Defending the Undefendable is a very special book. It is perfectly suited for anyone who has been exposed to libertarian ideas but is still "hung up" on certain issues. It is also a very exciting and educational read for even die hard libertarians. Chapter 6, "The Blackmailer" is one of my favorites. I was still fairly new to libertarian philosophy when I first read this book and The Blackmailer really surprised me. I was certain, before I began the chapter, that there was simply no way that Dr. Block could convince me that blackmailers were worthy of defense. I am pleased to say that I now see the truth, thanks to Dr. Block. As he explained, blackmailers are much preferable to the local gossiper.
The Blackmailer chapter was not an isolated incident for me and I suspect that most everyone who reads this book will have a similar chapter in which he or she thinks "wow I can't believe he convinced me." That is part of what makes the book such an enjoyable read; the surprise one feels when Dr. Block slowly leads you to the edge of a cliff then suddenly shoves you over. The whole process of discovery is really quite enjoyable.
Please share you thoughts about Defending the Undefendable. Did you like the book? Do you have a favorite chapter?
I just finished the book a week ago. Already a die hard libertarian, but there were a few on here that I thought would test it. Specifically I found "The Litterer" the most intriguing, because I thought no one would defend it. Block makes a good point that the private enterprise does best in deciding the environments where litter is permissible or not, such as the difference between a baseball stadium or movie theater and a hospital. I also found the ticket scalper, nongovernment counterfeiter, importer, and rate buster (to name a few) to be informative in economics. Block's first chapters, dealing with sex and drugs, are for some beginning shock effect and are amusing as well. Overall, a fun read.
Just to quick ditto you; the Litterer was the one that before reading I thought "come on now, you cant pull this off", but he does. Block is great in this text. Cant wait for a new one-- DtU II. He keeps saying its comming; he said it would be out in 09, yet I wait. Hope he gets this book on the market. It will be great.
Definitely a book to challenge one's worldview either economically or ethically. Out of 33 chapters, I found only 5 arguments I did not agree with: 1. Denial of carte blanche abortion is denial of self ownership and a throwback to slavery for women, 2. The Judicial & Executive branches of any government are in the business of social justice, not legal justice, 3. Private charity perpetuates heritable characteristics that are undesirable, 4. Unborn children may be aborted because they are undeserving of the caretaking afforded born children, 5. Counterfeiting counterfeit money steals not from the merchant when spent, but from the initial counterfeiter. Regardless, Block has produced an effective primer that demonstrates why non-aggressive and non-violent "crimes" should be legalized. While they may be destructive to the individual, they are not destructive to society so long as they remain legal. In some cases, these "crimes" prove to improve materially the lot of some even if it does not improve their ethical lot. Nevertheless, it is the liberty of each to make the cost-benefit analysis for oneself.