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Ban Plastic Guns On Airplanes?

From: T
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 6:56 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu

Subject: Banned?

Consider I have a 3-d printer capable of making guns that are non metallic, fully automatic and untraceable because I cover my trails, not even the shit xerox does with sn, model, etc., usually done in yellow so as not to be detected crap. Ban the printer? software? knowledge? It’s not mass destruction but extrapolate the consequences of any tech and there are roadblocks. Peace.

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2019 1:44 PM
To: T
Subject: RE: Banned?

Dear T:

I don’t favor banning anything of the sort.

The airlines should be in charge of their own security.

If they don’t want guns like that on board, they can search people, impose (as a condition of purchasing a ticket) a large penalty on anyone with a gun like that who tries to get on their plane.

Why should any sane person think that the government would be more efficient at solving this problem than competing airline companies? The government is in charge of such inefficient enterprises as the Post Office, the Motor Vehicle Bureau and the economies of the USSR, East Germany, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela. Nuff said.

Best regards,



5:13 pm on September 17, 2019

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S and I are both boyhood chums of Bernie Sanders. S has a Ph.D. in economics. We discussed this issue on the phone, but came to no conclusion. So, I attempted to convert him to the one true faith on this matter via e mail exchange. He didn’t respond. I get a lot of that from people I try to convert to sensible economics and/or libertarianism.

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

Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 11:27 AM

To: S

Subject: min wage

Dear S:

You’re right. We’ll never settle this min wage issue on the phone. We both interrupt the other too much.

Maybe we can do so in this way?

You mentioned your aunt. Posit that here marginal revenue product was $10/hour. She was paid, however, only $7 per hour. A min wage of $10 would raise her pay to $10. But, before that min wage increase, why the $3 gap between her wage and productivity level? Why wouldn’t someone have offered her $7.01 per hour, and someone else $7.02, etc., until her wage was bid up to her productivity level? You don’t believe that wages tend to equate to productivity levels? You don’t buy into the economic law that wages tend to equal marginal revenue productivity? Why not.

Second point. You admit that a min wage of even $5 will unemploy some people, e.g., those with a productivity level of $1 or $2 per hour. You support this vicious depraved immoral legislation on the ground that it will increase the wages of lots of people, see above for why I disagree. But, posit you are right. Stipulate that any given min wage will indeed raise the wages of 19 people, and unemploy only one person.

Suppose I went into the poor inner city, with a big gun, and ordered one poor person to give all his earnings to 19 other poor people. I’d deservedly go to jail for that bit of Robin Hoodism on my part. I’d be a hoodlum.

Why, then, aren’t people who enforce the min wage law criminals? I can forgive economic illiterates for supporting this this law that preys upon the poor (the unemployment rate for black, male teens is QUADRUPLE that for white adults – all due to this law). What do they know. They only mouth slogans. But, you’re not an economic illiterate. You have a phd in econ!

Your turn.

I’m a BIG supporter of our friend Bernie. Mainly for his views on foreign policy, not econ; he’s a disaster there. I also like Tulsi Gabbard for that same reason

Best regards,


Dear S:

Any response?

Best regards,



5:12 pm on September 17, 2019

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The Difference Between Austrian Economics (A Positive Science) and Libertarianism (Normative Studies)

(read from the bottom up; Z is a Jesuit Priest)

Letter 8:

Dear Z:

Let me comment, only, on what I think to be the core of your interesting note:

How should people act?

From a libertarian point of view, I can answer that: do NOT murder, rape, steal, engage in fraud, commit arson, trespass, or, in any other way violate rights of person or property.

From an (Austrian) economic point of view: I have no answer. None whatsoever. Economics is an attempt to understand the causes and effects of human (commercial) action, and this question falls way outside of the realm of the dismal science. Even non Austrian economists would agree with this. Well, pay lip service to it.

Best regards,


Letter 7:

From: Z

Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2019 12:05 AM

To: Walter Block

Subject: Re: response


If you say so, then let there be no such thing as libertarian economics.  Would you next say that, when a libertarian like your self teaches economics, which is your profession, the economics draws little or no inspiration from your libertarian theory?  Sure, I confess and really hope that my Catholicism affects my economics (thin as it is).  But when I pay for a tube of toothpaste, the connection is not obvious and mostly interior to my soul. So maybe your being a libertarian has little to do with you being the economics you teach.

I: Thus maybe the libertarian in you has only a remote connection to your Austrian economics.  To take an extreme, I infer that a Communist (completely State-ownership of all property) economist could be libertarian by your definition.  According to you, for libertarians, “is violence justified?  it “gives but one answer: only in retaliation against, or in defense against, initiatory violence. It lives in the world of oughts, and shoulds.”  So too, I suppose, a dictatorship could be libertarian.  Indeed, from the little I know about the utopia proposed by Communism, it would be the most libertarian society.  Further, I’d guess that many dictators or states under martial law justify taking power for what you offer as libertarian political theory.  They take power to end violence.

II: Then you write “Economics, in sharp distinction, is a positive discipline. It asks what causes what? What are the effects of this or that?”  That makes sense.  In fact almost all disciplines ask that question, e.g. Theology ask “What causes creation? or “what are the effects of sin?”  So the question next must turn to: what is the specific area of economics?  I don’t pretend to answer that question.  Unhelpfully,  (shall we say?) economics studies exchanges of goods and services.  I don’t think that will work, since a mother breast feeding her child does that, as do two people playing basketball on the corner lot.  When  group of guys get together on the basketball court, they offer a different and valuable service to one another (competing on the court is generally more fun than playing all by oneself), as they also do when they gather after the game at the local bar.

Again I am unclear what you mean by economics.  In a world where everyone shares goods or in a world with private property where everyone steals what they can (Hobbesian world), those two are economic systems.  And you would probably agree.

If as other economists claim, you say, that their discipline is value free, then they could not choose between an economy where everyone starves to death and one where everyone enjoys a fabulous amount of goods.

I heard a hint, however, that you think some values should be involved in economics  And now we can engage again.  You write “all human action is an attempt to make the future a better one for the actor than would have otherwise occurred without that action.”  That actually is a highly philosophical claim.  As such, it is, I think, false.  At least, that is what I have regularly argued.  I disagree with your philosophy.  I disagree with the philosophy that underpins Austrian economics.

As I’ve noted before, there are, sadly, philosophers who argue that 1] all action is and cannot be other than an attempt to make for oneself a better life.  Other philosophers argue 2] all action should be directed to making life better for oneself, but sometimes people sin, that is, sometimes people act altruistically.  In that sense, I think you are a sinner.  3] some philosophers (and people generally)  think they are acting altruistically, but really they are just deceiving themselves.  That sense would make me a sinner.  I belong to a fourth group (and I think you do too when you are not thinking theoretically) who hold that we do do some self-sacrificial acts, actions whose “intention” is not to make our own future better for ourselves.  Acting altruistically may also benefit ourselves.  But that is not its purpose.  Furthermore, we sometimes act in ways that do not benefit ourselves, as the subsequent example shows.

These are debates about description:  which alternative describes human beings?

There is a different question, the area of my own field of ethics.  That question is: how should people act?  Now if people really cannot sacrifice themselves for altruistic reasons, then the answer is clear.  And we end up with contrived analyses of the woman at the recent shooting who covered her baby with her body and whose husband covered her body with his own.  They both died, but the baby lived.  A strict biological analysis would say, of course, they did not act altruistically, but rather their respective genes acted, a la Dawkins, selfishly.  The parents’ genes sacrificed them so that the genes in the 2 month baby would carry on.   That’s one way to justify your position.  It is not that all persons act to make their future better, but all genes do so.”

The alternative is that people do sacrifice for others, which is not a surprising answer for a Christian.

Time to go to dinner. Z

Letter 6:

On Tue, Jul 30, 2019 at 3:18 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:


Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

Letter 5

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

Sent: Friday, March 08, 2019 10:19 PM

To: Z

Subject: RE: response

Dear Z:

There is no such thing as “libertarian economics.” Libertarianism is a value-laden, normative discipline; it asks one question: under what condition is violence justified; it gives but one answer: only in retaliation against, or in defense against, initiatory violence. It lives in the world of oughts, and shoulds. It is part of political philosophy.

Economics, in sharpt distinction, is a positive disipline. It asks what causes what? What are the effects of this or that? It answers, or at least the Austrian version thereof answers, all human action is an attempt to make the future a better one for the actor than would have otherwise occurred without that action. The mainstream version gives a slightly different answer. Economics is totally value free. It totally abjures the world of oughts, and shoulds. It has nothing whatsoever to do with political philosophy.

It is difficult to discuss economics with you when we have such different views of what economics is.

Best regards,


Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

Letter 4:


To keep the conversation going:

But of course I would say that to a Chemist.  When I lived in the XYZ area, a lab was built just down the street from me.  I saw it being built.  It was put several feet underground, with all sorts of concrete and safety locks, I was told.  I was also told that those locks were there because the XYZ  chemist-biologists were going to be creating some chemicals/bugs that could wipe out the human population, but were also useful for serious research on life processes themselves.  I was a little afraid, of course, but I approved because it was (supposedly) good for science.

I would not, however, have been happy if those bugs/chemicals were brought out to where people live and breathe.

The analogy, of course, is that libertarian economics is very interesting, and I can understand at least some of its rationale.  It makes sense of parts of human life.  My concern, however, is that it not be brought out to where people live and breathe.  It will infect people’s souls.  Or rather, it has infected them, and I want to contain the spread.

So when you suggest that as a body of thought libertarianism economics might have much to teach about economics, I agree.  I could add that, unlike what would happen if those bugs in the lab were brought out to people, most people have a good enough sense of human life not to buy into libertarian economics wholesale and retail.  Still that doesn’t alleviate my perception that it already infects people and somewhat disables them from being fully human.  The question might be: what does this theory do to people if it is allowed or even encouraged to spread?

Of course, it has spread.  To wit, many more of our students ask the question, “how will a liberal arts education help me to get a job and make good money?” rather than the question “how will this education make me a better person or a better citizen or a better contributor to the world?” or even, god forbid, “how will this liberal education bring me in union with God?”  Those latter questions used to be closer to the forefront of many educated persons’ minds.

So it is fun to debate (or, at least for me, to learn about) libertarian economics as a “science.”  I really did not know some people think that way.

Let the conversation continue. Z

Letter 3

On Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 11:43 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:

Oy vey

You woudn’t tell a chemist that, would you? That his chemical theories are all well and good, regarding chemicals, animals, vegetables, rocks, but not people, would you? Why pick on economics. We’re a science too

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.

Letter 2

From: Z

Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2019 7:58 PM

To: Walter Block

Subject: Re: response


Of course I agree with you that, other things being equal, the higher price, the less the sales.  Similarly, the higher the wage, the likelihood that fewer people will be hired.

There is, as you note, one hitch.  That hitch is people.

This is true of prices for goods.  I checked with my students about prices of toothpaste.  They have no idea whether any tube is better than another tube.  But they do know that the box is bright red and it promises “brighter teeth.”  So they buy it.

On the other hand, the problem of wages is people.

They need to eat.  They have dignity.

So, yes, absent people, the libertarian economy might be the way to go. Z

Letter 1:

On Sun, Feb 24, 2019 at 12:06 PM Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu> wrote:


Dear Z:

Better late than never.

Best regards,



5:11 pm on September 17, 2019

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Anarcho-capitalism, the Highest Form of Libertarianism

From: A
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 10:14 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Where to go to learn more about anarcho-capitalism

Hi Dr. Block,

My name is A. I’m a big fan of your work and always appreciate your appearances on Tom Woods’s podcast.

Lately, I’ve become more comfortable with the idea of anarchism and describing myself as an anarcho-capitalist. I think I reached this because of philosophical arguments, not pragmatic ones. The state is a monopoly on violence and does not have a right to exist (correct me if I am wrong, but I believe this is similar to Murray Rothbard’s approach to anarchism).

I’m fine being a philosophical anarchist, but when it comes down to how it would work, I’m not sure what to say. When asked I just fall back on, “I don’t know how an anarcho-capitalist society will work, I just know it is the most moral.” Lately, that answer doesn’t really satisfy me.

I was wondering if you had any resources for someone who is interested in learning more about an anarchist society? Preferably something for someone who is busy and not all that intellectual?

Thank you for your time, I really appreciate it, A

Dear A:

Here are some readings:

Anderson and Hill, 1979; Benson, 1989, 1990; Block, 2007, 2010, 2011; Block v. Helfeld, 2014; Caplan, Undated; Casey, 2010; Chamberlin, 2017; Childs, 1970; DiLorenzo, 2010; Durden, 2018; Gregory, 2011; Griffin 2002; Guillory & Tinsley, 2009; Hasnas, 1995; Heinrich, 2010; Higgs, 2009, 2012, 2017, 2019; Hoppe, 2008, 2011; Huebert, 2010; King, 2010; Kinsella, 2009; Long, 2004; McConkey, 2013; Molyneux, 2008, undated; Murphy, 2005; Oppenheimer, 1926; Paul, 2008; Rockwell, 2013, 2016; Rothbard, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1998; Smith, 2008; Spooner, 1870; Stringham, 2007, 2015; Tannehill, 1984; Tinsley, 1998-1999; Wenzel, 2013; Woods, 2014.

Anderson, Terry and Hill, P.J. 1979. “An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, 3: 9-29; http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_1/3_1_2.pdf

Benson, Bruce L. 1989. Enforcement of Private Property Rights in Primitive Societies: Law Without Government,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IX, No. 1, Winter, pp. 1-26; http://mises.org/journals/jls/9_1/9_1_1.pdf

Benson, Bruce L. 1990. “Customary Law with Private Means of Resolving Disputes and Dispensing Justice: A Description of a Modern System of Law and Order without State Coercion.” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. IX, No. 2,” pp. 25-42; http://mises.org/journals/jls/9_2/9_2_2.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2007. “Anarchism and Minarchism; No Rapprochement Possible: Reply to Tibor Machan,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1, Spring, pp. 91-99; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/21_1/21_1_5.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Governmental inevitability: reply to Holcombe.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 22; pp. 667-688; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_34.pdf

Block, Walter E. and Michael Fleischer. 2010. “How Would An Anarchist Society Handle Child Abuse?” October 13; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block167.html

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

May 11, 2014. Walter Block debates Jan Helfeld on anarchism versus minimal government; Jan Helfeld <janhelfeld@gmail.com>; Daniel Rothschild daniel.y.rothschild@gmail.comhttp://youtu.be/58-YSENYuVMhttps://archive.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/walter-block-debates-anarcho-capitalism-vs-limited-government/http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/05/walter-block-vs-jan-helfeld-on-anarchy.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+economicpolicyjournal%2FKpwH+%28EconomicPolicyJournal.com%29https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hsKmqXy55E

Caplan, Bryan. Undated. “Anarchist Theory FAQ, or, Instead of a FAQ, by a Man Too Busy to Write One.” http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/bcaplan/anarfaq.htm

Chamberlin, Antón and Walter E. Block. 2017. “The case for the stateless society: law.” Acta Economica et Turistica. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 103-118; https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/aet.2017.3.issue-2/aet-2017-0012/aet-2017-0012.xml?format=INT;


Childs, Roy. 1970. “An Open Letter to Ayn Rand’ https://www.lewrockwell.com/1970/01/roy-a-childs-jr/objectivism-and-the-state-an-open-letter-to-ayn-rand/https://archive.org/stream/ChildsOpenLetter/Childs%20Open%20Letter_djvu.txt

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 2010. “The Culture of Violence in the American West: Myth versus Reality.” The Independent Review, v. 15, n. 2, Fall 2010, pp. 227–239; http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_15_02_4_dilorenzo.pdf

Durden, Tyler. 2018. “Is Anarcho-Capitalism Possible?” March 25; https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-24/anarcho-capitalism-possible

Gregory, Anthony. 2011. “Abolish the Police.” May 26; https://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory213.html

Griffin, G. Edward.  2002. The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, American Media, Westlake Village, CA

Guillory, Gil & Patrick Tinsley. 2009. “The Role of Subscription-Based Patrol and Restitution in the Future of Liberty,” Libertarian Papers 1, 12; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/12-the-role-of-subscription-based-patrol-and-restitution-in-the-future-of-liberty/

Hasnas, John. 1995. “The myth of the rule of law.” Wisconsin Law Review 199;


Heinrich, David J. 2010. “Justice for All Without the State.” The Libertarian Standard. May 6; http://www.libertarianstandard.com/articles/david-j-heinrich/justice-for-all-without-the-state/

Higgs, Robert. 2009. “Why We Couldn’t Abolish Slavery Then and Can’t Abolish Government Now.” August 20; https://www.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs128.html

Higgs, Robert. 2012. “What is the point of my libertarian anarchism?” January 16; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/higgs/higgs180.html

Higgs, Robert. 2017. “Is a National Government Necessary for National Defense?” March 23; http://www.targetliberty.com/2017/03/is-national-government-necessary-for.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TargetLiberty+%28Target+Liberty%29

Higgs, Robert. 2019. “The Siren Song of the State.” July 23; https://mises.org/library/siren-song-state?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=2063d61085-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-2063d61085-227976965

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

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


Huebert, Jacob. 2010. Libertarianism Today. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger

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


Kinsella, Stephan. 2009. “The Irrelevance of the Impossibility of Anarcho-Libertarianism.” August 20; http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/20/the-irrelevance-of-the-impossibility-of-anarcho-libertarianism/

Long, Roderick. 2004. “Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections” https://www.lewrockwell.com/long/long11.html

McConkey, Michael. 2013. “Anarchy, Sovereignty, and the State of Exception: Schmitt’s Challenge.” The Independent Review, v. 17, n. 3, Winter, pp. 415–428. http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_17_03_05_mcconkey.pdf

Molyneux, Stefan. 2008. “The Stateless Society: An Examination of Alternatives.”


Molyneux, Stefan. Undated. “’Practical Anarchy.” http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/anarchist_archives/practicalanarchy.pdfhttp://cdn.media.freedomainradio.com/feed/books/PA/Practical_Anarchy_by_Stefan_Molyneux.mp3.

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

Oppenheimer, Franz. 1926. The State. New York: Vanguard Press

Paul, Ron.  2008. “On the Inner Contradictions of Limited Government.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o4kiWpqoeg&feature=PlayList&p=9645F6A68683F679&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4

Rockwell, Lew. 2013. “What Would We Do Without the State?” March 31;



Rockwell, Lew. 2016. “The Trouble With Politics.” November 8;


Rothbard, Murray N. 1973. For a New Liberty, Macmillan, New York; http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

In the view of Rothbard (1973, emphasis added by present author): “For centuries, the State (or more strictly, individuals acting in their roles as ‘members of the government’) has cloaked its criminal activity in high-sounding rhetoric. For centuries the State has committed mass murder and called it ‘war’; then ennobled the mass slaughter that ‘war’ involves. For centuries the State has enslaved people into its armed battalions and called it ‘conscription’ in the ‘national service.’ For centuries the State has robbed people at bayonet point and called it ‘taxation.’ In fact, if you wish to know how libertarians regard the State and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place.”

Rothbard, Murray N. 1975. “Society Without a State.” The Libertarian Forum, volume 7.1, January; https://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard133.html

Rothbard, Murray N. 1977. “Do you hate the state?” The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 10, No. 7, July; https://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard75.html

“…there is no sign that David Friedman in any sense hates the existing American State or the State per se, hates it deep in his belly as a predatory gang of robbers, enslavers, and murderers. No, there is simply the cool conviction that anarchism would be the best of all possible worlds, but that our current set-up is pretty far up with it in desirability. For there is no sense in Friedman that the State – any State – is a predatory gang of criminals.”

“The radical cannot think in such terms, because the radical regards the State as our mortal enemy, which must be hacked away at wherever and whenever we can. To the radical libertarian, we must take any and every opportunity to chop away at the State, whether it’s to reduce or abolish a tax, a budget appropriation, or a regulatory power. And the radical libertarian is insatiable in this appetite until the State has been abolished, or – for minarchists – dwindled down to a tiny, laissez-faire role.”

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press. http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

Paul, Ron. 2008. “On the Inner Contradictions of Limited Government.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o4kiWpqoeg&feature=PlayList&p=9645F6A68683F679&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4

Shaffer, Butler.


Smith, George Ford. 2008. The Flight of the Barbarous Relic, CreateSpace, Lawrenceville, GA

Spooner, Lysander. 1966[1870]. No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority and A Letter to Thomas F. Bayard, Larkspur, Colorado: Rampart College; http://jim.com/treason.htm

Stringham, Edward, ed. 2007. Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice, Somerset, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Stringham, Edward. 2015. Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life.  Oxford University Press

Tannehill, Morris and Linda Tannehill. [1970] 1984. The Market for Liberty, New York: Laissez Faire Books; https://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/tannehill1.html

Tinsley, Patrick. 1998-1999. “With Liberty and Justice for All: A Case for Private Police,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter, pp. 95-100; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/14_1/14_1_5.pdf

Wenzel, Robert. 2013. “Robert Ringer’s Strawman Anarchist.” February 2;


Woods, Tom. 2014. “Four things the state is not.” July 29;


private police: private army:

Gregory, 2011; Guillory, & Tinsley. 2009; Hoppe, 2011; Huebert, 2010; Murphy, 2005; Rothbard, 1973, 1975, 1998 [1982];  Stringham, 2007;  Tannehills[1970] 1984; Tinsley, 1998-1999; Wiśniewski, 2014; Wollstein, 1969; Woolridge, 1970.

Gregory, Anthony. 2011. “Abolish the Police.” May 26; https://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory213.html

Guillory, Gil & Patrick Tinsley. 2009. “The Role of Subscription-Based Patrol and Restitution in the Future of Liberty,” Libertarian Papers 1, 12; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/12-the-role-of-subscription-based-patrol-and-restitution-in-the-future-of-liberty/

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


Huebert, Jacob. 2010. Libertarianism Today. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger

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

Rothbard, Murray N. 1973. For a New Liberty, Macmillan, New York; http://mises.org/rothbard/newlibertywhole.asp

Rothbard, Murray N. 1975. “Society Without a State.” The Libertarian Forum, volume 7.1, January; https://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard133.html

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press. http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

Stringham, Edward, ed. 2007. Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice, Somerset, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Tannehill, Morris and Linda Tannehill. [1970] 1984. The Market for Liberty, New York: Laissez Faire Books; https://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/tannehill1.html

Tinsley, Patrick. 1998-1999. “With Liberty and Justice for All: A Case for Private Police,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter, pp. 95-100; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/14_1/14_1_5.pdf

Wiśniewski, Jakub Bożydar. 2014. “Defense as a private good in a competitive order” Review of Social and Economic Issues, Vol. 1, No. 1, Summer, pp. 2-35;


Wollstein, Jarret B. 1969. Society Without Coercion. In Society Without Government. New York: Arno Press

Woolridge, William C. 1970. Uncle Sam the Monopoly Man, New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House

Best regards,



4:34 pm on September 15, 2019

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From: R
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 7:01 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Vaccinating Theory

Good afternoon,

When you spoke at the Mississippi LP convention in April, you discussed a wonderful theory about vaccination and how someone that gets you sick from not being vaccinated would be a violation of the NAP. Have you written any articles on this? I would love to read some more on this. Thank you, R

Dear R:

This is a very controversial issue amongst libertarians. I might well be in the minority on this one. Here are my views on it:

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.html;


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/;






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”


sm/; 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=sBNZwHw4eT8;


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


Best regards,



4:32 pm on September 15, 2019

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From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 4:44 PM
To: R
Subject: RE: Ayn Rand and JFK

Dear R:

If you take a list of, oh, 500 laws, such as minimum wage, rent control, protective tariffs, socialized medicine, occupational licensure, legalizing gambling, drugs, prostitution, she would agree with libertarians on, oh, 95% of them. That makes her a libertarian in my view, despite her rejection of us as “hippies of the right.”

Suppose there were a guy who gazed through telescopes all day and night, and wrote about what he saw up there, and, yet, rejected the categorization “astronomer.” Would that mean he wasn’t an astronomer? Of course not. He could call himself a kangaroo, or refuse to be characterized in any manner, shape or form. Still, we social scientists would be justified in describing him as an astronomer. Suppose this guy HATED all (other!) astronomers. Would this detract from us still listing him as such. Of course not.

Ditto for Ayn Rand. Her positions on virtually all issues are very congruent with those of libertarians.  She could call herself an Objectivist all she wanted to. Still, she is properly counted as a libertarian.

Chemistry consists of categorization (elements); biology too (genus, species, etc.); also geography (rivers, lakes, land, etc.) Why shouldn’t political economic philosophers also engage in this practice? And, if we do so, shouldn’t we do so accurately?

Yes, JFK had some libertarian tendencies, but not enough, in my humble opinion, to earn this honorific. Read this on the continuum problem:

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

From: R
Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 2:39 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Ayn Rand and JFK


Ayn Rand famously disavowed libertarians, with many conservatives liking her. So, she can’t be one of us, as she HATES libertarians! And we oppose many things conservatives believe in (drug war, big offensive-minded military and overseas bases), with many other basic civil liberties they disapprove of such as prostitution and freedom to use our body the way we want, subsidies to many big businesses: prime example is ethanol in gasoline forced by law instead of pure 100% gasoline, etc.

She also developed and promoted her own Objectivist philosophy, which in her case included condemning many draft dodgers as ‘bums’.

Is that libertarian to condemn those who wished NOT to be hurt or killed in some far-away, third-world country that never caused the U.S. any harm or threat?

“In metaphysics, Rand supported philosophical realism, and opposed anything she regarded as mysticism or supernaturalism, including all forms of religion.” [*] Does that sound libertarian to you? Of course not! So, she is NOT a libertarian with that repugnant opposition to any religion! I’m sure you would agree with me, she had her own philosophy which was not even 90% a libertarian, and she categorically and completely rejected our philosophy we want others to adopt, and created one of her very own.

So how can she be a libertarian in creating her own strange mix of philosophy and ideas in Objectivism?

If you can reject Jefferson for his one personal failing, then we can reject Ayn Rand for many reasons in her complete rejection of libertarianism, and promoting her ridiculous rejection of religion. There is no religion that doesn’t in its basic ideas, tell people how to live with others peacefully, such as no aggression against or threatening someone (or fraud) in criminal law, and keeping promises in civil law.

I’m not saying she doesn’t have SOME libertarian impulses, but she can’t be one for the reasons cited above.

Just as you say about Jefferson with only one objection that had nothing to do with what he promoted and believed in for almost all his life!

[*] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

As for JFK I think the quote below, shown to us by our fellow libertarian Jacob G. Hornberger, proves Kennedy *did* have a few libertarian bones in his body, contrary to your assertion! We just did not know it in his time–but thanks to Jacob, we do now!

You can still disagree with me on both of them for whatever reason, but I have given sound reasons why libertarians should not rank Ayn Rand as highly as many do, or reject JFK as many do as I had pointed out in his views on some key social policies, tax cuts, and a non-aggressive foreign policy.


4:31 pm on September 15, 2019

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Should We Ban Vaping? No.

Dear Folks:

I was on tv last night on 9/11/19 on Trump’s attempt to ban vaping and e-cigarettes.

Best regards,


11:41 am on September 13, 2019

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From: T
Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 12:09 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Re: No Room on Earth for This Poor Guy

Hi Walter,

I really enjoy your back and forth with folks about Libertarianism. This latest one about spacemen and truly bad people being executed because no one on Earth would want them on their property was very entertaining.


But I think you and AL are dancing around the biggest Libertarian issue out there regarding some poor guy or gal with no room on Earth for them.

The non aggression principle is the bedrock of Libertarianism and yet, is it not true, that when Libertarians have children they are breaking the non aggression principle. Those fetuses didn’t asked to be conceived. (I mean, I don’t remember that conversation before I was conceived, do you?)

Are we not creating humans, through conception, that the world will hurt? I don’t know of anyone, even Shirley Temple Black, who had a “Wonderful Life”.

Walter, you are the smartest Libertarian I kinda know. How do you explain how the conceiving of a human is not against the NAP?

As for myself, I have a boy and a girl (both now in their forties) that my ex-wife says (I asked her right before her death),  I conceived (Mother’s baby, Father’s maybe), and the results have been mixed. (And no I’m not talking DNA tests here. I’m talking character traits etc..)

A friend of mine once told me, “Children are a lot of bother for an uncertain result.”

But back to the basic question:

“Is conceiving a child against the NAP?”

All the best, T

PS: I went up to the xyz Bar & Grill on Monday night to get some take out food and have a beer, and what did I see at the bar? 20 New Orleans Saints football fans all wearing NO Saints football jerseys having a helluva time watching the Monday Night Football Game on the TVs! Damned odd. You New Orleaners are everywhere! Tim

Dear T:

Thanks for your kind words about me. I’ll try to live up to them.

Excellent question/challenge. I can’t see my way clear to agreeing with your creative, insightful, entertaining point that birth might violate the NAP, since the baby never gave permission for any such thing. But, for a rights violation to occur, there must be a victim. At the time of sexual intercourse, there was not yet any third party to be victimized.

By extrapolation, instead of thinking that all births violate rights, what about a woman voluntarily getting pregnant while addicted to heroin. The resultant baby will lead a “nasty, short and brutish” life, and such a mother ought to be heavily condemned. But, did she violate any right that a libertarian must respect? Again, I can’t acquiesce in the notion that she has. Again, at the time of intercourse, there was no baby in existence who’s rights could have been violated. If she hasn’t violated rights, then, for sure, no other pregnant woman has, either.

But, thanks for this question/challenge. There was nothing ordinary or run of the mill about it.

Geaux, Saints!!!!!


5:44 pm on September 11, 2019

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Does Fractional Reserve Banking Lead To the (Austrian) Business Cycle? Yes.

From: J
Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 1:49 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Banking and Business Cycles

Hi Professor Block, I have a question on the Austrian business cycle. Assume a country has a 100% gold standard but banks were allowed to engage in fractional reserve banking. If the government did not regulate interest rates or reserve ratios, would the system be prone to the Austrian business cycle?

Thank You.

Dear J:

Yes, in my view, fractional reserve banking, even under these otherwise splendid circumstances, would still lead to a business cycle. See on this:

Bagus, 2003; Bagus, Howden and Block, 2013; Barnett and Block, 2005, 2008, 2009; Baxendale, 2010; Block, 2008; Block and Caplan, 2008; Block and Garschina, 1996; Block and Humphries, 2008; Block and Posner, 2008; Davidson, 2008; Davidson and Block, 2011; Hanke, 2008; Hazlitt, 1979; Hollenbeck, 2013, 2014; Hoppe, 1994; Hoppe, Hulsmann and Block, 1998; Howden, 2013; Huerta de Soto, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2010, 2018; Hulsmann, 1996, 2000, 2002a, 2002b, 2003, 2008; Murphy, 2010; North, 2009; Polleit, 2010; Reisman, 1996, 2009; Rothbard, 1975; 1990, 1991, 1993; Salerno, 2010A, 2010B, 2011.

Bagus, Philipp. 2003, ‘The Commons and the Tragedy of Banking’, November 12, http://mises.org/story/1373

Bagus, Philipp, David Howden and Walter E. Block. 2013. “Deposits, Loans and Banking: Clarifying the Debate,” American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Volume 72, Issue 3, pages 627–644, July; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajes.12023/abstracthttp://bastiat.mises.org/2013/07/fractional-reserve-banking-paper/

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2005. “In defense of fiduciary media— a comment; or, what’s wrong with “clown” or play money?” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics; Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer, pp. 55-69; http://mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae8_2_4.pdf

Barnett, William and Walter E. Block. 2008. “Time deposits, dimensions and fraud,” Journal of Business Ethics; www.WalterBlock.com/publicationshttp://www.springerlink.com/content/100281/?k=walter+block&sortorder=asc&v=condensed&o=20www.WalterBlock.com/publications

Barnett, William and Walter E. Block. 2009. “Financial Intermediaries, the Intertemporal-Carry Trade, and Austrian Business Cycles; or; Crash and Carry: Can Fraudulent Time deposits lead to an Austrian Business Cycle? Yes.” Journal Etica e Politica / Ethics & Politics; Vol. XI, No. 1, pp. 455-469; http://www2.units.it/~etica/2009_1/BARNETT_BLOCK.pdf

Baxendale, Tony. 2010. Free Banking, the Balance Sheet and Contract Law Approach; March 15; http://www.cobdencentre.org/2010/03/free-banking-the-balance-sheet-and-contract-law-approach/

Block, Walter and Bryan Caplan. 2008. “Walter E. Block  versus Bryan Caplan on Fractional Reserve Banking.” Nov 1; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block110.html

Block, Walter and Kenneth M. Garschina. 1996. “Hayek, Business Cycles and Fractional Reserve Banking: Continuing the De-Homoginization Process,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1995, pp. 77-94; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae9_1_3.pdf.

Block, Walter and John Humphries. 2008. “Humphries vs Block on fractional reserve banking.” November 17; http://alsblog.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/fractional-reserve-banking/

Block, Walter versus Eric Posner. 2008. “Posner vs. Block on fractional reserve banking.” November, 29; https://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block114.html

Davidson, Laura. 2008. “Fractional Reserve Banking Is Indeed Fraudulent,” November 17;


Davidson, Laura and Walter E. Block. 2011. “The Case Against Fiduciary Media: Ethics Is The Key,” The Journal of Business Ethics. Vol. 98, Issue 3, pp. 505-511;

http://www.springerlink.com/content/j76323752648720g/http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-010-0590-2; 10.1007/s10551-010-0590-2

Hanke, Steve. 2008. “Banking Crises: Plus Ça Change…” GlobeAsia, November, pp. 168-169; http://www.freemarketfoundation.com/Hanke%5CBanking%20Crises–Plus%20%C3%87a%20Change,%20November%202008.pdf

Hazlitt, Henry. 1979. “Gold versus Fractional Reserves Part 1 .” The Freeman. May;



Hollenback, Frank. 2013. “Insuring Deposits, Ensuring Insolvency.” July 24;


Hollenback, Frank. 2014. “The Fraud in Fractional Reserve Banking.” November 26; http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=7e6cc2f6072b7ebfaa847047f&id=189c14aa12&e=53fc31c1bb

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 1994. “How is Fiat Money Possible? or, The Devolution of Money and Credit,” Review of Austrian Economics, 7(2), pp. 49-74.

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann, with Guido Hulsmann and Walter E. Block. 1998. “Against Fiduciary Media,” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 19-50, http://www.mises.org/journals/qjae/pdf/qjae1_1_2.pdf

Howden, David. 2013. “A Simple Math Question for Bankers.” December 28;


Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 1995. “A Critical Analysis of Central Banks and Fractional-Reserve Free Banking from the Austrian Perspective,” Review of Austrian Economics, 8(2), pp. 25-38.

Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 1998, ‘A Critical Note on Fractional-Reserve Free Banking’, The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 1(4), 25-49.

Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 2001. “A Critical Note on Fractional Reserve Free Banking,” The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 1, No. 4, Fall, pp. 34-35

Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 2006. Money, Bank Credit and Economic Cycles (Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn AL.)

Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 2010. “Economic Recessions, Banking Reform, and the Future of Capitalism.” http://mises.org/daily/4817

Huerta de Soto, Jesús. 2018. “What Free-Banking Advocates Get Wrong.” February 26;


Hülsmann, Jorg Guido. 1996, ‘Free Banking and the Free Bankers’, Review of Austrian Economics 9(1), 3-53.

Hulsmann, Jorg Guido. 2000. “Banks Cannot Create Money”, The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy, vol. 5, no. 1, summer, 101—110;  http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_05_1_hulsman.pdf

Hulsmann, Jorg Guido. 2002a. “Free Banking and the Free Bankers.” Review of Austrian Economics. Vol. 9, No. 1. pp. 3-53; http://www.mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/rae9_1_1.pdf

Hulsmann, Jorg Guido. 2002b. “Free Banking Fractional Reserves: Reply to Pascal Salin.” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 1, No. 3.


Hulsmann, Jorg Guido. 2003. “Has Fractional-Reserve Banking Really Passed the Market Test?,” Independent Review 7/3, Winter, 399-422.  http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=90

Hülsmann, Jorg Guido. 2008. The Ethics of Money Production Auburn AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute

Murphy, Robert P. 2011.  The Fractional-Reserve Banking Question.” June 14; http://mises.org/daily/4499

North, Gary. 2009. “What Is Money? Part 5: Fractional Reserve Banking.” October 10;


Polleit, Thorsten. 2010. “The Faults of Fractional-Reserve Banking.” December 23;


Reisman, George. 1996. Capitalism. Ottawa, Il.: Jameson Books; pp. 954-963

Reisman, George. 2009. “A Pro-Free-Market Program for Economic Recovery,” November 20; http://mises.org/daily/3870

Rothbard, Murray N.  [1963] 1975. America’s Great Depression (Sheed and Ward, Kansas City).

Rothbard, Murray N. 1990. What Has Government Done to Our Money?, Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/rothmoney.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N. [1962] 1991. “The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar,” In Search of a Monetary Constitution, Leland B. Yeager, ed., Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 94-136, and Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute. See also “The Logic of Action One” pp. 364-384; http://mises.org/story/1829http://mises.org/rothbard/100percent.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N.  [1962] 1993. Man, Economy, and State. Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, AL

Rothbard, Murray N. 1988.  The Myth of Free Banking in Scotland,  Review of Austrian Economics; http://mises.org/journals/rae/pdf/RAE2_1_15.pdf

Salerno, Joseph T. 2010A. Money, Sound and Unsound. Auburn, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Salerno, Joseph T. 2010B. “White contra Mises on Fiduciary Media,” May 14;


Salerno, Joseph T. 2011. “Dr. Joseph Salerno Explains Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Money (But Were Afraid to Ask)”, The Daily Bell, July 3; http://www.thedailybell.com/2602/Anthony-Wile-Dr-Joseph-Salerno-Explains-Everything-You-Ever-Wanted-to-Know-About-Money-But-Were-Afraid-to-Ask

Best regards,



5:43 pm on September 11, 2019

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A Libertarian Analysis of Jeffery Epstein’s “Suicide”

From: P
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2019 8:52 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Are Epstein’s captor’s liable for his suicide?

Hi Walter, Assuming that Jeffery Epstein’s liberty was taken in such a way that did not violate the NAP, and assuming that he did, indeed, commit suicide while being held in custody, can those who were in charge of him be held accountable for his suicide?

Thank you, Paul

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 1:37 AM

To: P

Subject: RE: Are Epstein’s captor’s liable for his suicide?

Dear Paul:

Given arguendo, that Epstein did not violate the NAP, then to jail him was to kidnap him. Kidnapping is a crime. Epstein, under your assumptions, was innocent. We’re all innocent until proven guilty. Epstein was not convicted of anything. He should not have been placed in jail. But he was. The people who did this to him, kidnap him, are guilty of the crime of kidnapping. Now, for the suicide. Assume he would not have committed “suicide” (I place scare quotes around this word to indicate I don’t for a moment believe this claim) had he not been kidnapped. Then, the people responsible for jailing him were also causally related to his death, e.g., they would be in my opinion, considered murderers. Not first degree murder, but murder nonetheless. Maybe second degree murder, or manslaughter.

Suppose a private gang, not the government, kidnapped someone, who, while in their captivity, committed suicide. I think it would be obvious that to the kidnapping charge (a lesser crime than murder) would be added the greater crime of murder.

How are we supposed to ensure people accused of crimes, but who are not yet convicted, will not flee the jurisdiction? An electronic ankle clamp would be more in keeping with libertarianism than kidnap-jail. It would still be a rights violation, but certainly a lesser one.  In the fully free anarcho -capitalist society, a private defense company might well use the electronic ankle clamp, but if the person were later found to be innocent, they would be guilty of the relatively minor crime of assault and battery.

Murray wrote about this somewhere, do you remember where? Murray wrote about all such vexing issues, brilliantly. I wish I knew where he wrote about this.

Here is a message to me about this issue from my friend David Gordon. As per usual, he nails the matter:

From: David Gordon [mailto:dgordon@mises.com]

Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 6:31 AM

To: Walter Block

Subject: Re: FW: Are Epstein’s captor’s liable for his suicide?

Dear Walter:

Murray’s general principle was that the punishment exacted on a guilty criminal cannot exceed in severity the crime of which he accused. Thus, if Epstein is accused of child molestation, what can be done to him depends on how severe you take this crime to be. Murray discusses this in Ethics of Liberty, pp.85ff.  http://rothbard.altervista.org/books/ethics-of-liberty.pdf

So far as I am aware, Murray never supports preventive detention. If a criminal flees the jurisdiction of the court, that would make him liable to a trial in absentia.

Your own analysis is excellent, and I don’t have any improvements to suggest. However, I don’t think that you are answering the question that “P” asked. As I read his letter, he is asking about a case where “taking Epstein’s liberty did not violate the NAP.” That is, the captors didn’t violate the NAP.. Your answer is about the situation where Epstein doesn’t violate the NAP but the captors do.

Best wishes,



5:42 pm on September 11, 2019

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