Stossel and Boaz on War
By: Barry Belmont

A few members of the UNR SFL were not content to prattle on about academic matters nor bother with long, nuanced questions of narrow scope at the ISFLC. That’s why during many breakout sessions we more often asked what the lecturer wanted us to get out of the lecture than about what Hayek really meant in some obscure article that the presenter may or may not have ever even heard about.

As such, when given the chance to ask John Stossel and David Boaz, two leaders of the burgeoning libertarian movement, a question of fundamental importance in the acceptance of war, John Russell pulled no punches and asked the question that always stands all other issues related to war: “Is it okay to kill innocent people?”

EDIT: Due to copyright claims, we aren’t able to show this video right now. We’ll keep you updated when we know more…

EDIT OF THE EDIT: The video is back up since the episode has aired.

Video credit goes to Ty, the Guy From Canada Harvard.

This is the only time that John Stossel was not met with thunderous applause for his answer all evening. In fact, the loud boos and uncomfortable moans of discontent were quite out of place at the conference (which had a fairly positive attitude), only further emphasizing the poor responses of both Boaz and Stossel.

In fact, and I apologize to Mr. Boaz and Mr. Stossel if this ever gets back to them, but each of their responses is quite unacceptable. Stossel gives a broad “of course” type answer which fails to differentiate between what is perhaps necessary and what may be considered “justified.” While Boaz simply plays a pointless smug word game and dances around the issue. They should have taken more time to think of their answers, they should have taken more care: the issue is important, and the answer is a simple “Using violence against innocent people should not be legally justified.”

One would think that this simple (and fundamental tenant of libertarianism) would be well known to such prolific proponents of the movement, but it seemed to slip by both at the time. Perhaps it was nervousness, unpreparedness, tiredness, wanting-to-get-in-as-many-people-as-possible-ness, or a myriad of other things. Whatever the reason, we thought it was important to share it with people…because it certainly won’t be making it into prime time.

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View Comments Posted in Videos
  • Casey Given

    Your question was perhaps the best one of the night! It really made Stossel and Boaz show their true colors in justifying mass murder by the state. And, by the way, I looked up the word “slaughter” in several online dictionaries, and in none of them does the word “unjustified” appear. Thus, your question was grammatically correct.

  • Ty Mills

    HOW did y’all hack this. Oh and its Ty Mills. I’m from Massachusetts.

  • Barry Belmont

    Ty, we over here at UNR SFL can hack anything, just ask Blayne Bennett. And I’ll be sure to correct the above post so as to reflect the truth correctly.

    How are you doing Ty? How’d you find our piddly ol’ website?

  • E.

    “Murder actually means the unjustified killing. That’s its definition.” Boaz. Murder, not slaughter.

  • Barry Belmont

    Still. Boaz is missing the point. Rather than answer the big question, Is it okay to harm innocent people? he decides to play word games.

    I really expected more out of such esteemed individuals…instead we got a disturbing (if straight) answer and a meandering (while pandering) one. Oh well. At least it got on TV!

  • Hacks

    And John looks as damn sexy on camera as in real life, to boot. +1 for Nevada

  • E.

    I see your point. I think that it was a difficult question to answer. Most people don’t want to kill people unless it’s absolutely necessary. But what does necessary mean?

    How would you have answered it?

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