Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Highlights of the First Half of 2009

I have covered a lot of topics during the first half of the year. Below are some of the posts that I most enjoyed.

An Interview with Gus Van Horn--In this interview I discuss challenges to Objectivist bloggers, intellectual activism, and other topics with the popular blogger.

My Virtual Mayoral Campaign--While this "campaign" has garnered little attention, working out my positions on various issues--such as a Statement of Principles, city assets, crime, taxes, city services, and the economy--was a lot of fun and an interesting intellectual challenge.

An Interview With Brian Phillips--In this two-part interview, I interview myself. Again, this was a fun and interesting challenge. I asked fair, but challenging questions and did not throw myself softballs, as tempting as that was.

Government Without Taxation--In this six-part article, I demonstrated that voluntary support of government is both practical and moral.

Two other highlights not related to this blog were my speech to the Houston Property Rights Association and my article in The Objective Standard.

One of the challenges of writing a daily blog is to find fresh ideas that are interesting to me. Unfortunately, there seems to be no shortage of issues to address, as politicians on every level seem to be intent on destroying every vestige of property rights.

When I started this blog one of my primary goals was to build a library of information on property rights. Specifically, I wanted to address the various attacks on property rights and present a moral defense of the right to property. I am now approaching 300 posts, and while many do not specifically address property rights issues, I am pleased with the breadth and depth of the issues I have covered.

Another purpose of starting this blog was to provide myself with an outlet for my writing. After nearly fifteen years of self-imposed writing exile (largely due to business pursuits) the "writing bug" struck me again in early 2008. This blog has allowed me to work on the craft of writing. While I will not claim that every post approaches literary genius, I have seen an improvement in my writing. While practice alone may not make perfect, practice is a necessary component of improving any skill.

I have long been interested in property rights issues for two reasons. The first is, as Ayn Rand said, without property rights no other rights are possible. The second is the widespread misunderstanding regarding property rights and their application. This last provides a very interesting intellectual challenge in trying to identify the application of property rights to specific situations, such as the oceans or neighborhoods.

While this blog is primarily about me--my interests and my improvement--it is rewarding that my readership has steadily grown. I write primarily for myself, but it is nice to know that others appreciate what I have to say. So I thank everyone who has supported this blog in whatever form.

I look forward to the day when I can find no violations of property rights to address. But I think it is very safe to say that it won't be in the second half of 2009.


Anonymous said...

Brian, this is a great blog and I enjoy reading it every day. It is especially interesting in a local election year when all of the mayoral candidates seem to be rushing to see who can trample property rights more than their opponents.

Also...I saw somebody tooling around town a few weeks ago with a TXPropertyRights bumper sticker. Very nice!

Brian Phillips said...

Thanks. Since there are only a handful of bumper stickers out there, I'd say the chances are good that you spotted me.