Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Congratulations Pour in For Walter Block

By Robert Wenzel

David Gordon writes:
Walter Block has reached an amazing milestone. He is dedicated to his students, and I have often marveled at the way students throng around him whenever he is at Mises University. He is also one of the most prolific economists of our time. He often co-authors papers with students, and these now number 100 peer-reviewed contributions. For anyone else, to publish 100 peer-reviewed articles would be the achievement of a lifetime, but for him, this is only the number he has co-authored with students.  Congratulations to this great champion of liberty.
Tom DiLorenzo writes:
Double Congratulations to Walter Block
irst, congratulations to Professor Walter Block of Loyola University New Orleans upon publishing his 100th peer-reviewed article with a student (or students) coauthor.  It’s unlikely that any other faculty member at that university has published 50 articles in his or her entire career, let alone just with student coauthors.
Second, congratulations also, Walter, on the apparent boycott of your classes by the dumbest of the dumb among the student body who have been instructed by Marxist faculty there, including the university president, that free-market economics, libertarianism, and freedom in general are “racist” and “sexist,” the mating call of brainless campus Marxists everywhere.  You now do not need to waste your time on these young dimwits who have been swindled out of their education by conniving faculty and administrators who have convinced them to be “protesters” and left-wing loudmouths (like themselves) instead of students.  You can now devote more time and energy to the genuine students who are eager to learn from you, to co-author more articles in the future, and to not waste their parents’ money.
And I would like to congratulate Dr. Block for being willing to attend a speech by Ayn Rand, when he was probably the same age as those who are now boycotting his classes.

He long ago admitted that at the time he was a lefty and he went to the speech "in order to boo and hiss her, since she was evil incarnate."

And then he had the courage to confront the "evil" directly:
Afterward, the president of the group that had invited her to campus announced there was to be a luncheon in her honor, and anyone was welcome to take part, whether or not they agreed with her ideas. Not having had enough booing and hissing at Ayn in her formal lecture, I decided to avail myself of this opportunity to further express my displeasure with her and her views.
When I arrived at the luncheon, I found that the group was sitting in "pecking order": Ayn Rand at the head of the table, Nathaniel Branden and Leonard Peikoff, first along the two sides of the table, and the lesser lights ranged alongside. I was of course relegated to the foot of this august assembly, whereupon I turned to my neighbor, a neophyte as it turned out, and tried to argue the socialist side of a debate against capitalism. He replied that he really wasn’t very knowledgeable about this issue, but that the people located at the other end of the table certainly were. At this point I betook myself there, stuck my head between Ayn’s and Nathan’s, and announced that there was a socialist here who wanted to debate someone on economic issues pertaining to capitalism. (I was a bit of a chutzpanick in those days). They politely asked, Who was this socialist, and I replied that it was me.
And we all know what happened:
Nathan very graciously offered to come to the other end of the table with me for this purpose, but he imposed two preconditions: first, I would be honor bound not to allow this conversation to lapse with this one meeting, but would continue with it until we had achieved a resolution: either he would convince me of the error of my ways, or I would convince him of his. Second, I would read two books he would later recommend to me (Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt). I agreed, and we spoke for an hour or so upon that occasion, followed up four or five times more for a similar duration at his apartment, where some of the other Randians took part, including Ayn, Leonard Piekoff, Barbara Branden and Alan Greenspan.
At the end of this process I was converted to libertarianism. 
Oh, if just one of the college-age boycotters had the courage to be a Walter Block-style college lefty confronter.

Dr. Block was enough of an idea battler, unafraid to take anyone on, and truth seeker that he was converted from his college-age pinko commie views. Aren't there any of the current boycotters curious as to how this could occur?

At an early age, Dr. Block was instrumental in my libertarian development, especially when his book, Defending the Undefendable was published. It was his courage to take on what he viewed as "evil" capitalists that eventually led to the publication of this book. If he had boycotted Rand, would the book, one of many he has since written, ever have been published? Would he instead maybe have ended up in Hollywood producing lefty-leaning B movies?

Do the boycotters have a philosophical problem with this book? If so, I am willing to listen, these many years later since I read the book, to what the objections are? Or are they going to just shout silly slogans showing that they wouldn't have even been a match against Dr. Block during his college years?

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of

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