Property Rights and Ukrainian Identity

I gave this lecture on April 19th, 2011.

Property Rights and Ukrainian Identity Lecture

Property Rights and Ukrainian Identity:

– In the lecture I make the case against coercive means to support the Ukrainian culture and language. I made two points afterwards which strengthened and elaborated on my case. Firstly, that coercive institution can easily be turned against Ukrainian culture and language. This is already happened through the policies of Ukraine’s Russophile education minister. Secondly, that people interested in supporting the Ukrainian culture and language should do as I do, and voluntarily donate money to cultural organizations. Even more importantly, people should vote with their wallets, and buy embroideries, museum and theater tickets, they should patronize nightclubs which play the type of music they like, and so on — your patronage supports exactly the aspects of Ukrainian culture which you find important.

– I also made a reference to two forces likely supporting the hryvnias peg to the U.S. dollar, but I only mentioned one, the IMF. The second is the power and influence of the country’s biggest oligarchs, who are all exporters. Exporters benefit in the short run from a weakening currency, as I discuss in this essay.

– I misspoke. On the wall hung Taras Shevchenko’s portrait, not photo.

Q & A:

– If my goal was to convince conference attendees that a more libertarian respect for property rights ensures a better future for all, then perhaps I committed a tactical mistake. I should have stuck to the more conventional position of advocating more regional autonomy and local self-governance, but I was asked what system I support. I mentioned privatizing security and with that, we all jumped head first into the deep end of the anarcho-capitalist swimming pool. I did the best I could, working from memory.

– I misspoke at one point, saying Iowa instead of Hawaii. The political scientist who calculated that over 100 million people (172 million, actually) were killed by their own governments during peace time, was the University of Hawaii’s Rudolph Rummel. There is also the KGB admission during Glasnost that 43 million Soviet citizens were killed, another estimate that 60 million Soviet citizens were killed, and Little Black Book of Communism which calculates that over 100 million people were killed by Socialist governments.