(Carson 2011) Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin

Carson, Kevin. Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin. Center for a Stateless Society. 2011 Dec 25. Available from: http://c4ss.org/content/9282. Accessed 2012 Oct 18. Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6BWI54xlT.

Carson denounces the law of “intellectual property” (IP, intellectual privilege) as a form of extortion, a way of extracting tribute from labor by the threat of state violence. IP replaces natural abundance with artificial scarcity by restricting intellectual activity, and thus enables the corporate “Lords of Scarcity” to extract monopoly rents, as described in Carson’s “Yes—the rent really is too damn high!

Carson predicts, however, that IP will prove unworkable as a scheme of extortion: the means of circumvention (“piracy”) will win the arms race against the legal means of enforcement. The proliferation of new IP law is itself a sign that the system is under strain from new forms of piracy. The article’s title refers to the “handwriting on the wall” Biblical passage (Daniel 5:24–28) predicting the fall of an empire.



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