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The Opposition
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Rothbard on Knowledge, Property
Dec 23rd, 2018 at 1:09pm
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https://mises.org/library/knowledge-true-and-false

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It might, however, be charged that Smith does not have the right to print such a statement, because Jones has a "right to privacy" (his "human" right) which Smith does not have the right to violate. But is there really such a right to privacy? How can there be? How can there be a right to prevent Smith by force from disseminating knowledge which he possesses? Surely there can be no such right. Smith owns his own body and therefore has the property right to own the knowledge he has inside his head, including his knowledge about Jones.


Emphasis added.

Quote:
A common objection runs as follows: all right, it would be criminal for Green to produce and sell the Brown mousetrap [because he agreed in contract not to as part of the sale]; but suppose that someone else, Black, who had not made a contract with Brown, happens to see Green's mousetrap and then goes ahead and produces and sells the replica? Why should he be prosecuted? The answer is that, as in the case of our critique of negotiable instruments, no one can acquire a greater property title in something than has already been given away or sold. Green did not own the total property right in his mousetrap, in accordance with his contract with Brown — but only all rights except to sell it or a replica. But, therefore Black's title in the mousetrap, the ownership of the ideas in Black's head, can be no greater than Green's, and therefore he too would be a violator of Brown's property even though he himself had not made the actual contract.


Why, then, is the horrible secret about Jones not considered property? It has a value. It's scarce.

Your secret about how to make a mousetrap is to be protected with force, but not Jones's secret that he dons a fursuit twice a week and yiffs with people dressed as ferrets? Both have value.

Methinks this has something to do with Brown being a capitalist and Jones being just a regular guy.

Nevermind that Rothbard's whole argument that he can tell people about Jones being a furry is based on the fact that Rothbard can't possibly not own the knowledge in his own head.

...Then he explains how people can indeed, not own the knowledge in their own heads.

He is correct on the first count by creating discovering an absolute right to speak freely about what you know.

Take a look at the first paragraph. That's the only argument he's got: The knowledge in your head is yours absolutely and you can do as you like with it.

There can't possibly be a good reason to stop you from merely speaking, with force, no matter the harm involved!

...Except when you harm a capitalist.

Tongue

Wait, wait... I have a better idea.

If "no one can acquire a greater property title in something than has already been given away or sold" then Green couldn't have acquired property in the idea of his own mousetrap in the first place!
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Jeff
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Re: Rothbard on Knowledge, Property
Reply #1 - Dec 23rd, 2018 at 3:42pm
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 23rd, 2018 at 1:09pm:
Wait, wait... I have a better idea.

If "no one can acquire a greater property title in something than has already been given away or sold" then Green couldn't have acquired property in the idea of his own mousetrap in the first place!
What?

If Green has an idea for a novel and better mousetrap, he deserves to profit from it.


  
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The Opposition
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Re: Rothbard on Knowledge, Property
Reply #2 - Dec 23rd, 2018 at 3:57pm
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Jeff wrote on Dec 23rd, 2018 at 3:42pm:
What?

If Green has an idea for a novel and better mousetrap, he deserves to profit from it.


Okay, I agree. But look what Rothbard just said.

Quote:
But is there really such a right to privacy? How can there be? How can there be a right to prevent Smith by force from disseminating knowledge which he possesses? Surely there can be no such right.


There can be no such right to stop Smith from disseminating information he possesses.

The only way you and Rothbard can both be correct is if the information on how to build the mousetrap is not property, and the only violation occurs when Black actually builds a copy.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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What If?
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Re: Rothbard on Knowledge, Property
Reply #3 - Dec 23rd, 2018 at 9:59pm
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Right to privacy? The sooner people realize rights are a construct the sooner they can get on with taking responsibility for themselves.
  
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Snarky Sack
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Re: Rothbard on Knowledge, Property
Reply #4 - Dec 23rd, 2018 at 10:49pm
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Jeff wrote on Dec 23rd, 2018 at 3:42pm:
What?

If Green has an idea for a novel and better mousetrap, he deserves to profit from it.




Yes, Green is much more deserving if he suggests an idea for a novel to a skilled writer than Mr. Blue, who has been editing and re-editing a novel whose idea is not as good.  Roll Eyes

Still on your never ending quest for "fairness," I see. 
  

"I think I'll backtrack." - Jeff
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Snarky Sack
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Re: Rothbard on Knowledge, Property
Reply #5 - Dec 23rd, 2018 at 10:54pm
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 23rd, 2018 at 3:57pm:
Okay, I agree. But look what Rothbard just said.


There can be no such right to stop Smith from disseminating information he possesses.

The only way you and Rothbard can both be correct is if the information on how to build the mousetrap is not property, and the only violation occurs when Black actually builds a copy.


The best approach for a libertarian is to say that the information is not property.  Information is far to nebulous for any government to protect.  What Green owns is not the information about the new and improved mousetraps but the new and improved mousetraps themselves. 

The fact that he invented the new mousetraps gives him a YUGE advantage of manufacturers of the old spring and snap traps, because he can make thousands of them and put them on the market before the cheese-and-paddle folks realize they even have a competitor.

That approach is more libertarian, because it requires the least government intervention.
 


  

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Jeff
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Re: Rothbard on Knowledge, Property
Reply #6 - Dec 24th, 2018 at 8:25am
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The Opposition wrote on Dec 23rd, 2018 at 3:57pm:
There can be no such right to stop Smith from disseminating information he possesses.

That's like saying there's no right to stop a burglar from selling the things he stole from your house (or giving them away).

You original ideas are your property and deserve to be protected as such.
  
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Jeff
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Re: Rothbard on Knowledge, Property
Reply #7 - Dec 24th, 2018 at 8:26am
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What If? wrote on Dec 23rd, 2018 at 9:59pm:
Right to privacy? The sooner people realize rights are a construct the sooner they can get on with taking responsibility for themselves.
Let's start with your right to live. Do you believe that's a construct?
  
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Jeff
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Re: Rothbard on Knowledge, Property
Reply #8 - Dec 24th, 2018 at 8:28am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 23rd, 2018 at 10:49pm:
Yes, Green is much more deserving if he suggests an idea for a novel to a skilled writer than Mr. Blue, who has been editing and re-editing a novel whose idea is not as good.  Roll Eyes

Still on your never ending quest for "fairness," I see. 
It's fair that you can profit for the work you do, including intellectual work.
  
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Jeff
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Re: Rothbard on Knowledge, Property
Reply #9 - Dec 24th, 2018 at 8:31am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Dec 23rd, 2018 at 10:54pm:
The best approach for a libertarian is to say that the information is not property.  Information is far to nebulous for any government to protect.  What Green owns is not the information about the new and improved mousetraps but the new and improved mousetraps themselves. 
He owns the idea whether he ever makes a mousetrap or not, and our government has been protecting intellectual property since the beginning.
  
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