Friday, December 20, 2013

Walter Block: Hayek Is No Rothbardian

 Luis Rivera III sent an email to Dr. Walter Block, which contained this link which leads to a commentary by Steven Horowitz, where he argues that there is a false dichotomy between Rothbardian Anarchism and Hayek's position on anarchy.

Dr. Block responded with this email:
Dear Luis:


I'm not a big fan of Horwitz's in general, and certainly not on this issue.

Here are some critical views on Hayek, no Rothbardian, he:

Block, Walter E. 1996. "Hayek's Road to Serfdom," Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 12, No. 2, Fall, pp. 327-350,; reprinted in Ama-gi: Journal of the Hayek Society at the London School of Economics, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 22-25

Block, Walter E. 1999. “The Gold Standard: A Critique of Friedman, Mundell, Hayek, Greenspan from the free enterprise perspective,” Managerial Finance, Vol. 25, No. 5, pp. 15-33,;

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Fanatical, Not Reasonable: A Short Correspondence Between Walter E. Block and Milton Friedman (on Friedrich Hayek ’s Road to Serfdom).” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 20, No. 3, Summer, pp. 61-80;

Doherty, Brian. 2009. “A Tale of Two Libertarianisms.” December 18;

Knott, Adam. 2012. “Hayek and Praxeology.” November 13

McMaken, Ryan. 2010. “The Rothbardian School.”August 31;

McMaken, Ryan. 2013. “Jonah Goldberg's Long Unhappy Relationship With Libertarianism.” April 8;

Rothbard, Murray, N. 1980. “Hayek On Coercion and Freedom.”  Literature of Liberty, Winter, pp. 53 54;

Rothbard, Murray, N. 1981-1982. “Hayek’s Denationalised Money,” The Libertarian Forum, Vol. 15, Nos. 5-6 (August-January), p 9;

Rothbard, Murray N. 1998 [1982]. The Ethics of Liberty, New York: New York University Press. (chapter 28)


  1. And Walter Block loves statist authoritarianism (, so why should his opinion matter on anything related to libertarianism?

    1. I am not an anarcho-capitalist, but Walter Block is an amazing guy. He clearly and succintly states libertarian principles and defends them ably. While I would like it more if he accepted Jesus Christ as His Savior (as I am a Christian), he is still a great libertarian theorist (even if I may disagree with him on certain things). And as for that post on Putin winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Block is not defending Putin's statism and authoritarian policies cracking down on spies against the Russian state, but rather he is defending Putin's opposition to Obama's plan on starting a war with Syria. So in that sense Putin can be called heroic (though I don't agree with his faith in internationalism ( as a means of achieving world peace).

  2. neither Mises was rothbardian.