My latest at FEE. Incidentally, as Jeff Tucker’s comment at the end of the article reminded me, I should have issued a disclaimer: I am stipulating that the message logs are accurate, for the sake of argument. I wanted to show that even if Dread Pirate Roberts did everything that the logs purport, then it is not the death blow to Rothbardianism that people allege. An excerpt:
The most obvious problem with Farrell’s essay is that we’re only having this debate because the state outlaws peaceful markets in marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and other such drugs. Furthermore, the state also prohibits competing, professional agencies for the private production of defense services — this is why DPR thought he had to deal with such unsavory characters. DPR didn’t have the option of, say, taking his case to a reputable private-sector judge and getting a verdict levied against the people attacking Silk Road, because the state renders everything in the Rothbardian vision illegal. Thus, the Silk Road murder-for-hire episode shows what happens when the state interferes in the markets for drugs and law enforcement. In this respect, Farrell’s argument is akin to watching Luke’s tauntaun die on the ice planet Hoth, and then remarking, “This just shows why the galaxy needs an emperor.”
BTW, in case you think, “Yeah yeah, legalize drugs and violence goes way down, I got it,” I promise that’s not the main thrust of my article. I chose the above quote because of the Star Wars line.