Daily Anarchist Interviews Walter Block

The Daily Anarchist has posted a nice, short interview of Walter Block by Seth King, touching mostly on Block’s history in the libertarian movement and his thoughts on the prospects for liberty and the tactics and strategy libertarians employ. A few interesting excerpts:

Seth: Would you mind explaining to me exactly what Anarcho-Capitalism means to you?

Walter: The first part of this phrase, Anarcho-Capitalism, means that there shall be no government. Private firms will undertake all supposed government functions, such as protection from foreign and domestic enemies, adjudication, supplying supposed public goods such as light houses (in a by gone era), flood control, education, welfare, health, money, etc. The second part means that the law will support private property rights, money, etc., in contradistinction to left wing or socialist anarchism.

***

Seth: It took me a couple of years of visiting lewrockwell.com and mises.org before I realized just how many of today’s giants in economics self-identify as Anarcho-Capitalist. Could you give me a ballpark figure of the percentage of fellows and faculty at the Ludwig von Mises Institute that consider themselves Anarcho-Capitalist?

Walter: 99%

***

Seth: I’ve been a libertarian my entire life but only recently converted to free-market anarchism. My perspective is that of a young, internet savvy, philosophical newbie to Anarcho-Capitalism. From my point of view it seems as if the libertarian anarchist movement is rapidly accelerating and because of that I am extremely optimistic about the not-too-distant future. From your point of view, have you also observed exponential growth in the Anarcho-Capitalist philosophy over the last couple of years, and if so, how does that make you feel for our future prospects?


Walter: There has been GIGANTIC growth since I got involved in 1966. Sure, this makes me optimistic. On the other hand, there are socio-biological considerations that mitigate in favor of pessimism: we are hard wired for socialism and government interventionism. But, these questions don’t much interest me, since I will do exactly the same things, pursue the same kind of life, etc., whether the case for optimism or pessimism is strong; namely, try to promote liberty, peace and economic understanding to the best of my ability.

***

Seth: You’ve publicly endorsed the Free State Project in the past. Is there any chance of you migrating to the geographical area commonly referred to as New Hampshire ? What would it take for you to move there? Perhaps if New Hampshire State nullified the federal income tax? How about if Louisiana passed some extremely draconian legislation? What if someone offered you a million dollars? Surely, there must be an incentive strong enough to entice you up north?

Walter: It would be difficult for me to move to New Hampshire . I like my job at Loyola very much; I have good friends here. Well, if you’re offering, I’ll take $100 million. I could do a lot in the direction of promoting Austrian economics and libertarianism with that kind of money. If I had it, I’d set up a graduate school in NH.

***

Seth: I’d like to thank you Dr. Block for allowing me to grill you on issues that don’t exactly pertain to economics. If I may, let me throw you one more zinger. Over the next six years, do you think Murray Rothbard or Barack Obama will convert more people to anarchism?

Walter: That’s a very good question. I’d pick my man Murray on this, although I think it will be a close race.

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