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Poetic Justice: Donate Government Money to the Mises Institute

From: Hunter DeRensis
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 5:56 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Libertarians & Stimulus Checks

Dr. Block,

Hi, I hope you’re doing well, and staying safe inside. I’m just a libertarian looking to get a libertarian question answered, and I know you’re the man to do it. By Monday, it’s likely congress will pass a trillion dollar stimulus bill that’ll bailout the airlines and other industries, along with sending cash checks to individual Americans to 1) help them pay their bills & essentials if they’ve been effected by the coronavirus, and 2) try to “stimulate demand.”

The current number being tossed around is $1,200 per person who makes under $75,000, and $2,500 for couples under $150,000. $500 dollars extra per kid or dependent if you have them.

So my question to you is, what should a good libertarian do with their check? I try to lead an ethical life that comports with the NAP, and in my job I feel I positively contribute (however small) to the fight against the state apparatus. So when the government hands me free money, should I rip up the check while its still in its mailing envelope? Should I donate it all to the Mises Institute? Do I pocket it and say its the least they owe me? What do you plan to do with your stimulus money?

I’m interested to hear how you believe libertarian theory applies to this problem, and I look forward to your response.


Dear Hunter:

Thanks for your kind words.

My main advice to you is to CASH THAT CHECK. My secondary advice to you is to donate 50% of it to the Mises Institute, and use the other 50% to keep yourself and your family safe. Why the former? That’s because the MI does more to promote liberty and good (Austrian) economics than any other organization on the planet. I’m gonna donate half of the money I receive from this source to the MI.

It would be poetic justice for recipients of these funds to donate this government money to the Mises Institute. You can do so right here: https://mises.org/giving/now

See my publications on this matter of accepting government largesse:


Block, 1972, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009A, 2009B, 2010, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2011D, 2012, 2016; Block and Arakaky, 2008, Block and Barnett, 2008, D’Amico and Block, 2007

Block, Walter E. 1972. “The Polish Ham Question.” The Libertarian Forum. June-July, Vol. 4, No. 6-7, p. 5; http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1972/1972_06-07.pdfhttp://mises.org/daily/4054https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block143.html

Block, Walter E. 2002. “Accepting Government Subsidies,” Fraser Forum, February, p. 27; http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/forum/2002/02/section_13.html

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Radical Libertarianism: Applying Libertarian Principles to Dealing with the Unjust Government, Part I” Reason Papers, Vol. 27, Fall, pp. 117-133;


Block, Walter E. 2006. “Radical Libertarianism: Applying Libertarian Principles to Dealing with the Unjust Government, Part II” Reason Papers, Vol. 28, Spring, pp. 85-109; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdfhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdfhttp://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/28/rp_28_7.pdf; (death penalty justified, net taxpayer, ruling class analysis p. 87)

Block, Walter E. 2007. “Ron Paul and Matching Funds,” October 1;


Block, Walter E. 2008. “Replies to readers” September 23;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block108.html (libertarians hypocrites for using public school?)

Block, Walter E. 2009A. “Libertarian punishment theory: working for, and donating to, the state” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 1; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/17-libertarian-punishment-theory-working-for-and-donating-to-the-state/

Block, Walter E. 2009B. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Guilt and Punishment for the Crime of Statism” in Hulsmann, Jorg Guido and Stephan Kinsella, eds., Property, Freedom and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, pp. 137-148; http://mises.org/books/hulsmann-kinsella_property-freedom-society-2009.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2010. “You are a rotten kid (rent control and libertarianism),” February 27;


Block, Walter E. 2011A. “It’s Ayn Rand Bashing Time, Once Again.” February 18; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block172.html

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “May a Libertarian Take Money From the Government?” March 11; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block175.htmlhttps://www.lewrockwell.com/2011/03/walter-e-block/may-a-libertarian-take-money-from-the-government/

Block, Walter E. 2011C. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Guilt and Punishment for the Crime of Statism,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 22; pp. 665-675; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_33.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011D. “Hoppe, Kinsella and Rothbard II on Immigration: A Critique.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 593–623; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_29.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Is It Compatible With Libertarianism to be a Banker? Yes!” September 29; https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/compatible-libertarianism-banker-yes/

Block, Walter E. and Chris Arakaky. 2008. “Taking Government Money for Grad School?” May 23; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block100.html

Block, Walter E. and William Barnett II. 2008. “Continuums” Journal Etica e Politica / Ethics & Politics, Vol. 1, pp. 151-166 June; http://www2.units.it/~etica/http://www2.units.it/~etica/2008_1/BLOCKBARNETT.pdf

D’Amico, Dan and Walter E. Block. 2007. “A Legal and Economic Analysis of Graffiti” Humanomics Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 29-38; http://www.mises.org/journals/scholar/damico.pdfhttp://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=24713http://ssrn.com/abstract=1008525

This book of mine might be of interest to you:

Block, Walter E. 2012. Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty. Ishi Press; http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871873234;








Best regards,



2:59 am on March 21, 2020

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Special issue of Studia Humana to be devoted to Libertarianism Part II

—–Original Message—–

From: mike carl

Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 10:00 AM

To: Professor Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: RE: Studia Humana

Dr. Block,

Your initial post at LRC regarding an issue of Studia Humana was a call for scholastic papers.

I seek clarification on ‘scholastic’. Must the writer/submitter be in academia?

<<< No

Have a PhD?

<< No

Be a previously published scholar?


Does Studia Humana require a specific writing style or technique for acceptance? As in following the rules of Strunk and White?

<< Yes, but they will take care of this

Might the use of the ‘first person’ be acceptable?

<<< Yes

Might literary freedom be appreciated?

<<< I don’t know what this means. But, reading in between the lines, so to speak, I favor freedom, so, I guess I’ll appreciate this.

Are there any automatic disqualifiers for publication?

<<< Yes, if you don’t write about libertarianism. I don’t care if you write from the anarcho-capitalist, the minarchist, the classical liberal point of view, whether you are a thick or thin libertarian. My aim in this special issue is to promote libertarianism in all of its multitudinous splendor.

I have thoughts outlined to expand on, but I do not consider myself a scholar. I am an editor and a critic.

<<< That’s ok. I don’t care if you’re a plumber, or a computer nerd or a waitress, or …. I’ll only judge the quality of what you send me

And, while I have been steeped in Strunk and White as a technical writer for years, I find using the passive voice or saying ‘the author, or Mr. so-in-so, believes’ more awkward than using the ‘first person’.

<<< I don’t care about any of this. I’m only interested in substance.

I’m looking for some initial guidance.

<<< see above

I will expand my outline regardless of whether I submit. It, as always, will be an exercise to (re)examine my thoughts.

<<< Great

Thanks for all your efforts on behalf of Freedom.

<<< thanks for your thoughtful note to me.

Mike Carroll


11:21 am on March 12, 2020

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Special issue of Studia Humana to be devoted to Libertarianism

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I have just accepted an offer to guest edit a special issue of the prestigious journal Studia Humana. This issue will be entirely devoted to libertarianism. I am looking for article lengths of between 3,000 and 18,000 words. I am not limiting contributions to pro-libertarian articles, although those would be ideal: stretching this theory to apply to new problems, ironing out the kinks in it, etc. Also, equally acceptable, would be essays critical of libertarianism. All realms of libertarianism are on the table: anarcho-capitalism, minarchism, constitutionalism, classical liberalism, even thick libertarianism. The history of libertarianism, defenses of this philosophy against critics, all will be acceptable. The only requirement is that you must mention the “L” word, libertarianism, and your article should be relevant to this philosophy.

Your papers are due on 5/1/20, but, if you are interested, please send me, at your earliest convenience, the title of your prospective paper, and a 25-50 word description of it.

For more information about this journal, the special issue I shall be editing, go here and here.


2:26 am on March 10, 2020

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Open Letter to President Donald Trump; Pardon Ross Ulbricht!

Dear Mr Trump:

In 2015, I was involved in the initiation of two groups in your behalf.

One was “Libertarians for Trump.” I started this along with the late Ralph Raico and Donald Miller. We received about 4000 signatures on this compilation. The other was “Scholars for Trump.” My partners on this were Paul Gottfried and Boyd D. Cathey. You had to have an advanced degree such as a phd or law degree to sign up. This list was begun since it was then widely believed that only dumb rednecks in flyover country would vote for you. We wanted to put paid to that claim. We garnered about 150 signatures on that initiative.

I plan to do something similar this year, as soon as the Democrats choose their candidate.

I appeal to you to pardon Ross Ulbricht. His was a victimless crime. Yes, he promoted the sale of illegal drugs, but did not himself engage in any sale. He engaged in no violence whatsoever. He now has a life sentence. Let me repeat that: he now has a life sentence.


1:20 am on March 5, 2020

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Want To Be On My Invitation List?

Dear Readers of LRC:

Once or twice a month I notify people of events occuring in New Orleans of interest to people involved in the libertarian and Austrian economic movements.

If you live within an easy drive of New Orleans, and/or visit the Big Easy, or are just interested in what’s going on around here, give me your name and e mail address. I’ll then put you on my list to be notified of Austro-libertarian events in New Orleans.

Best regards,



4:38 pm on March 3, 2020

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From: Richard Gaylord

Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 5:37 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Libertarian Purity – LRC Blog

Regarding this.

So, perfect adherence to the NAP, etc., is required of all libertarians, eh?

yes (and it’s required of anyone who claims to be libertarian).

btw – both murray and Ron Paul can be (in fact, are) wrong about abortion.

So, in your view, neither Murray nor Ron is a libertarian? I think that is a difficult position to defend!

I agree with you on one thing though: the views of both Murray and Ron are contrary to libertarianism on abortion.

Here are a few of my publications on that issue:

Block, Walter E.  2014A. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.htmlhttp://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/_04.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2014B. “Evictionism and Libertarianism.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 290-294; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/04/27/jmp.jhu012.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=3n1zc8zcBRnT586;


Block, Walter E. 2014C. “Toward a libertarian theory of evictionism,” Journal of Family and Economic Issues. June; Volume 35, Issue 2, pp. 290-294; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10834-013-9361-4;


Block, Walter E. 2018. “Judith Jarvis Thomson on abortion; a libertarian critique.” DePaul Journal of Health Care Law. Vol. 19; Issue 1; Article 3, pp. 1-17


Block, Walter E. and Roy Whitehead. 2005. “Compromising the Uncompromisable: A Private Property Rights Approach to Resolving the Abortion Controversy,” Appalachian Law Review, 4 (2) 1-45; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdfhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdfhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/228125532_Compromising_the_Uncompromisable_A_Private_Property_Rights_Approach_to_Resolving_the_Abortion_Controversy?ev=prf_pubhttp://www.walterblock.com/publications/compromising-the-uncompromisable-a-private-property-rights-approach-to-resolving-the-abortion-controversy/


2:15 am on February 18, 2020

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Those Nasty Martians Once Again (Am I Getting Martianophobic?)

Letter 1

From: zinsser

Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2019 8:43 AM

To: Walter Block

Subject: Joe’s murder

Hi, Walter. I hope you are well.

Your hypothesis about Joe’s murder is interesting, but it assumes that someone other than Joe has to kill him. Here is my take on it.

Thanks, Roger Mitchell

Did the Martians stipulate that “someone else” kill Joe (which would be murder) or are they only concerned with Joe’s death. If the latter, then Joe could just commit suicide which would be allowable under the NAP. If Joe was rational about the whole thing, he would simply do it and go down in history as the ‘savior’ of the world. This scenario is magnanimous.

If he wasn’t willing and refused to ‘pull the trigger’, then world-wide pressure could be brought to bear on him—emotional, psychological, financial, social, etc.—making his life completely unbearable and bringing him to the point where he was willing to do the deed and actually carried it out. This would be “two minutes of hate” with a vengeance. Since hate is not punishable by law (except in today’s modern version), there would be no crime committed and no one would be punished. This scenario is unfortunate.

If the Martians demanded that another person kill Joe, then whoever did it should be brought to trial on the charge of murder, found guilty with extenuating circumstances, and sentenced appropriately with the understanding that clemency and pardon, in all likelihood, would be given to him. He would always have the knowledge of his “sin”, but could be completely forgiven and set free. This scenario is pragmatic.

One other solution would be to simply deliver Joe to the Martians and tell them to do their own dirty work. Those who did this would be guilty of aiding, abetting, and complicity in Joe’s murder, but would not be guilty of the murder itself. This scenario is defiant.

Regardless of the method, the ultimate goal would be to effect systematic change so that something of this nature never happened again. This alone would bring perfect justice to Joe’s death.

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

On Sunday, December 29, 2019 1:00 PM, Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Letter 2

Dear Roger:

The Martians want someone else to kill Joe. Suicide will not satisfy them

Best regards,


Letter 3

From: zinsser

Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2020 9:09 AM

To: Walter Block

Subject: RE: Joe’s murder


If the Martians do not allow Joe to commit suicide and refuse to kill him themselves, but demand that another person kill Joe, then whoever did it should be brought to trial on the charge of murder, found guilty, and sentenced appropriately. What that sentence might be I cannot say. Clemency and pardon, in all likelihood, would be extended to him and he would become the most celebrated “criminal” in the history of the world.

Joe’s killer should understand that he might be found guilty of murder and executed. If we hold to the premise that the punishment should be proportionate to the crime, this is the only correct course of action. Extenuating circumstances would probably mitigate the sentence, but the killer MUST be punished severely. Murder is murder, after all.

If murder is the act of killing an innocent human being, then nothing can excuse that action. The end does not justify the means and even if it meant that the entire world would be saved from destruction, the killing of innocent person Joe should still be classed as murder. To say otherwise is to say that there are times when innocent people can be killed with sufficient justification.

This raises questions. Can an innocent person be legitimately killed (murdered)? Under what circumstances? Who decides if the circumstances meet the criteria? How does a person become a “decider”? Will the decision be reached by majority vote, representative debate, autocratic fiat, or simply by one or more individuals taking it upon themselves to do the deed? Does conferring legality on an action make it less immoral? Why?

Unless every single person world-wide refused to kill Joe, he will die. Joe is going to die, but that does not make it right nor should his murder be accepted as the right moral decision.

Thank you,


Letter 4

Dear Roger:

I wrestle with the challenge you offer here:

Block, Walter E. 2009. “Libertarian punishment theory: working for, and donating to, the state” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 1; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2009/lp-1-17.pdfhttp://libertarianpapers.org/2009/17-libertarian-punishment-theory-working-for-and-donating-to-the-state/#comments

Best regards,



2:13 am on February 18, 2020

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From: Tim McGraw

Sent: Friday, December 27, 2019 11:39 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Privatization is Resurrecting Feudalism: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Privatization is Resurrecting Feudalism: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts


Hi Walter,

I just read the most recent column by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (link above.) I’m interested in how you would debate or refute the points made by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts.

Also, I had no idea that Britain has privatized its postal service. I mail letters and packages to the UK fairly often and the service is very fast (less than a week sometimes). Whereas mail to Canada can take weeks to get there. Canadian customs and mail are awful.

Here in California due to the PG & E utility fiasco, almost everyone is calling for the state of California to take over the large utility.

All the best,

Tim McGraw

Healdsburg, CA

Dear Tim:

I see nothing wrong with prison labor, nor with prisoners not keeping the benefits of their labor. (I’m talking real prisoners here, not those “guilty” of victimless crimes; the latter should all be pardoned, forthwith). The money the prisoners earn, over and above what is needed to feed, clothe and guard them, should go to their victims.

What we have now is not private prisons. What we now have is prisons that are contracted out by government. I think libertarians can favor the former, but not the latter.

I’m shocked, shocked, I tells you, that private post offices work better than their statist counterparts. Here are some readings on this:

Adie, 1988, 1990a, 1990b; Alston, 2007; Bresiger, 2004; Butler, 1986; Moore, T., 1990; Moore, S., 1987; Priest, 1975; Robbins, 2000; Roberts, 2005; Rockwell, 2002.

Adie, Douglas K. 1988. Monopoly Mail: Privatizing the United States Postal Service, New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction

Adie, Douglas K. 1990a. The Mail Monopoly: Analyzing Canadian Postal Service, Vancouver: The Fraser Institute

Adie, Douglas K. 1990b. “Why Marginal Reform of the U.S. Postal Service Won’t Succeed,” pp. 73-92, in Free the Mail: Ending the Postal Monopoly, Peter J. Ferrara, ed., Washington, D.C.: The Cato Institute

Alston, Wilton D. 2007 “What Would Happen If the Post Office Had Competition?” June 6;


Bresiger, Gregory. 2004. “Post Office Hell.” December, 22; http://www.mises.org/fullstory.aspx?Id=1696

Butler, Stuart M. 1986. “Privatizing Bulk Mail,” Management, Vol. 6, No. 1; http://books.google.com/books?id=KAiSm1teWV8C&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=%22Privatizing+Bulk+Mail,%E2%80%9D+Management&source=bl&ots=32hrL0OJjB&sig=indjtSQkByy619GL2lbvbiXik1U&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NfD7UaKzMJD08AT5koC4Ag&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Privatizing%20Bulk%20Mail%2C%E2%80%9D%20Management&f=false

Moore, Stephen. 1987. “Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service,” in Stephen Moore and Stuart Butler, eds., Privatization, Washington: Heritage Foundation.

Moore, Thomas G. 1990. “The Federal Postal Monopoly: History, Rationale, and Future,” pp. 61-72, Free The Mail: Ending the Postal Monopoly ed. Peter J. Ferrara. Washington, D.C.: CATO Institute

Priest, George. 1975. “The History of the Postal Monopoly in the United States,” Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 18, No. 33, pp. 33-80

Robbins, Jay Chris. 2000. “The Post Office and E-Commerce.” September 15;


Roberts, Ted. 2005. “Postal Commissars to Raise Rates. Don’t Complain.” May 2.


Rockwell Jr., Llewellyn H. 2002. “Can the Market Deliver Letters? December 17;



2:11 am on February 18, 2020

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A Sends B a Letter Through the Mail; Who Owns That Letter?

Dear Richard:

I agree with you entirely.

I would also extrapolate to snail mail.

Suppose I send you a letter on a piece of paper. Who, now, owns it? I think you do. In effect, I made you a gift of a piece of paper with my writing on it.

Best regards,


From: Richard Gaylord

Sent: Monday, December 23, 2019 11:01 AM

To: Walter Block


what is the Libertarian position on e-mails. is it okay to forward e-mail from one person to another without asking for permission? i guess what it amounts to is who has property rights of e-mail – the sender or the recipient? my view has always been that once i send an e-mail out on the internet, it no longer belongs to me and anyone who can access it, has the right to read it or post it. it may be good manners to ask the author for permission but it is not necessary to do so. (and when i send an email to more than one individual, i list all of the recipients in the cc section (i rarely use  bcc) so all the recipients will be known


2:41 am on February 16, 2020

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Can a Person be a Net Taxpayer, and Still be a Member of the Ruling Class?

From: Jonathan Gress

Sent: Saturday, December 21, 2019 1:13 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: net taxpayers in ruling elite

Dear Walter,

In your view, can you be a net taxpayer but also be in the ruling elite? Or does paying taxes automatically exclude you from the elite?


Dear Jonathan:

In my humble opinion, you can indeed be a net taxpayer, and still be a member of the ruling class.

There is such a thing a psychic income. Ruling class members may pay more $ in taxes than the benefit, monetarily, from government, but, if they benefit, greatly, in terms of psychic income from the state, then I think they can be bone fide members of this demographic. For example, they could donate lots of money to a politician who would give them great power over innocent people. Monetarily they might lose, but they wouldn’t do this unless there was some benefit in the transaction for them.

Calhoun’s view was a good first approximation, but I don’t think it is definitive in all cases.

Ragnar Danneskjold was a net tax recipient, and NOT a member of the ruling class!

Best regards,



2:39 am on February 16, 2020

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