Government and Good Ethics


That and other hopeless contradictions are explored in today's ZGBlog: Rule vs Morality. Enjoy!


Samarami's picture

From "Rule vs Morality":

    "...The first thing to derive from that axiom is that government in all its manifestations is wholly immoral. Consequently it is impossible for a governor (ruler) to be moral, any more than a rapist or thief could be moral; each would be a perfect example of an oxymoron..."

Your essay consists of your typical good perspective.

One thing I find disturbingly puzzling is when former "libertarian" icons (at least those I once thought of as "icons") succor prospective governors (rulers) such as Ron Paul and/or Donald Trump. Read this:

There is often the temptation on my part to write rebuttal(s) to Walter Block. Then I have to stop and understand: no matter what I might have to say to Dr Block, he will steadfastly garner his armor about himself and defend his "position". I am no match to Block in the art of verbal swordplay. Nor would I wish to be.

'Though I can only speak for myself, I suppose many of us possess undergirding with feet of clay. Sam

Jim Davies's picture

Good morning, Sam. I agree with you that Block has been too generous in his support for Trump. The referenced article is just his latest.
Two years ago I reviewed his book "Towards a Libertarian Society" here, and found it fell short. More recently here, I suggested that his foundation of "Libertarians for Trump", as a group, was a very bad idea. His current article extends that, suggesting that he's foolishly paid my reasoning no heed.
At the same time, Block has done outstanding work to advance libertarian thought, and his "Defending the Undefendable" is a classic. A few years ago he came up with an unique and creative proposal to resolve the thorny old problem of abortion, incidentally getting booed when he presented it to an audience of Ron Paulians; see my STRticle about that.
So, he's a mixed bag. As for supporting Trump, he goes too far; but we can consider these candidates on two levels. First, they are all repugnant to good ethics (as above) and should be shunned by decent people; as you often say, abstain from beans. None of them will bring about a free society; that can only be done this way. The other level, however, is to speak or write in their favor when they propose something that will help that process, or make life less disagreeable while it is taking place; and there, I reckon that Trump scores quite well. Specifically, he intends to protect gun rights, and to make realistic deals with foreign governments whose effect is likely to reduce the risk of major war.
Not much wrong with encouraging peace. There's no liberty in a nuclear winter.

Samarami's picture

As your subject article outlines, "...some government people - rulers - are less vicious than others. There are degrees of evil..." No argument here.

And, there's certainly "...not much wrong with encouraging peace..." Had Dr Block published some of his work here or other discussion forums in which I had participated at the time, I would have been remiss not to make favorable comments (certainly regarding "Defending the Undefendable", which I used as an "anarchist maintenance manual" for many years prior to my showing up here).

I would agree with you regarding his take on abortion. Also I applaud his work with respect to private roadways. No argument with any of this. Block has done excellent work towards liberty and freedom for us all sofar as I'm concerned.

When Harry Browne ran for grand wizard of the klan, I was disenchanted to say the least. I remember a letter by Jack Pugsley that expressed my sentiments succinctly regarding what I considered at the time to be "Harry's feet of clay". And, as I continue on this ride there will be other head-jarrings I'll need to contend with -- and keep my peace.

After all, I can't be right all the time. I thought I was wrong once. Then discovered my error. :-[ . Sam