I linked to this article by Walter Block in my last post as an offhand mention to "certain ideologically-hypnotized sociopaths." Now, this is loaded with rabid propertarian insanity that makes Rothbard's remarks about lighthouses seem like harmless eccentricity.
The insanity begins with this remark:
"They misunderstand the nature of libertarianism. These arguments implicitly assume that libertarianism is a moral philosophy, a guide to proper behavior, as it were. Should the flagpole hanger let go? Should the hiker go off and die? But libertarianism is a theory concerned with the justified use of aggression, or violence, based on property rights, not morality. Therefore, the only proper questions which can be addressed in this philosophy are of the sort, if the flagpole hanger attempts to come in to the apartment, and the occupant shoots him for trespassing, Would the forces of law and order punish the home owner? Or, if the owner of the cabin in the woods sets up a booby trap, such that when someone forces his way into his property he gets a face full of buckshot, Would he be guilty of a law violation? When put in this way, the answer is clear. The owner in each case is in the right, and the trespasser in the wrong. If force is used to protect property rights, even deadly force, the owner is not guilty of the violation of any licit law."
The first part of this paragraph is clearly an attempt to weasel out of the dilemma. Libertarianism is about property, not morality - but isn't property, and the methods of enforcing it, a moral question? If not, what the hell is it? Oh, but the distinction is simple. Libertarianism doesn't say you should fall from the flag-pole, no - it merely says that someone can shoot you if you try to get down! If that's not the same thing, it's even worse.
Of course, it gets worse.
"These examples purposefully try to place us in the mind of the criminal perpetrator of the crime of trespass. We are invited, that is, to empathize with the flag pole hanger, and the hiker, not the respective property owners. But let us reverse this perspective. Suppose the owner of the apartment on the 15th floor has recently been victimized by a rape, perpetrated upon her by a member of the same ethnic or racial group as the person now hand walking his way down her flag pole, soon to uninvitedly enter her apartment. May she not shoot him in self-defense before he enters her premises?"
Nice job, Walter. To get us to empathize with the apartment owner, you tell us that she's a violent racist who hates a whole racial group on account of what one of its members did. I'm so sympathizing with her now!
Believe it or not, it gets even worse. After that, Block argues that anyone who disagrees with him should give every penny he owns to help end poverty in the Third World. What's next? Will some statist argue that libertarians, if they took their anti-tax arguments seriously, would have to donate all their money to people in high-tax countries?
I pray (and I'm an atheist) that Block is actually writing Swiftian satire, but I know it isn't true. I'm afraid he actually believes this sociopathic nonsense. There are propertarians out there who are much more reasonable than this. They use concepts such as "easements" to offer ways for landowners who are surrounded by other landowners to get off their land. Why doesn't the flagpole-hanger have an "easement" to get down from the flagpole? Now, I happen to regard "easements" as a kind of Ptolemaic epicycle tacked on to save the rights-based way of thinking about property. Even so, adding an epicycle is more reasonable than shooting astronomers who don't observe the planets moving in perfect circles around the Earth.