My friend Paul Vahur has just announced the formation of the Mises Institute Estonia. As their introductory notes explains:
We are glad to announce about the creation of Mises Institute Estonia (in Estonian: Misese Instituut). The founders were 10 members of Mises Circle Tallinn which was created in 2009. Mises Institute Estonia is politically independent and funded only by private donations.The purpose of the Institute is to promote and advance in Estonia the theories of Austrian School of Economics and classical liberal and libertarian political theories. To achieve these goals, the Institute will regularly publish articles on its website Mises.ee, it will also hold conferences, educational courses and lectures. The Institute publishes books in Estonian popularizing economic science and libertarian political theory.
The Institue will be headed by Paul Vahur. The members of supervisory board are Risto Sverdlik, Urmas Järve and Paul Keres.
Mises Institute Estonia is named after Ludwig von Mises, a renowned Austrian economist whose biggest contribution was to explain the cause of economic crises and why state’s economic intervention is doomed to failure. First Mises Institute was founded in 1982 in USA. Thanks to their great success many other Mises Institutes have been founded in recent years in other countries such as Poland, Brazil, Sweden and Canada.
It is heartening to see the growing ranks of counterparts to the US Mises Institute or others similar or related to or inspired by same, such as the Cobden Centre in the UK and others, to help spread the message of private property, individual liberty and Austrian economics.
Laissez-Faire Books was founded in 1972 when issues of intellectual property hadn’t been worked out in detail in the libertarian world. There was of course the Randian view, which took IP to the most absurd extremes. Then there was the Rothbardian view, which had a very strict view of what is and what is not property and because IP doesn’t pass this test, the Rothbardian perspective tended toward the open model.
LFB itself never questioned the statist conventions on this topic. In fact, it even went through a period in which its owner worked to send take down notices to sites for posting old books to which it claimed the rights. How well I recall my own disgust! LFB uses the state to stop the spread of libertarian ideas! That’s just incredible.
Well, Agora Financial took over the institution this year and it immediately became obvious that they were Kinsellaites on this question. While working at the Mises Institute, I had worked with the new LFB to do some co-publishing in the commons. So when I accepted the position as publisher and executive editor, I made it a condition that, wherever possible, we always publish into the commons.
Management readily agreed, and even wondered why I was making such a big deal out of this. After all, this is a gigantically successful company and they have learned that the most important way to sell a product is to market it as widely and broadly as possible. If by putting something in the commons, you stand to reach more people, isn’t this a great thing? Isn’t this what commerce is all about? And from a mission point of view, isn’t this what libertarian education is all about?
Indeed it is! I immediately felt that we would soon be running an important experiment: a large scale publisher in the world of commerce would soon be publishing with Creative Commons and eschewing copyright in every way. This is a massive step for the libertarian world and even for the world of publishing in general.
Next month I’ll be teaching a new Mises Academy course,”Libertarian Controversies.” This is my fourth Mises Academy course (the previous three are Libertarian Legal Theory, Rethinking Intellectual Property: History, Theory, and Economics, and The Social Theory of Hoppe), and my fifth time teaching there (I have reprised the IP course once).
From the course page:
Modern libertarianism is a young, developing and vibrant science. Variants includes classical liberalism, minarchism, and, in its most rigorous form, anarcho-Austrian libertarianism. Libertarians of various stripes are influenced by utilitarian, pragmatic and natural law theories, and by thinkers including Ayn Rand, Hayek, Rothbard, Mises, and others. For decades there has been vigorous debate among different camps of libertarians about a host of controversial issues, from the foundation of rights to the nature of government, and about concrete issues such as abortion, strategy and activism, living in an unfree world, anarchy v. minarchy, punishment and restitution, and so on. In this course, libertarian legal theorist Stephan Kinsella will explore a variety of libertarian misconceptions and controversies, from an Austro-libertarian perspective.
In the discussion about misconceptions, Kinsella will identify a number of common libertarian mistakes, confusions, fallacies or flawed reasoning and propose a solution or more consistent approach. Issues to be discussed include: creation as a source of property rights; labor as being owned; unintentional equivocation (harm, authority, hierarchy, etc.); alienability and voluntary slavery; [Keep reading…]
My Mises University 2011 lecture, Intellectual Property and Economic Development (July 27, 2011), is now up. The audio may also be downloaded here; the original PowerPoint slides are here. Streaming audio and a googledocs version of the slides are below.
My article, Rethinking IP, was published yesterday on Mises Daily. It details the content and purpose of my upcoming Mises Academy course, “Rethinking Intellectual Property: History, Theory, and Economics,” Mises Academy (March 22, 2011 – April 29, 2011).
This is a 6-week course and will run starting March 22, 2011 (on Tuesday evenings, 9pm EST) and will provide an overview of current intellectual property law and the history and origins of IP. This is the second time I’ve offered this course (the first offering, during Fall 2010, being very successful), and my third Mises Academy course (I am currently teaching Libertarian Legal Theory: Property, Conflict, and Society). Click here to read my reflections on teaching the Rethinking IP class the first time.
Here is some feedback provided by past students of this course:
“The class (everything) was perfect. Content wasn’t too deep (nor too shallow) – the reviewed material was just brilliant and the “tuning” was great for someone like myself (engineering background – no profound legal/lawyer experience). It provided all the material to really “understand” (instead of “just knowing”) all that was covered which I find always very important in a class.”
“Instruction was very comprehensive and thought provoking. The instructor was fantastic and very knowledgeable and answered every question asked.”
“Learned more then i expected, the professor seemed to really enjoy teaching the class, and the readings provided were excellent. Overall for the cost I was extremely satisfied.”
“Very interesting ideas I was not exposed to. Inexpensive, convenient, good quality.”
“It is a very fascinating topic and I was quite eager to learn about what I.P. is all about. I thought that Professor Kinsella was able to convey complicated issues to us clearly.”
“Professor Kinsella’s enthusiasm and extra links posted showed his true knowledge and interest in the subject. Great to see.”
As noted, live online lectures will be Tuesdays at 9pm EST, with Office Hours later in the week, probably at 7pm London time.