My Letter to the President of Loyola University, New Orleans

For background, see my video. And see my special page on how you, too, can stand up for Walter.

Dear Dr. Wildes:

No doubt you have received quite a bit of correspondence by now about Walter Block. I won’t rehash the main points. You are familiar with them already.

I will say that I find it impossible to believe that you, an intelligent man, believe your own interpretation of Walter’s remarks to the New York Times. You note that Walter’s comment about slavery seems to run counter to libertarian principles. You don’t say! Might that be an indication that the Times, which despises what Walter stands for, has distorted his views?

A university president ought to support his faculty in a case like this, in which he knows full well that a professor has been grotesquely mischaracterized. If this were an accurate rendering of Walter’s views, why was he considering a libel suit?

Had Walter been a left-wing professor accused of Stalinism, would you have been so quick to denounce him? The question answers itself.

This is why it is impossible to believe that any of this has to do with Walter’s remarks. You are not a fool. You know Walter, and you know where he stands. He has never kept his views a secret. You owed him better, and you failed him.

Now it’s true, you did communicate to the university community that your views are the conventional and respectable ones, and that you are not to be confused with Walter Block. We got that.

Some of your faculty, whom you should have rebuked rather than implicitly congratulated, treated Walter with a similar lack of charity.

Since the substance of your (and their) claims have been dealt with elsewhere, let me raise some relevant considerations:

(1) How many professors at Loyola University can say students have enrolled for the express purpose of studying with them?

(2) How many professors at Loyola University can say they have co-authored scholarly articles with their students – not once or twice, but dozens of times?

(3) How many professors at Loyola University have a big enough audience that it would even matter if they urged students to attend Loyola, as Walter constantly does?

(4) How many professors at Loyola University have over 400 peer-reviewed articles?

(5) How many professors at Loyola University would anyone anywhere in the country lift a single finger for?

(6) Oh, and how many professors at Loyola University, who preposterously accused Walter of “sexism” for denying that “discrimination” could explain the male-female wage gap, dared to face Walter in open debate? (Their decision not to try to debate Walter is a fleeting sign of intelligence among them.)

Yes, yes, I got the message: your faculty is against slavery. What courage they must have had to summon in 2014 to unbosom to the world their opposition to slavery!

But I wonder: would people who ostentatiously announce their opposition to slavery in 2014 have had the courage to oppose it when it counted – say, in 1850? I have my doubts that people so desperate to assure the world of their conventional opinions and how appalled and offended they are by heretics, would have been the sort of people to buck conventional opinion at a time when two percent of the American electorate supported an abolitionist political party.

What I know for a fact is that Walter Block would have opposed it, lock, stock, and barrel.

That you simply repeated the New York Times’ characterization of Walter Block, without even conceding, as the Times did, that Walter believed slavery was wrong because it was involuntary – so your behavior was worse than that of the Times, which is no mean feat – is bewildering and appalling in a university president, or indeed in a human being.

Long after every name on that list of Walter’s faculty critics is gone and forgotten, the work of Walter Block will continue to educate new generations in the principles of liberty. No one will recall the pygmies who attacked him out of spite or envy.

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D.

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  • clockRVA

    You never cease to impress me Mr. Woods !

  • But_Who_Will_Build_The_Roads


  • Frank M

    Tom beat the Loyola Prez so far down that I had to sit on the floor to finish reading the letter.

  • Brosky

    Academia generally has become a cesspool of statist imbeciles.

  • William Henry Bowen

    Dr. Woods, you nailed Dr. Wildes to the outhouse door with quarter inch spikes.

  • Mike

    “No one will recall the pygmies who attacked him out of spite or envy.”

    …or cowardice.

  • TJ

    The “Cordially” at the end was a nice touch, as in “now that I have effectively destroyed you instead of gloating I’m going to straighten my tie and walk away cordially like the gentleman I am.

  • Michigan Patriot

    Very Impressive and accurate response to Dr. Block’s mistreatment. The Catholic clergy has been left of center since Vatican ll . They lean towards ” social Justice ” which is a code term for communism. Communists hate freedom, the freedom given to us by Our Heavenly Father and recorded throughout the Bible, how ironic ! I am a Fourth Degree K of C and have taught Christian religious education for many years. Thank you Dr.Woods for coming to his aid. Pax Christi ! Vivat Jesus !

  • @educationfreedo


  • vongoh

    Great letter! You tell him Tom!

  • Neoconned

    Brilliant smack down of the college clown!

  • Commenter Upon Blogs

    Lets be honest: None of this uproar would have happened if Walter had just chosen his words better. Can’t we admit that? Don’t get me wrong, I too think that the New York Times, Loyola president and associated faculty are, to say the least, massive jerks for their reflexive response; only an utter moron couldn’t grasp the point Mr. Block is making relating to slavery being bad because of the fact that it wasn’t voluntary. However, here’s one reason why Mr. Block probably should have chosen a better way to make the point he did: one still has to deal with the fact that the slave quarters that the slaves were kept in weren’t exactly something that one would ever choose to do voluntarily, at least in an ideal situation. How many people other than Mexicans and various other assorted third worlders choose voluntarily to live in squalor with dozens of people to a room that otherwise is only big enough to suit 3 or 4 people comfortably in a living situation? I know the interview was being conducted in real time between Mr. Block and the New York Times, so its understandable that he didn’t have time to really pore over the implications of what he said, but you have to admit he left himself open for attack with that example.

  • Jake

    I think John Paul ii would disagree with the communistic remark.

  • Tom Woods

    Yes, I have already acknowledged this in my podcast and in a YouTube I made from that podcast and posted on my blog. That doesn’t change the fact that only a belligerent idiot would refuse to give Walter the benefit of the doubt and actually lecture him about the evils of slavery.

  • verbracity

    What I sent; (meant to hit them where they live)

    You sir, and your ilk, are why the Catholic church is crumbling. You have betrayed honor and truth and embraced man pleasing and fear of man. It causes one to wonder if you actually believe you will face your maker and answer for your “expediencies’ that ‘required’ you abandon truth.

    Remember; satan is the father of ALL lies. It is lies and liars that are destroying the world.

    What should be far more embarrassing to you in your glorification of intellectual pursuits is that your actions toward Walter block prove you, and a host of your peers, to be demonstrably only pseudo-intellectuals. Your refusal to be open to the facts and proofs he proffered exposes you

    as vapid callow ‘pseudo’s’. And you hubris in condemning things you don’t comprehend puts you precariously close to the same level as Torquemada.

    You shame yourselves, the great institution you serve(?), the church, and the Lord of that church. It is your responsibility to stand for truth against ALL comers! It’s right there in your contract. We are to expect the world to say all manner of things about us, BUT as a result of speaking truth.

    Please behave as the Lord would desire;

    Humble yourselves, turn from the lies, embrace the truth, and don’t concede to the world.

    in HIM,

    Mitch Graves

    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right

    to tell people what they do not want to hear.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth
    is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell

    “It takes the highest courage to utter unpopular truths.” – Herbert Spencer

    “He who does not bellow out the truth when he knows the truth

    makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.” – Charles Peguy

    “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man.

    Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded–here and there, now and then-

    -are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned,

    and almost always opposed by all “right-thinking” people.

    Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is

    driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as ‘bad luck.’ ” – Robert Heinlein

  • Karl

    And Marx denied he was a Marxist.

  • bhamtoolfan

    Boom goes the dynamite.

  • bhamtoolfan

    Agreed. Even at Auburn University, the statist socialist infected the pharmacy school so much so that I, along with many other pharmacists, refuse to donate 1 cent until the statist Dean of Pharmacy leaves the school.

  • bhamtoolfan

    If only Dr. Woods could have used Tombstone’s Doc Holidays voice when he said it! lol

  • Bob_Robert

    Cool. Nicely written.

  • Augustine

    If anything is missing from this missive is some Christian charity pointing out that Wildes is engaging in calumny instead of discovering the truth and defending Walter from lies.

    But I suspect that the reasons numbered are probably the reasons of the attack by the faculty: envy, perhaps even more so than ideology.

  • Dyspeptic

    What a wonderfully scathing and entirely deserved indictment of the abjectly pathetic Father Wildes. This slug of a human being is all too typical of the narrow minded, arrogant and thuggish protectors of Politically Correct orthodoxy that infest academia at the highest levels. Every last miserable one of them put together couldn’t hold a candle to the courage and integrity of a Walter Block. They are the epitome of everything that is wrong with the academic plutocracy and this country as a whole.

    Father Wildes, you are a sad, detestable and foolish jackass and a man of Lilliputian integrity. Have you no shame sir?

  • Zeev Kidron

    This University President, the reporter who did that hatchet job on Peter Schiff, Senator Durbin who lives in a universe where Obamacare has 10 million enrollees, I could go on.

    What is common to them all is the fact there is only one thing worse and harder to stand than a simple idiot, and that is an idiot with an agenda.

    Walter Block should brush the dust from his shoes and keep going. The dust is unimportant, Walter’s brilliance will remain relevant long after the dust has been left behind.

  • Zeev Kidron

    Walter is a teacher, he uses this kind of language to make his logic understandable and make it stick with the student. He’s making an intellectual point the way the really good teachers have made them for centuries, by using anecdotes and by making learning fun for his students.

    His Big mistake was to take the same approach with the sanctimonious evil idiots (and I use this word in it’s original sense) over at Pravda on the Hudson.

  • jda2000

    My God! The man is a nattily attired H-Bomb!

  • Chris

    Did you send this to Fr. Wildes?

  • Tom Woods

    Yes. The student paper will run it next week.

  • At Odds

    Why am I finding it amusing that the people that wrote and signed on to that letter are mostly white?

  • Clarence McFarthing

    As Dr. Woods has said, they all would like us to know that they remain firmly opposed to slavery. Had their indignant response to the words of Dr. Block not occured, people may have thought they wanted slavery reinstated! Its 21st century groupthink on display in the grandest of fashions. Pathetic to the extreme.

  • TomTomA


  • DissidentRight

    Do you find it amusing that libertarians are mostly white? I mean, we are way whiter than Republicans–the apparent party of white people.

  • TweetingMaven

    “Have mercy!”

    “Not tonight!”

    You. You win!

  • jamesbbkk

    Many in the Catholic Church, including Jesuits, were instrumental in bringing about the end of the Soviet Union starting with the support of (sort of) freeing of Poland from that empire.

  • Dyspeptic

    Dr. Woods, you are a paragon of tact and self restraint. My own letter to the Loyola U. president was much more acerbic and contemptuous. I can’t help it though since I don’t have a diplomatic temperament and I have little patience for the antics of collectivist apparatchiks, especially in academia.

    I wonder if Father Wildes will take your gentle admonition to heart and do the right thing? My guess is that there isn’t a snow balls chance in hell of that happening. There is something inherently corrupting about left wing values and academic authority that prevents any such self criticism or even just
    common decency.

    I’m certainly not holding my breath waiting for the Jesuit padre to have a “come to Jesus” moment on this matter. He has already shown what a perfidious weasel he can be and he needs to save face by not backing down. Also, if he does an about face he will incur the wrath of the many reactionary, race hustling, Stalinist pseudo-academics on his faculty who can be quite obnoxious and insufferable, unlike yourself and Walter Block.

  • Mike

    And yet the Jesuits are Marxists. Go figure that one out. LOL!

    The Jesuit Order should be abolished. It’s run its course and is now worthless.

  • redneckbluecollarwhitetrash

    “We have passed the age of the demagogue, the man who has little to say and says it loud. We have come to the age of the mystagogue or don, the man who has nothing to say, but says it softly and impressively in an indistinct whisper.”

    C.K. Chesterton.

    Never so apt a description of the modern academy.

    So the faculty of Loyola boldly stand resolute in their opposition to chattel slavery?

    What a delight to read Professor Wood expose their sanctimony.

  • redneckbluecollarwhitetrash

    Perhaps the same reason many people find it perplexing that President Obama has over 95% approval in the black community?

    Fifty some odd years of Great Society welfare programs have eviscerated the very segment of society it is purported to help. Black democrats slavish devotion to these failed policies seem to confound any logical explanation.

  • jamesbbkk

    Someone needs to remind this crop that, “Jesus told you to give your possessions to the poor! There was no secondary instruction to convince governments to force others to do so.”

  • jamesbbkk

    Well, I am an African-American, having descended from creatures such as Lucy of the Hadar Valley of Africa aka Australopithecus afarensis.

  • redneckbluecollarwhitetrash


    I never felt the pro-offered check-box categories of “quadroon, quintroon” or “octoroon” ( much less the generic term “mulatto”) captured the varied subtleties of the all important race-based gerrymandering of Official Census forms.

    I know now (God willing) how I will mark my 2020 Census State-Sanctioned racism check box.

  • DissidentRight

    Not sure why people would be perplexed about that, given the circumstances.

    And how did the Great Society do eviscerate anyone, exactly…? Americans of Chinese descent (excuse me, I mean of “African” descent) seem to have not been effected.

  • redneckbluecollarwhitetrash

    “According to the modern-day civil-rights establishment, most of the problems that currently afflict African Americans result directly from the intractable white racism that allegedly continues to plague blacks in every region of the country — across all age groups, all educational levels, and all income brackets. This civil-rights elite largely ignores the role of issues within the black community, such as the calamitous breakdown of the black family since the 1960s, in framing its critique. 

    In mid-1960s America, the nation’s out-of-wedlock birth rate (which stood at 7.7 percent at the time) began a rapid and relentless climb across all demographic lines….

    Today the overall American illegitimacy rate is about 33 percent (26 percent for whites). For blacks, it hovers at near 70 percent—approximately three times the level of black illegitimacy that existed when the War on Poverty began in 1964.”

  • DissidentRight

    Black Americans are voting against their best interests? How do you figure that? The evil party aggressively pushes redistributive measures that expressly favor blacks. The stupid party, for example, expressly opposes affirmative action policies. Given the Statist system we have, sounds like they are voting for their best interests.

    There is no massive disinformation campaign targeting blacks. All children (and all people) are targeted equally. So this fails as an explanation for why blacks disproportionately vote Democrat.

    Were you going to answer my question about the Great Society? While paying for the Great Society is of course compulsory, actual participation in the programs remains voluntary. Voluntary programs cannot eviscerate anything. I’m tired of our people making these glib assertions and not backing them up. And can you tell me why Chinese Americans have vastly lower illegitimacy rates than either blacks or whites? Or would that be a denial of our innate spiritual worth.

    And since we’re already way outside the 3×5 card of allowable opinion, can I dare to wonder why Chinese Americans wildly outperform black Americans on every conceivable positive social metric? And yet Chinese Americans still trend heavily Democrat.

    Just for reference, the 3×5 card states: “LEFTISTS: Racial disparities are purely a consequence of nurturing deficiencies and white racism. CONSERVATIVES: Racial disparities are purely a consequence of leftist social programs, or, more generally, the State.” Know your place, citizen!

  • redneckbluecollarwhitetrash

    So wrong. There is a massive disinformation campaign against Americans of all colors. But the crux of modern American leftism is not equality but race dystopia. Correlation does not equal causation.

    For the record, by mainstream media defintions of the term, I am neither a “conservative” or a “leftist.”

    If I had to hang my hat on a tree hall, I suppossed it would be “libertarian.”

  • DissidentRight

    I should have put “NON-LEFTISTS” instead of “CONSERVATIVES”. The Eagle Forum recently put out a cute report entitled, “How Mass (Legal) Immigration Dooms a Conservative Republican Party”. It documents how immigrants explicitly object not to social conservationism, but to the libertarian tendencies that Republicans (allegedly) aspire to; i.e., limited government. Of course objecting to immigration is definitely not on the 3×5 card of allowable libertarian opinion, even if it means dooming libertarianism. Ideology is destiny, after all.

    It would be rude of me to observe that you didn’t answer any of my questions. Almost as rude as you asserting that I am “correct but for all the wrong reasons“–while not bothering to answer any of them. Not to beat a dead horse, but what reasons are those?

  • redneckbluecollarwhitetrash

    Libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard writes that though ethnicity and religion influence people’s attitudes towards the Welfare State, these cultural elements don’t alone define our attitudes about welfare.  Class distinctions are of  equal importance:

    “In addition to the impact of religion and ethnic differences on values, Professor Banfield, in his brilliant book, The Unheavenly City, has demonstrated the importance of what he calls “upper-class” or “lower-class” culture in influencing the values of their members. The definitions of “class” in Banfield are not strictly income or status levels, but they tend to overlap strongly with these more common definitions. His definitions of class center on the different attitudes toward the present and the future: upper- and middle-class members tend to be future-oriented, purposeful, rational, and self-disciplined. Lower-class people, on the other hand, tend to have a strong present-orientation, are capricious, hedonistic, purposeless, and therefore unwilling to pursue a job or a career with any consistency. People with the former values therefore tend to have higher incomes and better jobs, and lower-class people tend to be poor, jobless, or on welfare. In short, the economic fortunes of people tend over the long run to be their own internal responsibility, rather than to be determined – as liberals always insist – by external factors. “ Murray Rothbard, For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto.

    Charles Murray, author of the Bell Curve, lays out this very argument in Losing Ground, his 1984 study of the disastrous effects of welfare dependency in the minority community.  Murray illustrates that the ambitious social engineering of the Great Society actually made matters worse for its supposed beneficiaries, lower-class minorities.  Murray uses this line of attack as a starting point for a serious discussion of welfare reform and how welfare dependency is forever doomed to generationally perpetuate itself.  Of course,  the more conspiratorial minded believe that such failure is by design: Cloward Piven Strategy.



  • DissidentRight

    “Lower-class people, on the other hand, tend to have a strong present-orientation, are capricious, hedonistic, purposeless, and therefore unwilling to pursue a job or a career with any consistency.”

    “The economic fortunes of people tend over the long run to be their own internal responsibility, rather than to be determined – as liberals always insist – by external factors.”

    If all that is true, then–as I originally stated–the Great Society (and leftist social engineering in general) cannot be blamed for black misfortune. Once again, what (or who) is to blame?

    I find it amusing that you could cite any of Murray’s work–let alone the freakin’ Bell Curve (!) without acknowledging his deviation from the 3×5 card of allowable libertarian opinion. If you were to ask Murray the fundamental reason why Asian Americans have better long-run economic fortunes than black Americans, what would he tell you?

  • redneckbluecollarwhitetrash

    As to your rhetorical question, I’d ask how do you reconcile the Tiger-mom phenomena with a 70% approval of Obama’s policies?

    Your particular preconceptions of the “The Bell Curve” withstanding, I quote Murray in complete context of Murray’s critique of cultural issues, “Losing Ground.”  It is a critique and response to these very racial issues. One of the thesis of the book is that social welfare programs, as they have historically been implemented in the United States, tend to increase poverty rather than eliminate it by creating incentives that reward short-sighted behavior that is not conducive to escaping poverty in the long term.

    Racial divisions have proven irrelevant. The largest  growth of welfare participation the past 25 years has been in the white community. Further, the dominant culture peddled upon America has been shaped by the Frankfurt School of cultural Marxism proposed by Antonio Gramsci.  Miley Cyrus is marketed by, to and for Caucasians.

    Unlike, Gramsci and other atheistic materialists, I believe in the individual soul. Any group of people on the face of the earth can improve their average IQ by simple eugenics. Not raced based eugenics. But cultural eugenics. Or spiritual eugenics.

  • DissidentRight

    I do not understand why you bothered to respond, if you were just going to continue this transparent evasion.

    My particular preconceptions of The Bell Curve? I read The Bell Curve, in my progressive youth. And the universal consensus is that the most interesting aspect of The Bell Curve is its illumination of racial differences in intelligence and the heavily genetic basis of intelligence. Of course it was about much more than that, but the rest was a bit less controversial.

    Obviously, social welfare policies tended to increase poverty, particularly among people with the “low class” values you previously quoted. The burning question remains, why do blacks posses “low class” values in such wildly disproportionate numbers?

    Everyone knows why, of course: it’s because blacks’ intelligence distribution is left-shifted, and because race has been the primary social/cultural dividing line (i.e., dumb whites benefit because they are born into the cultural norms established by average whites, smart blacks suffer because they are born into cultural norms established by average blacks). That’s the reason blacks had all the problems they did in the first place, the problems State Welfare was supposed to fix. State Welfare just paid blacks to keep doing all the dumb things they were already doing.

    I wonder if my fellow libertarians will ever have the balls to be honest about social dysfunction in the black community, instead of desperately grasping any straw that could clear them of the charge “racist”. Pathetic.

    “Unlike, Gramsci and other atheistic materialists, I believe in the individual soul.”

    I believe in the individual soul. Almost everyone does. Why don’t you give yourself a pat on the back for not being an atheist? Lol.

    “Any group of people on the face of the earth can improve their average IQ by simple eugenics. Not raced based eugenics. But cultural eugenics. Or spiritual eugenics.”

    Evidence? I assure you, the progressives already tried everything that could ever possibly be tried. How is your uplift plan going to be any different?