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Block: Defending the Blackmailer


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Block: Defending the Blackmailer

AUGUST 19, 2015 Walter Block

[Excerpted from Defending the Undefendable.]


At first glance it is not hard to answer the question, "Is blackmail really illegitimate?" The only problem it would seem to pose is, "Why is it being asked at all?"


Do not blackmailers, well, blackmail people? And what could be worse?


Blackmailers prey on people's dark, hidden secrets. They threaten to expose and publicize them. They bleed their victims and often drive them to suicide.


We will find, however, that the case against the blackmailer cannot stand serious analysis; that it is based upon a tissue of unexamined shibboleths and deep philosophical misunderstandings.


What exactly is blackmail? Blackmail is the offer of trade. It is the offer to trade something, usually silence, for some other good, usually money. If the offer of the trade is accepted, the blackmailer then maintains his silence and the blackmailed pays the agreed-upon price.Scissors-32x32.png


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