That nutty old Dr. Walter Block is at it again, being a principled libertarian and rationally evaluating even difficult situations. This time around, his interlocutor has cut right to the chase, and set up an extremely blunt limit situation to challenge him with:
Should the following situations be considered evil?:
– A man who steals food because he has no money to feed his family, assuming that in the place where he lives there is no charitable entity that can provide free food.
– A man who is forced to kill an innocent person because the survival of the entire human species depends on it.
On the other hand, certainly, these are violations of the Non-Aggression Principle, which any libertarian would condemn, but could not previous cases constitute exceptions?
The question of evil is always a vexing one. Dr. Block, rather sensibly, begs off from professing to be some universal moral authority, and evaluates the situations in his capacity as a libertarian theorist, as we’ll see.
Fish in a barrel
I feel a little bit bad picking on a publication like Teen Vogue. This is a celebrity gossip rag for little girls that, in one of the most hilariously wrong management decisions of all time, has decided that it can arrest its plummeting sales by branching out into politics and current events. So, yes: this is presently a politics and current events gossip rag… aimed at little girls. It’s like it’s scientifically designed to be the least intelligent thing ever created, so I do sort of feel bad making fun of it.
Which is actually a complete lie. I love this stuff.
Berninating all the villagers
As any fule kno, beloved Vermont senator Bernie Sanders was sent down to earth by St. Karl of Trier to redeem us for the horrible sin of inequality and forgive us our transgressions and also our student loan debt. You may have heard rumors that his mission was actually to bilk gullible kids so he could buy a third house and a really expensive car, but that’s all fake news spread by Russians from Macedonia, so ignore that.
I’m sure you’re as shocked as I am to hear that a man who has literally never done anything productive in his entire life while simultaneously hectoring hard-working Americans about their "greed" and "privilege" would turn out to be a thief. In the illegal sense, even.
Contra Reason’s Nick Gillespie, the best thing that happened for the liberty movement in 2016 — indeed, arguably the only good thing in what was otherwise a catastrophic year — was the sudden explosion in popularity of the wonderful libertarian mantra "taxation is theft." In addition to being absolutely true and correct, this is also a powerful slogan that portrays libertarianism at its best, as a philosophy that does not waver and does not compromise with evil for political expediency.
So, naturally, there are libertarishes who hate it.
Olha, que coisa mais linda, mais cheia de graça
Rio de Janeiro has a bit of an image problem lately. Tourists getting murdered on the beach will do that to you, to say nothing of this year’s Plague That Will Destroy Civilization, the dreaded zika virus. Still and all, Rio’s newly-elected mayor has a bold plan that will restore the city to its well-deserved place as the crown jewel of Latin tourism. No, he does. Listen:
"Rio de Janeiro cannot continue treating its tourists as if they were an afterthought," Mr. Crivella, 59, told the audience, emphasizing the need to "shatter" Rio’s "negative image."
"This is something we need to discuss," he said.
You’re on to me, aren’t you. You’ve already guessed that this is going to be something absurd. Still and all, your humble narrator is willing to bet you aren’t guessing anything quite as absurd as the mayor’s actual plan, which is to pay reparations to tourists who are mugged while in Rio. Now, understand this: I don’t mean to say the mayor is setting aside a block of money to pay people who’ve been mugged recently, along with maybe some plan to reduce the muggings going forward. No, the plan is evidently to tell everybody "come to Rio! Sure, you’ll get mugged, but we’ll pay you back!" which I’m not a hundred percent sure is a good sales pitch.
(With apologies to Robert Nozick)
Let us begin at the beginning. We stipulate that you live in a house, and in your house is a television. You own this television free and clear. One day, you go away on vacation, and I (without your permission, of course) smash in your front window, take the television, and leave. I submit that this is a clear case of theft: I have stolen your television. Your television, which is unambiguously your property, has been ferreted away in the dark of night without your consent.
Now let’s mix things up a bit and see what shakes out.
Dude, where’s my jihad?
Thank God we have the federal government to keep us safe from terror. I can’t begin to imagine how terrified I’d be every waking moment without our noble public servants heroically interposing themselves between my stunted, childlike inability to deal with the terror and the terrifyingly harsh existential terror of international terror. In particular, it’s nice to hear that the government is keeping me safe from the terror of hipsters paying their buddies back for beer.
It turns out this poor sap went out drinking with a buddy at a bar in the West Village. Later in the evening, he attempted to reimburse his buddy for $42 worth of beer by sending the money via Venmo, which appears to be Paypal remade for the iPhone. In his drunken hipster daze, he decided it would be funny to note in the comments field that the money was for "ISIS beer funds!!!," in response to which the OFAC "detained" (read: stole) his money to keep it from going to another nefarious hipster beer terrorist.