Archive | January, 2009

Study War Some More

San DiegoTomorrow I’m off to my old hometown (well, one of my old hometowns) San Diego to chair a panel at the 2009 conference of the International Society for Military Ethics (program here). Back Monday.

In the meantime, read this great argument for anarchism. (The author doesn’t intend it as an argument for anarchism – quite the contrary – but his modus tollens is my modus ponens. Briefly, he argues that if it were permissible/obligatory for soldiers to disobey commands in an unjust war, then it would also – absurdly – be permissible/obligatory for jailers to release prisoners unjustly detained, etc. Um, okay.)

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Molinari Symposium 2009: Call for Papers on Intellectual Property

CALL FOR PAPERS

The Molinari Society will be hosting its sixth annual symposium in conjunction with the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in New York City, December 27-30, 2009. We hereby invite the submission of papers on the topic of intellectual property (IP).

IP has long been a matter of debate among libertarians. For its defenders, it represents a just protection of innovators’ rights to the products of their labour, as well as a vital economic incentive for creative effort; for its opponents, it is one more state-granted monopoly privilege with elements of protectionism and censorship. The issues raised by IP seem especially urgent in the present age of electronic media, when the ease of copying and disseminating information is at an all-time high; and the legitimacy or otherwise of IP has recently become an especially hot topic of discussion in the libersphere in the wake of the long-anticipated publication of Michele Boldrin and David Levine’s book Against Intellectual Monopoly (as well as the re-release of Stephan Kinsella’s Against Intellectual Property in book form).

Those submitting papers should be prepared, if selected, to present their papers at the December meeting.

Send submissions to Roderick T. Long at:
BerserkRL@yahoo.com

Deadline for receiving submissions: 5 May 2009
Notification of acceptance / rejection: 15 May 2009

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The Atrocity of Hope

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

Congratulations, Pakistani children!  You too can sacrificeOne reason power corrupts is that it puts people in a position to choose options with which they would ordinarily never be faced. Our new President has just passed a significant milestone on the road to hell, one that he would be unlikely to have passed in ordinary life: he is now a murderer. (Conical hat tip to Manuel Lora and Lew Rockwell.)

I recall a line from that terrific late-80s tv series Wiseguy: “What good is a man who loves his own children but murders someone else’s?”

And while I’m on the subject of great lines from Wiseguy here’s another, from when Sonny (the mobster) finds out that Vinnie (his erstwhile right-hand man) is a federal agent:

Sonny: What do you get out of this, Vinnie, huh? I want to know. What do you get out of this – another pin on your lapel? an upgrade on your pension? Why are you trying to destroy me, man?

Vinnie: It comes with your territory, Sonny. You want a recitation? How about drugs killing kids, and fraud destroying pensions?

Sonny: Oh my god, oh my god. Who do you think you’re working for, man? You want to talk drugs? Let’s talk Agent Orange. Let’s talk LSD. Those are just two of the progressive efforts made on behalf of your friendly employer, Uncle Sam. Want to talk fraud? Let’s talk fraud. Why don’t you try explaining to a farmer why the federal guarantee loans are being recalled? Yeah, you’re the mob – you’re the mob in this room, Vinnie. I’m just your average entrepreneur.

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