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Discussion on Libertarianism with Steve Pinker

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 6:58 AM

To: Steven

Subject: friends

Dear Steve:

I hope and trust, despite this, that we are still friends. In fact, I’m sure of it:

Block, Walter E. 2021. “Did a Harvard professor just refute libertarianism?” September 29; https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/09/did_a_harvard_professor_just_refute_libertarianism.html

Any chance I can convert you to the one true faith, libertarianism?

Best regards,

Walter

From: Pinker, Steven

Sent: Friday, October 15, 2021 1:19 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: RE: friends

Still friends, Walter! Still, taxes and social spending are ubiquitous for a reason. As I argue in Enlightenent Now,

Social spending inoculates citizens against the appeal of communism and fascism. Some of the benefits, like universal education and public health, are public goods that accrue to everyone, not just the direct beneficiaries. Many of the programs indemnify citizens against misfortunes for which they can’t or won’t insure themselves (hence the euphemism “social safety net”). And assistance to the needy assuages the modern conscience, which cannot bear the thought of the Little Match Girl freezing to death, Jean Valjean imprisoned for stealing bread to save his starving sister, or the Joads burying Grampa by the side of Route 66.

Best,

Steve

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Friday, October 15, 2021 1:36 PM

To: ‘Pinker, Steven’

Subject: RE: friends

Dear Steve:

Good to hear from you. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Assistance to the needy, both to inoculate them against bad things, and to help them, is virtuous. But why should govt do that. Charles Murray in his Losing Ground demonstrates that this breaks up the family, especially the black one, which is not a good thing.

As for public goods, in my view this is an economic fallacy (the quote from Rothbard I think is definitive):

Barnett and Block, 2007, 2009; Block, 1983, 2000, 2003; Cowen, 1988; De Jasay, 1989; Fegley, et al, 2021; Holcombe, 1997; Hoppe, 1989; Hummel, 1990; Osterfeld, 1989; Pasour, 1981; Radnitzky, 1989; Rothbard, 1997; Schmidtz, 1991; Sechrest, 2003, 2004A, 2004B, 2007; Tinsley, 1999.

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2007. “Coase and Van Zandt on Lighthouses,” Public Finance Review, Vol. 35, No. 6, November, pp. 710-733

Barnett, William and Walter E. Block. 2009. “Coase and Bertrand on Lighthouses,” Public Choice; 140(1–2):1–13, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11127-008-9375-x

Block, Walter E. 1983. “Public Goods and Externalities: The Case of Roads,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. VII, No. 1, Spring, pp. 1-34; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/7_1/7_1_1.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2000. “Word Watch,” April 20; http://www.mises.org/fullstory.asp?control=414&FS=Word+Watch

Block, Walter E. 2003. “National Defense and the Theory of Externalities, Public Goods and Clubs.” The Myth of National Defense: Essays on the Theory and History of Security Production, Hoppe, Hans-Hermann, ed., Auburn: Mises Institute, pp. 301-334; http://www.mises.org/etexts/defensemyth.pdf

Bibliography. Undated. http://www.googlesyndicatedsearch.com/u/Mises?hl=en&submit.x=0&submit.y=0&q=public%20goods

Cowen, Tyler, ed. 1988. The Theory of Market Failure: A Critical Examination, Fairfax, VA: George Mason University Press; http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Market-Failure-Critical-Examination/dp/0913969133/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200191409&sr=1-1

De Jasay, Anthony. 1989.  Social Contract, Free Ride: A Study of the Public Goods Problem. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press; http://www.amazon.com/Social-Contract-Free-Ride-Paperbacks/dp/0198239122/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200191531&sr=1-1

Fegley, Tate, Kristoffer Mousten Hansen and Karl-Friedrich Israel. 2021. “Rothbard’s Underappreciated Contributions to Public Goods Analysis.” March 2;

https://mises.org/wire/rothbards-underappreciated-contributions-public-goods-analysis

Holcombe, Randall. 1997. “A Theory of the Theory of Public Goods,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 10, No. 1: 1-10; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/RAE10_1_1.pdf

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1989. “Fallacies of the Public Goods Theory and the Production of Security,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IX, No. 1, Winter, pp. 27-46; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/9_1/9_1_2.pdf

Hummel, Jeffrey. 1990. “National Goods vs. Public Goods: Defense, Disarmament and Free Riders,” The Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. IV, pp. 88-122; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae4_1_4.pdf

Osterfeld, David. 1989. “Anarchism and the Public Goods Issue: Law, Courts and the Police,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1, Winter, pp. 47-68; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/9_1/9_1_3.pdf

Pasour, Jr., E.C., 1981, “The Free Rider as a Basis for Government Intervention,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. V, No. 4, Fall, pp. 453-464; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/5_4/5_4_6.pdf

Radnitzky, Gerard. 1989. Review of De Jasay, Anthony. 1989.  Social Contract, Free Ride: A Study of the Public Goods Problem. Cato Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 263-270 (Spring/Summer).

Rothbard, Murray N. 1997. The Logic of Action: Applications and Criticism from the Austrian School, Vol. II, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar

Rothbard’s (1997, 178) reductio absurdum of public goods is as follows: “A and B often benefit, it is held, if they can force C into doing something. . . . [A]ny argument proclaiming the right and goodness of, say, three neighbors, who yearn to form a string quartet, forcing a fourth neighbor at bayonet point to learn and play the viola, is hardly deserving of sober comment.”

Schmidtz, David. 1991. The Limits of Government: An Essay on the Public Goods Argument, Boulder Co: Westview Press

Sechrest, Larry.  2003. “Privateering and National Defense: Naval Warfare for Private Profit”, pages 239-74, The Myth of National Defense: Essays on the Theory and History of Security Production, edited by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama.

Sechrest, Larry.  2004A. “Public Goods and Private Solutions in Maritime History.” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. Vol. 7, No. 2. Summer, 3-27.

http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae7_2_1.pdfhttps://dev.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae7_2_1.pdf

Sechrest, Larry.  2004B. “Private Provision of Public Goods: Theoretical Issues and Some Examples from Maritime History,” ICFAI Journal of Public Finance, August, Vol. II, No. 3, 45- 73; http://www.mises.org/journals/scholar/Sechrest7.pdf

Sechrest, Larry. 2007. “Privately Funded and Built U.S. Warships in the Quasi-War of 1797-1801,” The Independent Review, Summer, Vol. 12, No. 1: 101-113.

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

National defense::

Block, 2003; Cowen, 1988; De Jasay, 1989; Hoppe, 1989; Hummel, 1990; Pasour, 1981; Rothbard, 1997; Schmidtz, 1991; Sechrest, 2003, 2004A, 2004B, 2007

Block, Walter E. 2003. “National Defense and the Theory of Externalities, Public Goods and Clubs.” The Myth of National Defense: Essays on the Theory and History of Security Production, Hoppe, Hans-Hermann, ed., Auburn: Mises Institute, pp. 301-334; http://www.mises.org/etexts/defensemyth.pdf

Cowen, Tyler, ed. 1988. The Theory of Market Failure: A Critical Examination, Fairfax, VA: George Mason University Press; http://www.amazon.com/Theory-Market-Failure-Critical-Examination/dp/0913969133/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200191409&sr=1-1

De Jasay, Anthony. 1989.  Social Contract, Free Ride: A Study of the Public Goods Problem. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press; http://www.amazon.com/Social-Contract-Free-Ride-Paperbacks/dp/0198239122/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200191531&sr=1-1

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1989. “Fallacies of the Public Goods Theory and the Production of Security,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IX, No. 1, Winter, pp. 27-46; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/9_1/9_1_2.pdf

Hummel, Jeffrey. 1990. “National Goods vs. Public Goods: Defense, Disarmament and Free Riders,” The Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. IV, pp. 88-122; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae4_1_4.pdf

Pasour, Jr., E.C., 1981, “The Free Rider as a Basis for Government Intervention,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. V, No. 4, Fall, pp. 453-464; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/5_4/5_4_6.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N. 1997. The Logic of Action: Applications and Criticism from the Austrian School, Vol. II, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar

Schmidtz, David. 1991. The Limits of Government: An Essay on the Public Goods Argument, Boulder Co: Westview Press

Sechrest, Larry.  2003. “Privateering and National Defense: Naval Warfare for Private Profit”, pages 239-74, The Myth of National Defense: Essays on the Theory and History of Security Production, edited by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama.

Sechrest, Larry.  2004A. “Public Goods and Private Solutions in Maritime History.” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. Vol. 7, No. 2. Summer, 3-27.

http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae7_2_1.pdfhttps://dev.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae7_2_1.pdf

Sechrest, Larry.  2004B. “Private Provision of Public Goods: Theoretical Issues and Some Examples from Maritime History,” ICFAI Journal of Public Finance, August, Vol. II, No. 3, 45- 73; http://www.mises.org/journals/scholar/Sechrest7.pdf

Sechrest, Larry. 2007. “Privately Funded and Built U.S. Warships in the Quasi-War of 1797-1801,” The Independent Review, Summer, Vol. 12, No. 1: 101-113.

I’m gonna blog this, unless I hear from you to the contrary.

Best regards,

Walter

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3:20 am on October 28, 2021

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Defending III Is Now Available

From: SCLiberty

Sent: Friday, October 15, 2021 2:21 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Defending the Undefendable III

Walter,

I hope you’ve been well through all this pandemic craziness! Last we talked at Mises University in 2018 you mentioned that Defending the Undefendable III was nearly complete. Any idea when it will be released? I’ve been curious about this supposed chapter on “voluntary cannibalism” since you mentioned it on the Tom Woods Show.

Best Wishes,

Steven Clyde

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Friday, October 15, 2021 7:04 PM

To: ‘SCLiberty

Subject: RE: Defending the Undefendable III

Dear Steven:

Here ‘tis:

Block, Walter E. 2021.  Defending the Undefendable III. Springer Publishing Company; https://www.amazon.com/Defending-Undefendable-III-Walter-Block/dp/9811639566/ref=sr_1_24?dchild=1&keywords=libertarianism&qid=1623439836&s=books&sr=1-24https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-16-3957-9; ISBN: 978-981-16-3957-9; for book reviewers: https://www.springer.com/gp/reviewers

To purchase: https://www.springer.com/gp

Best regards,

Walter

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3:13 am on October 28, 2021

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From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Monday, October 11, 2021 1:30 PM

To: ‘Chris

Subject: RE: with reference to your comments pertinent to Vancouver, etc.,

Dear Fellow Supporter of Ron Paul:

(You might like this book of mine: Block, Walter E. 2012. Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty. New York: Ishi Press; http://www.amazon.com/dp/4871873234;

http://libertycrier.com/education/walter-blocks-new-book-on-ron-paul/;

http://libertyunbound.com/node/862)

Thanks for your well written and very thoughtful response to this essay of mine:

Block, Walter E. 2021. “Vancouver Is Beset With Numerous Problems.” October 11; http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/vancouver-is-beset-with-numerous-problems

Your comments about bears, dogs, cougars, etc., are very accurate. But, still, coyotes have bitten children in Stanley Park, and this would be far less likely to occur under private enterprise.

Second, if the crown lands (again, your description is entirely accurate) were privatized, we’d have FEWER, not NO, forest fires.

Third, congestion has nothing whatsoever to do with geography. It has to do with the absence of pricing. Geography remains the same for restaurants, groceries, clothing stores, etc., and yet we have no congestion there.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Chris

Sent: Monday, October 11, 2021 12:54 PM

To: Walter E. Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Fwd: with reference to your comments pertinent to Vancouver, etc.,

Hi Walter,

Here’s an email that came in responding to your article. I didn’t read it…but just FYI if you’re interested.

-Chris

From: David

Date: Mon, Oct 11, 2021 at 1:37 PM

Subject: with reference to your comments pertinent to Vancouver, etc.,

My name is David. I live in Montréal, Québec. I have read the Ron Paul Liberty Report page for several years. And I watch the videos of Dr. Paul on almost an daily basis.

I have read, this day, your article concerning the City of Vancouver. I believe that this article, and the assertions that occur in it are in error. And do not sustain the burden of proof. Or, are inaccurate in terms of cause and effect. With reference to the phenomena to which the article refers.

Ab Initio, the statements concerning wild fauna, present within city of the City of Vancouver. And the various jurisdictions peripheral to the city are “over – emphasized.” With reference to how “problematic” this phenomenon is. Wild animals occur adjacent to or within the city limits of cities and urban areas, large and small across North America. The matter concerns how often “interactions” between Bear and coyote occurs. And what the results of these interactions may be.

I lived in an rural area in southern Québec for 7 years. one year, there were reports that an cougar/puma/mountain lion had been seen in the area. I used to run along an rural road in the area in which this animal was seen. At night. I never saw it. And I never believed that I was in danger.

Mountain lions are shy animals. They avoid people. I am 60 years of age and have spent extensive intervals of time in wild and remote areas right across North America. And  I have only ever seen one of these animals. Unless they are old, ill, injured or rabid, they will avoid people.

This same animal, or another animal did, apparently enter a backyard across the St. Lawrence, in Ontario, south of Ottawa. I believe it attacked an pet dog. And when the owner attempted to intervene, he or she was bitten on the arm. But, these incidents are very rare. And I am unaware of any additional incident such as this.

With reference to bear, and coyotes, encountering one or more than one of these animals in an urban or suburban area is very different from encountering one of these animals in an rural or wilderness or semi – wilderness area. In an wilderness area, encountering an black or brown or grizzly bear, without a firearm can be very serious. Human beings cannot outrun any of these animals.

Even climbing a tree is not necessarily safe. Black and Brown bears can climb. And will follow one up the tree. if they are hungry. Or merely curious. Grizzlies cannot climb (juveniles can climb). But, a grizzly will wait, for hours or even days, for one to climb down from that tree. Or, it may even try to destroy the tree. If only to discover what you are.

In an urban or suburban area, one is in one’s “natural environment.” These animals are not. There are houses in which to take refuge. And motor vehicles in which one can take shelter as well.  One of my uncles lived in Prince George, British Columbia, in northern B.C. for several years. One morning the family woke up to find or perhaps two presumably juvenile Black bears in their backyard. They watched them thru the patio window.  Wildlife personnel arrived and “darted” the animal. And released it in an remote area. Attacks by these animals in such circumstances do occur. But they are and remain, rare.

As well, Coyotes have, over the past 40 years become an urban animal. They have adapted to the urban and suburban ecosytems of modern cities. They are problematic. They hunt and kill pets, such as cats and dogs. And, they do, at times, attack young children. But, I am unaware of any deaths caused by coyotes.

I believe in fact, that more people are killed by domestic dogs. Such as German Shepards, Dobermans, Rottweilers and even St. Bernard dogs.  The “problem” that you associate with the phenomena of wild animals in an urban environment is over stated.

Pertinent your reference to smoke from forest fires drifting over Metro Vancouver is also over done. Forest fires are cyclical. Like the climate. The occurrence of smoke and airborne particulate matter drifting down to Vancouver is, to some degree, the fault of government.

Environmental policies that emphasize preserving “the Primeval forest” has resulted in fires occurring in these areas that would in other circumstance have been cut. Mature timber may be attractive to look at. But, left to itself, it will eventually be “renewed” by episodic and, at times, catastrophic fire. But, this would have occurred non obstant the matter of government interference in the Silviculture sector.

As well, the geo – spatial and topographic characteristics of the Metro Vancouver area are also an element to be considered with reference to this phenomena. Metro Vancouver is situated in a valley, the Fraser Valley. And smoke and soot and particulate matter, drifting down from further north, or south, because Washington State and Oregon State also have episodes of catastrophic fire, will “settle” in the “bowl” of the Fraser Valley. If Vancouver stood on an height of land, or on the prairies, the phenomenon of smoke and soot would be substantially less obtrusive.

However, with reference to the forest products sector, government has warped and distorted the market in this sector. And has done so for years. In “kanada” government owns the wildlands. Known as “Crown Land.” And it is “administered” by the “Ministry of Natural Resources.” Generally abbreviated to “MNR.” There is an constitutional division of competence in this area. Between the “provincial” and “federal” governments.

These lands are “leased” to the forest products companies. Such as Fletcher Challenge and MacMillan Bloedel. They are charged what are termed “stumpage fees.” Which are below market value. Pricing stumpage fees below real market values has been used as an incentive to attract forest products to operate in British Columbia for years.

However, pricing stumpage fees below real market value obliterates the economic incentive for forest products companies to manage forest resources more economically.  They cut and then leave the cut block now devoid of trees, to “the province” to replant.

There is no incentive for the forest products companies to manage forest resources economically and efficiently. Allowing forest products companies to purchase land and manage it economically and profitably, which has been done for years in Washington State, would solve these problems.

The matter of traffic congestion is another element in your essay which does not accurately or even honestly, address or even discuss re this matter. Traffic congestion is an consequence of geography. As I stated, supra, Vancouver was founded at the mouth of the Fraser River, where this watershed empties into the Pacific. As the city has grown, it has been increasingly constrained, imperatively, by the geographic circumstances in which the city is situated.

In fact, Vancouver can only grow in one direction, east along the Fraser Valley. The mountains on both side of the valley, and, eventually, the border with Washington State interdict the city from expanding. As Toronto can grow, along the generally flat geography of South – East and South – Western Ontario. On the north shore of Lake Ontario.

Even Montréal, founded on Montréal Island, is less constrained, geographically and hydrographically than Metro Vancouver.  There is extensive urban and suburban development. On the both the north and south shore of the St. Lawrence River.

An final element pertinent to traffic congestion and urban and population congestion in Vancouver, to which you omitted all reference, is immigration. And specifically, substantial in – migration from Asia. In 1970, Vancouver was an majority European City. With an population that was probably 90% White European.

However, with the subversion of the legislation pertinent to immigration, beginning after 1965, Vancouver and the “GVRD,” or “Greater Vancouver Regional District,” is now only 20% European. And the two primary languages spoken in these jurisdictions are Mandarin and Hindi. Not English. And certainly not French.

Upon these bases, the issues that you discuss are substantially, and, I would assert, primarily, consequent and derivative of immigration. Preponderantly from South East Asia and India. And the problems that you discuss are characteristic of such “primate” cities such as Bombay, Calcutta, Shanghai, Taipei, Peking, Manila and Jakarta.

The pollution, the overcrowding, the demographic and traffic congestion, “urban sprawl,” are all, (“all”), the consequence of supernumerary migration flows from the Asia-Pacific region. And these phenomena are generally characteristic of the cities of India and South – East Asia. And, consequent to demographic and population displacement/replacement, Vancouver is now an Asian city. Situated on the North American continent.

I shall not state that the issues that you discuss would not be present if the catastrophe of Third World Immigration had not occurred. I shall state that these issues would be incidental, and manageable, if these people were not here.

I shall also mention that, with the addition and presence of these alien populations, Metro Vancouver and the cities on her periphery have become impossibly expensive places in which to live. And the phenomena of “urban sprawl” has been expedited by the sons and grandsons, the daughters and granddaughters of the people who actually founded Vancouver, moving further and further away from the city their parents, grand – parents and great grand parents lived in and built.

They have moved to areas east along the Fraser Valley. Or north and east up the Okanagan Valley (which has also become quite expensive). Where housing and the cost of living is affordable. And where at least an portion of the population still looks like them. And not like Xi Zin Ping (or whatever his name is). Or Nahrendra Modi, the current “prime minister” of India.

Sincerely Yours,

David

Montréal, Québec,

11th October, 2021,

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3:05 pm on October 11, 2021

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In 1990, Dr. Walter Block gave a speech in which he promoted free market solutions, for environmental problems. His latest book Free Enterprise Environmentalism will be released later this year (Oct. 15th, 2021) over thirty years after this speech:

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The Bionic Mosquito on Baseball

It is nothing less than magnificent. 

Everyone should read this. Whether you are a baseball fan or not.

It reminds me a bit, don’t ask, of something I once wrote that I think similar:

Block, Walter E. 2014A. “Block Discovers New Source of Inequality; Calls for government action.” June 3; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/06/walter-e-block/walter-block-discovers-a-new-source-of-inequality/ (unequal moons).

Block, Walter E. 2014B. “Responses to Critics of my Call for Interplanetary Welfare: Sharing Moons: Must we resort to interplanetary warfare?” June 5; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/06/walter-e-block/must-we-resort-to-interplanetary-warfare/

However, I must take issue with this author on two points. These are still problematic:

Houston Astros

The Astronauts are imperialists. They are aiming to colonize the moon, Mars and asteroids.

Seattle Mariners

Mariners hunt fish. Not good. Fish, too, have rights, more than white males in any case.

Best regards,

Walter

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2:55 pm on September 4, 2021

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100 most influential philosophers in the world.

Good News!

Please allow me to share some good news with you.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Anderton, Charles
Sent: Wednesday, August 11, 2021 2:12 PM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: 100 most influential philosophers in the world.

Hi Walter,

Are you aware that you made the list as one of the top 100 philosophers in the world over the last 30 years? See #92.

Congratulations!

All the best,

Chuck

https://academicinfluence.com/people?year-min=1990&discipline=philosophy&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=the+tenth+most+influential+philosopher+in+the+world&utm_campaign=Monthly-Report-AUG+2021

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2:17 am on August 13, 2021

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Walter Block to Start New Blog/Podcast

Dear Folks:

I intend to start up a podcast and blog of my own, following in the footsteps of my friends Tom Woods and Bob Murphy. If you would like to be informed when it is ready,  please write to my assistant on this blog – podcast, Luis Rivera, at LuisRivera3@hotmail.com, and we will add you to the announcement list.

Best regards,

Walter

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12:12 pm on June 9, 2021

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My good friend Bob Wenzel passed away a few days ago, peacefully, in his sleep. Rest in peace, my good friend.

Many people knew Bob as the creative, informative, inspiring author of his two blogs, Economic Policy Journal and Target Liberty. I knew him in that way too, of course, since my morning would not be complete if is did not “rev up” each day by a perusal of these brilliant offerings of his. On more than one occasion I was delighted to find that he had mentioned me in one or the other or both of these. And on many more occasions I was inspired by his thoughts to write articles and op eds of my own on topics he had raised. My one regret about him is that he and I never co-authored any publication.

I won’t say that these contributions of his were the tip of the iceberg in terms of his support for liberty and good (Austrian) economics. They were much more than that. But, perhaps lesser known to people outside of his home in San Francisco, he did much more than that. He started up the San Francisco Circle Rothbard (that name tells you where Bob’s heart was at), which featured regular meetings of a group of local Austro-libertarians; I attended several of these gatherings, in my semi-regular visits to that city and I was most impressed by the intellectual level and the passion of these discussions. Bob was a mainstay of the anarcho-capitalist movement in that important area of our country.

He was an inveterate debater. I was one of his many debating partners, on more than just several occasions. (He and I only agreed on 99.9% of all issues in political economy). That was an experience and a half. Bob was always exceedingly polite in our debates, and friendly, as would be appropriate given our relationship (I say “debating partners,” not debating opponents because of this), but when push came to shove, when we got “down and dirty” in the trenches, I realized I was in for a real tussle.

In this appreciation of him and his life, I wanted to give readers a sense of what he was like. So I used word search for “Wenzel” in my file that lists all of my books, articles, op eds, other publications, speeches, debates, interviews, etc. Guess how many hits I obtained? You’ll never guess! The number was 122. That is not a typo. Until I did that, I knew I was heavily involved in his life, and he in mine, but I didn’t realize just how much of my life was intertwined with his. I’m not going to list any of these, let alone all of them. The former would require that I pick and choose between them, something I am loathe to do, and the latter would be too over the top. Let me just say that a lot of my spiritual and intellectual input came from this good friend of mine.

Nor did I quite realize how much of an impact he had on many other people in the Austro-libertarian movement. But based on the number of RIPs I have seen, the concern dozens of his other friends evinced when he didn’t publish his two blogs for one day, and the outpourings of affection aimed in his direction upon his demise, that impact, too, was quite powerful.

Lew Rockwell is the grand old man of Austro-libertarian blogging; he started many years before Bob did; he is far more well known. One of the highest compliments I ever gave to Bob was to suggest to Lew that if and when he ever thought of retiring from these efforts of his and was looking around for a successor, Bob Wenzel would be an excellent candidate. I really can’t think of a better compliment than that.

Bob died at the tender age of 63. He was just a baby. But he was an enfent terrible, as the French would say. He was a man whose accomplishments were outstanding. The Austro-libertarian movement has just lost a great leader, and I have lost a good friend. RIP, Bob.

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

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2:17 am on June 1, 2021

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Is There A Right To Life in the Libertarian Philosphy?

Letter 1

From: DontPeal MyOnion

Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2020 8:11 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Individual Rights

Hey, Mr. Block in one of your lectures you said “there’s no right to life” could you elaborate on why this is so?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRb0uOnx2nA&t=158s from 1:45 – 1:56

Letter 2

On Sun, Dec 27, 2020 at 8:53 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear DPMO:

Who do I have the pleasure of communicating with?

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3

From: DontPeal MyOnion

Sent: Monday, December 28, 2020 5:01 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Individual Rights

My name is Richard Lechko, I am 16, I am a High School student in the U.S.A who reads political theory and I have gotten down a lot of economic groundwork in the Austrian school of thought and so now I am looking into philosophy. I have just received the book A History of Western Philosophy The Classical Mind by W.T. Jones and I am having trouble understanding what you meant when you said that you do not believe in the right to life. I’ve developed my knowledge on individual/natural rights from reading Ayn Rand’s lexicon and so hearing you say that there is no right to life is sort of conflicting to me.

If you are not available that is completely understandable!

Sincerely, Richard Lechko

Letter 4

On Mon, Dec 28, 2020 at 6:13 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Dear Richard:

I will undertake to substantively respond to your questions, but, I have a price: when choosing a College, you will seriously consider enrolling at Loyola. Do we have a deal?

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 5

From: DontPeal MyOnion

Sent: Monday, December 28, 2020 10:31 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Individual Rights

I am still undecided on what I want to do with my life. I have 2 career choices to choose from and that is either: Computer Science or Political Science.I have not been swayed to go for either but if I do choose Political Science it would make the most sense to be mentored under your guidance. But I can tell you that I will consider enrolling to Loyola (New Orleans, LA).

Letter 6

Dear Richard:

That’s good enough for me. Now, to answer your question.

Libertarians oppose all positive rights, up to and including the so called right to life. We favor only negative rights: the right NOT to be murdered, NOT to be raped, NOT to be stolen from. All rights imply a correlative duty. So, with these rights, everyone has an obligation NOT to murder, NOT to rape, NOT to steal.

In very sharp contrast, positive rights also logically imply obligations. If people have a right to food, clothing and shelter, others have an obligation to supply those things to them. But, from whence do these obligations arise. From nowhere, since they are not legitimate rights. Rather, they constitute theft. If Peter has a right to food, then Paul is obliged to give food to him. But that constitutes theft from Paul.

Now, at long last, we arrive at the right to life. If I have a right to life, you are obliged to see to it that I remain alive. Thus, you become a slave of mine. I can order you to keep me alive, and you are legally obligated to obey me. I will then in effect have kidnapped you, enslaved you, but that is an obvious rights violation.

Right now, there are people dying in the poorer parts of our planet. If they have a right to life, then you and I and everyone else still living is a murderer. That’s nonsense on stilts.

Do you agree with this?

Best regards,

Walter

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12:56 pm on April 22, 2021

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Libertarianism and the Nuke Question; Come to Loyola U to Study Austro-Libertarianism With Me

From: harris

Sent: Monday, December 21, 2020 9:25 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Two questions

Dear Mr. Block, I have several questions and I figured I would email you about these questions. My first question is that I want to get a degree in economics and possibly have a PhD in economics. I live in a mostly liberal/leftist state which is Washington State. Now, I looked and saw no universities in my state which has a professor that’s an austrian or teaches austrian economics. A lot of the schools that teach austrian economics or have austrian economists are over in the south or on the other side of the United States which I’m completely fine with. The only thing is out of state tuition which I might not be able to afford maybe if I get a scholarship I could get lucky not sure but I might have to go into debt doing so. Now, what would you reccomend for me to do in this situation? I mostly prefer being taught by an austrian. I saw the interview you just did where three people interview you and you mention something about having more people being students of already austrian economists. Being taught by a austrian economist really interests me. This is why I’m asking you this question about getting a degree in economics and possibly be a student of a austrian. Note that maybe there would be a austrian economist teaching in my state when I graduate from high school because I’m only 15 and I’m turning 16 next month.

My second question is under an anarcho-capitalist society how would we deal with nukes. The only thing I came to a conclusion if a person gets a hold of a nuke and launches it is a anti missle rocket or advanced technology in the world would counter that nuke. I have heard other people say nukes violate the NAP due to it can only be used in harmful ways. What is your opinion on nukes? Does it violate the NAP and are there other ways to counter nukes then what I listed to counter them?

Dear Harris:

Here’s my response to the nuke question:

Block, Walter E. and Matthew A. Block. 2000. “Toward a Universal Libertarian Theory of Gun (Weapon) Control,” Ethics, Place and Environment, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 289-298; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/theory_gun_control.pdfhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/228127780_Toward_a_Universal_Libertarian_Theory_of_Gun_(Weapon)_Control_A_Spatial_and_Georgraphical_Analysis?ev=prf_pubhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/228127780_Toward_a_Universal_Libertarian_Theory_of_Gun_Weapon_Control_A_Spatial_and_Georgraphical_Analysishttps://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/713665896

As for going to college, I urge you to apply to my school, among others, and see how much of a scholarship you can get.

Here’s the case in behalf of that plan:

Might you be interested in enrolling at Loyola and studying with me and my free enterprise-oriented colleagues? If so, take a peek at this material:

https://www.loyno.edu/

https://academicinfluence.com/people/walter-block

Loyola has a high tuition; this cannot be denied. However, this Jesuit University does award scholarships, not only on a need basis. As well there is the Walter Block Scholarship, which is additional to the funds offered by Loyola: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/12/introducing-walter-e-block-scholarship.html

Further info on the WB scholarship:

Block, Walter E.  2019. “Prospective libertarian students should consider the Walter Block scholarship.” February 3;

https://www.loyolamaroon.com/10021154/showcase/opinion-prospective-libertarian-students-should-consider-the-walter-block-scholarship/;

https://www.targetliberty.com/2018/12/an-opportunity-to-study-under.html

The Walter Block Scholarship

I have been a professor of economics at Loyola since 2001. During that time, I have had numerous excellent students, who were interested in my research projects: Austrian economics and libertarian theory. I have been lucky that many of these students, while still in high school, read my publications and listened to my speeches, some in person for example at the Mises University, and others on the web. As a result, they enrolled at Loyola in order to study with me, and my half dozen fellow free enterprise professors. This might not sound like all that much, given that we have some 200 professors, but, believe me, Loyola New Orleans is a beacon of light as far as Rothbardianism and Misesianism are concerned. At next door Tulane University, with a faculty at least triple our size, there are only two professors who fit this bill. And at LSU in Baton Rouge, quadruple our size, there is not a single solitary professor who espouses such a political economic philosophy. Yes, we have numerous social justice warriors, Marxists, feminists, professors, as do virtually all universities. But, at least at Loyola, a student will be introduced to both sides of debatable issues, unlike at most universities. As well, with so many professors who appreciate economic freedom, there are many students who also do. According to research I have seen, one of the best predictors of student satisfaction is finding friends among the student body.  You will, here at Loyola.

So, if you are a student at a junior or two year university, which has no libertarian professors, and no students of this persuasion either, think of transferring to Loyola. If you are a high school student, getting ready to apply to university, consider us. If you are a parent or grandparent of a college age person, do consider suggesting that they apply for admission to Loyola, in order to study with me and my free enterprise fellow colleagues.

Just recently, a former student of mine has set up a Walter E. Block scholarship. It is worth $25,000, for the next four years, for a total of $100,000. I am now able to disburse these funds to Loyola students who demonstrate an interest in private property, free markets and limited government. Make no mistake about this, Loyola’s tuition is very high. However, my school does give generous scholarships, based on financial need, and also for other reasons. My scholarship money will be in addition to those funds, not a replacement for them. So, apply to Loyola, even if you thought our price tag was too high. With this scholarship money at my disposal, we can be financially competitive even with public universities.

This award is for students who are interested in studying the economics of free enterprise, who are supporters of the philosophy of private property rights, limited government, deregulation, free trade. Please provide me with evidence of your interest in this libertarian free market philosophy. Books you have read on this subject? Book reports on them? Term papers on this subject? Leaders of this philosophy by whom you have been influenced? As an application, please write me a letter along these lines. You can reach me at wblock@loyno.edu

Block, Walter E.  2019. “Attention High School Students.” February 6;

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/02/walter-e-block/attention-high-school-seniors/

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

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/cmon-new-orleans-waters-fine-enroll-loyola-university/

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

http://business.loyno.edu/bios/faculty?field_bio_program_filter_value=Economics

Block, Walter E.  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;

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2017/09/the-inside-scoop-on-studying-economics.html

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2017/09/the-inside-scoop-on-studying-economics.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

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/;

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/04/loyola-professor-attacks-austrian.html

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

http://www.poletical.com/academics-helping-the-right.php

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

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

http://www.newsmax.com/BestLists/libertarians-newsmax-freedomfest/2017/06/01/id/793510/

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;

http://www.targetliberty.com/2018/12/an-opportunity-to-study-under.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TargetLiberty+%28Target+Liberty%29

Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Introducing the Walter E. Block Scholarship.” December 11; http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2018/12/introducing-walter-e-block-scholarship.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29

Our economics department: http://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 600 refereed articles in professional journals, two dozen books, and thousands of op eds (including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and numerous others). 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 played chess with Friedrich Hayek and 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.

Walter E. Block received his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University (1972). He has worked at Canada’s Fraser Institute and taught at Rutgers University, Baruch College, The State University of New York at Stony Brook, Holy Cross College, and University of Central Arkansas. He is Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute, recipient of the Institute’s 2005 Murray N. Rothbard Medal of Freedom and the 2011 Gary G. Schlarbaum Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Cause of Liberty, and holds the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair at Loyola University New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70118 wblock@loyno.edu. Loyola has among the highest proportion of free-market advocates of any economics department in the country (100%). Block is the author of Defending the Undefendable (I and II) and two dozen other books on economics, as well as over 600 journal articles. His latest few books are: Property Rights: The Argument for Privatization (2019); Philosophy of Law: The Supreme Court’s Non- Use of Libertarian Law (2019); Space capitalism: the case for privatizing space travel and colonization (2018); An Austro-Libertarian Critique of Public Choice (2017); Essays in Austrian Economics (2017). But he states that his greatest claim to fame is that he was a friend of Murray Rothbard’s for almost 30 years. He also brags that he shook the hand of Ludwig von Mises.

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

http://www.poletical.com/academics-helping-the-right.php

https://www.literature-map.com/max+stirner.html Literature map; some interesting writers; I’m in the middle, to the right of Hermann Hesse, and below Bruce Lee

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

http://www.newsmax.com/BestLists/libertarians-newsmax-freedomfest/2017/06/01/id/793510/

Dr. Walter Block has been in the forefront of the libertarian movement for over 50 years. Lew Rockwell has transferred the title of “Mr. Libertarian” from Murray Rothbard to Walter: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2010/11/lew-rockwell/the-astounding-walter-block/. Professor Block has done 100s of youtube lectures and interviews. He is responsible for a dozen professors now spreading The Gospel According to St. Murray. He has published over 600 articles in refereed journals and law reviews, almost 30 books (including the ever-popular Defending the Undefendable), and literally 1000s of op-eds in newspapers and blogs, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Here is what Hayek had to say about Block’s book DTU: “Looking through Defending the Undefendable made me feel that I was once more exposed to the shock therapy by which, more than fifty years ago, the late Ludwig von Mises converted me to a consistent free market position. Even now I am occasionally at first incredulous and feel that ‘this is going too far,’ but usually find in the end that you are right. Some may find it too strong a medicine, but it will still do them good even if they hate it. A real understanding of economics demands that one disabuses oneself of many dear prejudices and illusions. Popular fallacies in economics frequently express themselves in unfounded prejudices against other occupations, and in showing the falsity of these stereotypes you are doing a real service, although you will not make yourself more popular with the majority”

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 600 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.

Walter E. Block is the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics at Loyola University New Orleans. His Ph.D. was from Columbia University. His interests include Austrian economics and libertarian theory. He has published almost 600 articles in refereed journals, 27 books, and thousands of op eds.He lectures globally at university campuses, business and civic groups. He has a series on privatization (roads, oceans and space); his most popular books are Defending the Undefendable I and II; he is now working on volume III in this series plus a libertarian analysis of abortion. His main claim to fame is that he once played chess against Friedrich Hayek and on another occasion shook the hand of Ludwig von Mises, and never washed his hand afterward. It is now pretty dirty, but if you shake his hand, you channel this hero of his.

Mr. Libertarian:

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2010/11/lew-rockwell/the-astounding-walter-block/

https://libertarianism.fandom.com/wiki/Walter_Block

https://www.google.com/search?q=is+Walter+Block+Mr.+Libertarian%3F&rlz=1C1CHBD_enUS790US790&oq=is+Walter+Block+Mr.+Libertarian%3F&aqs=chrome..69i57.13500j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Even some critics of libertarianism confer this honorific on me:

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Walter_Block

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

http://www.poletical.com/academics-helping-the-right.php

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

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

http://www.newsmax.com/BestLists/libertarians-newsmax-freedomfest/2017/06/01/id/793510/

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

https://libertarianconvention.org/speakers/walter-block/

URLs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZfyVuSKkE0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZfyVuSKkE0

http://www.walterblock.com/media/

http://www.walterblock.com/publications

http://www.walterblock.com/

www.WalterBlock.com/publications

www.mises.org/blockhttp://mises.org/articles.aspx?AuthorId=443

http://www.mises.org/media.aspx?action=showname&ID=443

http://www.bostream.nu/lal/Walter/Johan2.html#IV

http://cba.loyno.edu/faculty/Block/index.html

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=walter+block&btnG=Search

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Walter+Block&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&btnG=Search

www.walterblock.com http://www.walterblock.com (Kins)

Pic: http://business.loyno.edu/faculty/wblockhttp://www.business.loyno.edu/faculty/wblock

http://business.loyno.edu/faculty/wblock

c.v.: http://www.cba.loyno.edu/faculty.html

http://www.business.loyno.edu/faculty/wblock

http://ssrn.com/author=71168

http://itunesu.mises.org/

http://mises.org/media.aspx?action=author&ID=443

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrTsaSUFfpo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WhqTtil7Ls&feature=channel_page;

http://mises.org/multimedia/block/block-Fraser.wmv

http://mises.org/Controls/Media/MediaPlayer.aspx?Id=4044 bsll

blog posts for the Mises Institute: http://blog.mises.org/author/walter_block/

Mises Daily articles: http://mises.org/articles.aspx?AuthorId=443

scholarly articles and book on the Mises Institute website: http://mises.org/literature.aspx?action=author&ID=443

http://www.walterblock.com/media

pic: http://tinyurl.com/23br6j2;

http://www.business.loyno.edu/system/files/images/loyola-university-new-orleans-walter-block_0.jpg;

http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/walter-block.jpg

http://www.flickr.com/photos/walter1897/5015192410/

http://mises.org/articles.aspx?AuthorId=443

http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=Walter+Block&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3

Best regards,

Walter

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12:55 pm on April 22, 2021

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