Tabarrok the Statist

by on December 4, 2011 at 9:34 am in Books, Economics | Permalink

Stephan Kinsella in reviewing Launching the Innovation Renaissance (Amzn link, B&N for Nook, also iTunes) for The Libertarian Standard says I am a liberty-hating statist! (Kinsella is upset that I did not come out as a patent abolitionist.) Bryan Caplan, however, says it is a gem that pushed him to extreme patent skepticism. In other mini-reviews, Aretae gives it “three thumbs up” (must be a transhumanist), Robin Hanson thinks I am too rational and Peter Gordon says “Read the book. Spread the word.”

1 Yancey Ward December 4, 2011 at 10:13 am

Sometimes I get the impression that everyone not Stephan Kinsalla seems to be an anti-liberty statist to Stephan Kinsalla.

2 affenkopf December 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm

The proud Rothbardian tradition of libertarianism.

3 msgkings December 4, 2011 at 7:02 pm


The hardest libertarians have a problem with nuance. All regulations are bad, taxes are theft, all government = socialism, and all that rot.

4 Martin December 5, 2011 at 6:35 am

Taxes ARE theft, or actually they are robbery.

5 msgkings December 5, 2011 at 10:25 am

See? That nonsense is out there. Major downside of the internet…used to have to dig in obscure journals for that crap.

6 Cliff December 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Well, it is true. That doesn’t mean you have to be against it.

7 msgkings December 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Oh lord. This is the inevitable part of the internet discussion where I have to tell you folks to grow up.

Yes, I get it, taxes are theft, government is evil, society is oppression, blah blah blah. Can’t you guys just step outside the dorm room for a minute and hear how you sound?

8 Silas Barta December 5, 2011 at 5:25 pm


9 Colin December 4, 2011 at 10:20 am

I was planning on reading Alex’s book eventually, but now I must do so forthwith. A libertarian believes someone a statist for not supporting an abolition of a property right? This argument I must see. As I am a libertarian, former patent attorney, and also former patent-policy academic, you know I’ll be breaking out the popcorn on this one.

10 Martin December 4, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Actually, if you think about it, patents and copyrights of others violate my property rights. Why am I forbidden from using *my own* resources as I see fit?

11 Colin December 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm

No, they don’t, at least not necessarily. I wholeheartedly agree that their present manifestations and myriad attendant regulations /do/ violate your property rights. However, a patent in it’s purest form is no different from, for instance, my deed over a piece of land, through which I am able to restrict your use of your 4×4 for recreation. Your resources, my property, totally acceptable restriction on your rights. A property right, /any/ property right, is a limited monopoly.

IP qua IP isn’t a problem, but there are many problems with it that lead to illiberal (classical sense) results. IP right now is fraught with elements that are similar to eminent domain, zoning, and asset forfeiture. The DMCA, which is a gross misuse of power, is not an IP law, it’s a criminal law. Copyright term extension (for existing works) was essentially an uncompensated eminent domain of the public domain. Patents granted without adequate analysis of the factors are, indeed, hugely problematic, and many of the biggest issues over patents have been due to the poorly-thought-out extension of patents to business methods, genetic material, and “new route of administration” for drugs. But then, these are issues that are different than IP law per-se, just like the fact that eminent domain is a problem is *not* an argument to do away with property rights in land.

12 Mark December 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm

There is a big difference! Use or ownership of land is exclusive. Use or ownership of an idea is not.

13 Martin December 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm

May two people independently arrive at the same idea? Yes, they can. In America it is thought that it was Benjamin Franklin who invented the lightning rod. In Europe (or at least in the Czech Republic), I think, it is taught that it was Prokop Diviš who didn’t know of the invention of Benjamin Franklin.

Now, why should Prokop Diviš be punished for using an idea that he came up with and for using his own resources only because Benjamin Franklin was quicker? In which step did Mr. Diviš violate any property right of Mr. Franklin?

(And for better reasoning than I can ever provide, see

14 Colin December 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I’d counter your example with an analogy: May two seafaring explorers arrive at the same island? Yes, they can. Should the first have claimed it as property, would the second be trespassing? Yes, they would. Property rights are how these issues are sorted out. Invention and creation is more akin to frontier property than other types of property.

Anyway, I’ve downloaded the article that @Martin posted, and think it’ll be an interesting read, thank you for it. I’ll look it over before responding further.

15 Nathaniel December 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Except that both seafarers can’t simultaneously monopolize the same island because it is scarce; that’s why the first one gets the monopoly, to prevent them from fighting with one another over whose island it is. Ideas, being non-scarce, can be invented, enjoyed, understood, acted upon, and turned into profitable businesses without depriving any other person of their ability to simultaneously do the same.

The order in which a good or resource was discovered or homesteaded only matters for things that are scarce.

16 Ricardo December 5, 2011 at 3:08 am

Colin, in a Lockean world, a seafarer would have no right to simply “claim” an island upon simply seeing or mapping it. Instead, one must “mix his labor” with the land before having a legitimate claim to the land.

Even though I’m not a libertarian, Kinsella has a point. A real libertarian should be very suspicious of if not outright hostile to patents. The problem for a “statist” like Tabarrok is that once he admits that utilitarian considerations should trump the principle that transactions among consenting adults should always be legal in one area (and the utilitarian consideration should be administered by a centralized government bureaucracy that restricts other people’s rights), he has less ability to reject such a trump card when it is dealt in other situations.

17 Doug December 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Re the two seafarers: If the island has enough land to build one hotel, can both seafarers build their own hotel and rent it out to guests? No. Therefore one cannot benefit from his own use of the island without depriving the other of the ability to benefit from his use of the island. With the lightning rod idea, either one can build and benefit from a lightning rod without depriving the other of the ability to build and benefit from a lightning rod.

Thus no property right is necessary to insure the inventor’s ability to profit from his own labor. To the contrary, intellectual property is designed to secure to the inventor the ability to profit from *other* peoples labor. In that way, there is a strong argument that intellectual property it is fundamentally inconsistent with the idea of natural rights.

18 Martin Brock December 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm

A patent is a statutory monopoly and your title to a parcel of land is also a statutory monopoly, but “no different from” is ridiculous. A patent requires enforcement everywhere on the Earth. A title to a parcel of land requires enforcement only on the parcel of land. The patent is a global monopoly definitively. The title to a parcel of land is a local monopoly definitively.

19 Andrew' December 5, 2011 at 9:01 am

Not to mention you yourself do 99% of the defense of your real property.

And not to speak for Alex, but you can do the utilitarian analysis while still believing in an anarchist principle. Let’s get that through our heads.

20 Cliff December 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Well, there is no global patent. It would be limited to the country of grant.

21 TGGP December 4, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Kinsella is objecting that Tabarrok said “Patents, innovation prizes, patent buyouts and advance market all have their place. The key is to match problems to institutions.”

22 Corey December 4, 2011 at 10:26 am

Isn’t trying to convince the world to move in a more market oriented direction more important than fighting over who is and is not a “true and pure” libertarian? This is how wars get started people.

23 dearieme December 4, 2011 at 10:31 am

I recommend virtual patents. Every few years an outfit in Munich writes to me about a couple of patents that it attributes to me. Wrongly: but they let me dream of riches.

24 Claudia Sahm December 4, 2011 at 11:01 am

Seems like the reviews say more about the reviewers than the book…and yet this post did get the book into my iPad Kindle.

25 GregS December 4, 2011 at 11:53 am

It’s an excellent book, Alex. And you’re lucky to be in this network of bloggers who are all recommending it; I don’t remember on whose recommendation I first decided to read it. I’m definitely in the anarchocapitalist camp, but I can still see that it would be foolish to JUST abolish patents without, say, getting rid of the FDA (or making a few other changes). If you are limited to one or two recommendations which might be taken seriously, you made the right choice: “Weaken or eliminate patents for low development cost inventions, strengthen or let alone patents for high development cost inventions.” That’s a good message that a lot of people can accept. You don’t have to first convince someone of the libertarian worldview.

26 Anon December 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I actually think he has a good point and is not too harsh, although I don’t agree with him that intellectual property should be eliminated all together. Unless you’re advocating compulsory licensing for IP reform, you’re missing the point. Also, this idea of the ‘x-prize’ is ridiculous.

27 NAME REDACTED December 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Um, the “Ansari X-PRIZE” actually worked.

28 happyjuggler0 December 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm


(Kinsella is upset that I did not come out as a patent abolitionist.)

Well, he seems to be unhappy about that (and as staunch minarchist libertarian I disagree with him about that), but the meat of his beef seems to me that he claims (I haven’t read the book, and probably won’t based on his review and your incorrect labeling of his review) that you want to radically increase government spending instead of some patents. If that is indeed your position, then I also would characterize that as libertarian hating statism, at least on that issue.

Perhaps Tyler’s faux-libertarianism is rubbing off on you….

29 Martin December 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Jeez, how is “staunch minarchist” connected to “in favor of intellectual property”, srsly?

30 James C December 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm

all patents are indeed a violation of property rights. there is no arguing against this point. what right does anyone have to prohibit me from using my own property as i see fit? all because someone paid the government X amount of money to be given “ownership” of an idea, and henceforth everyone must pay them royalty/licensing fees to make use of the “idea”? the entire thing is a sham, and anyone who claims patents are a legitimate property right is either willfully ignorant or being utterly deceitful.

with regards to Kinsella, his argument is that your support for taxpayer-funded innovation prizes is what makes you a “liberty-hating statist”, which it does. why should taxpayers have to finance such largesse? the entire thing is ridiculous. weve already seen how politicized the Nobel Prizes have become, and now you want to create something similar, only funded by taxes? and who exactly would be given the authority to even judge what is “innovative”?

its extremely disappointing to see this, Alex. i expect these pseudo-libertarian arguments from Tyler, not you.

31 Martin December 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm

My words exactly.

32 Gabe December 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm

IP is designed to let the politically powerful use the monoply of government force to erect barriers to entry to limit competition.

Inventers don’t get the protection from IP…those with the most lawyers get the benefit of IP protection.

33 Alex Tabarrok December 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Read the book!

34 Martin Brock December 4, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I took the bait and downloaded the book to my innovative Samsung table now threatened around with the world by Apple’s patent claims.

Needless to say, if Apple’s “look and feel” copyright claims had prevailed in the nineties, the PC world might look very different today, as courts prohibited competition from Microsoft’s much more open architecture.

If software patents had existed at the time, Apple presumably would have sought to exclude competitors with patent law rather than copyright law, and the PC world would still look very different today.

Software patents do exist today, and patents generally are now global, and the scope and duration of patents are ever increasing, and first to file is now the rule. I’m not sure why anyone outside of a corporation with a large arsenal of established patents bothers to innovate.

35 Andrew' December 5, 2011 at 8:37 am

If everyone agreed to it then it would be fine. So, the question becomes where do you draw the margin, at 50.00001% of the vote or at 100% active agreement?

Prizes are nice because they don’t actually require government. Anyone can create a prize and if you don’t want to donate to it then it’s fine. Patents require everyone to agree to not use an idea when being that one guy who uses it becomes all the more profitable. In a way, patents are a prize. You are compensated for the idea by government fiat monopoly privileges. This is a low-upfront cost for the government.

There are tons of other ways to do this. You could have an all-voluntary IP agreement between large corporations and violation simply revokes the contract. We have another problem too. Foreigners are not going to honor our IP, so we are increasing domestic costs and probably not even protecting the IP.

36 Cliff December 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm

First to file is the rule everywhere in the world (pretty much) except the U.S.- where it does not go into effect until 2013.

37 Dredd December 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

What ever you do, don’t forget that you are a member of the free press, one of the truly great professions that really does not include the main stream media IMO.

38 UnlearningEcon December 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm

As long as the right take an uber-reactionary anti-government stance, anyone who even considers a positive role for government will be accused of being a statist.

39 msgkings December 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm


40 TGGP December 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm

You are not familiar with Kinsella and the Rothbardians (who identify as anarchists). They are not at all representative of “the right”, although when it comes to foreign policy I wish that was the case.

41 Bill Stepp December 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Colin ,

A patent is a monopoly granted by the criminal entity known as the State, not a property right. (Another name for a monopoly is crookopoly, as there is no such thing as a monoply on the free market.) The analogy between a patent and a property deed is incorrect, because, as Mr. Jefferson pointed out (tip of the hat to Mr. Nock), knowledge is fungible; an inventor’s knowledge that goes into making an invention can be known by someone else without compromising his ability to make his invention. A property deed, on the other hand, can only be held by one owner (or set of owners); it fences off property and prevents others from legally trespassing on it or despoiling it.
Furthermore, a patent-crookopoly runs for an arbitrarily-determined time (depending on the type of crookopoly it is). A real property right knows no such limit.
I suggest you read two articles by Tom Palmer in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy (c. 1989 and 1990), probably linked to at his webpage. Also Stephan Kinsella has some articles and a book on the subject. Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine wrote one called Against Intellectual Monopoly.

42 msgkings December 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm

“criminal entity known as the State”


Off to Somalia with you.

43 Nathaniel December 5, 2011 at 12:14 am

C’mon, aren’t we past this, “then why don’t you just go to Somalia?!” thing? One might just as easily tell you to try your luck in North Korea if you like government so much, but that wouldn’t be very productive, would it?

44 Cliff December 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Somalia improved after the government collapsed.

45 Silas Barta December 5, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Sure, Bill_Stepp, and a land title is a monopoly granted by the criminal entity known as the State, not a property right. You can walk through a corn field without taking away the ability to grow corn, and yet the statist owner claims the right to expell you anyway, backed up by the State …

We’ve been through this a hundred times, it doesn’t deter the anti-IP fanatics.

46 Bill Stepp December 4, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I should have added that patent law is a creation of the cekatS, and was not an outgrowth of the common law. Ditto for copywrong.

47 Gabe December 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm

patent attorney < deadweight loss

48 Colin December 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Ok, I’m not finished with the Kinsella article that @Martin linked earlier, but I’ll have to respond to @Bill Stepp here.

I’ll leave aside patent for the moment, as that, admittedly, is a more complex issue. All of the arguments presented here fail vis-a-vis copyright.

All of copyright can be obtained using contract.
1: an artist produces a work;
2: agrees to sell the work under a contract where they retain all the rights we’d call copyright;
3: you buy that work, then copy it.

You’re in breach of contract. If you sell the copy, then the buyer is a co-conspirator. You are outside of libertarian principles, since you have breached your contract.

Let’s say you don’t copy it, but you sell the original. You can’t sell what you don’t have, and you don’t have the right to copy it, since you didn’t buy it. Those rights were severed as part of the original sale. You agreed that the author retained them, or they wouldn’t have sold it to you to begin with. So the new buyer also would not have those rights, since you cannot convey them.

This is exactly how real property works. If I sell you a piece of land, and reserve an easement for myself, you can’t violate that easement, nor can you sell the property without it. To do so would allow you to sell something you don’t have, and would be a breach of contract, and an infringement on my property rights.

Copyright is merely an imperfect application of these principles. It can be thought of as a private park. The author has sold tickets to his park, with restrictions. If you decide to pitch a tent and camp there, or sell or give away fraudulent tickets, you’re infringing on his property rights. Is it an unfair infringement on your property right in your paper to prevent you from printing forgeries allowing admission to my private park?

PS: I have no idea what cekatS are. Both Patent and Copyright law are in the constitution, and were placed there as a nod to the Brittish law of copyrights from the Statute of Anne (Copyright Act of 1707), which was itself a codification of rights recognized back to at least 1557. Patent law is even older, and forms can be traced back to the 1300s in England, and even back to 500 BC. I cannot prove it, but the “trade secret” form of IP has been around since god kept the tree of life to himself in the garden of eden (joke!).

To say that these are denovo is absurd – IP rights, in some form, have been with humanity since we developed language.

49 Doug December 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm

The equivalent of a copyright absolutely cannot be obtained using contract. Aside from the fact that it would be impossible as a practical matter to require everyone listening to a song on the radio (for example) to sign a contract that they will not copy or perform the song themselves, the rights given by copyright cannot even theoretically be given by a contract.

In the world of contract law, if I were to purchase a copy of a work from a person breaching the hypothetical copyright contract, and I did not have actual knowledge that the person selling the work was breaching the contract by selling it to me without requiring me to assent to the copyright contract, I would not be a “conspirator,” I would be a bona fide purchaser for value. As a bona fide purchaser for value, I would have title to the copy of the work I purchased, and would have the right to copy, distribute, or perform that copy free and clear of any of the obligations in the original contract.

Copyright, on the other hand, applies to the world, without regard to knowlege of the existence or ownership of the copyright, and without regard to voluntary agreement to the terms of the copyright in exchange for valuable consideration. There simply is no way to obtain such a right through ordinary contract law.

50 Doug December 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Even an easement is void as against a bona fide purchaser for value who takes without notice.

51 Doug December 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

“Copyright is merely an imperfect application of these principles. It can be thought of as a private park. The author has sold tickets to his park, with restrictions. If you decide to pitch a tent and camp there, or sell or give away fraudulent tickets, you’re infringing on his property rights. Is it an unfair infringement on your property right in your paper to prevent you from printing forgeries allowing admission to my private park?”

Difference is, if I sell fake tickets to your park, someone comes and takes a seat on your roller coaster so that someone with a legitimate ticket cannot ride. If, on the other hand, I stay outside your park, and simply sing a song that you wrote, you can still sing your song to all the legitimate ticket holders you want.

52 Cliff December 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm

No, dude. Trade secrets – as opposed to plain old “secrets” with no legal protection – have not been in existence for eternity.

53 Bill Stepp December 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm

ckatS (criminal entity known as the State–from my first post)
Someone can buy an artist’s work (or a book, poem, etc.) and copy it without the creator’s permission, because the purchased copy is the property of its owner. There is no breach of contract or libertarian law. (A copyright–copywrong–criminally protects expression, not the work itself, unlike a patent crookopoly. It is a violation of libertarian law.)

I omitted property easement from my earlier post, but it doesn’t overturn my point.
Copy”right” is not akin to a private park, which exists on the free market under libertarian law. Rather, it’s a cekatS-granted monopoly. Your discussion of this has nothing to do with my point.

My understanding of patents is that they originated in Italy around 1421, when the architect Brundelleschi patented a barge with a hoisting gear (see Christine MacLeod, Inventing the Industrial Revolution, p. 11). See says that Edward III gave out “letters of protection,” but they weren’t crookopolies, because they were not exclusive grants. The Statute of Monopolies was passed in 1624.

I”P” certainly does not go back to the origin of language.
But then if you’re a lawyer, you probably think lawyers were necessary to midwife vowels and consonants. Carpenters, hammers, and nails….

54 MD December 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Your use of this jargon only makes you sound like a quack. Might I recommend that you make your point without these “clever” libertarian word-compounds you seem so fond of?

55 Bill Stepp December 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm

“Off to Somalia with you.”
Contrary to the statist media, Somalia has worked reasonably well.
The part of Somalia that spawned the pirates was Puntland, a northeastern, breakaway province of the Somalian state.

The criminal entity at Washington is a lot worse than Somalia. Last time I checked, the latter isn’t hitting up the local taxpayers to fund 130 bases around the world, ethanol subsidies, half billion dollar subsidies for failed solar energy firms, etc.

56 Benny Lava December 4, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Haha this is awesome. I think this is a troll post but if it is real then it is amazing. A libertarian actually admitting that they prefer Somalia to America. Priceless.

57 Max W December 6, 2011 at 11:56 am

theres no law that the government can detain a citizen indefinitely or assassinate them in Somalia.

58 Benny Lava December 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Funny that so many libertarians don’t believe in intellectual property, despite its inclusion in the US Constitution that so many libertarians claim to love so much. But you know who did have any intellectual property laws? The Soviet Union. Once you go that far to the right it is in some ways hard to distinguish from the extreme left.

59 Benny Lava December 4, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Edit: you know who *didn’t* have any intellectual property laws

60 Nathaniel December 5, 2011 at 12:43 am

There are many things about the U.S. Constitution that libertarians don’t like, such as explicitly granting congress the power to tax citizens, initiate wars, monopolize the currency, and prevent states from leaving the union. I believe you’re actually thinking of Republicans when you imagine people who unthinkingly worship the Constitution.

61 Andrew' December 5, 2011 at 4:39 am

The thing about the constitution is that it also has within it the means to change it. Some people use it as a club when it suits them and then ignore it when it doesn’t. That’s what I don’t like about the situation.

62 Andrew' December 5, 2011 at 4:48 am

Here is what it says:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

1. The Constitution grants the power, it does not require them to do it. It’s an option.
2. “To promote the progress of science and useful arts,” setting aside “useful” the power is to promote progress. If it isn’t promoting progress, then they don’t have the power or option to do it.
3. Limited times – Mickey Mouse anyone?

63 NAME REDACTED December 5, 2011 at 6:28 am

The federal reserve as well. Its a letters patent, but not an “Authors and Inventor.”

64 Andrew' December 5, 2011 at 8:19 am

We literally have a Mickey Mouse patent system. Even if you think that it should be done, when people are doing it wrong, take it away from them and give it to someone who might do it right.

65 DK December 5, 2011 at 10:43 am

But you know who did not have any intellectual property laws? The Soviet Union.

This is false. USSR did have both copyrights and patents.

66 Cliff December 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

The current IP system is far different from any imagined by the framers of the constitution or in place at the time of its enactment.

67 Max W December 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm

you know what was also condoned in the Constitution? slavery. the idea that libertarians support every little detail in the Constitution is ridiculous. libertarians believe in the rule of law. when the government is allowed to ignore whenever it pleases, thats when they finally recognize the government for the monster that it is.

the libertarians who still adamantly defend the Constitution are the ones still clinging to the idea that the government can be reformed. they just refuse to accept that its a monster, and that no matter how well chained down you think it is, it will inevitably break loose and destroy us all. i think this quote best explains the philosophical libertarians position:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

68 Andrew' December 5, 2011 at 4:38 am

One problem is that even if it is right in principle you have to do it right in practice. I’m pretty sure we aren’t doing it right.

By the way, you can in fact believe that IP is property and yet the state has no role in protecting it. That is the same as the anarchists and their private security.

69 Max W December 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

and how exactly would you defend IP? youre going to have private security officers arresting people for copyright infringements rather than the government?

70 Bill Stepp December 5, 2011 at 7:37 am

The Conjob is inconsistent with liberty and libertarianism. Lysander Spooner wrote some good stuff about “the Constitution of No Authority.”
Art. 1, section 8 is a laundry list of government monopolies. Once the State has the power to coin money, it’s just a matter of time before it outlaws private coinage. Etc.

71 Doug December 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Except that I believe Spooner held the belief that the common law or natural rights provided for pertpetual copyright and patent protection.

72 Andrew' December 5, 2011 at 7:52 am

Welcome to the called a statist by Kinsella club.

73 Ryan December 5, 2011 at 8:53 am

Kinsella’s pet issue is patent abolition. Your not winning him over is no big deal. It would be great if every self-identified libertarian believed all the same stuff, but it would also be uninteresting and bad for progress. Disagreements are where details get hashed out.

74 Max W December 6, 2011 at 12:08 pm

i agree. libertarians agree on pretty much every issue except abortion, immigration, and intellectual property.

75 Bill Stepp December 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Yes, Spooner favored patent and copyright. Not the only things he was wrong about.

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