Defending the Undefendable by Walter Block

Nonfiction 1

By Walter Block

Protecting the Undefendable is one of the most renowned of the nice defenses of victimless crimes and arguable fiscal practices, from profiteering and gouging to bribery and blackmail. besides the fact that, underneath the skin, this e-book is additionally a great paintings of microeconomic conception that explains the workings of monetary forces in daily occasions and affairs.

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If they are ridiculous, it is because that philosophy is ridiculous. It is important to realize that all human actions imply discrimination in the only sensible definition of that much abused term: picking and choosing from available alternatives, the one which best serves his or her interests. There is no action taken by human beings which fails to accord with this dictum. We discriminate when we choose a toothpaste, decide upon a means of transportation, whom to marry. The discrimination practiced by the gourmet or wine taster is and can only be the discrimination practiced by all human beings.

It is sometimes said that what diminishes crime is not the penalty attached to the crime but the certainty of being caught. Although this controversy rages with great relevance in current debates on capital punishment, it will suffice to point out that the institution of blackmail does both. It increases the penalty associated with crime, as it forces criminals to share part of their loot with the blackmailer. It also raises the probability of being apprehended, as blackmailers are added to police forces, private citizen and vigilante groups, and other anticrime units.

The prostitute benefits too. She gains the time that would otherwise be spent in searching for the customer. She is also protected by the pimp—from undesirable customers, and from policemen, part of whose profession, qua profession, is to prevent prostitutes from engaging in voluntary trade with consenting adults. Assignations arranged by the pimp afford the prostitute additional physical security over street walking or bar hopping. The prostitute is no more exploited by the pimp than is the manufacturer exploited by the salesman who drums up business for him, or the actress who pays an agent a percentage of her earnings to find new roles for her.

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