Sunday, August 25, 2013

Walter Block on Rand Paul and David Boaz

Prof. Walter Block emails:

Dear  Bob:

In it you say: “It's getting to the point that the litmus test as to whether one is truly a libertarian is going to be one's view on Rand Paul, and a favorable view of Rand and his "mild" libertarianism isn't going to cut it.” I certainly agree. I would add yet another litmus test: on David Boaz. At least Rand Paul doesn’t claim to be a libertarian. When pressed, he says he is a conservative constitutionalist, or, at most a Republican libertarian, or a libertarian Republican. However, Boaz claims the mantle of libertarianism. He had the effrontery to write a book with the “L” word in its title:

Boaz, David. 1997. Libertarianism: A Primer, New York: Free Press

Worse, in it he dares instruct us as to what libertarianism is all about (mainly, cosmopolitanism and rights for homosexuals, although this is a bit of an exxageration).

In my view, David Boaz is no libertarian. See on this on that claim:

Block, Walter E. 2010. “David Boaz is no libertarian,” January 14;

 I’m also puzzled by this statement of Boaz’s: “Rand Paul is clearly the most significant libertarian-leaning American political figure in a long time.” But what about Ron Paul? He is not a libertarian political figure? Maybe, Boaz means that Ron is not libertarian-leaning, but rather a libertarian. But this is hard to square with Boaz’s statement to the effect that Ron Paul is not a goog spokesman for libertarianism. Go figure.

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. These unlibertarian "libertarians" are hard to keep straight. A significant percentage of self-identified "libertarians" still want a state. Or they are libertarian on some issues and statist on others.

  2. Anyone want to know what a libertarian is? Simple. Read Rothbard.

  3. When are you going to stop crying Wenzel? Rand Paul 2016

  4. The meditation is beginning to work. Next step: respond to the point(s) being made.