Is Lying Necessarily A Crime In The Libertarian Philosophy? No. Is It Heroic? Sometimes.

Dear C:

I now tell you that 2+2=5 and that the moon is composed of green cheese. I just told two untruths. Am I a criminal? No. Am I heroic? I don’t think so.

On the other hand, if a holdup man asks me where are my valuables, and I lie, that’s heroic.

Best regards, Walter

From: C
Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2018 6:46 AM
Subject: Lying

Dear Professor,

I believe that I emailed you a good few years back now – I was writing a uni essay on the topic of monetary-theory (essentially I was relying on paraphrasing Prof Rothbard’s “History of Economic Thought…” for-better-or-worse!). An area on Adam Smith’s thought was stressing my mind, I believe, and you were able to smooth things out. I’ve since corresponded with other LvMI scholars, on a range of topics; they’ve been similarly generous!

Glancing your web-page, I see that a 3rd installment of “Defending the Indefensible” is due. The central premise – going back to the 1st – appears to me to be the intrinsic ‘heroism’ of unmolested (?) market exchange!? On this fine-point I’ve a question: You, yourself, produce written academic works for consumption on the market; if what you’re writing is untruthful, and is then ‘consumed’, may this be a case where free-exchange involves an ‘un-heroic’ actor – or perhaps the works would be considered as ‘discourse’; thus, seemingly, avoiding concerns of absolute (T)ruth viz. people may say that ‘we may advance towards truth though never express it perfectly’.

(Apologies if your stance in these matters has already been expressed; as I’ve not read many of your extensive writings. I recall a seemingly similarly relevant discussion by Prof Hoppe – in the intro to “Ethics of Liberty” – in comparing the warm reception of Prof Nozick’s work to that of Prof Rothbard’s (less-so!) by ‘mainstream’ academia viz. Prof Hoppe implied that Prof Nozick displayed a non-committal position in these matters.)

NB Sr Mary David Totah – born Michele Frieda Totah, and formerly of Loyola Uni – passed-away towards the end of last year; for those who may care, and aren’t aware already!

Thank you, C


3:06 am on April 7, 2019