From Lew Rockwell to Racist Collectivism

by Tom Palmer on March 2, 2005

My comments on the late Sam Francis have generated an interesting collection of strange and sickening email. I wrote,

On the other hand, the people who write for lewrockwell.com might think about their having been associated by Rockwell with a sleazy and windy bag of hatred and racism such as the late Sam Francis, of one of the few groups more odious than the League of the South, the Council of Conservative Citizens, widely known as the public face of the KKK in the South.

That led to a remark from the, shall we say, white nationalist website VDare “that Sam, even in death, could stimulate hysterical outrage amongst his opponents.” (I find strange the stance that the views of a highly opinionated person, who slandered and traduced not only his intellectual opponents, but billions of people on the grounds of their “race,” should be exempt from criticism after he has died. But we can set that aside for the moment.)

I received as a result a number of emails bemoaning the allegedly “imminent genocide of the white race” through “dysgenic breeding,” “racial mongrelization,” “liberal sewage,” and so forth. What was most interesting was an email testifying to the impact of Lew Rockwell’s ministry on college students. It was from someone named Arthur Pendleton and was quite revealing. (I don’t recall meeting Mr. Pendleton, nor do I recall “blathering” about “historic preservation Nazis,” although I do find people who steal property from others annoying and offensive and have said so in the past.) In any case, Mr. Pendleton offers his personal testimony to the impact that Lew Rockwell has on some (thankfully not all) impressionable students.

From: [mailto:arthurpendleton@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 6:15 AM
To: tomgpalmer@tomgpalmer.com
Subject: Sam Francis

Sister Palmer:

Many years ago, I had the privilege of attending an IHS seminar week held in California. I generally enjoyed myself, learned a great deal, and met many interesting intellectuals, albeit ones I thought distinctly inferior to those grouped around the legendary Murray Rothbard and the then relatively young Mises Institute, whose similar program I had attended the previous year.

Stangely, I also distinctly recall you, especially for one comment. You kept blathering about “historic preservation Nazis”, persons about whom you seemed ‘exercised’, to say the least. I thought to myself at the time, “This man is a true fanatic. America is racing towards socialism [even in the alleged free-market heyday of Reaganism], not one major government program has been dismantled, ‘civil rights’ totalitarianism and huxterism is getting worse by the hour, gun control is waxing, the culture is a moral cesspool, and the nation is being colonized and conquered by racial aliens … and this fool is berating my aunt! [yes, she is a fine, Constitution-loving, Old-Stock American who happens also to spend some of her time working to preserve architectural treasures and classic Americana]“. Even the staunchest libertarian, if he’s a sober man worthy of consideration, must acknowledge that not all statist depredations are equal, and that, in a postwar era of constantly creeping domestic communism, some putative ‘offenses’ against absolutist conceptions of property rights are hardly worth notice, let alone bother.

Well, the years passed, my immature early libertarianism was gradually replaced by an historically informed Old Right sympathy, and you were appropriately forgotten. Alas, until now. I have come across your slanders of the recently deceased paleoconservative Sam Francis, and am appropriately shocked, though not so much by their poor taste (libertarians, except for the paleo variety, tend to be rather uncouth — and everyone knows about ‘bitchy queers”), as by the implicit, ludicrous assumption that someone of your meager abilities and limited erudition is capable, let alone worthy, of judiciously assessing a man and thinker of the aliber of the late Dr. Francis. That courageous and brilliant man was simply the greatest political analyst of our age, whose inimitable writings contain at least the seeds of a revolutionary reappraisal (unfortunately, never systematically developed by Sam) of the whole course of post-Enlightenment political theory in the West.

You, on the other hand, are a “little man”, a typical carping liberal whose writings, some of which I’ve now looked over (they are hardly worth more than a look-over), are at best restatements of illustrious forebears, with nary a scintilla of the originality of insight that Dr. Sam brought to even the most insignificant of his throw-away columns. Long after your genes and memory have disappeared into the expanding mongrel morass that so excites you, the great Samuel Francis will be read and treasured by Occidental men as a leader of that very select company who saw our epoch in all its filthy reality — and who had the courage to write what they witnessed and understood. Sam was made of far sterner and more honorable stuff than you, fairy-boy, and I think, at some primitive level, you know it.

You use libertarianism to excuse your perversions, and “political correctness” to hide your treason. You are a fool and a disgrace.

Arthur Pendleton

I like that line about my genes disappearing into “the expanding mongrel morass that so excites you.” Nicely done. Lew Rockwell must be so very proud.

{ 61 comments }

Brian Radzinsky March 2, 2005 at 1:38 am

Arthur Pendleton was a democratic senator and Confederate general. How very fitting with the Rockwellites.

So tell me, are you aware, Dr Fairy, of Francis’s superiority to you in every way?

Otto M. Kerner March 2, 2005 at 1:45 am

I find this guy’s ridiculous pomposity so amusing that I have to wonder if the letter is genuine or if someone sent it to you in jest (one notes that Arthur Pendleton Bagby is the name of a Confederate general). In the latter case, I must salute the author on his talents as a comic writer. He has nicely zinged the Rockwell paleo crowd for the occasional resemblance of their prose to this style (I have to say that there are some authors on LRC that I almost never read — this included Sam Francis while he was alive — so it’s possible that some would actually write things like sometimes, unbeknownst to me).

I can put myself forward as an example of someone who has been somewhat influenced by Rockwell without becoming a white nationalist, or, for that matter, becoming a non-libertarian, as is apparently the case with our Mr. Pendleton. I assure you that no real libertarian — except for hardcore moderates, I suppose — would chastise you for opposing “historical preservation” landgrabs.

Brian Radzinsky March 2, 2005 at 1:49 am

I also find it funny that because Dr Palmer isn’t a white supremacist, or even just because he acknowledges social evils like racism, anti-semitism, etc. he is now a traitor.

I would try to understand that email on a more profound and analytical level but I just can’t. It’s just too much comedy and little actual meaning.

Eric D. Dixon March 2, 2005 at 4:07 am

If nothing else, I’m reeling from the gumption it takes to accuse someone else of being “uncouth,” then rattle off sad little epithets like “bitchy queers” and “fairy-boy.” Maybe he has a sense of irony that the rest of his writing betrays, but still… the mind boggles.

Eric D. Dixon March 2, 2005 at 4:10 am

Um… I meant to type “gall” rather than “gumption.” That’s what I get for trying to string a coherent sentence or two together at 4:00 a.m.

Anonymous March 2, 2005 at 9:06 am

How come the pointyheads at LRC never bash Raimondo because he is gay? Not that I support such bigotry, but it is weird they give him a pass…

Anonymous March 2, 2005 at 9:45 am

Eric D. Dixon wrote:
“Um… I meant to type “gall” rather than “gumption.” That’s what I get for trying to string a coherent sentence or two together at 4:00 a.m.”

Be More Funny!

-Justin M. Stoddard

Marcus March 2, 2005 at 10:43 am

While I find even the comments you include on this post to be in poor taste. Please note that you do not mention to the casual reader that you also called a man just a few days after he died “a disgraceful windbag.” and proclaimed “he will not be missed by me”

I really have nothing more to say about Sam Francis on this website. I’ve made my point, and you clearly don’t agree, and I don’t feel like wasting either of our times. But now you moved on to VDARE, which you call “shall we say a White Nationalist Website.”(I don’t know if your preface means that is something worse.)

If that is true, then please tell me why they publish

Michelle Malkin who is Fillipino (I really wish they didn’t, but nothing to do with her race, simply the fact that she’s a warmonger and hates civil liberties)
Myself, who is half asian and jewish
George Borjas who is Cuban
Terry Anderson and Elizabeth Wright who are both Black
Norm Matloff, Paul Gottfried, Ed Rubenstein, and I’m sure a bunch of others who are Jewish
Juan Mann who is Hispanic
Scott McConnell, John Derbyshire, and Joe Guzzardi, all of whom are married to Asians.

Furhermore if they are such an evil white Nationalist Website; then why did Cato give VDARE creator and editor Peter Brimelow a forum for his book. Yes it had nothing to do with immigration control, but surely you wouldn’t want to be associated with such an obnoxious character.

You attacked LRC and myself when I linked Sam Francis’ syndicated column http://www.vdare.com/francis/050120_expect.htm That column had absolutely nothing to do with race. So even assuming that Francis was an evil bigot with hate pertruding from every pore in his body, Why are LRC and myself bad for linking to a non-racial Sam Francis column on the blog; while Cato is OK for hosting Peter Brimelow?

Anthony Gregory March 2, 2005 at 3:09 pm

This guilt by association is becoming downright libelous — or it would, if any reasonable person would possibly fall for it. Some random guy writes you a letter and you say that “Lew Rockwell must be so very proud”? Some guy who has no direct affiliation, much less a representative one, with the Mises Institute or LRC spouts some nonsense and you say (in another thread) “thank you for pointing out just what Lew Rockwell and his crew are up to”? What is it that they’re “up to”? How can you attribute, even implicity, this e-mailer’s views to Lew Rockwell? If someone e-mailed me and said, “I enjoyed meeting Tom Palmer at a Cato Institute seminar, and, by the way, I hate blacks and want to nationalize healthcare,” I wouldn’t assume his racist and socialist views had anything to do with you or Cato.

Someone wonders, “How come the pointyheads at LRC never bash Raimondo because he is gay? Not that I support such bigotry, but it is weird they give him a pass…”

Maybe it’s because they’re NOT “pointyheads” — have you ever considered that? Maybe they’re not giving anyone a “pass” on an otherwise rigid policy of prejudice, and they don’t have this seething hatred of all non-white Christian heterosexuals that Palmer implies and insists they do? That would certainly seem to fit with Rockwell’s gracious and respectful behavior toward all sorts of people that apparently doesn’t coincide with the KKK-stereotype Palmer accuses him of fitting into so neatly. It would explain why Rockwell publishes and links to so many people who don’t conform to the Master Race archetpye that Lew allegedly wants to preserve and empower. It would help answer the question as to why Lew links favorably to non-Christians, non-whites, non-heterosexuals, and non-libertarians, so long as he thinks they have something important or urgently interesting to say. It would resolve the supposed contradiction of why such a sectarian bigot is so inclusive and ecumenical in his editorial policy and so open towards so many diverse individuals who share in common little more than a general dislike and insightful criticism of the U.S. welfare-warfare state. It would also seem to make sense given Lew’s contrarian and unpopular defense of the rights of millions of foreign victims of U.S. empire, who, in spite of their not being uniformly white Europeans, seem to garner his sympathy when they are being bombed to oblivion by the truly murderous, and at least tacitly racist, foreign policies of the U.S. government.

And yet, what is the problem in the world today? Is it the rapid development of police statism and growing imperialism in America? Is it the legions of Bush supporters, some of them nominally libertarian, who _do_ have what could be considered bigoted views as they concern the inferior humanity of Muslims and Arabs? No. The problem is Lew Rockwell, who supposedly is destroying the libertarian movement by reaching tens of thousands of readers per day, spreading knowledge of Austrian economics and the brutal history of U.S. intervention, and making classics written by Mises, Rothbard and others available in print and online for all the world to see practically at no cost to anyone interested. As Tom Palmer says, LRC and Antiwar.com actually make people more pro-war and pro-state by associating the libertarian message with bad ideas. Well, I suppose all the students of Austrian economics and other curious people who first learned about libertarianism and free market theory by visiting Mises.org or by purchasing Man, Economy and State from the Mises Institute either are learning racism as we speak or have decided that liberty must be a bad idea, since, after all, Lew Rockwell advocates it. And the tens of thousands of people who read Antiwar.com daily come away every day thinking, “You know, I was against this war, but now I think it’s necessary given the bigotry of some of the friends of the friends of Justin Raimondo.”

Aside from meeting Tom Palmer and seeing his blog, I have almost never confronted so much dislike for Lew Rockwell or such relentless and poorly proven allegations of his supposed bigotry. I know many good libertarians who disagree with Lew Rockwell here and there, find some of his writers distasteful at times, and think his site isn’t necessarily always at its peak. But Tom Palmer’s hatred dwarfs their criticisms. Is it really true that people around the world become turned away from free market economics because of Lew? Or is Tom the one damaging the cause by spending so much time engaging in unfounded mud-slinging?

By the way, one of my LRC articles on labor theory and war was translated in Danish for a Danish website. Oh no! Now the Danes are going to reject libertarianism! How much better we would be if that article had never been published on LRC!

Of course, it might be too much to ask of everyone to judge Lew Rockwell by his actions or words, rather than by the ramblings of some random person who wrote to Tom in a private e-mail.

Pew Mockwell March 2, 2005 at 4:05 pm

Anthony Gregory is a great example of a pointy-headed naval-gazing which is the Lew Rockwell Kult. I hated this Leninist sh*t in the 1970s, but it is really starting to stink even more (if that’s possible).

Tom G. Palmer March 2, 2005 at 4:20 pm

I’ve just seen these comments and will add my two cents later this evening. I should note in the meantime, however, that the comment directly above doesn’t raise the level of discussion. I share at least some of the writer’s low opinion of Mr. Rockwell, but not of everyone associated wtih him. Rockwell has turned his efforts to allying causes of which I approve with others that have no connection to them (Austrian/market-process economic analysis and Confederate revivalism, for example) or are even diametrically opposed to them. Some decent people whom I admire write for Rockwell and further the association. My primary concern is that people who are interested in, say, the ideas of Ludwig von Mises, are directed toward an agenda altogether contrary to Mises’s liberalism. The letter sent to me by Mr. Pendleton is evidence of a very disturbing road that Rockwell has painstakingly built from classical liberalism to truly ugly anti-liberalism. But more anon.

Anthony Gregory March 2, 2005 at 4:39 pm

Yeah, I’m a pointy-headed bigot, alright. I should lynch myself for being half Asian.

Philippe Chamy March 2, 2005 at 8:58 pm

Tom,

You, as usual, are unusually brave for tackling the issue of racism in the midst of libertarianism. It is an especially difficult problem because the proponents of racism and bigotry in the midst of Libertarianism are so well versed in Libertarian thinking and know very well how to hide their sins. I first saw this, to my great amazement and even admiration (for rhetorical skills) at Tulane as a freshman, when I met and spoke to David Duke at a rally. Duke knew the Randian argument in defense of individual rights inside out.

As an aside, racism (as in White Supremacism) can be found in places one would never suspect including miscegenated peoples. In Haiti I knew and know plenty of patently black people who admire Hitler. I even know a very nice lady (who is not a racist), blacker than tar, whose name is Hitlerne. Her father named her after Hitler in WW II, even though Haiti had declared war against Germany and he was a Negro and a member of the government! Also, I was told that never in the writings of Rothbard, did he ever side or defend the US against the USSR. This from his French translator, Francois Guillaumat

Tom, this is a hard and bitter fight which needed to be fought and you have my compliments. I am tired of meeting people who tell me they are Libertarain and then tell me why the South should have won the war, etc…

Courage my friend!

Philippe

Tom G. Palmer March 2, 2005 at 11:20 pm

Marcus Epstein thinks it wrong to criticize the dead. I disagree. As I indicated in my note above, I referred to “the late Sam Francis.” Here is what I wrote in full:

Henri Hein March 3, 2005 at 2:04 am

“I know many good libertarians who disagree with Lew Rockwell here and there”

I don’t know what a “good libertarian” is. I get an ominous feeling I’m not one. I’m pretty sure, though, that what Tom is concerned about is not so much libertarians mature in their philosophy, but curious newcomers, wavering independents, etc, that might be looking for philosophical or political material on-line.

I agree with him. For whatever anecdotal evidence its worth, I have never found an article on either LRC or Antiwar.com I thought was appropriate to show to any of my moderate friends, and especially not my liberal ones.

I have also encountered people that, on finding out I’m a libertarian (whether a good or a bad one), remarking things like “why are you against immigration?” I find it annoying to be confused with a conservative. Of course, I can’t blame it all on LRC, but I wager they aren’t helping any.

Accusing Tom of barking up the wrong tree is also curious given that LRC, at least, seems to spend considerable effort bashing people such as Lincoln and Martin Luther King.

Adam W. March 3, 2005 at 12:20 pm

Henri-
I don’t know about MLK, but Lincoln, regardless of whether or not you’re a neo-confederate (a term I just made up) like DiLorenzo or not (I’m not), Linoln might deserve it; he was not a good president.

LB March 3, 2005 at 12:28 pm

Tom,

So the history of the Mises Institute can basically be summed up as follows: Lew Rockwell set it up as a front to promote racism. Is that the long and short of it?

Anonymous March 3, 2005 at 6:28 pm

If the Mises Institute is a hot bed of racism, why on earth would the Wall Street Journal link to them?

http://www.opinionjournal.com/favorite/

Tom G. Palmer March 3, 2005 at 8:00 pm

Interesting comments and queries above.

I agree with Mr. Hein that the content of the little nest of sites is decidedly offputting to many people who might otherwise be friendly to classical liberal ideals. What’s remarkable is the evidently conscious attempt to position libertarian stances (or allegedly libertarian stances) in the most offensive manner possible. Not sure that the war was a good idea? Then here’s a cheer for the killing of American, Coalition, and Iraqi soldiers to frighten you away from the anti-war posture. Skeptical about forced association and racial quotas? Then here’s a link to the editor of a KKK-lite website (the CoCC). Whether it tastes of the far left or the far right, it’s sure to offend and turn people away. That’s a sure strategy for keeping the pond very small.

I certainly agree with Adam W. that Abraham Lincoln was “not a good president.” But I find the obsession with him on the part of the Rockwellites truly bizarre. What is it about him that really (really) upsets the Rockwellites? Could it be his defeat of the Confederacy andÃ?Â?Ã?¢Ã?¢?Ã?¬Ã?Â?Ã?¦the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution? A serious and sober approach that favors liberty would be likely to be skeptical of the decision to keep the Union together by force, but equally skeptical of South Carolina’s decision to secede for the purposes of perpetuating slavery, as were explained in the document of secession:

“The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.” http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/csa/scarsec.htm

What accounts for the ferocious hatred and obsession with Abraham Lincoln? Why not, say, Woodrow Wilson, who was arguably a much worse president, who got us into World War I, which paved the way for Hitler, World War II, and so on?

The two queries posted immediately above are reasonable, but show that the import of my remarks was not understood. I don’t believe that “the Mises Institute is a hotbed or racism,” nor that “Lew Rockwell set it up as a front to promote racism.” The reality is more subtle than that. Rockwell has always been interested in, um, “un PC” views, as they would put it today. (That is a remarkable bit of public relations: the craziness of the “politically correct brigade” has worked into the hands of bigots, who can now dismiss concern about authentic bigotry as “political correctness.”) Back in the old days, Lew Rockwell was interested in the topic of race. After some racially charged remark, he would pull people aside and explain that he wasn’t a “racist,” but a “racialist.” The subtlety of the distinction eluded those to whom he tried to explain it. It’s long been an “interest” of his. And it shows up in his creepy connections with out-of-the-closet bigots and racists such as the late Sam Francis.

In fact, a good bit of the material from the Mises Institute is quite good, especially the reprints of Mises’s works (minus some of the unhinged and sectarian commentary from the likes of Hans-Hermann Hoppe). What is disturbing is the role that that mateiral plays as bait for those who find the works of Mises interesting, inspiring, or enlightening and who then find themselves rubbing shoulders with Confederate Revivalists, not, as I understand it, topics of interest to Ludwig von Mises. Further, the juvenile excitement about being “un PC” leads to a disturbing “throw out the baby with the bathwater” approach, in which if silly overreactions are to be thrown out, why not all negative reactions to racism? And if so, why not affirmatively racism, bigotry, and immigrant bashing (not, of course, German immigrants such as Hoppe, butÃ?Â?Ã?¢Ã?¢?Ã?¬Ã?Â?Ã?¦.those other immigrants)? It’s all quite a disgusting set of connections that leads from mises.org to lewrockwell.com to Ã?Â?Ã?¢Ã?¢?Ã?¬Ã?Â?Ã?¦. American Renaissance (where you can learn how to create “white communities”) and worse.
As to why the Wall Street Journal links to them, it’s obvious that they have a long list of links (anyone can visit it) and that they have correctly labeled the Ludwig von Mises web site as “Austrian Economics.” Whatever person made the list also linked to lots of other sites, including the Democratic National Committee, so I’d not read too much into that. More importantly, I’m concerned by precisely that linkage: you go looking for Austrian economics and you end up at a conference with supporters of Sam Francis, Joe Sobran, and the other anti-Semitic and racist fringe types. That is a terrible shame. The letter from Mr. Pendleton that I’ve posted above is a bit of evidence for why I find it shameful.

Karen De Coster March 3, 2005 at 10:45 pm

Mr. Otto Kerner — Sir, I do have proof that you are a sheeple following Palmer over the bungling cliff: Sam Francis has NEVER EVER been an “LRC author.” (Francis was a National Socialist.) Do you just barf up everything Palmer says, without skepticism, without your own firsthand knowledge? I have it on good word, Mr. Kerner, that you have already been *told* that Francis was never authored on LRC, and that you were even asked to show proof of that after you had googled/researched it, in order to prove your words. This makes you a flame-throwing liar, sir. Simple as that. Grow up and think for yourself. Please.

Karen De Coster March 3, 2005 at 10:57 pm

Mr. Palmer, you provide me with some wonderful, pre-bed, late night fodder, as I wind down and prepare to hit the Serta Perfect Sleeper. Your obsessions are tallying up to the ridiculous point. I hear that Ed Crane received a note about your commenting for hours throughout the workday? Was it my imagination, or did your 3,567 daily comments cease for a short time after that?

Mr. Palmer, in addition, why don’t you discuss those days at Catholic University, you know, when you started your 10-15 year PhD program via a half-dozen universities, and wrote for….was it Critical Review?…….and testified to the glory of hermeneutics, deconstruction, and irrationalism (Lachmann, Shackle, you know). How libertarian, Tom. I guess that’s all as “libertarian” as propping up the State powers, supporting Bush, and glorifying interventionism.

John Lopez March 3, 2005 at 11:54 pm

Hein:
“Accusing Tom of barking up the wrong tree is also curious given that LRC, at least, seems to spend considerable effort bashing people such as Lincoln and Martin Luther King.”

Lincoln deserves to be bashed. Hell, I wouldn’t have a problem at all with LRC’s content if it consisted solely of attacks on Lincoln. What’s interesting isn’t the fact that Lewrockwell.com publishes attacks on Lincoln, or that it publishes silly defenses of the Confederacy(*), or that it lets slip the cloven hoof, on occasion(**).

What’s interesting is that there’s very little public disagreement about these positions published on LRC.

(*) http://tinyurl.com/6q4no
(**) http://tinyurl.com/4btqd

Adam W. March 4, 2005 at 12:00 am

Karen:
“Mr. Palmer, in addition, why don’t you discuss those days at Catholic University, you know, when you started your 10-15 year PhD program via a half-dozen universities, and wrote for….was it Critical Review?…….and testified to the glory of hermeneutics, deconstruction, and irrationalism (Lachmann, Shackle, you know). How libertarian, Tom. I guess that’s all as ‘libertarian’ as propping up the State powers, supporting Bush, and glorifying interventionism.”

What the hell are you trying to say?

John, why is immigration called “the cloven hoof”?

Tom G. Palmer March 4, 2005 at 12:58 am

Well, there you have it from Ms. De Coster of lewrockwell.com. The definitive refutation. Ms. DeCoster must keep close tabs on me and knows that I was out of town and out of reliable internet service for a while. (Did she find out where I had dinner? Or what I ordered?) I’m happy to provide a bitter person a bit of solace, but I’d recommend that she spend some time improving her math skills, instead. That would be especially valuable for someone who describes herself in (quite bitter and hate filled) private emails to me as a “corporate finance whiz.” Not that it matters, but…here are the time stamps for all of my comments (at http://www.tomgpalmer.com/archives/019036.php#comments ) over ten days:

Feb. 21: 8:25 pm
Feb. 22: 12:00 am, 2:03 am, 8:13 pm, 11:26 pm, 11:47 pm
Feb. 23: 12:02 am, 12:23 am, 1:13 am, 8:52 am, 7:41 pm, 8:54 pm
Feb. 24: 12:23 am, 4:41 am, 4:45 am, 10:47 am, 11:23 am, 3:47 pm, 3:56 pm, 6:47 pm, 8:17 pm, 8:22 pm, 8:39 pm
Feb. 25: 12:23 am, 9:10 am, 5:14 pm
March 2: 12:57 am

That comes to…26 comments over ten days (math problem for the corporate finance whiz: what is the average number of comments per day? Don’t peek! Ok, it’s 2.6). It’s not clear to me what Ms. De Coster is suggesting, other than that she is innumerate. (3,567 differs from 2.6 by 3,564.4.)

She’s also noticed that I attended four colleges or universities: the University of Southern California (a poor choice for an independent 16 year old with no relatives with college degrees, which is why I left after a year to get a job); St. John’s College in Annapolis (from which I took a two year leave of absence to work full time); The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (for which I did the course work for the Ph.D. and submitted a Master’s thesis on intellectual property law, later published in a law review); and Oxford University, from which I received my doctorate. I’m not sure what Ms. De Coster’s point is, other than to point out that I worked my way through every degree. (I did have a fellowship that freed me from work for two years while in Oxford, but I finished the dissertation while holding down a rather demanding job, which is how I supported myself while at the other colleges.)

It seems that Ms. De Coster is, well, I don’t know what she is. But odd, that’s for sure. The very best that Lew Rockwell can muster is Stephan Kinsella, who posts on my web site mathematical proofs of his intelligence (including restatements of Euler’s Theorem) and ugly race-baiting remarks and questions, and Ms. De Coster, whose idea of a refutation is to mock someone for how long he spent getting his education. For the record, my educational career is not over, as I intend to try to learn and understand more and more until I die.

I proudly wrote for Critical Review, a journal that I recommend highly for stimulating thought. I’ve certainly had my differences with the editor (see the PDF documents under “Debate on Libertarianism” on the main page along the left-hand side), but I think that the journal he edits performs a very valuable service. The essay to which she alludes was on Hans-Georg Gadamer and is available at: http://www.tomgpalmer.com/papers/palmer-gadamers-cr-summer1987.pdf (it’s a big PDF file, so it will take a while to download). After improving her numeracy, Ms. De Coster could work on her literacy skills and read the essay (I hadn’t looked at it myself in years, but just did so for purposes of this response); were she to do so, she would find nothing about “deconstruction,” “irrationalism,” or even Ludwig Lachmann or G. L. S. Shackle. (I should say that I believe that Lachmann was a very fine economist, despite — or perhaps I should consider it a mark of quality? — the hateful and unscholarly dismissal of Lachmann’s work by Rockwell’s favorite economist, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, who wrote, “The fomer Austrian and neo-historicist-hermeneutician-nihilist Ludwig Lachmann, who repeats ad nauseam the unpredictability of future states of knowledge….” Hoppe is a clown and a disgrace, whereas Lachmann was a gentleman and a scholar. I frequently assign his 1956 essay on “The Market Economy and the Distribution of Wealth” for seminars on political economy.) I doubt that I would endorse everything in the essay, some 18 years later, but I’d have to re-read it first to find out.

But Ms. De Coster has achieved her aim: she has mocked my educational career in order to divert attention from a serious topic, which is the series of steps from classical liberalism to racist collectivism that Lew Rockwell so nicely provided to Mr. Pendleton, whose letter prompted this post.

P.S. Ms. De Coster, in addition to being numeracy- and literacy-challenged, is challenged in other ways. I am not a “Bush supporter,” nor a “glorifier of interventionism,” although I do support letting people opt out of Social Security to invest instead in private retirement accounts [historically, that would make of Bush a "Palmer supporter," as I supported that liberation long before he did] and I am opposed to killing American soldiers in Iraq, just as I opposed sending them there. So one can add a problem with veracity to the already enumerated list of De Coster opportunities for personal improvement.

P.P.S. Ah, one more thing. Other lewrockwell.com writers have rushed to the defense of Sam Francis, who is frequently cited on that web site as a great intellectual, defender of the good and the true, etc., etc. But Ms. De Coster manages to let slip that “Francis was a National Socialist.” That seems remarkably harsh and over the top. True, he was a racist and an anti-libertarian of remarkable venom. That’s bad enough, but since Sam Francis was such an inspiration to Lew Rockwell and Co., what would it tell us about them if Ms. De Coster were right?

Karen De Coster March 4, 2005 at 4:22 am

Poor Tom, so bothered. When the Master Hater calls the Hatee Hating, it’s pretty pathetic. It appears you are losing even your former supporters, sir. Want to mention, perhaps, that I never, ever emailed you, and only *returned* your “graces” *after* it was *you* who proactively emailed me a hate-filled, name-calling email? Ahhh, you musta forgot that too! Glad I reminded you.

But then again, looking at your perpetual, LRC-obsessed posts, of course you are in a constant state of reaction, and of course, others understand your penchant for total lies and insane attacks. So I’ll forgive you for that one slip.

Otto M. Kerner March 4, 2005 at 5:17 am

How ironic that, at the time I wrote “[Pendleton] has nicely zinged the Rockwell paleo crowd for the occasional resemblance of their prose to this style”, it was, I must admit, primarily Karen De Coster that I had in mind (referring to style, rather than content). And now, here she is, larger than life, critiquing my comment with a ferocity that I find a little surprising. Does she (I use the third person, since I wouldn’t feel right addressing someone of her caliber directly)
take “Rockwell paleo crowd” as some kind of really harsh insult? I generally regard it as a compliment.

I fear however, that I might actually be unworthy of her attentions, because she appears to have me confused with someone else. I don’t recall previously discussing Sam Francis here or elsewhere — it’s not really a subject I find very interesting. As I said, I don’t read Sam Francis, I know little about his opinions (or if he is a National Socialist), and so it is irrelevant to me whether or not he was an LRC writer.

I have certainly never been accused before of following Tom Palmer anywhere. I’ve actually left a number of comments on this blog critiquing him and defending Rockwell, Raimondo, and Thomas Woods. I think I’ll write another one in a couple minutes, come to think.

Tom G. Palmer March 4, 2005 at 8:59 am

Well, I admit that for once Ms. De Coster has a point. I did send her the following email after she had posted a nasty comment with a presumed air of familiarity:
“What a poor and sad person. When you’re not busy filling the internet with foul language, what do you do with your time?”

My reference was to her persistent use of scatalogical terms, references to human reproduction, and so on, not to mention her denunciations of other writers on on other websites by remarkably crude names (e.g., “dickless,” “Butt-Buddy,” and so on). That initiated a series of similarly unpleasant emails. But she is right in this instance; I did email her the above in response to her venomous comments, which I regret having done. TouchÃ?Â??Ã?Â?Ã?©.

When people complain about the downside of the internet, it is people such as Karen De Coster whom they have in mind. This is a good example:
http://216.239.63.104/search?q=cache:c0Tt1gS_z8sJ:www.karendecoster.com/blog/archives/001327.html+&hl=en

But again, she has diverted attention from a serious issue, which is the subterranean racism that awaits people who are attracted to Lew Rockwell’s little empire. If you can’t answer the question, attack the one who posed it…by demanding to know why he took so long to finish college.

John Lopez March 4, 2005 at 10:16 am

Adam W.,

You are aware that Jared Taylor is a racist idiot(*), right? And that his cute little crack about Mexican neighborhoods wasn’t just about “immigration”, right?

(*): http://tinyurl.com/4ulyr

Tom P.,

I find DeCoster’s hysterical attack on Sabotta and I to be amusing and revealing rather than unpleasant, much as if she’d have substituted “beaner” or “greaser” for her homosexual pejoratives.

I dealt with DeCoster’s screed here: http://tinyurl.com/4bcdb

(Inlookers can find more intelligent commentary by KDC and other internet pundits here: http://tinyurl.com/6nq4o )

Karen De Coster March 4, 2005 at 11:36 am

Here is the “downside of the Internet”: http://www.tompalmer.com……right here…..plus all the little fan clubs, like the Hate Crew at Treasonous.com.

Mr. Palmer — of course, don’t dare mention that the website that my particular “screed” responded to had been making myriad posts about me (obsessing, like you do on Lew), over time, with grotesque sexual references about me; my picture photoshop’d all over their website (incl. sex books); obscene, filty (and often sexual) comments; made-up lies about my “supposed” personal life details, etc. Oh, but of course, dare I eventually react! How dare I!

But that passes through Palmer’s filth lens, eh? Hmmmm. Howz that?

As to “remarkably crude names” Palmer, why don’t you and your narcissistic No(T)reason, juvenile Cult friends look at yourselves, and YOUR attacks, and your sick, crazed, foul, filthy language. Oh, but, how we forget, eh? Does the name of Lew Rockwell, or perhaps the insane attack on Riggenbach ring a bell? Nah. Only a demented narcissist doesn’t see the elephant standing in front of him.

And assucations coming from the King of Filthy attacks, Mr. Lopez, it is no less than hilarious. And please, you and your cult following: don’t call yourselves libertarian. You are the filthiest, sickest people on the web, and people have been right all along – you sickos are downright dangerous, and certainly no longer even worth tripping over the edge of the cliff. I think y’all are going to do that just fine on your own. Poisonous snakes on peyote.

Lie Detector March 4, 2005 at 11:43 am

Truth in Words:

“(He has nicely zinged the Rockwell paleo crowd for the occasional resemblance of their prose to this style (I have to say that there are some authors on LRC that I almost never read — this included Sam Francis while he was alive — so it’s possible that some would actually write things like sometimes, unbeknownst to me).”

Posted by: Otto M. Kerner at March 2, 2005 01:45 AM

Marcus Epstein March 4, 2005 at 1:29 pm

As Karen pointed out Sam Francis never wrote for LRC. In fact he said in an essay in Chronicles that the only thing in common that paleoconservatives had in common with Lewrockwell and Justin Raimondo is disdain for the war in Iraq and the neoconservatives. In one of his last columns in Chronicles . In return, Hans Hoppe is very critical of Francis in Democracy the God that Failed. However what Hans, lew etc. did was actually critically explain why they disagreed with him and other paleoconservatives instead of use a bunch of left wing slurs like “racist” and “white supremacist” which have absolutely no meaning except to shut someone who disagree with up without addressing their arguments. I would also guess that some of the libertarians developed some sort of personal friendship with Francis before he died, and hence would maybe say a nice thing about him a time or two even if they strongly disagreed with him often.

Some Lewrockwell.com writers who probably lean more on the conservative side, including R Kirkwood, Paul Gottfried, and myself do admire Sam Francis and occasionally say good things about him on the blog or on articles. We also said bad things about him before as well. See Paul Gottfried http://www.lewrockwell.com/gottfried/gottfried51.html . Lew has no control over what is linked on the blog, so if you have a problem with that fact, take it up with the blogger not the site as whole.

I believe Sam Francis may have spoke at a few Mises Events more than a decade ago. He has an article in the Costs of War (an excellent book), and If my memory serves me correctly one of his essays from Beautiful Losers may have been from an Mises publication. For what its worth, all of those things were done before he had developed his views on race to what they were recently, and before the evil CofCC was even formed.

The basic point is that despite all your claims about LRC being a cult around Rothbard/Hoppe and Rothbard. The writers are independent thinkers and all have a variety of views that are not censored less they offend the gods of Political Correctness.

Now maybe Gottfried, myself etc. are evil fringe characters who will turn people off from Mises if they had saw us at a Mises conference; I don’t know. But how is it different than going to a Cato event and rubbing shoulders with a bunch of pro war movement conservative Bush loyalists. Is that what you’d want to conflate libertarianism with that.

Finally as for whoever said that criticizing MLK and Lincoln is offputting, here is my view. This may be true among certain types–liberals. However, I have a great number of friends who can’t stand either, and are generally sick of all the PC garbage that is shoved down their throat by the media, college etc. (and no these are not rednecks, all at good colleges, many from the north) These people, however supported the War (mainly just because they didn’t like the leftist opponents) and loved dubya. I don’t think showing them some article by Clinton Bolick about how affirmative action is bad because it hurts black people’s self esteem is going to put them on the road to libertarianism. However, by showing them articles on LRC and VDARE, I have convinced at least a few of them that the war is bad, Bush supports big gov’t, etc and moved them in a much more libertarian direction. The only people who get put off by criticism of MLK and Lincoln are liberals and movement conservatives.

If MLK was a socialist, communist sympathizer, supporter of affirmative action, reparations as I have shown http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/epstein9.html Why the hell shouldn’t we say that? If someone is going to be off put by the truth, then they probably won’t become a libertarian.

I actually have much more mixed feelings about Lincoln than most LRCers, so I’ll leave others to argue.

Anthony Gregory March 4, 2005 at 3:57 pm

MLK is worth criticizing for some of his socialism, but he at least patriotically opposed U.S. wars. He didn’t kill anyone, far as I know, much less hundreds of thousands of people, so putting him in the same category as Lincoln seems to me absurd. Of course, many conservatives think Lincoln is a hero but MLK was not, and not because of his socialist views but because he gave African Americans hope that wasn’t inextribly tied to the state establishment. Lincoln should be a hero for racial equality, in the conservative viewpoint, precicely because he was the father of the Repulican Party and the consolidated U.S. warfare state.

MLK was flawed, as are many people, but he said many important things, including the truth about the great “purveyor of violence”: the U.S. government. Criticizing MLK while recognizing his many imperfections does not seem to me offensive or unlibertarian, nor does bashing Lincoln for being, by far, one of the very worst presidents in American history. It is no sign of bigotry to view Lincoln as the worst. Hummel, who seems to have universal approval on this site, considers Lincoln the very worst, followed by Wilson. I would say choosing between those two is very tough, and I agree with Hummel that Truman and FDR are probably third and fourth worst.

Marcus Epstein March 4, 2005 at 4:45 pm

Speak of the Devil, Mises.org just published said hoppe essay criticizing Francis. http://www.mises.org/fullstory.aspx?Id=1766#sdfootnote2anc

George F March 4, 2005 at 5:58 pm

Mr. Palmer, could you please provide documentation for your claim that Sam Francis “is frequently cited on [lewrockwell.com] as a great intellectual, defender of the good and the true,” and that “Sam Francis was such an inspiration to Lew Rockwell and Co.”? Or is this one of your usual grossly exaggerated, and deliberately misleading, accusations?

AAA March 4, 2005 at 8:47 pm

“Mr. Palmer, in addition, why don’t you discuss those days at Catholic University, you know, when you started your 10-15 year PhD program via a half-dozen universities”

Hmmm… It seems rather silly (not to mention a totally ad hominem attack…) to criticize someone based on the amount of time he took to complete his PhD. Anyway, I didn’t know Mr. Palmer worked through his PhD studies, so this silly attack has at least had the positive effect of increasing my admiration for his perseverance and skills as a scholar.

Steve Horwitz March 4, 2005 at 9:14 pm

A quick Google search of LewRockwell.com turns up 50 hits on “Sam Francis.” Not all of them are positive, so whether that’s “frequent” and fawning enough to support Tom’s point, I don’t know.

Samuel March 4, 2005 at 9:27 pm

Whoa….that Karen De Coster is one nasty woman. “Assucations”? What kind of mean pill do you have to take to get that nasty?

Anthony Gregory March 4, 2005 at 9:51 pm

“Sam Francis” is on 44 pages on LRC, or on 0.0896% of the 49,100 LRC pages that come up on Google. “Lew Rockwell” is on 45 of the 548 pages of tomgpalmer.com that come up on Google. That’s 8.2% (almost 1/12) of the pages.

By this Google count, TomGPalmer.com mentions “Lew Rockwell,” almost always negatively, on 92 times the fraction of its pages as LRC mentions Sam Francis as a fraction of its. Tomgpalmer.com also mentions Lew Rockwell more in absolute terms by one page.

Even more interesting, “Sam Francis” is on 16 pages, or 2.9% of the total number, on TomGPalmer.com, making any given page on TomgPalmer.com 32.57 times more likely to mention Sam Francis than any given page on LRC.

And yet even more interesting, TomGPalmer.com has “Lew Rockwell” mentioned on 57% as many pages as “Bush,” 35% as many pages as “war” and 38% as many as “Iraq.”

This either proves the meaninglessness of these Google searches, or indicates that Tom Palmer is far more obsessed with bashing Lew Rockwell than Lew and all his writers are interested in Sam Francis at all, and that Palmer thinks Lew Rockwell is more than half as worthy of commentary as the president of the United States.

John Lopez March 5, 2005 at 12:01 am

KDC:
“And assucations coming from the King of Filthy attacks, Mr. Lopez, it is no less than hilarious.”

Let’s get real here: I’m not *accusing* you of bloody anything. I’m *pointing out* the plain *fact* that you used male homosexuality as a pejorative term towards me. I’m *comparing* that pejorative to racial pejoratives such as “greaser”, and *noting* that the *hypothetical* use of such racial pejoratives would have amused me as equally as your *actual use* of homosexual pejoratives did.

What that says about *you* is up to inlookers to decide for themselves, but I’ll state plainly (once again) that I find it amusing and revealing. That’s why I addressed your senseless screed (Yes: senseless. Yes: screed.) with a *one-line throwaway*.

Now you might get up on your high horse about now and say that I’m in fact taking offense to your comments, but I’m not. The asterisks, there, are to emphasize the points that you evidently missed in your first reading of the *single sentence* in the comment above.

“..don’t dare mention that the website that my particular “screed” responded to had been making myriad posts about me (obsessing, like you do on Lew), over time, with grotesque sexual references about me; my picture photoshop’d all over their website (incl. sex books); obscene, filty (and often sexual) comments; made-up lies about my “supposed” personal life details, etc. Oh, but of course, dare I eventually react”

I’ll tell you what:

a) You can find something posted by *me* that you think is offensive to you as described above and link it the hell up, right here, or;

b) You get to admit that you’re totally off base with accusations in regards to *me*, either by saying so like an *honest* person, or by slinking off in silence/making noises about “opportunity cost” (read: “KDC not winning argument”)/blathering hysterically about anything and everything other than the issue at hand, here.

One guess what I predict will happen.

P.S.: I now note that Karen DeCoster’s homo-hating rant has disappeared down the Memory Hole and it its place is a link to the Tom Palmer smear blog. Charming.

Since my cheap Mexican ESP was working that day, I thoughtfully noted your original unsubtle gay-bashing here: http://tinyurl.com/43stb . Note the prediction at the top.

P.P.S.: For all the paleos that may be distrustful of No-Treasoners and/or “others” (wink-wink-nudge-nudge), Google has thoughtfully cached the item in question as well: http://tinyurl.com/5na23 You may peruse the entry there without evil anarchists or grubby wetbacks polluting your precious bodily fluids with their filthy electrons. Also note that that post had undergone at least one cleansing of content before it was cached. The NT comment linked above contains the original.

Tom G. Palmer March 5, 2005 at 1:18 am

Mr. Epstein refers to “left wing slurs like ‘racist’ and ‘white supremacist’ which have absolutely no meaning except to shut someone who disagree with up without addressing their arguments.” I disagree. “Racist” and “white supremacist” are quite meaningful terms and are appropriately applied to the cluster of institutions and persons around Sam Francis, the Council of Conservative Citizens, American Renaissance, and so on.

The Lew Rockwell crowd ought to make up its mind. Sam Francis was a great man, or he was a “National Socialist” (a term that even I find much too harsh, although in this essay Hoppe, from whom Karen De Coster seems to have lifted the term, conveniently cleanses it of racial meaning: http://www.hanshoppe.com/publications/hoppe_nation_household.pdf ).

It’s clear, as Mr. Pendleton’s letter (waaayy up at the top of this blog entry) indicates, that Lew Rockwell has cleared a path from one ideology to another, quite foreign and hateful ideology, viz. from liberalism to racist collectivism. Read through the links from Lew Rockwell (including those he signs) and you will find a very ugly agenda that revolves around race. And, yes, it is what one would expect to find associated with the bashing of Martin Luther King (no angel, he, but also a courageous man: see http://www.tomgpalmer.com/archives/016962.php ), with the bashing of Abraham Lincoln (see the multiple postings and the sloppy error-riddled “scholarship” from Tom DiLorenzo), and with the wink-wink, nudge-nudge references to matters racial and ethnic. (See Mr. Epstein’s attack my colleague Dan Griswold and his insistence on demanding to know “So Dan, what majority Mexican neighborhood would you like to live in?” at http://blog.lewrockwell.com/lewrw/archives/003096.html )

Anthony Gregory has provided some interesting calculations, but the suggestion is that I measure my life’s work by my internet postings. Hence, if I write about, say, the Epic of Gilgamesh on a number of blogs, and it’s more than I have written about President Bush, we can conclude that I consider Gilgamesh more significant a threat to liberty than President Bush. I don’t live on the internet; I try to exert most of my influence in lectures, teaching, writing, media interviews, and organizing of events. Today I had a series of meetings, seminars, and presentations (the former Prime Minister of Estonia to discuss the European constitution and tax competition, a delegation of people from South Carolina, including some working on school choice, a visiting historian working on the history of classical liberalism in America, and a presentation on public speaking techniques, in addition to editing publications and so forth). I will be going to Iraq shortly to organize the publication of classical liberal works in Arabic, working with Iraqi professors and students who are interested in classical liberalism. I don’t expect to do much talking about Lew Rockwell (the one who has accused me in print of being a “coward”) while I’m there. I write on my little blog about a few interests that I have, from poetry to politics to books; yes, one of those interests is the way that Lew Rockwell is poisoning the libertarian movement by introducing sectarian cultish thinking (the promoting and hyping of the distinctly fourth-rate thinker Hoppe is a good example), by promoting connections to the very worst elements of the racist and anti-Semitic hard right (the ones who were rightly expelled by publications such as National Review and the Washington Times), and by encouraging a startling hatred of the United States and of our relatively free and open society, one that he hates with a deep passion, as he prefers (depending on the occasion) the Habsburg Monarchy or the Confederate States of America and once commented in print (I can’t find the link, so it may have been dropped down the memory hole) on how great it would be if Washington, D.C. were to be wiped out with a nuclear weapon. He has provided an entrÃ?Â??Ã?Â?Ã?©e to Joe Sobran, Sam Francis, and other misanthropes. As Mr. Pendleton remarked in his letter to me, it was at the Ludwig von Mises Institute that he met such fascinating people: other libertarians were “distinctly inferior to those grouped around the legendary Murray Rothbard and the then relatively young Mises Institute, whose similar program I had attended the previous year.” Mr. Pendleton recounts how his “immature early libertarianism was gradually replaced by an historically informed Old Right sympathy,” the very “Old Right” that Lew Rockwell so assiduously promotes.

Mr. Epstein, who is a regular lewrockwell.com commentator, shows a remarkable interest in the racial angles on issues and denounces Martin Luther King, not really the greatest threat to liberty, either. (Mr. Epstein mocked the idea that it was an advance in liberty that black men no longer have to step off the curb when a white policeman approaches. Is he just taking after Lew Rockwell, who praised the beating of Rodney King and proposed a return to non-judician beatings in the backs of police paddy wagons…..in an article in the LA Times that he signed with title at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, thus associating that great thinker with the most thuggish of attitudes.) Mr. Kinsella, a key figure in the Rockwell network, has a real problem with race and ethnicity, as well, and has baited people he identifies as Jews and Muslims about their ethnicity and “clannishness” (rather amusingly in the case of Irfan Khawaja, who is an apostate); he also has a fetish about demanding on many web sites to know if various people have ever used the “N-word” and or have ever said the word “bigger.” Very, very, very weird and indicative of an obsession about race and ethnicity.

So a question for George F. Do you find Joseph Sobran (the one who associates with the neo-Nazi, holocaust denying Institute for Historical Review), American Renaissance (the group with that useful how-to guide to “Building White Communities”), Sam Francis and his Council of Conservative Citizens (with its openly vile, disgusting, and truly evil racism and hatred of black people) to be anti-individualist, anti-libertarian, and in general repulsive? Or are they just ok, like, whatever….y’know…..no big deal? If they are repulsive, are you saying that there can be found no linkages — no pathways — on lewrockwell.com (and its related enterprises) between, say, the high ideals and courageous liberalism of Ludwig von Mises and the anti-libertarian racism of Sam Francis, Joe Sobran, Jared Taylor, and their ilk? What is it? I see a very dangerous and disturbing linkage between Confederate Revivalism, which I loathe and despise for the simple reason that it is based on (to be charitable) a dismissal of the significance of the enslavement of black people, and principles that I do uphold, such as free markets, and persons whose legacy I consider valuable and honorable, such as Ludwig von Mises.

So before Ms. De Coster swoops in again and accuses me of writing “3,567 daily comments,” or of having written essays on “deconstruction,” or of having taken too long to work my way through college, I’d like to know: is Mr. Epstein right and racial discrimination and bigotry is fine and we should endorse it, or is there simply no racism to be found in, around, linked to, under, behind, or over lewrockwell.com?

Mark March 5, 2005 at 11:49 am

Dr Palmer,

A view from a distance :

As a Belgian who has never met American libertarians (Mises or Cato or whoever) it is for me difficult to understand what this vendetta between you and the LRC-folks is all about.
I like to read your blog just like I like to read some LRC-stuff.

Yes I consider Hoppe and North (y2000 hoax)
as weirdo’s but the columns of Charley Reese,
Paul Craig Roberts,Di Lorenzo , Lew Rockwell and yes Joe Sobran are in my opinion mostly very good.

I haven’t found (in 18 months) racism, around linked to, under, behind or over lewrockwell.com.

Just my opinion (excuses for my bad English).

Best regards,

Mark Depr��?���©
( http://www.vrijspreker.nl/blog/index.php?memberid=16 )

Adam W. March 5, 2005 at 12:18 pm

See, the thing that annoyed me a little about Rockwell and his gang is, while there were some good columns (even though they’re more anarcho-capitalist than I am, but I’m sympathetic to that) is that they’re more conservative than I’d like (i.e. it appears more anti-gay), and Rockwell said paleolibertarianism has “made its peace with religion as the bedrock of liberty, property, and the natural order.” First off, us regular libertarians aren’t anti-religion, but second, religion’s not the “bedrock” of anything.

P.S. Dr. Palmer, please read my last post on http://www.tomgpalmer.com/archives/019029.php#comments

Marcus Epstein March 5, 2005 at 4:06 pm

Well I have been defending other people against your charges of racism, but now it looks like I can defend myself.

Please tell me one thing in my article about MLK that is untrue. While I don’t find MLK to be the greatest threat to liberty (I find George Bush and the Republicn party to be, and I have no problem criticizing him), It makes me sick having to treat a very flawed man who had very questionable political views as the redeemer of mankind and a secular saint. I get even more disgusted when obstensible conservatives and libertarians make the same point. Why should i not let people know that he was anything but a conservative or libertarian. (I had over 500 e-mails to that piece, almost all of them positive and at least a hundred of them coming from people who had previously bought the Clint Bolick/Bill Bennett line about KIng and who’s minds were opened up.)

As for having an “interest in racial angles” What the hell is that supposed to mean. Race is something that our politically correct culture is obsessed with, and It is something that affects a variety of issues. Many of my articles (very few of them of LRC) deal with it, because it is an important issue. Some of them (such as my articles on Zora Neale Hurston, which some of your fellow Cato fellows have praised) speak highly of african americans. Some of them, however, do not tow to the obligatory politically correct multicultural line, and hence people like you call them “racist” or “white supremacist” without actually disputing what I say. Hence my accusation that those words have no real meaning. I make no apologies for that.

Please tell me where I said racial discrimination or bigotry was OK. I don’t think it should be outlawed. I don’t think that all problems that blacks face are because of racism and oppression. But I have never said that treating someone poorly because of the color of their skin is OK, so please don’t accuse me of doing so.

Perhaps some people will take some of the things I or Paul Gottfried write and then it will eventually lead them farther to the right on race than I am. This would be unfortunate. However, someone could just as easily be interested in libertarianism, then get into the Cato Institute, and then end up, I don’t know helping build up imperial indoctrination centers in Iraq. http://www.hooverdigest.org/042/evers.html I don’t blame the Cato Institue for that because I don’t see how being exposed to new ideas is something we should be afraid of.

Finally, why must you say that the LRC must make a “choice” between liking Francis or not. We are individuals. Some of us like Francis, some don’t, some don’t care or know who he is, and some have mixed feelings. Despite accusations that LRC writers are all part of a cult, we have different opinions on a variety of issues.

Marcus Epstein March 5, 2005 at 4:13 pm

Another important article to read regarding this, “What I learned from Paleoism” by Lew Rockwell http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/paleoism.html

George F. March 6, 2005 at 2:33 am

Mr. Palmer doesn’t want his “life’s work” measured “by my internet postings.” He says, “I try to exert most of my influence in lectures, teaching, writing, media interviews, and organizing of events…. [Long list of Important Activities follows] I write on my little blog about a few interests that I have, from poetry to politics to books.” Man, talk about your double standard! Palmer has no trouble judging the life’s work of Lew Rockwell, or Murray Rothbard, by a handful of internet postings (links, actually), on Lew’s little website. One would think, from listening to Tom Palmer, that running lewrockwell.com is Rockwell’s full-time job. One would hardly know that Rockwell is founder and president of an influential institute dedicated to promoting the views of Ludwig von Mises, and that he runs a “little website” in his spare time, much like Palmer.

I am asked above if I find Sobran and Francis “anti-individualist, anti-libertarian, and in general repulsive?” Goodness, what an obsession. First of all, as commentators on this site have repeatedly pointed out, the question is irrelevant. I certainly don’t find the views of Sobran or Francis *that are specifically cited or linked to on lewrockwell.com* to be anti-libertarian. I don’t see anything wrong with linking to Sobran’s writings on Shakespeare or Francis’s views on the strategy of the conservative movement. That isn’t to say that Sobran or Francis have libertarian views on every subject. (Incidentally, while Francis was obviously not a libertarian, Sobran describes himself as an anarcho-capitalist: http://www.sobran.com/reluctant.shtml .)

But this whole subject is ridiculous. Let me state for the record: I find George Bush to be “anti-individualist, anti-libertarian, and in general repulsive.” Far, far more repulsive than Joe Sobran or Sam Francis. Yet here is Tom Palmer, an ostensible libertarian, praising George Bush’s views on Social Security privatization and school choice! By Palmer’s reasoning, a favorable reference to any position held by Mr. X constitutes a full and unqualified endorsement of all Mr. X’s views. Even worse, it drags poor, unsuspecting newcomers to libertarianism like Arthur Pendleton to the rest of Mr. X’s views. As someone points out above, which is worse: That a newbie might be led from lewrockwell.com to Jared Taylor, or that a newbie might be led from tomgpalmer.com to Charles Krauthammer or Little Green Footballs?

George F. March 6, 2005 at 2:49 am

And please note, Gentle Reader, that Palmer has ignored the request to back up his claims that Sam Francis “is frequently cited on [lewrockwell.com] as a great intellectual, defender of the good and the true,” and that “Sam Francis was such an inspiration to Lew Rockwell and Co.”? He responded instead by changing the subject. At best, these claims are sloppy and careless; at worst, they’re a malicious attempt to distort the relationship between Francis’s views and the views of lewrockwell.com. I’ll let the reader decide.

Tom G. Palmer March 6, 2005 at 3:09 am

Well, George F. has set out his position. It’s clear and, IMHO, bizarre. If I can get the president of the United States to endorse, say, tax cuts or a peaceful foreign policy, I’m happy to do so. I care very little about getting some anti-Semitic jerk like Joe Sobran to support tax cuts or a peaceful foreign policy. George F. acts as if getting something on a web site is what life is about. How about getting the state to change its policies? How about actually moving toward liberty? Or actually bringing about a greater chance for — or, maybe, even, actually bringing about — peace?

Like it or not, George W. Bush is president of the U.S., Gerhard Schroeder is chancellor of Germany, and Tony Blair is prime minister of Great Britain. I want them to change their behavior and to stop violating rights and to institute greater freedom. I’m not really concerned about whether anyone finds out what their views are; they’re famous already. I do care that lewrockwell.com served as the conduit for Mr. Pendleton (and others) to go from the ideas of Mises to some of the creepiest forces in American political life today.

There’s a difference between, say, getting a position writing for the op-ed page of the New York Times and getting a position writing for the Citizens Informer, the paper of the racist Council of Conservative Citizens that Sam Francis edited. George F. seems not to get the difference; the former allows you to transmit ideas through an important medium, the latter merely tars those ideas with the racism and hatefulness of the people who put out the publication.

This isn’t a game, George F. It’s about changing the world to make it more just, to recognize the rights and dignity of individual human beings, to replace coercion with peaceful cooperation. The kind of knuckle draggers who promote Confederate Revivalism, “building white communities,” holocaust denial, and other repugnant causes are not “allies” in that fight, any more than allying with and creating links to the Communist Party was a good idea during the Viet Nam War or doing so with Jihadist groups is during the “War on Terror.” Not only are those groups enemies of freedom, but they quite understandably turn serious people away. Lew Rockwell’s beloved Confederacy, which was established for the purpose of kidnapping people and getting them out of the U.S. in order to be able to continue to violate their rights, is gone — and good riddance, too. Wrapping the ideas of a central European liberal thinker such as Mises with the Confederate Stars and Bars is not only bizarre (in the extreme) but turns people away from those very ideas. It makes the achievement of freedom less likely.

Now, as others have indicated, if it’s about whether this or that person has actually exercised unjust powers, and therefore has committed rights violations, then by all means embrace the neo-Nazi (they opposed World War II, or, at least, U.S. entry into that war), the Confederate Revivalist, the advocate of a jihad against the U.S., the advocate of white supremacy, if they haven’t actually killed anyone yet (but only because they haven’t had the chance, of course)….and don’t dare to sit down with a member of the U.S. Congress (unless he’s Lew Rockwell’s old employer, Ron Paul), or an Ambassador, or a Cabinet Secretary, or anyone else in the power structure. There! You’re sure to be successful, …. just not at advancing liberty.

Now I’ve been busy and found that Professor Horwitz had done a google search, so I considered his answer sufficient. Click on the various pieces (including by Lew Rockwell) and see what you find. Will you find that the lewrockwell.com site is nothing but a Sam Francis site? No, but you will find Sam Francis treated as a serious intellectual contender and important person, rather than as a pariah, which is more appropriate. Ditto for Joe Sobran (http://www.google.com/custom?cof=LW%3A500%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.lewrockwell.com%2Flewroc1a.gif%3BLH%3A93%3BAH%3Acenter%3BAWFID%3A65dad07a461e3427%3B&domains=lewrockwell.com&q=Joe+Sobran&sitesearch=lewrockwell.com ). That they are considered perfectly respectable persons is telling. And that young people such as lewrockwell.com columnist Mr. Epstein are led to embrace such people as intellectual mentors is evidence of precisely what concerns me. I am all for encouraging bright young people to consider many different views, but I don’t appreciate one whit having holocaust deniers, anti-Semites, and brazen white supremacists included among such luminaries as Ludwig von Mises and Carl Menger as somehow legitimate elments of the classical liberal or libertarian movement. Ugh.

P.S. It’s also quite disgusting that Joe Sobran shows up at Rockwell fundraisers accompanied by the international anti-Semitc campaigner “Lady Michelle Renouf” (see http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=30 and also her appearances along with neo-Nazis at “revisionist” conferences, e.g., http://www.nationalvanguard.org/story.php?id=2711). Sobran isn’t an anti-Semite, but hangs out with such trash? And then she ends up at a Rockwell fundraiser? Hey, no association with anti-Semites around here! And, anyway, George F., she hasn’t *actually* killed any Jews; she just doesn’t think it happened, and, anyway, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea, not that it happened or even would have happened, anyway.

Marcus Epstein March 6, 2005 at 2:34 pm

For the record I was led to Lew Rockwell and the Mises Institute through Joe Sobran and Sam Francis, not vice versa.

Marcus Epstein March 6, 2005 at 6:13 pm

While I have been exposed to such noxious characters of Sam Francis and Joe Sobran, I had never heard of Ms Renouf until just now.

Of the two links you showed, none of them said anything about her being at any Mises event. One had nothing to do with Mises or Joe Sobran for that matter, and was printed by a Nazi website, who has constantly attacked not only Lew Rockwell.com but also Sam Francis. The other is from some perverted Britis Leftists who has articles about how public schools should teach pre teens how to watch hardcore porn; and went “undercover” to an IHR conference. I would be very skeptical of the accuracy of anything he wrote there, but all he seems to say is that Mr. Sobran flirted with Miss Renouf at said conference. I don’t see how this can be interpreted as him having her accompany her the Mises Institute.

Finally, assuming what you say is true, it appears that you are stooping to the level of saying that Mises Institute is bad because the Date of someone who attended a Mises Event may have some unsavory views. Does the Cato Institute do a n ideological background check on the views of the dates of all the people who attend their events, and accordingly ban all those who are deemed racist or anti-Semitic. If not, I don’t see the point in posting such accusations.

Tom G. Palmer March 6, 2005 at 6:29 pm

Mr. Epstein’s points are well taken. I was informed by an attendee at the event that Mr. Sobran attended with the unsavory “Lady Renouf,” who proceeded to expound on how the holocaust was just a Jewish story, blah, blah, blah. The point was not to suggest that Lew Rockwell run background checks on the dates of all attendees at this events; that would indeed be absurd. It is that Mr. Sobran is not merely some dewey eyed innocent who pretends just not to know about all the details of the holocaust, but an active collaborator with loathesome holocaust deniers. And further, that those people seem quite comfortable at a Rockwell fundraiser. No, that is not to say that Rockwell is responsible for all the views of the people who attend his events, but it does suggest something, don’t you think?

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