This revised version of the author’s 1985 article “Contra Copyright” includes a new, introductory section explaining the background of the author’s path to copyright abolitionism. The main article surveys various libertarian debates on this issue, including the anti-intellectual property views of Benjamin Tucker and the pro-IP views of Lysander Spooner. McElroy argues that the issue of copyright hinges on the question: can ideas be property? Because only scarce goods can be property, and ideas are not scarce, copyright must be rejected (...) as unjustified. (shrink)
The image of a bomb-throwing anarchist is a cultural caric ature but, as with many caricatures, there is some truth behind it. Certain forms of anarchism—specifically, the strain of nineteenthcentury communist anarchism that arose in Russia and Germany— did embrace violence as a political strategy. Other forms of anarchism, however—such as Leo Tolstoi’s Christian anarchism and the indigenously American strain of individualist anarchism—consistently repudiated the use of violence for political ends.1 Indeed, one of the charges brought against early individualist anarchism (...) was that its ideology was too peaceful, and its communities would be defenseless against aggressors. (shrink)
anarchist periodical Liberty (Boston 1881–92, New York 1892–1908) over the propriety of electoral politics, it is necessary to understand the prevailing view of the State expressed by that nineteenth-century tradition.1 The most fundamental and integrating theme of that tradition was the primacy of individuals, which implied an extreme respect for their sovereignty. Accordingly, individualist-anarchists wished to eliminate all but defensive force from human interaction. Tucker proposed what he called “a society by contract” to replace the society by force he saw (...) around him. (shrink)
The second expanded edition of Ayn Rand: The Russan Radical, like the trilogy of which it is a part, aims to radically redefine the methodology of established traditions by wedding the dialectical method to libertarianism. On this overall trilogy, many important questions remain with regard to Chris Matthew Sciabarra's ambitious project. But this does not take away from the fact that the book remains a brilliant and pathbreaking work. Sciabarra inspires us to rethink issues on a fundamental level.