LRC Blog

Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences Should Go to Hans-Hermann Hoppe

The occasion of repeating a 7-year old blog is a re-reading of the great “Democracy The God That Failed” by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

It’s commonly called the “Nobel Prize in Economics.” but whatever the name, I can’t think of an economist more richly deserving of it than Hans-Hermann Hoppe for his outstanding and original body of work. His book “The Economics and Ethics of Private Property” is but one of the gemstones among his works. Others include “Democracy: The God That Failed” and “A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism.” What brings this blog on? I just re-read Chapter 4 in “The Economics and Ethics of Private Property” before heading on to Chapter 5, and its clarity, logic, orginality, incisiveness, simplicity, importance, and persuasive strength shower benefits on us all. Hans’s contributions are large indeed, and if it were not for the “restricted perspectives” (blindness, myopia, biases, conditioning, loyalties, errant philosophies, ignorance) of those who choose the prize recipients, he would have been a winner already.

8:35 am on October 22, 2019

Rand Paul on Lindsey Graham’s Foot-Dragging to Protect the Deep State

Graham slow walking an investigation into the intelligence state he fervently supports. What a shock! The GOP is such a joke.

12:12 am on October 22, 2019

Jill Stein Responds to Hillary Clinton’s Claim She’s a Russian Agent

Once being in the same building as Putin now means you’re his agent.

12:03 am on October 22, 2019

Buttigieg Gains at Warren’s Expense

On Predictit, Warren has fallen to $0.40-$0.42 from the low 50s and Buttigieg has recovered to the $0.16-$0.18 area. Winning the nomination for sure is $1.00. Biden is stable at $0.20 (5:1 shot). Sanders remains at $0.13. Clinton ($0.05) is still a long shot at 19:1; the same with Tulsi Gabbard.

6:05 pm on October 21, 2019

Statutes of Limitations

From: D
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2019 3:28 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Statute of limitations

Dr. Block, I enjoy reading your email traffic on Lew Rockwell. A question for you: what is the libertarian view point or more accurately your viewpoint on the statute of limitations of living on land that was previously owned by natives and seized more than a century ago? If I am living in a house built on land that was seized violently back in the 1800’s do I have a moral obligation to return that land? Now in some ways I believe this is a lot like some black leaders advocating reparations. There is no living former slave to give reparations to. It’s the same with land once occupied by the native population isn’t it?

Thank you and best wishes, D

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2:16 am on October 20, 2019

Market Failure in Policing

From: N
Sent: Saturday, September 14, 2019 1:10 AM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Market Failure?

Dear Dr. Block,

In Minneapolis there has been a big uptick in crime due to a rising population along with cuts to the police force. Do you see this uptick as a market failure as no private security forces have come in to fill the gap? At what point in the crime rate do we have to say that the market has failed?

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>

Sent: Saturday, September 14, 2019 12:11 PM

To: N

Subject: RE: Market Failure?

2:15 am on October 20, 2019

Another Question about the Non Aggression Principle

From: T
Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2019 2:07 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Alice and the NAP

Dear Walter, Back in the 1980’s I had a good friend who went to a small town in Eastern Washington on a big lake. He got a construction job. Let’s call him “Steve.”  Steve met “Alice” in a bar in town and went to her home. Steve liked to drink beer and Alice gave him one.  Steve drank the beer and suddenly noticed that the lights were dancing and elves were cavorting on the lawn. “What’s in this beer?” He asked. “LSD.” Alice replied. “It’s good stuff.” The evening continued. My friend Steve, decided to go up lake to work and never see Alice again. But as he was working up lake and listening to the only radio station, he heard the daily police report from the lake town. Alice had been arrested. She’d been shooting at her boyfriend. She didn’t hit him and was soon enough released as her boyfriend didn’t press charges. A curious situation, but soon cleared up. The town knew that Alice’s boyfriend was a coke head and gay and Alice didn’t like it much. Well, she didn’t like the homosexual part. Years later, I was working in this same small lake town and was drinking beer at a dive bar. In comes Alice. Oh, I knew her. It was a small town. Alice throws down a manila envelope on the bar and orders a double whiskey soda. She’s sitting next to me. “Let me buy you your drink, Alice.” “Who the Hell are you?” “I’m T a friend of X,Y, and Z.” “Ah, well, thanks for the drink.” Alice smacks the manila envelope and says, “Looks like I’m done for. The doctor…ah, to hell with it!” Alice was a heavy drinker and no doubt her liver had given out. She looked a bit ill even in the dim light of the dive bar. Alice was a very pretty woman in her youth. And she was smart. I couldn’t resist asking her about my friend Steve and the LSD in the beer evening. “Who? Don’t remember.” She answered. So I asked about her shooting at her boyfriend that summer day years ago. That got a response. “That fu**ing fa**ot! He was fu**ing some guy. I might have caught Aids or worse from that butt pirate! There he was sitting in the armchair and I pulled out my 357 Magnum and put one bullet to his left, one to his right and one under his feet. He jumped up and ran out the door to his old rusty Ford Torino. I put the last two bullets into the trunk.” I bought Alice another drink.

My questions to you, Walter, as a Libertarian; “Did Alice act in self defense against her boyfriend who may or might have given her a deadly disease?

2:13 am on October 20, 2019

Movies, Movies, Movies


Here are my Amazon lists of feature films from various cinematic genres. Some lists also have related books or documentaries added to the subject matter.

Timeless Movies of the Imagination 

Timeless eclectic, eccentric, and entertaining surreal films of the Imagination

Gritty ’30s Cinema

Here is a choice collection of films which portray the dark social realism of Depression-era 1930’s cinema. They were either produced during that stormy decade, or made later in an attempt to recapture the wrenching despair and anguish, the savage violence and unbridled corruption which was endemic in that tragic time. In particular check out the many Pre-Code movies made before the strict enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code in 1934.

For God, Queen, and Country

Liberation and subversion, imperialism and class struggles, war and hypocrisy, betrayal and solidarity, are the variegated plot themes running through this eclectic collection of British films I have selected.

L.A. Noir – The Grim Backstory

Explore the darkness and decadence behind the vicious subterranean reality of crime and corruption in Los Angeles, the Sodom and Gomorrah on the Pacific West Coast.

Anarchteacher’s Film Noir Favorites

Over the years I have become a film noir, film gris, fanatic thanks to Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and the Internet Archive noir collection. To me, the darker, more hard boiled, more morally ambivalent or subversive, the better. To newcomers of this genre, I recommend two excellent books on film noir. They are The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir, by Foster Hirsch; and Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir, by Eddie Muller. Many noirs were written by, directed by, or starred persons who were latter blacklisted by the major Hollywood studios.

Hollywood Commies

1939 – Cinema’s Greatest Year

Smash The State And Have A Nice Day!

Testaments of Faith and Courage

World War I 

World War II: A Documentary History

Cold War Movies

The 1960s — Nihilistic Gangsters or Counter Culture

Anarchteacher’s Cult Classic Favorites

11:54 pm on October 19, 2019

One Offense, Two Trials (State and Federal)

The double jeopardy clause in the 5th Amendment is clear: “…nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb…” Nonetheless, in Gamble v. United States, the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision handed down this year, affirms that a person who commits a single offense may be tried twice, once in a state court and once in a federal court. The two dissenting votes were cast by Justices Ginsburg and Gorsuch.

Justice Alito’s majority decision informs us “We have long held that a crime under one sovereign’s laws is not ‘the same offence’ as a crime under the laws of another sovereign. Under this ‘dual-sovereignty’ doctrine, a State may prosecute a defendant under state law even if the Federal Government has prosecuted him for the same conduct under a federal statute.” And vice versa.

Justice Thomas concurred. His discussion almost entirely is of stare decisis, not the case. His bottom line is that no one, including Ginsburg and Gorsuch, has shown the dual sovereignty doctrine to be demonstrably fallacious:

“Because petitioner and the dissenting opinions have not shown that the Court’s dual-sovereignty doctrine is incorrect, much less demonstrably erroneous, I concur in the majority’s opinion.”

Let’s see why the doctrine is logically erroneous in the way in which the Court has interpreted it. Let’s also see why the 5th Amendment’s known applications also show us why this Court decision is incorrect.
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3:56 pm on October 19, 2019

Trump Urges Erdogan “Don’t Be A Tough Guy!” – McAdams and Jatras

I appear together with former US diplomat (and my good friend) Jim Jatras on RT America’s “The Big Picture” to discuss the Turk assault on northern Syria – what are best case and worst case scenarios?

2:06 pm on October 19, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard versus the Bloodthirsty Sociopath Hillary Clinton


The one Democratic candidate with a glimmer of sanity on foreign policy is being vilified, marginalized and destroyed by the deep state and their complaisant and compliant establishment regime media.

They want Tulsi Gabbard dead, drowning in the blood from their forever “regime change” wars.

No one is permitted to voice any position stressing a semblance of peace, non-intervention, and resolution of conflicts by prudential diplomacy.

The bloodthirsty sociopath Hillary Clinton and her coterie of craven Democrats are the War Party and wholly subservient to the military industrial complex and its intelligence/national security adjuncts.

In their blind, mad dog enthusiastic zeal for wanton indiscriminate destruction, they are the vicious equals of terrorists such as Al Qaeda or ISIS.

And should be regarded as so by all rational, reflective persons not in thrall to the murderous merchants of death and their soulless political puppets.

10:38 am on October 19, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard Responds to Hillary Clinton’s Claims That Gabbard is a Russian Agent (10.18.19)

Hillary hates and fears that which she doesn’t control.

9:47 pm on October 18, 2019

Douglas Macgregor on the Establishment’s Panic Over Syria…

while ignoring the chaos on the U.S.-Mexico border. Interesting again, but no solution to the bloodbath in Mexico that ignores drug policy will work, Colonel.

9:39 pm on October 18, 2019

Are Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein Russian Spies . . .

. . . “groomed” by the Russian government to “ensure Trump’s re-election”?  Are they therefore guilty of treason and subject to the penalty of death by hanging?  (It takes a) village idiot Hillary Clinton says they are.

1:12 pm on October 18, 2019

Political Voting: Is It Compatible With Libertarianism?

Letter 1

From: G
Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2019 8:40 AM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu
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

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2:18 am on October 18, 2019

Hurricanes and Government Coercion

From: D
Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2019 3:08 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
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;

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-largess-vs-canadian-cruelty-11568846784;

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

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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’ <wblock@loyno.edu>
Cc:

Subject: You

I found your style engaging, warm, and liked your examples, e.g., the snake (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMbVixBB7Hg&feature=youtu.be). 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

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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.
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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