Upcoming Events in Europe

October 17, 2014

I will be attending European Students for Liberty’s Regional Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Saturday, October 18th, 2014. I’m honored to be the keynote speaker. If you’re looking to attend, you can register and find out more about the event here.

Early next week I will be at the Oslo Freedom Forum, in Oslo, Norway. This event is from October 20th until the 22nd and will feature noted speakers like Steven Pinker, Garry Kasparov, CJ Adams, and others.  This year’s topic is “Defeating Dictators”. If you’re interested in the event, details can be found here.

On October 25th I’ll have the opportunity to address the European Students for Liberty Regional Conference in Cologne, Germany. As a native of Germany, I’m excited to speak to students who are passionate about liberty there. It is always refreshing to see. If you’d like to attend the event, registration is here.

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I had the opportunity to attend the 2014 Estudiantes por la Libertad Conference in Guatemala, at which I was interviewed by the PanAm Post about the growth of Students for Liberty worldwide and in Latin America.

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Remembering Leonard Liggio

October 15, 2014

Leonard Liggio passed a few days ago–he was not only one of the kindest men I’ve ever known, but also a pillar of the libertarian movement. Liggio’s impact on the libertarian movement was far-reaching, I speak a little about it in this video.

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I don’t know who wrote the caption for this, but it’s perfect.

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I’ve just ordered one for the coffee bar my nephew and my niece-in-law are setting up. It looks cool. (And I like Turkish coffee.) Here’s how to order it and here’s how it works. (The narration of the video is in French…but…why not?)

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Some recent books

June 2, 2012


In addition to writing essays and editing others for After the Welfare State (coming out later this summer), I’ve been doing a fair amount of reading lately, and will be writing reviews of a few of them soon. They include:

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

Capitalism and the Jews, by Jerry Muller

The Origin of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850-1914: Social Policies Compared, by E. P. Hennock

Anticipating The Wealth of Nations: The Selected Works of Anders Chydenius, 1729-1803, ed. by Maren Jonasson and Pertti Hyttinen

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, by Michael Sandel

I’ll have some time in my office over the next couple of weeks, so I hope to write reviews of them for various forums.

And I also spent time substantially re-reading a few others, including

Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany, 1933-1939, by Wolfgang Schivelbusch

Hitler’s Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State, by Götz Aly

(The chapters I’ve written for After the Welfare State are an introduction, a short bibliography of further readings, “The Tragedy of the Welfare State” (understanding the crisis of the welfare state through the economics of common pool resources, hence as a “tragedy of the commons”), “The History of the Welfare State and What It Displaced” (looking at the roots of the welfare state in Bismarck’s policies of state-building and social control, tracing it through Progressivism, Fascism, Social Democracy, and up to the present), and “Classical Liberalism, Poverty, and Morality” (drawn from my chapter in Poverty and Morality, ed. by William A. Galston and Peter H. Hoffenberg [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010]).

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H. L. Mencken

June 1, 2012

I was just looking around and found a review I published in Libertarian Review in April of 1978 of H. L. Mencken’s Notes on Democracy. And here it is. (Remember that I was a bit younger then.)

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The country of Hungary is shifting in a very dangerous direction, as Der Spiegel reports: English German. If you would like to learn about Hungarian libertarianism, which offers a breath of hope for a country that is tilting dangerously toward fascism, visit the Hungarian Free Market Foundation.

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On the road….

January 24, 2012

I flew Thursday morning to Guatemala for a major conference of reformers sponsored by the Francisco Marroquin University (it was brilliantly run and very eye-opening) and then on Sunday from Guatemala to Lahore, Pakistan. Got in some hours ago; meetings and lectures today!

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My articles on “Are Patents and Copyrights Morally Justified? The Philosophy of Property Rights and Ideal Objects” (Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Summer 1990) and “Intellectual Property: A Non-Posnerian Law and Economics Approach” (Hamline Law Review, Spring 1989). (My views on technology were only mildly prescient with regard to specifics, but right, I think, on the general matter.)

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