LRC Blog

Political Voting: Is It Compatible With Libertarianism?

Letter 1

From: G
Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2019 8:40 AM
To: Walter Block <
Subject: Question

Good morning Walter,

I hesitate to bring this up again, and I do so not out of antagonism,

but due to a real curiosity.

Do you have any limits as to who or what you will support, or is it

always based upon the lesser of evils? If it is the latter, how can

that not be a compromise of your core beliefs?

Please allow me to preface my statements by saying that Trump is

horrendous, but then so are most all politicians, but since he is in

the highest position of political power, then he is the most dangerous

of them all currently.

Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders are socialists. Gabbard, regardless

of the love affair compromising “Libertarians” have for her, is not

anti-war. She plays the role with war in her back pocket. She wants

Guantanamo open and wants the prisoners to remain there indefinitely.

This indicates that she is fine with torture. In addition, she does

believe in the fake war on terror, and has stated so publicly on

several occasions. This is a contradiction considering the false

belief that she is against war in general. Attempting to have it both

ways is not legitimate. And this is while she is a candidate, and will

most likely say anything to get a nomination. Lying is a prerequisite

for 99% of candidates. Maybe even more.

The problem is that all these people are frauds, and an ex-military

and military loving and supporting candidate who claims the fake war

on terror is proper so long as it really goes after terrorists, is

also lying. The real terrorists live and breath politics in the U.S.,

and U.S. aggression, including mass murder, is not fighting terrorism,

it is terrorism. It only increases the slaughter of innocents, and

perpetuates more terror. This of course is by design, and those who

control the politicians will also control this trimmer Gabbard should

she be allowed to gain power.

My best … G


2:18 am on October 18, 2019

Hurricanes and Government Coercion

From: D
Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2019 3:08 PM
Subject: Canadian cruelty

Good day,

Just belatedly read your article about Canada forcing victims of hurricane devastation to relocate, with government assistance, if damages were over half of the value of their homes.

Block, Walter E. 2019. “U.S. Largess vs. Canadian Cruelty; The best approach to floods is freedom and responsibility.” September 18; Wall Street Journal, p. A. 13;;

I must take issue with your reasoning that people should be able to make their own decisions and then suffer the consequences of those decisions. Time and time again average citizens have proven that they are not good at making those decisions. Saving for retirement is one area that people are remiss in taking reasonable action. 401k Savings help some, but even then severe penalties for early withdrawal help ensure that they maintain the savings.

Impulse or high sales pressure purchases are another area where citizens demonstrate that they do not have the ability to consider their financial well being over tantalizing promises or instant gratification. It is helpful if the government protects people from themselves with programs that ensure they are not subject to future catastrophe. Dorothy Lawton


2:13 am on October 18, 2019

Debate on the Minimum Wage Law

Letter 1

From: M
Sent: Monday, September 30, 2019 6:07 PM
To: ‘Walter E. Block’ <>

Subject: You

I found your style engaging, warm, and liked your examples, e.g., the snake ( Of course, I’m not sure the topic was the best; Of course, nearly all of who we are, including a desire for freedom vs security, individualism vs collectivism, etc are partly under genetic control.

At the risk of violating our no-libertarian agreement, since you and Bob mentioned minwage, for the moment, I’m curious to your current reaction to my perhaps clarified position on the subject. Of course, this, unlike the debate topic Saturday, has major implications for most libertarian versus interventionist positions.

I cannot get past my utilitarian belief that freedom is merely one factor, not necessarily a dispositive factor in deciding wise policy. And from my utilitarian perspective (what will do the most good for the most people,) re min wage, the net impact on humankind of a min wage, in my mind is a plus. Of course, some jobs are lost, lost to the biggest losers (dumb, unreliable, dishonest, etc.) But many more people who work for that minimum wage will remain employed as long as the minimum wage is continually titrated for optimization—e.g., Obviously a $50 minimun wage would drive many companies out of business as well as accelerate investment in automation and offshored employees. At the other end of the continuum, a 10 cent minimum wage would have too little impact on the zillions of workers who would be working for, say 1 cent an hour.  It may be that given other factors, that sweet spot might be $16 an hour in San Francisco but as the economy improves or declines, it would be adjusted.

The extra, say, $5 an hour, translates to $10,000 a year. For those millions earning no more than the min wage (disproportionately fast-food, restaurant, hotel workers, etc) that significantly improves their quality of life–e.g., no longer needed to decide between tomatoes and toilet paper, and not having to cut their medication in half to make it last longer.) In contrast, the decrement to the quality of the payer (the employer, the shareholder) is smaller.

Any chance you might agree with me here, or am I missing a more powerful point–from my utilitarian perspective. (There’s no way you can convince me that freedom trumps all other considerations.) I’d rather be a well-treated slave than an 80 IQ, low-motivation, mentally disturbed free person who’d have to rely on voluntary charity—and don’t point to those poor houses of the Dickensian era–That doesn’t strengthen your case, any more than arguing that if the West let Hitler do his thing, we might, net be better off. M


2:10 am on October 18, 2019

Does Socialism Lead To War? With Special Guest Sen. Rand Paul

12:33 pm on October 17, 2019

Republicans for Empire and Intervention

It’s not news to readers of LRC that the Republican Party, until Trump came into the picture, has been strongly pro-empire and pro-intervention worldwide. The reasons for this are that it satisfies the interests of money and power and ideology. The Democratic Party has been and still is also pro-empire and pro-intervention for the same reasons. The Republicrats are politicians captured by these interests, which control information and policy via the deep state and which control the parties through campaign contributions, payoffs, blackmail, information control, ideological dissemination, media, intelligence agencies, the revolving door, recruiting, in other words, the swamp.

Trump is attacking this complex of forces. That is why he’s under constant attack from these Republicrats, the combination of Democrats and Republicans who share and perpetuate the same policies of empire through one administration after another.

It is not an unmitigated bad for the U.S. government to hammer out a position in this world of states in which the rightful interests of the broad American public are maintained and our country is defended properly. The country need not be isolationist because peaceful trade is in our interest.

But it is bad, terribly bad, when this rightful position is corrupted into empire, worldwide interventions and an attempt at creating a global system in which the U.S. government predominates. This attempt at making America the sole superpower is doomed to fail. It has been proven to be exceedingly bloody, taking millions of lives. It lines the pockets of narrow interest groups who benefit from continual warfare and the empire’s extension. Meanwhile, the costs are incredibly high. The debt of the U.S. government is nearly $23 trillion, which is $185,000 per taxpayer. This debt excludes other legislated obligations, which may well come to $200 trillion.

In other words, empire is a policy that’s breaking America’s back to enrich a relatively few, to enrich the swamp-dwellers and to delight the globalists who want to see America fail, such as George Soros.

Now, the occasion for this brief statement is a report of certain remarks made by George W. Bush, one of our ex-presidents who is a Republicrat.

Bush, who is responsible for two terrible and terribly expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, criticized Trump’s withdrawal of a mere 1,000 of troops from Syria as isolationist. He’s totally wrong. He’s totally in thrall to the idea of empire and intervention. He still fails to see the downsides. He still fails to see his own failures and monstrous errors.

He was at a conference with Bill Clinton beside him, who likewise is a strong proponent of empire, having extended NATO and bombed in the old Yugoslavia. All that was needed was Obama to complete the trio of presidents who favor empire. Well, not quite. We’d need to throw in a few Congresses who have funded these interventions.

Against this Trump stands, and not even wholeheartedly but in a piecemeal, inconsistent and halting fashion, one that we hope nonetheless is stepwise in a single direction, which is to disengage this country from empire and intervention as a policy that’s sold as being sound and even said to be right, when it is clearly unsound and wrong.

Bush said “We are becoming isolationist and that’s dangerous for the sake of peace.” Wrong. Taking down empire, disengaging from tar pits and sinkholes, in favor of proper engagements and relations with other states and peoples is not isolationist. It’s FOR the sake of peace, not dangerous to it. Bush’s thinking is addled and so is that of many interventionist Republicrats who tell us that peace requires continual war. Peace of our people, of Americans, requires constructive engagements with other peoples according to moral and pragmatic principles, as much as can be mustered in a world in which there are many states. Peace for us requires that we have proper defenses and a readiness to defend ourselves. Peace does not require peace everywhere in the world that’s insured or brought about by Americans; and it cannot be achieved anyway, if only because of cost, the resistance of opposing forces, and the inability to create ideal societies. The aim of peace everywhere in the world is utopian and unobtainable. We cannot even achieve this in our own country. But this faulty aim is what is sold to Americans as a goal in order to justify the empire overseas and to justify powerful governments domestically.

A sounder aim is to shun taking over the world in one form or another, but instead to accept the presence of many different countries, states, governing entities, peoples and societies. They have their problems, we have ours, and one of our problems is that our system is running amok in the hands of Republicrats with their flawed ideas. A sounder aim is peace here at home, and this means rejecting government-imposed collectivist solutions. Communism is widespread in America, but it is far from peaceful. Every one of our communist institutions relies upon coercion through laws that Congress imposed on us. We must reject this unrecognized and applauded communism in all its forms. Otherwise, America will die from the communist wounds already inflicted on her.

8:51 am on October 17, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard on the NY Times and CNN Smears Against Her (10.16.19)

Hard to see how she’ll be allowed in any more debates after last night’s.

9:51 pm on October 16, 2019

Howie Carr on the Many Tall Tales of Elizabeth Warren

Claims to have been sexually harassed (chased around a desk) by a polio victim who couldn’t even walk.

8:11 pm on October 16, 2019

Rand Paul on Backstabber John Bolton, Lindsey Graham, and Trump’s Syria Pullout

Trump got what he deserved with Bolton; should have never been hired (my thought, not Rand’s).

8:06 pm on October 16, 2019

Brit Hume on Matt Taibbi and the Permanent Coup Against Trump

Not a fan of Hume, but the guy does have some insights on permanent D.C.

8:02 pm on October 16, 2019

Trump Right, the House Wrong on Troop Withdrawal in Syria

One thing at a time. Let’s take what we can get. Northern Syria is a start. After 3 years, it’s a start. It’s refreshing to hear talk of moving away from endless wars. A bathtub can be emptied a teaspoon at a time. That’s better than letting the faucet run all the time or turning it up full force. Endless wars aim to keep the tub full with the faucet running and the drain open. The water bill climbs and climbs.

Trump did the right thing: Morally right, legally right, and pragmatically right. His most clearly identifiable moral obligation stems from his duty as president, and this duty includes protecting us Americans and preserving the lives of our armed forces. Withdrawing forces from Syria does exactly this. In the anarchic space in which states operate, they maintain the flexibility to alter policies at will, all the way from informal arrangements to solemn treaty obligations. Morality hardly comes into it. In any event, Trump didn’t order an attack on anyone. Turkey’s attack is its doing, not Trump’s. It is also morally right that Trump take a step, however, limited to fulfill a campaign promise.

7:35 pm on October 16, 2019

Trump’s Smart Syria Move and ‘Fake News’ ABC’s Kurd ‘Slaughter Video’

I am interviewed by Ben Swann on the ABC “fake news” footage of Turkey’s “slaughter” of Kurds and on fast-breaking developments in Syria:

3:40 pm on October 16, 2019

3:39 pm on October 16, 2019

3:38 pm on October 16, 2019

Peace on Earth – Good Will To Men

FDR As Dictator

2:52 pm on October 16, 2019

Classic Anti-War Cartoon From The 1936 New York Daily News

2:39 pm on October 16, 2019

Bipartisan Support For Turkey Sanctions – A ‘Victory’ For Trump?

12:33 pm on October 16, 2019

Is the Impeachment Inquiry Partisan or Fair?

Unless one side or the other backs down in some way, the demands by means of subpoena by key House Democrats for Executive and related communications could result in Supreme Court action. A subpoena was sent to Giuliani 16 days ago with a deadline, now passed, of October 15. Giuliani is on record as refusing to comply. Giuliani’s letter to Congress gives his legal position. He incorporates the letter of Mr. Cipollone of Oct. 8, 2019.

One possible resolution in which the House Democrats back down is for them to declare Giuliani in contempt. They would then take the refusal to answer the subpoena as evidence of obstruction. Their letter to Giuliani explicitly threatens this course of action, stating

“Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena, including at the direction or behest of the President or the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President.”

11:47 am on October 16, 2019


It seems like I can’t go to a bar or restaurant without someone inevitably asking me if I’m a Trump supporter (or not).  If the person asking the question is himself a Trump supporter it is usually asked in a hushed tone as if he is worried that an Antifa terrorist might be eavesdropping.  My standard answer is that I am a Hate-o-crat — I hate all politicians of all parties and everything about them all the time.  I also usually add that I think voting is immoral because it only gives “legitimacy” to the empire’s corrupt system of legalized theft (a.k.a., “taxation”), murder (a.k.a. “war”), and Soviet-style regulation and regimentation of our lives.  The Trump supporters kind of like this, whereas the leftists seem terrified, as though I grew Devil’s horns before their very eyes.  Either way, it usually ends the talk of politics with people who want to bait me into defending or attacking Trump when all I want to do is have a cocktail and watch golf or football on TV at the bar.

10:13 am on October 16, 2019

The “Special Relationship” and The Empire of the City

At the very core of “the special relationship” between the governing, financial, and intelligence elites of the United States and the United Kingdom has been the little known (or discussed) Pilgrims Societies. For over a hundred years these members of the Anglo-American Establishment (pdf) have played a decisive role in shaping world history. Most Americans are not aware of the Pilgrims (except through a vague remembrance of some costumed elementary school pageant with turkeys and Indians) but there is much more to this intriguing story. To illustrate only one specific example for which you may be familiar, all of the elite individuals who secretly met in 1910 at Jekyll Island, Georgia to draft and concoct what became the Federal Reserve were Pilgrims.

“The Morgans and their henchmen really were a dominant influence in American economic and political circles in the early part of the 20th century. The Morgans, Mellons, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Andrew Carnegie really were great Anglophiles, this in contrast to the general population which still remembered the wars of independence. These same families really were great supporters of the United Nations and continue to be so until this very day. This analysis of the Pilgrims Society has shown all these things. Leading Pilgrims have been among the founders and leaders of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Councils, Bilderberg, the Trilateral Commission, the Atlantic Institute of International Affairs, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations, the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Trade and Economic Council, the U.S.-China Business Council, the America-China Society, the Americas Society, the OECD, the Institute for International Economics, Ditchley, Brookings, the British Invisibles, LOTIS, etc., etc. The absolute core of the globalist movement largely consists of Pilgrims. Examples are the membership of Lord Roll, Lord Carrington, Arthur Dean, Gabriel Hauge, Henry Heinz, Richard Holbrooke, Henry Kissinger, John J. McCloy, Lord Kerr, David Rockefeller, Robert V. Roosa, Cyrus Vance, Paul Volcker, and John Whitehead.”

Interconnected with the Pilgrims is the fascinating narrative concerning The City of London (the real power brokers in the UK).

Of The City of London, Zero Hedge observes:    (more…)

9:49 pm on October 15, 2019

Re: Matt Taibbi Sees Some Light

Michael, excellent observations. The new Praetorian Guard of the deep state will be choosing (and eliminating) our emperors. Essentially that is what has been happening since the November 22, 1963 Coup d’état.

The Praetorian Guard: The U.S. Role in the New World Order, by John Stockwell

John Stockwell is a former CIA officer who became a critic of United States government policies after serving in the Agency for thirteen years serving seven tours of duty. He is also a former U.S. Marine Corps major. He was hired by the CIA in 1964, spent six years working for the CIA in Africa, and was later transferred to Vietnam. In 1973 he received the CIA’s Medal of Merit, the Agency’s second-highest award. In 1975, Stockwell was promoted to the CIA’s Chief of Station and National Security Council coordinator. As Chief of the Angola Task Force he managed covert activities during the first years of Angola’s bloody civil war. After two years he resigned, determined to reveal the truth about the agency’s role in the Third World. Since that time, he has worked to expose what he sees as the criminal activities of the CIA.

4:51 pm on October 15, 2019

Matt Taibbi Sees Some Light

Matt Taibbi has seen some light on the coup against Trump. He shows that one can think very little of Trump but still grasp that Trump’s enemies are creating a situation that’s untenable. The CIA and intelligence agencies combined with Congressional allies, deep state personnel, and a megaphone media shouldn’t be seeking to oust Trump by means of ruse, deceit, deception, lies, trickery, leaks, false narratives and an array of underhanded means. If they succeeded in removing Trump from office, they’d be overturning an election without any reason other than advancing their own agenda. What would such a success mean? Taibbi’s answer:

“The real problem would be the precedent of a de facto intelligence community veto over elections, using the lunatic spookworld brand of politics that has dominated the last three years of anti-Trump agitation.”

It would mean that elections don’t really count. The idea that they matter in a significant way would be exposed as a pretense. The first president in decades to challenge the Establishment thinking and policies in radical ways would have been removed.

The schism between Trump and the existing government interests is profound and important. That’s the coup battleground, but of even more importance is the schism between two groups of Americans: those who are pro-Trump and those who are anti-Trump. If the pro-Trump voters soundly reject anti-Trump candidates in upcoming elections, it will be rejecting the threat posed by the intelligence community. It will breathe new life into Trump’s presidency if he’s still around for a second term. The battle outside the Washington swamp overshadows that within Washington.

3:30 pm on October 15, 2019

Pentagon Hands Manbij To The Russians (Can We Get Them To Take Afghanistan Too?)

12:58 pm on October 15, 2019

Underlings Like Fiona Hill Always Gripe

As a rule of thumb, underlings in organizations always gripe about their superiors. The very fact that there is a line of command, a superior and inferiors, a boss and employees, this is enough to create different views of what decisions should be. Everyone in an organization like the White House has different information and different objectives. They have different perspectives and powers. They have different backgrounds and ambitions. Anyone who has worked in an organization has experienced the result, which is office politics and griping. Many people as subordinates cannot help but complain when they oppose decisions or actions of their bosses.

Who sets policy? Who makes the big decisions? Who has that responsibility? What are the lines of authority in any organization?

It’s in this context that an NBC News article dated Oct. 14, 2019 can be understood, its headline being “Bolton wanted White House lawyers alerted to Ukrainian efforts, called it ‘drug deal,’ witness tells Congress”. The article exists because someone in the House hearing room leaked it. The occasion was closed door testimony of an underling named Fiona Hill, who is identified as a “former White House official and “former Russian analyst”. The House Democrats subpoenaed Hill to testify.

9:24 am on October 15, 2019

ABC News Caught Faking “Slaughter in Syria”

It was actually video from a Kentucky gun range from 2017.  CIA front/ABC “News” used it to mislead Americans into thinking Trump’s withdrawal of 50 troops from Syria is a calamity.

1:36 am on October 15, 2019

Rand Paul on Socialism and Trump’s Pullout of Syria

Discusses his new book, The Case Against Socialism.

12:42 am on October 15, 2019

Colion Noir on California’s New Gun-Seizure Law

California has now just enacted something Orwellian called “gun-violence restraining orders.”

12:34 am on October 15, 2019

How Come When Leftist Moronic Street Thugs —

and clueless campus protesters seize and vandalize monuments or statuary of dead persons they consider historically inconvenient or politically incorrect they never go after these nefarious, evil worthies?

Robert Morris, Alexander Hamilton, John Marshall, Henry Clay, John D. Rockefeller, J. Pierpont Morgan, Elihu Root, William Nelson Cromwell, “Colonel” Edward M. House, John W. Davis, Frank Altschul, Isaiah Bowman, Otto H. Kahn, Frank L. Polk, Whitney H. Shepardson, Paul M. Warburg, Russell C. Leffingwell, Hamilton Fish Armstrong, Philip C. Jessup, W. Averell Harriman, Paul Cravath, Raymond B. Fosdick, “Colonel” Henry L. Stimpson, Walter Lippmann, John Foster and Allen Dulles, Prescott Bush, John J. McCloy, Nelson Rockefeller, C. Douglas Dillion, Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara, Walt Rostow, McGeorge and William Bundy, Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, David Rockefeller, Armand Hammer, William F. Buckley Jr., Felix Rohatyn, Richard Holbrooke, or George Soros.

They could find them all memorialized, embedded, encoded, encrypted, and embalmed in the hoary sanctuary pictured above, The Harold Pratt House, headquarters of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Mount Olympus of the Establishment, located at 58 East 68th Street at Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065

In The Old Days Life Was So Much Simpler.

(Note: those readers who have emailed to inform me that George Soros is not dead are mistaken. The ghoulish Soros has been deceased for decades and his zombiefied corpse has been reanimated by an arcane Haitian formula of Tanis leaves, cinnamon, and an aborted foetus.)

2:48 pm on October 14, 2019

First They Came for Lee and Jackson . . .

. . . and then for the “genocidal terrorist” Christopher Columbus.

Happy Columbus Day!

Update: The social justice cupcakes who have been vandalizing and destroying Columbus statues want to replace them, and Columbus Day, with a national holiday for “indigenous peoples” like the Aztecs and Incas.  In doing so they would be celebrating such practices of the Aztecs and Incas as eating amputated body parts “to please the gods”; beheading, cannibalism, child sacrifice, cutting out beating hearts and burning people alive to “please the sun god.”

12:32 pm on October 14, 2019

Kurds Make Alliance With Assad – Victory For America (But Not For Neocons)

12:25 pm on October 14, 2019