Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rand Paul Getting Rinsed and Tumbled Inside the Establishment Machine

Walter Block is out with a column today that implies that Rand Paul's endorsement of Mitt Romney is okay. He seems to only have a problem with the timing:
 The main problem I have with Rand Paul's endorsement of Mitt Romney is its timing: it was done before his father, Ron Paul, had actually lost the election, which is to be based on delegates, not popular vote.
What is Block's reasoning? He writes:
For me, an important point was the realization, thanks to Jack Hunter, that Murray Rothbard supported George Bush over Bill Clinton. That strongly indicates to me that there is nothing anti libertarian, per se, about such an endorsement, whether of Bush by Rothbard, or of Mitt, by Rand.
Is this a case of the fallacy of an appeal to authority? It sure sounds pretty close to me.

Rothbard in my view was a genius, but we should never simply take Murray's views or actions on anything as gospel. We should try and understand Murray's thinking on subjects, and his actions, because he was such a clear thinker, but to say Murray did this therefore it "strongly indicates to me," is wrong.

To be fair to Dr. Block, he does then make another argument that at least is not an  argumentum ad verecundiam, but even this argument falls short of justifying a Rand Paul-type endorsement of Romney. He writes:
Suppose we were slaves, and the master offered us a vote for either Overseer Baddy, who beat the crap out of us all the time, or Overseer Goody, who only beat us once in a while, and then more gently. And suppose we voted for the latter. Does this mean we support slavery? Of course not. Does this mean that we have thereby violated the libertarian principle of non aggression? Again, of course not. Does this mean we endorse Goody? No, a thousand times no. We can only infer from this action that we prefer Goody to Baddy.

Now posit that a mugger held us at gun point, and demanded either our watch or our wallet, and we gave him our time piece. Does this mean we have acquiesced in the robbery? Certainly not. Does this imply we agreed to having our watch stolen from us?
Say what?

My views on the difference between the Rothbard endorsement of Bush and Rand Paul's endorsement of Romney, I have already discussed here. My conclusion was that if Rand is willing to come out and call Romney a bozo (as Rothbard called Bush), then we can connect the two endorsements, otherwise I see them as two different things.

Rothbard clearly made his endorsement noting its limits. Rand did the opposite, he stretched his endorsement to make Romney appear better than he actually is, especially when Rand said that the positions between Romney and Ron Paul on the Fed are similar.

As for Block's Goody versus Baddy example, and its inference of preference justification. I think he is being too clever here by half. Who ever said that people wouldn't choose the lesser of two evils? And who said that this couldn't be surmised by the inference of preference? But what does either of these have to do with the misleading enthusiastic endorsement of the Rand Paul-kind of  Romney? I propose  they have nothing to do with each other, and that thus these arguments shouldn't be placed in a section relative to Rand's endorsement.

It is one thing to endorse someone as the lesser of two evils, or as a bozo, it is an entirely different thing to suggest that such an evil person is actually a good person. This, as I have written before, is my chief problem with the Rand endorsement.

Rand has stated in interviews that he made a pledge when running for the current position he holds, U.S. Senator from the state of Kentucky, that he would endorse the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, and that is fine. But an endorsement along the lines of  "A second Obama administration would be very dangerous for the country and my full support goes to  Mitt Romney", would have even worked for me. But, it is Rand's comments beyond this, that Romney is somehow similar in his views to Ron Paul, which cross the line.

This is of no help to advancing the libertarian cause. It creates dangerous confusion. Those who are only casual observers of the political scene and hear Rand make the absurd claims that Romney is close on many issues with Ron, may result in some turning to learn about what is wrong with the Fed and what is libertarianism by (horror) turning to the Mitt Romney internet page and finding things like this.

Hunter was wrong in using Rothbard as a comparison to Rand's endorsement. It would have still fallen short (because of Rand misleading in his endorsement) but there is a comment, not by Rothbard but by Ludwig von Mises, that could shed light on the matter. Mises understood that there was a difference between high theory and politics. He wrote (Mises emphasis):
The practical politician must take into account the voters' reaction to his program if he wants to succeed in the short run. He must compromise. But the intellectual pioneer of a better world is not restricted by the concerns of Realpolitik. His program must be a sound program that triumphs in the long run. 
And while Mises here is discussing a politician in relation to voters, it is not difficult to take Mises concept of Realpolitik and apply it to maneuverings and endorsements within a political party. In other words, when looking at the actions of a politician, we must look at those actions through the political framework. And, bottom line, Rand Paul is a politician, nothing more, nothing less.

The real problem with Rand is thus not that he compromises (That's what politicians do) or his Romney endorsement, but the manner in which he has gone about the endorsement and the type of compromises he is, thus, likely going to have to make.

He is setting himself up to be swallowed by the system. He will not come out of the machine advancing any important libertarian issues. He will not be able to go to the farm belt and talk cutting farm subsidies. He will not be able to go to Boeing and talk defense cuts. He will not be able to go to Sheldon Adelson and talk elimination of foreign aid to Israel. You see, none of these will advance the Romney cause and the Romney cause for Rand will be put ahead of the liberty cause. The establishment will stick Rand inside the machine running rinse and tumble over and over again. It will mean Rand' making the wrong kind of compromises---ones that will advance his standing in the machine. That's not what we need.

An astute political compromiser, interested in advancing liberty, would, say, vote for some government pay out to some group, if in return it means an audit of the Fed and Fort Knox. That's a compromise to advance liberty and educate the masses. It's an in your face choice in the right here and right now on specific issues. But blind support to the machine will only hold as long as the support is to the machine. It appears Rand has chosen this path. It may advance his personal power, but it won't help much in advancing liberty. He may get to advance some liberty programs on minor issues, but the machine will like this. They will point to Rand as a libertarian and hoodwink some weak thinking libertarians into thinking that he represents all libertarian issues, but he won't come close to a libertarian position when the machine really wants the non-libertarian vote from him. Rand's over the top endorsement of Romney is sending the signal to the machine that they will be able to count on Rand.

What Rothbard once said about the "Objectivist" Fed chairman,  Alan Greenspan, may apply someday to Rand:
It becomes almost piquant for the Establishment to have this man in its icing on the cake, they know that Greenspan's "philosophical" Randianism will undoubtedly fool many free market advocates into thinking that a champion of their cause now perches high in the seats of power.
Forget watching reruns of West Wing on television, watching Rand get bounced around by the machine is going to be much more fascinating and educational.


  1. From Dr. Block's third quote

    "Does this mean we endorse Goody?"

    He's attempting to justify the act of endorsing, not the act of voting. Yet he's justifying the act of voting by saying it's not an endorsement? This statement of his is completely illogical.

  2. Excellent point. I had a heated exchange with a friend about this. My friend's point was that he thought Rand was trying to secure some influential position in Romney's New Rome to advance liberty in some way. And this seems reasonable (and then of course Rand said that he would endorse the Republican nominee - as a Republican, a member of a group who wants to work with the group, he must do this). But his endorsement doesn't sit well with me, although I didn't express it as well as you have. Primarily because he has done what you have written here, made a statement that is a blatant lie about Romney's position on a key issue of liberty. Why do this? All respect to Jack Hunter, who does great work, but I think he may not be entirely objective when it comes to the guy he has ghost-written for. I don't know, maybe I'm not either.

  3. Excellent analysis. Best case for Rand: If he makes it to a second senate term, or the white house, he will be ineffective and will muddy the liberty message for the masses. Worst case, he will abandon liberty altogether and be an effective statist. His father has been ineffective legislatively, but at least he educated millions. Rand will educate no one.

  4. Perhaps Rand Paul was always at heart an establishment Republican stalwart. The fact remains that he got his start in politics by what now appears to have been pandering to the liberty movement. And his old man purchased his ticket out of obscurity with the support of the same group, and I'm talking support in the crude financial sense, as well as the less tangible political. So what it breaks down to is that he/they conned those people, in both senses.

    That's called fraud. If he'd been selling real estate instead of political fantasies he could be put in jail. But the con paid off. It bought him a spot with the rest of the demigods in the District of Criminals, where he breathes the rarified air and enjoys the privilege of being above the law. Now there's plenty of rationalizing and political bloviating to be done about why he did what he did and what his intentions are/were, but it really looks pretty simple to me. He's come home to where he belonged all along.

  5. Wenzel, you're better than Block on this, but I still think you don't have it right. Re-read the last and finest chapter of "For a New Liberty" about libertarian strategy. Rothbard correctly points out that when trying to advance liberty, no compromises can be made that decrease liberty in one area in order to increase it in another because you'll ultimately end up with a net loss of liberty.

    A huge problem (even with libertarians!) is putting too much faith in politicians. I remember some woman writer on LRC getting excited about Sarah Palin when she first burst onto the scene, seeing in her some libertarian leanings that weren't really there. I was disappointed when fans of Ron Paul went gaga over Rand when it was obvious that he was nothing like his father. Now Block (an anarchist!) is jumping through hoops to make the power-hungry Rand seem like a brilliant libertarian tactician.

    Rand is a perfect example of a few things:
    - Love of liberty is intrinsic, not inherited
    - That the State is brilliant at not only neutralizing but converting the opposition
    - That the State can be scaled back only from without, not from within

    1. I'm not sure Rothbard is making that point in the sense you are implying. Rather than attempt a long theoretical analysis, let me propose the following mind experiment. A Senator because of various positionings of bills in Congress would be able to get through Congress a bill eliminating minimum wage laws, if he was willing to vote in favor of health warning labels on bottles of Coca Cola. Should he make such a compromise? I would argue yes. Would you be opposed?

    2. I would, and this point is critical. When you start to play this game, the State is going to steamroll you, because it excels at this game. Ron Paul's career demonstrates these tactics are unnecessary; his courage and principled avoidance of compromise were huge for liberty -- not through victory on specific legislation, but by growing the movement. Now the more "pragmatic" Rand is sowing confusion.

      Besides, you're never going to get that kind of sweet deal (soda labelling vs. minimum wage) in practice. And if you do, you're already 99% there. Don't capitulate at the finish line, just push harder for dropping the minimum wage and don't fold on the labelling.

      If you do the compromise, you lose the moral high ground and the clarity of purpose in advancing liberty. In this situation, how could you be a libertarian when you fail even by the low standard of the Constitution?

    3. As further support to my argument that Rothbard's view on compromise was more nuanced than you imply, it now comes to mind that Rothbard once supported rent controls as part a compromise during his infiltration of the Maoist wing of a New York City Leninist-Trotskyite party.

    4. It seems to me that comparing the actions of an elected politician (Rand), who's job is to protect the rights of the people, to a citizen exercising his right to free speech and organization (Rothbard) is apples to oranges. Rothbard was compromising on a position in order to continue a private, voluntary, social relationship. In no real way was he limiting anyone else's freedom.

      Imposing a restriction on the market via legislation in order to lift another one still has the real effect of limiting liberty and supporting the institution of government over the people. Justifying govenrment control as being more or less "guilty" in a compromise seems to imply consent for guilt. While one may see the utility, another may simply see their freedom traded for someeone else's.

      I don't know what ends Rand has in mind so I can only judge his means and a quote from Altucher's book that Wenzel posted about yesterday sticks in my mind: "When you get in the mud with a pig, you get dirty and the pig gets happy."

    5. Robert - I enjoyed that story when you first posted it, but I mainly saw it as a side gag that Rothbard enjoyed. Sort of poking the communists with a stick type of thing. These sort of group gatherings have no input on any policies and I'd bet he knew that going in. He just wanted to ruffle feathers.

  6. Why endorse BEFORE convention? Surely he made no deal to do that.

  7. Here's a thought... how about we wait to see IF any of those terrible things happen before we throw Rand under the bus?

    Rand Paul has accomplished more, legislatively speaking, in two years as a Senator than his father did in 30 years as a Congressman. And you cannot be an effective legislator without allies - allies you won't have if you don't show at least some little sign of being a faithful party member. Ask Ron. He'll tell you.

    Don't get me wrong - Ron Paul is my hero and inspiration. But I'm realistic enough to see that he was not able to accomplish much as a member of Congress. The liberty movement is his legacy, his congressional record is not.

    I will be keeping a close eye on Rand and what he does going forward. But with all he has done for liberty thus far, I am happy to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    And please, Mr. Wenzel, could you give the daily Rand-bashing a rest? It is only causing further division and discouragement within the liberty movement and that is hardly what is needed at this point.

    1. Heh, good luck supporting statism pal. Contineu to deceive thyself.

    2. If you think liberty will come by changing DC then you are fooling yourself. Change will come when the people give up on statism and turn towards libertarianism. This is an intellectual revolution. Rand Paul is not very good at converting people to libertarianism and Austrian economics, and this move makes it even harder to wake people up for the reason Wenzel wrote. Ron Paul, on the other hand, never worried about playing politics and stuck to the truth and has become the single greatest lightning rod for liberty our movement has ever seen. Ron Paul inspires millions to read Rothbard and Mises. Rand Paul is more concerned with political games than educating the people.

      Also, if you think people disagreeing over Rand's decision is dividing the liberty movement then I don't think you even understand what the movement is all about. If you think it is about marching behind whatever politician that has libertarian ideas then count me out. This movement, to me, is about educating people on the merits of libertarianism and Austrian economics. When people in our movement do things that run counter to this or do things that are anti-libertarian (like voting for sanction on Iran) then there is nothing wrong with calling them out. If you don't agree that the person we are calling out deserves it then feel free to defend them. We are all individuals with our own opinions on what is best for liberty. I don't want to be part of a movement where it is wrong to disagree with things people are doing simply because they are apart of that movement. I could be a democrat or a republican if I wanted to be blindly loyal.

    3. I am not sure what Rand has "Accomplished" in his first two years. Perhaps you could elaborate. Oh, wait, I get it, you must be talking about him giving a resounding "at a boy" to the newer more severe brand of sanctions against Iran. You know, the ones which are sure to consign a couple hundred thousand more Iranian kids to an early grave.

      Is that what you meant?

  8. Block voted for Obama. That should inform your consideration of his writings.

    (I don't have the source - but from something he wrote a couple of years ago)

  9. If the liberty movement is to succeed, it is going to need to form coalitions with others. We need to form coalitions with paleo-conservatives, with civil libertarians, and with Tea Party activists. In short, we need to form coalitions with other outsiders. We do not need to form coalitions with the establishment if our aim is to overthrow the establishment. It is very important that we keep that distinction in mind.

    The question is does Rand's endorsement of Mitt Romney cross that line? I hardly think it qualifies. Few here are even questioning the practicality of the endorsement. They are questioning the timing and the venue and the manner of the endorsement. So the issue at hand is the tactics, not the substance. Even if I want to set myself up as a genius tactician, I can forgive Rand making a tactical error.

    Murray Rothbard may have endorsed Bozo Bush, but don't forget that Ron Paul endorsed Michelle Bachmann and helped her raise money for her re-election campaign in 2008. From my point of view today, I have to think that that was a tactical error.

    So, even if we accept that Rand may have made a tactical error, does his move amount to crossing the line into forming a coalition with the establishement? I don't see how. His "enthusiasm" for Romney merely amounted to pointing out where he (and his father) agree with Romney. He didn't say they agreed on the Fed. He said they agreed that the Fed needed more transparency and accountability. And he mentioned a few other agreas where they agreed. They agreed on SOPA. Does that imply that they agree on NDAA? Of course not.

    I agree that it is important to keep close track of what our politicians are doing even if they are part of the liberty movement, and I'm not prepared to claim that Rand Paul is destined to be the savior of that movement, but I don't see where he has crossed teh line on matters of principle at this point. If he hopes to appeal to Romney supporters in 2016, he will need to support Romney in 2012 and calling him a "bozo" isn't likely to do that.

    1. Did you actually read what Wenzel wrote? He didn't make the argument that it was just a tactical mistake. If you are going to disagree with him at least don't change the meaning of his argument. Try knocking down one of his actual arguments like this one,

      "This is of no help to advancing the libertarian cause. It creates dangerous confusion. Those who are only casual observers of the political scene and hear Rand make the absurd claims that Romney is close on many issues with Ron, may result in some turning to learn about what is wrong with the Fed and what is libertarianism by (horror) turning to the Mitt Romney internet page and finding things like this."

  10. "Forget watching reruns of West Wing on television, watching Rand get bounced around by the machine is going to be much more fascinating and educational."

    I suppose...if you find watching slow motion trains wrecks "fascianting and educational".

    Rand has now put himself in the position where even if he starts to recognize what the establishment is going to do with him he'll have no "support" to retrench.

    There's always the outside chance the establishment will make him a VP...but I doubt his relevance ever goes beyond that.

  11. Block seems mostly logical and I have watched him give intellectual beatdowns. But I have also on occasion seen him argue some very silly points, most notably here and in a back and forth with another libertarian on evictionism (wish I still had the link). On his analogy of the mugger saying "The watch or the wallet" I believe the correct answer, and the one that I think many Paul supporters choose, is to fight the mugger. Rarely is there ever only two options, and even if we agree that there are we also have to presuppose the outcome of our actions; a folly-laden task for those of us without prescience. This applies to most utilitarian logic.

  12. Wenzel, you keep expressing my views perfectly.

  13. Its pretty disturbing that Rand Paul is probably even more of a libertarian than Goldwater, yet people call him statist. LOL. Rand Paul might be the most libertartian Senator of the last 150 years.

    The fact of the matter is Wenzel wouldn't even be happy if someone were a Hayekian. Wenzel wants someone who is full Rothbard. Craziness and all. If you don't think fluoride in the water is government mind control and sterilization, you're a statist. If think roads built by coercive taxation theft are okay then you are an evil statist. If you think having a government at all is a good idea, your a statist and need to be scorned. After all government is just a tool of the Illuminati to keep you from being free.

    1. You're just as bad as Wenzel, though I agree with him, considering your attacks against anyone who holds beliefs different than yours. All you can do is attempt to mock people to prove you're point. Just shameful.

      And about Rand, only time will tell whether or not he goes down the Cato/Reason path of Libertarian Lite, or if he'll stand on the principles of Liberty.

    2. "Rand Paul might be the most libertartian Senator of the last 150 years."

      That's absurd. Many 19th century senators would just quit and start an armed insurrection if they were somehow able to magically appear as a senator in 2012.

      You really think a 19th century senator would submit to a TSA enhanced patdown?

    3. You really knocked that straw man down.

      I'm sick of this attitude that since Rand Paul has been good, for the most part, as a senator that means no ill words must be spoken of him. Sorry if it ruffles your very delicate feathers but a lot of us think Rand made a mistake and we're are not going to stay silent just because you think nobody should say a bad word about the guy. And saying Rand is the best senator in the last 150 years is like saying he is the smartest guy on the short bus. If you want me to be impressed then compare him to great libertarians and Austrian economists like Murray Rothbard, Ludwig Von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, Walter Block, Ron Paul, Hans Hermann Hoppe, Lew Rockwell, Robert Wenzel, Robert Murphy, Tom Woods, Tom Dilorenzo, etc. if we compare him to great libertarians or Austrians then he doesn't even make the list. If you want to worship Rand nobody is stopping you but don't be an idiot and think we have to join you.

    4. What do those great economists have to with Rand Paul? What office have the held? What legislation have they passed? Its easy to be "pure" when you are only accountable to yourself and not voters. Freedom unfortunately is a tough sell.

      The fact of the matter is the overwhelming majority of people complaining about Rand Paul or Reason/Cato aren't committed to seeing any type of positive change. They would much rather the movement get .5% of the vote and sit around patting each other on the back about how pure they are and how stupid everyone else is for not wanting anarchy.

      How can people have a problem with Reason and Cato? They do GREAT work. The first time I had ever heard of the word libertarian was from John Stossel. Stossel is associated with both organizations and, along with Peter Schiff and Walter Williams, are the best at articulating free market principles.

      These purity tests have got to stop. Libertarians make up such a small percentage of the population yet the movement is so fractured.

    5. "What do those great economists have to with Rand Paul? What office have the held? What legislation have they passed? Its easy to be "pure" when you are only accountable to yourself and not voters. Freedom unfortunately is a tough sell."

      They all would like to see more liberty. That's what they have to do with Rand. Yes, freedom is a tough sale and I believe the guys I mentioned are much better at selling it. I've never heard anyone say they were a neocon or liberal until they heard Rand Paul. Look, Rand isn't a bad guy but if we want liberty in our lifetime we need the people to support libertarianism and Austrian economics. Rand Paul doesn't make that list I mentioned because he isn't very good at spreading the message. If you think winning political elections is the most important thing then I can see why you feel so strongly for Rand, but I think waking people up to our message is much more important than winning elections.

      "The fact of the matter is the overwhelming majority of people complaining about Rand Paul or Reason/Cato aren't committed to seeing any type of positive change."

      Kiss my ass. Quit acting like a petulant child because people disagree with you. What a complete BS statement. If you want to bow at the alter of Rand and think he is infallible that's fine, but don't question the hard work of the people who disagree with you. Everybody wants to be free and wants to see positive change. We just disagree with you on the best way to achieve that positive change. Man, what a crap statement.

      "How can people have a problem with Reason and Cato? They do GREAT work."

      People have a problem with them because they make flawed arguments on some issues and sometimes favor things that other libertarians disagree with. Nobody is saying that Cato/Reason are always wrong and should never be listened to, but when they are wrong they should be called out on it. You may benefit from reading this set of articles.

      "These purity tests have got to stop. Libertarians make up such a small percentage of the population yet the movement is so fractured."

      It isn't about a purity test, it's about whether they are right or wrong. When someone in the liberty movement makes an incorrect argument or does something anti-libertarian it should be pointed out. It seems like you just want to be like a typical republican or democrat and just blindly support anybody who says they are a libertarian. How about this, you can support any person or group that you like without a negative word against them, and the rest of us will support these people or groups when we believe they are right and criticize them when we think they are wrong? Is that ok with you?

    6. "What do those great economists have to with Rand Paul?"

      They are all trying to advance the cause of liberty. I just think the people I listed are much better at doing it than Rand Paul. If you believe winning elections is the best way to achieve liberty then I can see why you love Rand so much, but I believe that educating people about libertarianism and Austrian economics is what is needed to advance liberty. I supported Ron Paul because he was the best at getting people to read guys like Murray Rothbard and Ludwig Von Mises. I never cared what the election results were, although it would have been nice to see him win, I cared about the millions of people he was waking up. I've never heard of anybody saying I was a neocon or liberal before I heard Rand Paul. He may be a good politician, but that isn't saying much, and I am more concerned about whether he is good at waking people up. This is why I'm not enamored with Rand like you are.

      "The fact of the matter is the overwhelming majority of people complaining about Rand Paul or Reason/Cato aren't committed to seeing any type of positive change."

      Quit acting like a petulant child. What a BS statement. Who are you to say that people dedicating their lives to furthering the libertarian movement don't care about seeing positive change? Grow up.

      "How can people have a problem with Reason and Cato? They do GREAT work."

      People have a problem with them when they make bad arguments or anti-libertarian arguments. Not everyone believes that you shouldn't say anything when someone is wrong just because they happen to agree with you on other things. If you think Cato and Reason are infallible then that's fine but others here don't and we aren't scared to say so. How weak do you think our movement is that you believe we must never speak a bad word about another in the movement?

      "These purity tests have got to stop. Libertarians make up such a small percentage of the population yet the movement is so fractured."

      It's not a purity test. It is a question of right or wrong. When people make arguments that fit libertarian principles people like me agree with them, even if they aren't libertarian on other things. When people make arguments that go against libertarian principles then people like me say they are wrong, even if they are libertarian on other things. If you want to act like anybody who is in the liberty movement is never wrong that is fine for you, but the rest of us have no problem pointing out when we believe someone in our movement is wrong about something.

    7. " Quit acting like a petulant child because people disagree with you."

      The disagreement on strategy has ZERO to do with my posts. ZERO. NONE.

      I'm pointing out the intolerance of those bashing Rand. Many don't simply disagree with Rand. A huge number have threatened his life and called him a traitor. Jerry Sandusky gets better treatment than Rand does from some "freedom" supporters.

    8. "I'm pointing out the intolerance of those bashing Rand. Many don't simply disagree with Rand. A huge number have threatened his life and called him a traitor. Jerry Sandusky gets better treatment than Rand does from some "freedom" supporters."

      What does any of that have to do with what Wenzel or I have said? You've been responding to our responses so why don't you stick to the things we've said. If you want to go argue with people who are threatening his life then go respond to their posts.

      I love when people respond directly to a person and then after that person points out the holes in their argument they say, "I wasn't talking to you, I was talking about people who were making a completely different argument."

  14. I have no idea why anyone pays attention to Walter Block. He's philosophically bankrupt as a libertarian, yielding all of the energy and ideas in the movement to more principled men like Hoppe and Kinsella.

    There was a time when Walter Block was radical. Until one discovers any other libertarian radical, and then realizes that Block doesn't believe there are consequences for compromise of values.

    In a weird way, he's become a utilitarian Austrian. A man closer to Hayek than Mises.

    1. Walter Block isn't pure enough for you? &@#$%%^ ^@$%@^%#%^#

    2. That's going way overboard. Walter Block is closer to Murray Rothbard than either Hayek or Mises. You can think that his views on politics or voting is wrong, but the guy doesn't support the anything that he believes violates the NAP.

      My father was a die hard liberal 4 years ago and is now an anarchocapitalist. That is primarily thanks to books, videos, and articles by Dr. Block.

      I disagree with Dr. Block on his opinion of Rand's endorsement but to act like he is a utilitarian is nonsense. I believe this interview gives a better assessment of the views of Dr. Walter Block

    3. Oh, by the way, Dr. Block lists Rothbard and Hoppe as his two favorite people.

    4. Yes, he isn't pure enough. Are you guys familiar with his constant apologetics for the electoral system?

      For a guy who supposedly hates the state, he sure spends a lot of time trying to participate in it.

  15. An endorsement mde during an electoral contest has practical value and can help shepherd credibility, volunteers and resources, depending on the source of the endorsement. But a endorsement made AFTER the contest is conceded -- particularly by someone who worked hard for an opponent when the race was on -- is simply a formality, void of ideological import. It matters to the party hacks who put form above substance, but should mean nothing to us.

  16. It would be Rand's way of fighting.

    I remember Rothbard saying deception and violence were viable counters against oppression in Ethics of Liberty.

  17. I wasn't disappointed by Rand's endorsement of Rommney. It was in fact expected. I did not ascertain him to be anything like his father. He rode to public recognition on his father's name and reputation, not his own, IMHO. I didn't trust him before he was seated was seated in the Senate. I trust him even less now. I was also, prior to his election, always receiving election materials and donation requests for him...and I had never even signed on board anywhere with the Rand Paul campaign. That was something else I found disturbing prior to his election. The distrust I've always felt has now become full-fledged disgust. May he live in interesting times...and I suspect strongly that he will.