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Free Will and History

Dear Pierre:

The rise and fall of empires is a fascinating study. Thanks for sending this to me. In my view, there’s a historical pattern, but no necessity that this will always be followed. I think it depends upon the decisions made by the rulers. That is, I  believe in free will, not historical necessity.

Here are my pubs on free will:

Van Schoelandt, Chad, Ivan Jankovic and Walter E. Block. 2016. “Rejoinder on Free Will, Determinism, Libertarianism and Austrian Economics.” Dialogue, Issue 2; http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/title.asp?lang=en&title=565http://,%20Determinism,%20Libertarianism%20and%20Austrian%20Economics.EML/1_multipart_xF8FF_2_p565__DialogueBook2eng2016_81_95.pdf/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/p565__DialogueBook2eng2016_81_95.pdf?attach=1;


Block, Walter E. 2015. “Free will, determinism, libertarianism and Austrian economics” Dialogue, Issue 3, p.1; http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/110798998/free-will-determinism-libertarianism-austrian-economics;

Best regards,


From: Pierre Lawson

Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 11:07 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Full Blown Socialism?

Dr Block

I don’t know if you are familiar with Ray Dalio’s work. He does some phenomenal economic cycles research and analysis and is very experienced in the markets. I’ve read his latest post “The Changing World Order” and it truly is great work. However, I believe that he and other mainstream economists are ushering in Full Blown Socialism. In his final paragraph he leaves it a question of how do we fix Capitalism to create a system that works for everyone. That sounds like central planning to me. He also refrains from using the word Socialism in his writings and/or separates Socialism from Capitalism placing it in between Capitalism and Communism. The limited knowledge I have in the Austrian way is that we need a more free capitalist society and not more  central control to fix this world for the long term. I also left Ray a comment in this regards. I would like to know what you think of this.  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/big-cycle-united-states-dollar-part-2-ray-dalio/?trk=eml-email_series_follow_newsletter_01-hero-16-image_link&midToken=AQEXJ-YPR8_RhA&fromEmail=fromEmail&ut=1gPVfYHzwCKFk1


3:46 am on September 23, 2020

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Economics and Entrepreneurship Are Not the Same

From: Odessa Munroe

Sent: Sunday, July 19, 2020 3:00 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>; Victor Pross <artpross@hotmail.com>

Subject: Hello from Odessa

HI Walter!

Since you are a famous economist and know Canada… With the money change coming up in the US and all of the drama there ….Am I correct that I should get out of the dollar and continue to buy gold?

Any quick thoughts? I want to protect my family…


Dear Odessa:

Thanks for your kind words.

Economists predict the future to demonstrate we have a sense of humor. If we knew which investments were best, we’d be rich. We’re not rich. We’re more into Monday morning quarterbacking.

Sorry, not to be able to help you with this entrepreneurial, not economic, question.

Best regards,



3:45 am on September 23, 2020

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Trolley Problem Variant

From: Andy

Sent: Monday, July 13, 2020 11:33 AM

To: walter block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Trolley problem variant

Hi Walter,

Suppose when a man is hiking he sees a button that is remotely connected to two jail cells on another continent. Cell A has 1 innocent person and cell B has 5 innocent people. If the man does nothing, 30 seconds later one of the cells will be flooded with water and everyone in that cell will die. The cell to be flooded will be chosen randomly, each cell with a 50% probability. However if the man hits the button now, the probability that cell A is chosen to be flooded will be increased to two-thirds. If the man hits the button, is he a murderer if cell A ends up being flooded? What if cell B ends up being flooded (even though that only happens with a one-third probability)?

Thanks a lot!



Dear Andy:

Yes, I think he would be a (justified!) murderer. I think I dealt with the same issue in my pubs on the libertarian concentration camp guard:

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,


Dear :

Best regards,



3:44 am on September 23, 2020

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Letter 1

From: ed

Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2020 6:22 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Ancap society

Dear Walter,

You mention that libertarianism is about what should be “legal” and not what is moral. What is the distinction between the two and what is the purpose of the distinction? I would argue that the no aggression principle is a moral argument rather than legal, because even in a stateless/rothbardian society where no “laws” exist, people still follow the NAP as it is the moral framework of the society.

Thanks in advance


To blog readers:

There are 9 letters here. I’m not sure I have answered this correct. Help would be appreciated

Letter 2

On 3 Jul. 2020 00:49, Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Ed

Libertarian law prohibits murder, rape, theft, kidnapping, violations of the non aggression principle; these are to be punished by force. Morality opposes these too. But, morality also opposes drunkeness, laziness, disrespect for parents, which, at least according to libertarianism, are not to be punished by the use of violence.

Best regards,


Letter 3

From: ed

Sent: Sunday, July 05, 2020 8:36 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: RE: Ancap society

Hi Walter,

I am trying to understand how I should view the Epstein case from the perspective of a libertarian. Would something like child prostitution be legal under libertarian law, assuming both parties were doing it voluntarily. As a society, we allow children to sell their labour in other parts of the economy (granted the parents permission). So under libertarian law, would what Epstein did not be punishable? Like you said, morally it sits very uncomfortably with me, but technically it wouldn’t violate libertarian law. I’m assuming here that the teenagers voluntarily sold their labour to Epstein as I didnt think that forceful sexual assault occurred in the strict libertarian sense.

If the issue is that children do not have self ownership, would the granting of permission by a parent make this transaction legal? In the Epstein case, this would mean that the issue would be more around not having been granted permission by a parent rather than anything to do with the deviant act itself.

I Understand that this is a touchy subject which I was I want to be able to be clear about how I should approach the situation as a libertarian.



Letter 4

On 6 Jul. 2020 00:29, Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Ed:

I think it all depends upon the age of the girls. If they were 18 or older, I think Epstein is totally innocent. If they were 12 or younger, he was guilty of child abuse. If they were, say, 14-17, then, I think, it is unclear if Epstein was a criminal. Read this on that:

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

Best regards,


Letter 5

From: ed

Sent: Saturday, July 11, 2020 5:17 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: RE: Ancap society

Hi Walter,

Is there anything special about sexual conduct that differentiates it from selling one’s labour for other purposes? I would imagine if it is a legal for a 14 year old child to sell their labour at a sweatshop, there is nothing conceptually different to them selling their labour for prostitution voluntarily. Girls even younger than that were bearing children voluntarily in the past.



Letter 6

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Saturday, July 11, 2020 7:22 PM

To: ed

Subject: RE: Ancap society

Dear Edmund:

I think there’s a GIGANTIC difference between a 10 year old girl selling lemonade, and engaging in prostitution. I think there’s a GIGANTIC difference between a 14 year old girl baby sitting, and engaging in prostitution. Yes, if it is to save her life, I’d support child prostitution. But, otherwise, I think it is child abuse.

However, you make an excellent point when you ask, implicitly, what’s the big difference? Do you have any daughters? I have one. Maybe that accounts for my abhorrence.  But, I shouldn’t rest with that. Thanks to you, I’ll think about this. I KNOW there’s a relevant difference (apart from the danger, of course), but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’m bccing this to several friends of mine who may be able to help me think about this.

Best regards,


Letter 7

On 13 Jul. 2020 01:15, Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Ed:

Upon further reflection, I think the difference is that one of these tasks is intimate, fraught with all sorts of psyhological issues, the other two are not. Then, of course, there is a great difference in the danger.

Best regards,


Letter 8

From: ed

Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2020 5:36 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: RE: Ancap society

Dear Walter,

While all those reasons are likely to be true, they still sound like utilitarian judgements. If anyone is to make a judgement like that it should be the parent of the child, not the state or some third party. I could make an argument that children should not work in sweatshops as they result in psychological damage but this seems subjective and I don’t feel I am in a place to make that value judgement on behalf of the child and the parent.

I think what it comes down to is that a child cannot give consent to sell their labour for any purpose without the parent’s permission as they are not full self owners yet and their parents are still partially responsible.

Kind regards


Letter 9

Dear Ed:

If parents allowed a 5 year old girl to prostitute herself, I’d put them in jail as child abusers. If they allowed her to sell lemonade, I think there’d be no crime.

I’m as extreme a libertarian as anyone else (I call myself Walter Moderate Block only in fun). But there’s an important difference between children and adults. Certainly, I favor the legalization of prostitution for adults (but still think it an evil).

Just because all libertarians favor the legalization of prostitution for adults doesn’t mean, under ordinary circumstances (eg not to save the child’s life), we have to favor child prostitution, just because we favor the legalization of 5 year old girls selling lemonade, or 12 year old girls getting paid to babysit.

I greatly appreciate you part in this discussion. It is really making me think about issues I was unaware of.

Let me conclude. I am tempted to tell you a joke: “Do you know the difference between a bathroom and a living room?” If you say “No” I respond, “Well, then, don’t come to my house.” I offer this joke not to make fun of you, but, rather, to make fun of me. I KNOW that I am right, that it is entirely ok for a 5 year old girl to sell lemonade, and for a 14 year old girl to be a baby sitter, but that it should be considered not only immoral, but also illegal, for the parents to allow either to engage in prostitution (with the proviso that this is not to save their lives, in some weird, concocted, contrived example; then, in my view all bets are off). I’m not telling you this joke at your expense because you are serious about this, you ask an important question, and, I readily confess, I don’t see my way fully clear to answer it.

I resort to utilitarianism, pragmatism, and that old standby, the continuum:

What’s wrong with a little utilitarianism? Libertarianism has to deal with the real world, and part of that real world is pragmatism. I regard any parent who allows their young girl to engage in prostitution as guilty of child abuse. Such parents should be put in jail. But it is not only my disgust with prostitution that leads me in this direction. Suppose a parent endangered a young child in a manner having nothing to do with sex: allowed the child to utilize cocaine or heroin; to walk on a tightrope 100 feet high with no safety net below; to work in a deep dusty coal mine with no air mask. I would still consider all of those cases to be child abuse, and hence criminal. I full well recognize that children worked in coal mines several centuries ago. But, then, that sort of thing was necessary to save their lives; now, it is not. Context is important for proper law.

I’m not fully satisfied with this answer. Hopefully, members of this blog will help me out to a better understanding, but that’s the best I can now do. Thanks again for raising this important issue.

Best regards,



3:43 am on September 23, 2020

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I have reached a milestone: 600 pubs in refd journals/law reviews. Here are my last 10:

600. Block, Walter E. and William Barnett II. 2020. “Newly Discovered Gold Does Not Distort the Economy; It Is Not A Market Failure.” Review of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 281-288; https://content.sciendo.com/configurable/contentpage/journals$002frevecp$002f20$002f3$002farticle-p281.xmlhttps://doi.org/10.2478/revecp-2020-0014

599. Block, Walter E. and Michael R. Edelstein. 2020. “Rejoinder to Nelson on Nature Preserves.” Romanian Economic and Business Review, Vol.15, No. 2, Summer, pp. 46-56; http://www.rebe.rau.ro/REBE-SP20.pdf

598. Block, Walter E. 2020. “On Huemer on Ethical Veganism.” Studia Humana.

Volume 9:2, pp. 53-68; DOI: 10.2478/sh-2020-0013;

http://studiahumana.com/wyd,34.htmlhttp://studiahumana.com/pliki/wydania/10443-Volume9_Issue2-07_paper.pdfhttps://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/sh/9/2/article-p53.xml; file:///C:/Users/WBlock/Downloads/[22990518%20-%20Studia%20Humana]%20On%20Huemer%20on%20Ethical%20Veganism.pdf;

https://doi.org/10.2478/sh-2020-0013 |

597. Block, Walter E. 2020. “Unblocking Progress in Austrian Economics: Response to Skousen.” Revista Procesos de Mercados, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 313-326; https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://www.procesosdemercado.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Vol_XVII_1_2020_Sumario-1.pdf&hl=es

596. Chávez Salazar, David and Walter E. Block. 2020. “Haiti: Strengths, Challenges and Paths to Development.” Laissez-Faire; Revista de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas. No. 52-53, Marzo-Sept 2, pp. 42-70; ISSN 1683-9145;

file:///C:/Users/WBlock/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/CKHU6Y6I/LF-52%20(Indice).pdf; http://laissezfaire.ufm.edu/index.php/P%C3%A1gina_Principalhttp://laissezfaire.ufm.edu/index.php?title=LF-52.4_Chavez_y_Block; file:///C:/Users/WBlock/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/INetCache/Content.Outlook/CKHU6Y6I/LF-52.4%20(Ch%C3%A1vez%20%20Block).pdf

595. Block, Walter E. 2020. “Note On An Error in Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson.” MISES: Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, Law and Economics, Vol. 8; https://revistamises.org.br/misesjournal/article/view/1258;



594. Nouveau, Lucas and Walter E. Block. 2020. “A comment on reparations for slavery.” Libertas: Segunda Epoca; http://www.journallibertas.com/online-first.html

593. Futerman, Alan and Walter E. Block. 2020. “An Austrian Critique of the Prebisch-Singer Theory of the Deterioration in the Terms of Trade.” Journal of Financial Economic Policy; https://www.emerald.com/insight/search?q=An+Austrian+Critique+of+the+Prebisch-Singer+Theory+of+the+Deterioration+in+the+Terms+of+Trade&showAll=true; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/JFEP-09-2019-0181; ISSN: 1757-6385

592. Block, Walter E. 2020. “Do black students need African American teachers: commentary on Prescod-Weinstein.” Journal of African-American Studies https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1007/s12111-020-09462-x?author_access_token=nng7P5iMAC8CFYKkhCVtk_e4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY4NR6K7sUfVCpkRkPJ2W1ynjPhQHtsGqaF55Rz86fj1WtNVoTbB64ejkzvUN7NyLsqiTbGubvjc42-sZGFR8BmwqFv3OWlveDAsjANC_UyNug%3D%3D,


591. Aguilar, Kevin, Alan G. Futerman and Walter E. Block. 2020. “A Critique of Legally Enforced Minimum Wages.” Management Education Science Technology journal (MEST); Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 1-6; https://www.mest.meste.org/MEST_Najava_clanaka.htmlhttps://mest.meste.org/MEST_1_2020/Sadrzaj_eng.html

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.


3:21 pm on September 22, 2020

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The two of them brilliantly underscored and criticized the widespread support for BLM on the part of all too many Jews. See here.

It is indeed a mystery that Jews are so smart, and yet fall for this Marxist nonsense; that Jews have gained more from the free enterprise system, and yet are amongst its most vociferous critics.

I offer a bibliography of material which attempts to explain, account for, understand, this strange phenomenon:

Billingsley, 1998; Block, 2004; Frankel, 1983; Friedman, Manny, 2012; Friedman, Milton. 1985a, 1985b,1985c; Gabler, 1989; Hayek, 1988, 1990; Lefkowitz, 1993; Liggio, 1997; Lilla, 2001; MacDonald, 1998; Mises, 1972; Nozick, 1997; Podhoretz, 2009; Rothbard, 1990; Sombart, 1913      ; Stein and Stein. 1979; Twain, 1898;Van den Haag, 2000/2001

Billingsley, Kenneth Lloyd. 1998. Hollywood Party: How Communism Seduced The American Film Industry In The 1930s And 1940s; Prima Publishing

Block, Walter E. 2004. “The Jews and Capitalism: A love-hate enigma.” The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Fall, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 305-326; http://tinyurl.com/2zgs5shttp://tinyurl.com/25qdpq; reprinted as: Block, Walter E., 2005. “The Jews and Capitalism: A Love-Hate Relationship.” Business and Religion: A Clash of Civilizations? Nicholas Capaldi, ed. Salem, MA: M&M Scrivener Press, pp. 65-79; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block98.html

Frankel, S. Herbert, “Modern Capitalism and the Jews,” Oxford Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies, 1983, reprinted as “Comment on Milton Friedman’s ‘Capitalism and the Jews’,” in Morality of the Market: Religious and Economic Perspectives, Walter E. Block , Geoffrey Brennan and Kenneth Elzinga, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute: 1985, pp. 429-442

Friedman, Manny. 2012. “Jews DO control the media.” The Times of Israel, July 1; http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jews-do-control-the-media/

Friedman, Milton. 1985a. “Capitalism and the Jews,” in Morality of the Market: Religious and Economic Perspectives, Walter E. Block , Geoffrey Brennan and Kenneth Elzinga, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, pp. 401-418.

Friedman, Milton. 1985b. “Reply to Frankel,” in Morality of the Market: Religious and Economic Perspectives, Walter E. Block , Geoffrey Brennan and Kenneth Elzinga, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, pp. 443-446.

Friedman, Milton. 1985c.”Discussion,” in Morality of the Market: Religious and Economic Perspectives, Walter E. Block , Geoffrey Brennan and Kenneth Elzinga, eds., Vancouver: The Fraser Institute

Gabler, Neal. 1989. An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood; Anchor

Hayek, Friedrich A. 1988. The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press

Hayek, Friedrich A. 1990. The Intellectuals and Socialism, Fairfax, VA: Institute for Humane Studies; reprinted from the University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 16, No. 3, Spring 1949; http://mises.org/document/1019

Lefkowitz, Jay P. 1993. “Jewish Voters and the Democrats,” Commentary, April, Vol. 95, No. 4, pp. 38-41

Liggio, Leonard P. 1997. “Market and Money in Jewish and Christian Thought in the Hellenistic and Roman Ages,” An Austrian in France: Festschrift in honour of Jaques Garello, Kurt R. Leube, Angelo M. Petroni and James S. Sadowsky, eds., La Rosa, pp. 283-294 (originally published in The Christian Vision: Man and Morality, T.J. Burke, ed., Hillsdale, MI: the Hillsdale College Press, 1986.

Lilla, Mark. 2001. The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics, New York: New York Review Books

MacDonald, Kevin. 1998. The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements, New York: Praeger

Mises, Ludwig von. 1972. The Anti-Capitalist Mentality, South Holland, IL: Libertarian Press

Nozick, Robert. 1997. “Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism,” in Socratic Puzzles, Cambridge: Harvard University Press

Podhoretz, Norman. 2009. “Why are Jews Liberals?” Wall Street Journal. September 10;



Rothbard, Murray N. 1990. “Concepts of the Role of Intellectuals In Social Change Toward Laissez Faire.”  The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2, Fall, pp. 43-67.

Sombart, Werner. 1913. The Jews and Modern Capitalism, London: Unwin

Stein, Ben and Benjamin Stein. 1979. The View from Sunset Boulevard: America As Brought To You By The People Who Make Television; Basic Books

Twain, Mark. 1898. “Concerning the Jews.”Harper’s Magazine. March;


Van den Haag, Ernest. 2000/2001. “The Hostility of Intellectuals to Capitalism,” The Intercollegiate Review, Vo. 36, Nos. 1-2, Fall/Spring, pp. 56-63


4:44 pm on September 16, 2020

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From: Rod Peet

Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2020 6:08 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Comparisons of utility

Dear Walter,

Your recent writing on interpersonal comparisons of utility prompted a question in my mind that I think is related to this. And may actually have been answered in your writing. If so I overlooked it. Your examples have two parties involved. What if there is a third party?

If I trade my watch for your tie we are both better off. We each obtained something we valued more that what we gave up. Is society better off? Has wealth increased even though nothing new was created?

And does it follow that any intervention in the transaction by a third party diminishes whatever new wealth might have been created?  Especially since that third party will demand a fee for his “services”. I think this negates any claim by the government that it can improve people lives.

Thank you for not only providing a wealth of information but showing how to think about it. You have increased my wealth enormously even though we have exchanged nothing but words.


Rod Peet, Jr.

Dear Rod:

I don’t think that bringing a third person into the mix changes the principle, and interpersonal comparisons of utility are invalid. But, it’s good to bring in this new dimension.

Best regards,


here’s a bit of a biblio for you:

Barnett, 2003; Gordon, 1993; Herbener, 1979; Rothbard, 1997

Barnett, William II. 2003. “The Modern Theory of Consumer Behavior: Ordinal or Cardinal,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics; Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring, pp. 41- 63. http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae6_1_3.pdf

Gordon, David. 1993. “Toward a Deconstruction of Utility and Welfare Economics,” The Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 99-112; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/RAE6_2_4.pdf

Herbener, Jeffrey M. 1979. “The Pareto Rule and Welfare Economics,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 10 Num. 1, pp. 79-106; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/RAE10_1_4.pdf

Rothbard. Murray N. 1997 [1956]. “Toward a Reconstruction of Utility and Welfare Economics.” reprinted in “The Logic of Action” Vol. I. Lyme, NH: Edward Elgar. pp. 211-254; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/toward.pdf

Dear :

Best regards,



2:28 am on September 16, 2020

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Letter 1

From: M C <mcuneo86@gmail.com>

Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2020 4:58 PM

To: walter block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Oklahoma supreme court decision

Do you have any links or info on a rothbardian approach to the topic of jurisdiction? For example what happened today with the supreme court. Apparently a rape case went to trial and the defense was oklahoma lacked proper jurisdiction. Never thought about this from a libertarian perspective. Also your quick thoughts or opinion would be enlightening and informative. Thanks!

Off the cuff I think if a rape occurs it wouldnt matter who has jurisdiction but that might be wrong from a pure legal perspective. Not a lawyer haha. Take care.

Letter 2

On Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 8:12 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Mike:

I think the issue here is not really the (alleged??) rape; that’s just the specific case. The real issue is, who has sovereignty over Eastern Oklahoma. From an anarcho-capitalist Rothbardian point of view, it would be neither the Indian tribe, nor the government of the state of Oklahoma nor the US govt. The jurisdication would be, rather, a private defense agency in the area.

Here’s how I rank the jurisdictional priority

a. a private defense agency in the area.

b. a private defense agency in the area.


d.the US

I pick Oklahoma over the US on grounds of decentralization. I choose the tribe over either level of government because at least so far, they have violated rights far less than these other two

Best regards,


Letter 3

From: M C <mcuneo86@gmail.com>

Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2020 7:15 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Oklahoma supreme court decision

Interesting. So what would happen if, say, a private defense agency catches a robber in the act, but the victim isn’t a customer. I’d imagine courts would still hear the case and toss out “jurisdiction?”

Letter 4

Dear Mike:

There’s a large literature on how private courts, defense agencies, would operate.

You can start with this:

Murphy, Robert P. 2013. “Where Are the Rothbardian Defense Agencies?” December 14;

Best regards,


Here’s more of a bibliography:


Anderson and Hill, 1979; Benson, 1989, 1990; Block, 2007, 2011; Block and Fleisher, 2010; Casey, D., 2010, 2016; Casey, G., 2012; Chodorov, pp. 216–239; DiLorenzo, 2010; England, 2013; Gregory, 2011; Guillory & Tinsley, 2009; Hasnas, 1995; Heinrich, 2010; Higgs, 2009, 2012, 2013; Hoppe, 2008, 2011; Huebert, 2010; King, 2010; Kinsella, 2009; Long, 2004; McConkey, 2013; Molyneux, 2008; Molyneux and Badnarik, 2009; Murphy, 2005; 2010, 2013A, 2013B, 2014; Paul, 2008; Rockwell, 2014A, 2014B; Rothbard, 1965, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1998; Shaffer, 2012, pp. 224-235; Sloterdijk, 2010; Spooner, 1870; Stringham, 2007; Tannehill, 1984; Tinsley, 1998-1999; Wenzel, 2013

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://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_37.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; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block167.html

Casey, Doug. 2010. “Doug Casey on Anarchy.” March 31; http://www.caseyresearch.com/cwc/doug-casey-anarchy

Casey, Doug. 2016.  “Why Do We Need Government?” January 19; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/01/doug-casey/ascendancy-sociopaths/

Casey, Gerard. 2012. Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State. Bloomsbury Academic; http://www.amazon.com/dp/1441144676/ref=as_li_tf_til?tag=lewrockwell&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=1441144676&adid=157FYFSMK265EK398X47&&ref-refURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lewrockwell.com%2Flewrockwell-show%2Ftag%2FGerard-Casey%2F

Chodorov, Frank. 1962. “Taxation Is Robbery.” Out of Step: The Autobiography of an Individualist, The Devin-Adair Company, New York, pp. 216–239]; http://www.mises.org/etexts/taxrob.asp

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

England, Randy. 2013.  „The state: what can we replace it with?” March 31; https://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/134782.html

Gregory, Anthony. 2011. “Abolish the Police.” May 26; https://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. Vol. 1, No. 12, pp. 1-40; 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 199-235;


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; https://www.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs128.html

Higgs, Robert. 2012. “What is the point of my libertarian anarchism?” January 16;


Higgs, Robert. 2013. “The State—Crown Jewel of Human Social Organization.”


Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2018. Getting Libertarianism Right. Auburn, AL: Mises Institute

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

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2011. “State or Private Law Society.” April 10;


Huebert, Jacob. 2010. Libertarianism Today. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger; http://www.amazon.com/Libertarianism-Today-Jacob-H-


King, Seth. 2010. “Daily Anarchist Interviews Walter E. Block,” September 9;


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” https://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.”


Molyneux, Stefan versus Michael Badnarik. 2009. “How much government is necessary.” July 5


Murphy, Robert P. 2019.  “Austrian School vs. ‘Law & Economics’ on Product Safety.” October 11; https://mises.org/wire/austrian-school-vs-%E2%80%9Claw-economics-product-safety

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

Robert P. 2010. “Overrating Government Service.” March 15;


Murphy, Robert P. 2013A. “Where Are the Rothbardian Defense Agencies?” December 14;

Murphy, Robert P. 2013B. “Drug Gangs and Private Law.” December 17;


Murphy, Robert P. 2014. “Randians versus Rothbardians.” December 22;


Rockwell, Jr., Llewellyn H. 2014A. Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto. Auburn, AL: Rockwell Communications LLC; http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KN0K6EM/ref=as_sl_pd_tf_lc?tag=lewrockwell&camp=213381&creative=390973&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=B00KN0K6EM&adid=0DPBHVW4EYKWN86D77DV&&ref-refURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lewrockwell.com%2F%3Fpost_type%3Darticle%26p%3D499066%26preview%3Dtrue

Rockwell, Jr., Llewellyn H. 2014B. “What Libertarianism Is, and Isn’t.” March 31; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/03/lew-rockwell/what-libertarianism-is-and-isnt/

Rothbard, Murray N. 1965. “The Anatomy of the State.”  Rampart  Journal, Summer, pp. 1‑24.  Reprinted in Tibor R. Machan (ed.), The Libertarian Alternative.  Chicago: Nelson‑Hall Co., 1974, pp. 69‑93; http://mises.org/easaran/chap3.asp

Rothbard, Murray N. 1973. For a New Liberty, Macmillan, New York; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/newliberty.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; https://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard133.html

Rothbard, Murray N. 1977. “Do you hate the state?” The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 10, No. 7, July; https://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

Shaffer, Butler. 2012. The Wizards of Ozymandias: Reflections on the Decline and Fall. Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute; http://library.mises.org/books/Butler%20Shaffer/The%20Wizards%20of%20Ozymandias_Vol_2.pdf

Sloterdijk, Peter. 2010.  “The Grasping Hand: The modern democratic state pillages its productive citizens.” Winter; http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_1_snd-democratic-state.html

Stringham, Edward, ed. 2007. Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice, Somerset, NJ: Transaction Publishers; http://www.amazon.com/Anarchy-Law-Political-Economy-Choice/dp/1412805791

Tannehill, Morris and Linda Tannehill. [1970] 1984. The Market for Liberty, New York: Laissez Faire Books; https://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;


Private courts arbitration Private courts::

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Benson, Bruce L.  1990.  The Enterprise of Law:  Justice Without the State.  San Francisco:  Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy.

Benson, Bruce L. 2002. “Justice without Government: The Merchant Courts of Medieval Europe and Their Modern Counterparts,” printed in Beito, Gordon and Tabarrok (editors) /The Voluntary City: Choice, Community and Civil Society. / Oakland, CA: The Independent Institute pp. 127 – 150.

Berman, Harold J., and Dasser, Felix J. 1990. “The ‘New’ Law Merchant and the ‘Old’: Sources, Content and Legitimacy,” in Thomas E. Carbonneau, ed., Lex Mercatoria and Arbitration: A Discussion of the Law Merchant, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Transnational Juris Publications

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Friedman, David. 1989. The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, La Salle, IL: Open Court, 2nd ed. http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Libertarian/Machinery_of_Freedom/MofF_Chapter_41.html


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2:26 am on September 16, 2020

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Leslie: I have never been married and earn less than my fellow men. How would this be explained?

<< On AVERAGE never married women earn the same as never married men, not the same as all men, including married men. An AVERAGE men are taller and stronger and heavier than women. But, some women are taller, stronger and heavier than most men.

Renato: The Pinochet government, under the advice of the Chicago Boys, did a lot of good things for Chile. How could these good things be highlighted over the bad ones?

<< It is very difficult to compare apples and oranges. Pinochet did good things for the economy. As an economist, hopefully, I can be excused for focusing on economic effects. However, obviously, he did a lot of bad things too. I don’t know of any metric that can compare the two, and declare that overall he was good or bad.

Francisco: You mention that a cook, waiter or sweeper at McDonalds has a low wage because he is less productive. But, I wonder this: suppose there are two cooks at McDonalds, one makes 20 hamburgers an hour and the other makes 50. Apparently the latter is more productive, so shouldn’t he earn more than his workmate who makes only 20? I also have this doubt: in a McDonalds restaurant, there may be one that sweeps, cleans and does everything with great efficiency, while another may be idle and do very little in the day. But at the end of the month they will earn the same wage regardless of their productivity. Why is this happening?

<< If nothing happens, then the 50 guy will get a better job elsewhere, and McD will lose money. Probably, the 50 guy will be promoted to manager. Let’s change your numbers; suppose it is not 20 and 50, but 45 and 50. Then, the costs of doing anything about this might well outweigh the benefits of doing so. Thus, wage equals productivity is only a rough approximation in reality. But in equilibrium, which we never reach but continually more in the direction of, w = prod, exactly.

María: You mentioned that LeBron James earns that amount of money because he is very productive, and that a professor earns less because he is not as productive as LeBron could be. However… I just wonder… isn’t this difference in wages due to shortages? I mean, there are a lot of college professors in the market, but very, very few professional basketball players. So the reason why the latter earn more is not because their supply is lower?

<< good question. But productivity is determined in part by supply. Suppose there were only half as many professors as there now are; then, presumably, the productivity of the last professor would be higher and so would his wage. In my verbal remarks, I only talked of “productivity.” If I were to be more technical, I would have mentioned “marginal revenue productivity” which is decreasing. “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” That is, productivity varies inversely with quantity. More cooks, or professors, and the marginal one has lower productivity. Fewer, and the reverse occurs.

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.


2:24 am on September 16, 2020

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“We read together this libertarian epigraph of Gandhi: (State represents violence in a concentrated and organized manner. The individual has a soul. The state is a soulless machine, and it never renounces violence. Without it, state would not exist). This is the idea of a libertarian and liberal when he talks about state bureaucracy. The “founder” of the libertarians was Murray N. Rothbard, philosopher and american politician. He died in 1995. “No one can attack the person and the freedom of a person”. This may sound like a generic definition, but it isn’t. Mazzilli (Italian journalist) summarizes this: “In addition to private property, a man possesses the property of his own body. He alone can decide on his body, and his properties. Any aggression against a person’s property is an illegitimate act.” Now let’s take an example. A libertarian is in favor of self-defense (he is in favor of possessing weapons) if someone tries to take his property. At the same time, a woman can choose what to do of her uterus, or a man of her kidney. These are their property. You don’t have to be scandalized.

There are distinctions. But the libertarian has a golden principle: Property is an inviolable natural right. Only the owner can decide what to do about their property.

On Americans and their weapons, so many people have written: it is an old west mindset, cowboy mentality, some say. Meanwhile, our Caesar Beccaria, in 1700, wrote: “It’s a wrong idea to ban something that has a thousand advantages but a drawback. Then you should take out the fire, because it burns. We should take the water away, because there are those who drown us. With laws prohibiting possession of weapons, Only good people will have no weapons. Malicious people, yes.” One of the libertarians most scandalizing people is Walter Block. He teaches economics, and has been one of the prominent exponents of the American

Libertarian Party. Defending the undefendable, his best seller, was published in Italy by “LiberiLibri”. This booklet with the red cover is very precious. Block preface synthesizes libertarian thought. “it is unlawful to undertake aggressions against non-aggressors. Libertarianism is not pacifism. It does not prohibit the use of violence. Libertarian philosophy condemns those who begin violence.”

The concept of initiating violence is very wide. Taxes are a violation. it is violent who decides to ban the use of drugs, who decides to prohibit pornography.

This we already knew with Antonio Martino, or classical liberals. Block takes a step forward: “An aggression by a majority, remains untruthful”. The market works well, but it doesn’t have a moral. It’s like the fire, quoted by Beccaria. it is useful and also dangerous. “Libertarianism is not a philosophy of life”. For these reasons, Block defends the dealer, the masochist (sublime pages to be read by several Italian politicians), the abusive taxi driver, the prostitute, and many more.

Block defends all these people using logic. The postponement is very interesting. this was written by him 15 years after the release of the book, 23 years after the book’s creation. There is a mea culpa. Block does not deny the libertarian being. He admits to be ashamed of some chapters (eg prostitution). He is not ashamed of the most controversial chapters (eg the corrupt policeman).

“I understand where I was wrong: but I’m not just a libertarian, I’m also a cultural conservative”. These two universes, for Prof. Block, aren’t incompatible. The Bestseller have a sequel, “Defending the Undefendable 2”. Ron Paul writes in the preface: “Many libertarians will be shocked by Block’s statements”. In the 7 chapters Block defends: BP, smokers, human organ merchant, child salesman, etc.

You do not have to be scared. In 1976, when the first book came out, Block said the heroin pusher should not go to jail. The pusher works because there are those who require this service. There was a strong scandal between moderates, progressives, conservatives. Hayek and Rothbard appreciated the book.

Block adores creating controversy. He also has a sense of humor. Block highlights a principle. “My goal was simple and clear: to appreciate libertarianism by applying it to difficult cases”. Among the most interesting chapters is where he talks about homophobia. Block discusses a ruling against sexual discrimination. Boy scouts had removed a homosexual boss. Block defends everyone’s sexual tastes. Block, however, believes that any organization can discriminate whoever wants. “We all discriminate in some way. Based on honesty, beauty, talent, etcetera.” Block, but also the Supreme Court of the United States, believe that boy scouts had the right to dismiss a gay. It is not a politically correct thesis”. See here.

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.


2:23 am on September 16, 2020

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