Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Plea From Walter Block: "Please tell me it is not true."

Upon receiving an email notice from IHS, Dr Walter Block responded:
Dear IHS:

Please tell me it is not true that you are offering an award in the name of Elinor Ostrom.

Block, Walter E. 2011. Review essay of Ostrom, Elinor. 1990. Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge, UK and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; in Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 21http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/21-block-review-of-ostroms-governing-the-commons/

Jankovic, Ivan and Walter E. Block. Forthcoming. “Tragedy of the Partnership: A Critique of Elinor Ostrom.” American Journal of Economics and Sociology

Maybe, you’ll change your mind after reading these?

Best regards,


Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business                   
Loyola University New Orleans
6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318      
New Orleans, LA 70118  

         Libertarian Papers

21. “Review of Ostrom’s Governing the Commons”

Abstract: The lynchpin perhaps even the very foundation of free market environmentalism is the tragedy of the commons. If we do not have private property rights in land, endangered animal species, fish, trees, etc., then there will be a real danger, as the left wing environmentalists charge, of extinction of these resources. Prof. Eleanor Ostrom attempts to show that this is not so; that private property rights are not at all needed if we are to escape environmental degradation of this sort. The present essay is not so much book review as it is an attempt to refute Ostrom, and thereby defend private property rights. In her view, communal rights will suffice; private property is not needed. My claim is that she is incapable of properly distinguishing between stockholders, or partnerships, or groups of people who together own private property, on the one hand, from, on the other hand, communal ownership.


  1. Why is Professor Block playing orthodoxy cop when he is out there spreading propaganda for Rand Paul?

    1. You really think his position on presidential election strategy is a point against his orthodoxy? All he says is that Rand is the most like him of any candidate. Does he lose libertarian points for voting for Barack Obama on those grounds too?