≡ Menu

How Is It That I Have A Large Bibliography On Many Subjects of Interest to Austro-libertarians?

From: E
Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2019 7:47 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Biblio at the ready

Doc Block,

Your responses to questions most always include a bibliography for addition reading/reference. Purely out of curiosity, how do you organize your bibliography for yourself that you can quickly grab the source/link?  Excel spreadsheet?  Word doc?  There’s obviously hundreds if not thousands of references at your fingertips and when reading the specificity of the questions posed to you, one might think “inquirer has found the one topic WB hasn’t ever addressed!”…only to see 20+ references that touch on the topic directly (exact example) and/or indirectly (exact theory). How do you do it?!

Regards, E

Dear E:

Word doc. Thanks for your kind words. The secret of my success in this regard is that I’ve been at it for a long, long time. My first publication was in 1969. That is 50 years ago. I started collecting bibliography then. So, I’ve got a lot of it. Also, I publish a lot. I’ve done almost 600 refereed journal articles, about 25 books, and literally thousands of op eds. And, I add my own material to my reference section. Hence, when people ask me about topics, and the Austro-libertarian perspective on them, I’m usually able to furnish them with lots of reading material.

Best regards,



1:16 am on May 14, 2019

Please follow and like us:

P, who shall remain anonymous, wrote to my friend Tom Woods, asking him for advice on careers in Austrian economics. Although Tom has contributed more to this discipline than most Austrian economists, and, certainly, more than most economists in the entire field, he is not really an economist (his Ph.D. is in history, not economics), and does not know all that much about this issue, careers in Austrian economics. So, he asked me to respond to P. I am honored that Tom thought about me in this context, and was happy to respond to P’s query.

Here is a very small smattering of Tom’s contribution to the dismal science:

Woods, Thomas E. Jr. 2009. “Krugman Failure, Not Market Failure” June 19; https://www.lewrockwell.com/woods/woods116.html

Woods, Thomas E. Jr. 2009A. Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse. Washington D.C.: Regnery Publishing

Woods, Thomas E. Jr. 2009B. “Response to the ‘Market Failure’ Drones” June 10; http://mises.org/story/3503Here is the correspondence:

From: P

Date: Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 10:46 AM

Subject: Careers in Austrian Economics

To: Tom Woods <tom@tomwoods.com>

Dear Tom,

I’ve been listening to your podcasts and reading your books for years and I have to say thank you!  I’ve learned so much about economics and it’s been so valuable to me. I’ve become so passionate, I’m considering going back to school to pursue an education in economics.  The only problem is: I don’t know what I would do with my degree!!  Can you point me towards any resources or people that could help me?  I love debating and researching, but so far, it seems like teaching econ is the only real path o ce you have the degree.

Thank you again,


From: Thomas Woods [mailto:tom@tomwoods.com]

Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 9:47 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Fwd: Careers in Austrian Economics

Walter, how would you advise this fellow?

From: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu]

Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 1:04 PM

To: Thomas Woods

Cc: P

Subject: RE: Careers in Austrian Economics

Dear P:

I, too, have learned lots from Tom, so I’m honored he asked me to respond.

There’s LOTS you can do with an undergrad degree in econ.

1.go to grad school and become an econ prof.

2.go to law school, which opens up a lot of avenues beside practicing law (econ majors do well in the LSATs)

3.go directly to a wall street job, or a job in a bank, insurance company, large corporation producing just about anything

4.given that you’re a libertarian, work for the LP (Mises caucus), or the libertarian caucus of the GOP

5.work for a libertarian think tank such as the Mises Institute, the Cato Institute, CEI, PERC; there are also some 50 libertarian think tanks, one in each of the 50 states; in Louisiana, it is the Pelican Institute. There must be another dozen or so libt think tanks in Wash DC and another two dozen spread around the country. There’s a few dozen in other countries (Fraser Institute in Canada), even one in Cuba, of all places

If you need more on this, please feel free to get back to me.

In case you do this, please consider coming to study with me:

Block, Walter E. 2017. “C’mon Down To New Orleans; The Water’s Fine. Enroll at Loyola University.” June 27;

C’mon Down To New Orleans; The Water’s Fine. Enroll at Loyola University

Loyola Economics Students Published Widely in Refereed Journals; http://www.loyno.edu/news/story/2017/7/17/3962


Block, Walter. 2017. “The Best Place to Study Undergraduate Economics.” June 30; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2017/06/the-best-place-to-study-undergraduate.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Wenzel, Robert. 2017. Interview with Walter E. Block. “The Inside Scoop on Studying Economics at Loyola University-New Orleans” September 3;



Block, Walter E. 2008. “Attention Students: Should You Get Your Ph.D. and Become a Professor?” June 28; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block104.html (debate with Gary North) https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/young-person-saved-from-academia/;


Top Ten Contemporary Academics Helping The Political Right (#8)


https://www.literature-map.com/max+stirner.html Literature map; some interesting writers

100 Most Influential Libertarians: A Newsmax/FreedomFest List (#46)


WEB Scholarship: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/12/introducing-walter-e-block-scholarship.html

Block, Walter E. 2018. “Scholarship Opportunity: Spring 2019 New Business Students!” December 15; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/12/walter-e-block/scholarship-opportunity-spring-2019-new-business-students/

Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “An Opportunity to Study Under a Libertarian Great.” December 11;


Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Introducing the Walter E. Block Scholarship.” December 11;


Our economics department: http://www.business.loyno.edu/bios/faculty?field_bio_program_filter_value=Economics

Walter E. Block is Harold E. Wirth Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans, and senior fellow at the Mises Institute. He earned his PhD in economics at Columbia University in 1972. He has taught at Rutgers, SUNY Stony Brook, Baruch CUNY, Holy Cross and the University of Central Arkansas. He is the author of more than 500 refereed articles in professional journals, two dozen books, and thousands of op eds. He lectures widely on college campuses, delivers seminars around the world and appears regularly on television and radio shows.  He is the Schlarbaum Laureate, Mises Institute, 2011; and has won the Loyola University Research Award (2005, 2008) and the Mises Institute’s Rothbard Medal of Freedom, 2005; and the Dux Academicus award, Loyola University, 2007.

Prof. Block counts among his friends Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard. He was converted to libertarianism by Ayn Rand. Block is old enough to have once met Ludwig von Mises, and shaken his hand. Block has never washed that hand since.  So, if you shake his hand (it’s pretty dirty, but what the heck) you channel Mises.

Block is a leading Austrian School economist and an international leader of the freedom movement. His earliest work Defending the Undefendable (first edition Fleet 1976, latest edition Mises 2008, translated in 12 languages) is now, more than 30 years later, still regarded as a classic of libertarianism. This collection of essays, which argues in behalf of societal villains as economic scapegoats based on the principles of nonaggression, forces its reader to think and to rethink his initial knee-jerk emotional responses, and to gain a new and far sounder appreciation of economic theory and of the virtues and operations of the free market economy. Block’s writing was inspired by Henry Hazlitt, the author of the most widely read economics text Economics in One Lesson. Block’s latest book is: Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty.

Block has been a fixture in the libertarian movement for some four Decades. He actually met Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek, and was friends with, and mentored by, Murray Rothbard.  His contributions to academic libertarianism and to Austrian economics have been prodigious. Block’s writings continue to challenge the conventional wisdom (or ignorance) of how economics works and will retain its freshness for decades to come.  His public speaking style has been described as a combination of that of Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce and Murray Rothbard

Dr. Block has written over 500 articles for peer reviewed refereed journals, some two dozen books, and literally thousands of op eds for magazines and newspapers. Block appears widely on radio and television. He is a contributor to such scholarly journals as The Review of Austrian Economics, Journal of Libertarian Studies, The Journal of Labor Economics, and the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He is currently Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics, College of Business Administration, at Loyola University New Orleans.

Top Ten Contemporary Academics Helping The Political Right (#8)


https://www.literature-map.com/max+stirner.html Literature map; some interesting writers

100 Most Influential Libertarians: A Newsmax/FreedomFest List (#46)


Autobiography: https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block21.html

Best regards,



4:55 pm on May 13, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Physics Major, Interested in Economics, Intellectual Property, Space Exploration

From: K
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 8:29 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Physics major interested in economics

Good evening Dr. Block,

My name is K and I’m currently an undergraduate pursuing my B.S. in physics at the University of XYZ. I guess I’m a bit of an Austrian “hobbyist” and I’ve been reading and watching a lot of lectures on Austrian economics from the Mises Institute. When I’m not busy with physics I try to learn more about the Austrian approach to the free market and the effects of interventionism, that being said, you and your Mises Institute colleagues have lead me to becoming an “anarcho-capitalist”. I must say, thank you for leading me to the light.

I’ll cut to the chase here though. So in my senior astrophysics class we have been given an assignment where we had to read a paper titled “The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Astrosociology and Cultural Aspects”. In this paper many things are discussed in the context of “first contact” and economics is briefly touched on, and I mean briefly, which put a question in my mind. I wrote a small essay on what I called “astroeconomics” for the opinion section of the assignment where we were asked to answer a question about what we think would be important in such a scenario. But my question to you is how would an Austrian go about a free market between earth and some other intelligent species? What would be used for money in a situation where we can’t trade anything other than information for quite a while?

My premise was that after first contact had been established, inclined entrepreneurs with access to a powerful signal transmitter could begin free trade. I suggested that maybe we trade historical, literary and scientific information for things such as schematics for new devices or vessels. Obviously this relies on them being interested enough to make such trades.

Has this question ever been analyzed from the Austrian perspective and if so, could you lead me to resources? I found this topic extremely interesting and I understand that it’s purely theoretical but I would like the input of a true Austrian. I’m under no time constraint for this so it’s more of a personal interest as a free market inclined physicist.

I have heard that you have published hundreds of papers with undergraduates and in my opinion, that is incredible. Maybe this would make for an interesting topic for your own undergrads.

Again, I thank you for what you and your colleagues have taught me in my spare time. I hope that this finds you well and I look forward to any future correspondence. I leave you with my personal favorite quote of yours: “If it moves, privatize it. If it doesn’t move, privatize it.”

Best regards,


Dear K:

Fascinating letter. Thanks for your kinds words.

You might want to read this book:

Nelson, Peter Lothian and Walter E. Block. 2018. Space capitalism: the case for privatizing space travel and colonization. Palgrave Macmillan; https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-74651-7; https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/3319746502/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&condition=new&qid=1531187909&sr=8-1&linkCode=sl2&tag=economicpolicyjournal-20&linkId=959e913e476f48b289a16223d557a826; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/07/new-walter-block-book-space-capitalism.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29;





I hope and trust you don’t mind that I copy my publisher and my co author on this.

Now to answer your question (sorry, I couldn’t help inserting a commercial ().

As an Austrian economist, I’d say we’d first start off with barter. After the “double coincidence of wants” (look this up) reared its ugly head once too often, we’d develop a money with the ETs.

But we wouldn’t trade info, nor could this ever become a money. That’s because info is part of intellectual property (IP), and that cannot become an economic good. I now speak not as an Austrian, but as a libertarian.

Here are some readings on IP:

Block, 2013; Boldrin and Levine, 2008; De Wachter, 2013; Kinsella, 2001, 2012;  Long, 1995; Menell, 2007A, 2007B; Mukherjee and Block, 2012; Navabi, 2015; Palmer, 1989.

Block, Walter E. 2013. Defending the Undefendable II: Freedom in all realms; Terra Libertas Publishing House; isbn: 978-1-908089-37-3; http://store.mises.org/Defending-the-Undefendable-2-P10932.aspx

Boldrin, Michele & David K. Levine. 2008. Against Intellectual Monopoly. http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/against.htm; http://mises.org/store/Against-Intellectual-Monopoly-P552.aspx

De Wachter, Joren. 2013. “IP is a thought crime.” at TEDxLeuven. June 6;

Kinsella, N. Stephan. 2001. “Against Intellectual Property,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2, Winter, pp. 1-53; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/15_2/15_2_1.pdf

Kinsella, N. Stephan. 2012. “Economic Freedom of the World Rankings and Intellectual Property: The United States’ Bad Ranking is Even Worse Than Reported.” http://c4sif.org/2012/09/economic-freedom-of-the-world-indexes-and-intellectual-property-the-united-states-bad-ranking-is-even-worse-than-reported/

Long, Roderick. 1995. “The Libertarian Case Against Intellectual Property Rights.” Formulations. Vol. 3, No. 1, Autumn; http://libertariannation.org/a/f31l1.html

Menell, Peter S. 2007. “Intellectual Property and the Property Rights Movement.” Regulation, Fall; http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv30n3/v30n3-6.pdf

Menell, Peter S. 2007. “The Property Rights Movement’s Embrace of Intellectual Property: True Love or Doomed Relationship?” Ecology Law Quarterly, Vol. 34.

Mukherjee, Jay and Walter E. Block. 2012. “Libertarians and the Catholic Church on Intellectual Property Laws.” Journal of Political Philosophy Las Torres de Lucca. Issue No. 1, July-December, pp. 59-75;


Navabi, Ash. 2015. “To Taylor, Love Freedom.” June 23;


Palmer, Tom. 1989. “Intellectual Property: A Non-Posnerian Law and Economics Approach” Hamline Law Review, Spring, Vol 12 No. 2.

Please send me a copy of your paper, when available.

Best regards,



1:44 am on May 13, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Dear Jess:

Clean up GOVERNMENT parks? You urge this on libertarian grounds?

In this book I make the case for LITTERING public parks:

Block, Walter E. 2008 [1976]. Defending the Undefendable. Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute; available for free here: http://mises.org/books/defending.pdf; http://LPColorado.us7.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=4c7a023fc9c237b65e459feaa&id=d38e925ad8&e=2e4a305fd0; http://mises.org/document/3490/Defending-the-Undefendable?utm_source=Ludwig%20von%20Mises%20Institute%20of%20Canada%20Daily%20List&utm_campaign=99baa4361a-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6c2fea3584-99baa4361a-209944333; John Stossel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DJ7wFENHkc; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/11/friedrich-hayek-playing-chess-with.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29; http://bit.ly/BlockDefending2; file:///C:/Users/WBlock/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.Outlook/6I1PKZ08/Defending_the_Undefendable_2018_CS.pdf

Where do you think I went wrong?

I think I know where the LP went wrong on this issue

Best regards,


This spokesman for the LP has not yet seen fit to respond to this query of mine.

From: Jess Mears [mailto:jess.mears@lp.org]
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2019 9:28 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Did you see us in the news?


On January 8th, we sent out an email asking our supporters to consider pitching in during the government shutdown to help clean up the national parks.

Libertarians responded quickly and 28 park clean up events were organized in just days from California to Maine.

Here’s a headline from North Carolina:

And in Tennessee, Libertarians were asked by the National Park Service to leave:

Iconic national treasures like Yosemite were part of the clean up effort:

And from the DC National Mall clean up, this video that has been viewed over 408,000 times on Facebook alone:

These park clean ups prove that when the Libertarian grassroots is called to action, the response is incredible. Kathleen Smith in Pennsylvania said on Facebook, “it is evidence that being seen in our communities helping to solve problems wins people over.”

While the shutdown may have ended for now, there will be many opportunities in the future for Libertarians to make an impact.

If you want to see more grassroots mobilization on a national scale from the Libertarian Party, please chip in $10, $25, or $250 to fund our next effort.

Our goal is to raise $3,000. Will you help us?

Through our actions, we can win hearts and minds for liberty.

In Liberty,

Jess Mears

Membership Manager

Libertarian National Committee

To share this message, click here.


3:19 am on May 12, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Are Democrats Georacists? Yes!

According to Joe Biden the U.S. Has An ‘Obligation’ To Give Healthcare To ‘Undocumented’ Immigrants

This response was written by a friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous:

What I don’t understand is why we have to wait for citizens of foreign countries to move to the US illegally before giving them cradle-to-grave welfare. Why can’t we just put the whole world on US cradle-to-grave welfare, but they can stay in their own countries? Medicare for all, globally, but no need to come to America to get it. Seems like the Democrats are only willing to support the 3rd Worlders who have the means to get to the United States. That’s kind of elitist and inherently classist, if you ask me. A subsistence farmer living in Mozambique has every bit as much right to healthcare and education and housing and food as someone lucky enough to have been born in Guatemala. Are Democrats simply georacists? I don’t get it.


12:42 pm on May 9, 2019

Please follow and like us:

On Hans Hoppe’s Magnificent Argument From Argument

(read from the bottom up)

From: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu]
Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2019 5:32 PM
To: P
Subject: RE: Bodily rights vs property rights

Dear Peter:

I think Hans Hoppe’s work on argumentation ethics is the best shot at converting people to libertarianism. Talk about “elegant and coherent,” and you are talking about Hans’ brilliant argumentation ethics.

In any case, here’s a biblio on the argument from argument:


Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1989. “The Ethical Justification of Capitalism and Why Socialism Is Morally Indefensible,” chapter 7, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1993. The Economics and Ethics of Private Property.

Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers

http://hanshoppe.com/publications/liberty_symposium.pdf in Liberty

Kinsella, Stephan. Defense of Hans’ argumentation ethics vis a vis Murphy and Callahan


Block, Walter E. 2004. “Are Alienability and the Apriori of Argument Logically Incompatible?” Dialogue, Vol. 1, No. 1.



Argument from argument:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discourse_ethics

Arguementation ethics, Argument from argument:


hics”; see www.HansHoppe.com, go to publications, topics, argumentation ethics.


Hans: argument from argument: arg from arg argumentation ethics http://www.hanshoppe.com/sel-topics.php

Hoppe’s “argumentation ethic” defense of libertarian rights was first published, to my knowledge, in three articles in 1988: “On the Ultimate Justification of the Ethics of Private Property,” Liberty (September 1988); “The Justice of Economic Efficiency,” Austrian Economics Newsletter (Winter 1988); and a longer piece, “From the Economics of Laissez Faire to the Ethics of Libertarianism,” in: Walter E. Block  & Llewellyn H. Rockwell, eds., Man, Economy, and Liberty: Essays in Honor of Murray N. Rothbard (Mises Institute, 1988). These were included as chapters 10, 9, and 8, respectively, of Hoppe’s book The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (Kluwer, 1993). The most definitive elaboration of Hoppe’s theory is found in “The Ethical Justification of Capitalism and Why Socialism Is Morally Indefensible,” chapter 7 of his monumental A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism (Kluwer 1989; more info; hereinafter referred to as TSC ). This chapter is similar to the 1988 chapter in Man, Economy, and Liberty. These and other materials are available at Hoppe’s website.

Hoppe, 1988A, 1988B, 1988C, 1988D, 1993, 1995

Hoppe, Hans Hermann. 1988A. “On the Ultimate Justification of the Ethics of Private Property,” Liberty, September

Hoppe, Hans Hermann. 1988B. “The Justice of Economic Efficiency,” Austrian Economics Newsletter. Winter

Hoppe, Hans Hermann. 1988C. “From the Economics of Laissez Faire to the Ethics of Libertarianism,” in: Walter E. Block  & Llewellyn H. Rockwell, eds., Man, Economy, and Liberty: Essays in Honor of Murray N. Rothbard.

Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute.

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1988D. “Utilitarians and Randians vs Reason.” Liberty

(November): 53–54;


Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1993. The Economics and Ethics of Private Property.

Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 204-207

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1995. Economic Science and the Austrian Method. Auburn,

AL: The Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://www.mises.org/esandtam/pes1.asp;


These were included as chapters 10, 9, and 8, respectively, of Hoppe’s book The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (Kluwer, 1993). The most definitive elaboration of Hoppe’s theory is found in “The Ethical Justification of Capitalism and Why Socialism Is Morally Indefensible,”

chapter 7 of his monumental A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism (Kluwer 1989; more info; hereinafter referred to as TSC ). This chapter is similar to the 1988 chapter in Man, Economy, and Liberty. These and other materials are available at Hoppe’s website.

Bibliography, supporters of Hoppe::  argumentation ethics::

Block, 2004, 2011; Gordon, 1988; Kinsella, 1996, 2002; Meng, 2002; Rothbard, 1988, Van Dun, 2009.

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Are Alienability and the Apriori of Argument Logically Incompatible?” Dialogue, Vol. 1, No. 1; http://www.uni-svishtov.bg/dialog/2004/256gord6.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Rejoinder to Murphy and Callahan on Hoppe’s Argumentation Ethics” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 631–639; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_31.pdf

Eabrasu, Marian. 2009.  “A Reply to the Current Critiques Formulated Against Hoppe’s Argumentation Ethics,” Libertarian Papers. Vol. I, No. 1; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/20-eabrasu-critiques-argumentation-ethics/

Gordon, David. 1988. “Radical & Quasi-Kantian.” Liberty (November): 46–47; http://www.libertyunbound.com/sites/files/printarchive/Liberty_Magazine_November_1988.pdf

Kinsella, Stephan. 1996. “New Rationalist Directions in Libertarian Rights Theory.” Journal of Libertarian Studies 12 (12): 323–38.

Kinsella, N. Stephan. 2002 [2011]. “Defending Argumentation Ethics: Reply to Murphy & Callahan,” Anti-state.com, Sept. 19 [July 2];


Kinsella, Stephan N. 2011. “Argumentation Ethics and Liberty: A Concise Guide.” May 27; http://mises.org/daily/5322/

Meng, Jude Chua Soo. 2002. “Hopp(e)ing Onto New Ground: A Rothbardian Proposal for Thomistic Natural Law as the Basis for Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Praxeological Defense of Private Property.” Working paper, http://www.mises.org/journals/scholar/meng.pdf

Rothbard, Murray. 1988. “Beyond Is and Ought.” Liberty (November): 44–45; http://mises.org/daily/4629/Beyond-Is-and-Ought;


Van Dun, Frank. 2009. “Argumentation Ethics and The Philosophy of Freedom.”

Libertarian Papers, No. 19;



Friedman, 1988; Murphy and Callahan, 2006; Steele, 1988; Yeager, 1988.

Friedman, David. 1988. “The Trouble with Hoppe: Some Brief Comments on Hoppe’s Justification of the Private Property Ethic.” Liberty, 2.2, November, 53–54.; http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Libertarian/On_Hoppe.html;


Murphy, Robert P. and Gene Callahan. 2006. “Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Argumentation Ethics: A Critique.” The Journal of Libertarian Studies. Vol.

20, No. 2, Spring, pp. 53-64;


Steele, David Ramsay. 1988. “One Muddle After Another.” Liberty (November):



Hoppe, Hans-Hermann [Conza88]. (2011, September 22). The A priori of Argumention [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx7XUuPrbZo

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann [Property and Freedom Society]. (2016, October 8). Hans Hermann Hoppe – Ethics of Argumentation (PFS 2016) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8UE3QAV8JM

Kinsella, Stephan. 2011. “Argumentation Ethics and Liberty: A Concise  Guide.” May 27; https://mises.org/library/argumentation-ethics-and-liberty-concise-guide

Kinsella, Stephan 2013. “KOL018 | “Libertarian Legal Theory: Property, Conflict, and Society: Lecture 1: Libertarian Basics: Rights and Law” (Mises Academy, 2011).” February 20; http://www.stephankinsella.com/paf-podcast/kol018-libertarian-legal-theory-property-conflict-and-society-lecture-1-libertarian-basics-rights-and-law-mises-academy-2011/

Kinsella, Stephan. 2014. “KOL153 | “The Social Theory of Hoppe: Lecture 1:

Property Foundations” (Mises Academy, 2011).” October 16; http://www.stephankinsella.com/paf-podcast/kol153-the-social-theory-of-hoppe-lecture-1-mises-academy-2011/

Kinsella, Stephan. 2015. ““Argumentation Ethics and Liberty: A Concise  Guide” (2011) and Supplemental Resources.” January 1; http://www.stephankinsella.com/2015/01/argumentation-ethics-and-liberty-a-concise-guide-2011/

Kinsella, Stephan. 2015. “Hoppe’s Argumentation Ethics and Its Critics.”

August 11;


Kinsella, Stephan. 2016. “The Genesis of Estoppel: My Libertarian Rights Theory.” March 22; http://www.stephankinsella.com/2016/03/the-genesis-of-estoppel-my-libertarian-rights-theory/

Best regards,


From: P

Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2019 3:58 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Bodily rights vs property rights

Dear Walter,

For non-libertarians, private property rights as the first port of call for legal dilemmas, e.g in considering abortion, is not reflexive as it is for libertarians. They instead prefer to lean on private property independent rights, such as bodily integrity, autonomy, sovereignty, etc, divorced from ideas such as private property trespass, to use the abortion case.

Do you think that there is any argument to make that shows bodily rights must necessarily stem from private property rights, or at least are devalued by violations of private property rights, such as taxation?

I ask because otherwise libertarian legal theory can certainly become more and more elegant and coherent, but seems like it will be limited in its adoption if it can’t make a case against other theories.

Kind regards, P


1:55 am on May 9, 2019

Please follow and like us:

The Calculation Problem, Reputation, Libel Laws and Libertarianism

(read from the bottom up)

From: Walter Block [mailto:wblock@loyno.edu]
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2019 5:32 PM
To: J
Subject: RE: Does the calculation problem explain politics?

Dear J:

Thanks for your kind words. We may not have solved all these challenges, but we gave it a good kick at the can.

Best regards,


From: J

Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2019 4:37 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Does the calculation problem explain politics?


“I disagree with you that reputation can’t be bought and sold. ” …

I agree that reputation is valued through exchange of service. This is a point that is important to the argument but not critical because there are other contributing factors I see as a weakness to the agencies we advocate for.

“Also, I don’t see how this issue impacts on the case for anarchism” …

I argue, that these reputational agencies are the weak spot in the future we long for, but there is an underutilized class of mitigations. Briefly, I believe one problem is that the proto-statist raiders can generally more easily destroy the reputation of those agencies than vice-versa because they operate openly, and thus are more exposed, almost by definition. Once done, they are left as the best/only alternative to the agencies we all agree work best when allowed to work.

Am I wrong that the value of an anarchistic agency’s reputation per se is more easily destroyed than the value of a money ceteris paribus? If so then can you please refer me to text that explains how statism did form in place of the agencies we advocate for? If I’m wrong about that, then my whole argument is wrong. Either way, there is clearly a chink in the anarchistic armour given the widespread dominance of statism.


J – also an anarchist


In Praise of Walter’s Hard Work:

I have read the chapter you recommended as well as others from you and other like-minded thinkers. I like your video lectures even more. The chapter on marketing was particularly formative for me on this issue of reputation. In my small porcupine/free-stater community you are well-respected as a relentless advocate of greater personal liberty, and overall you are the only famous libertarian with a reputation for responding to inquisitive though less knowledgeable anarcho-capitalists like myself. Thank you for being so patient with such meandering thoughts and for your relentless devotion to the cause of greater liberty.

Related Thoughts

I’m coming at this problem of statism from the perspective of a programmer. We programmers, engineers, and computer scientists deal with issues of complexity theory and data structures which I believe are fundamentally the same as economic issues. I want to know how to optimize and secure the formation, storage and broadcasting of historical ordinal value positions. To that end I have also taken note of the political as well as business cycles common to our society, besides the computer science fundamentals. Periodically, the parasite kills the host and there is political upheaval. I think we can do better, and we can look to innovations in computer science for advancement. Clearly, Bitcoin isn’t a complete answer, nor was the internet. I’m trying to understand why these tools have fallen short of ending the FED, FDA, etcetera and what might a useful tool look like.

On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 4:44 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear J:

There are several ideas here. I disagree with you that reputation can’t be bought and sold. It is. It is called good will. Firms sell for more than their capital equipment based on that type of reputation.

On the other hand, no one owns his reputation, since it consists of the thoughts of other people, and none of us own the thoughts of other people. I make this point in my book Defending I, in the chapter on libel.

Also, I don’t see how this issue impacts on the case for anarchism, which I support.

Best regards,


From: J

Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2019 2:17 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Does the calculation problem explain politics?

The historical review of the agreed values of voluntary exchanges using money is

the best way to anticipate an agreeable value for future planning.

Unfortunately, some goods cannot be exchanged at all but are nonetheless

essential for mutual agreement in ordinal value for any cooperation to happen.

Reputation regarding the evaluation of goods, services, and the behavior of

others is one such non-economic good.

If reputation could be exchanged with the same ease as money, or if a commonly

agreed reputation could persist in spite of aggression, there would tend to be

no state for all cooperation depends in part on having shared non-economic

values to proceed but systematic aggressive cooperation also depends on the

potency of aggression to deprecate voluntary valuation which forces acceptance

of the lesser-of-two-evils.

Is this an old or fallacious idea?

Thank you for your time,


On Thu, Dec 27, 2018 at 1:10 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear J:

Melt this down to 150 words, and I’ll respond

Best regards,


From: J

Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2018 5:26 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Does the calculation problem explain politics?

I have been puzzled by some paradox. There seems to be nothing that government intervention improves, yet it always tends to dominate up to the point of its own collapse or some mysterious forces that limit it only in some places and times. As an anarchist, I’m bothered by the fact that anarchy isn’t the predominant form of all institutions and I have struggled to explain why government exists and what can be done to stop its pernicious effects.

This is part of a multi-part response to try to resolve this. I want to make sure I get my premises correct before proceeding. I am considering the possibility that the arguments around the economic calculation problem explain why there is government and politics, and suggest a solution toward anarchy. I have shared with some libertarian friends who sometimes find my arguments compelling. Perhaps you can rebut the argument or add to it.

I have been thinking of the socialist/economic calculation problem that Mises is so famous for discovering. I know that at small scale communities, smaller than Dunbar’s limit, interpersonal valuation of subjective utility are made to an extent that a stable tribal or Amish society is possible. I wouldn’t claim any methodological soundness of the valuations, I’m just clarifying my thoughts so you might be able to clear up something for us in our NH community. Large communities, like cities must collaborate largely in a decentralized and anonymous way using money to establish the correct ordinal valuation of goods continuously. It’s clear that a few factors are necessary to avoid the socialist calculation problem:

1.         a lack of money manipulation – sound money

2.         a lack of commerce manipulation – liberal exchange of goods

3.         property rights enforcement – exchange is no good if goods are simply stolen, taxed, extorted, or otherwise absconded afterwards

4.         liberal (in the classical sense) exchange of goods using money

I may have missed something or gotten something wrong. For my concerns what matters is that there are certain rules to follow otherwise there is no practical/effective way to order a complex society using economic goods in a sustainable way. To the extent that the rules are followed or to the extent that the economic activity happens outside the confined domain of voluntary exchange for money requires inferences which are ideally based on reverse imputation (valuation based on observed demonstrated preference). These are are necessarily costly transactions to arrive at and never as accurate as reverse imputation. Also, eventually a tipping point is reached and society regresses toward the Crusoe economics of small primitive tribal societies despite their mutual preference otherwise. To correctly place a rubber ducky on the value scale for a city of inhabitants without any sound money, without demonstrated preference, or property rights of the rubber ducky, would take god-like investigative efforts, the valuation couldn’t be fully trusted regardless of the investigative effort,

Here is the first premise: in order for goods to be usefully compared, in ordinal utility, at every size of society, which is measured in terms of individual people, demands voluntary transactions, using sound money, of goods having stable and objectively agreed upon property rights.

I would paraphrase the finding of the economic calculation problem as to the extent any combination of sound money, property rights, and voluntary exchange is forgone is the extent to which inter-personal valuation is more disagreeable. Am I wrong to see this as something that we could order? It seems that socialism fails less miserably in smaller communities suggesting it has diseconomies of scale more than a categorical distinction in effective outcomes from voluntary markets with property rights and sound money. My argument depends on the premise that there is an objective difference between prohibiting all transactions at all times, and prohibiting all but one type of transaction. I don’t think we can say one type of manipulation is more harmful because all manipulation makes comparison difficult or impossible, but we can say less of the same manipulation is better. Once someone destroys your rubber ducky, determining the “correct” remuneration is costly, error prone, and unstable because we are left with the fundamental problem of interpersonal valuations of subjective utility or preference. If the value of money constantly fluctuates from regulation, then likewise remuneration is difficult to assess correctly.

The second premise is that the concomitant complexity or difficulty of valuations that arise from departing from voluntary exchange, property rights, and sound money can be compared ordinally per each departure.

So we could agree that determining the “correct” remuneration for destroyed rubber duckies is less difficult when there are more voluntary transactions of subjectively the same rubber ducky as per the victim, ceteris paribus, than in situations where all people simply abstain from the exchange of rubber duckies.

The only other premise needed is that there are a classification of goods that are by their very nature impossible to directly and objective compare but are nonetheless necessary to exchange in a complex society.

Reputation for respect of others’ property rights is not something that can be exchanged like rubber duckies, but it can be easily destroyed, and without it we are left dealing with the complexities of interpersonal comparisons of subjective utility because nobody will voluntarily exchange with people that cannot be trusted.

I believe this paradox can be resolved in favor of anarchists and doing so will yield a solution to the sate. What are your thoughts? Am I simply unaware of some relevant literature? Did I assume an unsupported premise?

Thank you in advance for any time you devote to helping me understand this,



4:28 pm on May 7, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Let’s Assume the Chicken Littles of the World Are Correct: Global Warming Will Kill Us All. Now What?

(Read from the bottom up)

Dear J:

In our current statist world, we’d have carbon taxes, and subsidies for air, wind, water power.

In the an cap world, assuming this nonsense to be true, we’d be way more draconian: we’d treat anyone who warms the earth like a criminal. Put him in jail. Throw away the key.

Here’s the best article ever written on this sort of thing:

Rothbard, Murray N. 1982. "Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution," Cato Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring; reprinted in Block, Walter E. Ed. Economics and the Environment: A Reconciliation, Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 1990, pp. 233-279; http://mises.org/story/2120; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/lawproperty.pdf; https://mises.org/library/law-property-rights-and-air-pollution-0

Best regards,


Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics

Loyola University New Orleans

6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318

New Orleans, LA 70118


Skype: Walter.Block4

tel: (504) 864-7934

From: J

Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2019 2:29 PM



Subject: Re:

I forgot to mention this part:

My friend is convinced if nothing is done to prevent global warming, ultimately the oceans will be destroyed and then so will most of humanity. I’m sure you’ve encountered people like this. True believers in climate change.

On Sat, 26 Jan 2019 11:57:21 -0800 (PST), “JW” wrote:

Hello Dr. Block,

Thank you very much for your recent help on the evictionism issue

I have a libertarian question I would greatly appreciate your help with.

I have converted a friend to anarcho-capitalism, except for one issue:

climate change.

If we assume he is right for the sake of argument, what do you think

could/should be done about it in:

1) our current statist world


2) in an anarcho-capitalist world

In 1), my friend thinks carbon taxes are the best/only realistic

solution. He doesn’t think regulations or geoengineering are good answers

for various reasons. I’ve suggested tax credits for spending on

“alternative energies”, as well as the Rothbardian property rights

lawsuit approach.

In 2), it seems like the Rothbardian property rights lawsuit approach

(and normal free market entrepreneurialism, inventions, etc.) is the main

solution, as you discuss so well here, correct?


This article supports that view, as well:


Any thoughts on what to do about climate change (assuming it’s a major

threat to humanity) in our current world and a stateless world would be

greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


PS. I donated money for the publication of “Rothbard A-Z” and my name is

listed as a donor. That’s probably as close to libertarian fame as I will

get. 🙂


3:32 pm on May 6, 2019

Please follow and like us:

The Minimum Wage Law: Will Paying Workers More Raise Their Productivity? Not Likely.

From: M
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 11:49 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: On your article in Ethics & Politics

Dear Walter, I’ve just skimmed over your article on the minimum wage law. It’s certainly provocative. A rather basic question strikes me: how is it possible that you do not take into account the increased surplus on labour? Did you considered that the minimum wage has positive effects for the dispute between unions and capitalists? I’m not sure that the minimum wage institution (in the sense of a principle in labour law) does intend to promote employment. I hope that you also write a sequel about how stupid is the neoliberal credo and its everlasting and never-coming-true promise of getting rid of poverty.

Best regards,


Dear M:

That’s because I don’t things there’s much to the theory that paying people more will boost their productivity so that they’ll be worth the higher wage set by law. If there were really true, entrepreneurs would have an incenive to do this in the absense of the minimum wage law.

Best regards,



3:23 pm on May 5, 2019

Please follow and like us:

Voting In Statist Elections IS Compatible With Libertarianism

From: J
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 8:05 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Voting

Caught your article on LRC today. With respect, I believe your answer to DJ is less than fair:

“Do you give the state legitimacy by walking on its roads, using its currency, borrowing books from its library, mailing letters in the US post office? No, of course, not. The same applies to voting.”

Except possibly for your library example, which is minor in this Internet age, “the same” by no means applies to voting.

Voting, as DJ made very clear, is an optional and affirmative act of endorsement of the State. Walking on its roads and using its bogus money and using its postal monopoly are not; they are actions take only because no alternative exists, short of becoming a hermit.



masquerading as its own cure

– Robert LeFevre

Dear J:

We’ll have to agree to disagree with this. What’s wrong with being a hermit, or, for that matter, committing suicide? You don’t have to go that far to refuse to give sanction to the state. Just use credit cards instead of money. Don’t use the post office. Very few people do, nowadays. But wait, you eat food, right? The state is involved with agriculture. Maybe go on a no food diet to be compatible with libertarianism?

Best regards,


Here’s a bibliography on this issue which includes both sides of this debate amongst libertarians:

Pro: Block, 2012; Block and Fryzek, 2015; Rothbard, 1972A, 1972B; Spooner, 1870;

con: McElroy, 2013; Watner, 2000



Block, Walter and Nathan Fryzek. 2015. “Was It Immoral to Vote for Ron Paul? And other libertarian questions and answers.” November 26;  http://www.targetliberty.com/2015/11/was-it-immoral-to-vote-for-ron-paul.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TargetLiberty+%28Target+Liberty%29

Rothbard, Murray N. 1972A. “Should Libertarians Vote?”  Outlook, April, p. 6.

Rothbard, Murray N. 1972B. “Interview.” February 25;


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

McElroy, Wendy. 2013. “The Faux Slavery Analogy to Voting.” July 31;


criticizes Walter E. Block

Watner, Carl. 2000. “Is Voting an Act of Violence?” April, The Voluntaryist. No. 103


Vegetarian, anti https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63NNuG-6-hQ


12:20 pm on May 2, 2019

Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email