Saturday, February 3, 2018

Trade Winds

The trade winds are the prevailing pattern of easterly surface winds found in the tropics, within the lower portion of the Earth's atmosphere, in the lower section of the troposphere near the Earth's equator…. The trade winds of both hemispheres meet at the doldrums.

The trade winds are the cure for the doldrums.


Prior to starting my series on The Libertarian Forum, edited by Murray Rothbard, I had not read much of the (relatively) early Murray Rothbard.  The newsletter came out twice per month beginning in 1969.

I have written about a half-dozen posts, reviewing various issues of the newsletters; I have yet to read even the first year of this fifteen-year series.  I have not written on several of the issues that I have read, this for various reasons.

Perhaps most prominent among these reasons: Rothbard was, in some ways, a hard-core leftist; I find no reason to examine hard-core leftist positions – further, on some of these positions I am aware that Rothbard changed his views, so why spend energy on these.

On the other hand, in most areas Rothbard has remained consistent – and in many of these areas I hold common cause.  Most significantly this is true regarding his views on foreign intervention and actions of the police state.  I find no evidence that he ever budged on these.

Am I critical of Rothbard because of this, because his views have evolved and changed?  Nothing could be further from the truth.  To begin: what can be properly labeled “libertarian thought,” Rothbard almost single-handedly developed from whole-cloth. 

Well, maybe not whole-cloth and maybe not single-handedly, but pretty close on both counts.  Certainly I can think of no other individual who wrote so much for so many years with a single aim in mind: that of increasing liberty by developing libertarian thought such that it could be used as an intellectual weapon to bring down the state.

That Rothbard’s views evolved during his intellectual journey is no vice – it is a virtue.  Starting from (almost) nothing, he wrote on hundreds of aspects that were supportive of his singular aim.  Like any honest intellectual, he let the evidence lead him where it did – not where he had previously decided it must take him.  He did not remain stuck merely because he felt invested.

Suffice it to say, my own views correspond much more with the later Rothbard than with the early Rothbard.  I have not examined why his views evolved and why he moved in the direction that he did.  My blog is the evidence as to why I have moved in the direction that I have.

Learning on Murray’s Knee

Any libertarian thinker worth his salt will gladly admit that this is true – certainly figuratively.  We owe an unpayable debt to the work of Rothbard.

For some libertarian thinkers, it is also literally true.  Walter Block is one of these; has said of himself that he is trying his best to take what he learned while sitting at Murray Rothbard’s knee.  I believe Walter knew Murray quite well, and knew him during those early years in New York. 

While Rothbard’s views on some libertarian topics have evolved, Block has not taken a similar path on similar issues: specifically to the focus of this post, the issue of immigration and open borders.  But that Walter disagrees with his libertarian mentor is neither here nor there – no one owns a monopoly on truth.

In any case, what is “truth” when it comes to a subjective political / social philosophy?  The best we can do is place our theoretical “truth” against what we see and observe in the behavior and nature of man, what we have seen in man’s history, what we have seen as consequences of the various political / social paths that man has tread.

What else do we have to weigh the consequences of political / social theory applied?  The ivory tower?

The Bad Economist

Any economist worth listening to understands the concept of secondary and tertiary consequences.  A child can understand the initial consequence of an action; it takes critical thinking, maturity, historical and social context, and an understanding of human action to develop a rational view of the secondary and tertiary consequences of an economic policy decision.

Is not the same true for the political / social theorist?  Is it not appropriate to consider the secondary and tertiary consequences of the political and social theories that we advocate?  Must we remain as intellectual children to avoid the accusation of straying from the one true faith, with ideology placed on a pedestal as man’s salvation?

In many ways this has been my journey at this blog: how do I take what I understand from libertarian theory and free market economics and apply it in a world made of humans?  How do we get from where we are to a society where we have more freedom, less state?  How do we maintain our relatively increased freedom if / when we achieve such a condition?  Where and under what conditions has such relative liberty been achieved and maintained?

I am learning that I am learning nothing new; Hans Hoppe has plowed this field long before I ever began, and has done it far better than I ever will.  Yet, I enjoy my journey – as it is mine.

The Bad Political Theorist

Which comes to my point – and, as you can tell, the point has something to do with Walter Block.  I am finding that Walter is one who, when it comes to libertarian theory, cares not about secondary and tertiary consequences – and this is the most charitable interpretation I can offer.  I would hate to think that he does understand the consequences but continues to advocate his positions in the face of this.

So I do not re-live the entire history, I will offer the most recent example – and the one that has finally forced me to confront what I have been keeping buried under the surface for quite some time.

The details of this recent background can be found here.  I will offer a summary: Walter offered that in the 1930s the Canadian Prime Minister denied entry to Canada of European Jews.  Walter commended the Prime Minister’s decision – after all, most Jews were:

…really despicable people. They want to overturn capitalism, promote social justice and egalitarianism, ride roughshod over private property rights, enrage the masses against the highly accomplished elite, will donate gobs of money to the most left wing politicians available, and all the rest.

Walter’s words, not mine.  After being pressed by me (after all, Walter sounded more like Hans Hoppe than he did Walter Block), he decided that he was wrong in supporting the Canadian Prime Minister:

Allow all the Jews to settle in Canada in 1939 or so when they arrived by boat. There's plenty of virgin territory there. To prevent their settlement there is to violate the NAP. I take the NAP VERY seriously. For me, it is the libertarian lodestar, compass

Yes, the Canadian Prime Minister should have let them in. The borders have been open as long as there is virgin territory in the country. I only add now, that I full well realize why the Canadians didn't want these Jew commies in their country. But Jew commies, all commies, still have rights; the right to settle in virgin territory.

What is the Point of Libertarian Philosophy?

Heaven help me, I hope the point is to build a foundation on which to increase liberty.  If it is merely to defend the undefendable…let’s just call this intellectual masturbation.  And that’s the best interpretation I can offer.

Handing Them the Bullets to Shoot You With

Going back to the Canadian Prime Minister; Walter, knowing that they are communists and knowing the actions they will take, decides it is advancing the cause of liberty to let communists into Canada.  What Walter advocates is the following: Someone comes to your house to rob you and rape your daughters. You open the door, hand them your firearm, and welcome them in. 

Why do I say this?  Try this: Communists invade America with helicopters and tanks – we would know what to do and we have seen the movie – “Red Dawn.”

But Walter says if the communists come without weapons this is OK – even though they come to rob you and rape your daughters. Even knowing their intent (as Walter clearly knows), you hand them your firearms while welcoming them into your front door.

“Oh, bionic, no one is handing them their firearms.”  Well…the firearm you hand them is the ballot; the firearm you hand them is the politician looking to find more sheep who will give the politician a platform from which to rob you and rape your daughters.

Remember, even on virgin land they get to vote; even on virgin land, politicians will use them in order to increase political power.

Block knows that they are coming to rob him and rape his daughters – read his original post, for goodness sakes. He welcomes them, knowing this; he hands them his firearms knowing this. And Block says this is perfectly libertarian.

Does this sound like a strategy for increasing liberty?  Whose – your liberty or the communist Jew’s liberty?  Is the distinction important to you and your family?


In an interview, Block stated, "In the fifties and sixties, I was just another commie living in Brooklyn."

I have been reminded that Walter holds to some very important positions – perhaps most importantly that he wishes to privatize everything.  What a useless proposition in a land where communists have the vote and it is libertarian to allow them all in.  If this is libertarian, it is a philosophy of suicide.

I know that Block brings many people to libertarianism, but if this is the libertarianism to which he brings them…it is undefendable.


  1. Hi BM,

    Good to see you've found your way out of the doldrums!
    This post of yours merits several readings and after that, I sure hope to contribute to a lively discussion.

    Cheers from Amsterdam,

  2. Great, now I want to see Block's response.

    The reason Block's position is suspicious to me is that if you are going to say that the NAP (as Block defines it) is the most important principle full stop, then would you not want to demand reciprocity? It is not a principle recognized by the Empire so its impotent with respect to actual power and it's not a principle acknowledged or understood by the vast majority of two legged animals. So you why would you apply it to people who don't recognize it or are incapable of understanding it? And furthermore, if you want to bring it in to the real world you would be asking yourself what kinds of people are best suited for understanding and abiding by this principle.

    The most libertarian people have always been whites in red-state America ("get the gubbermint off my back and don't touch my guns"), not jewish commies from Brooklyn. That is to say the most authentically libertarian in how they actually live and most of them have no idea who these NY Jewish intellectuals are. Right from the start of "libertarianism" there has been a cultural/ethnic divide between the theorists and the people to whom the theories are supposed to apply. These people do not see the wilderness as "virgin territory" to be used for dumping 80 IQ Somalis on them. From this perspective Block is really no better than David Brooks. Zero loyalty to the ethnic/cultural foundations of the country and completely indifferent to its dispossession.

    1. Sorry to burst your bubble with facts, but Jews in ‘murica are actually less supportive of the US bending over for the Israeli government than whites in red-state America (Evangelicals). Rothbard pointed out the most important issue for libertarians now is a peaceful foreign policy. That ain’t coming from the Red States.

    2. I was talking about their general disposition towards wanting to be left alone by the government not their support for Zionist wars, but this support doesn't come from nowhere. It has been engendered in them by Zionist media and Zionist churches. They are being led around by traitors and enemies, and while that does not morally exonerate them, *the architects of these wars are Jews and they live in NY and D.C.*

      In other words, regardless of what these people can be made to believe and support (using religion and false patriotism) these wars would never have originated with them.

    3. Veterans for Peace,

      Yeah, and those evangelicals were in turn influenced by the blasphemous Scofield bible. Look into the history of that evil book and see who was behind it and who it serves today.

    4. UC and Matt, if you claim the “new” immigrants won’t assimilate into our existing culture of welfarism and warfarism (whether native or because easily suspectible to the siren song of smooth-talking Brooklyn Jews (ha!) or Jimmy Swaggart), then maybe they will improve our culture.

      After all, many of the leading lights who brought us the culture of NAP and Austrian economics were Jewish immigrants.

      And yes, I of course agree with BM what he mentioned below at 8:17 pm. I’m just saying that in the grand scheme of things I wouldn’t fear or advocate open borders more than I currently fear the government going into my pocket to bomb foreigners now and rain down Social Security checks on Tea Partiers with signs like “Keep your hands off my medicare” (because I paid a little into that horrible system).

    5. VfP,

      OK, but I am not a dumb patriotard. I oppose all the wars. I also oppose the policy of "invade the world, invite the world", which are two sides of the same coin. If you don't like war, don't accept the creation of conditions in America that make a war on American territory more likely. Already the conditions of low level conflict are extant.

      If you are going to praise Jews, as a group, for doing something good then you may as well assess the effect of the Jews on America in aggregate. Do a few libertarian Jews outweigh the deleterious effect that Jews have had on the general welfare of non-Jewish White Americans? Not being rhetorical here, the answer is no.

      You act like there has to be a choice between "oppose war" and "open borders". Nope. Oppose both.

    6. No, in a world of scarcity, my efforts are focused on ending war and ending corporate and personal welfare, and not opening or closing borders. What I linked to about views on Israel indicates most Jews are nearly as in the bag for the State of Israel as the rock-ribbed Republicans.

    7. And the rock ribbed Democrats aren't in the bag for the State of Israel, the endless wars, constant intervention in other countries, massive military spending, massive spying on the US Populace, etc?

    8. VfP,

      "Sorry to burst your bubble with facts, but Jews in ‘murica are actually less supportive of the US bending over for the Israeli government than whites in red-state America (Evangelicals)."

      Sad truth indeed. On this issue, white republicans are atrocious.

      "Rothbard pointed out the most important issue for libertarians now is a peaceful foreign policy."

      Rothbard supported this position not only because of the effects overseas due to US military adventurism (which I also condemn), but also because of its effects at home: higher taxes, higher inflation, more state control of the economy, more encroachment on natural liberties, etc.

      UC 2.0,

      "I was talking about their general disposition towards wanting to be left alone by the government not their support for Zionist wars"

      Very smart and nuanced position. Yes they support Zionist wars, but they have been misled by Fox News Neocons, and yes their stupidity does not morally exonerate them, but they are still the most naturally pro freedom (negative liberty) group in the country. Their honorable and vital patriotic urges have been commandeered by the pathetic excuse for what passes as conservatism in DC, which has been infiltrated by communists and marxists, many of whom are admittedly Jewish.


      Thanks for educating me on the Scofield bible. I'm very interested in the Progressive era movement that turned pacifist Christians into war mongering millenarians wishing to bring the Kingdom of God down to every corner of the earth by force. This may be a significant piece of that puzzle.

      "a choice between "oppose war" and "open borders". Nope. Oppose both."

      Amen. Ending the war on drugs and terror would do much to stem the flow of undesirable immigration without even considering border security.

    9. Bogart, that about Dems proves my point. Are the invaders worse than the natives, or do they just go native?

      ATL, yes, ending wars (one thing that the horrible atheists (unaffiliated in the Pew survey)) might support more than our high and low culture natives. BTW, I am personally a devout RC/family man so in some ways admitting atheists are the most moral runs counter to my own culture. Eric Morris

    10. VfP,

      I seriously doubt atheists are morally superior to the Christian right, nor do I believe they'd be any less militaristic if they were in power.

      Atheists are more likely to place the state into the God-shaped hole in their chest, and that is a recipe for social and political collapse. We've already seen what happens when atheism attains control of a state: millions and millions of deaths.

      I certainly expect more of my conservative Christian neighbors too (especially in the context of foreign wars), but you'll never convince me I'd be better off governed by atheists.

    11. ATL, I wasn’t trying to convince you to want to be led by atheists. More to convince all of us here to re-convert our Christian brethren to the Prince of Peace by using the atheists as a mirror into our own souls.

  3. Maybe as far as privatizing everything he falls into the current mixed business environment of the West. Sure people want the Private Profits, but they want to Socialize the costs and sometimes investments.

    It still boils down to Communism etc. are but tools of the monopolized producers who build the Web of Statecraft. They got the Gold Mine and they don't want to share.

    So what I'm saying is you have to have Producing Elite who are dedicated to Free Enterprise 1st. This Elite that have taken over the West aren't of that cloth. I'm not gonna get into all the Conspiracy of Who they are and their nefarious plans for the masses...I'm sure most here have read this stuff. It's so Organized to be mentioned by a few Presidents it has to be taken seriously.

  4. The United States of America in 1850:

    are borders open or closed ?

    where there any problems?

    why do you have problems now?


    1. max

      Maybe you should just go back to citing Gary North. This one is way too easy.

      Read this:

      and this:

      Then let me know about how open borders worked out in and before 1850.

    2. Max,

      Free white men of good character only was the law.

    3. Also, read about the first conflicts between Mexicans in the Estado Dr Coahuila y Tejas and the Mexican central government.

      Hint: It had to do with illegal immigration from these uSA into Mexico.

    4. max, I will add: the history of immigration to the United States was not as "open" as people like to believe:

    5. "

      and this: "

      I think you comparing apples and oranges.

      similar to this:

      Invasions of the Roman Empire:

      "max, I will add: the history of immigration to the United States was not as "open" as people like to believe:"

      government assumed direct control of inspecting, admitting, rejecting, and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the United States with the Immigration Act of 1891.

      no id cards or passports before that -- people pay boat fee and travel..

      if you are in peace there is no important who is coming in and going out ...

      it is important who is eligible for citizenship and how, who should have right to vote...

      yes Gary North say it well:


    6. Max,

      No, its not. You talk about not giving people citizenship (and it isn't clear what kind of citizenship you are talking about because you usually talk about some sort of biblical priesthood) as if you can treat people like helots and not expect them to rebel or disrupt society.

      If you bring people into your territory, they have agency and they will not necessarily respect your property rights or religious beliefs. The idea that you can just import a bunch of people through the process of mass migration and think that they will accept being second class non-citizens is absurd.


      "you assuming that people coming in are worse and bigger danger than people born in"

      I assume that both are danger but people born in are bigger because they already have citizenship/ access to power.

      America would be much better place if Lincoln,Woodrow Wilson,Franklin Delano Roosevelt did not have citizenship


    8. The questions are, what additional criminal risk you are willing to import? What is cost/benefit analysis? Costs also include loss of the culture, mindset, customs, that built the system the immigrants so wish to join ... and change.

    9. Also, it must be pointed out that motivation to immigrate in the 1800's was far different from what it is today. Back then, people came to this country for freedom of belief and greater material opportunity through work. Now, thanks to the welfare state, people come to the US to be parasites on society - relatively few have the desire to work. Back then, immigrants added to the strength of America. Today, immigrants sap the strength of the producer.

  5. So is your fear about open borders specific to open borders or would you express similar misgivings about other radical policies? E.g. if the government overnight abolished Social Security and Medicare payments, it would presumably put many of the elderly in dire straits, but it would be consistent with a classic Rothbardian or Blockian strategic objective. Or would you push that button if it were offered?

    1. Why describe my view with the word "fear"? What if it is well-thought out and grounded in libertarian principle as well as an understanding of man's nature?

      My points are simple:

      1) You cannot derive "open borders" from the non-aggression principle; you can derive managed borders. It is not my fault that - nor must I stand impotent because - the state has usurped my right to manage my borders, and usurped the right of me to join with my neighbors to do the same.

      2) to achieve libertarian open borders, two things must happen: full private property rights and open immigration; to advocate that one of these two is done absent the other is *a* position, it just isn't a libertarian position.

      3) regarding social security and medicare - to achieve the libertarian condition, only one thing must happen: abolish the laws that enable these. So I say abolish the laws.

      I have pointed all of this out to Block; the best he can do is offer that the NAP is the one true faith.

    2. Jgress,

      Sinply not giving welfare to immigrants would achieve the same objective. The elderly of this country have paid something into the system, non-citizen foreigners have not.

    3. Hi jgres,

      I'd like to second BM's Q as to why use the word "fear" to describe his views.

      You're not alone in doing this, so there must be a compelling reason. Why do you do it? One reason in particular or maybe several? I'd really and sincerely like to know.

    4. Jgress / Sagunto

      You are both relatively new here; I do not recall you were here during an earlier exchange on this topic.

      Before I provide the relevant link, I must properly set the stage. Several months ago a long-time fellow online compatriot – someone who I have known since the earliest days at The Daily Bell – asked me a question that absolutely stunned me: something to the effect of “Bionic, are you for a white America?”

      I will not go into all of the reasons that this question stunned me – but two:

      1) Even up until that point I had written favorably about immigration – in a manner that I believe comes as close to mirroring what would occur in a private property orders while being stuck with state borders

      2) I often write in a manner that would be described as the Socratic Method. I ask a lot of questions; my belief is that honest individuals who address these questions will become more certain of their conclusions than if I merely tell them what to think. As to the dishonest visitors here…screw them.

      So this long-time online acquaintance asks me the aforementioned question. My response is here:

      You will note I am replying to something Matt asked in another thread. It was not Matt who asked the question, but something he wrote prompted this above-linked post; also, the venom you sense (and my blood pressure is rising as I re-read the post) in my words was not aimed at Matt but at the long-time acquaintance – just as with Block and this recent episode, I felt betrayed in some manner by someone who I thought knew me better than to ask such a question, albeit for a different reason. .

      Maybe it was my fault for not being direct; hence the post.

      Now…read the post and then maybe we can make some sense of this word “fear.”

    5. You talk about open borders being "suicide". If that isn't meant to connote fear, I don't know what is.

    6. Here's what I'm still struggling with:

      The difference between Blockian and classic Rothbardian position on the one hand, and the late Rothbardian or Hoppean position on the other, as I understand it, lies in the strategy, not the principle. Block and early Rothbard agree with Hoppe and late Rothbard that full privatization of public spaces and borders is the only correct goal. The difference lies in the strategy for how to get there.

      The classic Rothbardian and Blockian position is that we cannot let ourselves get distracted by the immediate consequences of reducing the State and cannot turn down any opportunity to roll back the State, no matter how incomplete such a move may be. So if abolishing all welfare led to mass starvation and unrest, we should still welcome it. Likewise, if opening the borders led to a mass invasion and destruction of public property, we should also welcome that.

      The Hoppean view really does seem to be guided by a consideration of consequences, at least as far as borders are concerned. Rather than grasp the opportunity to reduce the scope of State action when presented, we must instead maintain the State in its illegitimate and usurped role of border policeman. We must do this because of the threat that unguarded borders pose to current residents.

      What I'm having trouble with is seeing why this caution only applies to where border control is concerned and not to all the other roles that the State has usurped. For instance, we imagine that, in a private property society, voluntary associations would take care of charity for those who cannot support themselves, a role that the State has usurped. If we base our policy on entertaining the "anarcho-capitalist counterfactual," then I think there is a case for supporting State welfare programs until such time as private welfare can take its place. To abolish public welfare without providing a private alternative for those who are dependent on that welfare would have terrible consequences.

      The response might be that current welfare recipients are not entitled to any support, so if they all starve to death as a result of abolishing those programs, they deserve it. But that is only valid if we refuse to accept that the government has any role in keeping them poor and dependent at the present. If the government is responsible for their current status of dependency, then the government also has a responsibility to protect and support them.

      Another response is that we can hope the private sector would leap in and provide voluntary alternatives to state support. But then we could also suppose that the private sector could set up its own controls in public spaces once we withdraw the State. I presume that "open borders" means a policy where the State withdraws completely from control of the borders which could allow any current residents to homestead those spaces and set up their own private borders. I'm not sure even Block would support a policy where the State allows foreigners in but forcibly prevents natives from homesteading the public spaces.

    7. "You talk about open borders being "suicide". If that isn't meant to connote fear, I don't know what is."

      jgress, please read what I wrote. I will save you the trouble of looking, and cite it for you here:

      “I have been reminded that Walter holds to some very important positions – perhaps most importantly that he wishes to privatize everything. What a useless proposition in a land where communists have the vote and it is libertarian to allow them all in. If this is libertarian, it is a philosophy of suicide."

      Now, did I use the term “suicide” in the context of open borders, as your paraphrasing of my words states? Or perhaps you want to try again?

      I will ask you plainly: what specific action did I describe as suicide? Was it “open borders”?

    8. "What I'm having trouble with is seeing why this caution only applies to where border control is concerned and not to all the other roles that the State has usurped."

      Regarding open borders and immigration, to reach the libertarian condition requires two things; for many other areas (welfare, drug laws, etc.), it requires only one thing.

      Block agrees with this yet still insists on open borders. Therefore he is insisting on open borders for reasons other than the application of libertarian theory.

    9. Well, since no further answers (jgress) will be forthcoming, I'll just mention why "fear" is often used by those who hold "nuanced" positions on immigration to describe their opponent's position.
      Caveat: writing from Dutch experience here. Many in the US still haven't got much of a clue i.m.o. just how dire the situation is over here. US still pushing their no.1 postwar cultural export products (politically correctness / multiculturalism), while US wars flood Europe with waves of migration.

      Anyway, with regard to the "fear" label, me thinks that what we see here, is just another variation on a well-known theme, the typical PCMC slur on single repeat.

      It goes like this:

      Reservations about mass immigration, can't possibly be held on rational/reasonable political grounds.
      That's the PCMC dogma in a nutshell.

      The reason for speaking out against unchecked immigration must therefore be irrational (or non-rational) by default. More often than not, this denial of rationality tactic is just a prelude to ascribing more sinister motives to those who criticize mass immigration and question the US sponsored cult of Diversity.

    10. @Sagunto:

      My impression is bionic is trying to avoid consequentialism and the argument against open borders based on bad or scary results, though I don't think he entirely succeeds. E.g. he criticizes Block for supporting immigration while acknowledging the possibility that in the future they might be given the vote and vote the wrong way. While I see nothing unlibertarian in restricting the franchise (and indeed would like to see majoritarian democracy abolished completely), the position that the state should be used to forcibly exclude outsiders at all simply in order to avoid bad political consequences down the line is much more problematic if you are supposed to be hewing to a pure natural-rights, deontological libertarianism. I think Block is saying that the fear of what the immigrants might do after immigrating is not a reason to forcibly prevent their traveling through public spaces.

      In general, calls for the state to *increase* its power and exercise *more* violence should give any good libertarian pause. That's the problem I see with paleo-Rothbard's "unleash the cops" rhetoric and the whole closed-borders attitude. And this is *not* meant to deny that we have major social problems connected with immigration, but as with other social problems, I think we should be focusing on how state action, rather than inaction, is causing the problems we see.

    11. jgress, you criticize out of ignorance. I have tried to explain my views (in summary) to you - even in this thread. You have not addressed or even questioned what I have written, and instead make up your own caricature.

      I will now further add to the things I have written before that you ignore:

      1) I have offered a way to deal with immigration in a world of state borders that reduces the role of the state and approaches what would be likely found in a private property society. You insist that I demand an increase role for the state.

      2) The state has monopolized enforcement of rights that I naturally hold. It is illegal for me to do anything about it – I am disallowed from exercising my property rights. You insist that the libertarian must therefore accept impotence regarding property rights. Think about that: libertarianism equals impotence in property rights!

      3) Finally…it is the intellectual child that does not consider the consequences of his actions. “Let’s invite communists in order to increase liberty.” Frankly, this is about the stupidest thing I have read from a mature libertarian on just about any political / social topic.

      I will not allow another of your comments until you address my points. If you need further help, go to the top of this page and click on the tab “Libertarians and Culture.” You will find dozens of articles, each with a short description allowing you to focus on the points I have raised.

    12. Thank you BM,

      The third point you made, really set me back on track with regard to Block. Yes, intellectually he behaves like a child, but it might be even worse.
      From a certain point of view Block is only being eminently consistent. The POV being modern Gnosticism (as understood by Eric Voegelin, "Modernity without Restraint")

      I'll open a new comment below to elaborate some, and leave the floor over here to jgress..

    13. I am very sorry if I misrepresented your views in any way. I'll try to answer your points below:

      "I have offered a way to deal with immigration in a world of state borders that reduces the role of the state and approaches what would be likely found in a private property society. You insist that I demand an increase role for the state."

      OK, if your proposal is genuinely one of rolling back the state, I think any libertarian should support it. I'm just not convinced it is. You are saying that if there is an opportunity to reduce state action, i.e. state policing of the national borders, you would not grab that opportunity. So maybe you are not necessarily calling for increased state action above what we have now (e.g. more deportations or building a new border wall), but you still seem to be saying that, given a choice between more or less state action in a hypothetical scenario, you would choose more state action.

      "The state has monopolized enforcement of rights that I naturally hold. It is illegal for me to do anything about it – I am disallowed from exercising my property rights. You insist that the libertarian must therefore accept impotence regarding property rights. Think about that: libertarianism equals impotence in property rights!"

      I think your position depends very heavily on treating the national borders as your own personal property over which you have exclusive rights of exclusion and inclusion. If they are not your own property to do with as you wish, your argument here becomes weaker.

      "Finally…it is the intellectual child that does not consider the consequences of his actions. “Let’s invite communists in order to increase liberty.” Frankly, this is about the stupidest thing I have read from a mature libertarian on just about any political / social topic."

      Fair enough, but that's why I brought up the issue of state welfare and what to do about those who have become dependent on state handouts. You seem to think the consequences of cutting off their current means of support, without providing for an alternative, as the correct course of action. And I think we can come up with plausible scenarios illustrating how such an action might lead to less liberty in the long run, e.g. mass unrest following the loss of support leading to a takeover by an even more authoritarian regime, or leading to widespread private acts of theft and murder.

      I think my own position is currently closest to this fellow's:

      I will also look through your links and try to come to a deeper understanding of your position.

    14. “I will also look through your links and try to come to a deeper understanding of your position.”

      I asked you to do this before you wrote more ignorant comments like the following:

      “…but you still seem to be saying that, given a choice between more or less state action in a hypothetical scenario, you would choose more state action.”

      You are done here.

    15. Being involved in a car accident involving an illegal alien without insurance, in Houston, does not involve fear but it is a concern.

    16. The Scientific Method dictates that if the theory doesn't fit the data, it is the theory that must be either revised or replaced - otherwise, theory devolves into dogma.

      I do know some history but I would be the first to state that I do not have all knowledge. However, to my knowledge, there is not a single instance where open borders did not destroy the indigent culture. Further, since it actually IS an indigent culture, we must assume that the people of that culture prefer to maintain it.

      Perhaps, if totalitarian cultures had open borders, an influx of libertarians would make the culture less oppressive. However, in the real world, people move from the more oppressive cultures to the less oppressive, not the other way around - and, as has been demonstrated in the real world time after time, once people immigrate to an area of low oppression, they try to make that area over in the image of their own, more oppressive, culture.

      If my statements are correct - and I believe they are - then the open borders theory - where open borders leads to a greater libertarian culture - must be discarded or revised. If not, then those that adhere to it stand in the position of high priest, ready to smite the blasphemer for their heresy.

  6. I've asked a question for libertarians here and elsewhere and I am yet to receive an answer.

    What is the difference between a single owner area (let's say Oahu Island) and the total state?

    I see no difference at all. The difference is on paper only.

    1. Hi Matt@O,

      Can't speak for libertarians wherever they are, but I reckon a possible answer could be:

      "Imagine a Private Property Society (imagine all the people..). Let's assume that property is properly homesteaded or otherwise acquired via voluntary contract. Suppose the single owner is, just like the owners in this PPS, a "bona fide" owner from a libertarian perspective, okay? Well, then the difference between that owner and the total state would be the means by which both acquired the area. The single owner of Oahu Island by abiding to the NAP; the total state by abiding to the AP."

      Not sure if I'd like such an answer, but I do like your question.

      Was wondering along those lines whether or not it would just be a matter of degree, of how many property owners would be beneficial to a free society. If the answer would be, "as many as possible, the more the merrier," then I'm not sure I'd support that out of hand, because of the distributivist fallacy waiting in the wings.

      On the other hand, a PPS with few property owners could become unstable in the absence of a common culture to bind the non-property owning majority to society. That is why i.m.o. libertarian theoreticians have to either address western culture and acknowledge it as a necessary precondition for something akin to their envisioned PPS, or accept the societal irrelevance of their gnostic, disembodied thought experiments.

      Enter Walter Block, the one true "early Rothbardian," from the soon to be erected Early Rothbard Institute, already bitterly opposed internally by the even more radical VERs (very early Rothbardians), with the non-Deus ex Machina, the culturally sterile NAP, that supposedly would settle societal questions like this, if only people adhered to it.

      Such a pity for this kind of detached NAP theorizing that actual people have this nasty tendency to get in the way ;)

      Another question would be if the right to self-defence, enshrined in the NAP, has some kind of expiration date. Does it, or should it have? Block says something about self-defence and retaliatory violence falling under the umbrella of the NAP. It's the retaliatory violence that interests me in this regard.
      How long would the right to that implementation of the NAP last? How should the libertarian answer to that one be applied to global affairs?

      Oh, gotta go.

      Cheers from Amsterdam,

    2. Easy, from Hoppe. The owner of Oahu can pass it along to his offspring, so he will manage it must better. And manage will be much closer to manage than domination for short-term gain.

    3. Veterans for Peace,

      That isn't my question, though. I asked how it differs from the total state. When I say that I mean how it differs for those ruled. There is no difference, from what I can see.

    4. It differs for why I stated: a single-owner town will manage for the long-term gain; the state, since it is made of individuals (and assuming no right to pass along), will plunder for more immediate gains.

    5. VfP,

      You are still focused on the owner. The long term health of his property tells us nothing about the treatment of the individuals on it - for all we know long term profitability may be enhanced by abusive strategies.

      How is it different for the ruled under a single owner regime than under a total state?

    6. Hoppe wrote half the book about that, that monarchy is better for the ruled than democracy.

    7. Hoppe's monarch is not the same thing as the single owner that I am talking about.

      I am going to assume that you cannot find a difference between the total state and single owner area either.

    8. At this point, then, I have no idea what you are trying to ask. Maybe that’s the problem.

    9. The difference would indeed be on paper, in that the total state wouldn't have to break the law if it decided to kill the people who attempt to leave.

    10. Matt,

      That is a great question. I love challenging questions like this!

      I think the main difference is the difference in the right to create law. The totalitarian state has attained the legal sanction to abrogate basic natural rights, whereas the land owner has not. The land owner may in fact have the power to create law, but he does not have the right. I would argue that once a land owner has attained the right (or social acceptance) to abrogate natural liberties, he has become a totalitarian state.

      I think those libertarians who characterize freedom as individual sovereignty are mistaken. In a libertarian society, at least in theory, the land owner is not sovereign, but rather the law is, both intra-association and inter-association. The inter-association law is the law existing between different private law associations, which have been formulated to resolve disputes between the associations. Such a law would certainly come into existence simply due to the incentives of settling disputes peacefully between organizations that do not possess the ability to tax or inflate currency. Such a law may not be uniform at first but I believe it would tend in that direction.

      Having said that, in theory and in practice, a totalitarian state can enact libertarian reforms, and the island owner may become a brutally despotic tyrant. Both could happen. We've also seen what a limited constitutional republic can turn into. All systems are fallible, but which is the best at mitigating the harmful effects of fallen or flawed humans? I would argue the one that does not sanction aggression (first force) of any kind, especially the centralized variety, is best. Open competition in all things is the best method to keep owners of large contiguous spaces from turning into despotic states.

      In the same way that I'd place my bet on American babies to support liberty later in life instead of immigrant babies from third world countries, I'd go live with a private land monopolist rather than a totalitarian state. The potential for aggression against liberty is there for both, but I'd wager less so with someone who's a legitimate property owner.

    11. What is the difference between private and state ownership?

      What is the difference between welfare and charitable contribution? Between taxation and donation? Between law and persuasion?

      The difference is in the amount of violence applied and when it is considered appropriate.

      If a private individual takes possession of an area by killing, dispossessing or enslaving all the inhabitants then there is no difference between the private individual and the state. The private individual becomes the state.

      A totalitarian state is made up of individuals willing to use violence to assure that their dictates are followed. For a libertarian, violence should always be the last choice and only in resisting the violence of others.

      "What is the difference between private and state ownership?"

      state/nation is political construct.
      meaning its borders are not eternally fixed/permanently

      if individual can live 1000 years and he can prove with written contract that place is his...


  7. The California Gold Rush (1848–1855)
    he news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad.
    Indigenous driven out
    tens of thousands each of Mexicans, Chinese, Britons, Australians,[47] French, and Latin Americans,[48] together with many smaller groups of miners, such as African Americans, Filipinos, Basques[49] and Turks.

    interesting read.


  8. walls stop people from coming in but also from going out:

    berlin wall was built to stop people leaving east germany:


  9. BM, how do you apply your great maxim “Libertarianism in theory is decentralization in practice” to this issue, where the USG by trying (and we know they’d fail in that) to be more strict in managing its borders?

    My take is porous borders somewhat leads to decentralization with things like “sanctuary cities”.

    Overall, not just to you (and full disclosure I also posted this at Target Liberty):

    To those libertarians afraid of the immigrant hordes: Have you personally ever been “afraid” of an individual illegal immigrant?

    I see both arguments. I just personally have never come across someone that makes me say “that person needs to be deported immediately or I won’t be able to sleep tonight.”

    Maybe my life is too blessed and lucky, but that’s my take.

    Eric Morris

    1. Eric

      The closest I can come to a libertarian policy (decentralization) is as follows:

      1) An invitation is extended by a citizen
      2) The purpose of the visit is stated
      3) The citizen guarantees that no financial burden will be placed on the state by the immigrant / visitor
      4) The citizen will be held liable if a crime is committed by the immigrant / visitor.

      I am pulling this off of the top of my head - I have written more extensively on this before - but something along these lines.

      Now...someone or some entity would have to approve the application. I don't see a way around the approving agency being the state as long as we have state borders. But I guess it could be an insurance / bonding company.

    2. Thank you. That sounds like the current USG temporary visa programs. I was just at at Mount Snow, Vermont, and many of the resort jobs were filled by South Americans on temporary visas.

      I know there are illegal border crossers here. I just don’t have a way to distinguish them that makes me say they are any less or more productive than the legal ones making the chairlifts run this week. I get your intellectual point and see why you are intellectually disappointed that Dr. Block doesn’t see it. I just don’t see the reason myself for much of the vitriol of my fellow travelers on your site—though agreeing with your premise of culture being important.

    3. Why should the citizen be liable for crimes of the immigrant? Why should not the immigrant be held liable himself? This seems to contradict libertarian tort theory as I've seen it elsewhere.

    4. Because in a society consisting of only private property, a cheeseburger commits a crime against the host or a host's neihbor. How can a guest reach the host's property?
      Surety must be given for travel through someone's property, against malfeasance or accidents.
      Customs/culture would dictate how things would typically be handled without having to draw a comprehensive behavior dictating contract.

    5. Jgress,

      Because the immigrant that you invited in is effectively your ward. And without that condition you would be subject to moral hazard and you might indiscriminately invite in unsuitable immigrants.

      Even your objection comes from the risk that you may be held responsible for your actions.

  10. Bionic, don't ignore the fact that Trumps election was a Marxist revolution insofar as the 'proletariat' correctly understood Trump to favor the agenda of the working class over that of the ruling political class.

  11. "
    To those libertarians afraid of the immigrant hordes: Have you personally ever been “afraid” of an individual illegal immigrant?

    I see both arguments. I just personally have never come across someone that makes me say “that person needs to be deported immediately or I won’t be able to sleep tonight.” "

    I don't make a distinction between illegal immigrant and legal immigration, and you are conflating the two so I will just deal with immigration in general.

    I have seen criminal immigrants in my country. Sometimes I have been wary of them. Some of them have committed crimes against me or people that I know. I had a knife pulled on me on the train, for example, in an attempted mugging by three immigrants.

    I was still able to sleep but yeah, I thought that they should be immediately deported. But not only the criminals. In my country the majority of immigrants contribute nothing to me personally, or to the country in general. They are net tax consumers and their presence is absolutely deleterious to me and people of my ethnicity. Worse, people of my ethnicity are now discriminated against by both the government and the immigrants.

    So if you are an open borders advocate, I consider that to be aggression. If you were my countryman I would consider you to be a traitor.

    1. Which country? I will be sure not to emigrate there, legal or illegal.

      Since most countries run deficits, aren’t most people, immigrant and native, tax eaters?

    2. Australia. And no, the white pelpeo of Australia are net tax payers in the aggregate. If the immigrants were to disappear tomorrow the national budget would instantly be in surplus.

    3. Please provide a link demonstrating that about the budget. I just tried to google and didn’t find.

    4. Sorry mate, the budget is opaque, as are the crime statistics. The government doesn't break down the budget by race.

    5. It looks like it’s a mixed bag in both US and Australia about crime rates. Generally younger males commit more crimes, so if immigrants do commit more crimes it may have something to do with age and gender as well as race:


    if you are german your enemies and traitors are majority of german politicians from bismarck till now, they are one responsible for mess that germany is now in

    ditto for french and american and some other european countries


    1. If traitors are of the same ethnicity I have no problem with dealing with them. If they weren't of the same ethnicity they wouldn't be traitors, would they?

      Don't you have something to say about how traitors were dealt with in ancient Israel? Or is your biblical routine for open borders only?

  13. Here's another one (this from Veterans for PI):

    "To those libertarians afraid of the immigrant ho"

    Hold it. Here we go again.
    I won't ask "why use afraid", like BM asked of nuanced open borderite jgress.

    It's just more of the old PCMC slur on single repeat:

    Reservations about mass immigration, can't possibly be held on rational/reasonable political grounds.

    That's the PCMC dogma in a nutshell.

    (see above)

    1. What does PCMC mean? I am not part of that culture that understands acronyms ...

      And that line was in a TL thread where the closed borderites were borderline, if not beyond, racist.

      I guess since my tag line if for Peace, I wish these exchanges were more charitable and less angry. Block might have a mental block on one issue, but I keep seeing smart libertarians voluntarily closing their borders to each other other issues that are at best borderline.

      Is that our culture, fighting over the blurry lines we create between a 98% and 99% ideal?

    2. VfPI, I am not sure we are at between 98% and 99%.

      A well-known libertarian states that shooting a child for picking an apple is consistent with the NAP.

      Another suggests that more communists equal more liberty.

      Abortion - a killer of far more lives than any war in the last 70 years - is not aggression.

      Foundationally, does a common tradition increase or decrease the possibility of achieving and sustaining liberty? If increase, are there some traditions more conducive to this than others?

      You are for peace (as am I). In which view will one find "peace" on each of the above issues?

    3. BM, I was using hyperbole. Not sure the exact percents.

      Wenzel is writing a book about his Private Property Society. I plan to read it to see if he expands further on his shooting the child message. If he doesn’t believe culture is needed as the border to defend his PPS, maybe I’ll write him off as well.

      Shooting harmless trespassers is wrong; evicting harmful ones is right. A baby in a womb is not harmful or uninvited, but in some ways Block’s evictionionism would reduce abortions, if I understand correctly.

      Of course I agree with you, but I wear my culture on my sleeve and in my heart/soul, like you.

      Should we libertarians in the right be patriotic or nationalistic about how correct we are? If we are only 1-2% of the population, both wrong and right libertarians, is it better to lay the cultural foundation and defend our little country by evicting, shooting, or welcoming in others who generally agree with us but not all the time, and do seem to live like us?

      I think Mr. Rockwell has rightly identified you as an important thinker in our realm. Please don’t pull the drawbridge back too quickly, though. If Wenzel, Block and whoever else are also reading, the same goes for you. The Kochtupus can swim through that moat!

    4. VfPI, I will continue to write.

      "Should we libertarians in the right be patriotic or nationalistic about how correct we are?"

      What if where we disagree is more important than where we agree? What if I would rather live in a neighborhood with Pat Buchanan and Walter Williams than in a neighborhood that shoots children for picking apples or allows communists to vote on my income?

      In other words, what if the label "libertarian" is either a) abused, or b) is so broadly applied as to be meaningless?

      I guess I could ignore this; I guess we can come up with a new label.

      Have an idea?


    5. “Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success.” Mark Skousen

      Maybe “The Civilized” or “civilizationists”? I’d fly that flag (in a St. Thomas Acquinus way).

    6. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but no one advocated that one must shoot children for picking apples; it was presented as an optional choice for the property owner (for good or ill). Peggy in Oregon

    7. Peggy, the NAP (according to this "spokesman") allows the property owner to choose any punishment for any violation. To suggest anything else is not true libertarianism.

      You may use the word "optional"; this doesn't make the position any more sane.

    8. Peggy,

      The same libertarian conceded that an adult could also have sex with the child as "optional" punishment. Is that the kind of option that you would have on the table?

    9. Bionic and Matt, my entire being quails with revulsion toward any property owner who would "choose" such options to harm a child. But I also support the sanctity of property. How can these be reconciled? What if a property owner installs electric fencing, or mines the perimimeter of said property? Would those actions be within the owner's rights? It would be good if all of this could be laid out contractually beforehand, but what of the innocent stranger who happens onto the property? I'm not trying to be difficult; just want a civil conversation about these vexing questions. Thank you. Peggy

    10. Peggy, in a relatively free, libertarian, private property order, these are reconciled by a generally accepted common culture and tradition - one that bends toward peaceful solutions, solutions that reduce the possibility of further conflict.

    11. Dear Bionic, I was unsatisfied with your rather generic response to my questions. I understand the validity of what you said, but these so-called "life boat" questions deserve a more detailed discussion. Perhaps there is no solid answer. Nevertheless, I appreciate all the work you do on behalf of the furtherance of individual liberty. Regards, Peggy in Oregon

    12. "I was unsatisfied..."

      Peggy, you aren't the first woman to tell me this.

      But if you actually want more (and I have so much more to give), look at the top of the page and open the tab "Libertarians and Culture." You will find dozens of posts exploring the question that you have asked, each with a short synopsis that will help you find what you are looking for.

      Trust me - it will offer countless hours of pleasure.

      You can thank me in the morning.

    13. Ok, I'll take your advice. Thank you. I gather you don't have that many females participating here. Funny for me too since whenever I try to engage my women friends to discuss these ideas, their eyes glaze over, as if I was trying to make them play chess! Peg in Oregon

    14. BM & Peggy,

      Some chemistry here, obviously ;)

    15. Peggy,

      My solution is to kill libertarians that shoot or molest kids.

      If that makes me a fascist then so be it.

    16. I think that a libertarian worth his / her salt would tend to seek the least violent solution to an aggression. I would also argue that any response should be equal to the aggression. A child stealing an apple is not on the same level as an armed mob surrounding your house. In the latter example, violent action would be justified, in the former, complete overkill. And I doubt that anyone would trade sex for an apple, so (apart from the moral and abuse issues) that would definitely be overkill as well.

      I think that the issue here is a matter of judgement and that's where positive culture and good law come in to guide one's actions in such situations.

      I think that we, as libertarians, should focus more on discovering those "good laws" that preserve a libertarian society and build a logical bulwark of reason to sustain and promote them. Such an effort would be worth more than all the hundreds of hypothetical "what if's" that we could conjure.

  14. (Sorry, posted in the wrong thread. Belongs here in Trade Winds)

    Hi BM,

    So back to Block; let's explore a bit more.

    "3) Finally…it is the intellectual child that does not consider the consequences of his actions. “Let’s invite communists in order to increase liberty.” Frankly, this is about the stupidest thing I have read from a mature libertarian on just about any political / social topic."

    Consider that statement by Block as one of a modern Gnostic who is only being very consistent, and read this, from Eric Voegelin:

    An example will best show the nature of the difficulty for the student. In classic and Christian ethics the first of the moral virtues is sophia or prudentia, because without adequate understanding of the structure of reality, including the conditio humana, moral action with rational co-ordination of means and ends is hardly possible. In the Gnostic dream world, on the other hand, nonrecognition of reality is the first principle. As a consequence, types of action which in the real world would be considered as morally insane because of the real effects which they have will be considered moral in the dream world because they intended an entirely different effect. The gap between intended and real effect will be imputed not to the Gnostic immorality of ignoring the structure of reality but to the immorality of some other person or society that does not behave as it should behave according to the dream conception of cause and effect.

    But here's the beauty of it, for immediately after this Voegelin continues:

    "The interpretation of moral insanity as morality, and of the virtues of sophia and prudentia as immorality, is a confusion difficult to unravel. And the task is not facilitated by the readiness of the dreamers to stigmatize the attempt at critical clarification as an immoral enterprise. As a matter of fact, practically every great political thinker who recognized the structure of reality, from Machiavelli to the present, has been branded as an immoralist by Gnostic intellectuals—to say nothing of the parlor game, so much beloved among liberals, of panning Plato and Aristotle as Fascists. The theoretical difficulty, therefore, is aggravated by personal problems."

    Well, I have no personal problems with the open borderites here, but if this isn't a wonderful coincidence that a 65-year old quote from this German political philosopher captures both the problem and typical opposition (of some open border dreamers) to analysing it.

    Quotes are from "Modernity without Restraint", pg 226.

    Kind regs from Amsterdam,

    1. This is very good - on either thread!

      So...I am beating my head against a wall...and the Gnostic feels the same.

      So...(as I am being admonished to do) do the two find common ground? Merely coincidentally, where nonrecognition of reality is unnecessary? It seems possible only on the unimportant, the trivial.

      A scary proposition...and not normally a partnership that I would care to join in the real world.

    2. Well, of course there's much more on this, but in the meantime, the two aren't supposed to find any common ground. Not in my book at least.

      So smoke out the Gnostic and take no prisoner ;)

    3. You are not making a few others who are in this dialogue very happy!

      But, I must say: this statement from Voegelin describes some of my experiences to a tee.

    4. I have not read Voeglin but it sure describes why I have quit trying to reason with some people - I just state my opinion/conclusion on a topic raised and that's it. Clams and Eagles have no common basis for communicating.

    5. Wow, nice post Sagunto.

      Maybe the intersection is where the Gnostic(Block) DOES acknowledge reality.

      I have never understood why some libertarians seem to speak negatively of consequentialism. Maybe it's too close to utiltarianism for their comfort?

      It all starts to get a little beyond my LER level college course education- more of a philosophy major question I suppose. But BM said it best when he said, "it is the intellectual child that does not consider the consequences of his actions."

    6. Hi JIT,

      I find much comfort, from time to time, in those passages by Voegelin, so I thought I'd jot them down for you guys.

      Most of the time, instead of trying to reason with some of these people (well sophists rather), I try to hit them with the truth - as I see it - as hard as I can. Usually they don't hit back, but if they do, and they're truthful, I might even turn the other cheek ;)

      Cheers from Amsterdam,

    7. NB,

      All true, and yes, Bionic said it best, but I think that perhaps he was still being too generous. Hence the Voegelin quoting.

      See, if Block is anything like a modern Gnostic, then it's even far worse than mere childish inconsequentialism (which is bad enough btw), because ignoring real life consequences has always been part and parcel of Gnostic ideology.
      So now we're talking hard-core ideology, instead of just intellectual immaturity.

      So perhaps I got it wrong, when earlier I said that, intellectually speaking, the difference between Rothbard and Block was just that Rothbard evolved in his thinking, and "grew up" as it were, and Block simply didn't.

      Now me thinks, there may be way more to this than just growing up intellectually. All of a sudden, the man makes perfect sense from a modern Gnostic standpoint. Perhaps that might solve the riddle of the seemingly outrageous statements by Block. Outrageous for us, yes. We assumed that for all intent and purposes, and as member of the LvMI, he still occupied a world outside the modernist Gnostic growth inside the West.

    8. "So...(as I am being admonished to do) do the two find common ground?"

      Just to clarify, it wasn't an "admonishment", it was a plea.

      There's so much fracturing within the libertarian movement for a variety of reasons currently and a host of ill will being generated as a result that seems to be making it difficult for movement towards common goals.

      I understand the concern by all libertarians that the underlying philosophy is "sound" and hence we see a lot of discussion over what constitutes "true" libertarianism, but it seems to me skipping over some of the more tertiary disagreements might give the movement a better chance at progression and allow those disagreements to resolve themselves over time.

      That doesn't mean not addressing these differences of opinion to those asking about libertarianism- but just focusing our energy on that over trying to get one insider to change their mind on one aspect that many outsiders will never be exposed to...(but I may have it wrong- maybe a lot of people are exposed to Block's viewpoints on open borders or evictionism and turned off to libertarianism as a result)\

      Using Christian terminology, it was a plea to try to be more ecumenical.

    9. “Just to clarify, it wasn't an "admonishment", it was a plea.”

      Not the first time someone has taken exception to my verb choice recently…

      “There's so much fracturing within the libertarian movement…”

      I have been thinking quite a bit about this recently, the idea of a “libertarian” movement. I am wondering…if the objective is to achieve a move toward liberty, perhaps it isn’t a “libertarian movement” (as the term is generally understood) that will get us there.

      "...maybe a lot of people are exposed to Block's viewpoints on open borders or evictionism and turned off to libertarianism as a result"

      I will say: the people who are turned "on" by open borders, evictionism, the undefendable, etc., will never form and sustain a libertarian community.

    10. " I am wondering…if the objective is to achieve a move toward liberty, perhaps it isn’t a “libertarian movement” (as the term is generally understood) that will get us there."

      I agree with you.

      I've preferred the word "voluntaryism" myself for a variety of reasons. In think you can promote decentralization better and we can leave behind some of the negative baggage associated with the word "libertarian" that has accrued while not abandoning the notion completely.

      It's also harder for those wanting positivist "rights" to glom on to the notion of voluntaryism.(But they can start their own voluntary community with positivist "rights" instead of arguing what the meaning of "libertarian" is!)

      If someone's notion of what "liberty" means differs from another's, all they have to know is that promoting voluntary societies(among those able to consent to agreements) gives them the latitude to voluntarily participate/join a society/group that reflects their belief system as closely as possible if they push decentralization.

      I made the argument years ago that we should abandon the word libertarian as it's been corrupted and borderline meaningless due to appropriation by Leftists(and others) on another site.

      The average man on the street doesn't equate libertarianism with the NAP and even once someone explains it to them, the question of how one interpret's the NAP really starts to highlight the problems of subjectivity in doing so- ultimately leaving lay people confused(and non lay people sometimes too like myself!).

      The word "voluntary" does need much explanation and decentralization is simple enough to understand.

      Along those lines, I love when Rockwell references the Articles of the Confederation(it's been a while) as superior to the Constitution and if we could for example just get a Constitutional Convention going there could be a chance for a peaceful rollback and more decentralization/liberty by trying to re-establish a "market" for states(via states rights) and competition in "governance". That wouldn't be 100% voluntary, but it moves in the direction of more freedom/choices in the short term and seems feasible.

    11. When we adopted the term "Liberal", it was co-opted by the left.

      When we changed it to "Libertarian", it was co-opted by the left

      What makes you think that anything we call ourselves could not be co-opted by the left?

      I think the issue is less what we call ourselves and more about making what we call ourselves stand for something real - and that is something we'll never do until a majority of us agree on what we stand for.

    12. Woody has captured my meaning properly: "...more about making what we call ourselves stand for something real..."

      "...that is something we'll never do until a majority of us agree on what we stand for."

      I don't think there is a meaningful "we" when it comes to libertarians. Where left and right libertarians overlap is minuscule relative to where (and, more importantly, on what issues) we diverge.

      Those on the libertarian left hold to more of a "we" with Gramsci and Soros; those on the libertarian right hold to more of a "we" with Pat Buchanan and Walter Williams.

      I think I have to write about this...I don't know how else to work out my thoughts (and get constructive feedback).

    13. "What makes you think that anything we call ourselves could not be co-opted by the left?"

      By virtue of the word itself. For example, I can't argue for a basic income guarantee if I have to force people that don't want to participate, to participate.

      I could be wrong, but I see the word "voluntary" as very objective, not subjective.

      "that is something we'll never do until a majority of us agree on what we stand for."

      I'm going to respectfully suggest this is an impossible standard for long lasting peace and resembles "democracy", once again making the case for decentralized power structure/governance for any time of workable system.

      What % of self identified libertarians lean left versus right? If the left libertrians outnumber the right libertarians should we on the right be excommunicated?

      I'd rather see people accept the notion of voluntary governance and push decentralization for maximum options...I don't even have to start arguing about what the NAP is(let alone interpret it) at that point nor do I have to explain to Lefties that socialism is bad or listen to endless diatribes about how great the Scandinavian countries and their mixed systems are, etc.

      The base agreement in a voluntaryist society is basically we leave each other alone and associate with who we want(or not)- even accepting certain governance under our own terms.(or move out, away, someplace else, etc. if you don't like it)

      I think that's an easier notion to get people to agree to than some notion of the NAP and all it's corollaries.

      So in one respect, if you were to say "Let's just all agree to leave each other alone" as your "majority" sentiment, well then, I could agree.

      Maximum freedom of association/disassociation on voluntary terms!

      I can also see such a system emerging from private ownership of land as a foundational start.

    14. “I could be wrong, but I see the word "voluntary" as very objective, not subjective.”

      I am told every April 15 that paying my taxes is voluntary.


    15. THAT, is funny.


    16. "I could be wrong, but I see the word "voluntary" as very objective, not subjective."

      I have seen MANY abuses of the word "voluntary".

    17. @ Matt

      Alright, I'll bite- what other abuses have you seen of the word?

      Does the preposterousness of someone claiming that taxes are voluntary really need to be debated?

      Doesn't everyone here look at a statement like that and know that even the people daring to utter it know it's not true?

      It's a 1984 level of word destruction and my belief is almost everyone would recognize it, it's an implicit acknowledgment that the point has been made just by trying to change it's meaning.

    18. "Doesn't everyone here..."

      Of course, "everyone here" isn't the issue, is it.

    19. "Of course, "everyone here" isn't the issue, is it."

      My argument is that a high % the "hoi polloi" would have to acknowledge it as well- again, I could be wrong.(but I don't think so)

      There's always the “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” thing I suppose. But for now, I have a hard time believing most wouldn't see exactly what is going on.

    20. "Alright, I'll bite- what other abuses have you seen of the word?"

      community service volunteering as a condition to graduate from a school.

      National volunteer service before allowed to enter college.


    21. "community service volunteering as a condition to graduate from a school."

      That would be a contract to start, making it voluntary.

      "National volunteer service before allowed to enter college."

      If the colleges agree to such a thing, it's still voluntary and discriminatroy(in a good way).

      If gov't forces colleges to mandate such a thing it's not, a reason perhaps why when it was a "thing" for public discussion that it never became law...(meaning people knew it wasn't voluntary)

  15. some observation on borders:

    individual borders/private property -- my, your,his

    collective/political borders -- village,cities,towns,districts,province,counties,state

    once we move from mine to our; we are on a slippery slope.

    historical data showing that faith/religion last longer than state.

    rules of the game need to be known and fixed ( or at least cannot be changed to soon and often ).
    I think western nations have 2 set of rules, some call it deep state.

    all western states today are secular state:

    A secular state: purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion.

    all western states boast and teach democracy rule


    1. max

      One we agree on "mine," two or more "mine" can agree on "ours."

      Ask Gary North. He can confirm this.