I Am Refuted by Chatgpt! Woe Is Me!

From: Walter Block <[email protected]>

To: Don

Subject: RE: Consensus of relevant data

Dear FA:

Wow. Fascinating. One error is that this has nothing whatsoever to do with “libertarian logic.” Rather, it is an aspect of economics. Libertarianism is a theory of the proper use of violence, and has nothing at all to do with this question. The chatgpt takes a mainstream view that there is indeed such a thing as “market failure.” Austrian economics has a long bibliography refuting this claim, which chatgpt seems unaware of.

Four Arrows is my co-author of this book:

Four Arrows and Walter E. Block. 2010. Differing Worldviews: Two Scholars Argue Cooperatively about Justice Education; Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers;[email protected][email protected]

Best regards,


From: Don

To: Walter Block <[email protected]>

Subject: Re: Consensus of relevant data

Just for the fun I asked this question in in literally 7 seconds it gave this answer (It took me longer to write the question):

Question: In the book by Four Arrows and Walter Block, Walter argues that if “endless rows of identical trees” are truly inferior to natural regrowth of diverse original life after a clear cut were really a problem, the competitive market strggle for profits against t counter parts that eschew this type of tree planting would cause the owners to rethink for the sake of profit and start planting more diverse trees. But if biodiversity does not promote profits, then the laws of economics then the rows of same trees is most just. What is wrong with this libertarian logic?

The libertarian logic presented in the book assumes that market forces alone will always ensure the best outcomes for society and the environment. However, this assumption overlooks several important factors:

1. Externalities: The impact of clear-cutting and monoculture plantations on the environment and local communities can be negative and far-reaching, such as soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, and damage to water systems. These impacts are often not reflected in market prices and can create negative externalities that are not accounted for by the market.

2. Short-term thinking: The profit motive can lead to short-term thinking and neglect long-term environmental impacts. Planting monoculture plantations may be cheaper and easier in the short term, but it can have negative consequences for the environment and society in the long term.

3. Information asymmetry: The assumption that market competition will drive companies to adopt sustainable practices assumes that consumers have perfect information about the products they buy. However, this is often not the case, and companies may be able to hide negative impacts from consumers.

4. Power dynamics: The assumption that all actors in the market have equal bargaining power overlooks the fact that some companies may have more power than others, allowing them to dominate the market and drive out competitors who promote sustainable practices.

Therefore, relying solely on market forces to promote sustainability and biodiversity can be insufficient and may lead to negative outcomes for the environment and society. It is important to recognize the limitations of the market and to use other mechanisms, such as regulation and public policies, to ensure sustainable practices and protect the environment.


3:42 am on March 25, 2023