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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10592/the-case-against-ip-a-concise-guide/

The Case Against IP: A Concise Guide

September 4, 2009 by

Like many libertarians, I initially assumed intellectual property (IP) was a legitimate type of property right. But I had misgivings from the start: there was just something too utilitarian and results oriented in Rand’s purportedly principled case for IP, and something too artificial about the state’s copyright and patent statutory classifications. I started practicing patent law around 1992, and the more I learned about IP, the more my doubts grew.

I finally realized that IP is incompatible with genuine property rights. (This echoed the sloughing off of my initial Randian minarchism in favor of Rothbardian anarchism, when I realized the state is aggression incarnate and cannot be justified. See my article, “What It Means To Be an Anarcho-Capitalist.”)

And so, in 1995 I started publishing articles pointing out problems with IP, finally culminating in my lengthy 2001 Journal of Libertarian Studies article “Against Intellectual Property,” which was republished as a monograph last year by the Mises Institute. A summary of the argument in this paper was set forth in my article “In Defense of Napster and Against the Second Homesteading Rule”, and various of these pieces have been translated into other languages.

In recent years there has been a good deal of more useful writing on IP and, as my previous Napster article is somewhat dated now, the time is ripe to concisely restate the basic libertarian case against IP and provide links to some of the key anti-IP publications. FULL ARTICLE


Bala September 9, 2009 at 7:59 pm


You are a shameless liar. Follow the thread to see who did the first name calling. You started it by calling me a “totalitarian”. Until then, I was arguing with you too.

Your type – the descend to slander when you have nothing to say to defend yourself – was well identified by Rand. I just didn’t expect to find that out here on this site.

” See above: pathetic. What in the world does any of this have to do with being good at argumentation or with being truly creative? ”

Dumb schmuck…. That says I produce. I live on the ability of my brains and my hard work. WTF do you do but sit around and slander others??

mpolzkill September 9, 2009 at 8:45 pm


Another stellar job avoiding questions that will take you away from the magical words you prefer. Kudos.

You have serious comprehension problems, Bala. “Shameless liar”? Where did I say you were the first to call me a name? I have no idea who was the first and I claimed no such thing. It is a fact that your name-calling, wild accusations and defamations of character against others are all over this forum. That’s all I referred to.

“the descend to slander”

No, I took the liberty of defining someone who has proved to be a hopeless nut-case. Slander must be purposely untruthful, btw. I was sincerely trying to define the personality of someone who advocates a government that must crush opposition on every part of the globe according to their SUBJECTIVE philosophy (an absolutist world government, I calls it, and I definitely won’t use your most cherished magic word that you have pathetically tried to appropriate). So, the word “totalitarian” came to me, thinking of “totality”. I admitted the word is too strong because of the birth of the word and the general public’s understanding of it. How about absolutist loony?

“[more CHILDISH name-calling]…That says I produce…[witless, unfounded conjecture]”

I’ll ask again (as I almost always have to): what does your having ANY job or business have to do with the ability to argue well and what does it have to do with understanding what drives the creative to create. You boldly suggest that it is above all money: no “IP”, no creation. That makes you a cretin in MY book, and goes a long way to explaining your obsession.

antiip September 9, 2009 at 8:50 pm

“the tendency to evade REALITY and build a false world around yourself based on untenable notions not supported by REALITY.”

Yeah, you sure have a problem: Either you are too dumb to answer my questions or you are just a blunt troll.

Which one will it be?

“You are a shameless liar. ”

The only liar here is you. You wasted the precious time of thoughtful man here with your stupid trolling about your fantasy rights to “the fruits of my soul”.

Why the hell should anyone be discussing with you, if you even do not care to answer questions and repeat your senseless sermon like a fanatic religious preacher? You sound like one.

You do not want to discuss, instead you just want to spew your objectivistic ideology all over here.

Nobody needs that. So stop trespassing (in your world your actions could be called that!) our minds!

antiip September 9, 2009 at 8:57 pm

@to all but Bala:

Bala is a typical objectivist hypocrite because he preaches a theory in which everyone would be obliged to pay EVERY person who had the simplest idea for that idea because they have in his pov the right to “the fruits of their souls”.

But he himself does not pay those persons (because they are innumerable). He just wants others to believe in that kind of religion: The religion of IP!

It must be a very lonely, sick world that IP-Mumbo Jumbo alternate reality.

antiip September 9, 2009 at 9:13 pm

“and what Objective Law considers aggression. As long as the PDA works within the framework of Objective Law, no conflict is possible.”

That sounds like:

“and what Positive Law considers aggression. As long as the PDA works within the framework of Positive Law, no conflict is possible.”

Your deception does not work!


“Why do you support the aggression that states necessarily commit?
2. Why do you support IP if it requires states, which commit aggression?
3. Why do you support the aggression of taking my property rights in my own property and giving them to some third party just because he thought of a way to use his own property and was able to persuade the criminal state to issue him title to some of my property on these grounds?”

Because Bala won’t answer ANY questions here (he seems to see them as enemies!) here the quintessence of a typical objectivist mind:

The REAL objectivist answers:

1. Because it is our state. And because I want to gain profit from it. States and government are only bad if they are not on our side. If we are in power glory will be ours!

2. Because we like monopolies so we can dictate prices! We want cash! And we do not want to work for it!

3. Because we do not support full property rights by others. Only Objective Law (oh it so objective!) is truth (and no, although is seems as if Positive Law would be similar to that it is not so, because we say so!).
We decide who has to give us something of his property. And we like enforcing state… ahh Objective Monopolies!

Bala September 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm


Thanks a ton for continuing the discussion until this point. As I said elsewhere, I came here to learn and not to make life miserable for you, SK or other IP-opponent on this board.

I have been thinking long and hard about almost everything you have said from our first interaction and I think I am beginning to comprehend your position. I am a little tied up with a professional engagement till Sunday and would like to get back on Monday (Sep 14).

I request you to check this comment page around that time to continue this discussion definitely along better lines, largely because I am now beginning to understand your position.

On one of these discussion forums, Michael A Clem asked a question – “How can Objectivists and Anarchists work together?”. Initially, I thought “No way!!”. Now, thanks to this discussion, I see possiblities that we can study. Maybe, SK could take it up since he is wedded to it.

Once again, thanks for persisting. I owe you a lot. I hope you will be around on Monday.

Ned Netterville September 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm

mpozikill: “[Y]ou’ve unwittingly picked it (sick) out my error and reprinted it. That should have read, “better PLANE”. I’m over-sensitive, I know. Consider me the Anton Bruckner of blogging.”

Whose Anton Bruckner? (Its PLANE to see hees unknown to me.) [P's intended.]

Bala: “[t]hieves who seek to make thieving an honourable profession are beneath contempt. That’s what all you moocher anti-IP propagandists are.”

Mr. Bala: As I said before, my objection to IP is that it cannot exist in the absence of government. Of course, and obviously, I am merely an ignorant anarchist, or, more precisely, a pacifist voluntaryist. My objection to the state is quite simple: its existence is dependent upon the initiation of force and violence without provocation, if for no other reason–and, manifestly, once employed with apparent “success,” force and violence are always repeated for other “good” purposes–than to collect the taxes upon which the state’s existence utterly depends.

And it is my humble evaluation that taxation is theft because it is indistinguishable from that category of theft generally known as extortion. The only reason tax collectors are not imprisoned by the state for what the state designates as the crime of stealing is because tax collectors work for the state and the state grants them immunity for their crime, which is, taking property from people without their consent, a.k.a., stealing.

So it seems to me that IP is derived from theft, and it seems rather a gross distortion of the truth for you to ignore the theft by which the state creates IP when calling those who would do away with the state and its thieving ways thieves. Isn’t that putting the horse on top of the cart?

Bala, you also wrote, “That’s called law when Government codifies Morality into a system by which true conflicts of interests between individuals may be resolved.”

That, to me, sounds like nonsense. For how is an individual to achieve a just resolution of a conflict with the state when the state insists–and backs its insistence with its force and violence–that the state alone must be the final arbiter of true conflicts? To whom can the put-upon taxpayer turn to protect his or her property from impositions (thefts) by the state’s tax collectors? It seems beyond ludicrous that the state (forcibly) insists on sitting in judgment of such conflicts.

Mr. Bala wrote: “I employ well over 120 people. I have been running a successful business in education for 10 years now. I am the biggest player in my field within my operating area, twice as big as all my competitors put together. I am also the most successful in my territory in terms of the success of my students. I train over 6000 students in long and short-term courses every year. Students and prospective students know my company and look up to it with respect.”

Ahh, Mr. Bala, for this I sincerely congratulate and respect you. Providing one-hundred twenty jobs at a time when the state has affected so very much unemployment and made the work of entrepreneurs so much more difficult by its various interventions in the economy is truly a blessing. Mind you, my respect for “entrepreneurial” success, however, does contain one caveat: that it not depend on state subsidies or regulations except to the extent that the entrepreneurial activity serves to subvert them.

John Donohue September 12, 2009 at 12:53 pm

are anarchists pacifists?

mpolzkill September 12, 2009 at 1:36 pm

John Donohue,

No. They could be if they wished. I don’t recommend adhering to it too strictly.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Ned Netterville,

A self-educated composer considered by many to be a bumpkin.

- – - – - – - – - – - –


You bet.

Bala September 15, 2009 at 11:44 am

Just checking if I got it right.

Your position is basically that because acknowledging IP means transgression of rights to physical property and liberty, we are better off looking for alternate ways to “protect” intellectual property than legislation.

Secondly, your (and SK’s) other point is that the State is inherently evil and since implementation of IP enforcement through government gives government the power to violate individual liberties and rights to physical property, the transformation of even the initially most benign of governments into the evil State is inevitable. Hence, calling upon Government to enforce IP is an invitation to disaster.

In Objectivist language, you are saying that choosing IP, especially getting government to enforce IP, is an immoral choice.

You are also saying that it is not upto anyone else but the producers of ideas (or creators as we wish to call them) to figure out how to protect their ideas and derive maximum benefit (whatever they feel is the suitable benefit) from them.

Put this way, I don’t see how and why I would disagree with you. The one point to note, however, is that these conclusions are automatic once you introduce into my original argument on the Objectivist understanding of Rights, the ideas that

1. the State is inherently evil and violative of Individual Rights
2. there is an inherent conflict between IP and physical property rights and we therefore have to make a Moral choice between the two.

However, I still feel that the Libertarian view of Rights, starting as it does from the claim that all Rights are Property Rights is flawed because it is not based on Man’s nature. Ultimately, Human Action is driven by an individual’s sense of Right and Wrong, i.e., a man’s code of Morality. The more closely your definition of Rights conforms to a rational Morality, the greater will be the chance that you can get rational men to accept it and work by it.

It is here that Ayn Rand becomes indispensable for Libertarians. Her concept of Individual Rights has the potential to provide a solid Moral foundation to Libertarianism and hence greatly increase the appeal of the latter. In fact, it can provide valuable Moral ammunition against a whole host of attacks launched on Liberty and the only economic system based on it, i.e., Capitalism.

Rather than take a confrontationist approach towards Objectivism, I feel that Libertarians would do better to integrate the fundamental ideas of Rand with their own to provide the much needed Moral justification for their political philosophy, thus making it complete in all respects. Doing so may also help you get a whole host of Objectivists who currently see Libertarians as misguided and dangerous. You would do well to keep in mind that there are 2 kinds of people who claim to be Objectivists

1. True Objectivists who understand the basic principles of the philosophy and are ready to question their conclusions when confronted with new facts (which they had earlier omitted)
2. Randites to whom Objectivism is what Rand said it is and for whom to reject any part of it is to reject the entire philosophy – something sacriligeous.

By demonising Rand inspite of all her positive contributions to philosophy, you are losing a number of potential allies, epsecially those of the first group.

mpolzkill September 16, 2009 at 9:24 am


That’s in the ballpark. I’m super-busy right now, but I’ll try to respond tonight (America time). Thanks for your input and your thoughtfulness; a pleasure speaking to you.

mpolzkill September 18, 2009 at 9:59 am

Bala said,

“we are better off looking for alternate…”

I just straight have no idea what “intellectual property” is; no offense, I just literally don’t recognize it. You may as well be talking about transubstantiation; a person talking about either “thing” sends my mind in the same place.


Yeah, for me that’s pretty close.

“…especially getting government to enforce IP, is an immoral choice”

It’s worse than immoral, it’s a mistake. As for your believing in it and peacefully trying to convince others of its reality, I see nothing immoral about that. Again, no offense, I think you could use your energies more productively.

“not upto anyone else”

Yes, everything is up to individuals.

“I don’t see how and why I would disagree with you”

Terrific. I would say that all rights are made POSSIBLE through the observance of property rights. I think that Murray Rothbard’s major essay on Natural Rights provides a large amount of evidence that this view IS based on the nature of man.
I like your attitude here, and I think there are myriad ways we can make and have to make liberty more attractive to those who don’t naturally desire it (for whatever inconceivable to me reasons those are. I’m again at a loss here).

Could there be a third kind of Objectivist who has completely ditched Rand? I’m sorry, yet again, but for me, personally, she has been a millstone around my neck. I have never read her, never been influenced by her, and yet can’t count the number of times I’ve been dismissed as a Randroid by members of the illiterate masses. I don’t believe we could ever draw as many Rand fans as we would lose from those who hate her. I know that she had a lot of fine qualities and has moved many fine people towards the philosophy of liberty, but she has got some SERIOUS baggage. Can you give me an explanation for this? How did she get here?:


Frankly, I am repulsed by her, and I don’t think I’ll ever be close to alone on that. If you need it and can’t find it, I’ll send you the entire context. I don’t believe that the context helps her though. “THE Arabs” Collectivism?!? Or is she just an innocent victim of semantic infiltration?

I really appreciate your new tone here and I truly hope my frankness isn’t taken as an attack.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - –

I forgot to tell Ned Netterville that his playful mockery of my scab-picking was very funny.

mpolzkill September 18, 2009 at 10:36 am

Bala, please note the latest comment on the video (which I have just now noticed myself):

“Egoism is the dumbest and crudest philosophy I can think of. It just REEKS of greed and self-centeredness. I mean, Objectivists who believed in this crap actually thought that teaching people to be generous and charitable was ‘a bad thing’ or something to that effect. Please! Even libertarians believe in private charity.”

At least this guy realizes there is a difference and places your philosophy EVEN lower than OUR evil philosophy, ha ha. Except for his knowing the bare minimum required to grant the difference, this is typical and overwhelmingly widespread, believe me.

Bala September 19, 2009 at 10:09 am


” Could there be a third kind of Objectivist who has completely ditched Rand? ”

Tough. Actually, impossible. For whatever you may reject about Rand’s position on Government or IP, her view of man and her framework of Morality makes great sense for anyone who chooses to live as a human being.

” ….. yet can’t count the number of times I’ve been dismissed as a Randroid by members of the illiterate masses ”

That’s because on most things, Objectivists and Libertarians have more or less the same things to say. A listener (more exposed as he is likely to be to Rand’s ideas because of their greater popularity – there lies my claim :) ) is bound to think of you as an Objectivist (or a Randroid as you like to name it). So, I’m not surprised.

” but she has got some SERIOUS baggage. Can you give me an explanation for this? ”

My speaker isn’t working. So, I will need to ask for explanations. Are you referring to Rand’s stand on Israel and specifically in the Arab-Israel conflict? If so, I have my own theory on that which I will post in case you would like to discuss it. As of now, I will state briefly that the case for Israel is a Moral one and the Arab “cause” is an immoral one because it is essentially a case of rejection of the right of Jews to live in Israel. I know this is a diversion on this thread, but I am just responding.

As for the comment you have pasted, what else can you expect from a supporter of the Arab “cause” except for rubbish like this? It is true that to support the Arab “cause”, one has to declare the selfishness and the refusal to let yourself be treated as a sacrificial lamb are wrong, immoral and vile.

Further, the comment also shows that how easily people comment on something they have no clue about. For instance, nowhere has Rand said that charity is not a virtue. She has only stated that it is a secondary and not a primary virtue. She has clearly stated that to engage in charity is also a moral choice and to advise people to engage in charity without regard for (or worse, compromising) their own selfish interest is the hallmark of an evil mind.

” It’s worse than immoral, it’s a mistake ”

The 2 are the same to an Objectivist. To recognise a choice as a mistake and still choose it is what we Objectivists call an Immoral choice.

” Frankly, I am repulsed by her ”

Remember that you are saying this without (by your own admission) having ever read her. I hope you realise how erroneous such a judgement could be. It also tells me that most (or even all) of your complaints against Rand are based on complete ignorance and may need serious questioning or even to be dismissed outright.

Fallon September 19, 2009 at 10:36 am

Morris and Linda Tannehill weave Objectivist themes while rejecting the state in The Market for Liberty.


mpolzkill September 19, 2009 at 11:10 am

Bala, we’ve been through this before: I can’t read everything. For instance, and to consciously demonstrate Godwin’s Rule (as one is wont to do when using a reductio ad absurdum): I can live with my dismissal by a Nazi because my repulsion has precluded my reading “Mein Kampf.” She called THE Arabs savages. You, right here, ASSUME that someone else who is also repulsed by her MUST be a “supporter of the Arab ’cause’”. I must be one too: to a crude collectivist, which is what you both sound like to me. How about neutrality on the hideous mess over there? Can the poster and I possibly be neutral?!? (although I will admit great sympathy for the victims in Gaza, squeezed in by Israel, and on the south by one of America’s abominable puppet governments) You two are out to lunch. I could go on, but what’s the point?

The Bible teaches a mighty time-saving mental tool so that I don’t have to read all the scribblings of Ayn Rand, or L. Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith or Chairman Mao; or whatever any huckster and/or ego-maniac can write or dictate to a stooge: “by their fruits shall ye know them”

Bala September 19, 2009 at 11:36 am


” Can the poster and I possibly be neutral?!? ”

Actually, no. The poster, by denouncing the concepts of greed and self-centredness, has shown that he has swallowed the morality of Altruism hook, line and sinker. Sadly, by taking a line from the Bible as your lodestone, you are showing that you too have swallowed the same Altruistic code of morality. All the best in your attempts at spreading Libertarianism, especially in your attempts to mix the Altruistic moral code propounded by the Bible with the selfish moral code required for a Capitalistic system to have moral sustenance. With this approach, you are bound to fail (and then wonder why). If you are looking for proof, look no further than me.

mpolzkill September 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Bad company, eh? Bala, you have fundamental problems with basic logic; too obvious to even bother with. Major comprehension problems too (or something worse): can we be neutral on the PALESTINE horror, Bala? I plan on “spreading” nothing; my only goal is to expose criminals and criminal thought. Rand did it to herself and you jump right in with her.

btw, there’s no wondering from me why the corrupt-minded like yourself reject liberty, it’s just a mystery to me why some are born loving it while most are apparently born slaves.

Bala September 19, 2009 at 10:14 pm


” there’s no wondering from me why the corrupt-minded like yourself reject liberty ”

I am ignoring these meaningless allegations coz they are clearly incorrect.

” can we be neutral on the PALESTINE horror ”

Could you please define what you mean by the “PALESTINE horror”? Specifically, could you please state the causes and the time-line of events? More specifically, could you explain why the founding charter of every group fighting for the Palestinian Arabs calls for the destruction of Israel? Could you explain how Israel has managed to have unbroken peaceful relationships with Arab neighbours like Egypt and Jordan which have recognised Israel’s right to exist while the problem is mainly with other Arab countries that refuse to do the same? Could you explain the causes for the murder of innocent Jews by Arab mobs in 1914, the killings that (to my knowledge) started off the violence? Could you please read up the report of the Haycraft Commission of Inquiry and give me your interpretation? Could you explain the causes of the Arab Riots of 1920-21, 1929 and 1937? Could you explain the odd coincidence that all 3 usually maligned Jewish Defence Forces – Haganah, Irgun and the Stern Gang – were formed AFTER one of these bouts of violence from the Arabs? Could you also try to explain who declared war on who in 1948?

I wonder who is having problems with logic and comprehension. Or are these problems related to refusal to recognise facts?

Bala September 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm


” btw, there’s no wondering from me why the corrupt-minded like yourself reject liberty ”

Just detected a logical flaw. I only spoke of not buying into Libertarianism. I did not speak of rejecting Liberty. It is now clear who is having comprehension problems. Or is it a package deal you are talking of?

Bala September 19, 2009 at 10:35 pm


Just adding to my set of questions…

Why should Israel talk to Hamas whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel?

Why was the PLO formed in 1964 with a charter to “liberate” Palestinian territory? To my knowledge, Israel occupied West Bank and Gaza in the 6-day war of 1967. What then was the PLO ‘liberating” in 1964?

Is the “horror” caused by the IDF or is it self-inflicted? Why do the Arabs keep electing to posts of power, representatives of Hamas which calls for the destruction of Israel? Does that or does that not make the average Arab in Palestine an eager and active participant in Hamas’ war on Israel?

mpolzkill September 20, 2009 at 2:16 am

You’re giving me a headache again, Bala. The suffix, “-arian” is not ever used by the literate or the sane to invalidate or move away from a word. Yeah, I use “-arian” in package deals…god. I think your English is fine, I don’t believe I need to give you a lesson in it. I’ve seen other people question your grasp of the language; but no, I think you have a firm grasp of it. You are clearly not an idiot, so that leaves one thing in my mind: I’m very sorry, I’m at a loss again because I fear you are unhinged. I believe your mind is literally corrupt; as in rotting; falling apart; disintegrating. I believe your insanity is the cause of your comprehension problems (and I’m fairly bonkers to try to tell you that, so who am I to say? ha ha). I don’t know how or why to proceed…but what the hell? Let me try to get inside your fun-house here: YOU are very unobjective and you have appropriated THAT word; so maybe you think I really don’t advocate liberty? Oh…now my head is really splitting…forget it.

There is no getting around the English lessons, I guess.

“horror: the quality of inspiring horror : repulsive, horrible, or dismal quality or character”

Of course I’m not going to go into any of your questions, all from the position of a pro-Israeli: I’m NEUTRAL! I DON’T CARE!!! (outside of feeling great pity for many on BOTH general sides and please don’t say now: then why did you bring it up? I was merely asking how your hero came to make such an insanely statist and racialist comment. She could have been speaking about the Cherokees and why she thought THEY all had to be COLLECTIVELY shafted and murdered or emasculated) The creation of Israel is to me (that’s: in my OPINION) the most insanely idiotic COLLECTIVE act ever perpetrated by a bunch of statists (state advocates). It will end in far greater horror than what we’ve already seen and I would say “I wash my hands of the whole idiotic matter” if I had ever had anything to do with any of it (other than to be robbed to pay the Israeli and Egyptian governments, among whatever other relevant robberies I’m dimly aware or wholly unaware of.)

Bala September 20, 2009 at 9:25 am


” I was merely asking how your hero came to make such an insanely statist and racialist comment ”

Please explain what was Statist and Racialist about the comment. As I heard it, it was a characerisation of the Arabs who were fighting Israel around 1979. That, I guess means Arafat and his PLO. I guess you feel that making a negative characterisation of a group of people identifiable by certain characteristics is racist. I am not sure I would disagree with her assessment of Arafat and his men. So, if you would please explain yourself….

Oh!!! I really didn’t need the English lesson. I wanted to know which specific horror – the details of it – that you are referring to. Unless of course you do not wish to specify it.

As for refusing to answer my questions, why are my questions those of a pro-Israeli questioner? Is asking what caused specific recorded events or who did specific things indicative of a partisan approach? Elucidation will help.

Finally, about my sanity or the lack of it, I fail to see how that is a valid argument, unless of course you are trying to intimidate me. Now, YOU are getting rather childish in your posts. Sad to see the degeneration. Maybe that’s what is causing your headache. Or maybe it is the facts that you preferred to ignore while taking your “neutral” position??? As Rand said, facts cannot be changed by a wish, but the facts can destroy the wisher.

You seem to believe that being “neutral” is a virtue. I am sorry to say that nothing could be more ridiculous than that. In the choice between right and wrong, neutrality means submission to the wrong. Unless of course you believe that there are no “black”s and “white”s and only “grey”s. In this case, whatever facts I have been able to dig up indicate that the Israelis are the “white” and the Arabs are the “black”. If you have any other facts, please do present them so that I may understand your position and, who knows, maybe even revise mine.

mpolzkill September 20, 2009 at 11:49 am

Your obtuseness beggars description. She said that we should support the STATE of Israel because THE ARABS are pathetic, racist, envious savages. You have got to be kidding me!?! That was her word, “savages”. You’re saying she is an idiot, and over and over again forgot to use the term “PLO” instead of slurring an entire race? Btw, my ancillary point was that around 90 percent of the audience audibly recoiled from her disgusting racialism and exploded with applause when Donahue condemned her for it. This goes to your pathetic claims of her popularity.

“I guess you feel that making a negative characterisation of a group of people identifiable by certain characteristics is racist.”

Bala, you are making a fool of yourself. I rather like you and I wish you would stop. Yes, Bala, perhaps 99% of people would agree with your definition…my god. I actually make a distinction though. You have described “racialism”. I reserve the stronger “racist” for deliberate institutional policies of oppression based on race and the full support of said policies. I’m not sure I would put Rand in that box because of her sloppy thought and speech (apparently endemic to the lot of you). Along the same lines, to try to help you: I reject the dictionary definition of “statism”. My definition is the sensible one based on the root:

state = state
-ism = advocate
statist = Ayn Rand

“I wanted to know which specific horror”

I told you: the insanely idiotic creation of the state of Israel (what on earth is wrong with you?!?). Here are some other “horrors” as examples since you have such problems understanding clear speech: The things about the Constitution of the United States that caused George Mason to walk out of the convention; the “Louisiana Purchase”; both sides’ general policies in the CSA’s failed secession; the United State’s insanely idiotic entry in WWI; the creation of Iraq by the the empire America later took over.

“I fail to see how that is a valid argument”

It is not an argument or intimidation, it is an attempt to understand what in the world is wrong with you.

“why are my questions those of a pro-Israeli questioner?”

Are you kidding?

“Maybe that’s what is causing your headache”

I’ve said this time and again, here goes again: you have an incredible ability to ignore the obvious and invent what pleases you. Your mind-bending take on libertarianism verses liberty and my being faced with answering to it because of my own kookiness: that was the cause, Bala, as I clearly suggested.

“maybe it is the facts that you preferred to ignore while taking your “neutral” position???”

I took my neutral position based on my opinion that the political means is inherently evil. There are thousands of criminals and innocent victims on both sides, it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to support either. I also take it on the fact that neither general side has ever done anything to me. I don’t even begrudge the Israeli people that AIPAC is so successful in persuading D.C. to steal my money for their purposes; at intimidating cowards and generally curbing free speech on all related matters. Go ahead and call me an “anti-Semite” now. I mourn for Israelis and the inevitable upcoming loss of their country and their lives too if they don’t get the hell out soon. But it could have been no other way, the creation of the state IS the horror. When our forefathers here picked out their spot for a “homeland”, times were different and they had the isolation, the numbers, the means and the will to slaughter or emasculate ever single male aborigine. Not in the cards for Israel. Demographics: look into the subject, all whacko Israel supporters. (I mourn for us too, we will never stop paying for what was done to the Aboriginal Americans. Don’t read this, Bala, this is for my own amusement and will definitely go WAY over your head. In the final scene of “The Maltese Falcoln” when leaving Bogart’s apartment, Mary Astor, under arrest, takes the elevator down and Bogart, free, takes the stairs down. Israel is Astor, we are Bogart)

“You seem to believe that being “neutral” is a virtue”

It sure is when neither side has done anything to one. It sure is when one doesn’t and can’t have all the facts. It sure is when one can’t know what subconcious idiotic prejudices may influence one. It sure would have been virtuous of U.S. lunatics to grow brains and stay out of WWI, for instance.

“In this case, whatever facts I have been able to dig up indicate that the Israelis are the ‘white’ and the Arabs are the ‘black’”

Yikes, Bala.

“present them so that I may understand…and…maybe even revise mine.”

That’ll be the day. Again, I like you, Bala, you’re crazy, but I like you.

mpolzkill September 20, 2009 at 12:58 pm

And what the hell, I didn’t want to get dragged into this, but your position is so moronic, I can’t help myself. Here’s an impressive coalition of “whites” (one in particular) on the scene splashing some gray on your cartoon world:


Bala September 20, 2009 at 9:07 pm


” Here are some other “horrors” as examples since you have such problems understanding clear speech ”

I am not sure if you are seeing it the way I do, but while you think you are clear in speech, I think not (no offence intended). You are assuming a certain knowledge (which may not be possessed) and a certain perspective (which may not be shared) making your posts near incomprehensible.

But thanks all the same for the specific instances you cited.

” The things about the Constitution of the United States that caused George Mason to walk out of the convention; the “Louisiana Purchase”; both sides’ general policies in the CSA’s failed secession; the United State’s insanely idiotic entry in WWI; the creation of Iraq by the the empire America later took over. ”

I think I am once again beginning to comprehend your position.

What you are saying is that the problem revolves around the creation of the STATE of Israel and not Jews living in that region or even moving in as they did in the last 150 or so years.

You are also saying that if the Western powers had not created a whole host of States in the Middle-East (via the Balfour Declaration and its follow-up actions), you would not have had this problem at all. You are saying that the Statists within the Western world have created a Frankenstein that is now well and truly out of their control.

What you are also implying is that the only way out is the elimination of The State (that implies all the States out there and probably in the rest of the world too). If and once that is done, people will have to (and will probably choose to) rely more on social processes rather than political ones (which you see as inherently dangerous and prone to subversion of Liberty) to figure out all issues and disputes.

” Here’s an impressive coalition of “whites” (one in particular) on the scene splashing some gray on your cartoon world: ”

I think he is showing a new “white” rather than splashing grey. He is essentially introducing a new premise which is that the State is inherently evil and that people in general will be better of without it. That’s pretty much in-line with your overall position.

Thanks for all the links. I think I have understood a lot. I guess the next thing I would request is a few links to read Rothbard and his theory of Natural Rights. Couldn’t find the book on mises.org/book. In any case, is the book “The Ethics of Liberty”? Please confirm so that I may go ahead and procure it if it is not available in downloadable version (that being the easiest).

mpolzkill September 20, 2009 at 10:04 pm


was what I was referring to.

Near incomprehensible to you; well then I must be on the right track, ha ha. You’re the one with the Knowledge around here, I only give opinions and impressions and make calls for others to join me in looking at and searching for more. I didn’t really say what you’re interpreting here. I’ve told you about 30 times now that I am merely against crime. In speaking of crime today, the subject of the State and statists is bound to be predominant in my conversation.

Bala September 21, 2009 at 11:41 pm


I did read the article you gave the link to. I have just one question (and some supplementaries).

How will you explain the concept of Natural Rights to a person who firmly believes that Man is a creation of God, that his true nature is that of one who seeks permanent union with that God, that the right action in any circumstance is that which takes him closer to that permanent union with that God and that the right action or the way of identifying the right action is defined clearly in one or more specific religious texts that were revealed by his God himself?

To such a person, Moral actions are those that conform to the word of his God. If the pursuit of Liberty and the concept of Private Property conflicts with the word of God, he is bound to see the entire theory of Natural Rights as propounded so far as very practical and reason oriented but immoral. How then is one to sell to him the concept of natural rights and thus the consequent concepts of Liberty and Private Property?

Given that most of the world believes deeply in one God or the other and follows a moral code supposedly revealed by God and given that the Moral Codes of most existing religions are clearly altruistic and do not give a clear postive mandate for ideas such as Liberty and Private Property (e.g., the implications of statements such as “Man is his brother’s keeper” or “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to pass through the gates of heaven”), I think this is a pertinent question.

Replace God with Society and you get the Socialist’s problem in accepting the theory of Natural Rights.

In other words, how is one to sell the theory of Natural Rights to people who see such a theory as practical and beneficial but immoral and hence abhorrent? I am afraid most of the world as it exists today will do so. An answer would be appreciated.

mpolzkill September 22, 2009 at 1:05 am

Very strange. You must have no idea how constantly and extremely you twist and contort the world to fit your preconceived notions. You’ll have to show me the major religious texts that not only DON’T find robbery and assault abhorrent, but actually command the commission of robbery and assault against those wealthier than the believer. Natural law precepts aren’t that tough to understand, most four-year-olds have the basic concept down. Major religions are in tune with them, they have to be, or they don’t get major. Check this out, Bala: religions sprang from man’s nature. An eternally minor one sprang from your hero. She was plain wrong-headed on her obsession with altruism (as is your bizarre take on these Bible quotes here). There doesn’t have to be any conflict on this point (liberty vs charity). Charity means charity. If one’s religion commands one to be charitable you’ll have to show me where a major religion says: “Ye shall rob those with greater incomes then thy hast so as to give to those with smaller incomes. If they should protest, ye shall strike them down.” One could start a goofy criminal religion, I suppose. If this caught on, this would be a religion full of moronic criminals. You couldn’t “sell” such lunatics on not robbing you, you’d have to defend yourself from them…wait a second…I just described the Democratic Party.

I don’t have any handy solutions, plans or hopes. I don’t know what the right thing is for anybody else to do, I only know a couple wrong things for them to do. You’re barking up the wrong tree, Bala. I just spot and mock random violence advocating goofballs to keep from going totally insane myself.

Bala September 22, 2009 at 6:56 am


” Check this out, Bala: religions sprang from man’s nature ”

Yes, but not faith-based religions. I don’t know what you mean by religion, but I meant faith-based religion. As I see it, faith is the anti-thesis of reason. To accept a set of arbitrary diktats on faith requires man to suspend his rational mind and hence goes against man’s basic nature – that of a rational animal with a volitional consciousness. I would like to see you explain how it is in line with man’s nature to suspend his rationality.

” as is your bizarre take on these Bible quotes here ”

I have not even specified my take but you have labelled it bizarre. So let me try your approach – defining the key words.

Man – A rational animal
Brother – Sibling
Keeper – Caretaker, person responsible for the well-being of

As I understand it, it does not specify any particular men but refers to man as in every man. Is there any different inference you think I should be drawing other than that it is every man’s responsibility to take care of his brothers’ well-being? Please do enlighten.

Similarly for the other quote. Since it does not specify a particular rich man, I infer that it refers to any rich man. Since the key criterion for entry into heaven is how much (or how little) of a sinner one is, a rich man is automatically deemed to be one of the worst of sinners. If you think I am making a mistake, please correct me. I shall be grateful for that.

mpolzkill September 22, 2009 at 9:12 am

bleh…I thought earlier about moving this over to a religiously themed blog post, but this thread has died and no one is here but us anyway.

Of course the major religions sprang from human nature (and the minor ones too). What are you saying, a super-natural being (or beings) invented them whole cloth and artificially placed their tenets in billions of minds?

You don’t know what I mean when I said the major religions? You don’t know what those are? You are really trying my patience. I guess I could link you to Wiki with my every reference:


Not all faiths are the antithesis of reason.

All faiths could only seem to be “arbitrary diktats” to a very crude and ignorant man, I’m sorry. The great faiths contain much truth. Their tenets were not the result of some scam-artists throwing darts at a dart board with proposed wacky rules on them or whatever bizarre thing you imagine. Also, people use faith every day: HAVE to. I have faith that the builders of my roof were craftsmen and cared about their customers’ satisfaction (safety is a big part of satisfaction). I have faith they didn’t bribe the inspector (I have bordering-on-zero faith in the State’s inspector). No one can spend their lives getting 100% proof that things really are as they think or hope them to be.

Man doesn’t generally suspend his rationality; the average man is barely acquainted with it.

Your take is what I was vigourously mocking with my entire previous post. Your out-of-left-field invention that because the Bible advocates charity and discourages avarice this…I’m not going through it again.

Thank you, I know what “keepers” and “brothers” are (and “camels” too), I’m not fully down with your “man” definition though: I’m not a member of your faith.

You are taking (and as I do a Google search, I see this must be one of Rand’s catechisms) a part of the Bible and applying a boneheaded interpretation. In the story, or parable, or myth, (that is a useful, easy to understand life-lesson teaching tool for those not blessed with your awesome Reason ) Cain MURDERED his brother out of the basest emotions and motives, and when he was asked where his brother was he gave a smart-ass reply: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This indicated that he was indignant that he should be expected by anyone to have ANY sort of concern for his brother’s well-being. Of course, successful human societies frown on this character’s benighted attitude.

“one of the worst of sinners”

Yes, you are wrong, hilariously wrong; but I’m done giving you my half-assed theology lessons for now, my headache is coming back.

Bala September 22, 2009 at 11:24 am


” This indicated that he was indignant that he should be expected by anyone to have ANY sort of concern for his brother’s well-being ”

Please do tell me why I should have ANY concern for my brother’s or anyone else’s well-being.

” Of course, successful human societies frown on this character’s benighted attitude ”

It would indeed be interesting to see the connection between concern for fellow human beings and the success of a society. I am sure the converse would also make interesting reading.

” Cain MURDERED his brother out of the basest emotions and motives, and when he was asked where his brother was he gave a smart-ass reply: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” ”

How interesting to note that you imply that the answer ought to be “Yes. You are!”. How about saying “No. You are not, but that’s not the issue at hand. I am trying to locate him.” That’s the difference between your position and mine.

Feel free to stew in your faith. I am quite comfortable free of any faith and placing my entire trust on my mind to figure out right and wrong.

My (and Rand’s) simple point is that when you take half-baked ideas on faith, a lot of rubbish comes along with it. For instance, when you accept Christian faith, you accept the concept of Original Sin. I wonder how you justify this abomination that makes every human being ashamed and guilty for being born a human being. I wonder how you will say that this does not declare man’s nature as rooted in sin and vileness. Please try. I am sure to be amused.

The simple point is that at some stage, when man had a more limited understanding of the world around him, religion was a source of Morality, something indispensable for man’s survival. However, the moral code of every major religion is a mixed bag unsuitable for a man to live a happy life on this Earth and live true to his nature, that of a rational animal with a volitional consciousness. Rand’s philosophy of rational selfishness provides a viable alternative moral code to a person who sees man as a noble being capable of heroism. Unless of course you see selfishness as a vice…..

mpolzkill September 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I still speak to you because I don’t think you are a bad person; I think a lunatic has educated you stupid. Don’t take my frank language as anger. I am dismissing you out of hand as you are incredibly exasperating in your dense, dense, obtuseness. I am actually quite pleased that you continue to expose the extreme superficiality and ugliness of your faith.

“why I should have ANY concern”

DON’T have any: murder your brother if you feel it’s to your advantage, see how it goes for you. I don’t believe there is a mystical right and wrong; just stupid ideas. I am thankful the vast majority are still more sensible than EITHER one of us, despite what lunatics try to put in their minds. I know, I know, when you have Reason, you act in your own best interest and everything is peachy. What about the billions who aren’t as brilliant as you and don’t have as much time to formulate elaborate first principles? The ones here in America that I know and who fit that description are self-righteously screaming for free medical services.

“would also make interesting reading”

Try opening up some books on world history. Start with ones focusing on societies and communes based on “reason.”

“you imply that the answer ought to be ‘Yes. You are!’….

There is a word I want to call you, but I’m refraining. I am rolling on the floor at your “interpretation”. I have noted this for years: Fundamentalist Christians, creationists, particularly those who would say that the Universe is 6 thousand years old or that God created stars’ entire light beams at that time so that we may see them; they and virulent anti-theists are mirror images of each other: prosaic, overly-literal dunderheads merely with different agendas.

I didn’t say anyone should be a keeper! Refraining from murdering your brother is not being his keeper! Having concern is not being a keeper. Cain is the bad guy here, you understand, HE’s the one…[I'm just shaking my head here. You are hopeless. I give up.]

“feel free…”

What faith?

“entire trust on my mind to figure out right and wrong.”

Yeah, I was really impressed by the results from your rigorous and fair study of whether to support Israel or not. No worrying about you! In fact…I’m joining you! Hey, why don’t we take ‘em further out in the dessert and nuke them savages?! Yaahh hoo! Not back to the stone ages, mind ya, they’re already there! ha hah hahahaha!!!

“My (and Rand’s) simple point is”

You mean simplistic. You two wouldn’t be near so dangerous if you ever got to “half-baked.”

“For instance, when you accept Christian faith…”

Wrong, as per usual. And what if I were a Jew? The concept is not in their Bible, the one I’m discussing. (I’m not either Jew or Christian and to me it says it all about anti-theists that to them, anyone who is being fair about a religion MUST be a member.) MANY, not ALL, Christians INTERPRET things Paul said regarding the Hebrew Scriptures to extrapolate the concept of “original sin”. Never made a lick of sense to me, I think the concept is stupid.

“Unless of course you…” aren’t an over-confident simpleton who doesn’t believe there is a hell of a lot of insoluble mystery in the Universe and in people.

Let me just do your follow-up post for you and then we can wrap this up.

“These are not proper arguments. I am very disappointed that you are stooping to these childish attacks. Now: yada, yada…Rand…yada yada…faith…yada yada…virgin sacrifices..yada yada, yada. Now, I would be very happy if you will explain the world to me, thank you.”

OK, got it. Carry on. No, I’m done, I couldn’t explain a thing to you with a damned 2 by 4.

Dean West September 11, 2010 at 1:40 am

Quote from article:

“The mistake is the notion that creation is an independent source of ownership — independent, that is, from homesteading and contracting. However, it is easy to see that it is not, that “creation” is neither necessary nor sufficient as a source of ownership.”

This is a silly argument against IP. It points out a third way that someone can own something, but says it’s not valid, as it’s not “necessary” or “sufficient”. Forgetting that the two other ways that the article writer accepts aren’t either.

Homesteading is not “necessary” if you have a contractual arrangement. And a contractual arrangement is not “necessary” if you homesteaded. So that creation is not “necessary”, does not invalidate it as a means to property ownership.

Homesteading is not “sufficient” to own property, not when one thinks about it. An overarching societal “contractual arrangement” that has the unspoken but assumed belief that homesteading is valid is needful. A settler can stake out and homestead a farm, but if the society surrounding him is that of 15th century Native Americans, it is doubtful that he will remain secure in title.

Contractual arrangements are also not “sufficient” to own property. I can contract with my brother to own your property, what of it? Was it either of our’s to contract? And do we live in a statist society with courts or a free market society with arbitration agencies? Or a tribalisitic society of illiterate hunter/gatherers who don’t know or care about contractual arrangements?

From this we see that while there are three different means of owning property, none of them are – of themselves – sufficient or necessary for property as such to exist as a concept.

“Creation” as a third means of owning property is as valid as the first two kinds. And relies on the same things. Who had it first? If one does not own the body that he had first, who could? If one does not own the land one made use of first, who could? And if one does not own the product of your mind, who could?

Of course the creation of a book using another pen and paper may give them some claim. Surely no more than the cost of the pen and paper and profit, but so be it. And if you are commissioned to write a book or invent something, then that is between you and your patron. It changes not this, though: That if one creates a new entity, using one’s own property, and are contractually beholden to none, then that creation belongs to them.

If they’ve not a right to it, they having created it and observed this new entity first, who could? Nor in their insistence on being paid for a copy of their literary achievement are they laying claim to your property by forbidding you to use your own pen and paper to copy them.

Consider the obvious – before the bestselling author wrote his latest blockbuster novel, you had absolutely no means of using your own pen and paper to copy that non-existent book. Now an author has wrote such a book. How has your right to use your property changed? You couldn’t use your pen and paper for a bestseller before, and since the author who could wants a fee, you still can’t do it now. There’s been no change in your “right” to use your pen and paper. You may use it just as much as you always could, but you still can’t use it in ways that others can.

Except in one small way – if you like, you can offer the author a payment, and he can show you a brand new way to use your pen and paper, to make a book, a song or an invention. If one is so concerned about not being limited in how they can use their pen and paper, then one would think they would encourage authors to feel safe that they will not be robbed for creating new ways to do so.

One does not encourage food production by waiting until a farmer comes up with a new hybrid of corn, and then insists “Give me some seeds of that, else you are depriving me of my freedom to use my soil to grow as I please.” Spare me. You have the right to offer payment for the new seed, you’ve no right to whine, “I want to do as you, but without the work, and without offering payment!”

Likewise, if you want a new way to use your pen and paper, offer money to those who know how to come up with new ways. But don’t tell them that they are infringing on your freedom to use your pen and paper – they aren’t. No matter how many novels the author rights, no matter how many descriptions the inventor comes up with, your ability to use your pen and paper will not change. You may use it as much as you ever could – and not one bit more.

If you want that one bit more, then break out your wallet. You don’t give your labor away, don’t expect the author to, no matter how many thieves/copiers claim otherwise.

And by the way, if you disagree with me, contact me with your credit card information. Don’t deny me this, I have the right (according to the anti-IPers) to use my pen and paper as I please, and if you withhold your credit card number, you are unjustly laying claim to my pen and paper, and preventing me from using it as I will.

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