Author Archive

The Last Gasp of Copyright Dies Within Me

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

grim2A few weeks ago, my position on intellectual property (IP) shifted. I abandoned the possibility that copyright by contract could function within a libertarian framework.

I have argued for decades that IP cannot be derived from natural rights. Most IP advocates claim IP is a product of your labor in the same sense as a chair you build; if you do not need a contract to claim the chair as property, then neither do you need one to own an idea. (See the Daily Anarchist article “The Basics of Copyright” for arguments against IP as a natural right.)

(more…)

Only Places Have Rights?

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

prohibitedGeography is a peculiar way to think about rights. But the rights that people can exercise are being increasingly defined by the square foot of earth they happen to stand on. These ‘rights’ can change in the course of a two-minute walk.

(more…)

Print Me A Revolution

Friday, February 15th, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

3D3D printers manufacture three-dimensional products by laying down a series of thin plastic or metal in one layer at a time. The 3D printing technology is stunning in its potential to empower individuals. Unfortunately the state knows its power as well. The race is on.

Whose Hand Will be on the Power?

(more…)

Political Message of the Rising Zombie

Monday, January 21st, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

zombieZombies are in the zeitgeist; they are part of the defining spirit of our society as expressed through culture. Their popularity is soaring.

One reason is the political commentary that has been embedded into many zombie films since 1968 when the anti-establishment director and scriptwriter George Romero reinvented the sub genre. Romero is self-consciously political.

(more…)

Expanding on Rothbard’s “Lifeboat Situation”

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

“Two men are stranded in a lifeboat, and…” Murray+N+Rothbard

How many discussions of rights and ethics begin in a lifeboat where one man’s survival involves killing the other? The discussions usually end by concluding there is no right of self-ownership, no such thing as natural rights; there is no objective morality.

(more…)

Can You Sell Yourself Into Slavery?

Monday, December 31st, 2012   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

slaveryNo. The reason requires a considerably lengthier response.

Slavery is the social condition in which one human being owns another as property. This means the owner can use and dispose of the slave as he would other property such as a table or dog. Historically, slaves were acquired in one of two ways: a defeated opponent was offered the choice of slavery or death; or, a person was kidnapped. No contract existed even in the choice between death and enslavement because the framework of coercion negates the possibility of contracting; coercion and contracts are diametrically opposed concepts. Historical reference does not dismiss the hypothetical debating point of a ‘slave-contract’, of course, but facts should carry some weight.

(more…)

The Futility of Repeal

Sunday, November 18th, 2012   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

As a matter of principle, I am for repealing every piece of governmental legislation in existence. I echo and applaud the sentiment so eloquently expressed by Groucho Marx in the movie Horse Feathers: “Whatever it is, I’m against it!”As a practical matter, I think repealing laws is a waste of time.

(more…)

The Grayness of Children’s Rights

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

Children’s rights confuse me. But, then, children’s rights and the issues that surround them, such as parental responsibility, have confounded a great many otherwise clear minded theorists.

(more…)

The Basics of Copyright

Saturday, September 1st, 2012   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

I argue for copyright based on contract rather than upon natural rights because no natural ownership exists in freely expressed ideas. Ownership exists only in ideas that are protected by prior agreement or that remain unexpressed.

(more…)

The Third Rail of Libertarianism

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012   Submitted by Wendy McElroy

It is not abortion, intellectual property, nor the debatable morality of voting. The third rail of libertarianism is whether it is proper to receive stolen money in exchange for your labor. Otherwise stated, is it proper to take a tax funded job?

(more…)

Daily Anarchist

           Supporters of