Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Establishment Sticks It To Walter Block

As a follow up to my notice that the lawsuit filed by Walter Block against the New York Times was dismissed by a Federal judge., Attorney Bob Roddis notes in the comments:

The NYT was awarded both "costs" (which is usually just filing fees, deposition fees, expert fees) AND "reasonable attorney fees" which could be ridiculously high. Plaintiff is lucky the case didn't go further in which case the NYT could have run up even more attorney fees.

The "logic" of the case reminds me of the "logic" of the Michigan Court of Appeals in 1982 ruling in favor of the Michigan campaign finance act which limited contributions to libertarian candidates at $750 while giving the Democrats and Republicans matching funds from the government.

Why would someone think they would get justice from a US court? If there's a lot of money available to file an appeal, I'd file an appeal. I don't know the statute, but based upon the award of fees so far, the NYT might get even more fees from winning the appeal.


  1. According to libertarian theory, Block was not in his rights to aggress against the NYT by the use of the strong arm of the state.

    Even considering the NYT is "part of the regime" , most libertarians would consider the use of violence against the state as wrong. of it is right to sue the NYT for being completely within their property rights, it is right to rob your postman at gunpoint. I consider it wrong to use aggressive violence, therefore I consider it wrong to sue the NYT as Block tried to.

  2. 1. The more I think about it, I still don’t like defamation lawsuits. To me, defamation is like IP. If you want protection, have a bylaw concerning the topic with your private neighborhood association so that you are in contractual privity with the perpetrators. There are all kinds of nasty behaviors not covered by the NAP and there are contractual ways of dealing with them.

    2. How is the Walter Block case really different than libertarians (me, Hayek) pointing out that leftist economic programs may (or do) lead to fascism? Or that the Nazis utilized a power base first put in place by pre TGT Keynesians and “progressives”? Those sentiments might be deemed defamatory by a court if allowed to proceed to a jury.

    3. How was Walter Block actually injured by the NYT’s article? Being called a racist by them should be a badge of honor. The use of smears telegraphs to the world that they cannot think up an actual argument to use against libertarianism, anti-interventionism or Austrian economics. Further, those who rely on the NYT article to further smear Walter Block will be identified as people unable to think through our arguments. Leftists are always going to think the worst of us regardless. One should feel empowered by a stupid smear and proudly laugh in their face.