Comments on: I’m Against Free Trade Agreements Because I’m For Free Trade http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/08/im-against-free-trade-agreements-because-im-for-free-trade/ Free Markets and Social Justice Fri, 17 Nov 2017 02:58:00 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 By: The Pragmatic Case for Radical Libertarianism - Students For Liberty - Liberty.me http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/08/im-against-free-trade-agreements-because-im-for-free-trade/#comment-62101 Sat, 15 Aug 2015 20:13:02 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1133#comment-62101 […] are not difficult to find. Libertarian opponents of “free trade agreements” such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership are not opposed to them […]

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By: Rad Geek People's Daily 2013-02-13 – Patents kill, part III http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/08/im-against-free-trade-agreements-because-im-for-free-trade/#comment-26599 Thu, 14 Feb 2013 05:37:49 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1133#comment-26599 […] I’m Against Free Trade Agreements Because I’m For Free Trade, guest post at Bleeding Hea… […]

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By: The Bold and the Desirable: A Prophecy and a Proposal | Bleeding Heart Libertarians http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/08/im-against-free-trade-agreements-because-im-for-free-trade/#comment-24204 Fri, 16 Nov 2012 20:01:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1133#comment-24204 […] the terms used in conventional economic debates over ‘capitalism’ and ‘socialism,’ ‘free trade agreements,’ ‘intellectual property,’ ‘privatization’ and ‘private ownership’ of the means of […]

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By: Anonymous http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/08/im-against-free-trade-agreements-because-im-for-free-trade/#comment-9642 Sat, 27 Aug 2011 15:24:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1133#comment-9642 Free Trade Agreement, is, of course, an oxymoron!

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By: Frank Hecker http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/08/im-against-free-trade-agreements-because-im-for-free-trade/#comment-9635 Thu, 25 Aug 2011 21:46:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1133#comment-9635 “My issue is with those libertarians who are arguing that those who … seek to establish
intellectual property boundaries and protections around their work, are
doing something wrong, and that nobody has a duty to respect the
properties rights thus established.”

From my (pretty extensive) experience with free software types (both libertarian and otherwise), there are a lot of people (Richard Stallman among them) who believe restricting access to works to be morally wrong, but I know of none who believe that valid copyrights should not be respected. (I can’t speak for free culture folks, as I don’t know that many of them.) The prevailing attitude is rather to pragmatically use the current system of copyrights as a way to promote sharing, via “copyleft” licenses like the GNU GPL. (See the essays “What is Copyleft?” and “Copyleft: Pragmatic Idealism” in Stallman’s book I previously referenced.)

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By: Dan Kervick http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/08/im-against-free-trade-agreements-because-im-for-free-trade/#comment-9634 Thu, 25 Aug 2011 11:31:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1133#comment-9634 Frank, “ought” is indeed the sticking point for me.  I assume libertarians have few problems with creative individuals freely entering into whatever kinds of employment contracts they might choose with private companies for which they work, or publishing their work under a any kind of license of their their own choosing, including a Creative Commons license.

My issue is with those libertarians who are arguing that those who do not go the free culture route, and instead seek to establish intellectual property boundaries and protections around their work, are doing something wrong, and that nobody has a duty to respect the properties rights thus established.

I’m wondering what happened to the vaunted libertarian insistence on the rights of individuals to freely determine the conditions of whatever contracts they might choose to make for the exchange of the direct output of their work.

And I am wondering why they are suddenly so concerned about the threat of monopoly here in the realm of intellectual property, when they blithely accept the potential for monopoly inherent in the laissez faire approach they adopt to the exchange of material goods.

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By: Frank Hecker http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/08/im-against-free-trade-agreements-because-im-for-free-trade/#comment-9633 Thu, 25 Aug 2011 05:00:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1133#comment-9633 I’m not sure exactly what you mean by the “socialization of the production and enjoyment of goods of a certain kind”. To give one example of how this works in practice, production of free software is typically subsidized by for-profit companies that use the software either internally or in their products (as, for example, Apple uses the WebKit browser software on the iPad); such companies can’t just free-ride on the work of others because they need particular features and want some control over the direction of the software’s development. Would you consider this “socialization of production and enjoyment”?

As another example, musicians who distribute free MP3s of their work under Creative Commons licenses typically do so to promote their paid performances and encourage sales of physical merchandise such as T-shirts, CD or vinyl recordings (e.g., as commemorative items). Would you consider this also “socialization of production and enjoyment”? To me both examples are simply cases of information goods being considered as ancillary goods to what is actually being sold within an overall market framework.

“Personally, I can’t get used to the idea that anything that I enjoy due primarily to the labor of another is something I ought to enjoy for free.” From the emphasis you placed on the word I guess the “ought” is your sticking point here, but the emphasis could alternatively be placed on the word “anything” instead. In other words, even diehard free culture / software types don’t consider that all goods related to creative work be provided without compensation; they simply advocate that the compensation be restricted to those goods that are necessarily scarce (e.g., the personal attention of a software developer, or seats at a concert) and not extended to those goods that are by their nature freely sharable in a nonrivalrous way.

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By: Dan Kervick http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/08/im-against-free-trade-agreements-because-im-for-free-trade/#comment-9632 Thu, 25 Aug 2011 03:37:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1133#comment-9632 Frank, I can appreciate the ideas and impulses behind the free culture movement.  But those ideas, to the extent they are coherent, point in the direction of socialism – or at least the socialization of the production and enjoyment of goods of a certain kind.  What makes me dubious is the attempt to combine these socialistic free culture ideas with libertarianism.

Personally, I can’t get used to the idea that anything that I enjoy due primarily to the labor of another is something I ought to enjoy for free.  In some way, that labor needs to be compensated; or else we undermine the possibility of sustainable systems in which people are willing to engage in that kind of labor.   But I do believe there are important practical problems in the production and economization of certain kinds of goods that provide reasons for thinking it is advisable that the systems for the production and enjoyment of those kinds of goods be governed by socialistic rules.

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By: Anonymous http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/08/im-against-free-trade-agreements-because-im-for-free-trade/#comment-9631 Thu, 25 Aug 2011 01:16:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1133#comment-9631 Frank,
Thanks for the interesting comments. I don’t really see this issue breaking down along the state/anarchy dimension. If we can imagine living in political anarchy, the issue regarding the recognition or non-recognition of intellectual property would still need to be decided by whatever private organization was delegated this task. Perhaps there wouild be many different communities each with its own rules, but the issue would still need to be resolved. In those communities that recognize IP, I suspect private organizations would arise that would enforce for inventors/authors whatever rights were granted (on a compensated basis of course). Perhaps inventors/authors would do less well under such a system, but this is separate from the moral status of IP rights.

Without getting into a long, inconclusive debate with you about “natural property rights,” I would just say that this whole issue would depend on your personal normative ethics. Certainly a utilitarian would favor a system that looks different than one designed by a natural rights theorist. My particular view is (tentatively) that an inventor/author creates value in the same way that any other entrepreneur or homesteader does, its just that this property is incorporeal. I’m not convinced that this changes the moral status of this property (or whatever you want to call IP).

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By: Dan http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/08/im-against-free-trade-agreements-because-im-for-free-trade/#comment-9629 Thu, 25 Aug 2011 00:13:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=1133#comment-9629 You know the future, do ya?

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