Chances are, you’ve probably tried to introduce your statist friends to the basic ideas of liberty. And chances are , you’ve failed. While there is no easy solution to getting past the roadblock of your liberty-loathing pals’ preconceptions, there’s a book by economist Walter Block that may make the path to logic a little easier to travel.
Defending the Undefendable, when read with an open mind, can be a wonderful gateway drug to libertarianism. The beauty of Block’s masterwork is suggested in the very title: he wastes little time on the easy, obvious targets of libertarian gripes — costly wars, sky high taxes, police brutality. Instead he grabs you by the jugular by suggesting that even the sleaziest among us — drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes, slumlords — are worthy of freedom in a society that truly values liberty.
Block isn’t content to merely defend the moral rights of scoundrels to do as they damn well please. He helps explain how allowing such seemingly disreputable folks as drug dealers and blackmailers to do their thing actually makes us a more prosperous and free society.
The arguments he offers are far too detailed to provide in this limited space, but take my word for it, the author will have you questioning everything you had previously believed about those who reside outside polite society’s moral code. You’ll never again see the dark side’s inhabitants the same way.
Anyone can fight for people’s rights against the usual menu of government tyranny and corruption. But when you’re willing to stand up for the rights of those whose moral compasses you find irredeemably broken, you have truly arrived as a libertarian. And Walter Block’s Defending the undefendable is a great vehicle to get you there.