Evictionism Once Again: The Libertarian Solution to the Abortion Controversy

From: M
Sent: Sunday, November 05, 2017 5:35 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Abortion
Dear Professor Block: Sorry to bother you, but I find your approach to the very difficult topic abortion really creative and interesting. So I thought it’s worth a try to write an e-mail. Since I am an Austrian (I mean literally), I apologize for my lack of English in advance. As sort of an orientation: I admire the work of Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and the essence of my understanding of justice is mainly based on the publications of Hans-Hermann Hoppe. And obviously I pay attention to your activities. On abortion (by now) I am at the so called pro-choice side. My starting point for becoming an independent individual is birth. To refer to birth in a more poetic way, in German there is the term “to give life”. The mother gives life to the infant at birth. And you can give something away, only if you owned it before. Of course this is just a tradition manifested in language, but it’s not the only reason why I’m holding this position. Another aspect is, that the baby not only resides inside the pregnant woman, but is a part of her. For instance, if the (guilty) woman is in jail, so is the (innocent) baby. If the woman commits suicide, the baby dies with her. I consider them as a unit, controlled by the will of the woman. Don’t get me wrong, I can easily imagine horrible scenarios under this premises, like what if the mother decides to abort shortly before birth. This is why I call it a very difficult topic. If I understand your position correctly it is: Eviction yes, killing no. Killing the unborn might be a just consequence of eviction, if technology doesn’t provide other options yet, but is not justified per se. Here are my (current) troubles with that:
1. The ultimate option to avoid injustice is killing, right? If I see a woman preparing to chop her newborn to pieces, I could (ultimately) kill her to save the infants life, without becoming a criminal myself, right? But this doesn’t apply to a pregnant woman who is preparing to tear the fetus inside her apart. Because to kill her, would mean to kill the unborn as well which then would turn me into a murderer. Since you pointed out in your speeches, that you are not like Ayn Rand, I dare to ask: Isn’t it somehow logically inconsistent then, to see the unborn as an individual just like a newborn or any other human being who is not existing within the borders of another human being?
2. I also have difficulties to get the justification of killing as a consequence of eviction. From my point of view this opens a wide field of individual interpretation. Instead of a clear objective border (like birth), there is a pretty big grey zone in which it’s nearly impossible to separate just from unjust behavior. For instance who decides at a given time what sort of eviction method the woman needs to use? The most advanced one, which would save the unborn, might cost a fortune or might put the woman’s life in a much bigger danger, than other methods which would kill the fetus. I’d really appreciate if you could answer, but of course I completely understand if you don’t. Anyway I thank you for your acchievements in promoting liberty. Best Regards, M

Dear M: Thanks for your very important, well thought out objection to my thesis on evictionism. I am delighted to respond. It is no “bother“ whatsoever. Your English is fine. Heck, maybe better than mine!

1. No. the ultimate essence of libertarianism, at least the way I see matters, is that justice does not consist of avoiding killing. Rather, it is predicated upon private property rights based on homesteading, and the non aggression principle (NAP). I learned this at Murray Rothbard’s knee. Under libertarian law, these are sacrosanct. It is licit to kill in self defense, or, in protection of private property rights. To wit, the unwanted pre-born baby is a trespasser.

2. Private property rights must be defended in the gentlest manner possible. If you are attacking me, and I have one gun with lead bullets, and another with rubber bullets, and either one will stop you, I am obligated to use the latter weapon, not the former. In like manner, the trespassing baby (the mother owns the womb, she homesteaded it long before the baby was created) must remove the unwanted baby, also, in the genlest manner possible. But not if it endangers her life, or, even inconveniences her. If it costs more money to do so, then others, pro lifers presumably, should put up the funds, or shut up.
For more on this see the following:

All: Akers, 2012A, 2012B; Block, 1977, 1978, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010A, 2010B, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2011, 2012, 2014A, 2014B, 2014; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Davies, 2012; Dyke and Block, 2011; Parr, 2011, 2013; Rothbard, ; Sadowsky, 1978; Shaffer, 2012; Wisniewski, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2013.

I. Here are Walter E. Block’s publications and speeches on abortion, pro life, pro choice, evictionism, followed by critiques of his views, followed by his responses to these critiques:

Block, 1977, 1978, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010A, 2011, 2012, 2014A, 2014B; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Dyke and Block, 2011

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Abortion.” The Libertarian Forum. Vol. 10, No. 9, September, pp. 6-8; http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1977/1977_09.pdf

Block, Walter E. Undated (1997?). “L’Aborto: Una Legittima Difesa,” Claustrofobia, anno 1, n. 3, pp. 16-22.

Block, Walter E. 1978. “Abortion, Woman and Fetus: Rights in Conflict?” Reason, Vol. 9, No. 12, April, pp. 18-25.

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Stem Cell Research: The Libertarian Compromise.” September 3; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block5.html

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Libertarianism, Positive Obligations and Property Abandonment: Children’s Rights,” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 275-286; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=18709; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-children.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Homesteading, ad coelum, owning views and forestalling.” The Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 96-103; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1890872

Block, Walter E. 2014A. “Evictionism and Libertarianism.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 290-294; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/04/27/jmp.jhu012.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=3n1zc8zcBRnT586;
http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhu012?ijkey=3n1zc8zcBRnT586&keytype=ref

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “A libertarian perspective on the stem cell debate: compromising the uncompromisible,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Vol. 35: 429-448;
http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhq033?
ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref ; http://wipimd.com/?&sttflpg=78eaf87fd81ebaaa7a245cca600b15bba8497c2cfbf1284c08a0260ba068d4ad&cmpgp0811Ueh016=ICD20811TEH0PkRLpL1IF; http://wipimd.com/?&sttflpg=4b842f7f4697bce38422e0bfe03e6ccad53070377a9303d5#JAL1

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Terri Schiavo: A Libertarian Analysis” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 527–536; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_26.pdf; http://libertycrier.com/walter-block-terri-schiavo/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LibertyCrier+%28Liberty+Crier%29

Block, Walter E. 2012. “A Not So Funny Thing Happened to Me in Tampa.” August 30; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block208.html

Block, Walter E. 2014A. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” Management Education Science Technology (MEST) Journal. Vol. 2, No. 1, January, pp. 33-44; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.html; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/_04.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2014E. “Toward a libertarian theory of evictionism,” Journal of Family and Economic Issues. June; Volume 35, Issue 2, pp. 290-294; http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10834-013-9361-4;
http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s10834-013-9361-4; http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/463/art%253A10.1007%252Fs10834-013-9361-4.pdf?auth66=1385583057_5dd1e3442d2db3f98c91dcf5a5d5fa43&ext=.pdf; http://www.springer.com/home?SGWID=0-0-1003-0-0&aqId=2507833&download=1&checkval=feff928fe5dfc72bc210032f220ca40a.

Block, Walter E. and Roy Whitehead. 2005. “Compromising the Uncompromisable: A Private Property Rights Approach to Resolving the Abortion Controversy,” Appalachian Law Review, 4 (2) 1-45; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdf; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdf; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228125532_Compromising_the_Uncompromisable_A_Private_Property_Rights_Approach_to_Resolving_the_Abortion_Controversy?ev=prf_pub

Dyke, Jeremiah and Walter E. Block. 2011. “Explorations in Property Rights: Conjoined Twins.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 38; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/38-dyke-block-conjoined-twins/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNTAmwUHcLM
http://conza.tumblr.com/tagged/evictionism
http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhq033?
ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref
https://hangouts.google.com/call/rubwfb4uhrdbdpstpiik5niljie

II. Critics of evictionism:

Akers, 2012A, 2012B; Davies, 2012; Feser, 2004; Goodwin, 2014; Parr, 2011, 2013; Mosquito, 2014, 2015; Rothbard, ; Sadowsky, 1978; Shaffer, 2012; Rothbard, 1978; Vance, 2008, 2012; Wisniewski, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2013.

Akers, Becky. 2012A. “Not My Definition — or Webster’s Either — of ‘Trespassing’” September 6; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/120226.html
Akers, Becky. 2012B. “What if the ‘Fetus’ Could Shoot Back?” September 12; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/120728.html
Davies, Jim. 2012. “Abortion.” September 24;
http://strike-the-root.com/abortion

Feser, Edward. 2004. “Self-ownership, abortion, and the rights of children: toward a more conservative libertarianism.” Journal of Libertarian Studies. Volume 18, no. 3 (Summer), pp. 91-114; http://www.indytruth.org/library/journals/libertarianstudies/18/18_3_5.pdf

Goodwin, Jonathan. 2014. “Libertarians and Abortion.” December 23;
http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2014/12/libertarians-and-abortion.html

Mosquito, Bionic. 2014. “Libertarians and Abortion.” December 23;
http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2014/12/libertarians-and-abortion.html

Mosquito, Bionic. 2015. “Walter Block, Specific Performance Contracts, and Abortion.” July 12; http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2015/07/walter-block-specific-performance.html

Parr, Sean. 2011. “Departurism and the Libertarian Axiom of Gentleness.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, No. 34, http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2011/lp-3-34.doc

Parr, Sean. 2013. “Departurism Redeemed – A Response to Walter Block’s ‘Evictionism is Libertarian; Departurism is Not: Critical Comment on Parr.’” Journal of Peace, Prosperity, and Freedom, Vol. 2, pp. 109-123; http://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/home/departurism-redeemed-a-response-to-walter-blocks-evictionism-is-libertarian-departurism-is-not-critical-comment-on-parr

Presley, Sharon and Robert Cooke (aka Morgan Edwards). 1979. “The right to abortion: a libertarian defense.” Association of libertarian feminists discussion paper
http://www.alf.org/abortion.php

Rothbard, Murray N. 1978. “The editor replies.” Libertarian Forum. July-August, p. 3; http://mises.org/journals/lf/1978/1978_07-08.pdf

Sadowsky, S.J., James. 1978. “Abortion and Rights of the Child.” Libertarian Forum. July-August, pp. 2-3; http://mises.org/journals/lf/1978/1978_07-08.pdf

Shaffer, Butler. 2012. “Of Children and Fetuses.” September 17;
https://archive.lewrockwell.com/shaffer/shaffer259.html

Vance, Laurence. 2008. “Is Ron Paul Wrong on Abortion?” January 29; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance133.html

Vance, Laurence. 2012. “Libertarianism and Abortion.” July 17;
https://archive.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance297.html

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010A. “A Critique of Block on Abortion and Child Abandonment.” Libertarian Papers Vol. 2, No. 16; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/16-wisniewski-block-on-abortion/

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Block’s Defense of Evictionism.” Libertarian Papers. Vol. 2, Art No. 27; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-37.pdf

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2011. “Response to Block on Abortion, Round Three.” Libertarian Papers. Vol. 3, No. 6, pp. 1-6;
http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/6-winiewski-response-to-block-on-abortion-round-three/; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2011/lp-3-6.pdf

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2013. “Abortion, Libertarianism and Evictionism: A Last Word.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 153-162; http://libertarianpapers.org/2013/6-wisniewski-abortion-libertarianism-and-evictionism/

III. Block responds to critics:

Block, 2010A, 2010B, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2014; forthcoming

Block, Walter E. 2010A. “Objections to the Libertarian Stem Cell Compromise,” Libertarian Papers 2, 34; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/34-block-objections-to-the-libertarian-stem-cell-compromise/

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Wisniewski on Abortion.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 32, No. 2; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/32-block-rejoinder-to-wisniewski-on-abortion/; http://libertarianpapers.org/articles/2010/lp-2-32.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Two.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 3, Article No. 4; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/4-block-response-to-wisniewski-on-abortion-round-two/

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Three.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, No. 6; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/37-block-response-to-wisniewski-on-abortion/

Block, Walter E. 2011C. “Evictionism is libertarian; departurism is not: critical comment on Parr.” Vol. 3, Article 36, Libertarian Papers;
http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/36-evictionism-is-libertarian-departurism-is-not-critical-comment-on-parr/

Block, Walter E. 2014D. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Four.” Management Education Science Technology Journal (MEST); Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 1-14;
http://www.fbim.meste.org/FBIM_2_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.html;
http://www.fbim.meste.org/FBIM_2_2014/4_01.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Rejoinder to Parr on Evictionism and Departurism” Journal of Peace, Prosperity & Freedom, Vol. 2, pp. 125-138; http://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/current-issue.html; http://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/5/5/14558572/journalpeaceprosperityfreedom_single.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2014. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” Management Education Science Technology (MEST) Journal. Vol. 2, No. 1, January, pp. 33-44; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/Sadrzaj_eng.html; http://fbim.meste.org/FBIM_1_2014/_04.pdf

Block, Walter E. Forthcoming. “Abortion Once Again; a response to Feser, Goodwin, Mosquito, Sadowsky, Vance and Watkins.” Journal of Constitutional Research (Brazil)

Forestalling: forestall: bagel: donut:

Block, 1977, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2016; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Epstein vs Block, 2005

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Abortion.” The Libertarian Forum. Vol. 10, No. 9, September, pp. 6-8; http://www.mises.org/journals/lf/1977/1977_09.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Stem Cell Research: The Libertarian Compromise.” September 3; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block5.html

Block, Walter E. 2003. “Libertarianism vs. Objectivism; A Response to Peter Schwartz,” Reason Papers, Vol. 26, Summer, pp. 39-62; http://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/26/rp_26_4.pdf Nambla, child sexuality, child abuse

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Libertarianism, Positive Obligations and Property Abandonment: Children’s Rights,” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 31, No. 3, pp 275-286; http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContainer.do?containerType=Issue&containerId=18709; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-children.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Homesteading, ad coelum, owning views and forestalling.” The Social Sciences. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 96-103; http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1890872

Block, Walter E. 2010A. “A libertarian perspective on the stem cell debate: compromising the uncompromisible,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Vol. 2
http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/jhq033?
ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref; http://jmp.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/jhq033?ijkey=oczT7ytzmoAD1cz&keytype=ref

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “Van Dun on Freedom and Property: A Critique” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 2, No. 4; http://libertarianpapers.org/2010/4-block-van-dun-on-freedom-and-property/

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Terri Schiavo: A Libertarian Analysis” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 527–536; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_26.pdf; http://libertycrier.com/walter-block-terri-schiavo/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LibertyCrier+%28Liberty+Crier%29

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Forestalling, positive obligations and the Lockean and Blockian provisos: Rejoinder to Stephan Kinsella.” Ekonomia Wroclaw Economic Review. http://ekon.sjol.eu/category/22-3-2016-529

Block, Walter E. and Roy Whitehead. 2005. “Compromising the Uncompromisable: A Private Property Rights Approach to Resolving the Abortion Controversy,” Appalachian Law Review, 4 (2) 1-45; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdf; http://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block-whitehead_abortion-2005.pdf; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228125532_Compromising_the_Uncompromisable_A_Private_Property_Rights_Approach_to_Resolving_the_Abortion_Controversy?ev=prf_pub

Epstein, Richard vs. Walter E. Block, 2005. “Debate on Eminent Domain.” NYU Journal of Law & Liberty, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 1144-1169
http://www.nyujll.org/articles/Vol.%201%20No.%203/Vol.%201%20No.%203%20-%20Block%20and%20Epstein.pdf

Share

4:45 pm on November 5, 2017