Sunday, April 19, 2015

Walter Block Endorses Rand Paul

Professor Walter Block has endorsed Rand Paul for president in a 1400 word essay on his Facebook page.

The endorsement comes just a little more than 24 hours after two prominent grassroots libertarians distanced themselves from Rand. It is difficult to see what this strong advocate of liberty sees in Rand.

I fear this may be Dr. Block's second greatest error in judgement of a man. The first being his admitted mistake in thinking that Alan Greenspan would change the Fed, when he became Fed chairman. When visiting San Francisco, at a meeting of Circle Rothbard, he admitted that misjudgment.

And now we have him endorsing Rand. I can't think of any position that for certain Rand would come down on the side of liberty. I suspect Dr. Block knows this.

In his endorsement, Dr. Block recognizes Rand's incessant flip-flopping on issues:
 He has already shown himself as flexible on the issues. If he changed once, or twice, ok, ok, more than that, he can do so even more.
Dr. Block, when he gets down to specifics, seems to know Rand is not libertarian in his positions.

He knows that Rand is not in favor of the libertarian position that the minimum wage should be abolished. He writes:
Perhaps the facts of a gigantic, stupendous unemployment rate for black male teens will convince him to come out not only against an increase in the minimum wage, but in total opposition to this pernicious legislation.
He knows that Rand is not in favor of the libertarian position that all drug laws should be abolished. He writes:
 Perhaps the facts of wildly disproportionate incarceration rates for African-Americans will turn Rand in the direction of favoring elimination of drug laws, at the very least those for marijuana.
He knows that Rand is cozying up to the establishment. He writes:
 Perhaps his experience with his fellow senator from Kentucky will teach him not to rely so heavily on mainstream Republicans.
He knows that Rand is terrible on foreign policy. He writes:
 Perhaps the vicious way he is now being treated by the neo-cons will bring him back closer to the libertarian fold on foreign policy.
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps....

Perhaps Murray Rothbard is going to rise from the dead and rescue us all from tyranny.

I believe it is a terrible mistake to urge libertarians to vote for, support (and send money too!)  a man, who we know shows no indication of in the trench willingness to carry the libertarian torch on any specific issue.

We are not talking, "Give me liberty or give me death," when it comes to Rand. We are not even talking, "End the Fed." We are talking, "Give me votes," and such a man should never be given votes or endorsements. In Chapter 10 of The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek taught us all what we need to know about men focused on getting votes.



  1. Well, at least Walter didn’t tell Ron Paul to “shut up” in this post….

    I read Block’s entire Facebook post and wonder…why does Block feel the need to endorse anyone? Why bother? A “60” on the Block scale is worthy of endorsement?

    “Previously, I gave Rand a mark of 70 on my own personal libertarian-o-meter….But, thanks to Rand’s changes of policy, typically in a direction away from libertarian purity, I have demoted him to a 60. By the way, no other Republican candidate gets more than a 30…”

    Why qualify your statement with “typically”?

    Look, when Rand first was running for senate, he got a 90. Now “demoted” from 70 to 60. Just wait, Walter – by the time all is said and done, Rand won’t score better than 35 – then what will you say? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me 7,498 times…well, then what, Walter?

    “The more money donated to his cause, the longer he can endure in this venture. So, I urge my fellow libertarians to not only financially contribute to his candidacy but to offer him any and all support they can.”

    Do something productive toward actual liberty with your support and money; give it to the Mises Institute.

  2. I was surprised to hear the endorsement. Would never have seen it coming. Not sure if he can really be considered ancap after this.

  3. Why am I not surprised? What does surprise me is the fact that more libertarians haven't awakened to Block's irrationality. Newcomers, such as those who booed Block for his irrational "evictionist" speech at Ron Paul's gathering during the GOP convention had their eyes wide open while the old timers were still raptly attentive to whatever Block decided to say.

  4. Divide et impera. The Elite must surely love Rand and what he is doing to what his father built.

  5. I would never bet on the conversion of a dark horse to some how, one day, hopegully go full libertarian.

  6. Walter makes some good points, but I haven't stayed up to date with Rand's current positions, and probably should wait longer to see what they are closer to the election. It remains to be seen if Rand is much better than the average GOP. Certainly not enough to get excited for, probably not enough to vote for.

    But where Block goes off the deep end, is suggesting that we donate our hard earned dollars to a barley libertarian presidential candidate. Seriously? Look at it this way: add 1% to Rand's piggy bank, or 20% to the piggybanks of LvMI, RPI, FFF, etc? Obviously, the numbers are just a guess, but it's inconceivable that that libertarian message is going to get further by an unprincipled politician vs. these tried and true organizations.

  7. I believe distancing ourselves from Rand is the correct strategy. He's often vague or unlibertarian in his positions. He's not the guy you want as the face of your movement. Rand was the heir apparent. And he blew it.

    1. " He's not the guy you want as the face of your movement."

      True, that. The punditry of the mainstream media are the only ones trying to make Randy out to be a libertarian. Nevermind being the face of libertarianism, Randy isn't even the posterior.