Archive | December 24, 2009

Thief of Hearts

The premise of this movie seems to be a cross between Logan’s Run and the original Repo Man. The idea, I gather from the trailer, is that in the near future, patients in need of an organ transplant can purchase artificial organs on an installment plan – but if they don’t keep up their payments, then their organs can be bloodily “repossessed.” The protagonist, Jude Law, is an organ repo man who has no misgivings about his job – until, after a job gone wrong, he wakes up with an organ transplant he can’t afford and ends up on the run, pursued by his former partner, Forest Whitaker.

I thought I’d weigh in early on what I take to be the libertarian perspective on this. Some libertarians may say that these organ repo men are simply enforcing contracts, and so are behaving legitimately. But on my view (elaborated here, here, here, and here; cf. also Rothbard and Barnett), contracts involve the conditional transfer of alienable rights, while rights over bodily parts (whether made of meat or not) are inalienable so long as they’re within the body. (Moreover, there are limits on what one can do in recovering alienable property too.) So my verdict is that what the organ repo men are doing is not libertarianly legitimate.

A Grave Matter

When Neil Gaiman had Miss Lupescu, The Graveyard Book’s “Baloo” figure, say “da,” I initially assumed, albeit with surprise, that he had made the common mistake of thinking that Romanian is a Slavic language.

But it turns out that Romanian, lacking a clear Latin term for “yes,” borrowed “da” from Slavonic – so Gaiman is off the hook.

That is all.

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