Monday, May 2, 2016

Walter Block on Negative Homesteading

The following exchange took place between Dr. Walter Block and Gor Mkrtchian.

Hi Dr. Block,

You recently came to a Yale Political Union debate and spoke about open borders.  I enjoyed that very much and wanted to thank you for coming.  Hopefully the campus will get to see more libertarians in the future. I was the student who gave the last student-speech in favor of open borders that you said you liked.  We met briefly in person.  

I plan on applying to Mises University 2016 so hopefully we can meet again there.

I was thinking about evictionism and had some thoughts I wanted to share with you.  When someone voluntarily engages in sexual acts, could that be considered an implicit agreement that in the event of pregnancy the mother will take care of the child?

Regarding negative homesteading, when someone is involuntarily impregnated, could that be viewed as negative homesteading misery?  You have given the example of negative homesteading a lightning strike and not being allowed to deflect it if it will hit someone else.  Can pregnancy be seen this way?  The mother would be negative homesteading the burden and because she cannot relieve herself of it without harming an innocent, she is obliged to suffer the burden.  

Thank you,
Gor Mkrtchian

P.S. I really liked your appearance on the Tom Woods Show discussing "Water Capitalism"


Dear Gor:

Thanks for your kind words. What are your plans after graduating from Yale? Yes, it’ll be great to see you at the MU.

Nice try on both objections. I think I answer that implicit act objection in my pubs on evictionism, see below.

As for negative homesteading, if lightening hits you, you may not pawn it off onto another innocent person. But, if you’re raped, and you evict, I fail to see how you are transferring the misery to any innocent person.

For libertarian publications on evictionism, see Block, 1977, 1978, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010A, 2011A, 2012, 2013A, 2014A, 2014B; Block and Whitehead, 2005; Dyke and Block, 2011. For critiques of these by libertarian, see, Akers, 2012A, 2012B, Davies, 2012; Parr, 2011; Presley and Cooke, 1979; Shaffer, 2012; Wisniewski, 2010A, 2010B, 2011, 2013.  For rejoinders to these critiques see Block, 2010B, 2010C, 2011B, 2011C, 2011D, 2013B, 2014C, 2014D, 2015

Akers, Becky. 2012B. “What if the 'Fetus' Could Shoot Back?” September 12

Block, Walter E. 1977. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Abortion.” The Libertarian Forum. Vol. 10, No. 9, September, pp. 6-8;

Block, Walter E. 1978. “Abortion, Woman and Fetus: Rights in Conflict?”Reason, Vol. 9, No. 12, April, pp. 18-25.

Block, Walter E. 2001. “Stem Cell Research: The Libertarian Compromise.”September 3

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Libertarianism, Positive Obligations and Property Abandonment: Children’s Rights,” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 275-286;;

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Homesteading, ad coelum, owning views and forestalling.” The Social SciencesVol. 3, No. 2, pp. 96-103;

Block, Walter E. 2010A. “A libertarian perspective on the stem cell debate: compromising the uncompromisible,” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.  Vol. 35: 429-448;

Block, Walter E. 2010B. “Objections to the Libertarian Stem Cell Compromise,”Libertarian Papers 2, 34;

Block, Walter E. 2010C. “Rejoinder to Wisniewski on Abortion.” Libertarian Papers; Vol. 32, No. 2;

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Terri Schiavo: A Libertarian Analysis” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 527–536;

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Two.”Libertarian Papers; Vol. 3, Article No. 4;

Block, Walter E. 2011C. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Three.”Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 37;

Block, Walter E. 2011D. “Evictionism is libertarian; departurism is not: critical comment on Parr.” Vol. 3, Article 36, Libertarian Papers;

Block, Walter E. 2012. “A Not So Funny Thing Happened to Me in Tampa.”August 30

Block, Walter E. 2013A. “Toward a libertarian theory of evictionism,” Journal of Family and Economic Issues. June;

Block, Walter E. 2013B. “Rejoinder to Parr on Evictionism and Departurism”Journal of Peace, Prosperity & Freedom, Vol. 2, pp. 125-138;

Block, Walter E.  2014A. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” Management Education Science Technology (MEST) Journal. Vol. 2, No. 1, January, pp. 33-44;

Block, Walter E. 2014B. “Evictionism and Libertarianism.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 290-294;;

Block, Walter E.  2014C. “Should abortion be criminalized? Rejoinder to Akers, Davies and Shaffer on Abortion” Management Education Science Technology (MEST) Journal. Vol. 2, No. 1, January, pp. 33-44;

Block, Walter E. 2014D. “Response to Wisniewski on Abortion, Round Four.”Management Education Science Technology Journal (MEST);;

Block, Walter E. 2015. “Question and response on rape and evictionism theory.” June 23;

Davies, Jim. 2012. “Abortion.” September 24;

Dyke, Jeremiah and Walter E. Block. 2011. “Explorations in Property Rights: Conjoined Twins.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 38;

Parr, Sean. 2011. “Departurism and the Libertarian Axiom of Gentleness.”Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, No. 34,

Presley, Sharon and Robert Cooke (aka Morgan Edwards). 1979. “The right to abortion: a libertarian defense.” Association of libertarian feminists discussion paper.

Shaffer, Butler. 2012. “Of Children and Fetuses” September 17;

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010A. “A Critique of Block on Abortion and Child Abandonment.” Libertarian Papers Vol. 2, No. 16;

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2010B. “Rejoinder to Block’s Defense of Evictionism.” Libertarian Papers. Vol. 2, Art No. 27;

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2011. “Response to Block on Abortion, Round Three.”

Wisniewski, Jakub Bozydar. 2013. “Abortion, Libertarianism and Evictionism: A Last Word.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 153-162;

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

1 comment:

  1. The evicted baby is a criminal then?
    If someone forces me into your home without your consent, I am a criminal that can be killed?
    If someone steals your car, and kidnaps me, throwing me into the trunk, I am just as guilty and can be killed for the trespass?