Friday, December 18, 2015
Walter Block on Former Subway Pitchmen Jared Fogle, Child Pornography and Libertarianism
The following email exchange took place between a correspondent and Dr. Walter Block:
Subj: Would Jared Fogle be a free man under anarcho-capitalism?
You rank among my primary intellectual influences, and I greatly respect your insight.
It is marginal cases such as what I will describe in the coming paragraphs, however, that amount to a stress test of theories vis a vis jurisprudence that would reduce to market anarchism, tort law, and/or a polycentric legal order.
Would Jared Fogle, having (1) crossed state lines to purchase the services of underaged prostitutes, and (2) having possessed pornographic material depicting underage minors, have committed any crime under anarcho-capitalism as you envisage it?
Yes or no? If so, what would be the theoretical coordinates for prosecuting him? It would seem, perhaps in a naive sense, that according to certain interpretations of AnCap he committed no crime directly violating the NAP.
Any direct response is appreciated
Thanks for your kind words.
I don't think that crossing state lines is relevant to libertarianism, but to purchase the services of underaged prostitutes is statutory rape and should be punished by law. Ditto for pornographic material featuring or depicting children. If it is created by purchasing the services of children, it again constitutes statutory rape and should be punished by law. On the other hand, suppose "depicting" does not involve any actual children; here, the child porn is limited to stories, or sketches or cartoons. Then, I do not think it would be a crime under libertarian law. The argument against allowing this sort of child porn is that it would "lead" those who view it to the (statutory) rape of children. This may well be true. I am not expert in that field; I cannot make any determination if this is true or not, and/or to what degree. However, "leading" to bad, illegal things should not be per se criminal. For example, some movies, or books, or sports events or cartoons (think Charlie Hebdo) "lead" to riots. Is that the fault of these "leaders"? Not in my view. I don't think that this sort of child porn should be illegal, even though I regard it as despicable, sick, disgusting. Even the thought of it makes my skin crawl.
I might blog this. If I do, I'll keep you anonymous.
at 8:01 AM