So-called Privacy Rights Are Incompatible with our Libertarian Philosophy

In their press release of September 22, 2016, the Libertarian Party states the following: “Libertarian candidates pledge to advance civil liberties: Scores of Libertarians running for federal, state, and local office have pledged to advance Americans’ rights to privacy, personal freedoms, justice, and self-defense.” Now, I have no problem, no problem at all, with “personal freedoms, justice, and self-defense.” These are all at the very core of our libertarian philosophy. But “rights to privacy” are a non-starter. They are incompatible with libertarianism. It is one thing when Gary Johnson muses about banning cigarettes, or trashes the basic libertarian premise of free association; requiring bakers to supply cakes for gay weddings indeed. But, he pretty much speaks for himself, having explicitly disavowed parts of the LP platform. It is another thing, entirely, when the LP central office issues support for “privacy rights” since they purport to speak for the entire membership of that party. Please see below for arguments making the claim that “privacy rights” are incompatible with libertarianism. Does this mean I think we should not oppose government snooping? Of course we should. For the anarcho-capitalists, the state should not exist in the first place; that lets out their prying. Even for the minarchists, this is far removed from legitimate government responsibilities.

Block, 1991, 2012, 2013A, 2013B, ch. 18; Block, Kinsella and Whitehead, 2006;

Block, Walter E. 1991. “Old Letters and Old Buildings,” The Freeman Ideas on Liberty, March, pp. 96,;

Block, Walter E. 2012. “Rozeff on Privacy: A Defense of Rothbard.” December 13;

Block, Walter E. 2013A. “There Is No Right to Privacy.” July 13;;;;

Block, Walter E. 2013B. Defending the Undefendable II: Freedom in all realms; Terra Libertas Publishing House

Block, Walter, Stephan Kinsella and Roy Whitehead. 2006. “The duty to defend advertising injuries caused by junk faxes: an analysis of privacy, spam, detection and blackmail.” Whittier Law Review, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 925-949;;

Chapter on the “peeping tom”:
Block, Walter E. 2013B. Defending the Undefendable II: Freedom in all realms; Terra Libertas Publishing House;;; isbn: 9781908089373;;;;;;;

September 20, 2013. Guillermo Jimenez, [email protected]; Skype: tracesofreality; RBN Producer; 800-313-9443; the philosophy of libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, stateless order, bitcoin, rights to privacy;


4:22 pm on September 23, 2016