LRC Blog

One Problem with President Trump’s UN Speech Today

President Trump gave a rousing denunciation of socialism — in Venezuela and everywhere else — today at the United Nations but his concluding sentence was way off base. At the end of his speech he implored his audience to join in bringing democracy back to Venezuela.  But it was democracy that made Venezuela a socialist hellhole!  Venezuela came to democracy late (1958) and every president since then was a bigger Castro-loving communist than his predecessor, ending up with the odious tyrant Hugo Chavez and now his understudy Maduro.  What Venezuela needs is economic freedom –– capitalism — not more “democracy.”  Trump has apparently gone full neocon as far as his speech makers are concerned.  They tend to be economically illiterate democracy worshippers.

9:34 pm on September 25, 2018

An Interesting Conversation About a New Book

An Interesting Conversation About a New Book

Letter 1:

FROM: Aleksandar Novakovic [mailto:aleksandar.novakovic@ips.ac.rs]
SENT: Saturday, September 22, 2018 6:16 AM
TO: wblock@loyno.edu
SUBJECT: Request for permission to include in a publication

Dear professor Block,

I am Aleksandar Novakovic from the Institute of Political Studies in
Belgrade and together with my colleague Dusan Dostanic I work on the
collection of texts on the relation between libertarianism and
conservatism.

The aim of the collection is to explore and elucidate ideological
differences and similarities of these intellectual traditions and
political orientations. The prospective collection should encompass
important contributions on the topic from renowned writers from both
intellectual traditions.

Our plan is to include such classic as Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich
Hayek, Murray Rothbard, conservatives such as Russell Kirk, Wilhelm
Röpke, fusionists (Frank Mayer, Edward Feser), some “neglected”
Austrians (Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn), libertarian-conservatives
(Hans-Hermann Hoppe), popular libertarian voices (Deirdre Mccloskey),
and several contemporary European authors such are Gerd-Klaus
Kaltenbrunner, Friedrich Romig and Alexander Gauland.

With such selection of the authors our aim is to present various ways
in which the notions of libertarianism and conservatism have been
understood today.

I would like to ask your permission to include in the collection a
Serbian translation of your article “Libertarianism and Libertinism.”
published in _Journal of Libertarian Studies_ 11, No. 1
(1994): 117–128.”

(more…)

8:58 pm on September 25, 2018

Who’s Privileged and Who’s Oppressed?

Government laws today routinely discriminate on the basis of income, source of income, line of business, race, drug use, age, health, sex and many other categories. This discrimination is so common that it’s taken for granted as being legitimate. Laws with discriminatory economic effects are not even thought of as discrimination.

American leftists hope to achieve political power and implement discriminatory programs against groups they term “privileged” and for groups they term “oppressed”. Their discrimination categories, derived from social/cultural/sexual characteristics, differ a great deal from those that governments have been implementing for decades.

Leftists identify at least 15 groups they wish to discriminate against:

men,
persons whose gender corresponds with their innate sex,
white people,
heterosexual people,
persons of age between 30 and 60,
middle class persons,
college graduates,
Christians,
U.S. born,
persons raised in non-abusive biological or adoptive families,
able-bodied persons,
persons of Western European extraction,
persons perceived as attractive,
persons who speak proper English, and
married persons.

This list appears in a document used in the indoctrination of freshmen at Cornell University. These groups are said to be “privileged”. Those falling outside these groups, their complements, are said to be “marginalized” or “oppressed”.

Every university and college of any size now has some sort of “office of diversity” or “office of institutional equity” or something similar. These offices promote identity politics under the guise of anti-discrimination while providing well-paid jobs for people in this unproductive occupation. Governments throughout the U.S. and well-meaning but ignorant donors provide funding to these institutions, portions of which find their way to these offices. These offices run useless programs to indoctrinate the unwary in their “privilege” or “oppression”, and possibly both at the same time, for example, white and unattractive, or female and Christian.

Is a person actually privileged or oppressed by virtue of these 15 characteristics and their opposite? How are privilege and oppression to be measured? By a person’s income? By what they might have earned had they had or lacked one of the 15 characteristics? There is an uncountable number of variables that go into a person’s life. How are the effects of privilege and oppression from one aspect to be measured? Typically, there are not clear causes of one’s income or accomplishments. The assertions being made about privilege and oppression cannot be proven. The discriminatory effects of certain laws, like drug prohibition, are easier to trace, but today’s leftists are pointing in very different directions.

If one is privileged or oppressed, does it mean one is automatically getting goodies when one shouldn’t (privileged) and not getting goodies when one should (oppressed)? It seems to mean little else. Does it then mean that the society through the state ought to rectify this social injustice? Does it imply transferring goodies from the privileged to the oppressed? Does it mean forcing the privileged to cater to the oppressed? It does seem to mean that the state must enforce social justice. The social justice warriors have an agenda they wish to see enacted against the groups that they regard as privileged.

This is identity politics, a political thing, not simply an effort to overcome prejudice. If the goal were actually to mitigate prejudices, we’d still have to ask: Is it the role of a college or university to overcome prejudices or biases by teaching students unproven and unprovable assertions about the supposedly negative properties of being white, or a male, or a Christian, or being raised in a non-abusive family or being of Irish or Italian or German extraction? Is it sensible to assume that prejudices ARE IN FACT present simply by the presence of DIFFERENT characteristics such as are listed here?

The terms “diversity”, “equity” and “inclusion” coming from the lips of the social justice warriors signal nothing more than judging people by their “color” (meaning the 15 categories or their like), as opposed to the content of their characters. It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. turned upside down.

2:57 pm on September 25, 2018

China Tariff, Military Spending, Worst President – #AskRonPaul

12:16 pm on September 25, 2018

The Sexocrat Party’s War on Catholicism?

I suspect that the Sexocrats (known to some as “Democrats”) have gone so ape shit over Judge Kavanaugh, with far more extreme hatred than they displayed (as usual) for Judge Gorsuch, because Kavanaugh appears to them to be much more of a devoted Catholic, having attended Jesuit schools, is still volunteering at a church soup kitchen, attends church, etc.  Nothing incites a murderous hatred in the hearts of the Sexocrat abortion queens more than the prospect of a Catholic in high public office who is not pro abortion (like Rudy Giuliani, for instance).  Schumer and Feinstein obviously don’t care about the conservative Catholic vote anyway.  Not that Kavanaugh would buck the Republican Party Official Policy of only talking about limiting abortion to dupe their voters but never doing anything about it.

UPDATE:  I might just be stating the obvious here, but the anti-Catholic bigotry by the lunatic Left is really out in the open here.  I just caught about a minute of Bill Maher on HBO. P.J. O’Rourke was sitting next to him as I was switching channels, so I watched to see if he had anything funny to say.  Maher was going on and on about how much he hated Judge Kavanaugh, and emphasized as he looked directly into the camera that “He’s a CATHOLIC . . . CATHOLIC!  Get it?!” The audience of California totalitarians roared with approval.  Just imagine, Bill, if someone said about another supreme court nominee, “He a Jew . . . A Jew!!  Get it?!” I guess that would be OK in Maher world.

10:10 am on September 25, 2018

Tonight: Dr. Joe Salerno on the Financial Crisis 10 Years Later

Joe Salerno will speak at Ramapo College of New Jersey tonight, with live streaming.

THE SABRIN CENTER FOR FREE ENTERPRISE
and Anisfield School of Business present:

THE 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS:
“A 10-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE”

A SYMPOSIUM:
Why it happened, how it happened, could it happen again?

Tuesday, September 25, 7-9 p.m. | Trustees Pavilion
Co-moderated by Murray Sabrin, Professor of Finance and
Charles Steindel, Resident Scholar, Anisfield School of Business

Please RSVP to msabrin@ramapo.edu or call 201.684.7373.

9:16 am on September 25, 2018

FDA-Approved Diclofenac Linked to Greater Risk of Heart Problems

including “myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, or death…

5:11 pm on September 24, 2018

Woman Arrested for Caring for Sick/Injured Animals During Hurricane Florence

Criminally charged with providing veterinary services without a state license.

2:15 pm on September 24, 2018

China’s ‘Digital Dictatorship’…And Ours

12:25 pm on September 24, 2018

Some Speeches, Interviews, of Mine

July 30, 2018. Andrew Moran [mailto:a_moran3@yahoo.ca] AndrewMoran.net
Freelance Writer, Economics Correspondent – Liberty Nation, Commodities Writer – Earn Forex, Twitter. a_moran3; https://www.libertynation.com/legendary-economist-walter-block-talks-trump-trade-and-tariffs/

July 31, 2018. Steven Durel [mailto:sjdurel@yahoo.com] Chomsky PRIMO NUTMEG [mailto:primonutmeg@gmail.com] 860-295-3650; youtube: https://youtu.be/56vutemC8PQ; soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/primonutmeg/147-walter-block

August 20, 2018. Ben Wiegold [mailto:benwiegold@yahoo.com]; 630-995-5057 My Skype is just my phone number; Johnny: jazzyadams00@gmail.com, 253-625-3854. Johnny Rocket; https://thelaunchpadmedia.com/blast-off-with-johnny-rocket-episode-10-privatize-it-w-walter-block/
August 22, 2018. salmayweather@protonmail.com; space capitalism
https://hangouts.google.com/hangouts/_/iczrzifvd5gvbk5t27rz3ptdfye

https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Ixhaqzo7nqlbyhspomqd66dobfa
https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/sal-mayweather/the-agora
https://player.fm/series/the-agora
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-agora/id1433989990
https://www.saltheagorist.com/

August 23, 2018. Daniel Rothschild [mailto:daniel.y.rothschild@gmail.com]; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6wajLKde2w.

September 9, 2018. Interview with Victor Pross and Patrick Smith on private property rights; https://www.vmixcall.com/call.aspx?Key=2833170042&Name=Walter; Patrick Smith, 414-858-7884, patrick@disenthrall.me; Victor Pross artpross@hotmail.com; 778-395-5074;

10:30 am on September 24, 2018

Mark Penn on the Weasel Rod Rosenstein

Perhaps Rosenstein was joking when he referenced the 25th Amendment, as another meeting participant reports. But Rosenstein’s statement in response to the news accounts carefully avoids denying having discussed wiring himself or others in some effort to entrap Trump. This cabal is meeting and planning, post-Comey’s firing, despite the fact that Rosenstein himself in his memo to President Trump said Comey was “wrong” and the FBI could not regain lost public trust without a new director who understood his errors.

Nice!  Make a recommendation, and then when it’s followed use the result as a pretense for a coup.  In sum:

Whatever you want to call these well-heeled members of the intelligence community and Justice Department, many of whom now have book and speaking contracts, it is clear they all engaged in a conspiracy to bring down this administration on the basis of unverified information, and to turn the most basic acts of presidential power, like the firing of Comey, into obstruction of justice.

5:05 pm on September 22, 2018

What Happened To The Ron Paul Blimp? Ten Years Of Liberty, With Guest Joby Weeks

7:25 pm on September 20, 2018

Texas is Still Ron Paul Country!

Texas is still Ron Paul country! I went in to the family-owned Brazosport Tire to get a front end alignment and not only did I get the friendliest service you can imagine, but they recognized me from the Ron Paul Liberty Report, which they said they catch whenever they have the opportunity! They said they also try to listen to Scott Horton as often as possible. Great people! So happy to give them my business!

7:29 pm on September 19, 2018

‘Fort Trump’…In Poland?

12:53 pm on September 19, 2018

Pope to Pedophile Priests: Take the Fifth

That’s what Jesus would do, in the opinion of the PC Pope.  And all these years I thought the job of Catholic priests like the pope was to hear confessions of sin, not to advise the sinners to remain silent about their sins.  (The literally thousands of claims of children having been molested or raped by Catholic priests is the work of “the devil unleashed,” says the PC Pope who now urges a vow of silence on the matter, advice that any good criminal defense attorney would also offer).

UPDATE:  An emailer writes that the pope sounds more like a mafia don instructing his minions to “take the Fifth,” and that this is probably a “dog whistle” to the silent faithful who know of further sex crimes but have not spoken out.

9:38 am on September 19, 2018

Can Rights Clash, According to Libertarian Law? No.

Can Rights Clash, According to Libertarian Law? No.

Question 1: Based on my understanding, rights only clash if the NAP is violated. Is this true?

Answer 1: No. Suppose you and I both claim the same hat. The hat is sitting there. Our rights over that hat clash, even though neither of us used violence against the other. We’re having an honest disagreement.

Question 2: So when we say rights don’t clash, it assumes everything has been clearly defined and everyone is at peace?

Answer 2: People THINK rights clash, and they fight over them, but, the libt view is that if rights seem to clash, then one or both of them are mis specified. Right now, you and I are still claiming that hat. But only one of us, or none of us, may properly be the owner of that hat, if you exclude the possibility that we both own a share in that hat. If rights clash then, according to the mainstream viewpoint, they must be “balanced.” But no principle is ever forthcoming that would answer the question of which principles are to be used in this “balancing” act. Balancing, here, is always arbitrary, capricious and unprincipled.

3:14 pm on September 18, 2018

Two Questions in Political Economy

Question 1: At least during the last two hundred years we have seen in the world a spectacular increase in the quality of life, thanks to capitalism. However, during the same period we have also seen an amazing growth of the State. How could this apparent paradox be explained?

Response 1: The state is an impediment to growth. We achieve prosperity despite it, not because of it. At present, our GDP statistics include government expenditures. Murray Rothbard rightly contended that these payments should be subtracted from private sector goods and services, not added to them.. The capitalist system is so productive that our natural statist instincts promote it, as we become richer, can more and more afford it.

Question 2: The History manipulation by political interests (for example, the history that was taught to German children during the Nazi regime, or in the Soviet Union) can be considered as a violation of the principle of non-aggression?

Response 2: Lies are not a per se violation of the NAP. I now tell you that 2+2=5. I lied. Did I violate the NAP? No. If lies were a crime, then all professors who profess Marxism, Keynesianism, Chicagoism, Public Choice, anything but Austro libertarianism, would be considered criminals. I’m pretty radical, but, I don’t go that far. Am I wussing out? I don’t think so.

2:16 pm on September 18, 2018

Russian Plane Shot Down Near Syria – Who’s At Fault?

1:27 pm on September 18, 2018

‘How Presstitutes Rob America of Peace & Prosperity’ – Gerald Celente at RPI’s Media & War Conference

12:36 pm on September 17, 2018

Vance Lecture in Atlanta

If you are in the Atlanta area, note that on Thursday, Sept. 20, I will be speaking at a Future of Freedom Foundation event at Spelman College called “Mass Incarceration & The Drug War.” Registration and conference information is here.

3:26 pm on September 16, 2018

More Conservative Protectionist Nonsense

I recently wrote about the latest conservative defense of tariffs. Now here comes more conservative protectionist nonsense: Trump tariffs are good business for the U.S. steel and aluminum industries. Not mentioned is that they are bad for the lobster industry and 200 companies hurt by tariffs.

8:06 pm on September 15, 2018

Much Ado about Nothing

Conservatives, and especially religious conservatives, are ecstatic that public schools in Florida must now display the state motto “In God We Trust” in “a conspicuous place” due to a new state law. Evidently, Florida did not trust God before 2006, the first year that the phrase was declared to be the state motto. This is all much ado about nothing—just like the controversy over schools posting the Ten Commandments. A public school is a government school and therefore should not exist. Public schools indoctrinate children with environmentalism, militarism, socialism, and every other evil “ism” all the while failing to really teach children. They should be shut down. Posting “In God We Trust” and the Ten Commandments in every classroom and hallway and restroom can’t possibly right the wrongs that committed by public schools.

9:59 pm on September 14, 2018

Hate-Filled Leftist Intellectual Pygmies at Washington and Lee University . . .

. . . fail to get the university administration to denigrate Robert E. Lee by doing away with Lee’s Chapel where Lee and other family members are entombed.  The poor little commie crybabies on the faculty who pushed for this are threatening to leave the university.  Good riddance!

2:57 pm on September 13, 2018

Pompeo Green-Lights More Saudi Slaughter In Yemen

12:40 pm on September 13, 2018

Why Marxists and Nazis Were Ideological Bloodbrothers

“Both parties, Marxism and National Socialism [i.e., Nazism] agree in opposing [classical] Liberalism and rejecting the capitalist social order.  Both desire a socialist order of society.  The only difference in their programme lies in slight variations in their respective pictures of the future socialist state; non-essential variations, as we could easily show.  The foremost demands of the National Socialist agitation are different from those of the Marxists.  While the Marxists speak of abolishing the commodity character of labour, the National Socialists [Nazis] speak of breaking the slavery of interest.  While the Marxists hold the “capitalists” responsible for every evil, the National Socialists think to express themselves more concretely by shouting ‘Death to the Jews’ . . . . Marxism, National Socialism, and other anti-capitalist parties . . .all agree on the decisive problem of reshaping the social order: they reject private ownership in the means of production and desire a socialist order of society.”

— Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, p. 451. (Published in German in 1922; first English edition published in 1936).

7:44 pm on September 12, 2018

Origins of the Military Oath of Allegiance to the D.C. Deep State

Prior to 1861 West Point cadets took an oath of allegiance to their home states, since everyone at that time considered their home state to be their country, just as Spaniards considered Spain to be their country, the French with France, etc.  This is why Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution defines treason as “only . . . levying war upon the United States . . .” with “United States” in the plural, meaning all the individual states, not the D.C. government.

The oath was changed by the Lincoln regime in 1861 as an oath of allegiance to D.C. when it redefined treason to mean criticism of Lincoln, his administration, his words, or his policies — and enforced at gunpoint.  Of course, levying war upon the free and independent states — the very definition of treason in the Constitution — is exactly what Lincoln did, so that all those West Pointers who were a part of the Union Army were traitors to the Constitution, regardless of whatever oath the Lincoln regime ordered them to take.  (Hat tip to Bob Shaw).

4:27 pm on September 12, 2018

Constitution of No Authority; Public Goods Fallacy

From: R
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 9:49 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Libertarian Questions

Professor Block,

My name is R and I’m a big fan of your writings. I’ve finished The Case for Discrimination, Defending the Undefendable, and Toward a Libertarian Society. I just finished Toward a Libertarian Society and thought your take on abortion and stem-cell research was fascinating. Your “evictionist” approach to both topics is brilliant and very original!

I have two questions for you:

–In Toward a Libertarian Society, you state in chapter 46 (Federalism: Is It Libertarian?) that the Constitution is “illicit” and suggest that it has no authority. Can you please explain that to me or direct me to a book or some other writing for further explanation?

–Can you recommend any good books about how a libertarian society would address the “public goods” issue?

I’ll be starting Water Capitalism in about a month; I can’t wait to read it!

Thanks for your time, R

Dear R:

Thanks for your kind words.

Which Defending the Undefendable? There are now two of them.

The best thing to read on the Constitution of no authority is this:

Spooner, Lysander. (1870) 1966. No Treason, Larkspur, Colorado: Ralph Myles
http://www.lysanderspooner.org/notreason.htm

On public goods, go here:

(more…)

12:37 pm on September 12, 2018

Why Do The Palestinians Get Ripped Off?

12:25 pm on September 12, 2018

More Senseless Deaths than on 9/11

The U.S. soldiers who have died in vain and for a lie in Iraq and Afghanistan.

6:24 pm on September 11, 2018

Let’s All Help Ross Ulbricht

Ordinarily, I keep my correspondents anonymous. No need to do that here. Indeed, the very opposite is the case. Please, let’s all get on board with this.

Letter 1:

From: Lyn Ulbricht [mailto:lyn@freeross.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 6:31 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Free Ross Donation

Dear Walter,

Thank you for your generous support and contribution to Ross’s defense, as well as to Internet freedom, privacy and restraint of government expansion.

We are now seeking clemency from the president and preparing for one last court battle. Every donation fights back, especially ones like yours. We have a long way to go, but are so encouraged by your support!

Please continue to help us by signing the petition and spreading the word about our campaign. If you haven’t already please follow us on social media, share Ross’s petition and check out freeross.org. In addition, we welcome any ideas or other help.

This is an enormous challenge and we can’t succeed without the generous support of people like you. Knowing you are out there gives us the strength to persevere in this struggle.

You have our heartfelt thanks.

Lyn

FreeRoss.org
Follow us: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Sign the petition

Letter 2:

On Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 12:15 PM, Walter Block wrote:

Dear Lyn:

I’ll do my best to promote this.

Best regards,

Walter

Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Loyola University New Orleans
6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318
New Orleans, LA 70118
wblock@loyno.edu
Skype: Walter.Block4
tel: (504) 864-7934

Letter 3:

Walter,

Thank you so much for your support. It really means a lot.

Sincerely,

Lyn

FreeRoss.org
Follow us: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Sign the petition

Also, see this article I wrote about Ross:

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Is Ross Ulbricht of Silk Road a Libertarian Hero?” Journal of Economic and Social Thought. www.kspjournals.org. September, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 327-332;
http://www.kspjournals.org/index.php/JEST/issue/view/68;
http://www.kspjournals.org/index.php/JEST/article/view/909;
http://www.kspjournals.org/index.php/JEST/article/view/909/1023
http://kspjournals.org/index.php/JEST/article/view/909; http://www.targetliberty.com/2017/12/more-on-ross-ulbricht-and-trump-pardon.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TargetLiberty+%28Target+Liberty%29

2:03 pm on September 11, 2018