Jeffrey Tucker: (the enforcement of IP) is an attempt to stop progress and to stop the flourishing of civilization and the improvement of the well-being of all of humanity

“A hundred years from now, people are going to look back and go, “what is going on? you know, where the early parts of the 21st century the government was trying to stop progress. What were they doing?” I mean the whole beauty of the digital world is that we are seeing this mass migration from the intrinsic scarcity of the physical world over to this world of infinite copyability embeded in this digital media so that you can use it and I can use it and this can go on for billions and trillions (of uses for infinite people) and unto infinity. So we are seeing this migration of goods and services from the scarce world to the non-scarce world and is leading to this global productivity that is flowering this civilization everywhere.

And what is the State trying to do? It’s trying to stop it. It’s fighting it tooth and nail. It’s trying to turn the digital age back into the analog age, where the State was really running everything. And it’s stupid and it’s embarrassing. I mean as citizens of the world we should be embarrassed by what our governments are doing because it’s aphoristic, it’s silly, it’s no different than if you had a bunch of goon-squads trying to chop up the Gutenberg Presses (printing presses) in the late 15th century. It’s no different from that. It is an attempt to stop progress and to stop the flourishing of civilization and the improvement of the well-being of all of humanity, and at some point people are going to recognize this and go, “well this is just dumb”. What is the thing that causes the State to do this? “Oh it was a mistake. They called it Intellectual Property. They used to think that ideas could be owned.”

It’s just the same way with how today we look back and go, “what were those people thinking that they thought that human beings can be owned or that there can be such a thing as slavery. Isn’t that obviously contrary to human rights?” And we all recognize that now. And in a hundred years from now people are going to go, “what is this thing they called intellectual property, don’t they know that ideas, once they are stated are the common property of everybody? and that’s part of what makes for the flourishing of civilization and part of what makes for progress, in fact isn’t that the motive force and the driving force behind prosperity?”

  • Jeffrey Tucker

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