Libertarian Papers

Articles from Vol. 2, January

A Critique of Block on Abortion and Child Abandonment
According to Block's theory of "evictionism" (1977, 1978), a fetus can be aborted only if it is not killed as a result (provided that it is a genuine medical possibility). Block claims to derive such a conclusion from the libertarian axiom of non-aggression,...
A Problem with Aristotle's Ethical Essentialism
This discussion is motivated by both my sympathy with Aristotle's meta-ethics and my problems with certain elements of his ethics. I consider naturalist cognitivism sound. Ethics has to do with the nature of the being to which the principles, virtues,...
Austrian Business Cycle Theory: Are 100 Percent Reserves Sufficient to Prevent a Business Cycle?
Economists in the tradition of the Austrian school have shown that one type of maturity mismatching can cause maladjustments and business cycles. (1) When banks expand credit, by granting loans and creating demand deposits, they generate immediately...
Building the Cathedral as Sanctuary: Recognizing Action as the Basis of Property
On July 20, 2009 a 41 year old LOBSTERMAN from the island of Matinicus was shot in the neck over a property dispute. (1) The islanders, like many Northeastern Lobstermen, have a property regime in place that is enforced by a series of acts against...
How Anticommonism "Cemented" the American Conservative Movement in a Liberal Age of Conformity, 1945-64
WITH THE END OF WWII in 1945 the United States looked forward to a future that promised prosperity and peace for all Americans. Liberals predicted the coming of a new era of freedom in American politics and society based on the principles of New Deal...
Is There an "Anomalous" Section of the Laffer Curve?
Suppose we are on the upper part of the Laffer curve. That means that if the tax rate is lowered, greater tax revenues will accrue to the government. (1) Stipulate that the state is an evil institution. This is a libertarian analysis, after all. Thus,...
Money and War in Murray Rothbard's a History of Money and Banking in the United States
I. Introduction THE THESIS PROPOSED IN THIS PAPER is that strong as the protection of private property rights may seem to be in the united states, the lesson from Prof. Rothbard's account of the history of money and banking in the U.S. has been...
Moundsville Penitentiary Reconsidered: Second Thoughts on Hyperreality at a Small Town Prison Tour
I site and lay in my bed, and hear the words running throu my had'. I think some time's I mite be dead, but death can't be this bad. I sity and lay on my bead, I can fill the blad running throu my chest Some time's I'll weak in a swat thinking...
Rand, Rothbard, and Rights Reconsidered
Overview This paper looks at rights and the protection of rights from the minarchist and the anarchist perspectives. The small government view is represented by Objectivist Ayn Rand as well as Neo-Objectivists Tibor Machan and David Kelley. The...
Rejoinder to Carnis on Private Roads
I. Introduction For a long time, I have been writing about the importance of privatizing highways, mainly because of the carnage that occurs on our socialist roads. People die like flies on these statist vehicular thoroughfares, some 40,000 per...
Risking Aggression: Reply to Block
Walter Block is a radical anarchist. He is a libertarian extremist. The government probably spends oodles of flat currency investigating, monitoring and keeping detailed records of Block's activities. More is undoubtedly spent each year in order to...
The Human Body Sword
The human body shield problem is the following scenario. A criminal, holding your innocent neighbor in front of him, approaches you and begins shooting at you. You can stop him, but only by shooting through your neighbor and killing them both. The...
The Importance of Christian Thought for the American Libertarian Movement: Christian Libertarianism, 1950-71
In his 1971 book, Betrayal of the American Right, Murray Rothbard argued that the Old Right in American politics, those isolationists and libertarians who had provided conservative opposition to New Deal liberal ideas since 1933, had been 'betrayed'...
The Third Axiom, or a Logic of Liberty: On the Structure of Ethics and Economics as One Unified Aprioristic Science
1. Introduction: Liberty, What Is It? The misery of essentialism in his time, or at least of the philosophy of liberty, is condensed by Popper into a remarkable summary: "Scholasticism, mysticism and despair of reason--these are the inevitable outcomes...
Two Concepts of Rationality
1. Introduction no Person can disobey Reason, without giving up his Claim to be a rational Creature --Swift (1726, 261) RATIONALITY IS ESSENTIALLY connected with norms. In Western philosophy, while there has been much disagreement over what...
Van Dun on Freedom and Property: A Critique
THE THESIS OF VAN DUN (2009) (1) is that there is a conflict between freedom and property rights, and that libertarians ought to side with the former. If not, people, many people, will likely starve to death by being trapped in their houses, unable...
Voltairine De Cleyre: More of an Anarchist Than a Feminist?
In recent years, there has been significant interest in the writings of Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912), with a number of authors attempting to reassess her work, in some cases drawing increased attention to the perspective that her ideas constitute...
When Is a Monopoly Not a Monopoly? A Reply to Tibor Machan
In a lengthy footnote to his essay "Reconciling Anarchism and Minarchism" (1) (henceforth RAM) Tibor Machan accuses me of engaging in equivocation, and also of psychologising, in my essay "The Facts of Reality: Logic and History in Objectivist Debates...
William Pitt, the Bank of England, and the 1797 Suspension of Specie Payments: Central Bank War Finance during the Napoleonic Wars
Modern military engagements are made possible by a state's ability to easily acquire revenue. Central banking and the circulation of fiat currency enable the state to control the money supply and to fund any national interest the government deems worthy....