Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 7:42 AM
Subject: Judge Andrew Napolitano is an Excellent Libertarian
Good morning Walter,
I think you may have stretched too far on this one (https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/judge-andrew-napolitano-is-an-excellent-libertarian/). Andrew is a very fine man and I have great respect for him. I was even a guest on his show a few times, but I never considered him to be a staunch libertarian. He certainly has many libertarian leanings, but is in my opinion forever a man who believes in the government system. Simply wanting a smaller government does not a libertarian make, and if I am wrong about that, I would never claim to be libertarian myself. Only if two different definitions exist would that work; where one is a purest as in my case, and one is a mainstream Libertarian Party type who supports any number of non-libertarian policies.
As for Rand Paul, he has never once been a libertarian. He has said this many times himself. He is a Republican conservative, who is better on many issues than most, but clearly is not a libertarian. To call him one is a misstatement.
All my best … G
On Aug 6, 2019, at 9:52 AM, Walter Block <firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
In this context, I don’t much care about what people call themselves. In labelling them, I care how their positions square with libertarianism. If an elephant or a kangaroo could speak, and they denied these labels commonly applied to them, would a biologist have to change his labelling system? Of course not. If chemical elements could speak and denied their categorization, would chemists have to change their period table of the elements? Ditto. We political scientists, too, have a rational categorization system, which should not be altered just because some of its subjects quarrel with their description.
Only anarchist libertarians don’t “believe … in the government system.” Most libertarians are not anarchists. Here are some: Mises, Ron Paul, Robert Nozick, FA Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand (she didn’t call herself a libertarian either, but, she most certainly was one).
Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2019 9:15 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Libertarians
I have never liked labels, but I am very certain of what I believe and why.
But with that said, the term libertarian is being painted with brush the size of Manhattan these days, and now seems to include protectionists, warmongers, hypocrites, drug warriors, and all those who continue to support the insane notion of democracy. I have even heard very many call Trump a libertarian. As has been the case in the U.S. for centuries, words and terms mean nothing, as their meaning can be changed at will to marginalize any thought of reality.
I simply believe in peace and harmony, non-aggression 100% of the time with the single exception of pure individual self-defense, no election of a ruling class, no taxation, and no top down state apparatus. Where does this leave my label?
I guess I will just have to be called a individualist freedom enigma!
Best … G
You don’t like labels? Then you exclude yourself from this realm of social science. Specifically, in this case, you cannot be a scientist who tries to make sense of politics. I don’t go so far as to say that biology and chemistry consist of no more than categorization, labelling, but, surely, this is a large part of both. Science is the systematic study of something or other, and, being clear on language is a first and necessary step for any systematic study of anything. All of language is labelling. If you really opposed labelling, you couldn’t write or speak. Each and every word you utter is distinguished from, labelled differently than, every other word.
I don’t paint libertarianism with a brush the size of Manhattan. I never said Trump was a libertarian. I supported him in 2016 only vis a vis Hilary.
“Non-aggression 100% of the time” is anarcho-capitalism. Libertarianism is a lot broader than that. Your “brush stroke” is WAY too narrow.
Yes, Andrew is not an anarcho-capitalist, at least I don’t think he is. But, to exclude him from the realm of libertarianism on that ground is what philosophers call a “howler.” It is a very serious logical blunder. Judge Napolitano in my estimation is one of the most gifted libertarians of this present age, rather, of any age for that matter.3:28 pm on August 6, 2019 Email Walter E. Block