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Open Season On White Males; Career Paths; Libertarian Club

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From: J
Sent: Mon 7/31/2017 11:59 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: hey
Dear Dr. Block: Thanks so much for putting me in touch with A. We are planing to start a libertarian club at S University. And thank you for your answer to my impertinent question about the libertarian juror. I agree that it is insoluble. Thank you for clarifying the complicated terrain, as you always do. And of course it in no way impugns libertarian theory. The four career path options you listed exactly match my plans. FIRE and the Institute for Justice are both on the list of institutions I’d like to apply to, and I have already have some experience working in criminal defense. I chose law school over a PhD because the job prospects are better, at least going to a top law school. My college mentor told me that as a white male, my chances of finding a tenure track position in academia were low. And he doesn’t know I’m a libertarian, which would make my odds even lower. Whereas a top law school’s graduates are consistently in demand. But I would love to eventually use my law degree to teach in some capacity, at a law school, or somewhere better like Mises University or Liberty Classroom. The helpful libertarian lawyer who you put me in contact with was R. He reached out to you when you posted one of my earlier inquiries to the LRC blog. I have updated and thanked him within the last few months. He was generous and full of insight. It is an honor to be considered for co-authoring a paper with you. I will remember your suggestion and contact you when I have a proposal. As I said, you’re an inspiration to me. Thanks again for all your time and help. J

Dear J: Unhappily, it is now open season on white males. We are the scourge of civilization, at least according to the Cultural Marxists. See this on that:

Dilorenzo, Thomas J. 2015. “The New Cultural Marxism and the Infantilization of College Students.” October 19

The Infantilization of College Students

Scruton, Roger. Cultural Marxism. http://www.targetliberty.com/2016/01/cultural-marxism-explained-in-7-minutes.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TargetLiberty+%28Target+Liberty%29

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9:21 pm on August 14, 2017

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Arms Sales To The Enemy?

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—–Original Message—–
From: N
Sent: Wed 7/12/2017 11:53 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Some questions on non-interventionism!

Dear Dr. Block, I am a 23 years old guy from Italy. It’s 2 years that I discovered the libertarian movement and mises.org has been my daily source of information. I’m writing to you in order to have further knowledge about how to apply libertarian principles over inter-national relationships and security issues. For example: if we have, let’s say, 10 small libertarian countries and 1 big totalitarian and aggressive one who starts attacking one of them. If there are signs that this state will continue to invade the other countries, wouldn’t it be wise for the 9 smaller countries to unite against the aggressor instead of facing it one at a time?

<<yes, wise, and, justified

And then, again: in a libertarian world (excluding the anarcho-capitalist case) I suppose private firms would sell weapons to governments and persons. Now, imagine that a government declares war against another country and says it will retaliate against the citizens of the countries which sell weapons to the victim of his aggression. What should be the position of a libertarian of a neighbouring country? To support a government ban over arms sales abroad for the citizens’ safety? Or to prefer economic freedom at the cost of possible military or terror attacks? Thanks for the attention!

<< I am assuming that the country declaring war is one of the small libertarian countries mentioned above, against the aggressive bully and thus is in the right, here. Then, yes, in my opinion this country would be justified in prohibiting its citizens from selling arms to the bully country. Again, I answer not as an anarcho-capitalist, but as a limited government libertarian.

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9:15 pm on August 14, 2017

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From: B
Sent: Sat 8/12/2017 4:47 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Private Government

Hi Walter, Could you not just have no actual government, and just have legal protection insurance against the potential costs of legal action, brought by or against the policyholder. I imagine in a world of sound money, no taxes, and economies of scale, you would have a family lawyer for a fraction of the cost of what they are now, hence the insurance would be inexpensive. Is there any reason why not those who would like border protection, could not just pay into a scheme to ensure that those who wish to enter a country to contribute to its prosperity, or to be free to trade with the inhabitants of that country, are free to do so without any interference in such transactions from any other entity? Could you not have a fund you were happy to pay into, (like ambulance insurance for instance) to provide you with a local police force, to deal with the extremely low incidence of liberty encroachments, including violation of property rights or the non-aggression principle. I say the low incidence, because in this anarcho capitalist / objectivist world, there would be very few laws to break. What do you think? Should I just read The Privatization of Roads and Highways, and the answers will be in there? Kind Regards B

Dear B: Yes, part of the answer will be found in my book on road privatization, but that book is not exactly on point. Here is material more closely on point:

Anderson and Hill, 1979; Benson, 1989, 1990; Block, 2007, 2010, 2011; Casey, 2010; DiLorenzo, 2010; Gregory, 2011; Guillory & Tinsley, 2009; Hasnas, 1995; Heinrich, 2010; Higgs, 2009, 2012, 2017; Hoppe, 2008, 2011; Huebert, 2010; King, 2010; Kinsella, 2009; Long, 2004; McConkey, 2013; Molyneux, 2008; Murphy, 2005; Oppenheimer, 1926; Paul, 2008; Rockwell, 2013, 2016; Rothbard, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1998; Spooner, 1870; Stringham, 2007, 2015; Tannehill, 1984; Tinsley, 1998-1999; Wenzel, 2013; Woods, 2014.

Anderson, Terry and Hill, P.J. 1979. “An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, 3: 9-29; http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_1/3_1_2.pdf

Benson, Bruce L. 1989. Enforcement of Private Property Rights in Primitive Societies: Law Without Government,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IX, No. 1, Winter, pp. 1-26; http://mises.org/journals/jls/9_1/9_1_1.pdf

Benson, Bruce L. 1990. “Customary Law with Private Means of Resolving Disputes and Dispensing Justice: A Description of a Modern System of Law and Order without State Coercion.” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IX, No. 2,” pp. 25-42; http://mises.org/journals/jls/9_2/9_2_2.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2007. “Anarchism and Minarchism; No Rapprochement Possible: Reply to Tibor Machan,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1, Spring, pp. 91-99; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/21_1/21_1_5.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Governmental inevitability: reply to Holcombe.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 22; pp. 667-688; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_34.pdf

Block, Walter E. and Michael Fleischer. 2010. “How Would An Anarchist Society Handle Child Abuse?” October 13; http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block167.html
Casey, Doug. 2010. “Doug Casey on Anarchy.” March 31; http://www.caseyresearch.com/cwc/doug-casey-anarchy
DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 2010. “The Culture of Violence in the American West: Myth versus Reality.” The Independent Review, v. 15, n. 2, Fall 2010, pp. 227–239; http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_15_02_4_dilorenzo.pdf

Gregory, Anthony. 2011. “Abolish the Police.” May 26; http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory213.html

Guillory, Gil & Patrick Tinsley. 2009. “The Role of Subscription-Based Patrol and Restitution in the Future of Liberty,” Libertarian Papers 1, 12; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/12-the-role-of-subscription-based-patrol-and-restitution-in-the-future-of-liberty/
Hasnas, John. 1995. “The myth of the rule of law.” Wisconsin Law Review 199;
http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/MythWeb.htm

Heinrich, David J. 2010. “Justice for All Without the State.” The Libertarian Standard. May 6; http://www.libertarianstandard.com/articles/david-j-heinrich/justice-for-all-without-the-state/

Higgs, Robert. 2009. “Why We Couldn’t Abolish Slavery Then and Can’t Abolish Government Now.” August 20; http://www.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs128.html

Higgs, Robert. 2012. “What is the point of my libertarian anarchism?” January 16;
http://archive.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs180.html

Higgs, Robert. 2017. “Is a National Government Necessary for National Defense?” March 23; http://www.targetliberty.com/2017/03/is-national-government-necessary-for.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TargetLiberty+%28Target+Liberty%29

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2008. “Reflections on the Origin and the Stability of the State.” June 23; http://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe18.html

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2011. “State or Private Law Society.” April 10;
http://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe26.1.html

Huebert, Jacob. 2010. Libertarianism Today. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger

King, Seth. 2010. “Daily Anarchist Interviews Walter E. Block,” September 9;
http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block165.html

Kinsella, Stephan. 2009. “The Irrelevance of the Impossibility of Anarcho-Libertarianism.” August 20; http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/20/the-irrelevance-of-the-impossibility-of-anarcho-libertarianism/

Long, Roderick. 2004. “Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections” http://www.lewrockwell.com/long/long11.html

McConkey, Michael. 2013. “Anarchy, Sovereignty, and the State of Exception: Schmitt’s Challenge.” The Independent Review, v. 17, n. 3, Winter, pp. 415–428. http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_17_03_05_mcconkey.pdf

Molyneux, Stefan. 2008. “The Stateless Society: An Examination of Alternatives.”
http://www.mail-archive.com/libertarianenterprise@yahoogroups.com/msg02056.html

Murphy, Robert P. 2005. “But Wouldn’t Warlords Take Over?” July 7; http://mises.org/story/1855; http://mises.org/library/wouldnt-warlords-take-over

Oppenheimer, Franz. 1926. The State. New York: Vanguard Press

Paul, Ron. 2008. “On the Inner Contradictions of Limited Government.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o4kiWpqoeg&feature=PlayList&p=9645F6A68683F679&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4

Rockwell, Lew. 2013. “What Would We Do Without the State?” March 31;
http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/134782.html

What Would We Do Without the State?

Rockwell, Lew. 2016. “The Trouble With Politics.” November 8;

The Fatal Flaw in Politics

Rothbard, Murray N. 1973. For a New Liberty, Macmillan, New York; http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

In the view of Rothbard (1973, emphasis added by present author): “For centuries, the State (or more strictly, individuals acting in their roles as ‘members of the government’) has cloaked its criminal activity in high-sounding rhetoric. For centuries the State has committed mass murder and called it ‘war’; then ennobled the mass slaughter that ‘war’ involves. For centuries the State has enslaved people into its armed battalions and called it ‘conscription’ in the ‘national service.’ For centuries the State has robbed people at bayonet point and called it ‘taxation.’ In fact, if you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place.”

Rothbard, Murray N. 1975. “Society Without a State.” The Libertarian Forum, volume 7.1, January; http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard133.html

Rothbard, Murray N. 1977. “Do you hate the state?” The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 10, No. 7, July; http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard75.html
“…there is no sign that David Friedman in any sense hates the existing American State or the State per se, hates it deep in his belly as a predatory gang of robbers, enslavers, and murderers. No, there is simply the cool conviction that anarchism would be the best of all possible worlds, but that our current set-up is pretty far up with it in desirability. For there is no sense in Friedman that the State – any State – is a predatory gang of criminals.”
“The radical cannot think in such terms, because the radical regards the State as our mortal enemy, which must be hacked away at wherever and whenever we can. To the radical libertarian, we must take any and every opportunity to chop away at the State, whether it’s to reduce or abolish a tax, a budget appropriation, or a regulatory power. And the radical libertarian is insatiable in this appetite until the State has been abolished, or – for minarchists – dwindled down to a tiny, laissez-faire role.”
Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press. http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

Paul, Ron. 2008. “On the Inner Contradictions of Limited Government.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o4kiWpqoeg&feature=PlayList&p=9645F6A68683F679&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4

Shaffer, Butler.
www.mises.org/books/wizards/pdf

Spooner, Lysander. 1966[1870]. No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority and A Letter to Thomas F. Bayard, Larkspur, Colorado: Rampart College; http://jim.com/treason.htm

Stringham, Edward, ed. 2007. Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice, Somerset, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Stringham, Edward. 2015. Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life. Oxford University Press

Tannehill, Morris and Linda Tannehill. [1970] 1984. The Market for Liberty, New York: Laissez Faire Books; http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/tannehill1.html

Tinsley, Patrick. 1998-1999. “With Liberty and Justice for All: A Case for Private Police,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter, pp. 95-100; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/14_1/14_1_5.pdf

Wenzel, Robert. 2013. “Robert Ringer’s Strawman Anarchist.” February 2;
http://archive.lewrockwell.com/wenzel/wenzel211.html

Woods, Tom. 2014. “Four things the state is not.” July 29;

4 Things the State Is Not

private police: private army:

Gregory, 2011; Guillory, & Tinsley. 2009; Hoppe, 2011; Huebert, 2010; Murphy, 2005; Rothbard, 1973, 1975, 1998 [1982]; Stringham, 2007; Tannehills[1970] 1984; Tinsley, 1998-1999; Wiśniewski, 2014; Wollstein, 1969; Woolridge, 1970.

Gregory, Anthony. 2011. “Abolish the Police.” May 26; http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory213.html

Guillory, Gil & Patrick Tinsley. 2009. “The Role of Subscription-Based Patrol and Restitution in the Future of Liberty,” Libertarian Papers 1, 12; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/12-the-role-of-subscription-based-patrol-and-restitution-in-the-future-of-liberty/
Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2011. “State or Private Law Society.” April 10;
http://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe26.1.html

Huebert, Jacob. 2010. Libertarianism Today. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger

Murphy, Robert P. 2005. “But Wouldn’t Warlords Take Over?” July 7; http://mises.org/story/1855; http://mises.org/library/wouldnt-warlords-take-over

Rothbard, Murray N. 1973. For a New Liberty, Macmillan, New York; http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

Rothbard, Murray N. 1975. “Society Without a State.” The Libertarian Forum, volume 7.1, January; http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard133.html

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press. http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

Stringham, Edward, ed. 2007. Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice, Somerset, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Tannehill, Morris and Linda Tannehill. [1970] 1984. The Market for Liberty, New York: Laissez Faire Books; http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/tannehill1.html

Tinsley, Patrick. 1998-1999. “With Liberty and Justice for All: A Case for Private Police,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter, pp. 95-100; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/14_1/14_1_5.pdf

Wiśniewski, Jakub Bożydar. 2014. “Defense as a private good in a competitive order” Review of Social and Economic Issues, Vol. 1, No. 1, Summer, pp. 2-35;
http://rsei.rau.ro/images/V1N1/Jakub%20Bozydar%20Wisniewski.pdf

Wollstein, Jarret B. 1969. Society Without Coercion. In Society Without Government. New York: Arno Press

Woolridge, William C. 1970. Uncle Sam the Monopoly Man, New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House

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9:08 pm on August 14, 2017

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From: A
Sent: Sat 8/5/2017 1:49 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: The Public Murray Rothbard and a Personal Reminiscense (by Walter Block)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40787555
https://www.britishgas.co.uk/media/r/1486/why_we_ve_had_to_raise_electricity_prices__but_ar
British Gas have raised their prices 12.5% and the Labour party are calling for renationalisation so the energy is run ‘for the people’. People are blaming capitalism. Why is capitalism not at fault? People are also picking fault at Centrica’s CEO who has a salary of £4million? Basically why is capitalism not to blame for this? And do you really think I can study at Loyola in Sept 2019? Even if I’m from a different country?

Dear A: Lot’s of foreign students enroll at Loyola U, New Orleans. British Gas is a very heavily regulated firm. Laissez faire capitalism posits no economic regulations at all. Therefore, any shortcomings of BG can hardly be laid at the door of free enterprise capitalism. As for CEO salaries getting out of hand, read this:

Anderson, 2002; Anderson and Jackson, 2005; Barry, 1998, 141-145, 2000a, 2000b; Fischel, 1995; Jensen, 1988; Lemieux, 2005; Manne, 1965; Ricketts, 1994; Rockwell, 1989, 1990; Rothbard, 1995a, 1995b; Scott, 1999

http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=580
http://mises.org/journals/fm/fm689.pdf;
http://mises.org/econsense/ch49.asp

Anderson, William L. 2002. “Do Austrians Wink at Business Fraud?” December 10.
http://www.mises.org/story/1112

Anderson, William L. and Candice E. Jackson 2005 “It’s the economy, stupid: Rudy Giuliani, the Wall Street prosecutions, and the recession of 1990–91” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 19, No. 4, Fall: 19–36; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/19_4/19_4_2.pdf

Barry, Norman. 1998. Business Ethics. London: Macmillan

Barry, Norman. 2000a. “The Logic and Morality of Takeovers.” The Freeman, July, Vol. 50, No. 7. http://www.libertyhaven.com/noneoftheabove/morality/logicmorality.shtml

Barry, Norman. 2000b. Respectable Trade. London: Adam Smith Institute.

Fischel, Daniel. 1995. Pay-back. New York: Harper Business.

Jensen, Michael. 1988. “Takeovers: Their Causes and Consequences,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, (2), pp. 21-48.

Lemieux, Pierre. 2005. “The Anti-Capitalistic Inquisition ”August 15
http://www.mises.org/story/1885

Manne, Henry. 1965. “Mergers and the Market for Corporate Control,” Journal of Political Economy, (75), pp. 110-18.

Ricketts, Martin. 1994. The Economics of Business Enterprise. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf

Rockwell, Llewellyn. 1989. “The Free Market vs. the Managerial Elite” The Free Market. Vol. VII, No. 6, June; http://www.mises.org/freemarket_detail.asp?control=580&sortorder=articledate

Rockwell, Llewellyn. 1990. “Michael R. Milken: Political Prisoner?” The Economics of Liberty Auburn: Mises Institute, pp. 70-72; http://www.mises.org/resources/2948

Rothbard talks about Milken in a couple of chapters of _Making Economic Sense_, here:
http://www.mises.org/econsense/ch49.asp
http://www.mises.org/econsense/ch28.asp

Rothbard, Murray N. 1995a. “Rethinking The ’80s” Making Economic Sense. Auburn, AL: The Ludwig von Mises, chapter 28; http://www.mises.org/econsense/ch28.asp;
http://www.mises.org/resources/3e3566d9-6933-4fce-bdd6-5b4edb98bb60

Rothbard, Murray N. 1995b. “Michael R. Milken vs. The Power Elite” Making Economic Sense. Auburn, AL: The Ludwig von Mises, chapter 49; Institute. http://www.mises.org/econsense/econsense.asp; http://www.mises.org/econsense/ch49.asp;

Scott, Jeff. 1999. “Book review of The commanding heights: the battle between government and the marketplace that is remaking the modern world. by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics Vol. 2, No.1, Winter: 79–83; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae2_1_5.pdf

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8:52 pm on August 14, 2017

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—–Original Message—–
From: A
Sent: Tue 8/8/2017 11:46 PM
To: Walter Block;
Subject: Libertarian preemptive strike?
Dear Walter,
Suppose the leader of country A threatens to bomb all people of country B. According to Kinsella’s estoppel theory, anyone in country B has the right to bomb the leader of country A (before the leader of country A actually bombs anyone in country B). Of course an immediate objection would be that doing so would inevitably also hurt some innocent people in country A. But then according to the Blockian theory of negative homesteading (cf. the example of the human shield), a person in country B still has the right to bomb the leader of country A (and, in doing so, hurt some innocent people) in this case. (Of course it should be done by private individuals, but that’s another issue.) What do you think of the above line of reasoning, which just came to my mind? Thanks a lot for your time! A

Dear A: This sounds ok to me, but only with a big IF: if we don’t apply this to North Korea in the manner you suggest! Why not? Because the North Koreans saw what happened to Grenada, Libya, and other small, otherwise weak countries that had no nuclear weapons. So, it is really Uncle Sam that FIRST threatened to bomb the North Koreans, and did more than threaten. He actually carried out his plans to take over small, otherwise weak countries that had no nuclear weapons. Then, too, Uncle Sam was instrumental in keeping North and South Korea from amalgamating, just as did East and West Germany. So, your thought, I think, is acceptable to libertarian theory, at least as I understand it, but only with North Korea and the US reversed in your example. Of course, I don’t say North Korea would be justified in any preemptive strike against the US, God forbid. That would kill, murder, many innocent people. I only say that IF any preemptive strike is justified, which it is not, then matters would be the reverse of your implication. How many foreign military bases does the US have? About 800. How many foreign military bases does NK have? About 0. In how many foreign countries are these bases located? US: about 130. NK: zero, again. Who is the aggressor here? How many troops does the US have on the southern border of NK? Tens of thousands. How many troops does NK have on the southern border of the US? I’ll give you three guesses. What proper business would NK troops have on the border of the US? None. What proper business do US troops have on the border of NK? None, again.

Further reading:

Shields:

Block, Walter E. 2010. “Response to Jakobsson on human body shields.” Libertarian Papers. http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/25-block-response-to-jakobsson-on-human-body-shields/

Block, Walter E. 2011. “The Human Body Shield” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22 , pp. 625-630; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_30.pdf

Block, Walter E. Forthcoming. “Human shields, missiles, negative homesteading and libertarianism” Ekonomia Wroclaw Economic Review

Estoppel:

Kinsella, Stephan. 1992. “Estoppel: A New Justification for Individual Rights,” Reason Papers No. 17, Fall, p. 61; http://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/17/rp_17_4.pdf

Kinsella, Stephan. 1994. “The Undeniable Morality of Capitalism,” 25 St. Mary’s Law Journal 1419; (review essay of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (1993));

Kinsella, Stephan N. 1996. “New Rationalist Directions in Libertarian Rights Theory,” 12:2 J. Libertarian Studies 313 326, Fall; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/12_2/12_2_5.pdf

Kinsella, Stephen. 1996. “Punishment and Proportionality: the Estoppel Approach,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 12, No. 1, Spring, pp. 51-74; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/12_1/12_1_3.pdf

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7:54 pm on August 14, 2017

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—–Original Message—–
From: A
Sent: Tue 8/8/2017 6:45 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re:

Greetings. Are you aware of any scholarly writings on the monopoly that utilities have? I’m reading something now from Stanford that is saying the natural monopoly state of utilities is good for consumers. I suppose my real question, without having enough knowledge to answer it myself, is: are the utility companies in this country REALLY NATURAL monopolies? My understanding is that there really is no such thing as a natural monopoly, and since there is licensure and state run regulation involved, I find it hard to believe these allegedly natural monopolies have, indeed, formed naturally.

Dear A: In my view, there is no such thing as a “natural monopoly.” For readings on this, see:

Anderson, et. al., 2001; Armentano, 1972, 1982, 1989,1999; Barnett, et. al., 2005, 2007; Block, 1977, 1982, 1994; Block and Barnett, 2009; Boudreaux and DiLorenzo, 1992; Costea, 2003; DiLorenzo, 1996; DiLorenzo and High, 1988; Henderson, 2013; High,1984-1985; Hull, 2005; McChesney, 1991; McGee, 1958; Rothbard, 2004; Shugart, 1987; Smith, 1983; Tucker, 1998A, 1998B

Anderson, William, Walter E. Block , Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Ilana Mercer, Leon Snyman and Christopher Westley. 2001. “The Microsoft Corporation in Collision with Antitrust Law,” The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, Winter, pp. 287-302

Armentano, Dominick T. 1972. The Myths of Antitrust, New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House.

Armentano, Dominick T. 1982. Antitrust and Monopoly: Anatomy of a Policy Failure, New York: Wiley

Armentano, Dominick T. 1989. “Antitrust Reform: Predatory Practices and the Competitive Process.” Review of Austrian Economics. Vol. 3, pp. 61-74. http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae3_1_4.pdf

Armentano, Dominick T. 1999. Antitrust: The Case for Repeal. Revised 2nd ed., Auburn AL: Mises Institute

Barnett, William, Walter E. Block and Michael Saliba. 2005. “Perfect Competition: A Case of ‘Market-Failure,’” Corporate Ownership & Control. Vol. 2, No. 4, summer, p. 70-75

Barnett, William II, Walter E. Block and Michael Saliba. 2007. “Predatory pricing.” Corporate Ownership & Control, Vol. 4, No. 4, Continued – 3, Summer; pp. 401-406

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Austrian Monopoly Theory — a Critique,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. I, No. 4, Fall, pp. 271-279.

Block, Walter E. 1982. Amending the Combines Investigation Act, Vancouver: The Fraser Institute.

Block, Walter E. 1994. “Total Repeal of Anti-trust Legislation: A Critique of Bork, Brozen and Posner, Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 35-70.

Block, Walter and William Barnett. 2009. “Monopsony Theory.” American Review of Political Economy. June/December, Vol. 7(1/2), pp. 67-109; http://www.arpejournal.com/ARPEvolume7number1-2/Block-Barnett.pdf; http://www.arpejournal.com/

Boudreaux, Donald J., and DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 1992. “The Protectionist Roots of Antitrust,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 81-96

Costea, Diana. 2003. “A Critique of Mises’s Theory of Monopoly Prices.” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. Vol. 6, No. 3, Fall, pp. 47-62; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae6_3_3.pdf

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 1996. “The Myth of Natural Monopoly,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 43-58; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae9_2_3.pdf

DiLorenzo, Tom and Jack High. 1988. “Antitrust and Competition, Historically Considered,” Economic Inquiry, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 423-435, July.

Henderson, David R. 2013. “The Robber Barons: Neither Robbers nor Barons.” Library of Economics and Liberty. March 4;
http://www.econlib.org/cgi-bin/printarticle2.pl?file=Columns/y2013/Hendersonbarons.html

High, Jack. 1984-1985. “Bork’s Paradox: Static vs Dynamic Efficiency in Antitrust Analysis,” Contemporary Policy Issues, Vol. 3, pp. 21-34.

Hull, Gary, ed. 2005. The Abolition of Antitrust. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers

McChesney, Fred. 1991. “Antitrust and Regulation: Chicago’s Contradictory Views,” Cato Journal, Vol. 10.

McGee, John S. 1958. “Predatory Price Cutting: The Standard Oil (New Jersey) Case,” The Journal of Law and Economics, October, pp. 137-169

Rothbard, Murray N. (2004 [1962]). Man, Economy and State, Auburn AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, Scholar’s Edition; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/mes.asp

Shugart II, William F. 1987. “Don’t Revise the Clayton Act, Scrap It!,” 6 Cato Journal, 925

Smith, Jr., Fred L. 1983. “Why not Abolish Antitrust?,” Regulation, Jan-Feb, 23; http://cei.org/op-eds-and-articles/why-not-abolish-antitrust

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7:13 pm on August 14, 2017

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Should Students Be Graded?

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To: Walter Block
Subject: Not giving grades
What do you think about not giving grades Walter? B
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-do-life/201708/the-case-not-giving-grades

Dear B: This article, written by a friend of mine as it happens, Dr. Marty Nemko, is a very thoughtful essay on this topic. However, I disagree. I think the benefits of grades vastly outweigh the costs. If I ran a university, I would insist that all my professors give out grades for each course. I do so myself in my own classes. That is my personal assessment. However, as a libertarian, I would answer somewhat differently. I would say that each (private) university should decide upon its own policy in this regard, and then let the market sort things out. My prediction, my expectation, as an economist, is that, oh, 98% of colleges would continue to do so, and 2% would successfully undertake experiments of this sort. Here are some parallel questions: should high schools require uniforms? Should elementary schools serve breakfasts and lunches? What color table cloths should restaurants us? In all these cases, my response as a libertarian is, institute a free market such that each entrepreneur can decide for himself, and then allow competition to sort out these matters.

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7:04 pm on August 14, 2017

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These nine very scathing reports on this book of mine, several from very famous libertarians, all emanate from 1976, the year in which this (relatively) best-selling book of mine was first published. See how they bear the test of time:

“There can be no question of my writing a testimonial on behalf of this book.”
–Nathaniel Branden

“Defending the Undefendable-A doomed attempt, one would say. Like thinking the unthinable, uttering the unutterable, or calculating the incalculable. As the philosopher remarked, wherefor one cannot speak, thereabout one had better keep quiet.
This assemblage of defences cannot (can it?) be facetious since it is ushered in by the author;s pious reference to a ‘passion fro justice…
Rather non persuasive are the cases made out for the Dishonest Cop, the Speculator in food, the Non-Contributor to Charity, the Stripminer, the Drug Pusher, the Denier of Academic Freedom, and the Person who yells ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre. A passion for justice ought to inspire one to greater efforts.”
–D.J. Enright (London Times Literary Supplement)

“…A positive menace to the libertarian movement. His smart-alecky, sensationalist style, the silly and false social and psychological assumptions he uses to back up some otherwise (mostly) valid political and economic points, the frivolous and insensitive attitudes he displays toward serious human problems all serve to confuse and distract from the valid points. Most people will be difficult to convince on rational political grounds without obscuring the issue with other half-baked, offensive, and unnecessary arguments. The book will be offensive to people not just because his general attitude will be interpreted as callous, asinine, and an affront to human dignity. It will surely reinforce the worst stereotypes people have about capitalists.”
–Sharon Presley (Laissez Faire Books)

“..The wrong book at the wrong time…An absolutely mad way of introducing someone to libertarianism…I am convinced that it is probably a short run strategic disaster. One needs not only a steel will based on solid libertarian premises to accept Professor Block’s message, but one needs a cast iron stomach as well. Those whom he defends are often, if not usually, the dregs of society: we could even say the very scum of the earth.”
–Walter Grinder (Libertarian Review)

“DTU is a work of unrealized potential. The editing is sloppy. And the quality of the writing varies from chapter to chapter. Many good arguments, and indeed the book itself, founder over a simple misconception: Block is misusing the word her…He is not consistently attentive to detail, nor is he very ambitious in enriching his rich thesis with examples and anecdotes. If he had attended better to the art of writing and spared us the silly insistence of making all of society’s rogues into heroes, thes his very important thesis might well have become a very important book.”
–Jamaes D. Davidson (Libertarian Review)

“Not only does he defend prostitutes, pimps, counterfeiters, ticket scalpers, slumlords, blackmailers, libelors, stripminers, letterers, and scabs (among others), he actually has the temerity to call them heroes! Block even has the gall to challenge the most enduring shiboleth of higher education, academic freedom.”
–Dan C. Heldman (Universitas)

“The polarization of opinions on Block’s book should not be surprising. It is reflection of the book’s schizophrenic nature-a bizarre combination of both excellent and horrible elements. Apparently the endorsers chose to consider only the Dr. Jeckyll side of DTU and either ignored or failed to take seriously Mr. Hyde.”
–Sharon Presley (Reason)

“Political and economic defense of the voluntary activities of society’s ‘scapegoats’ -pimps, slumlords, moneylenders, etc. Done in a sensationalistic style, much of the reasoning is questionable and unnecessarily offensive. Not a good introduction to libertarianism.”
–Laissez Faire Books Catalogue

“Block defends some of the silliest ideas in support of an essentially good cause…He raises some stimulating issues, even if in an intellectually inadequate fashion…A foolish consistency may be the ‘hobgoblin of little minds,’ as Emerson said, but serious inconsistancy (as in this book) is the downfall of many theories about morality and law.”
–Tibor Machan (World Research Ink)

Source: http://store.mises.org/Defending-the-Undefendable-P136.aspx

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2:08 pm on July 31, 2017

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From: M
Sent: Thu 7/27/2017 8:51 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Austrian economics for high school?
Dear Professor Block, Good morning. I hope this email finds you well. Let me begin by saying that your work in economics has inspired me a great deal. I am a former US Marine and Iraq war veteran who marched in war protests upon returning home. During this experience I became acquainted with the work of Ron Paul and later became a delegate for him in Colorado. It was through Ron Paul that I discovered Austrian economics and then all of your work as well as the work of your colleagues in this field. I teach history in a private high school and have just been offered a 3 week block to teach economics to 12th grade. My question to you is would you be open to sharing any advice or guidance with me? Specifically with designing an economics curriculum for 12th graders? I heard you say once that you teach mainstream economics 80% of the time and then dismantle it the other 20%. I would love to hear more about how you structure that. I feel like I have an incredible opportunity to teach these young people and I want to make the most of it. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, M

Dear M: Yes, I teach perhaps 80% neoclassical economics, and 20% of the class time offer an Austrian critique. Why? Because I like to send my students off to graduate school, and if I only taught Austrian economics, they would be at a great disadvantage. Also, Austrians are what, 1% of the economics profession, at most? It would almost be fraudulent if I didn’t cover this material even for undergraduates who didn’t go on to grad school in economics. Further, I think my students gain even more of an insight into mainstream economics due to the praxeological critique of it.

The books that initially converted me to free market economics and libertarianism were Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. So I highly recommend them to you. Here are some other books you might consider:

Have your students read these Rothbard pamphlets, all are available electronically for free

What has govt done to our money?
Depressions: their cause and cure; http://mises.org/daily/3127/Economic-Depressions-Their-Cause-and-Cure
the case against the Fed
the case for 100% gold money

Rothbard, Murray N. 1963, 1985, 1990 What Has Government Done to Our Money? Auburn, AL.: Mises Institute; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/rothmoney.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N. 1969. “The Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle,” p. 78-79, in Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure, Lansing, Michigan: Constitutional Alliance
http://mises.org/tradcycl/econdepr.asp; http://mises.org/daily/3127/Economic-Depressions-Their-Cause-and-Cure

Rothbard, Murray N. 1996. “Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure.” The Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle and Other Essays. Auburn, AL: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, pp. 37-64. (Originally published by the Center for Libertarian Studies, 1978.) http://mises.org/daily/3127/Economic-Depressions-Their-Cause-and-Cure

Rothbard, Murray N. 1994. The Case Against the Fed. Auburn, AL: The Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://mises.org/books/fed.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N. 1962. “The Case For a 100 Percent Gold Dollar.” Leland Yeager (ed.), In Search of a Monetary Constitution. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 94 136. Reprinted as The Case For a 100 Percent Gold Dollar, Washington, DC: Libertarian Review Press, 1974. http://mises.org/rothbard/100percent.pdf

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3:46 pm on July 30, 2017

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From: T
Sent: Tue 7/25/2017 4:08 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: System of boycott instead of private defense organizations.

Hello Dr. Block, Lately, I’ve been watching a bunch of your videos, most recently the anarchism vs minarchism debate with Jan Helfeld. I know that when we anarchists are confronted with how society would function absent a government, the tendency is to mention these private defense/court organizations followed by the inevitable questioning of how those could potentially work. At the same time, I know that we as anarchists would not seek to force society to be organized through these defense organizations but we just believe that they may pop up spontaneously absent any coercion. Years ago when I was exploring the ramifications of the NAP for myself, I questioned whether force employed by myself (or a defense organization on my behalf) in an effort to achieve justice was initiatory force (and therefore illegitimate) or non-initiatory force (and therefore acceptable). My conclusion for myself was that if the offender was not currently on my property and the offense was not actively in progress then any violence after the fact would be initiatory and for me unacceptable. I know other anarchists disagree and I accept that but still I wanted to see whether I could imagine a system that had some hope of achieving justice but with no violence whatsoever. I believe such a system is possible and will describe in next paragraph and would like your opinion. If such a system is viable then wouldn’t that be preferable for anarchists, even for those who believe defense organization force is justified?

Basically, the way I believe the system could work is based on organized boycott. Here’s an example. Let’s say someone comes to my house and beats me up. I can then go to a private court and prove that he did it. Then, his crime is registered in a reputation system but the court doesn’t set a punishment. Instead, every individual gets to go to the reputation system and say what penalty they believe is fair and who they are willing to boycott until the offender willingly satisfies the penalty. Let’s say everyone says they are willing to boycott all the road companies, water companies, grocery stores, electric companies, gas companies, phone companies, etc. if those companies continue to sell to the offender. 1) So, the offender has a choice, they can lose all their utilities and access to store bought food and can’t leave their property or they can willingly pay the penalty that people are asking. Given no one is self-sustaining these days eventually I think they’d willingly pay the penalty. 2) The businesses also have a choice, they can continue to sell to offenders who haven’t paid their penalties and lose all the business from almost everyone else who has agreed to boycott them if they sell to unpenalized offenders. Given the choice between losing the business of one offender versus everyone else the choice is clear for them to not sell to unpenalized offenders. 3) Everyone else in society also has a choice. They can choose what they think is proper punishment for each type of crime and who they are willing to boycott until the penalty is paid. So, all of this is just based on freedom of association with no violence.

Again, there are hundreds of objections here. What about people registering outrageous penalties? First, after all the reasonable penalties are paid by the offender the businesses may have to decide between maintaining the business of offenders who have paid reasonable penalties versus retaining the business of people who desire outrageous penalties and the number of the latter may be fewer and so their outrageous penalties come back to bite them because now they have to boycott those utilities. Second, everyone’s registered penalties for crimes would be public knowledge in the boycott system. It is then possible for people to boycott other people who start putting in outrageous penalties. Third, while people could register their desires in the boycott system themselves, most likely they would pay a fee to some organization that shares their worldview and that organization would then register a common set of reasonable penalties into the boycott system on behalf of all their subscribers.

One sticky point is for something like abortion where half of society thinks something should be punished and are willing to boycott to make it happen while the other half is willing to boycott anyone who tries to boycott to have abortion punished. This could cause a split where you’d have a set of liberal utilities and a set of conservative utilities and these two groups would be perpetually boycotting each other which in practice perhaps isn’t much different than what we already have. Have you come across this idea before? What do you think? If you got this far, thank you for taking the time to read my email. Regards, T

Dear T: I read every word of your fascinating letter. There is indeed a tradition of pacifism on the part of anarcho-capitalists. My friend Bob Murphy fits this bill. I do not subscribe to it. In my view, yes, a boycott against criminals is justified, but, they also richly deserve that the violence they perpetrated upon their victims be turned against them. To me, justice, in part, consists of making criminals take some of their own medicine. You are quite correct that there are many “sticky points” to this thesis. Another is lack of information. We live in a world of seven plus billion people. If someone commits a crime in, oh, Australia, and goes to live in, oh, Argentina, it will be difficult to boycott him for this reason.

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2:48 pm on July 30, 2017

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