Tuesday, October 1, 2019

VIDEO The Block-Wenzel Debate: Are Humans Hardwired Against Freedom?

The above referenced debate took place in San Francisco on the evening of Saturday, September 28, 2019, at the Chancellor Hotel under the sponsorship of the San Francisco Forum.

The debate proposition was: RESOLVED Humans Are Hardwired Against Freedom.

Taking the affirmative was Walter Block, the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Economics at the J. A. Butt School of Business at Loyola University New Orleans. He is author of numerous books including Defending the Undefendable and Space Capitalism: How Humans will Colonize Planets, Moons, and Asteroids

Opposing was Robert Wenzel, editor & publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.com and Target Liberty. He is author of Foundations of Private Property Society Theory: Anarchism for the Civilized Person and The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Below is the recording of the full debate:



  1. Thanks Mr. Wenzel! I share your sense of almost disbelief at how Prof Block can be so off the mark on this subject. I like your mention of "viral" and share the implied enthusiasm that perhaps we are just a few videos or some personality or movement that can help spread the necessary ideas more "virally"... ideas which although not as easy as just thinking we need some central planner to bring order, are still definitely within the grasp of any human being who can pickup something as complex as a language or a modern cell phone etc. Disappointing to see Block refer to Williams and Sowell as warmongers in such a simple-minded way. Blows my mind how Block himself was a total "pinko" as he himself likes to say, until he had that dinner with rand etc and was told to read hazlitt's econ in one lesson.... Did block's IQ suddenly go from dumb pinko to the great thinker he has become in a couple days? What about the fact that mises and hayek and even hoppe were utterly clueless left-leaning people before simply having what ultimately comes down to luck..luck of having the right sequence of ideas enter your mind to get on the great path they ultimately went. ...Of course socio-biology is relevant, but as you rightly dismissed I believe, it is largely irrelevant compared to so many other factors. Also, im slightly disappointed Hayek was not mentioned more. Hayek made an example of Einstein who is of course everyone's favorite genius, but like so many other high IQ people, fell for using his superior thnking for ceontral planning.... .. Glad you brought Hayek up a few times but hayek would have just liked to have seen him brought up a few more times... Hayek even got to read Dawkins seminal The Selfish Gene and went out of his way to criticize the sociobiologists who were too focused on their little world of genetic influences... As you yourself just shared that Chomsky letter.. which referred to Hayeks "Three sources of Human values" where he does a superb job of doing that and a whole lot more.

    Im assuming you and fellow readers are aware of the amazing job Rafael Lima in Brazil is doing. By now he has nearly 600K youtube subs and puts out a video with deep austrian econ and in a matter of just a few hours has tens of thousands of viewers and comments... Anyway... This debate will make the rounds within libertarian-land and hopefully make a real push away from the disastrous race-realist (and also muh-culture) stuff/errors/ (inertia) that keeps us away from the real misesian revolution we should have been pursuing all this time... get out there and spread the econogospel.... As far as im concerned a deviation from mises Commandments here is sinful:

    "Economics must not be relegated to classrooms and statistical offices and must not be left to esoteric circles. It is the philosophy of human life and action and concerns everybody and everything. It is the pith of civilization and of man’s human existence…All present-day political issues concern problems commonly called economic. All arguments advanced in contemporary discussion of social and public affairs deal with fundamental matters of…economics. Everybody’s mind is preoccupied with economic doctrines…Everybody thinks of economics whether he is aware of it or not. In joining a political party and in casting his ballot, the citizen implicitly takes a stand upon essential economic theories…As conditions are today, nothing can be more important to every intelligent man than economics. His own fate and that of his progeny is at stake…all reasonable men are called upon to familiarize themselves with the teachings of economics. This is, in our age, the primary civic duty. Whether we like it or not, it is a fact that economics cannot remain an esoteric branch of knowledge accessible only to small groups of scholars and specialists. Economics deals with society’s fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen.”

  2. I thought I'd listen on the go later so converted the audio to mp3 (43mb): http://www.filedropper.com/20190928block-wenzeldebate-arehumanshardwiredagainstfreedom

  3. I have to side with RW on this one. I just finished Rothbard’s “Conceived in Liberty.” Back then the great thinkers were embracing individual sovereignty and the people followed. Today the Frankfurt School is dominate and the people follow. The need to follow seems to be an evolutionary biology trait.