Fan Mail from Walter Block

Writes Walter Block to me last night:

Dear Jay (if I may):

This is one of THE best defenses of libertarianism I have ever read. Really magnificent. And, it is so necessary in this day and age of Cato, Boaz, Charles Murray, Sheldon Richman, Roderick Long, Charles Johnson, John Tomasi, Zwolinski, dozens of Bleeding Heart “Libertarians” and others who wish to hijack our beloved philosophy. Magnificent work on your part:

Engel, C. Jay. 2015. “What Libertarianism is Not: A Case Study.” May 15;

I only have a slight reservation about this excellent article of yours; you say:

“Okay, but this has nothing whatsoever to do with libertarianism and so to push themes such as that under a title that reads “Libertarian Perspectives” leads one to the conclusion that either our author misunderstands what libertarianism is, or else is being purposefully deceitful.  My guess is the former..”

My guess would be the latter. But this is only a slight cavil. I suspect you would agree with me, but are just too nice to take the alternative view.

Have you written more along these lines? If so, would you please, Please, PLEASE share these publications of yours with me?

I have written dozens, no, scores of articles along these lines over the years, trying to defend libertarianism against those who would water it down, or misunderstand it or hijack it. I won’t bore you with all of them, but I can’t resist sharing this one with you:

Block, Walter E. 1994. “Libertarianism and Libertinism,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 117-128;

Are you aware of the really wonderful work the Bionic Mosquito has done along these lines? See:

Best regards,


I responded with a thank you, some previous blogposts I had written on these themes (1, 2, 3, 4), and an affirmation that I had of course heard of Bionic Mosquito, who graciously lets me republish his blogposts. It is always encouraging to see such big names in the libertarian movement reading what I write. I enjoy Dr. Block, especially his continual emphasis that libertarianism is solely about aggression, and not all these popular “libertine” trends that seem to have invaded the libertarian doctrine.  Thanks for the fan mail Dr. Block (hope you eventually come around on the abortion issue 😛 )!  I surely appreciate it.

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