LRC Blog

Is That Hillary Clinton Crashing the Impeachment Hearing . . .

. . . in disguise?  I see the resemblance.

1:23 pm on November 13, 2019

Impeachment Hysteria! Washington Crippled, The World In Flames!

12:45 pm on November 13, 2019

May Libertarians Disagree With One Another, And Still Be Libertarians? Yes

Dear M:

Re this.

I’m a Trump supporter, vis a vis any of the likely democratic nominees (maybe with the exception of Tulsi? Probably not, although that’s close, for me; she’s the best of a poor lot. Great on foreign policy, horrid on econ).

So, I do disagree with my friend Andrew on this one issue.

But, I don’t apply your very stringent criterion: if you think a libertarian is wrong on one issue, you damn him to hell; you say he’s not a libertarian at all.

I revere Murray Rothbard and Ron Paul. Yet, I disagree with both on abortion. I’m an evictionist, the former is a pro choicer, the latter a pro lifer. If I adopted your policy, I’d damn both to hell, remove them from my list of libertarians.

I continue to think that Napolitano, along with Rothbard and Paul, are all magnificent libertarians, despite that fact that I don’t agree with them 100% on all important issues.

Best regards,

Walter

PS. I’m a big fan of Laurence Vance’s

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12:30 pm on November 13, 2019

Murder Is Always A Violation of the NAP, But It Is Not Always Wrong.

Dear R:

If the Martians threaten to blow up our entire planet unless someone kills innocent person Joe, it is murder to do so, but it would not be wrong to murder him, paradoxically, saving all others except for him.

Here are some readings on that:

Block, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011

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11:27 am on November 13, 2019

Good Introductions to Austrian Economics

Dear Ed:

Here are some good intros to Austrian econ:

Callahan, 2004; Gordon, 2000; Hazlitt, 1946; Murphy, 2007, 2010; Rothbard, 1962, 1963, 1969, 1985, 1990; Taylor, 2011

Good luck in your new teaching career.

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11:25 am on November 13, 2019

Further Proof that I am a Russian Asset (Appearing on RT)

To discuss “millennial socialism.”

(Confession: Going through some old family photographs after my mother passed away I ran across one of my maternal grandmother’s brother (my great uncle) who, unlike her, never immigrated to America in the early 20th century.  He remained back on the old country, and in the photo was wearing the uniform of the Red Army, complete with the red star on the cap).

 

5:13 am on November 13, 2019

Canadian Freedom of Speech, R.I.P.

Iconic Canadian hockey commentator eighty-four-year-old Don Cherry, a former Boston Bruins NHL coach, was immediately fired from his lucrative commentating job of 38 years for daring to criticize the behavior of immigrants to Canada.  His criticism on his show, “Hockey Night in Canada,” in hockey-crazy Canada, was based on his assertion that most immigrants seem to have no interest in supporting or participating in Canadian culture, specifically, in spending “a couple of bucks” on a poppy pin on Veterans Day (Canadians pin poppy flowers to their lapels to show their appreciation to veterans on that day).

While I am sympathetic to anyone who resists pressure to worship all things military, at the same time it is a sure bet that if Don Cherry had criticized native-born Canadians for being too poppy pinless, his employer would not have said a word about it, probably even agreeing with him and broadcasting his  opinion as an exemplar of Canadian patriotism.  (It probably didn’t help his cause either that he called global warming hysterics “cuckaloos”).

4:30 pm on November 12, 2019

Adam Schiff’s Secret Trump-Smearing Hearings are Nothing New

Writing about the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Conceived in Liberty: The New Republic: 1784-1791, just published by the Mises Institute thanks to Patrick Newman’s  translation of an entire hand-written manuscript, Murray Rothbard wrote (p. 146):

“Particularly important was the decision, now and afterward, to hold the entire convention in strictest secrecy in order to make sure that the public would not know what was going on until the convention presented its conclusions as a fait accompli . . . .  This secrecy rule, proposed by Pierce Butler of South Carolina [no relation to Rhett Butler], was to be demonized by Thomas Jefferson as ‘abominable.'”

3:27 pm on November 12, 2019

Bolivia Coup: Is Washington Pulling The Strings?

12:35 pm on November 12, 2019

The Spoiled Brat Phenomenon

There are good young people (young adults), many, many; but there are also too many who are spoiled brats, so to speak. These are the ones whose behavior manifests in demands for safe spaces, no freedom of speech for people they disagree with, antifa brutes, demands for language peculiarities, catering to self-declared gender oddities, anti-white male notions, hiring preferences, payments for being “oppressed”, etc. etc.

These people are spoiled brats. Human beings before them and around them have struggled and are struggling against numerous problems without coming to such unreasonable demands and burdens placed upon others around them. The spoiled brat contingent wants to be babied and coddled. They want to get their way.

Naming the group for what they are, spoiled brats, does not explain the growth of such a class of people. There are such deep reasons as the growth of the government welfare state that has made a shambles of the traditional family in which the father was the boss and survival demanded a degree of coherence and proper behavior of all types that is today a quaint remembrance, if that, in too many families.

Who is responsible for spoiled brats? The adults who raise them, and that includes at today’s schools and universities all the paid help that supposedly teaches them. It includes the weak administrators who find it easier to give in. These people may believe in spoiling kids, who knows? But the fact is that by giving in to insensible demands and caving in they are weak, wavering cowards, lacking in convictions about proper and improper behavior among their charges. The parents are where we look first to see improper child-rearing, but the schools are a huge influence too.

What we see is a form of appeasing ill-behaved and unreasonably-acting young adults and children. They need to have a healthy fear of authority of adults, but they do not. The result can only be to reinforce lack of respect and to produce more and more violent self-centered behavior. Undisciplined young people are the seedbed for monsters, people whose predatory behavior simply grows when they encounter weak people in authority.

There are several ways to discipline these brats, but we actually have politicians who stand for spoiling them and everyone else even more. That’s what massive giveaways concerning health care, college tuition and college debt come down to. Instead of making life easier for brats by government theft, the very opposite is needed. Kick the bums out. Make the courses demanding. Stop watering down admission standards. Take no-nonsense stands in favor of speakers invited to campus and professors who are raising issues the brats do not want to hear. As for antifa, a few of their heads need to be bashed in.

8:21 pm on November 11, 2019

Nikki Haley For VP? War Drums Banging On Armistice Day.

12:35 pm on November 11, 2019

Police Entrapment of Pedophiles

From: S
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2019 7:58 AM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Pedophiles and non-existent victims

Walter,

In my present circumstances I’m surrounded by non-libertarians, so I often find myself wondering if I’m the crazy one. For instance ….

I contend that when a man travels to meet, allegedly for sex, someone he believes to be a 13-year-old girl, only to be arrested when it turns out the “girl” was a police officer trolling for pedophiles online, no crime has been committed. No sex act took place, and most of all, the “victim” didn’t even exist!

My friends and acquaintances are aghast at my position. They believe of course that throwing the man in jail is a societal good because it may prevent him from harming a real child in the future. But furthermore they assert that, given the man really thought he was going to be having sex with a child, his preparations to do so (arranging a meeting place, buying a plane ticket, etc.) constitute a bone fide crime. The victim was not imaginary to him, up until he was slapped in handcuffs.

I also think it’s a case of police entrapment. The police will tell you it’s not because, in their online interactions, they let the man be the first to suggest meeting up, having sex, and so forth. May be, but isn’t the whole purpose of having a police officer impersonate a child to trick and then trap someone?

I’ve been kicking around the libertarian movement for many, many years. But this is one specific topic I’ve somehow never heard discussed. Is there something I’m just not seeing here?

S

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3:36 pm on November 10, 2019

Second Best Solutions Regarding Ocean Privatization?

Letter 1

From: F

Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2019 9:22 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>;

Subject: Practical Application of Privatization of Water

Dr. Block,

I reached out to you last year regarding DtU II and you graciously connected me to B and L.

As the author of Space and Water Capitalism when I was presented with this challenge I immediately thought of you. We’re having major issues protecting the economic impact of deteriorating coral reefs in South Florida. I wanted to speak with you to get some ideas on how we could devise an insurance program to cover these potential economic impacts.

You wrote: “water is akin to fast moving land…”

Please let me know if you could do a 30 min call in the coming week or two?

Warm regards from a huge fan,

F

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3:33 pm on November 10, 2019

Libertarians for Trump

From: K
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 5:59 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: How’s that Libertarians for Trump thing working out?

Liberty is just bursting out all over, right?

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3:31 pm on November 10, 2019

A Little Veterans Day Reading

Bourne, Butler, and Rothbard (here and here).

1:35 pm on November 10, 2019

Blasphemy and Idolatry

Blasphemy and idolatry. That is the only way to describe what is going on in many conservative American churches today. Thank God for those pastors who treat the Sunday before Veterans Day as any other Sunday.

12:05 pm on November 10, 2019

Lying in Church

Pastors wouldn’t think of lying in church but today, the Sunday before Veterans Day, pastors all over the country are leading their churches in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. But the Pledge is a lie. The USA is not “one Nation under God.” To recite that line is to recite a lie, as I explained here.

12:02 pm on November 10, 2019

Today Is Not Flag Day

Today is not Flag Day, that is on June 14. But at many conservative churches across the country, today (the Sunday before Veterans Day) looks like Flag Day because of all the American flags that are on display inside and outside of church buildings. And even worse, some churches have the flags of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines on display as well. The “Christian flag” that some churches have will be greatly outnumbered.

11:57 am on November 10, 2019

Veterans Day Has No Apostrophe

Veterans Day has no apostrophe, but it sure has a lot of restaurants offering free or discounted meals to veterans and active duty military personnel.

Carrabba’s is giving away a free calamari. Sonny’s BBQ is giving away a pork sandwich, “free BBQ for the brave.” At Texas de Brazil, veterans receive a 50 percent discount. Contrary to what you might think about my opinion of these military discounts, the ability of a business to offer them is actually a good thing, as I pointed out here.

9:36 am on November 10, 2019

Big Sister Is Watching You

The San Francisco mural of Greta is spooky.

8:43 am on November 10, 2019

Best Introductory Austrian Books

From: M
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 2:27 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: hi

Hi Dr. Block,

Huge fan. Can you recommend maybe the best 10 books to recommend to someone to begin an understanding of Austrian economics?

Thanks for all you do.

M

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2:35 am on November 10, 2019

Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater

From: F
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 4:38 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theater

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/yelling-fire-in-a-crowded-theature/

If A is correct, wouldn’t that mean the theater owner or anyone hurt in the incident would have legal recourse for damages in a civil court against the person yelling fire.

If the police arrest him for a criminal violation, doesn’t that again bring up the issue of free speech?

Thanks!

F

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2:33 am on November 10, 2019

Implicit Contracts

From: R

Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 1:53 AM

To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Subject: Yelling “Fire!” in a Crowded Theature – LRC Blog

have you ever seen a movie in a theatre with a predominantly black audience? i have and my experience is that the audience ’speaks back’ at the screen, don’t these people understand that there is an implicit contract to NOT talk during the show?

when a product is sold to someone, is there is an implicit contract that the seller is not intentionally (or even unintentionally) offering a product that when used properly will not harm the buyer? is there also an implicit contract that the buyer will follow the directions for using the product?

maybe when you sell a gun to someone, there is an implicit contract that you won’t use the gun to commit a crime?

how can you know what’s implicit in a contract unless you state it explicitly?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/yelling-fire-in-a-crowded-theature/

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2:32 am on November 10, 2019

The First Leftist

A recent superb discussion on The Tom Woods Show between Tom and Lew Rockwell concerning Lew’s forthcoming book, Against the Left: A Rothbardian Libertarianism, prompted this brief focus upon Robert Nisbet.

For almost 50 years I have believed that Jean-Jacques Rousseau was “The First Leftist,” and one of the most evil and dangerous minds to have ever lived. His disastrous impact upon generations which have lived since his death has been profound, almost incalculable.

Conservative sociologist/historian Robert Nisbet, one of my favorite writers, was the quintessential critic of Rousseau, especially in his seminal book, The Quest for Community, and in this brilliant, prophetic article, Rousseau & Equality. And here is one of Nisbet’s most powerful, insightful articles, Cloaking the State’s Dagger.

The Great Debate

For hundreds of years a great debate between “conservative” traditionalist communitarians versus “classical liberal” (or libertarian) pluralist individualists has raged on and on. I personally have closely followed it for going on fifty years. Perhaps the person who best captured the essence of the serious issues involved was Robert Nisbet.

Conservative Michael Hendrix, at National Review, has contributed a very well written piece in this centuries old ongoing debate.

From the time of Edmund Burke the original “conservatives” were anti-individualist, anti-capitalist, reactionary, militaristic racists who valued throne and altar, rigid hierarchy, caste and fixed social status over the free and open society evolving under classical liberalism. “Conservatives” defended the monarchy and landed gentry, and scorned and demeaned the servile peasantry and emerging middle classes.

These horrific ideas were explicitly formulated and conceived against those of classical liberalism — individualism, freedom of the press, freedom of association, the rule of law, separation of church and state, free trade and free market (laissez-faire) capitalism as opposed to mercantilism and elitist state privilege — economic or ecclesiastical.

Conservatives were imperialists; classical liberals were anti-imperialists.

Later collectivists of all sorts, from Marx to Mussolini, from Hegel to Hitler, devised their totalitarian utopias and hatred of the free society and capitalism from ideas they borrowed or stole from these “conservatives.” (See my article, Ideas Have Consequences, below).

When this melange talk about defending “tradition and community” what are they talking about? Defending traditional French cuisine? Performing classical music such as grand opera? Defending traditional ethnic folk dancing, clogging, or square dancing? No, they are talking about defending the state, that hegemonic and parasitic entity which, from the time of ancient Sumer, has been the source of  the greatest criminal conspiracy ever perpetuated upon humanity. All States originate in conquest and exploitation, and as elite oligarchies, continue to exercise this monopoly of crime over their subject peoples through war, taxation, conscription, and indoctrination. All statists, as Lew Rockwell has pointed out, would be totalitarians if they could get away with it.

Here are some very cogent thoughts on these issues from the late Ralph Raico, one of the great historians of classical liberalism and from my mentor, Murray N. Rothbard. Their articles remain a great influence on how I see how this ongoing debate is framed.

Finally here are some of my own contributions to the debate: Ideas Have ConsequencesConservatism: Roots and EssenceLiberalism: Origins and CorruptionÉpater le bourgeois; “I’m Convinced That The Whole National Review Is A CIA Operation” — Murray Rothbard; How the CIA Bamboozled The Public For 70 Years; and The Libertarian Temperament.

3:45 pm on November 9, 2019

Remembering the Berlin Wall


Remembering the Berlin Wall

11:24 am on November 9, 2019

Will Democrats Nominate Elizabeth Warren?

I don’t think so, but I’m actually more interested in how inane and insane her political recommendations are. And unfortunately there is a substantial number of Americans who think she and her crazy ideas are quite all right.

Warren’s Predictit value was above 50 cents a few months back and now it’s down to 30-31 cents. She’s still leads Biden (20-22 cents) and Buttigieg (15-16 cents), but her trend is down, and there are several good reasons why her star is falling. The one for today is her endorsement of power to groups whose outlook on American life and politics is shaped by strongly-held notions of their oppression, their victim-hood, and their exploitation by pervasive white supremacists. They want power, they want to get rid of whites having power, and they want the wealth of whites. Warren supports them in their quests, explicitly. Warren, like her endorsers, is seeing politics in strictly racial terms.

Warren’s latest absurdity is to say “Thank you, @BlackWomxnFor! Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy and I don’t take this endorsement lightly. I’m committed to fighting alongside you for the big, structural change our country needs.”

Warren not only accepted the endorsement of the group named Black Womxn For, she made commitments that can be viewed in full here.

She promises political power to “…black women, working people of color, disabled people, indigenous people, diverse community leaders, and experts in the driver’s seat of her promised structural reforms.” “People most impacted by systems of oppression know the solutions and should be central to crafting policy change.”

She will apply a “race and gender equity impact analysis when hiring for her transition team and administration and appointing more Black women, especially trans and immigrant women, Black men, indigenous people, people of color and disabled people.”

And there is more language that favors reparations and “…rooting out the culture of white supremacy, exploitation and misogyny in all areas of our society…”

Warren continues to favor positions that will make her a ready target if Democrats nominate her. In a Trump-Warren matchup on Predictit, she loses by a large margin.

Warren’s positions favor a totalitarian government run by people whose aim is to hire themselves in sinecures that are paid for by white people. In their minds, this will replace and rectify the existing system in which white people in all walks of life, inside government and out, mainly white men, make a lot of money by doing very little work but by exploiting black women, black men, other people of color, indigenous people’s descendants, disabled people, and people of various self-proclaimed genders.

The problem is bigger than Warren. Democrats generally agree with her. They simply do not want to bring this about all at once. Hillary Clinton, asked about Medicare for All, said it would not pass and it’s impractical. She also said, “But the goal is the right goal.”

Clinton would implement full and complete government control over a longer time, but she’d still implement it.

Democrats are communists deep down who always favor socialization of private property if they can get it. They always favor government control. If a Republican comes along who is libertarian, his voice is drowned out by the mish-mash of completely fake conservatism that passes for Republican political philosophy.

9:44 am on November 9, 2019

Gary North Nailed It


The article, David Stockman on How the Deep State Really Works, is a very good retrospective of the foreign policy difficulties faced by the Trump regime. But ultimately it all goes back to how the amateurish neophyte Trump was massively unprepared, inexperienced and willfully ignorant during the post-election transition period when choosing his initial cabinet and other key advisory personnel. He listened too much to people like Gingrich and Giuliani and his clueless, inept immediate family (sons, son-in-law, and daughter).  Gary North nailed it within days of the 2016 election.

8:53 am on November 9, 2019

Joe Bastardi on Planting Trees vs. Green Socialism

More trees and nuclear energy are a much more practical and viable plan for offsetting CO2 production than any Green New Deal. So why aren’t politicians interested?

4:07 pm on November 8, 2019

Whistleblower…Or Blowing Smoke? Should Trump’s Accuser Appear?

12:52 pm on November 7, 2019

Jeanine Pirro on ABC’s Jeffrey Epstein Coverup to Help Bill and Hillary Clinton

Pirro’s sources: story was ready to roll until spiked from the very top of ABC.

12:34 pm on November 7, 2019