Friday, November 23, 2018

Walter Block Enters the Armentano v. Wenzel Fray

Prof. Walter Block yesterday sent an email to both Prof. Dominick Armentano and me with regard to our debate on Trump v. Hillary. It is published below in its entirety.

I hasten to add that I will post just one question to him tomorrow concerning his comments.

Dear Bob and Dom:

In this debate between you two, both exquisitly good libertarians, I sometimes feel like one of the animals in Animal Farm witnessing this debate. When Snowball was speaking, all of the animals agreed with Snowball. When Napolean was speaking, all of the animals agreed with Napolean (I am NOT calling you two pigs!!!(J)). Each of you made excellent points.

Why do two excellent libertarain theorists disagree so sharply? I think it is because this issue is an empirical one, not one of libertarian theory. It calls for prudential judgement, not deep understanding of libertarian theory.

As you know, I was one of the people who started up Libertarians for Trump (we got about 4000 signatures) and then Scholars for Trump (you had to have a phd or an equivalent graduate degree to sign on; we got about 150 signatures).

Although I think you, Bob, make excellent points, I side with Dom on this one. Perhaps this is due to the fact that both he and I are, were, college professors and you were not. This is NOT an ad hominem argument. Rather, it is due to the fact, perhaps, the Dom and I have had our noses pushed into political correctness to a far greater degree than your nose has been pushed in this direction. If there’s one thing you’ve gotta admit, Bob, Hillary is PC personified, and Donald, bless him on at least this one issue, is the very opposite.

I’m a big fan of debate. I want to congratulate you two for the way you have carried out this debate; both cordially, both respectful, no one fillibustering, no one not giving the other guy equal time (I’m an egalitarian on this issue!)

So, congratulations to the both of you. I pride myself on, also, being a “good” debater in this sense. Bob, I had a great debate with you on your recent book on property rights, and also a good one with Gary North, where we both debated well, in this sense:

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Attention Students: Should You Get Your Ph.D. and Become a Professor?” June 28; (debate with Gary North)

All too often debates end up in name calling, so, again, congratulations to Bob and Dom, both friends of mine.

Best regards,


Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
6363 St. Charles Avenue                              
Loyola University New Orleans
New Orleans, LA 70118                                                                 

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