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From: Douglas Carkuff
Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2020 3:25 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: This question

Hello Dr. Block, Big admirer and long time libertarian. Here is a question (among several) that is bothering me. Often libertarians argue (myself also) that when humans are left to their own devices, spontaneous order will develop, and certainly that is true, but isn’t that exactly what the story of human kind is? And yes, spontaneous order has developed and that order includes all the various forms of coercion and injustice and corruption – essentially the aggression we libertarians like to talk about? Is there any set of starting conditions that would not ultimately lead to, essentially, what we have today.

Even if the formalized systems of government we have today could somehow be avoided (and how could they ever be? – every coordinated human effort leads to formalization) wouldn’t equivalent de facto governments develop which are just as oppressive and does the notion of a de facto government (as opposed to formalized) even make any sense?

I tend to think of myself as an anarchist, but isn’t the best we could hope for what was attempted with the formation of the US?

Thanks for your time, Doug Carkuff

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Friday, February 28, 2020 12:20 AM

To: Douglas Carkuff <dwcarkuff@gmail.com>

Subject: RE: This question

Dear Doug:

I have written on this a little bit. This is not exactly on point, but it’s close.

Levendis, John, Walter E. Block and Robert B. Eckhardt.  2019. “Evolutionary psychology, economic freedom, trade and benevolence.” Review of Economic Perspectives – Národohospodářský obzor; Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 73-92; https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/revecp/19/2/article-p73.xml; 10.2478/revecp-2019-0005; DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/revecp-2019-0005https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/here-is-one-of-my-best-scholarly-papers-ever/https://pennstate.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/evolutionary-psychology-economic-freedom-trade-and-benevolence

Best regards,

Walter

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2:34 am on May 14, 2020

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My friend Mike attributed the following quote to me on evictionism :

“Block has argued that if A is pregnant and kills the baby within her, this is not murder.”

Whereupon he went on to criticize my position on abortion.

I didn’t recognize this citation of my words. So I wrote to him, asking for the source of this exact quote.

He did reply, but did not supply what I asked for (the source of this exact quote). Instead, in his response he calls this statement the “gist” of my position. But if he is paraphrasing my views, according to scholarly propriety, he is not supposed to be putting quote marks around material, and attributing it to others. Rather, he is supposed to come out and say that this is his paraphrase, of what he thinks is their position.

Now, let me comment on the substance of his critique of my position. He says this:

“Removal without hope of survival is killing. Calling it eviction and labeling the baby a parasite doesn’t alter the fact that the baby dies through an act initiated by the pregnant female. If it is not murder, then what is it? Eviction? Sorry, no. A rose by any other name is still a rose.” (This is an exact quote of his words, not my paraphrase of them).

In my view, this matter of abortion is a very highly complex issue. Libertarians are divided on this, as are members of the general public. Two of our foremost libertarians disagree with one another. Murray Rothbard was solidly pro choice, and Ron Paul is equally convinced of the merits of the pro life position. I claim that both Murray and Ron were wrong. The only correct position is evictionism. I don’t think that this debate can be settled by mention of “roses.”

The way I see matters is, either you favor private property rights, or you do not. Who is the owner of the womb? The womb is the private property of whom? Why, the mother, of course. Suppose she is raped and impregnated. There is now a “person” growing inside of her. That person is a trespasser. If that baby is not a trespasser, then the word “trespasser” is meaningless. Not only is that young person invading her physical property, he is trespassing on her most important private property, her own person. Therefore, the woman has a right to evict, but not kill the baby. (the pro lifers say she has no right to evict before 9 months, and certainly not to kill; the pro choicers say she may legally do both; my evictionist position is thus a compromise between these polar opposites).

My criticism of Mike Rozeff’s position is that he does not fully respect private property rights. As such, his position is incompatible with that of libertarianism.

For a full elaboration of my defense of evictionism, see my many publications on this matter in the scholarly journal literature:

All: Akers, 2012A, 2012B; Block, 1977, 1978, 2001, 2004, 2010A, 2010B, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2011, 2012, 2014A, 2014B, 2014, 2017; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Davies, 2012; Dyke and Block, 2011; Parr, 2011, 2013; Rothbard, 1978; Rozeff, 2019; Sadowsky, 1978; Shaffer, 2012; Wisniewski, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2013.

I. Here are Walter E. Block’s publications and speeches on abortion, pro life, pro choice, evictionism, followed by critiques of his views, followed by his responses to these critiques:

Block, 1977, 1978, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010A, 2011, 2012, 2014A, 2014B, 2014C, 2018; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Dyke and Block, 2011

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Abortion.” The Libertarian Forum. Vol. 10, No. 9, September, pp. 6-8; http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1977/1977_09.pdf

Block, Walter E. Undated (1997?).  “L’Aborto:  Una Legittima Difesa,” Claustrofobia, anno 1, n. 3, pp. 16-22.

Block, Walter E. 1978. “Abortion, Woman and Fetus: Rights in Conflict?” Reason, Vol. 9, No. 12, April, pp. 18-25.

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Stem Cell Research: The Libertarian Compromise.” September 3; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block5.html

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Libertarianism, Positive Obligations and Property Abandonment: Children’s Rights,” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 275-286; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=18709http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-children.pdfhttps://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/03068290410518256https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/03068290410518256?fullSc=1&journalCode=ijse

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “A libertarian perspective on the stem cell debate: compromising the uncompromisible,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.  Vol. 35: 429-448;

http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhq033?
ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref 
http://wipimd.com/?&sttflpg=78eaf87fd81ebaaa7a245cca600b15bba8497c2cfbf1284c08a0260ba068d4ad&cmpgp0811Ueh016=ICD20811TEH0PkRLpL1IFhttp://wipimd.com/?&sttflpg=4b842f7f4697bce38422e0bfe03e6ccad53070377a9303d5#JAL1

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Terri Schiavo: A Libertarian Analysis” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 527–536; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_26.pdfhttp://libertycrier.com/walter-block-terri-schiavo/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LibertyCrier+%28Liberty+Crier%29

Block, Walter E. 2012. “A Not So Funny Thing Happened to Me in Tampa.” August 30; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block208.html

Block, Walter E.  2014A. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” Management Education Science Technology (MEST) Journal. Vol. 2, No. 1, January, pp. 33-44; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.htmlhttp://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/_04.pdf

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

http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhu012?ijkey=3n1zc8zcBRnT586&keytype=ref

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

http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s10834-013-9361-4http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/463/art%253A10.1007%252Fs10834-013-9361-4.pdf?auth66=1385583057_5dd1e3442d2db3f98c91dcf5a5d5fa43&ext=.pdfhttp://www.springer.com/home?SGWID=0-0-1003-0-0&aqId=2507833&download=1&checkval=feff928fe5dfc72bc210032f220ca40a.

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

http://via.library.depaul.edu/jhcl/vol19/iss1/3

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

Dyke, Jeremiah and Walter E. Block. 2011. “Explorations in Property Rights: Conjoined Twins.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 38; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/38-dyke-block-conjoined-twins/http://libertarianpapers.org/38-explorations-property-rights-conjoined-twins/

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

http://conza.tumblr.com/tagged/evictionism

http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhq033?
ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref

https://hangouts.google.com/call/rubwfb4uhrdbdpstpiik5niljie

II. Critics of evictionism::

Akers, 2012A, 2012B; Davies, 2012; Feser, 2004; Goodwin, 2014; Parr, 2011, 2013; Mosquito, 2014, 2015; Rothbard, ; Sadowsky, 1978; Shaffer, 2012;  Rothbard, 1978; Vance, 2008, 2012; Wisniewski, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2013.

Akers, Becky. 2012A. “Not My Definition — or Webster’s Either — of ‘Trespassing’” September 6; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/120226.html

Akers, Becky. 2012B. “What if the ‘Fetus’ Could Shoot Back?” September 12; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/120728.html

Davies, Jim. 2012. “Abortion.” September 24;

http://strike-the-root.com/abortion

Feser, Edward. 2004. “Self-ownership, abortion, and the rights of children: toward a more conservative libertarianism.” Journal of Libertarian Studies. Volume 18, no. 3 (Summer), pp. 91-114; http://www.indytruth.org/library/journals/libertarianstudies/18/18_3_5.pdf

Goodwin, Jonathan. 2014. “Libertarians and Abortion.” December 23;

http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2014/12/libertarians-and-abortion.html

Mosquito, Bionic. 2014. “Libertarians and Abortion.” December 23;

http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2014/12/libertarians-and-abortion.html

Mosquito, Bionic. 2015. “Walter Block, Specific Performance Contracts, and Abortion.” July 12; http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2015/07/walter-block-specific-performance.html

Parr, Sean. 2011. “Departurism and the Libertarian Axiom of Gentleness.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, No. 34, http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2011/lp-3-34.doc

Parr, Sean. 2013. “Departurism Redeemed – A Response to Walter Block’s ‘Evictionism is Libertarian; Departurism is Not: Critical Comment on Parr.’” Journal of Peace, Prosperity, and Freedom, Vol. 2, pp. 109-123; http://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/home/departurism-redeemed-a-response-to-walter-blocks-evictionism-is-libertarian-departurism-is-not-critical-comment-on-parr

Presley, Sharon and Robert Cooke (aka Morgan Edwards). 1979. “The right to abortion: a libertarian defense.” Association of libertarian feminists discussion paper

http://www.alf.org/abortion.php

Rothbard, Murray N. 1978.  “The editor replies.” Libertarian Forum. July-August, p. 3; http://mises.org/journals/lf/1978/1978_07-08.pdf

Sadowsky, S.J., James. 1978. “Abortion and Rights of the Child.” Libertarian Forum. July-August, pp. 2-3; http://mises.org/journals/lf/1978/1978_07-08.pdf

Shaffer, Butler. 2012. “Of Children and Fetuses.” September 17;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/shaffer/shaffer259.html

Vance, Laurence. 2008. “Is Ron Paul Wrong on Abortion?” January 29; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance133.html

Vance, Laurence. 2012. “Libertarianism and Abortion.” July 17;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance297.html

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010A. “A Critique of Block on Abortion and Child Abandonment.” Libertarian Papers Vol. 2, No. 16; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/16-wisniewski-block-on-abortion/

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Block’s Defense of Evictionism.” Libertarian Papers. Vol. 2, Art No. 27; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-37.pdf

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2011. “Response to Block on Abortion, Round Three.” Libertarian Papers. Vol. 3, No. 6, pp. 1-6;

http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/6-winiewski-response-to-block-on-abortion-round-three/http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2011/lp-3-6.pdf

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2013. “Abortion, Libertarianism and Evictionism: A Last Word.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 153-162; http://libertarianpapers.org/2013/6-wisniewski-abortion-libertarianism-and-evictionism/

Also see this, to which I have not yet replied:

Rozeff Michael S. 2019. “Rothbard’s and Block’s Abortion Theories.” June 13;

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/rothbards-and-blocks-abortion-theories/

III. Block responds to critics:

Block, 2010A, 2010B, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2014; 2017

Block, Walter E. 2010A. “Objections to the Libertarian Stem Cell Compromise,” Libertarian Papers 2, 34; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/34-block-objections-to-the-libertarian-stem-cell-compromise/

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Wisniewski on Abortion.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 32, No. 2; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/32-block-rejoinder-to-wisniewski-on-abortion/http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-32.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Two.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 3, Article No. 4; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/4-block-response-to-wisniewski-on-abortion-round-two/

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Three.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, No. 6; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/37-block-response-to-wisniewski-on-abortion/

Block, Walter E. 2011C. “Evictionism is libertarian; departurism is not: critical comment on Parr.” Vol. 3, Article 36, Libertarian Papers;

http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/36-evictionism-is-libertarian-departurism-is-not-critical-comment-on-parr/

Block, Walter E. 2014D. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Four.” Management Education Science Technology Journal (MEST); Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 1-14; http://www.fbim.meste.org/FBIM_2_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.html;
http://www.fbim.meste.org/FBIM_2_2014/4_01.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Rejoinder to Parr on Evictionism and Departurism” Journal of Peace, Prosperity & Freedom, Vol. 2, pp. 125-138; http://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/current-issue.htmlhttp://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/5/5/14558572/journalpeaceprosperityfreedom_single.pdf

Block, Walter E.  2014. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” Management Education Science Technology (MEST) Journal. Vol. 2, No. 1, January, pp. 33-44; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.htmlhttp://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/_04.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2017. “Abortion Once Again; a response to Feser, Goodwin, Mosquito, Sadowsky, Vance and Watkins.” Journal of Constitutional Research (Brazil); Vol 4, No. 1, pp. 11-41; http://revistas.ufpr.br/rinc/article/view/50328http://revistas.ufpr.br/rinc/issue/view/2292/showToc

http://revistas.ufpr.br/rinc/article/view/50328/31673

Forestalling: forestall: bagel: donut: forestalling

thought about your point about bringing the baby to the sidewalk

1.if it’s a private sidewalk, the owner would object

2.if it’s a public sidewalk, my bagel theory still applies, I think. The parent is still guilty of precluding others from homesteading the guardianship rights to the baby. the parent might as well leave the baby in a publicly owned forest; same objection

Block, 1977, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2016; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Epstein vs Block, 2005

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Abortion.” The Libertarian Forum. Vol. 10, No. 9, September, pp. 6-8; http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1977/1977_09.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Stem Cell Research: The Libertarian Compromise.” September 3; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block5.html

Block, Walter E. 2003.  “Libertarianism vs. Objectivism; A Response to Peter Schwartz,” Reason Papers, Vol. 26, Summer, pp. 39-62; http://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/26/rp_26_4.pdf Nambla, child sexuality, child abuse

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Libertarianism, Positive Obligations and Property Abandonment: Children’s Rights,” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 31, No. 3, pp 275-286; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=18709http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-children.pdfhttps://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/03068290410518256https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/03068290410518256?fullSc=1&journalCode=ijse

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Homesteading, ad coelum, owning views and forestalling.” The Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 96-103; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1890872

Block, Walter E. 2010A. “A libertarian perspective on the stem cell debate: compromising the uncompromisible,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.  Vol. 2

http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhq033?
ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “Van Dun on Freedom and Property: A Critique” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 2, No. 4; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/4-block-van-dun-on-freedom-and-property/

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Terri Schiavo: A Libertarian Analysis” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 527–536; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_26.pdfhttp://libertycrier.com/walter-block-terri-schiavo/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LibertyCrier+%28Liberty+Crier%29

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Forestalling, positive obligations and the Lockean and Blockian provisos: Rejoinder to Stephan Kinsella.” Ekonomia Wroclaw Economic Review. http://ekon.sjol.eu/category/22-3-2016-529; file:///C:/Users/Walter/Downloads/Block%20(2).pdf

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

Epstein, Richard vs. Walter E. Block, 2005. “Debate on Eminent Domain.” NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 1144-1169

http://www.nyujll.org/articles/Vol.%201%20No.%203/Vol.%201%20No.%203%20-%20Block%20and%20Epstein.pdf

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2:30 am on May 14, 2020

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From: PAUL GEDDES

Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2020 11:27 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Re: Ludwig von Mises

Paul

________________________________________

From: “gedswest”

To: “Walter Block” <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2020 5:17:31 PM

Subject: Ludwig von Mises

Walter,

I am supposed to give a little talk about Mises at our next Liberty and Economics seminar in New West (Second Tuesday of the month); potentially titled “Who is Ludwig von Mises”.

Forgive my ignorance on this, but I don’t remember you ever talking about your personal recollections of Mises.  Did you ever meet him?  Did you ever hold conversations with him?  What were they like? Have you ever written about this?

Please let me know….

On other matters, Milton and Rodrigo are working hard to come up with some debating opponents for you this summer…

Paul

Dear Paul:

Yes, I met Mises. Shook hands with him. I never spoke to him. But, I basked in his glory. Murray took a bunch of us to his last seminar at NYU.

The title of this sort of reminds me of that joke: the elephant, with the mouse sitting on his back, walks across a rickety bridge. Says the mouse: Boy, we sure made that bridge sway.

Here are my pubs on him:

Barnett and Block, 2004, 2005, 2005-2006, 2007, 2012; Block, 1977; Block, Klein and Hansen, 2007

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2004. “On the Optimum Quantity of Money,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 39-52; http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae7_1_4.pdf

Barnett II, William and Walter E. Block. 2012. “The Optimum Quantity of Money, Once Again.” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets; Vol. 7, No. 1, March, pp. 9-24; http://www.addletonacademicpublishers.com/component/option,com_sectionex/Itemid,103/id,23/view,category/#catid145; Password: AddletonAP2009.

Barnett, William II, and Walter E. Block.  2005.  “Money: Capital Good, Consumers’ Good, or (Media of) Exchange Good?” Review of Austrian Economics. 18 (2): 179-194; http://www.gmu.edu/rae/archives/VOL18_2_2005/4_Barnett.pdf

Barnett, William II, and Walter E. Block. 2005-2006. “Mises, Rothbard and Salerno on Costs.” Corporate Ownership & Control, Winter, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 204-206

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2007. “Saving and Investment: A Praxeological Approach.” New Perspectives on Political Economy, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 129 – 138;

http://pcpe.libinst.cz/nppe/3_2/nppe3_2_1.pdfhttp://141.164.133.3/exchange/walterblock/Inbox/Re%20query.EML/nppe3_2_block.pdf/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/nppe3_2_block.pdf?attach=1http://www.academia.edu/1359832/Saving_and_Investment_A_Praxeological_Approach

Barnett II, William and Walter E. Block. 2012. “The Optimum Quantity of Money, Once Again.” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets; Vol. 7, No. 1, March, pp. 9-24; http://www.addletonacademicpublishers.com/component/option,com_sectionex/Itemid,103/id,23/view,category/#catid145; Password: AddletonAP2009.

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Austrian Monopoly Theory — a Critique (of Mises and Kirzner),” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. I, No. 4, fall, pp. 271-279; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/1_4/1_4_1.pdf

Block, Walter E., Peter Klein and Per Henrik Hansen. 2007. “The Division of Labor under Homogeneity: A Critique of Mises and Rothbard” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, April Vol. 66 Issue 2, pp. 457-464; http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/toc/ajes/66/2http://141.164.133.3/exchange/walterblock/Inbox/Re:%20link_x003F_-2.EML/1_multipart_xF8FF_2_j.1536-7150.2007.00520.pdf/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/j.1536-7150.2007.00520.pdf?attach=1

Best regards,

Walter

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3:10 am on May 13, 2020

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Here is part I

In this discussion about vaccinations, I have been accused by numerous libertarians of being too airy-fairy, impractical, theoretical, of being a luft-menchen, and lots more along these lines, some of it very harsh.

Before reading this thread, please view my debate with David Horowitz on reparations to blacks for slavery. He is no libertarian, rather a conservative, but he makes very similar charges.

March 11, 2020. Debate with David Horowitz on reparations. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VZAMCL0JZYXh823lwVjZzkHnGvfHhy3Q/view?usp=sharinghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GaDC6Ct2h8https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GaDC6Ct2h8&t=802s;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWIU6e99V6k

Ok, now for more on vaccinations:

A.      Bionic Mosquito

Here is a truly scathing review of not only my views on vaccinations, by on several other issues as well: http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2020/05/scattering-remnant.html. I am a big fan of the author, Bionic Mosquito. I think he has made important contributions to our libertarian movement. I regret he does not think that of me. That notwithstanding, I am still a big fan of his. Not every positive assessment gets reciprocated. I’d love to have a mutual admiration society with him, but such is not in the cards. The Bionic Mosquito is an important libertarian figure. He ranks as one of the most insightful libertarian bloggers of all time. If he were a little bit less harsh with me in his comments, I would reply substantively to them. As it is, I’ll let him have the last substantive word on this issue. This means he wins this debate of his with me on these matters. On that see:

Block, Walter E., Christopher Westley and Alex Padilla. 2008. “Internal vs. external explanations: a new perspective on the history of economic thought,” Procesos De Mercado: Revista Europea De Economia Politica; issue 2, pp. 35-132; http://www.jsu.edu/depart/ccba/cwestley/Internal.2008.pdfhttps://www.researchgate.net/profile/Walter_Block2/publications/?dbw=truehttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/228175537_Internal_vs._External_Explanations_A_New_Perspective_on_the_History_of_Economic_Thought?ev=prf_pub

On the other hand, if El Senor BM wishes to rewrite his critique of my views, with no vitriol, just substance, I’d be glad to respond, substantively.

B. Mike Rozeff

He is yet another magnificent blogger for the libertarian cause. He, too, is critical of my views on vaccinations (and by extension house arrest). Here is my correspondence with him on this matter:

Dear Mike (Rozeff):

You wrote this here (https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/nap-and-forced-vaccination/): “Block has argued that if A is pregnant and kills the baby within her, this is not murder.”

Could you please give me the source for this presumed statement of mine and the exact quote.

He did not reply to this query of mine.

I may well have SAID this. If I did, it was a slip of the tongue on my part. However, I’ve done many formal interviews on abortion, and have written numerous articles on this topic. The view Mike attributes to me is one I have attacked, not suppported.

For example:

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

http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhu012?ijkey=3n1zc8zcBRnT586&keytype=ref

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

C. Matt Machaj

I regard him as one of the keenest libertarian theoreticians now actively writing. I am delighted with his support:

Letter 1

From: Mateusz Machaj

Sent: Friday, March 13, 2020 5:13 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: On Quarantines

Dear Walter,

excellent statement on the issue of quarantines! I fully support your view, thank you for making it.

Matt

Letter 2

pt., 13 mar 2020 o 15:32 Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu napisał(a):

Dear Matt:

Thanks.

Where’d you see this?

Be safe.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3

From: Mateusz Machaj

Sent: Friday, March 13, 2020 10:10 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: On Quarantines

Hey, Walter

here it is https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/03/walter-block-on-quarantines-because-of.html?fbclid=IwAR2eKAqVI1zJ-2d-aCW6IQwwJQQKRWJf_lcJsDxLHp9RIfNx-1fYuMzUrO8

Matt

Dear Matt:

Thanks. Stay safe.

D. Derek Franklin

—–Original Message—–

From: Derek Franklin

Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 10:14 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Mandatory Vaccinations

Prof. Block,

I have been following you and your work for quite some time.  Your willingness to engage anyone on a variety of subjects connected to  libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, etc. is nothing short of courageous.  You’re the MAN in my book!!!

In a response to another emailer you indicated that you think, in certain circumstances, compulsory vaccination is okay and is not a violation of the NAP.  However, isn’t the argument, or position, that “people who do not vaccinate endanger not only themselves, but also people they communicate with and thus break the NAP…” a weak one?  After all, if a local jurisdiction enacts compulsory vaccination those who get the vaccination are protected against those who don’t.  Besides that, vaccinations are not 100% guaranteed to work (consider the efficacy of flu vaccines from year to year).  Couldn’t someone who was vaccinated, but contracted and spread the disease for which they were vaccinated, be guilty of the same NAP violation as the person who was not vaccinated?

Thanks in advance for your response.

All the Best,

Derek Franklin

Dear Derek:

Thanks for your kind words. I even more greatly value them, given that some of critics of my views on vaccinations have been very harsh.

I agree with you. It is indeed a “weak one.” No. I go further: it is a VERY weak one. It is weak, that is, in terms of implementing public policy.

But my concern, qua libertarian, is not so much with public policy. It is, rather, to plumb the depths of libertarian theory. Isn’t that an important goal for us libertarians?

My fear is that a lot of erstwhile libertarians misundersand this philosophy. They think that compulsory vaccinations can NEVER be justified under libertarian theory, no matter what are the circumstances. They think it is a logical contradiction to say that the NAP is compatible with coerced vaccinations.

I think that is a grave error.

Best regards,

Walter

E. Ady Niehaus

From: Ady Niehaus

Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 3:17 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Vaccinations

Dear Prof. Block,

I read the following exchange on LRC, and respectfully, I submit a counter argument.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/vaccinations-quarantines/

I think there could be circumstances in which compulsory vaccination would be required by law (let’s forget about who imposes them; well, governments for minarchists, private defense agencies for anarcho-capitalists), and parents should be required to vaccinate their kids. After all, as you quite rightly say, “people who do not vaccinate endanger not only themselves, but also people they communicate with and thus break the NAP and should  be punished accordingly.”

The above statement claims that by one person not accepting vaccination, there is an aggression upon another person.  However, vaccination is a means, not an end. Whether one assesses that vaccination is an effective means or an ineffective means to the end result of not transmitting a communicable disease to another person is irrelevant; if there is any claim to be made at all for aggression, it must be in the act of transmitting the communicable disease, not in declining to implement one specific means of avoidance of that act.

I acknowledge that in an anarcho-capitalist society, there may nonetheless be private defense agencies that mandate specific means to achieve a desired result as part of the contractual agreement with their members.  However, since these agencies would not hold a monopoly of force, it is also likely that competing agencies would offer alternative approaches to achieving the same result.  As for other applications of human action, with varying knowledge, values and preferences of the actors, free competition would better reveal the most effective ways of building and preserving human health.

The second topic that I would like to explore is the concept that a refusing to grant access to one’s private property can be construed as aggression upon another.

Let’s imagine that there is a community of property owners in a neighborhood, each with a house and a small orchard of cherry trees in one area of the yard, and some lawn and gardens of varying types on the remaining property that vary per the preferences of each owner.  All of the property owners in this community really value cherries, and care for their orchards with the intention of enjoying a good cherry crop.

Now let’s say that a new pathogen has been discovered in the soil, and it appears to be transmitted by hitching a ride on the backs of earthworms.  It doesn’t bother the earthworms, they are perfectly healthy and behave as usual.  However, some of the property owners have noted that their trees are now dropping cherries prematurely, and their crop quantity is sure to be reduced.

A few of the property owners have studied this problem and determined that poisoning the earthworms is an effective means to stop transmission of this new pathogen that rides on the backs of earthworms, the pathogen they believe is causing the cherries to drop from their trees.  Other property owners are not convinced that poisoning all the earthworms is the best way to protect their cherry crop.  Some property owners are worried about the quality of the cherries themselves – the earthworms do aerate the soil and the roots of the cherry trees benefit.  Other property owners are concerned about their property as a whole – they know their tomatoes and cucumbers really benefit from the improvement in soil quality that the earthworms bring, their chickens thrive when they find earthworms to eat, and the poison that is effective on earthworms is also known to destroy some of the soil microbes that provide robust protection for cherry trees against other known pathogens.  Some of these property owners have even noted that the cherry trees in their orchards don’t seem to be dropping very much fruit prematurely, in contrast to some of the ones on their neighbors’ property.

Now the property owners who have come up with the solution to poison the earthworms are really convinced that this is the best path, maybe the only path, to saving their cherry crop.  The earthworms of course, have no concept of property boundaries, and will freely move about, processing decaying matter and aerating the soil as long as they remain unimpeded.  They may or may not bring the pathogen that rides on the back of earthworms with them.  These property owners that favor the use of poison to eliminate earthworms claim “people who do not poison the earthworms on their property endanger not only their own cherry trees, but the cherry trees of their neighbors.”

The group of property owners who are convinced that poisoning earthworms is most certainly not a good way to care for their property, and in fact believe it would be damaging to their property overall, including their cherry crop, refuse to apply poison to their property, even as their neighbors in the first group choose to do so.

Are the property owners in the “pro-poison of earthworms” group being aggressed upon by the property owners in the “anti-poison of earthworms” group by their refusal to apply poison to their property?  Or are the property owners in the “anti-poison of earthworms” group being aggressed upon if the “pro-poison of earthworms” group come onto their property uninvited and apply poison to the soil against the will of the property owners?

My assertion is that the latter is true – that it would be a violation of the NAP to apply earthworm poison to the soil of property owners that do not consent.  The property owners that choose to apply poison to their own soil to eliminate earthworms are of course free to make that choice on their own property.  They are free to erect barriers in the soil at the boundaries of their property to prevent earthworms from neighboring properties from migrating into their earthworm-eradicated soil.  They are free to not associate with their neighbors that hold a different view of the relation of earthworms, which may or may not harbor pathogens riding on their backs, to the health of their cherry trees and the rest of their property.  They are free to not associate with other neighbors who may choose to poison the earthworms in their soil, but don’t refuse association with those who don’t make the same choice.  They are not free to apply poison to the soil of the property without the owner’s consent; that would be an act of aggression.  It would also be an act of aggression to use force to prevent their neighbors from freely choosing to associate with non-users of earthworm poison.

A relevant question follows: Is it an act of aggression for person A to decline to take action to protect person B or person B’s property?

I postulate that it is not an act of aggression to decline to take action to protect another person or another person’s property, if no contractual agreement exists between parties that includes an obligation to provide protection.  I submit two scenarios for examination.

Scenario 1:

Property owner B’s property lies between property A and property C.   Property owner A fires a rifle from his property that hits property owner C on his property.  The trajectory of the bullet goes through property B before it hits property owner C on property C.

Is property owner B liable for the aggression committed upon property owner C because property owner B did not erect bullet-proof barriers on his property that would have stopped the bullet from traveling through his property to property owner C’s property?  No, he is not. Property owner A is the aggressive actor, not property owner B.

Scenario 2:

Within a community of property owners, there is a property owner that has an apple tree that is constantly pillaged by squirrels.  This property owner views squirrels as nothing more than aggressors to his property and believes that squirrels should be annihilated to extinction.  Other property owners in his community see them as an occasional nuisance, but don’t see any reason to eliminate them.  Yet other property owners enjoy watching them on their property, and may even set out corn cobs and nuts to share with them.

Does the property owner that wants to see squirrels go extinct have a right to invade a neighbor’s property and cut down that neighbor’s tree because it has a squirrel nest in it?  No, he does not; that would be an act of aggression upon his neighbor’s property. Does he have the right to invade all of his neighbor’s properties with a shotgun on a mission to eliminate all squirrels and achieve his desired extinction?  No, he does not; that would be an act of aggression upon his neighbors’ property.  Are his neighbors liable for his loss of apples when squirrels pillage his tree?  No, they are not; they did not commit the act of pillage; they simply didn’t prevent it in any way from happening.  The property owner that would like squirrels to be extinct can shoot all of the squirrels that come onto his property.  He cannot force his neighbors to take action to achieve squirrel extinction.

Best regards,

Ady Niehaus

Dear Ady:

You say this:

“if there is any claim to be made at all for aggression, it must be in the act of transmitting the communicable disease, not in declining to implement one specific means of avoidance of that act.”

Yes, that is it, precisely. I am considering the case in which the ONLY way the communicable disease will not be transmitted to innocent victims (who themselves cannot take this vaccine for some reason or other, let’s say it will kill them) is if the vaccine is taken.

What error do I commit in considering such a possibility?

Best regards,

Walter

F. Ernest Cooley

From: Cooley, Ernest

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 10:21 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Vaccinations? Quarantines?

Dear Professor Block,

The idea that people who do not vaccinate endanger others is not supported by logic or credible data.

Vaccination is a sacrament of scientism and the vaccination proponents are threatened by those who don’t share their religious belief in “science” or question the rituals.

Academia, “science”, FDA CDC, NIH & XYZ are so corrupted that not a single word should be believed.

Practically everything people believe about vaccines is a proven lie.

That is how effective the propaganda is.

As far as the lockdown, this was based on junk science projecting overloading of hospitals.

When the hospitals weren’t overloaded the narrative changed from “flatten the curve” to “stop the spread”.

The spread can’t be stopped and arguably shouldn’t, unless you believe the lies about vaccines.

Junk science and lies, 24-7, 365, that’s what we get from the pharma owned government and media.

I think the scientific fraudsters and liars should be punished proportionately to the harm they cause.

Respectfully,

Ernest

Dear Ernest:

I never said or wrote that “people who do not vaccinate endanger others.”

Rather, I have the view that “people who do not vaccinate COULD endanger others”

That it is not a logical contradiction to say that people who do not vaccinate DO endanger others

Suppose this were true. Then what?

Best regards,

Walter

G. John Harris

Letter 1

From: John Harris

Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 9:29 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Slippery viral slopes

Professor Block,

You say, assuming a virus that would be lethal to B:

A has a virus. He can get a vaccination injection guaranteed not to harm him, which will prevent it from spreading to others. For some reason, work with me here, B cannot get the injection (he’ll die from it), and will also perish if infected by A. This virus can travel thousands of miles. There is no way to protect B if A is not vaccinated. Under these admittedly extreme circumstances, if A refuses to get vaccinated, and B dies as a result of contagion from A, and we can prove this, I’d consider A a murderer. Murder is incompatible with the NAP. QED.

Let us consider the case of a virus that would be beneficial to B:

A has a virus. He can get a vaccination injection guaranteed not to harm him, which will prevent it from spreading to others. For some reason, work with me here, B cannot get the injection virus (he’ll die from without it), and will also perish if unless infected by A. This virus can travel thousands of miles. There is no way to protect B if unless A is not vaccinated. Under these admittedly extreme circumstances, if A refuses to get is willfully vaccinated, and B dies as a result of contagion lack of infection from A, and we can prove this…

Can A be damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t?

Let’s make matters worse. What about a virus that is lethal to some and beneficial to others? Some will die unless A is vaccinated. Others will die if A is vaccinated. How does A live in accordance with the NAP under that condition?

John Harris

Letter 2

On May 11, 2020, at 1:42 PM, Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu wrote:

Dear John:

Thanks for your contribution to this discussion. I sense an intellectual kinship between us. We are both not only willing to, but actually enjoy, discussing difficult challenges to libertiaranism.

I’m not sure I follow exactly what you say. Too many cross outs. But, what I get out of this is, would libertarian theory support a compulsory vaccination of A if it would greatly help B? My answer to that, if that is indeed the question, is No. Libertiaranism is a theory of negative rights, not positive ones.

As to your second point, a basic incompatibility between A and B, Murray Rothbard deals with this somewhere. (Only David Gordon has memorized everything Murray ever wrote or said, so you’d have to ask him for the specifics). Murray dealth with werewolves, or what it vampires, the “people” who can only ingest human blood. His answer, to the best of my recollection is that this sets up a necessary fight between us and them, with no resolution except that “might makes right.” Even Hans Hoppe’s brilliant argumentation ethics, I don’t think, can resolve this one. The only difficulty is that if they win, they’ll kill us all, and then they’ll die off too, for lack of humans of our type to continue feeding them. Unless that is, they can treat us like we treat chickens, cows: keep enough of us alive to serve as food.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3

From: John Harris

Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 3:23 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Slippery viral slopes

Professor Block,

Thank you for your kind reply. I always appreciate your thought experiments and believe they have invaluable practical benefit.

In your hypothetical, a vaccine exists that prevents human-to-human transmission of virus V. The vaccine is harmless to A but lethal to B. V is also lethal to B. You propose that if A’s refusal of the vaccine becomes the proximate cause of B’s death by V, A is guilty of murder.

In mine, virus V is beneficial rather than lethal to B; without infection by V, B will die. In this case, A’s insistence upon vaccination (and thereby his prevention of V’s transmission) becomes the proximate cause of B’s death by lack of V. Is A guilty of murder in that scenario as well?

These questions have real-world relevance. Evidence exists that individuals infected with a certain strain of herpes virus acquire immunity to the virus that causes bubonic plague, by virtue of that herpes infection. More generally, it seems likely that some viruses are beneficial while others are detrimental, and that some viruses may have a differential effect (positive on some, negative on others).

My analysis of the correct libertarian position on these matters: if B wishes to reduce his risk of infection by A to a negligible level, he may do so by withdrawing voluntarily from the society that includes A (whether temporarily or permanently); true enough, by doing so B will deny himself the benefits of life in society, but that will be his choice and keeps force out of the equation.

We all have a right to self-seclusion (or vaccination); none has a right to forcible seclusion or vaccination of others.

Letter 4

Dear John:

I agree it would be extremely rare for it to not violate the NAP to compel someone to have a vaccination against his will, but I have given several examples where this would be the case.

Best regards,

Walter

H. Kenn Williamson

Letter 1

From: Kenn Williamson

Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 9:26 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Mandatory Vaccination Confusion

Dear Walter,

Hope you are well in this crazy world we are living in today.  I’ve been reading the back and forth concerning the validity of justified mandatory vaccinations according to the NAP and I’m also going to have to strongly disagree with your take on this.

You take the example of a vaccine that prevents person A from infecting person B with a disease that could do them harm then you want to abstract away from complications, “I abstract here from all sort of complications, such as the vaccination does not work, it harms people forced to take it, etc.”  Here you make a fatal error in my estimation.  You cannot abstract away from these realities when talking about vaccines.

Let us take another example.  Person A shoots Person B in the face with a gun.  Now this example is a clear cut case of a violation of the NAP assuming, of course, the answer to the only valid complication in determining cases of violation of the NAP, namely, that Person B did not deserve to be shot in the face by a previous violation of the NAP on Person A.

Now let’s say I assert the opposite that in fact Person A did not violate the NAP in shooting Person B and I justify it by saying I want to abstract away from the “complications” of how guns work.  I say assuming guns do not work the way that they do in reality.  They do not propel metal projectiles at high velocities out of the barrel.  Those high speed projectiles on contact with another person do not cause possibly irreparable damage.  Now given those assumptions has A violated the NAP in shooting B?  No.  But has this example shown us anything about the NAP or the situation?  Also, no.

This is the flaw in the reasoning that you are using to justify mandatory vaccinations.  Implicit in the premise of “mandatory vaccinations” are the possible complications “such as the vaccination does not work, it harms people forced to take it, etc.”  Abstracting away from the complications changes the premise of the question you are being asked to the point of making the result counter-intuitive and likely nonsensical.

If you are saying, “Given a perfectly safe, non-invasive vaccine that 100% prevents transmission and infection of the disease and that the disease in question is life–threatening and it can be shown that the only solution is to take the aforementioned perfectly safe vaccine, then it is permissible under the NAP to force people to take this vaccine.”  I might agree with this statement.  However, what does this statement show us about the actual world and the situation we find ourselves in?  Absolutely nothing.  You have abstracted away from reality almost to the point of a tautology.

I hope this example helps to clarify the problem you are having discussing this issue on the LRC blog.

Best regards,

Kenn

Letter 2

On Mon, May 11, 2020 at 1:55 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu wrote:

Dear Kenn:

Thanks for your important note. I didn’t think it was necessary to complement critics of mine, as you are in this case, for being polite in their criticism, but I have learned differently.

I think your very clever criticism fails. I think there is a disanogy between abstracting from the virus case, and the gun case. It is perfectly concievable that there would be a vaccine that works perfectly, with no harm to the person forced to take it, and would be the only way to save the lives of other innocentpeole. It is not at all perfectly concievable that a gun could work as it nowadays does, and yet not violate rights when shooting an innocent person.

Waitasec. Maybe I’ve got this wrong. Maybe, a gun of your type would function akin to looking at someone, or taking their picture. You know that certain jungle tribesmen, I think, object to having their picture taken because they think it violates their rights. Some people object to others even looking at them for this reason. Your “gun” perhaps could function in that way. Namely, it is not a rights violation at all.

As it happens, I have written a bit about this, at least tangentially:

Block, 1998, 2008, 2014; Block and Block, 1996; Tullock, 1996

Block, Walter E. 1998. “Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property: Reply to Gordon Tullock,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, Vol. 8, No. 2/3, June-September, pp. 315-326; http://141.164.133.3/faculty/Block/Blockarticles/roads2_vol8.htmhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_roads-bridges-sunlight-reply-tullock-1998.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Homesteading, ad coelum, owning views and forestalling.” The Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 96-103; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1890872

Block, Walter E. 2014. “A Collection of Essays on Libertarian Jurisprudence: Sunshine and property rights.”  Saint Louis University Law Journal; Vol. 58, No. 2, Winter, pp. 541-547; http://slu.edu/Documents/law/Law%20Journal/Archives/LawJournal58-2/Block_Article.pdf

Block, Walter E. and Matthew A. Block. 1996. “Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property Rights,” Journal Des Economistes Et Des Etudes Humaines, Vol. VII, No. 2/3, June-September, pp. 351-362; http://141.164.133.3/faculty/Block/Blockarticles/roads1_vol7.htmhttp://www.business.loyno.edu/bios/Blockarticles/roads1_vol7.htmhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-block_roads-bridges-sunlight-property-1996.pdfhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/228217518_Roads_Bridges_Sunlight_and_Private_Property_Rights?ev=prf_pub

Tullock, Gordon. 1996. “Comment on ‘Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property’, by Walter E. Block and Matthew A. Block,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, Vol. 7, No. 4, December, pp. 589-592.

Block, Walter E. 1998. “Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property: Reply to Gordon Tullock,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, Vol. 8, No. 2/3, June-September, pp. 315-326; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_roads-bridges-sunlight-reply-tullock-1998.pdfhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_roads-bridges-sunlight-reply-tullock-1998.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Homesteading, ad coelum, owning views and forestalling.” The Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 96-103; Block, Walter E. 2014. “A Collection of Essays on Libertarian Jurisprudence: Sunshine and property rights.”  Saint Louis University Law Journal; Vol. 58, No. 2, Winter, pp. 541-547;

Block, Walter E. and Matthew A. Block. 1996. “Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property Rights,” Journal Des Economistes Et Des Etudes Humaines, Vol. VII, No. 2/3, June-September, pp. 351-362;  Block, Walter E. 1998. “Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property: Reply to Gordon Tullock,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, Vol. 8, No. 2/3, June-September, pp. 315-326. But see this for an alternative viewpoint. Tullock, Gordon. 1996. “Comment on ‘Roads, Bridges, Sunlight and Private Property’, by Walter E. Block and Matthew A. Block,” Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, Vol. 7, No. 4, December, pp. 589-592

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3

From: Kenn Williamson

Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 2:24 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Mandatory Vaccination Confusion

Dear Walter,

We might have to agree to disagree about this.  I think the analogy works because of the nature of medical treatment in general and vaccines in particular.  There are no “risk-free” vaccines in the same way there are no guns that don’t shoot. Guns shoot by definition and vaccines carry risk in the same way.  This is the nature of the world and our language.  You say you can conceive of a vaccine that doesn’t cause risk but I’ve also demonstrated the conception of a gun that doesn’t shoot. There are no scientific or medical professionals that talk about “risk-free” vaccines or any other medical interventions.  As soon as “risk-free” becomes “low-risk” which is what some might say about vaccines, your argument falls apart.

Thanks for the complement about disagreeing agreeably.  I know how rabid people get about vaccinations on both sides of the issue.  I hope you know that I only criticize you because I hold you in the utmost respect and value your opinion on libertarian ideas.

Best regards,

Kenn

Letter 4

On Mon, May 11, 2020 at 8:15 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu wrote:

Dear Kenn:

Aren’t some vaccines virtually 100% trouble free for those who take them? True, the Salk vaccine deals with a disease that’s not contagious, but I think there are no problems with it.

I googled what are the bad side effects of the salk vaccine?

And got this:

https://www.google.com/search?q=what+are+the+bad+side+effects+of+the+salk+vaccine%3F&rlz=1C1CHBD_enUS790US790&oq=what+are+the+bad+side+effects+of+the+salk+vaccine%3F&aqs=chrome..69i57j33.16671j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

But all of this is beside the point. I’m dealing with a hypothetic vaccine! And I’m mainting that under certain limited assumptions, it would be compatible with the NAP to compel people to take is, lest they take on the role, in effect, of being a murderer, if they will necessarily kill others who cannot protect themselves from this disease.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 5

From: Kenn Williamson

Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 8:26 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Mandatory Vaccination Confusion

Dear Walter,

You say “virtually 100%” making my point. If it was “actually 100%” trouble free then I think your argument holds.  My point is that your hypothetical vaccine is something that cannot exist by definition.  There are no risk free medical treatments.  I would agree that there are some “low-risk” or “virtually 100% trouble free” however I don’t think the argument you are making holds true if there is any possibility of harm to the recipient of your mandatory vaccine.  At that point you are making a value judgement about whether Person B who might get the disease without Person A taking the vaccine has more of a right to their self-ownership than Person A who is being compelled to take it.  You cannot make interpersonal value judgements about which harm is greater.  You know this.  So you stipulate as an assumption a “risk-free” vaccine.  My contention has been all along that you are correct given your assumption.  My point is that your assumption makes the situation unlike reality to the point of creating a counter-intuitive result.  I tried to show that with a hyperbolic example using guns.

However, if that still does not convince you let’s take another example.  Let us assume your 100% risk-free vaccine.  Now let us also assume a “vaccine free park” similar to the “murder park” that you have previously written about.  If people are allowed under the NAP to create a “murder park” where by common agreement the restrictions of the NAP against violence is lifted, then why couldn’t they make a “vaccine free park” where despite the fact that there is no danger from the vaccine people have by common agreement for whatever reason decided that you should not or even cannot take the vaccine.  In this scenario is mandatory vaccination of the people in the “vaccine free park” legitimate by the NAP?  I would say no.  A detractor might say similar to the murder park, “What about someone who is infected (shot) unintentionally by a person living in ‘vaccine free park?’”  In my estimation this still doesn’t justify mandatory vaccination of the people in “vaccine free park” because those isolated cases could and would be solved by a court case, not by the violation of the rights of the all people in “vaccine free park,”

So given these two examples I think the correct position to take is that people are free to discriminate against the non-vaccinated where ever they have the property right.  However, this cannot be extended to a mandatory vaccination being permissible by the NAP.

Best regards,

Kenn

Letter 6

On Tue, May 12, 2020 at 10:12 AM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu wrote:

Dear Kenn:

There, I was making an empirical claim, to “soften” you up. If some vaccines are “virtually” trouble free, then, you should have no trouble IMAGINING a vaccine that is ACTUALLY trouble free. Are we no longer able to use hypotheticals in discussing the implications of libertarian theory?

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 7

From: Kenn Williamson

Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 10:19 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Mandatory Vaccination Confusion

Dear Walter,

I’ve been trying to convey that while you can use hypothetical situations to discuss the implications of libertarian theory, the profit of such discussions are severely reduced or perhaps even become losses when the hypothetical bears little resemblance to reality hence my hyperbolic gun example.  I have no trouble IMAGINING a GUN that ACTUALLY doesn’t shoot  Maybe you do, however, that seems like a deficiency in your imagination not in my argument.

You give no answer to my second example which I think further demonstrates how your position is untenable.

Letter 8

On Tue, May 12, 2020 at 10:22 AM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu wrote:

Dear Kenn:

I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this. I’ve given this my best try.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 9

From: Kenn Williamson

Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 10:29 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Mandatory Vaccination Confusion

Dear Walter,

I have to agree with you about disagreement.  I’ve tried my best to demonstrate how your argument is counter-productive given the reality of how vaccines work.  I’ve given you two examples of why your argument while maybe technically correct shows us little or nothing about the NAP or the world.  If you don’t see that then I’ve done my best and I’ll just chalk it up to a deficiency in my persuasive abilities.  This is the reason why I’m a computer programmer not a libertarian activist for a living.

Best regards,

Kenn

Letter 10

On Tue, May 12, 2020 at 10:36 AM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu wrote:

Dear Kenn:

I have no problem imagining a gun that doesn’t work. I just don’t see how that example overturns my claim that compelling someone to take a vaccine is NECESSARILY incompatible with the NAP, under all imaginable scenarios.

Well, at least, we agree on something:

Williamson, Kenn and Walter E. Block. 2017. “Is libertarianism thick or thin? Thin!” The Italian Law Journal. Volume 3, Issue 1, July; http://www.theitalianlawjournal.it/current2/www.theitalianlawjournal.it

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 11

From: Kenn Williamson

Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 12:51 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Mandatory Vaccination Confusion

Dear Walter,

I’ve never said that it does (overturn your claim).  I’ve always maintained that while technically correct the reason your argument is counter-productive because the imaginary scenarios in which it applies are not possible scenarios.  I’m trying to show you how this is similar to other academic claims that while technically correct have zero (or possibly negative) predictive and analytic power because the assumptions do not correspond to the conditions of reality.

Let me try another other line of argument.  Consider the complex mathematical models that mainstream economists use to predict and analyze the economy.  Why, as Austrian economists, do we reject the implications of those models?  Given the assumptions they make their models are 100% technically correct.  The problem with the implications of the models isn’t that they aren’t technically correct.  The problem is that the assumptions are wrong.  They do not correspond with the reality of the world.  That is the error I’m trying to point out.

It isn’t that your claim is incorrect.  Given your assumptions, then your conclusion follows logically.  My problem is that your assumptions do not correspond and cannot ever correspond with reality.  With all medical interventions from the beginning till the end of time there is a risk of complications.  Down to the smallest possible intervention.  By definition, a medical treatment takes the current state of a patient and introduces a change where the hope is that the state of the patient will be improved.  (In your vaccine example they will no longer be able to contract or transmit the disease.)  However, no one ever has claimed that there is zero risk.  The change made due to the treatment always has the possibility of causing harm to the patient.  This is universally understood.

It is similar to the problem of a squaring the circle.  Yes, we can imagine a circle and a square with the same area.  The problem is that it is impossible to construct by definition.  So any argument starting with “Given a squared circle” can be technically correct while having zero practical value.

Perhaps this is where we are having the crux of our disagreement.  You don’t seem to think that a squared circle or a gun that doesn’t shoot is the equivalent of a risk free vaccine.  If that is the case then I think you are right in that we will have to agree to disagree.  I don’t see how given the nature of medical treatment in general and vaccines in particular the conception of a “risk-free” vaccine isn’t the same as a squared circle.  An impossibility.  Not unimaginable.  Impossible given the definitions of words and the nature of medical treatment. I’m not making an empirical observation that vaccines, in general, carry risk.  I’m making the a priori deduction that any medical treatment by definition carries risk.  I make this deduction given the nature of man, the world, and the English language.

This is the problem I have with your argument.  I completely agree with you that the NAP doesn’t necessarily exclude mandatory vaccination given the assumptions you make.  My problem is that I don’t think those assumptions correspond to a situation that can happen in reality.  I don’t think it is possible, even though it is imaginable, to create a medical treatment of any kind that doesn’t pose some level of risk to the patient.  Therefore the implications of your scenario are like the results of a mainstream economists model.  Sure they are correct given the assumptions but what do they tell us about the world?  Nothing.

What I’m trying to say is that given the right assumptions any activity that would be, in general, against the NAP such as forced vaccinations can be shown to have specific exceptions.  We could come up with an infinite number of situations where given some impossible assumptions the implications would be the opposite of what we would expect.  But what value is there in coming up with these types of scenarios?  Are we trying to show that ultimately the NAP is meaningless?  That it can be contorted to justify any behavior given the right assumptions?  Is that all are rulers need to do to get all libertarians in line with their actions?  Show that in some scenarios the obvious violations of the NAP that they are contemplating are in fact not against the NAP at all?  We just don’t have our assumptions right?

No, I don’t think so.  The problem is that your assumptions are wrong.  Vaccines carry risk.  While we can imagine a vaccine that doesn’t carry risk such a thing does not currently (nor in my estimation even possibly) exist.  Therefore, while technically correct your argument is actually wrong.

This reminds me of the algebraic proof that 1 = 2.  If you haven’t seen it before here is a link: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/math/how-to-prove-that-1-2

The problem with this proof is that you can’t divide by zero.  However, let us assume that you can divide by zero.  Now does 1 = 2?  It does in our hypothetical world where you can divide by zero.  However, in the real world 1 still does not equal 2.

This is the same argument you are making.  If we assume that you can do something that cannot be done, namely create a vaccine that does not carry any risk for the patient, then forcing medical treatment on peaceful people is permissible under the NAP.  Does that now mean that the NAP allows forced vaccinations?  No, it does not.  Why? Because you are starting with an impossible assumption.  It isn’t unlikely.  It is impossible.  Why is it impossible?  Because of the definition of the term “vaccine.”

I’m sorry for the length of this email because I know you are busy and have limited time however I think this is an important point.  If you are going to redifine terms to mean something different than what they mean in general usage then I don’t see how your conclusions have any validity.  The term “vaccine” is used to describe a medical treatment in which some toxin is introduced into the body in order to generate an immune response to prevent the infection and transmission of a particular disease.  This is by definition a risk.

Letter 12

On Tue, May 12, 2020 at 2:22 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu wrote:

Dear Kenn:

“Not possible” means “logical contadiction.” In my view, a square circle is not possible. It is not possible that 2+2=4 is wrong. It is not possible that bachelors can be married men.

I don’t at all put in the same category my claim that under certain contrived circumstances a compulsory vaccine could be compatible with the NAP. Yet, I perceive that all too many of my critics on this thread take exactly that position. I would like to say that their understanding of libertarianism is wrong. But I won’t. I’ll just say that their understanding of libertarianism is sharply divergent from mine, on this one issue. Well, maybe, we don’t disagree on what is libertarianism. Maybe, we only disagree on what’s possible, and what’s impossible?

What about “possible” but unlikely? Here are some examples: The sun will burst tomorrow. The earth is flat. The sun revolves around the earth. Pink elephant and unicorns exist. I place my claim not quite in this category, but close.

I think a lot of my critics on this thread are just unused to philosophical inquiry.

Here is a message I sometimes send out to people who want to keep the discussion going:

“I try to answer all polite letters. In this and in so many other ways, I try to model my life after my friend, my mentor, my guru, Murray N. Rothbard. However, I can’t engage in too many back and forth letters. I get, oh, about 200 e mails every day, and I have to economize on time in some way.”

Kenn, you’re a buddy of mine and a coauthor. Were you not, I would have cut off this discussion with you long ago. But even so, all good things must end. I’ve got to get back to my other writings. Among other tasks, I’m in the midst of writing Defending 3, and I want to finish it. So, this will be my last contribution to this discussion. I’m sorry if I’m leaving you in the lurch.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 13

From: Kenn Williamson

Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 3:32 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Mandatory Vaccination Confusion

Dear Walter,

No need to apologize.  I appreciate the back and forth.  I am going to give it one more try but feel free to ignore it given your time constraints.  I do think this stems from a problem of understanding what is possible and impossible.  I said as much in my last email.  You don’t think that the risk-free vaccine occupies the same logically contradictory realm as married bachelor.  You think of it as a pink elephant or unicorn.  Something that is possibly just unlikely.  I don’t agree and I think you are simply incorrect.  I think maybe you have a misunderstanding about how vaccines work.  They are by definition risky.

Risk: https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/risk

A situation involving exposure to danger.

Vaccine: https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/vaccine

A substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease.

Antigen: https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/antigen

A toxin or other foreign substance which induces an immune response in the body, especially the production of antibodies.

So a vaccine uses a toxin which is a dangerous risk to your immune system in order to provoke an immune response with the desired outcome being that you will gain immunity.  It is by definition risk bearing given the definitions of the words above.  Now the hope with vaccines is that the risk of taking the vaccine is less than the danger of the disease.  But there is always risk.  There does not and cannot exist a vaccine that is not risky by the definition of a vaccine.  It is a logical contradiction.

You are trying to say “Given a risk-free risk, then…”  This is a classic logical contradiction.

Again, no problem if time constraints prevent you from replying.  Although, I will borrow a Blockism, “whoever writes last is right” to go ahead and declare victory if that is the case.

Best of luck on your new Defending 3.  I’ll look forward to seeing it come out.

Letter 14

Dear Kenn:

Thanks on DTU3. Sorry. No comment on the quarantine. You get the last (substantive) word on that.

Best regards,

Walter

I. Luis Rivera

Letter 1

From: Luis Rivera

Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 2:23 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Logical Consistency: Death Toll Grounds

Dear Walter:

I wrote something online that is being shared on social media:

had I elaborated, I would have given examples such as “banning foods that cause heart disease, diabetes or mandating exercise or limiting events that force you to remain sedentary for an ‘excess’ period of time (theaters, seated concerts, athletic games, plays, long drives etc.) or banning cars altogether and having everyone rely on public transportation.”

Get Outlook for iOS

Letter 2

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 3:43:02 PM

To: Luis Rivera

Subject: RE: Logical Consistency: Death Toll Grounds

Dear Luis:

Yes, but, only the Covid spreads to innocent people. Isn’t that a  relevant difference?

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3

From: Luis Rivera

Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 4:03 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Logical Consistency: Death Toll Grounds

Here’s what I think:

Yes and quarantining society assuming that at least one person is infected, with all things being held constant, prevents the spread. Wouldn’t this also be akin to two cars on the street increasing the chances of an innocent person getting into an accident than if there was only one car on the street? One car would like the quarantine approach, decrease the risk of innocent lives taken in a car accident.

I think this is where you might have a point: the other two examples of deaths from diabetes and deaths from heart related issues.

If you ban the sale of say, candy and deep fried meats, we assume that deaths from diabetes and cardio vascular diseases plummet. However, the sellers also “spread” these deaths, not necessarily by coughing, sneezing or touching someone but by providing them with the product. The larger the distributor, the more heart diseases and diabetes spreads.

Innocence: Those who would have consumed and as a result died from consuming these products also would have been “innocent.” Perhaps, there is a better word than “innocent,” to use when rebuking my initial statement. I think the difference lies in: it’s common knowledge that candy and deep fried foods are bad for you and increase your chances of dying via either from diabetes or a cardio vascular disease, respectively. The census is that partially due to the fact that COVID-19 is new, relative to junk food, there is less known about the actual threat that it presents.

Common Practice: Western Civilization to contrast with some of the Asian cultures do not practice wearing face masks when one is sick. That is until now and only when one contracts this particular virus. Those who voluntary practice wearing face masks reveal that they either want to prevent contracting the virus and or want to prevent passing it on to someone else; they think it’s that serious (whether right or wrong).

I think what you’re saying is: one must practice accountability when deciding to consume things like candy and deep fried meats (rather than the entity selling or offering junk food) but that, the accountability lies with someone who, believes himself to have COVID-19 to fairly warn everyone, that he might come in contact with (that he has it),cover up by using a face mask or even quarantine themselves in order not to pass on the virus.

However, this argument (found in the original quote) is sticking solely to the grounds that less deaths will result if one takes shutdown-like measures. Additionally, when you compare the deaths that come by way CVD, car crashes or diabetes, with that of COVID-19, the difference is astronomical. Granted, there are an infinite number of variables if you compare Japan or Sweden with the US (demographics, citizen to hospital ratio, immigration policy etc.) but neither, Japan or Sweden quarantined and the US is either worse or about the same when it comes to COVID-19’s impact and the number of deaths per capita that Sweden and Japan attribute to COVID-19 are much less than the number of per capita deaths in the US from the three “killers” mentioned previously.

Letter 4

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 5:06:07 PM

To: Luis Rivera

Subject: RE: Logical Consistency: Death Toll Grounds

Dear Luis:

Isn’t the relevant difference that the buyer of candy, fried meat, booze, takes it upon himself the extra risk of death, whereas the victim of virus spread does not?

What’s your position on Typhoid Mary? Were the authorities justified in forcibly quarantining her? I think they were.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 5

From: Luis Rivera

Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 4:27 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Logical Consistency: Death Toll Grounds

Yes, I agree with you that it is the relevant difference. Excellent distinction.

However, I am merely applying the logic set forth by my opponent (the utilitarian argument of death count). That does not mean that I favor utilitarianism over the deontological view (ie. I just wanted to explode their argument, abiding all the while by their own logic).

I would have to dig deeper as far as the Typhoid Mary question goes. My gut tells me that much of this, is actually a continuum (ie death rate, how contagious are these viruses etc.).

This was fun, I have some more stuff that I want to throw your way to see what you think.

Letter 6

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2020 5:31:09 PM

To: Luis Rivera

Subject: RE: Logical Consistency: Death Toll Grounds

Sounds good. good to be in touch with you

Letter 7

From: Luis Rivera

Sent: Friday, May 01, 2020 7:55 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Logical Consistency: Death Toll Grounds

Dear Walter:

I familiarized myself with Typhoid Mary. Have I overlooked anything or committed any non-grammatical errors? Here is what I wrote:

I’d consider her dangerous. She was a weapon, at least, as a cook, if not, even beyond that; she was weaponized by nature. Had she known that she had typhoid, she would have to disclose this information to a potential client before he decided to pay for any of her prepared meals. Not doing this would be in violation of libertarianism. I think it would be a notch below intentionally poisoning someone (assuming the poison causes the same or worse effects than typhoid).

It seems as if Typhoid Mary was a habitual offender and that quarantining her was warranted; she couldn’t be trusted.

The question becomes what is more libertarian having tax funded police officers forcibly quarantine her or let her run wild, using aliases and repeating this type of crime? I’d say using the tax funded cop.

Adding to this:

Above, I expressed my views on the compatibility of putting Typhoid Mary in quarantine due to her habitual behavior of working as a cook and thus passing typhoid fever to customers without giving them a warning (that would scare nearly every sane person away from paying for any of the meals she prepared).

Now, the more difficult question comes: Should she be quarantined if we assume she does not prepare meals or beverages for other people (without being clear about her condition to a potential buyer)? From a radical standpoint I think it depends on the facility of spreading this fever. I don’t know enough about it to answer this question with the certainty, I’d like.

A Hypothetical

For argument’s sake, let’s assume that someone became asymptotic as an adult to a fever that was as deadly as typhoid fever. We further assume that this person could spread this virus simply by having skin to skin contact with another individual. Prior to obtaining this asymptotic condition, this person was a model citizen and he never interacted with anyone after obtaining this fever (so he never killed or even infected anyone). Would this person need to be quarantined in the eyes of libertarianism? Well, what if they were forced to wear a hazmat suit when in public and said hazmat suit also had a conspicuous, universal “skin is biohazard” sign for example? *In this hypothetical when the suit is on there is a 0% chance of transmitting the virus to any entity on the other side of the suit* I would say no, you couldn’t quarantine them. The way I see it is, I could have a small, but deadly firearm concealed in my jacket and I could aim at someone and pull the trigger and kill them without them ever realizing the danger that they were in until if ever the bullet entered his body. This would be similar to the asymptotic, hazmat wearing person taking their suit off and touching someone person (had he worn the suit without the “skin is bio-hazardous. The hazmat prevents the asymptotic person from unintentionally infecting an innocent person but the “skin is bio-hazardous” sign protects someone infecting themselves when the asymptotic person does not communicate with the other person that is contemplating whether to take the asymptotic person’s hazmat off. An example of this would be, say the asymptotic person was unconscious and rescue workers or a good samaritan had to make a decision on whether to attempt to save this person or not by making some sort of skin to skin contact (ie CPR etc.). If the rescuer(s) decided to touch this individual, they would be cognizant of the danger associated with this decision and that this contact would not be like any other CPR routine.

Letter 8

Dear Luis:

Excellent analysis on your part.

My thought is that we really know know the facts.

Is Covid like typhoid? How close do they resemble each other?

I think the hidden gun is a disanalogy. Heck, we all have fists. If we know karate, we could kill with our bare hands (and feet).

I think, but I’m not sure, that Covid spreads though water particles. So, if I have it, happily, I don’t, at least I don’t think I do, and I sneeze, and the wind is blowing, my contagion can travel what, 50 feet?

Are you familiar with this article of mine:

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

It’s good to be in touch with you, and, discussing important issues like this

Best regards,

Walter

J. Mark Gilmore

Letter 1

From: MarkGilmore

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 7:30 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Cc:

Subject: FORCED injections in the name of the *NAP*

am i hallucinating ?

perhaps my mind is failing me ?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/vaccinations-quarantines/:

Regarding question 1, yes, I think there could be circumstances in

which compulsory vaccination would be required by law

(let’s forget about who imposes them; well, governments for

minarchists, private defense agencies for anarcho-capitalists),

and parents should be required to vaccinate their kids. After all,

as you quite rightly say, “people who do not vaccinate

endanger not only themselves, but also people they communicate with

and thus break the NAP and should  be punished accordingly.”

So if the USG (well known for honesty and virtuous motives)

*declared* disease X to be contagious and deadly, and their new

vaccine “safe and effective”, then you (Walter E Block????) would

support the *FORCEFUL* injection of The State’s “cure” into its citizens ??

And you’d do so in the name of the **NAP** ??? – even though the only

people

(supposedly) “aggressed upon” would be those that *also* refused the

State’s “cure” ?

*And* those who dare resist would “need to be *punished*” ???

Good Lord help us

Letter 2

On 5/10/2020 3:45 PM, Walter Block wrote:

Dear Mark:

I agree with the first part. I disagree with the second part. I’m no

more of a fan of the USG than you, Lew, or any other ancap in good

standing.

Why do you claim I support the USG, apart from that very big IF? “So

if the USG”

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3

From: MarkGilmore

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 3:53 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Cc:

Subject: Re: FORCED injections in the name of the *NAP*

Hi Walter,

Thanks for responding.

I know you’re no fan of the USG 🙂

I was posing a hypothetical, which i *thought* would apply per your

statement:

“I think there could be circumstances in which compulsory vaccination

would be required by law”

But i now see that my hypothetical falsely assumed that you’d support

mandatory vaccinations

*regardless* of the circumstances (which was not my intent).

So to restate my objection:

I fail to see *any* circumstances in which mandatory vaccinations (i.e.

*forced* injections) could be compatible with the NAP (let alone done

*in the name* of the NAP!).

This would be initiating aggression upon a person because of what the

aggressor(s)

*thinks* (or *claims* to think) *might* happen to others.

Such reasoning could serve as justification for all manner of tyranny!

Regards,

Mark

Letter 4

On 5/10/2020 8:28 PM, Walter Block wrote:

Dear Mark:

I hope and trust you don’t mind that I bring Tom into this. He’s

really part of this discussion.

By the way, I intend to blog all of this on LRC, deleting all mention

of niceness, apologies, rudeness, politeness, etc. Just the substance.

So here goes.

Mark, you say this: ” I fail to see *any* circumstances in which

mandatory vaccinations (i.e. *forced* injections) could be compatible

with the NAP (let alone done *in the name* of the NAP!).”

Here’s a circumstance:

A has a virus. He can get a vaccination injection guaranteed not to

harm him, which will prevent it from spreading to others. For some

reason, work with me here, B cannot get the injection (he’ll die from

it), and will also perish if infected by A. This virus can travel

thousands of miles. There is no way to protect B if A is not

vaccinated. Under these admitedly extreme circumstances, if A refuses

to get vaccinated, and B dies as a result of contagion from A, and we

can prove this, I’d consider A a murderer. Murder is incompatible with the NAP. QED.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 5

—–Original Message—–

From: MarkGilmore

Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 6:47 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu;

Cc:

Subject: Re: FORCED injections in the name of the *NAP*

Good morning Walter,

I thing we can all agree that holding down a person and forcible injecting something into their blood stream is an *extreme* form of assault!

And that such is assault would an initiation of force (even if it’s stated purpose is the defense of others).

So one solution would be to safely escort Person A out of the area.

Also:

There is no way to know (for sure) how deadly/contagious a virus is.

We have to depend on the word of “experts” (whose motives/methods/tests may be questionable).

So the “murder” of Person B would be only a possibility, while the assault on Person A would be a known.

I question whether this should be considered “murder” when (technically speaking) it’s the virus that does the killing.

We’d not call it “murder” if Person A had not yet *had the chance* to get vaccinated.

So should we call it “murder”, not for what Person A *did*, but what he *failed* to do (get vaccinated) ?

This seems a variation of the drowning man question: Is it “murder” if one makes no attempt to save a drowning man ?

I won’t pretend to have an answer for this one!

Regards,

Mark

Letter 6

Dear Mark:

Sorry, I can’t see my way clear to agreeing with you.

Right now, people convicted of murder are not shot or hanged. Rather the executioner is “holding down SUCH a person and forcible injecting something into HIS blood stream.  Is this an *extreme* form of assault?” No. Stipulate the that death penalty for a murderer is “holding down SUCH a person and forcible injecting something into HIS blood stream.”

So, now, the question becomes, is what I say here logically possible or not:

“A has a virus. He can get a vaccination injection guaranteed not to harm him, which will prevent it from spreading to others. For some reason, work with me here, B cannot get the injection (he’ll die from it), and will also perish if infected by A. This virus can travel thousands of miles. There is no way to protect B if A is not  vaccinated. Under these admittedly extreme circumstances, if A refuses to get vaccinated, and B dies as a result of contagion from A, and we can prove this, I’d consider A a murderer. Murder is incompatible with the NAP. QED.”

If so, a forced vaccination is not at all “assault.” Rather, it becomes a defensive act, or a justified punishment for A, the would be murderer.

Best regards,

Walter

K. Martin W.

From:

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 8:04 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: vaccinations? quarantines?

Walter,

I was surprised to see your endorsement of the idea of forcing people to take vaccines. I think it violates the NAP.

1) Nuremberg Code: “informed consent” is required for medical treatment/testing (a NAP principle).

2) You seem to endorse “greatest good for the greatest number” over individual choice. Isn’t that one of the “definitions” of communism?

3) Apparently you believe the pharmaceutical propaganda that “vaccines are safe”. Nothing is purely safe. I am not knowledgeable enough to quote you numbers of people killed and maimed from vaccines. Lots and lots.

4) Vaccine makers are legally immune from being sued from damages: act of congress.

5) The level of corruption and dishonesty related to pharmaceutical companies is off the charts.

If any of this piques your interest, I recommend Joe Mercola, Robert Kennedy, Barbara Loe Fisher (National Vaccine Information Center is related to either Kennedy of Fisher or both), and Dr. Malcolm Kendricks (“Doctoring Data” and “The Great Cholesterol Con”). Kendrick’s books are probably available in the public library). “Vaccines: A Reappraisal” by Richard Moskowitz may be out of print. I recommend “Doctoring Data” for starters.

Best wishes,

Martin

p.s Most “anti-vaxxers” were “pro-vaxxers” until a loved one was killed or maimed from vaccines.

Dear Martin:

I am offering an “endorsement of the idea of forcing people to take vaccines” under certain very limited circumstances.

Are there no circumstances, none, zero, nada, under which the NAP would not only support forced vaccinations, but require them.

Can you not think of any, even science-fictionish circumstances, where this would be justified?

If not, then I have a wilder imagination than you.

If so, then it is merely an empirical issue, a matter of prudential judgement, whether or not that situation applies. And, we libertarians have no compariative advantage in deciding such matters.

Best regards,

Walter

L. Matheus Vieira

From: Matheus Vieira

Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 2:02 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: COVID-19 and libertarianism

Good afternoon, Professor Block!

As your are the master of Libertarian weird/difficult questions, I thought I would ask you another one.

This question has been asked by Raphaël Lima (who has an huge libertarian following here in Brazil) on Twitter and I think it would be interesting to get the English-speaking libertarians involved as well:

If Bob is infected by COVID-19, is aware of it, goes outside and infects Jim and then Jim dies, can Bob be charged of Homicide?

A similar question would be: If Bob has HIV and has unprotected sex with Ana, tells her he doesn’t have HIV, and then Ana ends up infected and dies because of it. Likewise, can we charge Bob of homicide?

Thanks for your time! Patiently waiting for Defending III…

With best regards from Brazil,

Matheus Vieira.

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 5:02 PM

To: Matheus Vieira

Subject: RE: COVID-19 and libertarianism

Dear Matheus: in my view, Bob is guilty of murder in both cases. Best regards, Walter Be safe.

This is not exactly on point, but it is at least somewhat relevant to your question:

Block, Walter E. 2020. “Quarantines.” March 10;

https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/03/walter-block-on-quarantines-because-of.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+TargetLiberty+(Target+Liberty);

https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/03/walter-block-on-quarantines-because-of.html?fbclid=IwAR2eKAqVI1zJ-2d-aCW6IQwwJQQKRWJf_lcJsDxLHp9RIfNx-1fYuMzUrO8

M. Mike Stahl

From: Mike Stahl

Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 3:49 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: LewRockwell.com; Forced vaccination

Dear Dr. Block,

Thank you for your fascinating thought experiment regarding forced vaccination and the non-aggression principle. It is my hope that you will be able to help me square your position with my understanding of non-aggression.

In short, I challenge the completeness of your premise that, ” (t)hat is because infecting an innocent person with a contagious disease can be considered a crime. . .” under non-aggression. I would posit that this can only be a libertarian claim if the term “deliberately” were to be added. I will also extrapolate upon your hypothetical to illustrate my point.

It is my understanding of non-aggression, and of your libertarian legal theory, that for a “crime” to exist under libertarian law, or for a use of force to be justified, there must first be an initiation of physical force. Now, this force can be predicated upon a trespass, even a slight trespass. For instance, if you build a smelting furnace which pollutes my property this would violate non-aggression and you would be liable for damages, or I might use force to stop the source of the pollution, irrespective of your intent to pollute my property. You took an action, deliberately applied physical force to the external world which impacted my property. The same is true if you lead your cattle herd upstream of my house, and pollute the water. That is a libertarian no-no, at least to my understanding.

There are similarities between a communicable disease and pollution in that both might spread from one individual or property to another in unpredictable means. However, unlike pollution, a virus or bacteria is itself a living (or semi-living) entity which is not driven by human will, but rather by whatever drives all life to propagate and to survive.

Because a disease requires no action to “catch”, and indeed most sane people would wish to avoid disease, and likewise requires no action to be spread, I fail to see how the infected, “B” in your scenario engaged in the initiation of force (unless B created the virus, or could somehow direct it’s thousands of miles of travel to A,)Yet, you claim that “B” would be guilty of the murder of “A” if “B”were not vaccinated, and as such the forced vaccination of “B”  would be justified.

I’m willing to presume that the vaccination will not harm “B” and that “B” knows the consequences to “A”. Non-aggression is not predicated upon damages, and an initiation of force is not mitigated by lack of harm: non-aggression presumes that the initiation of force is, a priori, not only wrong, but indefensible such that the victim of such force is justified in self-defense (or retaliation in my view).

It seems to me that “B” would be justified in resisting the forced vaccination, but let me move the goalposts a bit to illustrate why this must be so. In your hypothetical,”A”suffers, and must die, because “B” refuses to be vaccinated, which we agree will be harmless to “B”.

In order to reach a more pure question of the initiation of force, let me ask your opinion on the following scenario:

“A” retains the same susceptibility to the disease. There is no vaccination, and no cure.”B” has innocently contracted the disease, but will suffer no adverse effects. It is known that the disease will become communicable to “A” in 24 hours, and “A” will contract the disease and will die. If “B’  dies within 24 hours, the disease dies with “B”, A will not contract the disease and will live. No one but “A” will contract the disease and be harmed by it.

Does “B” initiate force by not committing suicide? Under your assertion, I believe the answer would be “yes”. If it is not, could you explain how it is not?

To me, the only way the above makes sense at all is if “B’ created the disease (i.e., as a bio-weapon, or even as a vaccine or other research mishap) or was somehow actively able to control the spread of the disease- i.e., direct it at “A”. Perhaps I am picking at nits, but it seems an important distinction to make.

The above is presented with the utmost respect, I always enjoy your thoughts and commentary. Thank you for all of the work that you do!

Best Wishes,

Mike

Sincerely,

Dear Mike:

I don’t see why “deliberately,” or “purposeful” or “with malice aforethought” or “intention” is necessary for criminal behavior. Certainly, it is sufficient, given an actual crime.

But how about “reckless disregard” or “extreme negligence?” Suppose I take a gun to a crowded area, and start spreading lead around. I don’t mean to kill anyone. Indeed, I’m purposefully trying NOT to kill anyone. Not even hurting anyone is my intention. Nevertheless, I’m shooting bullets into a crowd. If I hit anyone, I’m certainly a criminal even though I lack mens rea. Even if I don’t hit anyone, I’m still a threat. I should be treated like the criminal I am in either case.

I knew a married couple who allowed their son to shoot arrows into a tree in their yard. It was a wide tree. But the arrows were not rubber tipped toys. These were the sort of arrows that could kill someone. The boy had no intention of killing anyone in the next yard. But, I remonstrated with the parents. Told them this was an idiotic idea to allow their son to do this. I asked them, how’d they like it if someone in the next yard was doing the same thing, only the arrows were headed in their direction.

I think the parents were engaged in criminal behavior for allowing their boy to do this.

Best regards,

Walter

N. Rodney Huff

From: R Huff

Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 10:36 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Forced vaccination questions and quarantine breakers as The Undefendable in need of defense

Dear Dr. Block,

I always enjoy hearing your thoughts on issues where it’s not clear how we would apply libertarian principles.  I usually find myself in agreement with you.  However, I strongly disagree with the argument you make in favor of forced vaccination.

In a recent article on the LRC Blog, you link to responses to several letters regarding forced vaccination, including one from a libertarian physician (“letter 3”) who said some of your assumptions were not realistic.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/02/walter-e-block/forced-vaccinations/

Reading your responses, I believe your argument is flawed on at least 3 counts.

Count #1: Dr. Block, you and I and “Typhoid Mary” and everyone else on the planet are already “guilty” of murder, if we extend your logic in light of the following facts:

1) Each year tens of thousands of people (just in the US) die of seasonal flu.

2) Many, many more people each year contract flu viruses and are asymptomatic or experience only mild symptoms and thus become “carriers.”

3) Countless carriers of the virus unwittingly pass the virus to countless other people, who, in turn, become carriers themselves or become ill.

4) A percentage of people who become ill end up hospitalized.

5) A percentage of hospitalized people end up dying, although the vast majority had co-morbidities that contributed to their demise.

Thus, if you have ever been exposed to any number of seasonal viruses (which you have) or have ever been sick with the flu, there is a very high likelihood (approaching 100% certainty) that you, at one time or another, participated in a causal chain of events that ended in someone else’s death.

Do you believe that everyone is a murderer, given these facts?  Would you count yourself among the murderers?

Count #2: In response to letter 5, you use the analogy of the rancher whose cows may wander off and damage a farmer’s property. However, this analogy fails to accurately reflect the dynamics of virus transmission.

For instance, how do I “own” a virus in the same way a rancher owns his cows?  Unlike the rancher’s cows, the virus invaded my property—my body—without my permission, presumably launching an attack on me from some other body it had previously invaded and colonized (and without that person’s permission either).

I do not see the similarity to cattle ranching.

I do not “own” the virus that trespassed on me, without my knowledge or consent. It is not mine to give or let loose on anyone else.  Therefore, I cannot be held legally responsible for damages caused by something I do not own or control (e.g., someone else’s viral infection).

Count #3: Furthermore, I would not hold that other person (the previous “carrier”) responsible for my getting sick.  In a world full of viruses, sickness is an ever present possibility. In such a world, I have to take responsibility for my own health.  Each of us implicitly understands and accepts this: There is a level of risk we accept every time we go outside and mingle with other people during flu season—in the same way we understand and accept the risks involved in driving cars or having sex without condoms.

How many times have you heard someone in the office say, “Yeah, there’s something goin’ around”?  People nod in agreement.  No one ever shouts, “Bloody murder!”

Everyone understands the nature of viruses: They go around every year and people get sick.  And every year, tens of thousands people die of flu-related illnesses. Yet, we still go about our business, because we accept the risks involved, like two boxers stepping into the ring. (If you can’t stand the thought of getting punched, then stay out of the ring.)

Meanwhile, there are also risks associated with not going outside and avoiding contact with other people, since the strength of our immune systems depends on our frequent exposure to viruses, as determined by human evolution. (This is another cost of universal lockdowns that government “experts” do not take into account: Our immune systems grow weaker and more vulnerable the longer we isolate ourselves in lockdown.)

It is also worth pointing out that herd immunity is the way we have overcome every other virus that has now become part of the seasonal “viral load” we face every year—and accept. Vaccines are no guarantee, and if they work at all, it is because they facilitate herd immunity.

So we want healthy, low-risk people to get exposed to the virus to increase population (herd) immunity, if we’re ever going to get back to normal.  This means universal lockdowns must end now, and the preposterous idea of “contact tracing” and quarantining asymptomatic, healthy people needs to be abandoned.

The people who break quarantine In the “new normal” Orwellian police state, so they can work and feed their families—and, in the process, bring us closer to herd immunity—are the unsung heroes who will lead us back to normal—perhaps “The Undefendable” in need of defense!

The idea that you could face murder charges if you do not submit to the totalitarian New Normal Order is a dubious and dangerous idea. I hope you will reconsider your position.

Warm regards,

Rodney

Dear Rodney:

We are talking at cross purposes. You are making empirical claims. You know way more about this sort of thing than I do. I make no empirical claim whatsoever. I’m making, instead, a theoretical claim. IF the vaccine worked 100%. IF there was ZERO chance if it having bad side effects with those who were innoculated with it. IF there were innocent people who would die if Mr. Smith, who would be fully safe, but refuses to get vaccinated, were not vaccinated. There are several other IFs floating around too, but its late and I can’t think of them. THEN would it be a violation of the NAP to compel Smith to be vaccinated? Are there NO scenarios within our imagination where this could be true?

I am trying to counter the widespread claim, held by many libertarians, that compulsory vaccinations NECESSARILY violate the NAP, under ALL conceivable circumstances.

Best regards,

Walter

O. Rick Fisk

Letter 1

From: Rick Fisk

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 6:50 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Forced Vaccinations

The idea that people who don’t get vaccinated endanger people who are vaccinated has to be one of the most illogical canards used in the vaccine debate.

It’s not even based on anything remotely scientific even if vaccines provide efficacy and there’s a good deal of evidence suggesting they don’t. Take the small pox vaccine for instance, we have three examples of populations where they had 100% vaccination rates (actually the rates exceeded 100% because many people were vaccinated two and three times) and the population still suffered massive and increasingly deadly small pox epidemics: Japan, The Philippines and the British Navy. In the Philippines, a population of 10 million according to the 1920 census, the US military and the Philippine government administered 38 million smallpox vaccines between 1913 and 1918. In 1918, and 1919 they had the worst small pox epidemics recorded, the 1919 event having a mortality rate of over 60%.

If vaccines are effective, then a person who is vaccinated has nothing to fear from a non-vaccinated person. Saying that the unvaccinated endanger the general population is tacit admission that vaccines do not work. Hardly a good argument for forcing them on people.

Letter 2

On Sun, May 10, 2020 at 5:16 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu wrote:

Dear Rick:

Au contraire, “The idea that people who don’t get vaccinated endanger people who are vaccinated” is an empirical claim. As an economist, and a libertarian, I have no comparative advantage in assessing it truth or falsehood.

Did you hear the can opener joke? A physicist, a chemist and an economist were marooned on an island. They had plenty of cans of food, but no can opener. The physicist said, “let’s drop the cans from a certain height, onto rocks of a certain hardness, and the cans will open.” The chemist said, that’s pretty good, but I can do better. Let’s heat up the cans to a certain degree, they’ll open, and we’ll have hot food.” They both turn to the economist, asking him for his contribution to this deliberation. He says: “Assume a can opener.”

There’s a lot of truth in this claim. We economists never have controlled experiments, particularly not double blind ones. We have to assume things, and follow the logic thereafter. In my attempt to analyse the Covid 19, I make lots of assumptions. One of them is “that people who don’t get vaccinated endanger people who are vaccinated.” Is this totally illicit on my part.Is it a logical contradiction for this to be the case? I don’t think so.

I think libertarians qua libertarians should be more modest in their claims about empirical reality, nowadays concerning epidemiology.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3

From: Rick Fisk

Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 12:24 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Forced Vaccinations

In my attempt to analyse the Covid 19, I make lots of assumptions. One of them is “that people who don’t get vaccinated endanger people who are vaccinated.” Is this totally illicit on my part.Is it a logical contradiction for this to be the case? I don’t think so.

Well, you really can’t say that your argument is empirical then since there isn’t a vaccine yet. If there were a vaccine and if it were to work, then an unvaccinated person, even were he to be infected, could not transmit Covid to a person who had been vaccinated. The argument that an unvaccinated person can endanger a vaccinated person assumes that the vaccine provides no protection to the vaccinated person. Otherwise, how could there be a danger?

In a libertarian society, how can any person or group dictate the medical decisions of others? If, for instance, I conclude that vitamin D and other preventative measures are less dangerous and more effective than a vaccine, how is it that any entity can tell me that my choice to avoid Covid infection in that manner is to be dismissed in favor of vaccination, which often times poses a higher risk of complications and death than the disease itself? The only entity that benefits from such a situation is the manufacturer of the vaccine. And currently, the manufacturer is immune from any lawsuit arising from damages caused by the vaccine.  We have protected the manufacturers from tort claims and instituted something called VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) which is a firewall for the vaccine manufacturers and pays out claims (which are not first summarily rejected). Want vaccines to be more accepted and effective? Make the manufacturers liable for the damage they cause. And, anyone who forces me to take a vaccine should be prepared to pay for the damages personally when the vaccine causes damage to my health. When you presume to make medical decisions on my behalf, you assume the responsibility for the damage your medical decisions cause if such damages occur.

A healthy, uninfected person poses no inherent danger to anyone. If we allow the rationale that the collective, presumed, health risk of the public allows the state’s foot in the door, a diabetic person could be forced to take medication since he may present a danger to other people. He could have a heart attack while driving or keel over on the assembly line. The drug war suddenly has merit since taking drugs could potentially endanger others.

And then we’re into the realm of preventative policing where we’re enforcing laws which do not describe crimes or actual harm to others but the potential for something that *could* happen. We can ban guns because somebody *might* accidentally shoot their kid or their neighbor.  Preventative policing is not even remotely libertarian and it repudiates centuries of jurisprudence. Besides which, viruses do not obey legal proscriptions.

In whatever form of libertarian society that exists, the health decisions of individuals ought to be their own.

Maybe I’m naive. Maybe there is something I’m missing. I never went to college so I don’t understand how the poor logic of  arguments for totalitarian intervention in people’s lives can stand without objection. I don’t mean that as insult. I truly don’t get where I’m going wrong. I did read your illustration but assuming a can opener won’t feed anyone.

I do understand that I am not advancing the conversation by refusing to concede an assumption. But how can the idea of libertarian principles be advanced at all when the argument includes the assumption that I am not the owner of my body and its health? Isn’t one of the fundamental tenets of libertarianism that I own myself? The argument for forced vaccination assumes my actions are only valid if they are in service to the greater good of your health, doesn’t it?

Letter 4

On Mon, May 11, 2020 at 10:55 AM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu wrote:

Dear Rick:

You say this: “In a libertarian society, how can any person or group dictate the medical decisions of others?”

I ask this question of you: “In a libertarian society, how can any person or group dictate the interior decorating decisions of others?

Suppose I wanted to decorate the interior of my home with an atom bomb. I live in a big city, New Orleans. Would this be allowed by a libertarian mayor of this city? Of course not. We libertarians believe in “gun control” of this sort.

Libertarianism allows us to dictate lots of personal decisions of other people, if they constitute a threat, a “clear and present danger.”

Do nuclear bombs constitute such a threat? Do contagious people constitute such a threat? Both, not only the latter, are empirical questions which lie outside the limited scope of the NAP, I contend.

Here’s a reading for you:

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/wp-content/uploads/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_Analysishttp://www.walterblock.com/publications/toward-a-universal-libertarian-theory-of-gun-weapon-control-a-spatial-and-geographical-analysis/https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/713665896

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 5

From: Rick Fisk

Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 2:56 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: Forced Vaccinations

“What, then, is the libertarian response to the critic who offers the specter of the nuclear weapon in someone’s basement, located in the midst of a large city?”

I think it’s kind of interesting that you limit here your argument to private ownership, whistling past the government’s ownership of nukes. The following paragraphs do imply that even he government’s ownership of nukes would only be appropriate when targeting meteors or aliens but you do not then include governments in the entities that should be barred the possession and use of nukes.

The only reason society would ban private ownership of nukes or firearms would be to preserve a monopoly of the use of force. And if we assume that it is absolutely true that it isn’t possible to possess a nuke without committing an act of aggression, then the government itself must also be barred the possession of nukes. Its mere possession of them is an aggressive act against other world governments and the people themselves (in terms of financial theft to build them and health and safety risks). The government describes this as defensive but such a claim is preposterous on its face. This so-called defensive act requires sophisticated targeting software, and those nukes are typically aimed at large civilian population centers and our best guess at the location of the nuclear facilities within our “enemy’s” borders.

I could live with a ban on personal nukes if the ban also applied to the government. If you assume that nuke possession is an aggressive act when a private individual does it, then you have to also go with the assumption that the government is committing aggression right now and daily for the same reasons.

But all risk can be mitigated somewhat with liability. Insurance companies do this quite well. Apart from the practical considerations of how a person could amass the wealth needed to possess a nuke, there is an argument to be made that if the government, which derives its rights from the people, can own nukes, then the only reasonable response of the populace to ensure its defense against a rogue government, is to itself secure nukes. That’s assuming there is any sort of argument for a nuke being a defensive weapon. Can a handgun deter a nuke-wielding government? I think only in theory.

It would be theoretically possible to control the use of private nuke ownership with insurance and liability laws which dictated that any harm that came through mere ownership would be covered by insurance. Coupled with this would be the requirement that nuke owners notify their neighbors that they had a nuke so that the neighbors could perform their own risk assessment. My guess is that no insurance company would insure anyone who applied and thus private nuke ownership would be effectively deterred. There would be no fairness in this of course because the government would still be allowed to itself possess nukes without any insurance policy and a claim of immunity from liability.

Obviously, were someone able to gain access to a nuke under these conditions, it might cause great swaths of people to move away from the nuke-possessing private citizen. And that wouldn’t be so terrific since it would disrupt commerce etc. However, this is the situation we have now in the case of government and they have no requirement to inform the public where the nukes are. We live with that and drive past nukes and allow them among us with no real informed consent due to the concept of state’s secrets. If the public knows where the nukes are, then so will our so-called enemies. And where might the enemy want to target their nukes? Why against those same nukes of course. Blow them up before they are launched. So the government not only then commits an aggressive act against the foreign-targeted people, but its own population since those who live close to nukes or in large population centers are the most likely to be targeted by foreign nukes.

The real problem here is a government that places itself above the authority of the people from whom it derives its authority. It’s why we still have death penalties and why we have nukes targeted at civilians all over the planet. The government, in spite of passing laws against premeditated murder, acknowledging the moral problem with murder, has exempted itself from those same laws. But since its authority comes from the people, it is assuming an authority it doesn’t possess and which can’t have been ceded to them. The people have no inherent right to murder and thus can’t give the authority to murder to somebody else. You cannot pass along authority that you don’t first possess yourself.

If a risk of something is itself a good enough reason to ban it, then we will have to also ban many occupations and industries. People have the right to take risks though. So, we still have lumberjacks, demolitions experts and miners and we do not mandate that they change professions because they may harm themselves or others.  And so far, we have recognized the right of people to refuse vaccinations. Risk taking is not aggression. And if we start banning risks then it cannot be empirical evidence that is used to determine which risks are unacceptable to society. There has to be a standard, objective measure, one which is not dictated by government or corporate scientists, both groups having political and pecuniary benefits they stand to achieve when the results are in their favor.

In the case of vaccinations, we again have this problem of risk versus aggression. It isn’t an act of aggression to refuse a vaccination if vaccines are indeed efficacious. It IS an act of aggression to force people to be vaccinated, especially when there is no liability attached to those who are forcing us to be vaccinated.

Letter 6

Dear Rick:

It is only legitimate to criticize someone for what they actually said or wrote, not for what they didn’t discuss.

As an anarcho capitalist, I oppose all govt, so the legitimacy of them having nukes doesn’t arise.

Yes, private defense agencies could legitimately have nukes for bad aliens or blowing up asteroids, but they’d have do keep them apart from others. Siberia? Sahara? Alaska? Nevada?

Best regards,

Walter

P. Steven Clyde

From: SCLiberty

Sent: Thursday, April 23, 2020 9:15 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Viruses and the NAP

Walter,

Have you written any articles on the topic of viruses and the NAP? Someone asked me recently if going out in public and potentially spreading the virus constitutes an NAP violation, so I figured you were the person to ask.

Hope you’ve been well!

-Steven Clyde

Sent with ProtonMail Secure Email.

Dear Steve:

So far, I’ve published only one thing on this, but I’m now working on more.

Block, Walter E. 2020. “Quarantines.” March 10;

https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/03/walter-block-on-quarantines-because-of.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+TargetLiberty+(Target+Liberty);

Best regards,

Walter

Q. Tom Luongo

Letter 1

From: MarkGilmore

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 7:30 AM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Cc:

Subject: FORCED injections in the name of the *NAP* (WTF?????)

am i hallucinating ?

perhaps my mind is failing me ?

https://nam04.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lewrockwell.com%2Flrc-blog%2Fvaccinations-quarantines%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7Ce5a3b97411ca426d07f408d7f54249b9%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637247537354806799&amp;sdata=2r1t8Hz6DjsMn9m98PAcsFNzJL0n%2FWiYx5zvl1kePAc%3D&amp;reserved=0:

Regarding question 1, yes, I think there could be circumstances in

which compulsory vaccination would be required by law

(let’s forget about who imposes them; well, governments for

minarchists, private defense agencies for anarcho-capitalists),

and parents should be required to vaccinate their kids. After all, as

you quite rightly say, “people who do not vaccinate

endanger not only themselves, but also people they communicate with

and thus break the NAP and should  be punished accordingly.”

So if the USG (well known for honesty and virtuous motives) *declared*

disease X to be contagious and deadly, and their new vaccine “safe and

effective”, then you (Walter E Block????) would support the *FORCEFUL*

injection of The State’s “cure” into its citizens ??

And you’d do so in the name of the **NAP** ??? – even though the only

people

(supposedly) “aggressed upon” would be those that *also* refused the

State’s “cure” ?

*And* those who dare resist would “need to be *punished*” ???

Good Lord help us

Letter 2

On 5/10/2020 3:45 PM, Walter Block wrote:

Dear Mark:

I agree with the first part. I disagree with the second part. I’m no

more of a fan of the USG than you, Lew, or any other ancap in good

standing.

Why do you claim I support the USG, apart from that very big IF? “So

if the USG”

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 3

From: MarkGilmore

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 3:53 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Cc:

Subject: Re: FORCED injections in the name of the *NAP* (WTF?????)

Hi Walter,

Thanks for responding.

I know you’re no fan of the USG 🙂

I was posing a hypothetical, which i *thought* would apply per your

statement:

“I think there could be circumstances in which compulsory vaccination would

be required by law”

But i now see that my hypothetical falsely assumed that you’d support

mandatory vaccinations

*regardless* of the circumstances (which was not my intent).

So to restate my objection:

I fail to see *any* circumstances in which mandatory vaccinations (i.e.

*forced* injections) could be compatible with the NAP (let alone done *in

the name* of the NAP!).

This would be initiating aggression upon a person because of what the

aggressor(s)

*thinks* (or *claims* to think) *might* happen to others.

Such reasoning could serve as justification for all manner of tyranny!

btw, SO SORRY for causing (indirectly, or otherwise) any issues btw you and

Tom 🙁 I’m not a troublemaker!

When responding to me, i think he clicked “reply all” by mistake.

Regards,

Mark

Letter 4

________________________________________

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 8:28 PM

To: MarkGilmore

Cc:

Subject: RE: FORCED injections in the name of the *NAP* (WTF?????)

Dear Mark:

I hope and trust you don’t mind that I bring Tom into this. He’s really part

of this discussion.

By the way, I intend to blog all of this on LRC, deleting all mention of

niceness, apologies, rudeness, politeness, etc. Just the substance.

So here goes.

Mark, you say this: ” I fail to see *any* circumstances in which mandatory

vaccinations (i.e. *forced* injections) could be compatible with the NAP

(let alone done *in the name* of the NAP!).”

Here’s a circumstance:

A has a virus. He can get a vaccination injection guaranteed not to harm

him, which will prevent it from spreading to others. For some reason, work

with me here, B cannot get the injection (he’ll die from it), and will also

perish if infected by A. This virus can travel thousands of miles. There is

no way to protect B if A is not vaccinated. Under these admitedly extreme

circumstances, if A refuses to get vaccinated, and B dies as a result of

contagion from A, and we can prove this, I’d consider A a murderer. Murder

is incompatible with the NAP. QED.

Best regards,

Walter

Letter 5

From: Tom Luongo

Sent: Monday, May 11, 2020 8:40 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Re: FORCED injections in the name of the *NAP* (WTF?????)

Walter, Mark

This is the only situation where I can see that ‘forceable’ vaccination would be justified.  I do not believe that is practicable in immunology, but the boundary conditions of the problem are clear.  I disagree with those boundary conditions as any kind of real world problem but as boundary conditions go, your conclusion is correct.

See my other response to this to bring nuance to the situation.. and some of the basic immunology.

You will also note I left out this particular case study in that reply.  I considered it, deleted it as not-germane to that  train of thought because it was the only case in which I could agree with Walter’s assertion.  The NAP doesn’t always lead to easy answers.

Ta,

Tom L.

Letter 6

Dear Tom:

We’ve reached agreement!

I concur. There are indeed situations (albeit theoretical, made up ones, where) “’forcible’ vaccination would be justified.”

Best regards,

Walter

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3:08 am on May 13, 2020

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What is the Difference Between Natural Law and Personal Morality?

From: DavidCrespoUSA

Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 6:50 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Inquiry: What is the difference between Natural Law and Personal Morality?

Dear Walter:

My name is David Crespo. I am a friend of your protege, Luis Rivera of South Florida. You and I met online when the Rothbardian Circle members were asking you the Jewish Question. Those were interesting times.

Last Summer, I took some time to read two of Rothbard’s books: For A New Liberty and The Ethics Of Liberty. I wanted to understand the philosophical foundation of libertarianism, so I read those two books for that purpose. My question pertains to the latter book, in the last two paragraphs of chapter 4 (Natural Law and Natural Rights). If Rothbard were still alive, I would have asked him. But Luis assured me that there exists today two economists with the same intellect as Rothbard, and that I should defer my question to them. Those two economists are you and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Plus, I distinctly remember you saying recently in the Tom Woods show, and I quote, “I’m more than happy to be a carbon-copy of Rothbard.”

So with that shameless note, here is my question:

As Rothbard articulated in his book, The Ethics of Liberty, with our logic and reasoning, we are able to deduce or discover the laws of nature. In this context, he was talking about the laws of human nature. Natural Law, so to speak. From this discovery of Natural Law, we have the Non-Aggression Principle, self-ownership,  natural rights (such as the right to life, liberty, and property), justice, etc.

This is the part that got me stumped:

“When we say that one has the right to do certain things we mean this and only this, that it would be immoral for another, alone or in combination, to stop him from doing this by the use of physical force or the threat thereof. We do not mean that any use a man makes of his property within the limits set forth is necessarily a moral use…

…we will contend that it is a man’s right to do whatever he wishes with his person; it is his right not to be molested or interfered with violence from exercising that right.  But what may be the moral or immoral ways of exercising that right is a question of personal ethics rather than of political philosophy.”

– Murray Rothbard

Having a hard time figuring this out, I ask you the following:

What is the difference between Natural Law and Personal Morality? And if we discover Natural Law through logic and reasoning, how is personal morality discovered?

For Christ I stand,

David Crespo

P.S. You have my permission to publish my name. I am not one to complain about such trivial matters.

Dear David:

Thanks for your kind words. It is an honor to be mentioned alongside Hans Hoppe in this manner.

The way I see things, is this. There is libertarianism.  Pretty much the non aggression principle (NAP), although there is more to it than that. It asks one question, and gives one answer. The question: under what conditions is violence against other people justified. The answer: only in defense against a prior initiation of violence against an innocent person or his property. Namely, libertarianism is a theory about just law: no murder, no theft, no rape, no threats of violence, no kidnapping, etc. As such, it is an aspect, a part, of overall morality, which asks and answers way more questions, including those. For example, should you study hard, be nice, honor your parents, keep your promises, are all part of morality, but outside the domain of the NAP.

Where does natural law come into play? It is an answer to not what are the implications of the NAP, but, rather, what is the justification of the NAP. There are other justifications too: A=A (the Randians), religious (God says obey the NAP), utilitarian (human welfare will be maximized if we all obey the NAP), etc.. My favorite is Hans’s argument from argument.

So, there is really no conflict between morality and natural law.

I hope and trust this is of help in your deliberations. Please give my best regards to my friend Luis, and accept them for yourself.

Yours truly,

Walter

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2:49 am on May 11, 2020

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Humans Are Hard Wired Against Liberty

From: David Day
Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 7:30 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject:

Dear Mr. Block,

I enjoyed listening to you on the Tom Wood’s show last week. You had mentioned on his show that you do believe that human’s aren’t biologically wired to accept free markets (or something to that effect). If you find time, could you elaborate? For some background, I found libertarianism as a Republican and switched to the Libertarian party in 2016. But even whenever I considered myself a Republican I had thought, or at the very least, had a hunch that human’s in particular are driven to more regulatory markets because it tends to be a more comforting idea.

I look forward to your response, but also understand if I don’t hear back.

Sincerely,

David Day

P.S. – I work in Metairie and I got super excited whenever he introduced you as a professor at Tulane!

Dear David:

I’m a professor at Loyola, not Tulane.

Here’s the material you’re asking for:

Levendis, John, Walter E. Block and Robert B. Eckhardt.  2019. “Evolutionary psychology, economic freedom, trade and benevolence.” Review of Economic Perspectives – Národohospodářský obzor; Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 73-92; https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/revecp/19/2/article-p73.xml; 10.2478/revecp-2019-0005; DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/revecp-2019-0005https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/here-is-one-of-my-best-scholarly-papers-ever/https://pennstate.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/evolutionary-psychology-economic-freedom-trade-and-benevolence

Best regards,

Walter

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2:48 am on May 11, 2020

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Justified Murder Is A Logical Contradiction and Contrary to Libertarianism; Does This Also Apply To Justified Compulsory Vaccination?

Yes, if the proverbial Martians threaten to blow up the entire planet (we cannot stop them, we cannot reason with them) unless someone murders innocent person Joe, it is still murder. The person who murders Joe might well be a hero (he’ll be featured in my next book, volume III of my Defending series) but, if libertarianism is to rule, this heroic murderer is still a murderer, and must pay the penalty for his crime, unless forgiven by Joe’s heirs.

So “justified murder” is indeed a logical contradiction. It not only offends libertarianism, it offends logic as well.

What about justified compulsory vaccination? Is that, too, a logical contradiction? Is the person who compels someone else to be vaccinated necessarily violating the non-aggression principle of libertarianism? I think not. Why not? That is because infecting an innocent person with a contagious disease can be considered a crime; if the only way to stop this criminal behavior is via a vaccination (or house arrest), then that is not only compatible with the NAP it is required by the NAP. I abstract here from all sort of complications, such as the vaccination does not work, it harms people forced to take it, etc.

Many readers of this blog sharply disagree with me on this matter. Here are some of the correspondences I have had with several of them:

A. Fisk

From: Rick Fisk

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 6:50 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Forced Vaccinations

The idea that people who don’t get vaccinated endanger people who are vaccinated has to be one of the most illogical canards used in the vaccine debate.

It’s not even based on anything remotely scientific even if vaccines provide efficacy and there’s a good deal of evidence suggesting they don’t. Take the small pox vaccine for instance, we have three examples of populations where they had 100% vaccination rates (actually the rates exceeded 100% because many people were vaccinated two and three times) and the population still suffered massive and increasingly deadly small pox epidemics: Japan, The Philippines and the British Navy. In the Philippines, a population of 10 million according to the 1920 census, the US military and the Philippine government administered 38 million smallpox vaccines between 1913 and 1918. In 1918, and 1919 they had the worst small pox epidemics recorded, the 1919 event having a mortality rate of over 60%.

If vaccines are effective, then a person who is vaccinated has nothing to fear from a non-vaccinated person. Saying that the unvaccinated endanger the general population is tacit admission that vaccines do not work. Hardly a good argument for forcing them on people.

Richard Fisk

Dear Rick:

Au contraire, “The idea that people who don’t get vaccinated endanger people who are vaccinated” is an empirical claim. As an economist, and a libertarian, I have no comparative advantage in assessing it truth or falsehood.

Did you hear the can opener joke? A physicist, a chemist and an economist were marooned on an island. They had plenty of cans of food, but no can opener. The physicist said, “let’s drop the cans from a certain height, onto rocks of a certain hardness, and the cans will open.” The chemist said, that’s pretty good, but I can do better. Let’s heat up the cans to a certain degree, they’ll open, and we’ll have hot food.” They both turn to the economist, asking him for his contribution to this deliberation. He says: “Assume a can opener.”

There’s a lot of truth in this claim. We economists never have controlled experiments, particularly not double blind ones. We have to assume things, and follow the logic thereafter. In my attempt to analyse the Covid 19, I make lots of assumptions. One of them is “that people who don’t get vaccinated endanger people who are vaccinated.” Is this totally illicit on my part.Is it a logical contradiction for this to be the case? I don’t think so.

I think libertarians qua libertarians should be more modest in their claims about empirical reality, nowadays concerning epidemiology.

Best regards,

Walter

B. Gilmore

From: MarkGilmore

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 3:53 PM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Cc: lew@lewrockwell.com

Subject: Re: FORCED injections in the name of the *NAP*

Hi Walter,

Thanks for responding.

I know you’re no fan of the USGovernment 🙂

I was posing a hypothetical, which i *thought* would apply per your statement:

“I think there could be circumstances in which compulsory vaccination would be required by law”

But i now see that my hypothetical falsely assumed that you’d support mandatory vaccinations

*regardless* of the circumstances (which was not my intent).

So to restate my objection:

I fail to see *any* circumstances in which mandatory vaccinations (i.e. *forced* injections) could be compatible with the NAP (let alone done *in the name* of the NAP!).

This would be initiating aggression upon a person because of what the aggressor(s)

*thinks* (or *claims* to think) *might* happen to others.

Such reasoning could serve as justification for all manner of tyranny!

Regards,

Mark

Dear Mark, you say this: ” I fail to see *any* circumstances in which mandatory vaccinations (i.e. *forced* injections) could be compatible with the NAP (let alone done *in the name* of the NAP!).”

Here’s a circumstance:

A has a virus. He can get a vaccination injection guaranteed not to harm him, which will prevent it from spreading to others. For some reason, work with me here, B cannot get the injection (he’ll die from it), and will also perish if infected by A. This virus can travel thousands of miles. There is no way to protect B if A is not vaccinated. Under these admittedly extreme circumstances, if A refuses to get vaccinated, and B dies as a result of contagion from A, and we can prove this, I’d consider A a murderer. Murder is incompatible with the NAP. QED.

That is to say, there are possible circumstances in which I would indeed support mandatory vaccinations

Best regards,

Walter

C. Martin

From:

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2020 8:04 PM

To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: vaccinations? quarantines?

Walter,

I was surprised to see your endorsement of the idea of forcing people to take vaccines. I think it violates the NAP.

1) Nuremberg Code: “informed consent” is required for medical treatment/testing (a NAP principle).

2) You seem to endorse “greatest good for the greatest number” over individual choice. Isn’t that one of the “definitions” of communism?

3) Apparently you believe the pharmaceutical propaganda that “vaccines are safe”. Nothing is purely safe. I am not knowledgeable enough to quote you numbers of people killed and maimed from vaccines. Lots and lots.

4) Vaccine makers are legally immune from being sued from damages: act of congress.

5) The level of corruption and dishonesty related to pharmaceutical companies is off the charts.

If any of this piques your interest, I recommend Joe Mercola, Robert Kennedy, Barbara Loe Fisher (National Vaccine Information Center is related to either Kennedy of Fisher or both), and Dr. Malcolm Kendricks (“Doctoring Data” and “The Great Cholesterol Con”). Kendrick’s books are probably available in the public library). “Vaccines: A Reappraisal” by Richard Moskowitz may be out of print. I recommend “Doctoring Data” for starters.

Best wishes,

Martin

p.s Most “anti-vaxxers” were “pro-vaxxers” until a loved one was killed or maimed from vaccines.

Dear Martin:

I am offering an “endorsement of the idea of forcing people to take vaccines” under certain very limited circumstances.

Are there no circumstances, none, zero, nada, under which the NAP would not only support forced vaccinations, but require them.

Can you not think of any, even science-fictionish circumstances, where this would be justified?

If not, then I have a wilder imagination than you.

If so, then it is merely an empirical issue, a matter of prudential judgement, whether or not that situation applies. And, we libertarians have no comparative advantage in deciding such matters.

Best regards,

Walter

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2:47 am on May 11, 2020

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Social Security? Feh!

From: Burk, Mark
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 7:27 AM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: A question re. govt. retirement programs (e.g. Social Security)

Mr. Block-

What would be the Libertarian’s response to the claim that without forced retirement programs- either as a govt. administered program or by way of a (govt.) law requiring people to contribute to a retirement savings account- too many people, or at least enough so that they would end up being wards of the state anyway, would not contribute?

Thank you very much.

Mark Burk

Dear Mark:

First, the libertarian qua libertarian has no response to this question, CANNOT have any response to it. Why not? Libertarianism is a normative discipline, your question lies in the positive realm.

This argument is problematic as a matter of logic. If people are too stupid to save for a rainy day, for their retirements, why oh why are they allowed to vote. Nor will they be smart enough in the ballot box to choose leaders who will help them. On the other hand, if they have the vote, we assume they are sensible. But not sensible enough to save for a rainy day, for their retirements.

A horrid argument.

Best regards,

Walter

Dear :

Best regards,

Walter

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3:12 am on May 10, 2020

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From: Ben Bachrach
Sent: Friday, February 21, 2020 7:00 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Unions effect on productivity

Thank you for participating on the Tom Woods show this week.

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1596-what-punishments-do-criminals-deserve-and-other-questions-in-libertarian-theory/;

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1595-suing-the-new-york-times-for-libel/;

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1594-in-defense-of-corporate-raiders-organ-merchants-and-more/;

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1593-defending-the-undefendable-a-libertarian-defense-of-despised-people/;

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1592-walter-block-i-lost-a-debate-to-ayn-rand/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1Lo6ZHTU9I&t=50s

Your discussion on unions prompts me to as the following:

My first job after graduate school was working in Manufacturing Engineering Research for Ford Motor Co.

We would have several capital equipment projects ready for implementation that would reduce direct labor necessary to some manufacture parts. The projects, however, were not approved because the projected cost savings did not meet return on investment objectives.

After each union contract negotiation, we would revisit the projects, and some would get approved because the savings based on the new labor rates justified the capital investment.

Implementing the projects would reduce direct labor hours to make the same output.

Later the union would claim that productivity increased because wages increased.

Where the unions right – they caused productivity improvements?

Regards,

Ben Bachrach

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2020 10:00 PM

To: Ben Bachrach

Subject: RE: Unions effect on productivity

Dear Ben:

It is an empirical issue. It is not a logical contradiction to say that unions increase productivity. But as a matter of prudential judgement, I don’t think this claim has merit. There are work stoppages, sympathy strikes, tools downed, bargaining, all of which reduces worker productivity, and, hence, wages.

Here is a bibliography for you on this issue:

Baird, 1990, 2000, 2013; Block, 1984, 1991, 1996A, 1996B, 2008, 2010; Evans and Block, 2002; Heldman, 1977; Heldman, Bennett and Johnson, 1981; Hutt, 1973, 1989; Petro, 1957; Reynolds, 1984, 1987, 2009; Rothbard, 1993, n.d.; Schmidt, 1973; Shea, 2010;

Baird, Charles. 2000. “Unions and Antitrust,” The Journal of Labor Research, Fall, pp. 585-600.

Baird, Charles. 1990.  “American Union Law: Sources of Conflict,” Journal of Labor Research, Summer, pp. 269-292

Baird, Charles. 2013. “American Unionism and Freedom of Association.” The Journal of Private Enterprise 28(2) Spring: 1-21; http://journal.apee.org/index.php/Category:Spring_2013

Block, Walter E. 1991. “Labor Relations, Unions and Collective Bargaining: A Political Economic Analysis,” Journal of Social Political and Economic Studies, Vol. 16, No. 4, Winter, pp. 477-507.

Block, Walter E. 1984. Book review of John Anderson and Morley Gunderson, Union-Management Relations in Canada, Don Mills, Ontario: Addison-Wesley Publishers, 1982; in The Journal of Labor Research, Vol. V, No. 1, Winter, pp. 103-105.

Block, Walter E. 1996A. “Labor Market Disputes: A Comment on Albert Rees’ ‘Fairness in Wage Distribution,’” Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 217-230

Block, Walter E. 1996B. “Comment on Richard B. Freeman’s ‘Labor markets and institutions in economic development,’” International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 6-16

Block, Walter E. 2008. Labor Economics from a Free Market Perspective: Employing the Unemployable.  London, UK: World Scientific Publishing

Toh Tuck Link, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing; http://www.mises.org/store/Labor-Economics-From-A-Free-Market-Perspective-P516.aspx

http://www.worldscibooks.com/economics/6388.html; isbn: 978-981-270-568-6; 981-270-568-6;

Block, Walter E. 2010. “Are unions criminal gangs?” Global Virtue Ethics Review, Vol. 6. No. 1, pp. 28-49; http://www.spaef.com/article.php?id=1176http://www.spaef.com/file.php?id=1176

Evans, Jason and Walter E. Block. 2002. “Labor Union Policies: Gains or Pains?” Cross Cultural Management, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 71-79

Heldman, Daniel C. 1977. American Labor Unions: Political Values and Financial Structure, Council on American Affairs, Washington D.C.

Heldman, Daniel C., James T. Bennett, and Manuel Johnson. 1981. Deregulating Labor Relations, Fisher Institute, Dallas.

Hutt, W. H. 1973. The Strike Threat System: The Economic Consequences of Collective Bargaining, New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House;

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0870001868/lewrockwell/104-7552446-8407165.

Hutt, W. H. 1989. “Trade Unions: The Private Use of Coercive Power,” The Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. III, pp. 109–120; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae3_1_7.pdf.

Petro, Sylvester. 1957. The Labor Policy of the Free Society, New York: Ronald Press; http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0471072133/lewrockwell/104-7552446-8407165.

Reynolds, Morgan O. 1984. Power and Privilege: Labor Unions in America, New York: Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; http://mises.org/document/4962/Power-and-Privilege-Labor-Unions-in-America

Reynolds, Morgan O. 1987, Making America Poorer: The Cost of Labor Law, Washington D.C.: Cato Institute

Reynolds, Morgan. 2009. “A History of Labor Unions from Colonial Times to 2009,” July 17: http://mises.org/daily/3553

Rothbard, Murray N. 1993. Man, Economy and State, Auburn AL: Mises Institute; http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0945466323/lewrockwell/104-7552446-8407165http://www.mises.org/rothbard/mes.asp

Rothbard, Murray N. 1991.  “The Union Problem.” The Free Market. December 1;

http://murrayrothbard.com/The_Union_Problem.html

Schmidt, Emerson P. 1973. Union Power and the Public Interest, Los Angeles, Nash

Shea, Brian. 2010. “Solidarity Forever: The power invested in worker collectives under United States law.” Journal of Libertarian Studies Vol. 22; pp. 219-246;

http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_11.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2008. Labor Economics from a Free Market Perspective: Employing the Unemployable.  London, UK: World Scientific Publishing; http://www.amazon.ca/Labor-Economics-Free-Market Perspective/dp/9812705686/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336603241&sr=1-7

Block, Walter E. 2012. “Right To Work Laws: A Libertarian Analysis.” December 21; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block214.htmlhttp://moralanarchism.tumblr.com/post/38493951854/right-to-work-laws-a-libertarian-analysis-by-walter

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Tapeworm versus tapeworm: Public Sector Unions in Wisconsin.” March 1; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block173.html

Block, Walter E. 2011. “The Battle of Wisconsin.”  March 9; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block174.html

Block, Walter E. 2010. “Are unions criminal gangs?” Global Virtue Ethics Review, Vol. 6. No. 1, pp. 28-49; http://www.spaef.com/article.php?id=1176http://www.spaef.com/file.php?id=1176http://www.academia.edu/1497243/Are_Unions_Criminal_Gangs

Block, Walter E. vs Boyd Blundell. 2006. “Unions: Social Benefactors or Gangs of Thugs?” November 10; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block64.htmlhttp://mises.org/multimedia/block/Block-Blundell-Debate-2007.wmv debate

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Unions Don’t Guarantee Fair Employee Wages.” The Maroon. September 8.

Block, Walter E. 9/14/05 “The Evil of Unions: In the public as well as the private sector.”

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block54.html

Block, Walter E. 2005. “The Yellow Dog Contract: Bring It Back!” September 5.

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block52.html

http://www.liberalismo.org/articulo/334/http://www.liberalismo.org/autor/block/

http://acao-humana.blogspot.com/2007/08/liberdade-para-contratar-e-ser.html

Block, Walter E. 1/1/04.  “Is there a right to unionize?” https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block35.html

Block, Walter E. 1/5/04 “Unionism II.” https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block36.htmlhttp://blog.mises.org/18102/unionism-ii/

Evans, Jason and Walter E. Block. 2002. “Labor Union Policies: Gains or Pains?” Cross Cultural Management, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 71-79; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/union_policies.pdf

Block, Walter E. 1996. “Labor Market Disputes: A Comment on Albert Rees’ ‘Fairness in Wage Distribution,’” Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 217-230; http://141.164.133.3/faculty/Block/Blockarticles/labormarketdisputes.htm

Block, Walter E. 1991. “Labor Relations, Unions and Collective Bargaining: A Political Economic Analysis,” Journal of Social Political and Economic Studies, Vol. 16, No. 4, Winter, pp. 477-507; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/labor_relations_unions.pdf

Block, Walter E. 9/19/89. “Solidarity has little in common with our unions,” Nanaimo Times; http://141.164.133.3/exchange/walterblock/Inbox/Fwd:%20[POSSIBLE%20SPAM%20-%20PMX]%20%20Block%20Articles-2.EML/1_multipart_xF8FF_2_Nanaimo%20Times%20-%20Solidarity%20has%20Little%20in%20Common%20with%20or%20unions%20%20-%20SEP%2019%201989.rtf/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/Nanaimo%20Times%20-%20Solidarity%20has%20Little%20in%20Common%20with%20or%20unions%20%20-%20SEP%2019%201989.rtf?attach=1

Block, Walter E. 1989. “The Polish Union, Solidarity,” Fraser Forum, October, pp. 37-38; http://141.164.133.3/exchange/walterblock/Inbox/Fwd:%20[POSSIBLE%20SPAM%20-%20PMX]%20%20Block%20Articles-2.EML/1_multipart_xF8FF_3_The%20Polish%20Union%20%20-%20Solidarity%20%20-%20OCT%2089.rtf/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/The%20Polish%20Union%20%20-%20Solidarity%20%20-%20OCT%2089.rtf?attach=1

Block, Walter E. 9/29/86.  “Unionism,” Grainnews, p. 51

Block, Walter E. 1985. “Union-Free Zones Good.” The John Galt. March. Vol. 1, No. 2. p. 5.

Block, Walter E. 3/17/84. “Winds of change blowing for unions,” The Financial Post; http://141.164.133.3/exchange/walterblock/Inbox/Fwd:%20[POSSIBLE%20SPAM%20-%20PMX]%20%20Block%20Articles.EML/1_multipart_xF8FF_3_FIN%20POST%20-%20Winds%20of%20Change%20-%20March%2017,%201984[1].rtf/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/FIN%20POST%20-%20Winds%20of%20Change%20-%20March%2017,%201984[1].rtf?attach=1

Block, Walter E. 9/29/84. “Union-free zones could relieve unemployment,” The Financial Post.

Block, Walter E. 1984. Book review of John Anderson and Morley Gunderson, Union-Management Relations in Canada, Don Mills, Ontario: Addison-Wesley Publishers, 1982; in The Journal of Labor Research, Vol. V, No. 1, Winter, pp. 103-105.

Block, Walter E. 11/14/83. Dollars and Sense: “Solidarity.” http://141.164.133.3/exchange/walterblock/Inbox/Fwd:%20Cleaned%20up%20Block%20Articles%20%231.EML/1_multipart_xF8FF_4_Dollars%20and%20Sense%20-%20Solidarity%20-%20Daily%20Townsman%20-NOV.%2014%201983.rtf/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/Dollars%20and%20Sense%20-%20Solidarity%20-%20Daily%20Townsman%20-NOV.%2014%201983.rtf?attach=1

Block, Walter E. 12/3/83. “Labor laws unfairly restrict employers’ rights” The Financial Post; http://141.164.133.3/exchange/walterblock/Inbox/Fwd:%20[POSSIBLE%20SPAM%20-%20PMX]%20%20Block%20Articles.EML/1_multipart_xF8FF_2_FIN%20POST%20-%20Labor%20Laws%20-%20DEC[1].%203,%201983.rtf/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/FIN%20POST%20-%20Labor%20Laws%20-%20DEC[1].%203,%201983.rtf?attach=1

Block, Walter E. 1/11/86. “Disparity of rights in strikes,” The Financial Post; http://141.164.133.3/exchange/walterblock/Inbox/Fwd:%20Block%20Articles-2.EML/1_multipart_xF8FF_4_FIN%20POST%20-%20Disparity%20of%20Rights%20-%20JAN.%2011%201986.rtf/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/FIN%20POST%20-%20Disparity%20of%20Rights%20-%20JAN.%2011%201986.rtf?attach=1

Block, Walter E. 4/2/84. “B.C. construction picketers prove harassment is the key,” The Whig Standard; http://141.164.133.3/exchange/walterblock/Inbox/Fwd:%20[POSSIBLE%20SPAM%20-%20PMX]%20%20Block%20Articles.EML/1_multipart_xF8FF_4_The%20Whig%20Standard%20-%20B[1].C.%20Construction%20Picketers%20-%20APR.%202,%201984.rtf/C58EA28C-18C0-4a97-9AF2-036E93DDAFB3/The%20Whig%20Standard%20-%20B[1].C.%20Construction%20Picketers%20-%20APR.%202,%201984.rtf?attach=1

Best regards,

Walter

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3:07 am on May 10, 2020

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From: Otar Matchavariani
Sent: Saturday, May 09, 2020 6:53 AM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Vaccination and Quarantine

Dear Prof. Block

Hello once again, hope you are doing well. I have two questions, one is quite straightforward regarding vaccinations and whether or not they should be mandatory? I was thinking that  people who do not vaccinate endanger not only themselves, but also people they communicate with and thus break the NAP and should  be punished accordingly, Additionally I was interested whether parents/guardians should be forced to vaccinate their children?

Second question I have I think is more complicated. I agree with your previous response that quarantines are justified in some circumstances. Now I’m interested in your opinion about lockdowns and their economic consequences. I know your position about the existence of the government itself, but my question is given the existence of the government is enforcing lockdown better way of dealing with coronavirus than keeping everything open. I’m not talking about lockdowns with indefinite time periods that will greatly harm the economy and will have a more severe impact on people, than the virus itself. In my opinion since this economic crisis is caused by the health crisis, we should first deal with the health issue. If left unattended coronavirus may have serious consequences like we see in a big part of Europe. If we take a closer look at the situation in Italy. I think  that an outbreak such as that will have more severe social and economic consequences, than enforcing the lockdown for a brief period for example one or two months, in order to contain the disease. Then slowly reopen the economy with  caution and new experience that was gained from the initial encounter with the illness.

looking forward to hearing back from you.

Best regards,

Otar M

Dear Otar:

Regarding question 1, yes, I think there could be circumstances in which compulsory vaccination would be required by law (let’s forget about who imposes them; well, governments for minarchists, private defense agencies for anarcho-capitalists), and parents should be required to vaccinate their kids. After all, as you quite rightly say, “people who do not vaccinate endanger not only themselves, but also people they communicate with and thus break the NAP and should  be punished accordingly.”

As for question 2, this is not a matter in which libertarians have any particular experise, as I see things. Rather, this is a matter for prudential judgement: which technique will minimize the deaths of innocent people. My own thought on this, not speaking as a libertarian, is that the government has done a reasonable job in warding off the virus, but that soon, more like days than weeks, we ought to be opening up things gradually, and the elderly, those with immune problems, should be very careful, continue to wear masks, don’t get out and about too much.

In saying this, I am abstracting from issues of governmental exaggerations of Covid, their use of this disease to reduce our liberties, the fact that vaccinations may well not work, may harm those who are forced to take them, etc.

You may be interested in this material:

Block, Walter E. 2013A. “Libertarianism and Compulsory Vaccinations.” January 19; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/130928.html

Block, Walter E. 2013B. “Forced Vaccinations.” February 4;

https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block217.htmlhttps://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/02/walter-e-block/forced-vaccinations/

April 29, 2015. Marc Clair [mailto:marc.clair@gmail.com] evictionism, Rand Paul, vaccinations; Marc Clair Editor In Chief; LionsOfLiberty.com; (203) 558-8342; Skype is MarcMadness8780; http://lionsofliberty.com/104/;

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-lions-of-liberty-podcast/id706061933?mt=2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsra1cLNZkE&feature=youtu.be

http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/lions-of-liberty-podcast

http://lionsoflibertypodcast.podbean.com

February 11, 2015. Sam Seder debates Walter E. Block. The Majority Report [mailto:majorityreporters@gmail.com] The Majority Report with Sam Seder. Live M-F 12:00 NOON ET. http://majority.fm; Ring of Fire Radio. With Sam Seder, Mike Papantonio and Bobby Kennedy Jr. Weekends. http://www.ringoffireradio.com; Resolved: “laissez faire capitalism is the best system known to man” http://majority.fm/2014/05/01/51-professor-walter-block-defends-libertarianism/http://majority.fm/; 646-257-3920; topics: vaccinations, a reprise of our min wage discussion, your email sign off “If it moves, privatize it; if it doesn’t move, privatize it. Since everything either moves or doesn’t move, privatize everything.” and if it’s ok, a listener wanted me to ask you to explain the difference between consequentialist and deontological libertarianism; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBNZwHw4eT8https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulMRmIALBX8

February 11, 2015 Debate with Leftist Sam Seder on libertarianism, Non-aggression, property rights, retributions and libertarians, Native Americans, homesteading, property in America, Rand Paul and Vaccinations with Sam Seder on The Majority Report (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBNZwHw4eT8)

Block, Walter E. 2020. “Quarantines.” March 10;

https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/03/walter-block-on-quarantines-because-of.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+TargetLiberty+(Target+Liberty);

https://www.targetliberty.com/2020/03/walter-block-on-quarantines-because-of.html?fbclid=IwAR2eKAqVI1zJ-2d-aCW6IQwwJQQKRWJf_lcJsDxLHp9RIfNx-1fYuMzUrO8

April 13, 2020. Debate on the Coronavirus Quarantine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWEjU6ejEQE. the post-debate correspondence: https://xoandelugo.org/post-debate-correspondence-between-walter-block-philipp-bagus-and-bernardo-ferrero-on-the-ethics-of-the-coronavirus-quarantine/?fbclid=IwAR1ZUOlXvdeDPDC53PdJ9ZeoQn-6SYvbNIpUv2xalgRY3a2xQ8hFHn1b35A

Best regards,

Walter

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3:04 am on May 10, 2020

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