I was contacted recently by Fabrizio Sitzia, of the Italian libertarian group LibertariaNation.org, to do an interview on IP and libertarianism; we are doing this later this afternoon.
I was browsing around their site, which is in Italian but noticed that there is an English language introduction to the group on their site here. There is also an interesting post on their site, New wave of libertarian intellectuals (Dec. 7, 2011) (google translation). The post notes the seminal influence of Mises and Rothbard (and Hoppe), and bemoans the very low prominence of libertarianism in Italy, and notes that the US is still the center of libertarian ideas and innovation. It also–flatteringly–highlights my work and that of my friend Stefan Molyneux–the two Stefs of libertarianism, I guess we might be called. Below is a rough automatic google translation of part of the post, with some light editing by me:
We often speak of the founders of the Austrian Economic School nearly so sacred. Rightly venerate Mises and Rothbard (to name but two) as our teachers and how our figures. It can not be thus seen that the grandeur of their thought and their works. But despite the themes of the Austrian school are universal and can be applied to any decade, century or millennium Mises and Rothbard were men of their time and did not know the problems that people face today. Perhaps the most insidious problems because more invisible than those of decades ago.
Compared to the Italian and the libertarian world for ideas and innovation is ridiculously set at zero (and perhaps also why we felt the need to establish libertariaNation) the U.S. is always evolving and always ready to tackle new issues. Among the young people I consider the most influential libertarian thinkers of my mind there are two that are little known to the Italian public, but I want you to know in this post: Stephan Kinsella and Stefan Molyneux.
Let’s start with Stephan Kinsella, the founder of Libertarian Papers and senior fellow at the Mises Institute, who is a lawyer specializing in intellectual property. And intellectual property is the topic of his best known book, Against Intellectual Property. As the title says the monograph has as its subject intellectual property and copyright. And in my opinion the book is a solid foundation against the arguments that defend copyright and patent, and especially against the libertarians who defend IP. Kinsella reminds us that Friedman and Rand, for example, have argued in favor of copyright despite the logical fallacy of their defense, especially within a libertarian framework. But the details of the book we will discuss later with a proper review. Kinsella, in my opinion, represents a modern libertarianism free from many of the artifacts of other past and contemporary libertarians. Together with Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Kinsella is definitely one of the most influential authors of the Mises Institute in recent years.
Stefan Molyneux is instead a completely different kind of libertarian. While Kinsella moves within the frame with academic essays, lectures, etc., and legal arguments, Molyneux is a real stage animal. The ‘ we saw the crowd to win Libertopia 2011 and we hear every day on FreedomainRadio. In his own channel on Youtube addresses topics as diverse as state-worship by the copyright laws, reviews books and science fiction films to interviews with famous people libertarians. I like Molyneux because he has a way of making direct points, does not mince words, and especially has no degree in Economics. Thanks to these characteristics Molyneux can reach a wider audience than a book of Mises or Rothbard could ever do. He also has new ideas, and even when he speaks of the masters Mises and Rothbard he always manages to fit perfectly with our times. He rarely uses the patriotic rhetoric of stars and stripes, simply because he is a Canadian. A character like this, a haranguing crowds of this caliber does not exist in Italy and perhaps even in Europe. The spread of libertarianism and the philosophy of non-aggression principle must necessarily come from people of this type. These are just two of the representatives of what some jokingly call the New Wave of Libertarian Intellectuals. The first “wave” was represented by the economists of the Austrian School and is the foundation of libertarian theory. Now it is time for someone to bring them out from the halls of universities and make known to the general public.