Alan Bock, RIP

Alan Bock, editorial writer and opion page editor at the Orange County Register’s editorial page,  and a longtime columnist for — died today, shortly after entering a hospice. He was 67.

Alan was the author of four books: Ecology Action Guide (1970), The Gospel Life of Hank Williams (1976), Ambush at Ruby Ridge (1995) and Waiting to Inhale: The Politics of Medical Marijuana (2000).

Alan  was a very personable guy: easygoing, he exuded an aura of benevolence and good will. He was such a nice guy that, back when we were just starting out, he agreed to write a column for us for no payment: he was the longest-running columnist second only to myself, with his first piece posted in 1999.

He worked at the Register for nearly 30 years, and his was a respected voice in the editorial department: a hardcore libertarian, he was nevertheless very far from a humorless ideologue concerned only with politics. As he wrote in his farewell column for the Register:

“There are plenty of things more important than politics: your family and friends and treating them right, the search for spiritual meaning in an often confusing and ambiguous world, art, music, science, simple enjoyment of the good things in life, struggling to make good choices rather than destructive ones, and supporting your children in their intellectual endeavors and at soccer and softball games. All these challenges, however, can be handled better – not necessarily easily, but better – in an atmosphere of personal liberty and freedom to make one’s own choices than in a repressive regime that makes choices for you and forces them on you.”

Alan’s columns combine a reportorial respect for the facts with a thoroughgoing application of the libertarian principle of nonintervention in the affairs of other nations. His constancy (he was never late with his column), and his devotion to the idea that peace is not only desirable but possible, made him one of our most valued contributors.

He will be greatly missed.

18 thoughts on “Alan Bock, RIP”

  1. Very sorry to hear about Alan and I will be praying for the repose of his soul. I knew him slightly decades ago as a libertarian activist in the Los Angeles area, but he was a guy who made a lifelong impression with only a slight acquaintance. I always found his columns for enlightening and learned a lot from his book Ambush at Ruby Ridge. We'll all miss you, Alan.

  2. Alan is the latest of several heroes of liberty that we've lost over the last few years. I sometimes find myself asking "God, why do you take these people from us when we need them now more than ever before?" I can sometimes almost imagine God responding "Their words of wisdom are falling on too many deaf ears. Since you won't listen to them, you don't deserve to continue to hear them."

    Rest in peace, Alan. You and your work will be sorely missed. My prayers and thoughts go out to your family.

  3. What a constellation Alan Bock has now joined: Rothbard, Sobran, Nock, so many others. And what a loss for us. God speed, Mr. Bock.

  4. I'm a liberal, not a libertarian, but I generally liked Bock's columns, even when ideological differences came up.

    He'll be missed—-we need more voices like his now, not fewer.

  5. He had a great perspective on life and we should be grateful for his contributions.

  6. His articles will live on forever, hopefully inspiring others to spread the ideas of liberty as well as he did.

  7. May the kingdom of Heaven be his. Rightious men are generally known for their subtlety and sobriety… and perhaps also their obvious understanding of the "big picture". Tsarstvo nebesnoye nashemu bratu!

  8. May the kingdom of Heaven be his. Rightious men are generally known for their subtlety and sobriety… and perhaps also their obvious understanding of the "big picture". Tsarstvo nebesnoye nashemu bratu!

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