Friday, July 31, 2015

Walter Block: I Still Stand With Rand

Below is an email exchange that Professor Walter Block recently had. I plan to comment in the exchange within the next day or so. 

-----Original Message-----
From:.................................... []
Sent: Wed 7/29/2015 4:32 PM
To: walter block
Subject: will you be withdrawing support for Rand Paul?

Hey Walter

I have a question

In light of this new editorial from our good friend Justin Raimondo, will
you be withdrawing your support for Rand Paul?

If not, why not?


-----Original Message-----

From: Walter Block
Sent: Wed 7/29/2015 5:03 PM
Subject: RE: will you be withdrawing support for Rand Paul?

Dear ....................................:

I still stand with Rand. And, my libertarian credentials, I dare say, are as valid as anyone else's on the planet, and better than some.

I agree that Justin makes a very powerful argument about Rand for taking the Iranian's comment out of context. However, I have no evidence that he did this purposefully. Do you? Does Justin? It might well be that an idiotic assistant of Rand's passed on to him this out of context quote.

But, let us stipulate that Rand did this purposefully. I STILL stand with Rand. In this case, yes, he made a mistake. A very bad mistake. Hopefully, he will apologize for it (that is, if he did it purposefully; if not, then, hopefully, he will explain that his assistant gave him this out of context quote, and that Rand has fired him for that horrid mistake). But, suppose that Rand does not do any of these things.

I still support Rand. Why? Because politics is a realm where you have to choose the best candidate, even if he isn't ideal. Hey, I supported my man Barack Obama in 2008 against John McCain, because I thought the latter would actually drop a nuclear bomb on people. Do I like Obama? Of course not. He is no libertarian; he is very far from it. But, he was the least bad candidate that year in my humble opinion.

I readily concede that Rand Paul is no Ron Paul. The latter is magnificent. I even wrote a book about him, which was my love letter to Ron:

BlockWalter E. 2012. Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty. New York: Ishi Press;;;

Rand is no Ron, but, we shouldn't compare Rand and Ron. We should not compare Rand and Murray Rothbard. Of course, Ron and Murray are very consistent libertarians, and Rand is not (He never said he was, by the way). Rather, we should compare Rand with all other candidates for the office of president. And, when we make that comparison, Rand stands head and shoulders above all other Republican candidates in the libertarian sweepstakes.

By the way, my "good friend" Justin Raimondo declined to answer this query of mine to him:

BlockWalter E. 2015. “Walter Block to Justin Raimondo: On Libertarians and Violence” June 26;

Since he never replied to this letter of mine to him (and I donate money to, and he didn't take the opening I offered him to the effect that the pacifist views he expressed were just a typographical error on his part, I must now seriously contemplate the notion that he indeed a pacifist. Well, if he uses that philosophy with which to bash Rand, that's a bit harsh. On that ground Justin would even diverge from Ron and Murray, who were non interventionists, but not pacifists.

Please read these essays of mine, which are relevant to your question:

BlockWalter E. 2015B. “The libertarian case for Rand Paul; complete version.” April 20:

Wenzel, Robert. 2015. “Walter Block Endorses Rand Paul.” April 19;;

I'm gonna blog this conversation of ours, but I'll keep you anonymous.

Best regards,


Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business
Loyola University New Orleans


  1. The anarchists and the Rand Paulians are going to give me heart failure.

  2. I have great respect for people who do not vote or who refuse to register to vote because they do not want to be a part of this massive corrupt system. I have ZERO respect for someone who knowingly votes for someone who is truly evil just because he is a little less evil then the other guy. How any so called libertarian could vote for an avowed marxist like Obama is something I will never understand. How a libertarian could live with himself knowing he helped elect a man who has done such massive damage to this country truly baffles me.

  3. You have libertarian credentials, Dr Block. Rand is still no good.

    Rand hangs out with evildoers like Mitch McConnel. What does that tell you? That he is BFF with the fourth or fifth most evil man in congress?

    You have said that a man cannot own his own reputation. Perhaps he cannot, but he should still try to serve as a custodian. Rand's reputation is in tatters. Now look to your own.

  4. Dr. Block I think your predilection, even amongst libertarian thinkers, to be a contrarian is getting the best of you. Rand Paul is horrible. He is almost single handedly responsible for the reelection of Mr. Establishment Mitch McConnell. Mr. Establishment who has given us TPP and even worse domestic spying in just the 7 months he's been reelected. Rand has abandoned a major plank of a libertarian politician, a non-interventionist foreign policy. If these are the results we can expect from Senator Paul we do not need enemies.

  5. What if up for election were Ivan the Terrible versus Joseph Stalin. Ivan ordered people beheaded, strangled, hanged, blinded, burned, stabbed, boiled, disemboweled, buried alive, impaled and fried. Stalin ordered people worked to death in labor camps, shot, stabbed, raped, and starved.

    As Stalin’s methods of slaughter incorporate slightly less suffering, perhaps qualifying him as the least unlibertarian candidate compared to Ivan, would Block proudly “Stand with Stalin?”

    Rather than feel compelled to vote for the least bad candidate, perhaps Block should take the least bad action. If no candidate holds promise to advance the principles of liberty, then the least bad action would be not to vote. The criteria should be principled, not utilitarian. At least, if one believes morality is relevant to choosing actions. As Block is the world’s foremost heroic champion of. What a tragic blind spot he has.

  6. "Walter Block: I Still Stand With Rand"

    Good for you, Block. After you answer for putting your signature under all of Obama's policies (drones, assassinations, meddling the the Middle East etc), which you have to since you voted for him and therefore voted for his policies, you can continue to claim you still have your credentials.

    But respect is another thing. And this "stand with Rand" thing is just another in a growing list of reasons not to consider Walter Block worthy of much respect. Fortunately when it comes to questioning someone's libertarian credentials, Block himself would never do any such thing to other true libertarians (who would never engage in something so utterly pointless as voting for "the least evil".) such as Molyneux and McElroy.