Thursday, February 14, 2013

How to Honor a Great Man

As we know, the current T-shirt sales people at RonPaul.com have refused to turnover the web address to Dr. Paul, after he requested. Their behavior is in stark contrast to the way Lew Rockwell handled himself when he founded the Mises Institute.

Although I have heard him tell the story before, Rockwell recently discussed again, during an interview with Tom Woods, how he launched the Mises Institute:
 I decided that Mises, the man, was not getting the attention – we all need heroes. These ideas are essential. But they have to be, in terms of teaching, I think, inculcated in great men. So I thought it was important that Mises be recognized for the hero he was. Also, the Austrian School was in decline and I thought there needs to be an institute dedicated to this. And so I approached Mrs. Mises first, even before Murray Rothbard, and asked her if she would be part of it, and she said she would. She said – and she started sort of shaking her finger at me, and she said, now, I know you're only interested in my name. And I said, well, I am interested in your name – (Laughter)– but I'm also interested in your advice and guidance.[...]Which she did give. And so she said she would, as long as I agreed that I would dedicate the rest of my life to it. So I gave her that promise. So she was our first chairman.
That's how you do things with class.

43 comments:

  1. Lew is a class act for sure.
    If I was the caretaker of RonPaul.com I would give it over to Dr. Paul for his signature on a 2 dollar bill.

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    1. Agreed. I would do just about anything Ron Paul requested. Whatever money and time I spent into a site dedicated to ron paul would be well worth it to pay back the man who has courageously done so much for the liberty movement. He is in his mid 70s and out there campaigning at a schedule that would tire men in their 20s when he could have easily just retired and made far more money doing a tiny fraction of the work. But he did it for the movement and for the future.

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  2. Lew is a stand up guy!

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  3. Cool. Excellent tale of success and perseverance.

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  4. i wish this was the only thing you had ever written about this subject. its all that ever needed to be said.

    no b.s. about ron having the right to storm in with the State and take the site...just an example of why lew can be so inspirational 99.9 percent of the time.

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  5. Ron Paul is clearly violating libertarian principles on this one. Check out what Stephan Kinsella has to say here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=q9aFHFqcKvo.

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    1. Anonymous: Actually, those at RonPaul.com had previously agreed to the following when they registered the domain:

      "By applying to register a domain name, or by asking us to maintain or renew a domain name registration, you hereby represent and warrant to us that (a) the statements that you made in your Registration Agreement are complete and accurate; (b) to your knowledge, the registration of the domain name will not infringe upon or otherwise violate the rights of any third party; (c) you are not registering the domain name for an unlawful purpose; and (d) you will not knowingly use the domain name in violation of any applicable laws or regulations. It is your responsibility to determine whether your domain name registration infringes or violates someone else's rights.

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    2. Can you please explain exactly which part of the above quoted portion of the agreement has been violated by those at RonPaul.com and how?

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    3. Also, you seem to be implying that whatever is deemed "unlawful" or "in violation of any applicable laws or regulations" is justification for expropriating the domain name. Of course, this has nothing to do with libertarianism.

      Stephan Kinsella, from the clip linked to above:

      "[T]he United States has the strongest interest in the world in foisting its IP system on the rest of the world because of Hollywood and the music industry, so it has pushed and twisted the arms of the rest of the world with a network of treaties -- intellectual property treaties -- administered in part by the United Nations' WIPO, which you just mentioned, the World Intellectual Property Organization. So this is basically an arm of the U.S. government and hollywood (the MPAA). And then the U.S. turned the internet over to a quasi-private corporation (sounds a little bit like the Fed, right?) and then required them to adopt these UDRP rules, which you're talking about, which worked with WIPO and adopted the trademark and intellectual property rules that the big content-providers wanted."

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  6. I'm a staunch Ron Paul supporter (and Lew Rockwell for that matter) but I defend the rights of the RonPaul.com people to not sell (or give up) the URL. And I'm also surprised Dr. Paul tried to appeal to get the name even if there's a law about profiting from other people's name. I just plain disagree w/ the law and am surprised Dr. Paul doesn't. In a free society should a person be forced to give up a domain name that they purchased? And it's not like they were slandering Dr. Paul either.

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    1. It's his name! It's not just a "domain" name!

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    2. How would that all be handled in an AnCap society with no IP controls and such...I agree with Boomerang, the market can work it out...As everyone becomes aware of the lack of endorsement by Dr. Paul for that site, the URL will drop in value...don't you guys have enough patience to make the market work...

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    3. Oh yeah, right. Like he has exclusive rights to it. There are probably 100s or even 1000s of Ron Pauls. Not exactly an unusual name. But this guy owns the name.

      Frankly, RP is a stinkin' hypocrite for this. Either he should negotiate a mutually agreeable deal, sort of like a free market, duh, or he should use another url. How hard is this??? Anything other than that is disgusting, and I'll be sending my RP tshirts back with a nasty note.

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    4. Dr. Paul did not choose the UN. The registrant of the domain name agreed to these procedures at the time of registration. They also agreed that if there was a dispute over the name, infringing upon a third party [i.e. Ron Paul], that the dispute would be handled according to international agreements.

      If we are to think, as some comments seem to exhibit, that libertarian principles preclude the right of contract or the disputes of such contracts then we are missing some very important principles of libertarianism.

      Ron Paul has a definite claim to his name and you ignore the fact that the domain name RonPaul.com is not related to any other Ron Paul but the Ron Paul. The idea that you bring up such an illogical argument only shows that you are willing to reach outside reason to form an argument that is not valid. If the domain name RonPaul.com had absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Ron Paul or his message or promoting his campaign then you would be right, but in this case your argument falls completely and utterly flat.

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    5. Can you please explain why, in keeping with libertarian principles, "Ron Paul has a definite claim to his name"?

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    6. Self-ownership, the title to own ones self and all that entails, his reputation, his message, his character. As I said, if the domain name were a generic web-site named RonPaul.com that was constructed outside of the personage of Dr. Ron Paul then you would be right however, that website owes its existence to the man Dr. Ron Paul. As such, Dr. Ron Paul not only has every right to seek remedy under the law, but there is also the moral obligation of the domain name registrants to uphold the agreement that they entered into voluntarily upon registering that name under the law that Dr. Paul is now using to enforce his rights. Libertarianism does not mean that there are no legal or moral obligations that must be upheld, quite the contrary, libertarianism is based upon the principles of law.

      I will ask you....how are the people holding this domain-name and the manner in which they are doing it, upholding libertarian principles when they voluntarily entered into an agreement upon registering that domain that clearly states that it would not infringe upon the rights of any third party? Dr. Paul, rightly so, has declared that it does indeed infringe upon his rights of self-ownership and the title to his name.

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    7. Republicae, self-ownership means just that, ownership of yourself. It doesn't mean ownership of others. Your reputation isn't part of yourself. Your reputation is just a word describing what other people think about you....in their brains. To claim you own your reputation is to claim that you own the thoughts of other people. That directly conflicts with their right of self-ownership.

      Though full on anti-IP is relatively "new" within the libertarian philosophy (new due to focus, not due to principle), the issue of reputation rights (and the resulting issues such as libel/slander) seems to be well established for quite a while. You do NOT own your reputation.

      "how are the people holding this domain-name and the manner in which they are doing it, upholding libertarian principles when they voluntarily entered into an agreement upon registering that domain that clearly states that it would not infringe upon the rights of any third party?"

      This is just question-begging. The claim is that they are NOT infringing any legitimate rights of Ron Paul. Ron Paul owns himself, he does not own his reputation, otherwise, you'd have to claim his self-ownership extends to portion of the brains of all those who have an opinion about him, and that would mean those people have less-than-self-ownership, which ultimately means the don't have self-ownership, since there can only be one final-authority (owner) of any given scarce resource. A claim of "partial ownership" is essentially like saying that you don't own yourself, but you have a voting share in the corporation that owns you. That's not the same as self-ownership.

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    8. Republicae, your ideas about ownership are confused.

      A property right is a right of exclusive control. Under libertarianism, property is assigned to the person with the best claim or link to a given scarce resource. You own your body because you are its first user and you have direct and immediate control over it, and hence a better claim to it than anyone else.

      It is nonsensical to speak of property rights in your reputation, message, or character. As Rothbard says: "[S]ince every man owns his own mind, he cannot therefore own the minds of anyone else. … '[R]eputation' is purely a function of the subjective attitudes and beliefs…contained in the minds of other people."

      The only difference between property in bodies and property in external things is that external things were initially unowned. The relevant objective link in the case of external things is appropriation: the transformation or embordering of a previously unowned resource, i.e., the first use or possession of a thing.

      The "RonPaul.com" situation is convoluted because ICANN is a quasi-private organization that was given a monopoly by the U.S. government on condition that it adopt specific IP rules. Under the current IP regime, Ron Paul could argue that he has a type of trademark in his name, and it is indeed possible that he could win. However, that doesn't mean that the current IP regime or Ron Paul's chosen course of action is consistent with libertarianism. You keep referring to language in the ICANN agreement about not infringing upon or otherwise violating the rights of any third party, but this is simply begging the question as to what "rights" are.

      In this case, it is clear that Ron Paul is a latecomer with respect to the domain "RonPaul.com". The people currently using it have an earlier and better claim to it than he does. If Ron Paul values "RonPaul.com" so much, he should buy it for an agreed-upon price. Otherwise, he should exercise some entrepreneurial ability and homestead a new domain name.

      I'm now referring now to one of your comments below. According to your ad-hoc theory of self-ownership, Ron Paul owns everything that bears his likeness, etc. This is patently absurd and completely inconsistent with libertarianism, since adopting this rule would mean that Ron Paul has the right to control what other people can do with their bodies and the external things that they have homesteaded. It is your ad-hoc theory that tramples the most fundamental principle of libertarianism.

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  7. Well, seems those people are the in the same league as many on ronpaulforums who should change the name to rand paul's benedict arnold forums, same folks who have gone on record as being very "questioning" of Dr Paul's character! Sad. No wonder we were shut out. Friends like this who needs enemies
    Thank heavens for Dailypaul!

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  8. This is all total BS. Hero worship is antithetical to everything the liberty movement is supposed to be about, ie the individual.

    It is the ideas not the men who promote them that are important, and Wenzel and Rockwell should know better.

    Also, this silly anecdote is in no way analogous to the ronpaul.com issue whatsoever.

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    1. What I find interesting Anonymous, is that you tend to overlook at great deal in the dispute. The dispute is over the specific domain name RonPaul.com, which would have never existed had Ron Paul not been in the political spot-light. The domain name is directly related to and dependent on Dr. Ron Paul's political ideology, his message and his popularity, nothing else. The fact that the dispute when to the UN is due to the fact that the registrants of the domain name agreed upon registration that any disputes would be handled in that venue, they also agreed that by registering the domain name that it would not infringe upon any third party, obviously it does infringe upon a third party and that is Dr. Paul.

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    2. Please explain exactly how, according to libertarian principles, Dr. Paul is "obviously" being infringed upon?

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    3. Self-ownership and the fact that Ron Paul has title to his name and all that his name implies. The website has used the reputation of the name of Ron Paul to further the business venture named for him and that rests solely upon the reputation of Dr. Ron Paul. As I stated before, if the website were generic, having nothing whatsoever to do with the personage of Dr. Ron Paul then he, Ron Paul, would not have a case, but the contrary is true. The mere fact that those who registered the domain-name did so with the understanding that it was subject to a third-party and the rights of that third-party is adequate evidence pointing to the knowledge that such ownership could be contested under the agreement, it is being contested under the terms of the agreement, just as they voluntarily agreed to conform.

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  9. A domain is an identity. Many people cooperate to make these identities possible through DNS. A domain can never be a single thing that someone "owns." It's just a bunch of data entries on a bunch of separate, interconnected networks. Any network admin with control over a large enough network can potentially override DNS entries for thousands of people. They can point ronpaul.com to irs.gov or google to a porn site. There's nothing you can do about this, even if you "control" the domain.

    You may put a blue label with a Pepsi logo on a bottle of soda you made yourself, but that doesn't make it Pepsi. Pepsi is an IDENTITY which was EARNED. Once it's established, it's not going to be accepted for someone else to copy that identity any more than it would be for someone to impersonate you to your friends and family. In order for a libertarian society to exist, it would need a channel for resolution of disputes like this. No one is going to agree to a society where I can use a brand's identity for myself. Pepsi earned the value that exists in their brand's cachet, and there IS value there. Try selling Pepsi's branding and see how much you get! Creating a knockoff product that sucks diminishes that value if left unchallenged. There are demonstrable damages there which would constitute a tort.

    In one afternoon, anyone with an internet connection can put up a crappy Wordpress template and set up a Zazzle merch store. There's no value there. Ron Paul himself lends all value to the business. Not everything that happens in the world can be put in a neat little box. In a libertarian paradise, Ron Paul would still be disputing this through the proper channels. There would still be an organization like ICANN with dispute resolution. Guess what? Some people's domains would get taken from them against their wishes. This would not violate anyone's self-ownership. The Internet would be diminished without such a thing. They should hand the domain over for a reasonable price and be thankful for the income they've already earned.

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    1. cool story bro.


      "In one afternoon, anyone with an internet connection can put up a crappy Wordpress template and set up a Zazzle merch store. There's no value there."

      are you suggesting that if his site required more labor it would then be more valuable?

      this is not that complicated. the individuals that run the ronpaul.com fansite have the right to defend themselves against anybody that seeks to take what is theirs... no matter what type embarrassing cognitive dissonance the aggressors are willing to put themselves through.

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  10. Erm, according to the quote, Rockwell asked Mrs Mises if she would, and I quote, "be part of it". Is this supposed to infer that had she said "no" then Rockwell would've abandoned the whole thing? Doesn't seem like he was asking permission at all.

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  11. It's a shakedown. So shameful that they would treat Dr. Paul that way.

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    1. It's not a "shakedown." RonPaul.com is scarce good and has a market value. If Ron Paul wants to act in accordance with libertarian principles, he should enter into a voluntary agreement with the current owners of the domain. He has opted instead to attempt to use government coercion, which is unlibertarian.

      You can argue that if the owners of RonPaul.com really admire Ron Paul so much, they should just give him the domain. You can also argue that it's a practical move for Ron Paul to use current trademark and IP law to attempt to expropriate RonPaul.com for himself. You cannot argue, however, that Ron Paul's chosen course of action is consistent with libertarian principles.

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    2. It's a shakedown, all right. Ron Paul is shaking down the owners of ronpaul.com.

      Can't this guy, instead of stealing a url, exercise a little marketing acumen and develop an undisputed domain name? This is so disgustingly covetous and lazy.

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    3. Have you looked at the website RonPaul.com? What do you see? Now I would say you would be right if on that website you saw all manner of things, but you don't, you see one thing Ron Paul, you see his words, his pictures, his reputation, his message, the history of who he is.

      The shake-down is very real, but it is the owners of the website who are using Ron Paul to fill their own pockets, not the other way around. The owners of that site specifically agreed that if the registered website infringed upon the rights of any third-party that the third-party would not only be within his rights to demand remedy under the agreement, but to do so in a way that is consistent with the very agreement that the owners signed upon registration.

      The entire success of the website depends solely upon the personage of Ron Paul and nothing else; Ron Paul owns himself and all that is attached to it, he is not in the public domain, he is a private individual who has every right to assert his rights under the principle of self-ownership.

      What I find disgusting are those who, despite the fact that this website owes not only its existence to, but its continued success to the person of Ron Paul, are so willing to slight Ron Paul for exercising the most fundamental principle of libertarianism...self-ownership..that is truly disgusting.

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    4. To illustrate how ad hoc your theory is, imagine that "RonPaul.com" was being used by another guy named Ron Paul, and that it was his personal website.

      Would Ron Paul the former politician have a better claim to the domain than the other Ron Paul?

      Of course not. Whether you have a property right in a given scarce resource is not determined by how you've chosen to use it, nor is it determined by your fame.

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  12. One way to beat them is for Ron Paul to start ronpaul.cm or .me or something else and make it an outstanding site in every way. Once his fans find out which site is genuinely his and it becomes common knowledge that he is in no way affiliated with the .com site... the extortionists will eventually lose readers and thus lose money and then see how much they can try to get for it when it's worth far less than today, not counting for inflation.

    I admire Ron Paul tremendously and consider him to be one of my greatest heroes. But I do admit I was a little disappointed in his handling of this situation. I am much more disappointed in the owners of RonPaul.com, of course. (Highway Robbery comes to mind.) But using the brute force of the state seems like a drastic step in the wrong direction. I can pretend that this would be something that a private court system would handle and Dr. Paul would win his case, but it would still be pretend. In the real world, only the attorneys win in court.

    No doubt about it, Lew Rockwell is the consummate gentleman. If only this predicament could have been solved by him before it began.

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  13. Why doesn't Ron Paul hold a fundraiser to pay for the price of the site?

    Or better yet, instead of tucking the millions raised during the election into Campaign for Liberty so Rand can abuse it, use that to buy the site.

    As it is, I went to Ronpaul.com and bought an item for the first time, ever. Felt like showing actual support to the owners.

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  14. To a poster above: Heroism is not contradictory to libertarian principle. It is endemic to human nature. We all need heroes. And eventually, rightly or wrongly, we all find them.

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  15. If the owners of RonPaul.com are not violating the property rights of Ron Paul by merely setting up a website called "RonPaul.com", then through what twisted and distorted logic can one possibly come to the conclusion that it is justified for Ron Paul, the UN, or any other party, to use force against the owners of RonPaul.com if they don't comply with what Ron Paul wants?

    This is an absolute disgrace, and all you thought police / mind control pro-IP law leptons need to get your heads examined.

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  16. After carefully reviewing Ron Paul's claim to WIPO (UN arm for IP enforcement) I have:
    1) publicly condemn Ron Paul for using "lawful" aggression and breaking with libertarian principles
    2) withdraw financial support of LRC for standing behind Ron Paul in this issue despite of the clear evidence of the 1)
    Shame on you, good doctor ;(

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    1. You're publicly condemning him anonymously? Way to stand behind you're convictions.

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    2. First, Ron Paul is not using "lawful" aggression, he is merely asserting his rights of self-ownership and the title of his name to assert his rights based on an agreement that the people who registered the domain-name agreed to when they made the registation.

      There are absolutely no principles being broken, especially libertarian principles, in fact, if the truth be known Dr. Paul is using the proper channels for dispute resolution on the subject, the very channel that those who registered the domain-name agreed to when they made registration. It is absolutely idiotic to make the claims that you do, for to do so would alleviate one party of his responsibility [those that registered the domain-name], while condemning the person who holds rights under that agreement as a third-party.

      If there had been no such agreement signed at the time of registration it would still not alleviate the legal responsibility of those that registered the name to Ron Paul unless they used the domain-name completely outside the reputation and message of Ron Paul, that is not the case.

      You are attempting, for whatever reason, to condemn Ron Paul without a valid reason, the reason you are giving that it breaks libertarian principles is wholly without foundation. If you think this is a "lawful" aggression then how is that possible when those who registered the domain-name agreed to the very process which Dr. Paul is not using to assert his rights as a third-party. Lawful aggression would indicate that one of the parties involved is being forced without consent, but the fact is that those who registered the domain-name gave their consent upon entering into the agreement. Your argument is not logical, but at least you are trying your best to make a splash with it.

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    3. Additionally, if you hadn't noticed the website RonPaul.com not only uses the name of Ron Paul, but also his picture as a direct promotional for the website as it relates solely to Ron Paul, not to some other Ron Paul, but to the Dr. Ron Paul. Not only that, but it can be easily asserted that almost every single article on the website can be directly attributed to Ron Paul himself. It stands upon his reputation and his alone. He not only has the right, but has every right to maintain his self-ownership and reputation based upon his rights as a third-party in the agreement that the people who registered the name agreed to voluntarily.

      To deny Ron Paul his rights of self-ownership, above all other rights, is in fact one of the most egregious violations of the principles of libertarianism, the very idea that someone who is probably "cashing-in" on his name, his words, his image, his reputation has more right than the man who is the very personage they use is not only absurd, but is offensive in the highest order. Ron Paul has rightful asserted his rights and has done so in the very manner which is prescribed under the very agreement that those who registered the domain-name agreed to upon registration.

      Your so-called "evidence" is not only illogical, but defies every principle of legal recourse that any libertarian should uphold. Ron Paul is using the venue that those who registered the domain-name agreed to use and he is using it properly and uprightly. BRAVO RON PAUL for upholding your principles of proper legal recourse and remedy, for asserting your rights under the law as all people should.!

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    4. Republicae, please see my post above (Anonymous, February 19, 2013 at 1:34 PM) explaining why you are confused about ownership. Also see my post about the implications of your ad-hoc theory (Anonymous, February 19, 2013 at 3:13 PM) about Ron Paul having some sort of property right in his name.

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