Journal of Libertarian Studies Volume 18, Number 3 (Summer 2004)
- “Kant on Property Rights” by Marcus Verhaegh. Verhaegh disputes the claim that Kant’s description of property rights requires government fiats. Rather, he writes, property claims in a Kantian system acquire legitimacy through an on-going process of negotiation and acceptance among private individuals. In fact, he claims, when reviewing the whole of Kantian thought, one realizes that Kant’s theory entails a dynamic complexity of multiparty communicative-interaction that leads to a fully civil condition.
- “Legal Tender Laws and Fractional-Reserve Banking” by Jörg Guido Hülsmann. Legal tender laws must be understood as a major factor in the development of Western economies, which today operate on paper-money standards and feature very large fractional-reserve banking sectors that grow at over-proportional rates. Hülsmann claims that legal tender laws are not only a necessary prerequisite of paper money, but also benefit fractional-reserve banking. Thus, legal tender laws make paper money and fractional-reserve banking more widespread than these monetary institutions would otherwise be. Further, such laws entail the twin phenomena of fiat inflation and fiat deflation. In addition, he argues, legal tender laws have different effects depending on the physical characteristics of the money certificates, e.g., the debasement of legal tender coins is an inferior inflation technique in comparison to the production of legal tender fractional-reserve bank notes.
- “Dehomogenizing Mises’s Monetary Theory” by Nikolay Gertchev. “The Austrian theory of money virtually begins and ends with Ludwig von Mises’s monumental Theory of Money and Credit,” according to Murray Rothbard, a sentiment with which critics and supporters both agree. However, Gertchev suggests that Mises’s monetary theory underwent significant changes between the Theory of Money and Credit and Human Action, and that the exposition in Human Action is vastly superior. In this article, Gertchev elucidates many monetary issues on which Mises’s later writings are more mature, and are purged of the errors of his prior writings.
- “Self-Ownership, Abortion, and the Rights of Children: Toward a More Conservative Libertarianism” by Edward Feser. Libertarians frequently ground their arguments in self-ownership and natural rights. Critics claim that such a starting point leads to a libertine (not merely libertarian) ethos, making any political alliance between libertarians and conservatives philosophically inconsistent. However, Feser claims the opposite: self-ownership is not only not inconsistent with moral conservatism, it actually entails a kind of moral conservatism. Thus, he argues that libertarians who reject moral conservatism are actually violating their own fundamentals.
Summaries written by Scott Kjar