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Symposium Draft

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Of those persons who favor laws against blackmail, many take that position because of the moral nastiness of the blackmailing act ("pay me or I'll tell ...") These commentators are sometimes blind to where the self-interest of the so-called victim lies, for the victim often prefers paying for silence to having his secrets revealed. Much of the sophisticated literature on blackmail focuses on this gap in vision. Blackmail is called paradoxical because (among other things) it is a crime that a victim would often rather suffer than have discovered and prosecuted.



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