Does Walter Block Represent The Mindset Of Most Libertarians?

In the sense that Walter Block advocates the Non Aggression Principle (the “NAP”), as did Murray Rothbard; and in the sense that most self identified libertarians have also adopted the NAP – then, yes, he reflects a common libertine-libertarian rational justification of the common libertine-libertarian moral sentiment.

However, the liberal libertarians (the classical liberals) – meaning the non-libertine libertarians, do not accept that the NAP is a sufficient moral or legal principle for the formation of a stateless polity with a minimum government. Or even that if it was sufficient that such criteria would be classifiable or interpreted as moral by anyone outside of the libertine-libertarian minority.

Identifying as a Cosmopolitan Rothbardian libertine-libertarian, rather than an Anglo-Empirical classical-liberal libertarian, is a matter of justifying your emotional intuitions. Which is why most libertine libertarians demonstrate anti-social behaviors, such as justifying blackmail, and justifying externalities caused by deception, and externalities caused by hedonistic behavior; while most classical liberal libertarians demonstrate positive social behaviors such as commons-building, norms as a corporeal asset,  and reputation as a property right.
We, all of us, (me included), work to justify our moral intuitions, because our moral intuitions reflect our reproductive strategy.   And so why has Rothbardianism failed as an American political movement: because very few people can morally tolerate the rothbardian levels of unethical and immoral behavior unless they  also possess anti-social personalities.
Rothbrdian libertinism has its origin in the urban ghettos, and as such it discounts externalities, physical commons, and normative commons and instead adopts the socio-pathological justification that we should not pay for commons whether physical or normative, and that we are not responsible for the externalities caused by our behavior.  In other words, rothbardian libertarianism is unethical and immoral – factually, independent of anyone’s opinion.

Just to clarify that this dispute between Libertine-liberarians, and Moral-Libertarians is more than a problem of psychologism – and that it has taken great effort for libertines to construct an intricate pseudo-sceientific and pseudo-rational ideology – lets look at the counter-factual but complex arguments that the libertine-libertarians rely upon.

(a) In all but the most rare exceptions, self-identified libertarians do not understand the relationship between Intersubjectively Verifiable Property (IVP) and the NAP’s dependence upon IVP, or that such a relationship is a necessary property of the NAP, and without some definition of property such as IVP, the NAP is meaningless;

(b) Nor that the reason self-identified libertarians cannot come to consensus is not the nap, but the sufficiency of IVP for the decidability of moral propositions, or as the basis for law sufficient for the formation of a voluntary polity;

(c) in addition,  research suggests that self-identified libertarians appear to be searching for confirmation of their moral intuitions (see Haidt), and that libertarianism is a narrow moral specialization (Haidt); and that just as progressives are severely morally blind, libertarians are merely less morally blind (Haidt) and therefore underestimate the importance of norms nearly as much as progressives underestimate the importance of both norms and economic incentives;

(d) combined with the difference between the use of NAP as a moral principle, versus the NAP under IVP as a legal basis for polycentric organically evolutionary common law,  combined with whether the NAP under IVP the basis for a common law is sufficient for a voluntary polity to form and persist, because such a body of law suppresses transaction costs sufficiently for people to rationally choose an anarchic over a statist polity;

(e) combined with the low trust, and therefore low velocity of production and trade that can occur within a voluntary polity under the NAP/ISV as the basis of common law, providing negative economic incentives;

(f) combined with the historical record’s demonstration that all low trust polities are subject to ostracization, tariffs, persecution, punishment, war and extermination by higher trust polities – in all circumstances;

 – all of which lead us to the conclusion that Rothbardian libertine-libertarianism is an unscientific, non-rational, impossible, complex verbalism, that confirms the moral intuitions of a small group of moral specialists; and an constitutes not a rational philosophy, but merely a body of arguments are sufficient for use as an ideology that assists in the formation of a cult-of-resistance against the state.

But this ideology is not sufficiently rational or scientific for use as a moral and religious, or secular-legal, institutional means upon which to base a voluntarily organized society, that makes use of the voluntary organization of production (capitalism),  in the absence of an authority (the state); in which the authority imposes rules of conduct, and/or, prevents retaliation for unethical and immoral actions that are not resolvable in a court of such laws.

The Moral-Anglo-Libertarian movement, and the Libertine-Austrian-libertarian movement, are divided by the backgrounds of primary authors, into the Christian Enlightenment ethical system (classical liberal and Hayekian and Hosperian Libertarian), and the Jewish Cosmopolitan ethic (Misesian Cosmopolitan, and Rothbardian libertinism).  IN addition, as a mini-reformation,  Hoppe attempts to transform the Jewish Cosmopolitan ethic and system of thought, into the german rationalist ethic and system of thought. Both the jewish cosmopolitan and german rational systems of though, were proposed as alternatives to the anglo-empirical system of thought.  The long-standing reason for this opposition between anglo, german and jewish, is couched as the difference between empirically dominated thought and rationally dominated thought (a technical argument in philosophy between empiricism and rationalism).  However this is an artificial distinction. The reason Germans and Jews prefer rationalism is that the philosophy of German civilization and Jewish civilizations are hierarchical in the case of german, and authoritarian in the case of the jews. 

At present, only Walter Block and Lou Rockwell advocate the Rothbardian libertine position in full. Others emphasize largely the economic aspects of libertine-libertarianism, not the moral.  Walter Block advocates what he argues as the morality of traditionally immoral topics.  The presumption of his ethical position is that individuals are not responsible for externalities (the opposite of the christian position) and that norms in any polity are not constructed as, produced as, maintained as, and used as, an institutional commons. 

Hoppe by contrast argues in favor of a contractually explicit commons, not that the NAP is morally sufficient, or legally sufficient (as I understand him) for the formation of a voluntary polity.  Hoppe merely assumes that desirable human behavior will evolve if given the opportunity – not that property was forced upon people, outbreeding was forced upon them,  delayed marriage was forced up on them,  rule of law was forced upon them, and the competitive market was forced upon them – by aristocracy.


Block has written a number of books now that advocate unethical and immoral activity as individually beneficial – without acknowledging that all criminal, unethical, immoral, conspiratorial, parasitic behavior is beneficial to individuals or small groups.  That does not answer the question of why moral groups should cooperate with immoral groups, or should not conquer, enslave, or kill immoral groups, since cooperate is irrational if all it means is another group can engage in parasitism against your group.  

So in this sense, Block represents the position of anti-social libertines in the libertine-libertarian movement who hold to the immoral and unethical the body of thought, that originated in the application of ghetto ethics to german continental moral philosophy, as a reaction against the anglo-enlightenment-libertarianism’s universalism. 

So while most libertine-libertarians, and many moral-libertarians, refer in some way or another to the NAP, in all cases the cross-cultural consensus is meaningless as other than a simple signal of group membership – like a secret handshake, or mason’s ring, or religious jewelry or clothing – because the NAP is merely a recognition of the fact that libertarians dislike state aggression against them, not because the NAP is a sufficient rule for any political, moral, or legal purpose.

So while Walter is the leading figure in libertinism, that is largely because libertines are justifying empathic, non-rational, sentimental approval of arguments that they clearly do not understand, and whose value to them, is that the are sufficiently complex to mirror the reflects of religious texts: that they are extremely difficult to refute, and they justify the speaker’s moral sentiments. Not because they are rationally complete, scientifically demonstrable or demonstrated, or sufficient for legally basis or morally foundation.

That’s enough for now.  Although I should probably continue.
Curt Doolittle
The Philosophy of Aristocracy
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine.

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