In the Free Society of the Future...

rolling one's eyes is an act of treason, no doubt punishable by death at the libertarian Nuremberg trials.

UPDATE: By the way, it's rather amusing that pointing out the obvious -- Ron Paul is not going to win the Republican nomination -- is considered by Block to be an act of treason!


  1. There are a couple of problems with the eye rolling: First, I could not discern any roll of the eyes. Maybe I blinked when the incident happened. Second, the Reason editor was quite accurate: Paul's policies are great; his delivery leaves quite a bit to be desired.

    Dr. Callahan, you clearly "know" many of these people. Is Block serious, or was he speaking "tongue in cheek?" I have not read the article you linked, but I suppose that that artilce may answer my question.

  2. Hi Phel. I know Walter and, in fact, co-authored with him twice a number of years ago. He is a charming fellow in person.

    Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure he's serious when he says things like this.

  3. Walter Block was very generous in responding to my emails, when I did. A very approachable gentleman.

    But yes, I do feel uneasy at some of his statements. He once defended stem cell research by comparing it to cattle-raising. Whether one is okay or not okay with stem cell research, it is not so simple to compare actual human beings to...well...cattle.

    Property is a great tool for answering questions of trade and industry. On matters of human life, such as stem cell research, it can't be applied universally like that.

  4. Walter has said the same things to my face, and he was quite serious, even when I suggested to his face there was no way he could be.

    To me the most interesting part of this is it seems to be a very proudly Misesian economist denying the validity of a central aspect of Misesian economics: that it is and ought to be wertfrei. Is not his attack on Poole basically denying that there is any value to wertfrei economics?

  5. For the benefit of innocent readers who have never seen Walter Block in person, and (I shudder to think of it) get your views of Mises Institute people from Gene's blog: Of COURSE Walter is not serious in a strong sense.

    I could illustrate this by asking: Is Gene "serious" in this post, when he says "no doubt" Walter thinks this woman should be executed? I think Gene would admit, under oath, that there is at least a scintilla of doubt in his mind. In fact, he was (get ready for it) exaggerating to make a point. Some might even say he was "making a joke."

    Yes, Walter hates the people at Reason. Yes, Walter thinks government officials, defense contractors, and others should be punished after Libertopia in accordance with what he views as their crimes.

    Does Walter really think this woman from Reason committed "treason" and that it is a crime punishable by death? I think not.

  6. Bob, are you talking about the same Walter Block who said that rape victims should be able to perform anal rape on the perpetrators with a broom stick?

  7. Gene, what in the world is your point? I'm guessing most people think rapists should be locked in cages for decades at a time. So does that mean they think eye rolling is punishable by 30 lashes?

    I'm not denying Walter's got extreme views, I'm saying your readers shouldn't glean from your post that Walter thinks this lady should be executed. I'm trying to make sure people realize what you can back up and what you can, with your accusations.

  8. 'In fact, he was (get ready for it) exaggerating to make a point. Some might even say he was "making a joke."'

    Right you are Bob. So why are you so hepped up about it, if even you could tell I was not serious?

  9. "Gene, what in the world is your point?"

    Well, maybe that people even as smart as Walter can reach absurd conclusions when they start from faulty premises?


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