I just received a memo from a university budget committee at Loyola University Maryland in which it is pointed out that there are many universities that are in the same financial boat: sharply declining enrollments are forcing universities like Loyola to cut tuition by substantial amounts, as much as 50 percent, while watering down or essentially eliminating admission requirements. Loyola did away with SAT scores as admission requirements years ago.
Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2019 8:23 AM
To: Walter Block <email@example.com>
Subject: Just how universal are property rights?
Hello Professor Block,
After listening to your episode of the Tom Woods Show, I was reminded of an interesting question that came up in a debate with one of my lefty friends. What brought up this memory was the statement that we libertarians are humanists, which I agree with.
My friend is a vegan, one of those “meat is murder” types. One day while we were debating property rights he asked a question that I found very thought provoking, “if property rights are so universal, then why don’t animals have property rights?”
I had a few responses, but none of them felt air tight to me at the time. At first I said that animals don’t act in the praxeological sense, their behavior isn’t purposeful it is instinctual. Animals don’t require ownership over means because they don’t operate in the means/end framework. Afterwards I thought through some examples where animals seem to act with purpose, when birds gather sticks to build a nest or when dogs obey a command in order to receive a treat.
Another answer I gave is that it is impossible to communicate with animals to establish property ownership. It seems impossible to exchange a title of ownership with an animal. But who knows what the future will bring in terms of animal communication. There is of course the ape who was taught sign language.
I am interested to hear your thoughts on this question, and would very much appreciate any further reading on the subject.
On another note, Space Capitalism sounds like an absolutely fascinating book. I have added it to my ever expanding list of libertarian books to read, and I look forward to getting a copy!
This article is about how a man defended himself and his family from a criminal who had broken into their home by first beating him with a stick and then grabbing a gun and shooting him in the chest. Well done, brother.
The very last line of the article informs the public that the sheriff’s office advises that you not attempt to defend yourself and your loved ones in a situation like this. Call 911 instead and wait for the cops to show up, they say.
Massachusetts, the heart of the “Yankee” empire, was not always a sanctuary state. On page 194 of his book, The Slave Catchers (University of North Carolina Press, 1970), historian Stanley W. Campbell wrote that:
“When the Boston Post, on October 30, 1862, reported that five hundred families of contraband Negroes were to be sent to Massachusetts, Governor John Albion Andrew promptly refused to permit them to come.” This prompted the editor of the National Intelligencer to write:
“It . . . seems that the introduction of members of this oppressed race into a State where they are supposed to have so many sympathizing friends is not regarded with favor by the people of Massachusetts . . . . The ‘African’ is a ‘brother,’ but South Carolina, not Massachusetts, is left to be the ‘brother’s keeper.'”
These were “families who were faced with disease and starvation and in need of help,” wrote Campbell. He then says it is “ironic” that Massachusetts refused to help these poor souls because even a decent scholar like himself was apparently bamboozled by the Official (false) History of the war — that equality-loving New England Yankees were willing to die by the tens of thousands purely for the benefit of black strangers in the South.
Reminds one of how Nancy Pelosi and other bigshot Democrats threw an apoplectic fit when Trump proposed sending illegal aliens (“little gifts of love,” as Nancy called them) to sanctuary cities like San Francisco.
A Navy report says that sailors aboard a Navy submarine circulated sexually explicit lists that ranked female crew members and the sex acts they wanted to perform with them. “The 74-page investigative report reveals two lists — one with Yelplike star ratings on the women and another containing ‘lewd and sexist comments’ beside each woman’s name, according to Military.com.” The sub is the guided-missile USS Florida, which is the second sub to integrate female members. There were 32 women in the 173-person crew.
Why would a Christian family ever encourage their daughter to join the Navy when ships at sea are full of sex-hungry men just waiting to prey on them? How insane. But of course, how insane to claim to worship the Prince of Peace and then cheer the god of war when the U.S. bombs, invades, and occupies countries.
From: S Sent: Monday, May 20, 2019 10:35 AM To: Walter Block <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Secession and self determination
Hello Prof. Block,
You and I had talked last year at Mises U regarding the topic of secession and self determination and where I could find more information on it and more reading material on the subject. I apologize for delay in emailing you. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on what I could read or where I could look for more information on this subject? I appreciate your time and I hope this finds you well. Thank you. S, XYZ University
This perceptive article makes many excellent observations. I would like to add some of my own thoughts and reflections.
Most people choose their ideological world view for non-rational or emotional reasons, inheriting their political viewpoint from their parents, peers, or casual observation of media/social media. Some rebel against the herd and choose positions opposite these persons. But careful thoughtful analysis usually has nothing to do with it. They choose not out of firm conviction but simply following the sterile conformity of non-conformity.
Political beliefs are to them a superficial emotional preference like one’s favorite ice cream flavor, music genre, or palatable cuisine.
Whatever is fashionable, trendy, and “cool” is often chosen. They have been taught since childhood to play nice and be non-judgmental of other persons and their life-styles. Intolerance, they are told, is the greatest societal sin. But the dogmatic progressive mantras drilled into them from near birth have also made them rigid, inflexible, and incapable of comprehending critical independent thought outside its narrow perimeters. They lack disinterested reflection and prudential judgment. Politics, and political decision-making, is a gut-level, emotional exercise.
And because we live (as Gore Vidal perceptively observed) in the United States of Amnesia, these ahistorical millennials and Gen Z mouth-breathers are virtually clueless about what happened before their birth, such as the hard reality of the Cold War, the abject failure of socialism, and the brutality of communism where over 100 million persons died at the hands of their own collectivist regimes.
All they know from contemporary media and university instruction is that capitalism is greedy and mean; socialism is about caring and sharing.
As I have often repeatedly pointed out today’s vapid and incurious youth will not generally watch a movie older than themselves. They live in the perpetual present, lives characterized by nihilism and despair.
Previously, I wrote on this blog about trading with the enemy.
It has just come to my attention that the master himself, Mr. Libertarian, Murray N. Rothbard, had a while ago addressed this topic.
Need I say more? Murray, as per usual, has nailed this issue. I greatly regret I was unaware of Murray’s take on this matter when I wrote about it. Otherwise, I surely would have mentioned it, initially, as I am now doing.
“We all know the old trope of the tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist who believes crazy things like “the government is spying on us” and “the military is spraying things in the sky” and “the CIA ships in the drugs.” Except those things aren’t so crazy after all. Here are five examples of things that were once derided as zany conspiracy paranoia and are now accepted as mundane historical fact.” TRANSCRIPT AND MP3 AUDIO
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2019 7:55 AM
To: ‘Walter Block’ <email@example.com>
Let’s assume that a libertarian society adopts your eviction policy relating to abortion. What happens post-eviction? Is anyone legally responsible for caring for the evicted fetus?
In particular, I find persuasive Stephan Kinsella’s argument that one voluntarily assumes positive obligations if one puts another in a dangerous situation. If so, hasn’t some combination of the mother and the medical staff placed the evicted fetus in a dangerous situation? Must some or all of them be obliged to care for the fetus? If the mother, then what’s the point of evicting the fetus (she might as well have given regular birth to the fetus)? If the medical staff, then will they want to undertake evictions if that obliges them to care for the fetuses, which would involve use of scarce resources? Perhaps charitable organizations will arise to fund this care, but does that let the mother and the medical staff off the hook? Since a fair number of evicted fetuses will die until medical technology advances, how will blame be apportioned by libertarian courts for the death of each fetus?
The Bionic Mosquito’s concise summary article, Free Sects, amplifies Murray N. Rothbard’s cogent observation that after Martin Luther came Leviathan and the birth of the Modern State. Here is other authoritative supporting evidence for this proposition.
This ‘Game of Drones’ narrative is 95% brilliant. It is well worth a 5-minute watch. A poet questions the sanity of this crazed and pathetic game-of-thrones culture. He asks the million$ question: “What portion of the human psyche are we satisfying here?” How many addicted consumers of this TV-garbage can answer that question?
He’s exactly correct when he notes this mass-consumed trash, referred to as entertainment, is “intentionally engineered for titillation” … “to arouse” … “as people begin to demand entertainment that is darker, more salacious, and more jaded.”
Celebrities are now revealing that they had an abortion. Is it to “help end the stigma” or will it become a badge of honor? And why should the stigma be ended? You were single, promiscuous, and got knocked up.
Ten days ago, I shared insider information about the chemical interrogation of Assange in the UK, by US personnel, including the use of BZ. I received a bit of blowback in the form of messages and tweets, angrily denying that this was happening, and more ominously, demanding to know my sources. The interrogation of Assange was effective, and the new information, likely of a cryptographic and Wikileaks security process nature, has given the USG what it needed to re-arrest Chelsea Manning, and this time, fine her until she talks.