Can The Free Enterprise System Provide Defense? Yes!

Letter 1

From: D

Sent: Monday, November 25, 2019 1:00 PM


Subject: Acceptance of “Gubmint” dinero and compatibility with Libertarian views

Many self-professed Libertarians love to rail against the Government, not merely for its size, but for its very EXISTENCE.  In their maniacal fury against that which is funded by the taxpayers (whether directly via taxes or by debasement of their monies via government borrowing and its overworked printing press), many adopt some holier-than-thou stance about “tax feeders” and so on.

Not only is this unproductive, it’s sheer nonsense.  At least as best as I’ve learned it, Libertarianism is for the promotion of personal liberty and FREE enterprise, leaving as many decisions to the respective consenting adults and leaving the bureaucrats out of it.  Sure, so many things commonly thought to be the exclusive domain of government, could, in fact, be done on a fee-for-service or subscription basis.  But there’s a REASON that some things simply are a government function, period…for if nothing else, they don’t lend themselves to market demand!

A much more pertinent question to be asked, before decrying someone for “taking Government money”, is, does that job or function need to be funded by the taxpayers at all?  That, folks, is what the political process is all about, and has been since we sent King George III and his motley Redcoats a-packin.  And yes, I’d rather those jobs or functions be limited to what is mandated via the US or the respective State constitutions, but of necessity there will be SOMETHING.  The next question should be, is the price and/or awarding of said job or contract done in a fair and open manner, to ensure that the taxpayers get their money’s worth, and is an appropriate degree of “Inspector General” effort applied to see that said items or services are properly delivered?  Well, if they are, then the person(s) delivering their products or services ought to feel no onus whatsoever for “taking” Government money, as he’s fairly EARNED it.  I believe that I’ve done so during some 35 years of military and civil employment and likewise have nothing to apologize over to fellow Libertarians.


Letter 2

From: Walter Block

Sent: Monday, November 25, 2019 2:07 PM

To: ‘D

Subject: RE: Acceptance of “Gubmint” dinero and compatibility with Libertarian views

Dear D:

Give me a few examples of things that don’t lend themselves to market demand. I deny there are any.

Best regards,


Letter 3;

From: D

Sent: Monday, November 25, 2019 4:02 PM

To: Walter Block

Subject: RE: Acceptance of “Gubmint” dinero and compatibility with Libertarian views

It would defy logic that an extremely complicated and capital-intensive weapons system such as an SSBN (nuclear submarine carrying ballistic missiles) would arise out of the free market.  Constructed by a “private” firm, sure, the Navy and General Dynamics have had a “working” (and some say, practically incestuous) relationship for about 60 years, often much to the ire of the “old man” (ADM Hyman Rickover, whom I had the pleasure of meeting not long before he passed on),but devising the requirements and mission?  Purely a military matter, and a matter of grabbing the productive efforts of the citizenry (and considering that the new Columbia-class SSBNs will come in at no less than $12B apiece, and that’s not including their ‘raison d’etre’, the UGM-133 SLBMs or their respective slew of thermonuclear warheads (both, hopefully upgraded but even that will cost PLENTY), so a whole lot of “grabbing” (i.e. taxation) will be needed for the anticipated fleet of 12 of these submerged monsters.  It’s not a question of whom builds them, it’s a question of what generates the requirement in the first place.  I fail to see what maniac, even if he had the means (and not even the fictional Bruce Wayne would come close to buying ONE boat with everything he has), would bother having such a “toy” for the purpose of deterrence, when that’s the game that nations play.  Which is the only purpose of such a monstrosity…for if the nuclear-tipped missiles that the boat has need be launched in anger, then the primary mission has already failed.


Letter 4

Dear D:

Here is a bibliography making the case that the market, the free enterprise system, can provide defense:

Gregory, 2011; Guillory, & Tinsley. 2009; Hoppe, 2011; Huebert, 2010; Murphy, 2005; Rothbard, 1973, 1975, 1998 [1982];  Stringham, 2007;  Tannehills[1970] 1984; Tinsley, 1998-1999; Wiśniewski, 2014; Wollstein, 1969; Woolridge, 1970.

Gregory, Anthony. 2011. “Abolish the Police.” May 26;

Guillory, Gil & Patrick Tinsley. 2009. “The Role of Subscription-Based Patrol and Restitution in the Future of Liberty,” Libertarian Papers 1, 12;

Hoppe, Hans-Hermann. 2011. “State or Private Law Society.” April 10;

Huebert, Jacob. 2010. Libertarianism Today. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger

Murphy, Robert P. 2005.  “But Wouldn’t Warlords Take Over?” July 7;

Rothbard, Murray N. 1973. For a New Liberty, Macmillan, New York;

Rothbard, Murray N. 1975. “Society Without a State.” The Libertarian Forum, volume 7.1, January;

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press.

Stringham, Edward, ed. 2007. Anarchy and the Law: The Political Economy of Choice, Somerset, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Tannehill, Morris and Linda Tannehill. [1970] 1984. The Market for Liberty, New York: Laissez Faire Books;

Tinsley, Patrick. 1998-1999. “With Liberty and Justice for All: A Case for Private Police,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, Winter, pp. 95-100;

Wiśniewski, Jakub Bożydar. 2014. “Defense as a private good in a competitive order” Review of Social and Economic Issues, Vol. 1, No. 1, Summer, pp. 2-35;

Wollstein, Jarret B. 1969. Society Without Coercion. In Society Without Government. New York: Arno Press

Woolridge, William C. 1970. Uncle Sam the Monopoly Man, New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House

Best regards,



2:24 am on January 21, 2020