Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 12 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis). A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)

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Stand With Walter

This page accompanies my video about Walter Block:

For background on what’s happening to Walter Block at Loyola University New Orleans, click here. Then we have this letter from some Loyola faculty members, and this entirely predictable letter from the university president, Fr. Kevin Wildes.

Meanwhile, every one of Walter’s views is traceable to the nonaggression principle: that it is morally wrong to initiate physical force against any peaceful person.

Here are Walter’s response and my response to the New York Times.

Email the university president, Fr. Wildes, at pres@loyno.edu. Walter would like to receive copies of any letters. He can be reached via the contact page at WalterBlock.com.

UPDATE: Walter is asking that you also copy the following people, the faculty members who denounced him in the student paper:

lmurphy@loyno.edu; aladd@loyno.edu; bewell@loyno.edu; ccorprew@loyno.edu; llhope@loyno.edu; kfitzger@loyno.edu; aaparham@loyno.edu; Ahoward2@loyno.edu; tmelanco@loyno.edu; mikulich@loyno.edu; pbboyett@loyno.edu; jathibod@loyno.edu; eggers@loyno.edu; quant@loyno.edu; sweishar@loyno.edu; aalcazar@loyno.edu; lmartin@loyno.edu; jlhunt@loyno.edu. And copy letter@loyno.edu, the letters desk at the student paper.

Oh, and here’s the lecture Walter gave when the cowards were too afraid to debate him:

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  • Robert Kenneth Kirchoff

    I like Walter, and I owe him a lot. He pointed me towards the KSFP program, which really and truly changed and improved my life. But saying slavery “wasn’t so bad”, even if it could be defended as a valid relative statement of quality of life in the time period, is still tactless. Even if it was in jest, or whatever the context.

    This is not meant to muzzle him–he can say what he likes. But can anyone really be surprised, even indignant, when it is suggested it’s not the best idea to make light of one of the single greatest moral failures in all of human history?

  • http://www.TomWoods.com Tom Woods

    I agree that it was a poor choice, as I noted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V5GwxkanD4

    That doesn’t mean that his own colleagues should jump on the anti-Walter bandwagon. Not one of them would have done so had he been, say, a Stalinist.

  • http://plenarchist.wordpress.com/ plenarchist

    Oh, come on… PC gone wild. Maybe one could accuse WB of being insensitive if this was 1850! How can anyone with a shred of intellectual integrity look past the years of WB’s public defense of individual freedom and the NAP? But more importantly though, do you think that maybe his words were reported out of context just a little?

    The only thing WB did in poor judgment IMO was talking to NYT in the first place. He should have expected this kind of outcome. And on that note, the same goes for Schiff and the Daily Show.

    If you’re a public anti-Establishment libertarian, don’t expect to lay down with ruling-class dogs and get up without a bad case of fleas…

  • Harry

    Response to the president sent.

  • http://www.gregmorin.com/ Greg Morin

    Wow, indeed. I just read Walter’s back and forth with the NY Times editor at the end of the Lew Rockwell piece linked above. I am just floored. They are willfully and with clear malevolent intent distorting his words in order to make him, and be extension libertarianism, look “bad”. We must be really making progress for them to be so desperate as to engage in such deceitful behavior.

  • Jon

    I’m not even sure it’s such a poor choice. It’s a JOKE, at least when you hear the full statement. Maybe not the funniest joke, but a joke nonetheless. There are numerous recordings of Walter using variations of the same example, and anyone who’s heard the whole thing will know that it’s in fact a condemnation of slavery.

    I sent a letter to the president, it’s the least I can do for a man who has taught me so much. I also sent a copy to Walter, and he wanted me to forward the letter to the editor of “The Maroon” (I’m guessing it’s Loyola’s school newspaper). So Tom, maybe you should encourage others as well to forward their letters to The Maroon!

  • Anonymous

    I disagree Tom. Dr. Block did the right thing. This cemented his place among the titans of the movement. People in the future will understand what went on in that article. Dr. Block’s history can’t be reduced to that one blurb.

  • esquimaux

    Walter must have known that his comments, even if not distorted by the NY Times, would provoke this reaction. The point of the faculty’s letter seems to be that chattel servitude, even if entered into voluntarily, is inherently degrading and that the African-American experience was especially so. As employees of the corporation, these faculty members are not going to debate Walter and thereby lend potential credibility to Walter’s comments. In short, Walter led with his chin to opponents who know how to play the academic game to their advantage.

    The president’s letter, on the other hand, was damage control. That’s to be expected as his position requires him to keep an eye on and play to the university’s funding sources, including the alumni. He may be a PhD but his position is that of a CEO. In that respect he understandably takes the pragmatic, not the disinterested scholarly. view.

    As for courage, with the exception of the likes of Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell, we would be remiss to search for or even to fault academia for its absence. Courage is no more to be found in academia than is a defense of slavery.

    I’ll be sending my latter in the next day or two.

  • anarchobuddy

    I lost my disillusionment with academics a while ago, but I can’t help but be surprised at what the university president sent to The Maroon. It is amazing that he could think Dr. Block actually meant what he accused him of meaning. He points out how such an “endorsement” of slavery would contradict libertarian principles, but instead of thinking, “Hmm…maybe Walter didn’t mean what the NYT said,” he sticks with the idea that Walter contradicted himself in such an incredible way. Someone deserves a failing grade for critical thinking.

    I sent a letter to Dr. Wildes. Hopefully he reads that, as he obviously didn’t make the effort to read Dr. Block in context.

  • Dyspeptic

    You wouldn’t by any chance be Father Wilde’s public relations agent would you? Your comment is far too equivocal to be taken seriously. Although I agree that Dr. Block was naive to grant an interview to the journalistic frauds at NYT, he has the right to expect that his views will be accurately understood by his employer and that his employer will defend him from libelous attacks by regime stenographers. There is simply no point in defending Father Wildes or Loyola University
    since their behavior is so obviously self serving, perfidious and cowardly. Covering your ass may be good for business but it is not something attributable to a person of integrity.

  • Jordan

    My email, as sent:

    Mr. Wildes, et al. –

    It seems to me that you have publicly
    mischaracterized one of your faculty, Walter Block, in what can only be
    interpreted in as a wilful distortion of easily verifiable fact. Your
    suggestion that Walter actually endorses slavery is patently absurd; and
    I simply cannot believe that you, or indeed anyone with a shred of
    intellectual honesty, would stand by such demagoguery.

    there is a modicum of a desire to seek and speak the truth in your
    soul, I sincerely hope you’ll correct your misstatements. The /truth/
    deserves better; and you have both the access and the ability to set the
    record straight.

    I hope you find within you the capacity,
    courage, and integrity to speak what you know to be true: that Walter
    Block is a true philosophical enemy to /all/ forms of slavery and
    coercion, that his statements were clearly and wilfully taken out of
    context, and that he’s been viciously smeared for blatantly political
    purposes. Please have the courage and intellectual honestly to redress
    this scholar whose good reputation has been wrongfully maligned by you
    and other members of your institution.

  • Levi Russell

    My letter:

    Dr. Wildes,

    I was recently made aware of a letter ( http://www.loyolamaroon.com/2.6713/letter-walter-block-has-made-too-many-assumptions-and-contradictions-1.2854765#.UvusbvldV1C ) you wrote denouncing Dr. Walter Block. That anyone who is in charge of managing a faculty would so viciously attack one of their own faculty based on the words of any outside source (especially one so clearly full of bias as the New York Times) is appalling. You should very much be ashamed of yourself. You have denounced someone who is clearly your most productive faculty member. You have willfully chosen to ignore his attempts to clarify his position. It seems to be your position that Dr. Block’s body of work (several books and over 400 peer-reviewed articles) can be summed up in one silly article by the NYT.

    It is very clear to me and many others that you are not managing your relationship with Dr. Block with anything approaching Christian Charity. We Catholics are called to approach all of our relationships in life with patience and love. Taking pot shots at your own people is not at all in line with that principle.

    Dr. Wildes, you owe Dr. Block a public, written apology. You also owe him a public forum in which the two of you discuss the issue. You have chosen to denounce him publicly based on a silly caricature of his views and academic work. It is upon you now to right your mistake.

    This man should be praised for advocating freedom (in fact, much of his work is consistent with the work of Thomas Aquinas and other scholars working in the Thomistic tradition), not denounced for a mischaracterization of his views. Next time you want to publicly denounce your employees, at least give them the common courtesy of attacking their ideas, not silly caricatures.

    In Christ,

    Levi Russell, PhD

  • Levi Russell


    Any idea how many letters have been sent?

  • http://www.TomWoods.com Tom Woods

    I wish I knew. The student paper is publishing mine next week.

  • Levi Russell

    Have you heard anything from Walter about it? I suppose he’s getting a flood of e-mails as well.

  • Cheddar Bob

    So it seems the lesson here that Loyola is sending is “don’t get us bad publicity”. Commitment to “truth, wisdom, and virtue” my ass.

  • http://www.gregmorin.com/ Greg Morin

    Sent my response to all those named above and have mirrored it as an open letter on my site at: http://porcupine-musings.org/2014/02/15/defending-the-undefendable-walter-block-addresses-causes-not-effects/

  • D Frank Robinson

    Since Inquisitions and burning at the stake are no longer fashionable, the smearing of Dr. Block is the closest they dare come to indulging their dogmatism.

  • Terry Hulsey

    Tom, I have just emailed the complete list you provided above, in support of Professor Block.

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