protection.

Included with the link above (along with the audio of the broadcast) is an excerpt from the book. It is simultaneously frustrating and hilarious. Here is a selection (but be sure to read it all). Put down your drink because the following howler is likely to make you spit from your nose: Read the rest of this entry »

My post “Vaguely Defined Property Rights Indeed” was, at its core and in its title, a response to Peter Klein’s involvement in the “conflation debate”. Klein pointed out that cooperatives (his all-purpose stand-in for labor-managed firms) “all suffer from serious incentive, information, and governance problems, almost none of which are mentioned in the anti-corporation libertarian literature.”

Klein was referring to his 2007 article “Vaguely Defined Property Rights” where he essentially argues, using Mike Cook as a primary source, against the LMF on consequentialist grounds. There is a danger that by engaging him on this level, I may be validating the importance of efficiency over what essentially is an issue of inalienable rights, the proper imputation of responsibility and property appropriation. During the Abolition movement, it would have been unnecessary to argue about the relative efficiency of slavery for example. That said, I will carry on nevertheless.

I had the good fortune to discuss these concerns with David Ellerman, whose ideas I referenced in the previous post. Therefore, I will present here a fictional conversation in five acts between Peter (in the form of his article) and David (in excerpts from my conversation with him). Hat tip to David for allowing me publish this private correspondence and providing my readers with rare and valuable insight. Read the rest of this entry »

Hitting on a Solution

January 11, 2009

For some reason, there seems to be a surge of interest in the issue of hiring hitmen and whether the person doing the hiring is guilty of some crime from a libertarian perspective. For example, a recent video on YouTube by Morty14 spends ten minutes “defending the undefendable” as he puts it: the person hiring the hitman is not guilty of any crime.

Now I personally think that the issue is one of the least important that modern libertarians face and I can hardly believe I am taking the time to engage it. How many hitmen have you hired lately? But I think there are some important and worthwhile concepts that come out of this example. Read the rest of this entry »

They Only Come Out at Night

December 21, 2008

Late the other night, not long after publishing my first real post, I received a comment from the subject of my post, Stephan Kinsella, who continues his recent trend of support for the principles underlying labor self-management. Oddly, perhaps in an attempt at humor, he decided to disguise this support in a polemic tone. So in the spirit of things, I’ll play along. It’s always nice to engage with a fellow native son of Baton Rouge. And I don’t mind a little droll humor. You might even see me use some around here occasionally.

I’m not sure if it was the early hour or what, but he appeared to have not read my post very carefully since many of his responses were swinging at ghosts and a large majority of his “objections” actually serve to buttress my point. Read the rest of this entry »

Author’s note: I originally and mistakenly attributed some of Stephan Kinsella’s quotes to Peter Klein. I’ve made the necessary corrections. My apologies to Klein and Kinsella.

Anyone with even a tangential connection to the blogosphere of the libertarian left has probably caught wind of the shit-storm set off by Roderick T. Long’s Cato Unbound article, “Corporations versus the Market; or, Whip Conflation Now.”

If you have ever knocked over a hornet’s nest, kicked an anthill or tossed holy water on a coven of vampires, then you will not be surprised that the response has been fast, furious, scattered and heated. The battle lines were quickly drawn in blogs and forums. In this corner, the “Left”, concerned with the role that government plays in enabling big business privilege. And in this corner, the “Right”, who, while acknowledging the role of government in impeding the free market, don’t see any particular reason to oppose the structure of business-as-usual and additionally find it praiseworthy on many counts and the natural result of respect for property rights.

Kevin Carson has recently come to Long’s defense in what serves as a good summary of some of the back-and-forth. The first part of Carson’s analysis focuses on Peter Klein’s reaction to Long so this too is where I started my catch-up work on the debate. I did not get very deep into the comments, when I noticed something unexpected: Stephan Kinsella providing an excellent argument in support of a 100% labor-managed economy. Read the rest of this entry »


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