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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Legalize Non-Violent Crimes Now, December 21, 2010
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This review is from: Defending the Undefendable (Paperback)
Definitely a book to challenge one's worldview either economically or ethically. One wonders if Walter Block is in the "nihilo" or "modal" libertarian category of which Murray N. Rothbard has written. Regardless, out of 33 chapters, I found only 5 arguments I believe to be unsound:

1. Denial of carte blanche abortion is denial of self ownership and a throwback to slavery for women,
2. The Judicial & Executive branches of any government are in the business of social justice, not legal justice,
3. Private charity perpetuates heritable characteristics that are undesirable,
4. Unborn children may be aborted because they are undeserving of the caretaking afforded born children,
5. Counterfeiting counterfeit money steals not from the merchant (as a consumer) when spent, but from the initial counterfeiter.

Regardless, Block has produced an effective primer that demonstrates why non-aggressive and non-violent "crimes" should be legalized. While they may be destructive to the individual, they are not destructive to society so long as they remain legal. In some cases, these "crimes" prove to improve materially the lot of some even if it does not improve their ethical lot. Nevertheless, it is the liberty of each to make the cost-benefit analysis for oneself.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 18, 2011 12:03:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 18, 2011 12:41:37 AM PDT
Reeper says:
In "For A New Liberty," Murray N. Rothbard founds the Libertarian defense of abortion upon self-ownership. Rothbard demonstrates how self-ownership leads to homesteading and private property rights, essentials to laissez faire. Therefore, self-ownership includes not only one's body, but one's labor and the land with which it is mixed. Abortion is defined as the expulsion of a parasitic child upon the body of a woman. Pregnancy is an infringement upon a woman's self ownership.

Since labor is an extension of body and also falls under the category of self-ownership, any parasitism upon one's labor may be equally expelled. Such parasitism may include child support and caretaking of born children. In these instances, parents and spouses have the sole discretion of deciding to abandon their stewardships, whether it results in the death of those dependent upon their continued financial support or not. It matters not that these children may have been bidden and, especially so, if they are unbidden.

In order to arrive at this conclusion, one must accept that there is no such thing as an implicit contract to caretake for anyone that one has taken into bondage. But Rothbard argues that it is the woman who is taken into bondage by her fetus, not vice versa. This is akin to stating that slaveholders were enslaved by their slaves or that parents and spouses are imposed upon by their children. One wonders if such an argument defies common sense since, at least in bidden cases, a woman, spouses and parents have a choice to conceive and the children have no choice but to be conceived. Rothbard marginalizes this distinction as the minutiae of morality, which he suggests has little, if any, claim on legality regardless how noble or good morality may be for society.

We are left questioning whether Rothbard is suggesting that government should not legislate morality or that morality should not be legislated at all. The former would be more consistent with the arguments of his students. If so, this provides insight into Walter Block's argument, in "Defending the Undefendable," that judges should deal in social justice, not merely legal justice. Under a Natural Order, social justice may have more legitimate influence than it should with government. A second of Rothbard's students argues that a Natural Order is much more dynamic and can allow the influence of morality in law without infringing upon property rights.

In "Democracy: The God that Failed," Hans-Herman Hoppe brings morality back to the legal system through the law of contract. The difference between Rothbard and Hoppe seems only to be that with the choice of a woman and of parents to have a child there is no contract, implicit or otherwise, and when living in a community where private property contracts are allowed to limit one's ability to abort, the contract is explicit. Without an explicit limitation on the ability to abort through contract, no woman should be prevented from having an abortion. Hoppe goes on to suggest that no such contract exists with government but can only exist in a natural order, though Rothbard would protest that contracts can limit property rights even where the individual agrees to such limitations explicitly.

Therefore, the rightful remedy to restoring morality to law is a return to a natural order.

Posted on Jul 15, 2011 2:26:49 PM PDT
BruceK says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2011 4:46:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2011 4:47:55 AM PDT
Reeper says:
Block, Rothbard and Hoppe are all anacho-capitalists. As advocates of society minus the state, how is it they are advocating a totalitarian society? I simply don't understand how defending property and those natural rights associated with it are totalitarian. Certainly, the poor benefit more from the preservation of their own property than to have property exploited. The State's very existence necessitates the exploitation of property while the free market's existence necessitates the preservation of property. I am not sure how the poor come to be exploited in a system, the very existence of which, necessitates the preservation of property.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 3:10:23 AM PDT
B. Kline, your silly post is laden with words whose meaning has utterly escaped your attention. I suggest you look at a dictionary before spewing political beliefs. The reason? Even contextually, your sentences fail due to wrongful vocabulary usage. Well, I guess self-reviewing your post might expose your own frailties, which might be too must to handle for someone who thrives in an environment of ignorance.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 5:30:23 AM PDT
BruceK says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2011 11:18:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2012 3:37:24 PM PDT
Richard says:
Lots of vitriol and platitudes, very typical of the actual totalitarians whom libertarianism threatens, e.g. the regimes whom libertarians like Hayek and Mises were exiled by.
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