From: Sam Hage [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2018 3:28 PM
Subject: Libertarian Scholars’ Conference
I meant to email you right after the Libertarian Scholars’ conference in NYC, but it slipped my mind until now. I was hoping to expand on the question I asked about your Ragnar Danneskjöld presentation.
You said that if I can prove your grandfather stole my grandfather’s watch and handed it down to you, you have to give me the watch back. You also said that if the state steals my car, then you steal it from the impound lot, you are not required to give it back to me. Now I’m not sure there’s a contradiction there, but it seemed as though there might be. A clarifying question: if Mr. Salerno steals my watch, then you steal it from him, are you obligated to give it back to me?
I think I understand that once the original theft happens, you’re not really committing violations of the NAP by ‘stealing’ from the thief, but wouldn’t that also be true in the grandfather example? Is that example different because the thief died and you’re merely the unwitting beneficiary of a theft? I hope you can help me understand this idea.
I thought you did a tremendous job at the conference, particularly with your impromptu talk during the Marxism section.
I look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,
On Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 8:00 PM Walter Block wrote:
Yours was just about the best question/challenge, I’ve ever had at any public gathering, such as this one. Please tell me about yourself. I won’t say that yours was the only thing I’ve been thinking about since that conference, but I won’t deny that either. I am very grateful to you for pointing this out.
The way I see matters, I barely escape contradicting myself by the fact that there is a disanalogy in the two cases. In the Ragner case, there is an intermediate person, that is, Ragnar himself. In the other reparations case, there is no intermediary to complicate matters. Does this satisfy you? If not, please let me have your misgivings.
4:40 pm on November 8, 2018
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