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Blackmail? Or Extortion?

—–Original Message—–
From: BR
Sent: Sunday, March 12, 2017 9:13 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Blackmail Criminal Justice

Prof. Block: I had a question about your defense of blackmail. Does that include threatening to turn someone into the police or district attorney, or is that more like extortion? Sincerely, BR

Dear BR: I’ve published an entire book on this, see below. This is a complex issue you raise. In my view, whether this is extortion or not depends upon whether the threat is licit or not. If so, then it is blackmail, if not, then extortion. For example, suppose the threatener threatens to tell the cops that his target murdered or raped someone. Well, murder and rape are indeed illicit acts, so the threat to expose the murderer or rapist is legitimate, and it would be blackmail, which would not be against the law in a libertarian society. But, it would be extortion is the threat is to turn in the target to the police for a victimless crime, such as concerning drugs, pornography, or any other illegal act that takes place between consenting adults. Then, in my opinion, this would be extortion, prohibited by libertarian law.

Block, Walter. 2013. Legalize Blackmail. New Orleans: Straylight Publishing, LLC; http://www.straylightpublishing.com; https://gumroad.com/l/SzSd; ISBN 978-0-9910433-0-9 (hardcover), 978-0-9910433-1-6 (e-book). My publisher, bless his heart, is a bit weird. Well, more than a bit weird. He is willing to sell you this new book of mine for whatever price YOU decide upon at Amazon.com. If this isn’t weird, I don’t know what is. Of course, legalizing blackmail, rescinding all laws outlawing blackmail, it cannot be denied, is also a bit weird. Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Legalize-Blackmail-Walter-Block/dp/0991043308. Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/legalize-blackmail-walter-block/1117524839. Direct from the publisher:; Legalize Blackmail is now available in all eBook formats for $9.99 across the board. The book may be obtained digitally in these formats: DRM-Free PDF, ePub, and MOBI — https://gumroad.com/l/SzSd; Kindle — http://amzn.to/1jkO5bE; Nook — http://bit.ly/1bDSNMJ; https://gumroad.com/l/SzSd

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