Just In Case….

I’ve gotten some emails, so rather than respond to all of them, I am posting a clarification: I am not quoted in this article from The New Republic. (To the best of my knowledge, I have not met Mr. Kirchik, nor have we spoken.)

97 Responses to “Just In Case….”

  1. I am not pushing out clouds of anything. I went to almost every seminar held at LvMI between 2001 and 2006, and I worked at the Institute from 2004 until January of this year. I never heard a single racist comment from any faculty member or staff member in the whole time I was there. For these supposed “former students,” how about ponying up some details, instead of just saying “take it from me”?

    This is character assassination of the worst kind. Palmer has had a beef with Rothbardians ever since he was exposed as duplicitous in the Libertarian Forum so many years ago. He must be a racist himself, of course, since he “associated” with those in the “fever swamp.” This is just slander (which shouldn’t be a crime or a tort, but which shows one’s own lack of class).

  2. Manuel, I have never read anything by Sam Francis. The only reason I have any idea who he is at all is because of all the times I have had to clean up vandalism at the [[Lew Rockwell]] article on Wikipedia.

    While the others aren’t my favorites, I have read enough of their work to have an educated opinion on the matter. I cannot say that I have ever read anything by Sam Francis, and I never heard his name spoken once at the Mises Institute.

  3. Tom G. Palmer

    Thanks for the clarifications, Mr. Clark. You can’t defend the Ron Paul newsletters, at least not openly. You can’t defend Lew Rockwell, who used to call himself a “racialist.” You can’t remember reading all of the praise of Sam Francis at LewRockwell.com. So you instead poison the well by claiming that I was exposed as “duplicitous” “so many years ago” in an obscure newsletter. I think that the better term is “matured,” since I was denounced for deciding as a young man that (for reasons quite different from the sickness recently exposed, which was not present back then) I did not agree with things I had written as a teen. Some duplicity — changing one’s mind, unless as a result of a command from a cult leader, is a sign of duplicity. What a sad little man you are, Mr. Clark.

    The fact is that neither you nor your other racist-enabler colleagues can defend Lew Rockwell’s collectivism. It’s time for you to slink back into your little hole.

    Some of the not-yet-deleted praise of Sam Francis at LewRockwell.com:
    (There used to be more, but …. they were dropped down the memory hole, as were the columns of Bob Wallace, including his several defenses on LewRockwell.com of public displays of the swastika.)

    The circle widens, as you can quickly find an acolyte of Lew Rockwell’s (and participant and lecturer at recent LvMI events), Marcus Epstein, with his obit to KKK admirer Sam Francis:

    Other favorites include Joe Sobran, thrown out of National Review for his anti-Semitism, and a very big fan of Sam Francis. And Paul Gottfried, writer for Junge Freiheit and big fan of Sam Francis.

    But Mr. Clark…you knew nothing…heard nothing….saw nothing. Now that’s duplicity!

  4. Dr. Palmer, I don’t appreciate your calling me a liar. My reports of what I saw and heard–or rather didn’t see or hear–are entirely truthful. I value truth more than image, and if I believed that my efforts had gone to support a racist cause, I would not be a part of it. If indeed I had been witness to such activities, I would have written the expose myself. I walked away from an ROTC scholarship after Basic Camp at Ft. Knox on principle, and I know that I have the intestinal fortitude to stand up for people that I know to be innocent of the vile charges levied against them.

    As for Marcus Epstein, I don’t believe you will find him at Mises events. While Marcus and I are on good terms, I can tell you that he was widely reckoned by the other fellows to not be a libertarian. I am not sure whether he considers himself a libertarian, but I do not–he is a paleo-con in my view. Dr. Palmer, are you prepared to assume responsibility for the views of every student who has passed through Cato University? How about all the research fellows/interns/etc.?

    Do you say that it is an article of faith for libertarians to refuse to publish or discuss anything written by anyone with distasteful opinions or personal preferences. I think that we should get no work done for the cause of liberty if we held to that standard. I am interested in educating people about liberty, and in engendering open, uncensored discussion–what subjects are off-limits to official libertarians, sir?

    As to Sobran’s departure from NR: Dr. Palmer, how much faith do you put in Norman Podheretz, the source of those accusations? According to Wikipedia, “Buckley disagreed with Podhoretz’s accusation, noting that he “deemed Joe Sobran’s six columns contextually anti-Semitic. By this I mean that if he had been talking, let us say, about the lobbying interests of the Arabs or of the Chinese, he would not have raised eyebrows as an anti-Arab or an anti-Chinese.” (Source: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n24_v43/ai_11810753/)

    With that said, I have never seen Joe Sobran, and I worked all the seminars. Lew may publish him on LRC, but in my capacity as a Mises Institute employee I never heard him mentioned, except when Lew noted that he was very ill at one point. I’m pretty sure that Sobran only spoke at Center for Libertarian Studies and LewRockwell.com events, although perhaps Sobran spoke at LvMI at some much earlier date.

    Dr. Palmer, do I understand you to be saying that certain inflammatory and distasteful displays ought to be outlawed? I hope I am misreading you here.

  5. Those old Libertarian Forum newsletters are entertaining, if only because they scream insanity on every page. Rothbard really did lose it there in his later years (and probably well before that).

    In fact, reading through them again, I’m convinced that these smears against Ron Paul don’t come from the shadowy “neocons,” but from the Kochtupus/Craniac “machine” that’s been trying to purge Rothbard’s ghost from the movement for decades now. It’s so clear…

  6. Tom G. Palmer

    It’s really sad to see apparently intelligent people clutch at straws to retain their membership in a cult.

    Mr. Clark accuses me of “duplicity” and then weepily complains because I allegedly called him a “liar.” Mr. Clark should learn how to use a dictionary. (I do not believe that Mr. Clark had no idea of what Samuel Francis believed; he admits that he was familiar with the name as a Wikipedia editor.)

    Then he makes the usual move: if you criticize someone as a hateful racist, they say you want to “censor” them. If you say that David Irving is a Nazi (quite true), then they say you favor jailing him (not true). Joe Sobran is an anti-Semite. “Taki” is an anti-Semite. They are prominent parts of the Lew Rockwell circle. No, pointing that out does not mean that I favor jailing them. It is a mark of desperation on the part of former Ludwig von Mises Institute librarian Dick Clark to shift the issue from pointing out racism and anti-Semitism to defending free speech. Yes, yes, yes….I favor free speech for anti-Semites and racists. But the fact that Mr. Clark feels that he has to raise the issue of censorship is a sure sign that he knows that he has lost. His colleagues include undeniable racists and anti-Semites. Maybe he is neither a racist nor an anti-Smite. But he cannot credibly deny the plain fact that he has been associated with them through Lew Rockwell, which is why he raised some disagreements from obscure newsletters of nearly thirty years ago, accused me of “duplicity,” accused me of accusing him of being a “liar,” and then suggested that by pointing out that his associates are racists I am “saying that certain inflammatory and distasteful displays ought to be outlawed.” That is a classic “red herring,” drawn across the trail to lead one away from the fox. And the coup de grace…..Clark tacitly admits that his associates have indeed engaged in “certain inflammatory and distasteful displays,” that is to say, they are racists. Q.E.D.

  7. No, Dr. Palmer, I never admitted any such thing about “certain inflammatory and distasteful displays” and I suspect you know it. although I admit it might be a failure on my part to fully elucidate the thought I was trying to express. The phrase you quote was in reference to your comment about the Wallace articles (which I have not read). Since that was out of sequence, I understand how you might not have understood my intent, and I regret the miscommunication. At no time did I ever see any “symbols of hate” outside of library materials (it _is_ okay to have historical texts referencing major events in the last 100 years, right?) and the Institute’s extensive collection of Soviet propaganda posters.

    I still maintain, as a matter of first-hand experience, that I never witnessed any evidence of any racist sentiment or doctrine by Mises Institute faculty or staff. I regularly attended lectures, personally logged each book donated to the library by patrons, and was very familiar with the Rothbard and Mises archives (the Mises archives do not represent a majority of that scholar’s papers, which are mostly at Grove City and elsewhere if I remember correctly). I worked with the Mises staff every day, and I never detected any sentiment of racism. Sentiments of Catholicism (and Protestantism), disdain for all manner of monopoly government, and excitement about future book projects and incoming visiting scholars were the ones I witnessed.

    I cannot speak as to the condition of anyone’s heart. I don’t presume to have first-hand knowledge of anyone’s thoughts. All I can report are my own experiences, and I can honestly say that my words here have been truthful. I’ve run on the LP ticket twice (much to my non-profit employer’s chagrin, I might add), and people can check my platform, which I composed for my 2006 AL House campaign, for any deviations from plumb-line libertarianism. (http://citizenclark.com/?q=platform) I was sold on libertarianism by Bob Murphy, who convinced me that reckless, collateral damage in war still constituted an unlawful taking of human life. I worked with the LP from then on, and I think the people I have worked with over the six years since will attest to my libertarian credentials. I am not and I never have been a racist. I still vividly remember my mother’s sharp words when I was poring over an atlas as a child, still learning to read, and mispronounced the name of the Niger River. I harbor no sympathy for racism or racists. I also harbor no sympathy for people who recklessly defame others with half-truths and guilt-by-association claptrap.

    I raised the LF article to point out that the personal and often less than civil disagreements between Cato and LvMI folks go back long before you (and socialists like Chip Berlet at SPLC) started accusing the Mises Institute of being institutionally racist. I personally think that you do a lot of good when you aren’t libeling fellow libertarians. My con law class is discussing the Heller case right now, and I commend you for your part in that noble effort. Sharon Harris has given me some of your video lectures in the past, and I take her endorsements quite seriously. Whatever other good work you have done, though, I cannot stand by while you accuse hundreds of Mises fellows, faculty (mostly adjunct), and staff of racism of which they are not guilty.

    For someone who spends so much time in the belly of the beast, though, it seems laughable for you to insist upon such a broad social quarantine for true-blue libertarians.

  8. To add to the fire, more evidence of racist overtones from Mises Institute people, beyond what Tom Palmer has documented…

    Three different friends of mine attended LvMI conferences — every one left early because they encountered racist ideas and became disgusted.

    In the early 1990s I attended a joint conference of the LvMI & Rockford Institute held in Princeton. In a closing address, RI director Thomas Flemming spoke on how it was foolish to try to build a political system on the rights of the individual — only white christian males are fit to rule, definitely not blacks or women. Rothbard, who had just spoken on how the “paleo-lib paleo-con” dialogue had taken things to a higher & better plane, sat in silence, looking very embarassed. So did the rest of the Mises crew, with one exception. Tom DiLorenzo — he was new to LvMI then, and hadn’t yet gone into his Cuckoo-for-Confederates phase, I think — got up and said he believed in individual rights. But Rockwell looked pleased with Flemming’s point.

    Finally, at a private dinner during (but outside of) the Mt. Pelerin meetings in Vancouver B.C. I heard Walter Block announce Charles Murray’s “Bell Curve” was coming out (it hadn’t been made public to that point). Block expressed delight that it would prove blacks were inferior and that this would mean the government would stop wasting money trying to educate “those people.” His hatred for blacks was quite obvious.

    I don’t think any old insensitive comment is racism, BTW, and don’t think many of the RP newsletter comments qualify as racism, although they are stupid comments. The homophobia is quite obvious, though.

  9. Dick Clark,

    It’s all well and good that you never heard anything racist during your tenure at the Mises Institute. But as your rightly pointed out, let’s not dwell on he said she said accusations from those who thought they witnessed something at a Mises Institute seminar.

    How about instead we look at the actual writings of some of these people. Here, we have Lew Rockwell defending the beating of Rodney King in an article dripping with racism, Lew Rockwell writing racist and homophobic diatribes in Ron Paul’s newsletter, and Lew Rockwell hosting a website that allows the bile of racists and bigots.

    This is a point Tom and dozens of commentators on this website have been making and making and making for years. Last week, the whole world found out what’s under Lew Rockwell’s rock. If the vast majority of the US finds Lew Rockwell’s writings racist, don’t you think there’s an outside chance that they actually are?

  10. I’m really getting irritated, and a bit ashamed, by reading all this. Thank God, I didn’t have to find out the hard way, like some of the above had to.

    @Dick Clarke

    Sobran may be a fine writer, but some of his views are not just anti-PC, they are stupid and vicious — that’s not just some opinion. He’s simply morally wrong for associating with holocaust deniers. Indeed, Boaz is right “shame on them”.

    @Tom Palmer

    All in all, I do think RP has not been bad for libertarianism — this stuff will stick though. On him, not the movement. He did spread ideas to young people and injected some straight talk into the Republican party. At least he broadened debate.

    You were always skeptical — or you felt some downright bad karma — of the Rockwellians, so that makes you okay in my book. Maybe sometimes a bit too harsh, but in the end you were more right then wrong.

    However, the Reason-guys jumped on the “rEVOLution” boat, for as long as it suited them. They didn’t have a problem with the paleo-libs untill a week ago. That I do mind, they were unprincipled, hypocrites and proved my suspicions that they really don’t give a fig about anything — as long as they can’t benefit too.

    I’m a libertarian and for that, I will not look at LRC anymore. If you hammer the Rockwellians for their silent approval right-wing fringe, hammer these Reason-pricks too. You know, I’m right on this one. You (apparently) knew, why not them too?

  11. Juan Fdo. C.

    Mr. Palmer:

    Have you been to the LVMI?

    I never saw or felt anything like that at the LVMI. The spirit was great and no thinker was mischaracterized (not Mises on unemployment, contra Palmer, not Coase on social cost, contra Palmer, etc). There were people from Ecuador, Guatemala, Colombia and other countries where our ethnicity is Spanish-Indian and trust me, we do know how to spot incorrect attitudes on that area. But nothing even resembling that ever ocurred.

    I don’t like the tone/spirit in those singled-out newsletter texts a bit, yes, because I don’t know -literally- if that’s the way to go, but the LVMI? Come on. I consider MU2003 the greatest intellectual experience in my life and have been student of three very prestigious institutions in Latin America (and couple important ones in the US too for short courses).

    Do I have a problem with Gary North’s supposed views on the Old Testament? yes. Has he written something in the like at LRC or advocated it to the best of my knowledge? No. So it’s basically none of my business as far as I am concerned. The same with secession: it is something that Mises considered valid and if I understand correctly it was also part of the general political mindset in the first decades of the colonies.

    The LVMI and LRC are clear with me. I hope this stuff does not grow and shadow all the great achievements in the minds of semi-informed people, period. I would like to see other think-tanks provide as much information and as good information as the LVMI does. One can survey Mises.org for hours and find only quality texts and nothing to be suspicious about at all. The books, the articles and the journals are a very important source.

    And that’s all I have to say on the matter.

  12. Mr. Riggenbach,

    You seem to think that taking offense at offensive and shameful “comments” is just righteous indignation.

    Do you think the problems of prejudice in this country have been solved? Do you think the newsletter comments help the cause of understanding and sympathizing with people who are denigrated, explicitly called less than human, because of the color of their skin, or whom they go to bed with? Or would you prefer to roll your eyes at those who attempt to talk about these issues, perhaps mumble something about affirmative action breeding resentment, and go about your merry way?

    There are people who’d like to take this opportunity to examine issues of race and sexuality through a libertarian lens; and there are those who disdainfully mock them. The latter group deserves no more respect than whoever wrote the newsletter in the first place: one group planted seeds of hate, the other refuses to do anything to uproot the gnarled, deathly sapling that has sprung up.

    Someone posted an interesting aphorism at a conservative blog a couple weeks ago: “Libertarianism is applied autism.” You are Exhibit A.

  13. Jeff Riggenbach

    “Jeff — you are far better than the people you are defedning. But you know that much of this is very true.”

    I’m not sure if this comment is directed at me, since I have no idea who wrote it, but if it is, let me say that I *don’t* “know” that “much of this is very true.”

    “As bad as the racism was the anti-gay statements were far worse. And those were published over a period of four years. You can’t pretend this problem was limited to one or two issues. It went on for years. And it carried on into the Rothbard-Rockwell Report as well. And it carried on with Lew to the types of people he associates with and promotes as real libertarians: racists like Hoppe, Francis and Sobran. Disgusting.”

    I’ve never seen Lew claim that either Francis or Sobran was a libertarian. As far as I can tell, he merely felt that some of what they wrote was worth reading. This is not the same as saying that they’re libertarians.


  14. Jeff Riggenbach

    “Manuel V” (it’s kinda funny, isn’t it, how almost no one is willing to use his or her full and identifiable name when posting here?) writes:

    “The ‘defenses’ of the Ron Paul newsletters from Riggenbach are the most laughable non-defenses I’ve read in a long time.”

    Perhaps that’s because they were never meant as or offered as “defenses” of anything. They were merely comments on certain of the comments offered by others. Perhaps a remedial reading course would make it easier for you to realize obvious points like this.


  15. Tom G. Palmer

    To Juan Fdo. C.:

    You seem like a decent person. You have been involved with very bad company. Here’s what Constantino Diaz-Duran noted about LvMI leading “light” Hans Herman Hoppe:
    I was having lunch with Mr. Hoppe, when he made that comment about Indians being “allowed” to go into the same restaurants as whites. I and two other students at Francisco Marroquin University had the “honor” of taking him to Antigua that day. We were at a restaurant where the servers wore typical Guatemalan outfits, and he was surprised when he saw a native couple come in and actually sit at a table. On the drive back to Guatemala City, we started talking about the Cato Institute, but he quickly dismissed the work of the whole insitute by simply remarking on Mr. Palmer’s “embassy.”
    Posted by: Constantino Diaz-Duran at September 27, 2004 1:04 PM

    Consider how eagerly Hoppe, Rockwell, and Co. would act to keep you and people “like you” out of the country. Then ask yourself if you have been keeping good company.

    I urge you to think about it.

  16. Jeff Riggenbach

    Fairly curdling with righteous indignation, “L.R.” intones:

    “Do you think the problems of prejudice in this country have been solved?”

    No. Nor do I think they can be.

    “There are people who’d like to take this opportunity to examine issues of race and sexuality through a libertarian lens; and there are those who disdainfully mock them.The latter group deserves no more respect than whoever wrote the newsletter in the first place: one group planted seeds of hate, the other refuses to do anything to uproot the gnarled, deathly sapling that has sprung up.”

    Unlike you, “L.R.,” I don’t enjoy getting myself all worked up into a fit of righteous indignation over something – other people’s attitudes – which I can do nothing about. I prefer to direct my attention to problems I can actually have some effect on. Happy “uprooting.”


  17. I went to a Mises Institute conference in ’01, as I was graduating from college. I should have known better, but I had never even heard of them (until then, my libertarian involvement had been through IHS and similar organizations). But this place was named after von Mises, so I thought it would be a good time.

    And it was, for the most part. Many of the attendees were good people, and smart, and I even learned quite a bit from some of the lectures (or, at least, they made me think about the material, which is more than many of my college classes did). It was a worthwhile experience, if only because it allowed me to spend a week discussing libertarianism and Austrian economics with other people my age who were interested in the same stuff (which is a rare experience at the University of Florida).

    However, very early on it was clear that something creepy was going on. The very first night one of the speakers made reference to the fact that many people called LvMI a “cult,” but that they really just thought Mises was the greatest social scientist of the 20th century. The “cult” language set off some alarms. Then someone made the odd claim that the Nobel committee had awarded Hayek his Prize only to spite Mises, who really deserved it, because Hayek was a compromises and not a radical like Mises. Again, alarms, and after the sessions were over a few of us who had noticed the oddities shared our trepidation about the rest of the conference.

    Most of the lectures I attended were fairly straightforward talks about Austrian theory (about which I was too ignorant to know whether the talks were mistaken or misrepresented).

    However, I remember an absolutely awful talk on the Coase Theorem (by Hoppe, I think), which a good portion of the attendees with whom I associated just laughed off as ridiculous. In fact, I’m fairly certain it was the consensus that, despite talking about it for an hour or so, Hoppe didn’t really understand what the Coase Theorem was.

    Later, Hoppe called the Chicago School “worse than Communists” and Gary Becker an “intellectual criminal.” Then he made the claim that Mises was a de facto anarchist because in a passage from “Liberalism” he endorses secession all the way down to the level of the individual. Serious alarms; I ignored him the rest of the week, as, thankfully, did most of the attendees.

    As I recall, I didn’t go to any history lectures, or anything on the civil war, Lincoln, or slavery. That might be why I was spared the worst LvMI has to offer (besides Hoppe, of course).

    By the end of the week, most of us were reasonably satisfied with the conference (I was unaware at the time that Hoppe was the main man at that place).

    Unfortunately, and without thinking ahead, a few of us decided to come up with the most glowing endorsement of the conference we could think of; first as an inside joke, and second because a handful of us had attended conferences before, and given feedback, but had never been chosen in promotional materials (I think LvMI used all of them this time). After the conference, I read up a lot more on LvMI and its “scholars,” began reading LRC (9/11 was about a month after the conference) and was seriously disappointed I had endorsed anything associated with that place. If given the opportunity to retract it, I would.

    Any young libertarians looking for legitimate conferences should look to IHS, Cato, and FEE (I’m told; I never attended one unfortunately), and ignore LvMI completely.

  18. Isn’t Dick Clark someone who should be angry at Lew Rockwell (and Ron Paul)? Clark says he’s not a bigot, and he never met any, but…somehow, someone wrote really nasty and racist things for Ron Paul’s newsletters, racists spoke at Lew Rockwell’s conferences and wrote for Lew Rockwell, and …. well, doggonit, Dick Clark just never saw it! If I were he and if he is being truthful, I’d be mad as hell at Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul.

  19. Riggenshlock spends his entire life in denial of anything that conflicts with any of his myriad prejudices. For instance, he still denies that James J. Martin was a Holocaust Denier, despite the fact that he was on the advisory board of the Institute for Historical Review, a regular speaker at IHR conferences, and wrote a whole book to argue that the whole notion of “genocide” was a Communist/Zionist fraud: “The Man Who Invented Genocide.”

    As for Clark’s failure to detect any racism at LvMI, there are two explanations for this:

    1) Paleos are crypto-racists, not open about it. They only reveal their “inner doctrine” those they think receptive to it, and try to keep it under wraps the rest of the time.

    2) Clark’s ability to detect racism seems limited, judging by his inability to find any in Joseph Sobran, who has also been a speaker at the Institute for Historical Review and was fired from National Review for his anti-Semitism.

    Finally, the essential point is that the leadership of LvMI promotes racists & anti-Semites. Whether they call those racists & anti-Semites “libertarian” or not is entirely irrelevant.

    As I put it to a friend who’d already realized Rockwell was racist without my help, the Left often claims that libertarianism is just a rationalization for the power & privilege of straight white males, and the Rockwellians are doing their best to make that come true.

  20. The Mises Institute has the appearance of credibility, but in fact is a haven for racists and anti-Semites. I attended a conference in 1997 which concluded with Hoppe standing up and telling the whole group that when the revolution came, we should be ready. It was a very odd way to finish a conference, to say the least. I mostly hung around with people my age – recent college graduates – but I did get the impression that some of the older participants who were donors were southern secessionist types.

    As a principle, I’m in favor of secession. But it’s a sociological fact that southern secessionist/neo-confederates are just racists trying to claim a patina of intellectual respectability.

    What puzzles me most is why people like Pete Boettke and Jeremy Shearmur, people I respect, continue to allow their names to be used on the MIses Institute’s website as adjunct faculty: http://www.mises.org/faculty.aspx

  21. Jeff Riggenbach

    “What puzzles me most is why people like Pete Boettke and Jeremy Shearmur, people I respect, continue to allow their names to be used on the MIses Institute’s website as adjunct faculty. . . .”

    Who knows? Maybe it has something to do with their having recognized the fundamentally asinine quality of guilt by association. This quality eludes creatures of the ilk of Tim Starr, but it doesn’t elude everyone.


  22. Tom G. Palmer

    It could also be that if you spoke at an event twenty years ago, they list you on their “faculty” and it’s very, very difficult to get your name off, as a number of people have noted. Here is the email I got several years ago from a “faculty member” whom I informed of his membership:

    “I did not know that I am listed as adjunct faculty at the Mises Institute. I was summarily fired in 1987 when I said, at the Mises University at Stanford that year, that I didn’t think Austrian Economics had a future unless it makes common cause with neoclassical types like Buchanan and Alchian. I was told I would never teach at the Mises Institute again.

    I will have my name removed.”

    It took months of emails and calls to get his name removed from the list. Most people wouldn’t bother.

  23. The Truth Will Out

    Here’s the word from Ron Paul’s former Chief of Staff, who joins Wendy McElroy and others in pointing the finger at LEW ROCKWELL

    Dear Lew,

    You have now had three opportunities â??1996, 2001, and 2008 â?? to prove that you are a friend of Ron Paul and freedom, and you have failed to do so each time.

    This week, for the third time, the puerile, racist, and completely un-Pauline comments that all informed people say you have caused to appear in Ronâ??s newsletters over the course of several years have become an issue in his campaign. This time the stakes are even higher than before. He is seeking nationwide office, the Republican nomination for President, and his campaign is attracting millions of supporters, not tens of thousands.

    Three times you have failed to come forward and admit responsibility for and complicity in the scandals. You have allowed Ron to twist slowly in the wind. Because of your silence, Ron has been forced to issue repeated statements of denial, to answer repeated questions in multiple interviews, and to be embarrassed on national television. Your callous disregard for both Ron and his millions of supporters is unconscionable.

    If you were Dr. Paulâ??s friend, or a friend of freedom, as you pretend to be, by now you would have stepped forward, assumed responsibility for those asinine and harmful comments, resigned from any connection to Ron or his campaign, and relieved Ron of the burden of having to repeatedly deny the charges of racism. But you have not done so, and so the scandal continues to detract from Ronâ??s message.

    You know as well as I do that Ron does not have a racist bone in his body, yet those racist remarks went out under his name, not yours. Pretty clever. But now itâ??s time to man up, Lew. Admit your role, and exonerate Ron. You should have done it years ago.

    John Robbins, Ph.D.
    Chief of Staff
    Dr. Ron Paul, 1981-1985

  24. Charlie Groome

    On a Fox News interview, in reaction to a Christmas campaign advert of Mike Huckabee that appeared to depict a cross in the background, Ron Paul quoted Sinclair Lewis, “When fascism comes to America, it will be cloaked in a flag and carrying a cross”.

    Reading about Lew Rockwell and some of these distasteful elements brought to mind the sentiment behind that statement. ‘Liberty’ as a veil and an excuse for the most vile, intolerant perspectives…

    The thought occurs to me that a third axis on the Nolan chart revealing cultural attitudes/prejudice as detached from government would be a nice way of distinguishing between Libertarians – which after all, only share a view on the role of government in human affairs. (So you’d have economic, social and cultural/civil liberal axes…)

  25. Riggenshlock has no problem with guilt by association when it comes to those associated with the Republican Party (except his pals Raimondo & Garris, who get a pass from him despite their having been heavily involved in Republican Party activism for more than a decade). He has no problem calling both my grandfathers “hired killers for the State” just because they helped liberate the world from Nazism & Japanese Militarism by being combat soldiers in the US Army during WWII (one in France & Germany, the other in Burma).

  26. Steven Horwitz

    Based on some email traffic I’ve seen from friends, I think the “misesadjunct” letter is having some impact. I wouldn’t be surprised if some prominent folks who are listed as “adjunct faculty” do indeed ask to have their names removed. Whether or not it happens, or how quickly, remains to be seen.

    And Tom is quite right about how people got listed there: pretty much if you ever did anything with the Institute, you were listed as an adjunct scholar. I remain proud to say I’ve never appeared on that list.

    The evidence of racism etc on the part of MI-associated folks, both in writing and in person, is quite clear. I’ve seen it myself. The fact that people associated with the Institute deny it, either:

    a. is a lie

    b. indicates they have a different definition of racism than most people

    c. or they are willfully blind to the sentiments of people they presumably respect along other dimensions

    or some combination thereof.

    My own belief is b. People I consider to be racists might honestly say they aren’t because they have a different definition of racism than I do. My experience in online “discussions” with a couple of prominent MI folks suggest that’s precisely what is going on. It’s clever because they aren’t lying when they say either they or others aren’t racists. It takes some work to get at what they think constitutes “racism” to realize what’s going on.

    In any case, I strongly second Tom’s call for libertarians who are rightly troubled by the newsletters and the MI more generally to disassociate themselves with the paleo crowd.

    After all, they are the ones constantly defending the idea of “freedom of association.” I suggest we take them up on the principle and decide that we’d rather not associate with them.

  27. Jeff Riggenbach

    Sigh. In case anybody else hasn’t noticed, a malignant little piece of shit named “Tim Starr” has attached itself to this board, whining and sniveling about issues (if you want to dignify them by calling them that) which have nothing whatever to do with the topic under consideration in this thread and nothing whatever to do with anything that’s discussed here. It (“Tim Starr”) follows me around the internet, making a pest of itself wherever I go, making asinine, unsubstantiated, and self-evidently ridiculous claims. For example, the fact that its sainted grandfathers were in fact hired by the State to kill people has nothing whatever to do with the concept of “guilt by association,” but it “Tim Starr”) is far too stupid to grasp this elementary fact.


  28. Thought Police

    So if libertarianism is going to turn into a game of thought police about guilt by association, when are people like Tom Palmer going to disassociate themselves from publications like National Review? This publication has consistently called for the murder of untold millions, not to mention a serious discussion about nuking of all places, Mecca. Also, Kathryn Jean Lopez the other day sought to exlude McCain from their version of conservatism, because McCain doesn’t support waterboarding [the one thing McCain gets right]. Meanwhile, a multitude of Cato authors have continually published pieces in National Review, including Tom Palmer.

    So I guess the company that Palmer and such folks keep shows their association with advocates of mass murder, anti-Muslim bigots, and torturers. So when, out of PC purity, is Tom Palmer going to condemn anathema, any and all publication with National Review? Oh, that’s right, my Harrison Bergeron handicap is telling me that mass murder and torture are politically correct. Carry on.

    I love good hypocrisy.

  29. Riggenshlock’s paranoia is showing, as I posted to this comments thread before he did. If anything, he follows me around the net, just to apply his double-standard to me–by which his Republican pals like Raimondo & Garris get exempted from the vitriol he heaps upon all others associated with Republicans.

  30. According to his CV Palmer has also published with the New York Times, the Washington Post, some Arab papers, Reason, the Freeman, Slate, the Los Angeles Times, the Spectator, Liberty, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the San Jose Mercury News, and loads of other publications, National Review among them. No rational person would think that he endorses whatever appears in those journals. But its not about what other people wrote, but about what he wrote, and he didn’t write racist rants. It seems clear enough that Lew Rockwell did and put someone else’s name (Ron Paul’s) on it. I suspect that even ‘Thought Police’ can see the difference.

  31. I don’t think the Thought Police can see the difference or they wouldn’t keep up with one lame tu quoque diversion after the next. Expecting any other kind of response at this point is probably whistling Dixie.

  32. I’ve seen articles by CATO people regularly in The American Conservative and Chronicles, both paleocon magazines. Rather good articles too. I do hope Palmer isn’t planning to have those fine writers purged from CATO for associating with those wicked paleos!

  33. How thick can someone be? Lew Rockwell didn’t write in a magazine that published objectionable things by other writers. HE WROTE racist smears. HE PROMOTES racism. Ron Paul’s name APPEARED AS THE AUTHOR of wicked racist smears.

    Other people should disassociate themselves from racists, i.e., Lew Rockwell.

    What is so difficult to understand about that?

  34. Well, Lew Rockwell has done articles for American Conservative too.

    But Palmer was also blasting folks like Taki (co-founder of American Conservative) and Sam Francis and Paul Gottfried (both contributors to AC). I’m guessing he thinks libertarians should not associate with them too as they are ‘racist’. Yet, as anybody who reads AC knows, CATO writers (not Palmer mind) are frequently in that magazine.

    I noticed you defended Palmer for writing in National Review. Yet surely Palmer, who is a lot older than I am, knows that it is common knowledge that NR used to fling abuse at Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement very liberally.

  35. M, you’re clearly trying to confuse the issue. As Tom has demonstrated time and again, Lew Rockwell promotes racism. It’s not about whether Rockwell wrote for a magazine that someone else wrote for. Can you defend what was in those Ron Paul newsletters, or not? Do you agree with the statements in those newsletters, or not? And if not, do you want to know who wrote them? Who promotes that kind of thinking? You know the answer as well as everyone else here.

  36. This crap’s been out there for some time, as the Daily Kos shows.


    If it was some kind of a conspiratorial hit, it would have been done earlier, to get the smart people to back away earlier. I wish I’d known.

    But we found out anyway. I’m kinda busted up about this, because I was really into Ron’s campaign and couldn’t figure out why some of the people I admire weren’t. For now, I think I’ll vote for Ron in California, but I’ve been really embarrassed with my friends and family.

  37. It saddens me when people suggest that entire resources should be rejected because of the words of a minority that organization’s membership. Ironically, this is precisely the line of thinking that leads some people to develop racist tendencies: because of a few bad eggs, they assume the entire basket is spoiled. The problem with this when applied to, say, a web site, is that you will eventually paint yourself into a corner, as your sense of indignity forces you to abandon site after site, until you’ve relegated yourself to a few echo chambers with others who are exactly like you. In other words: you become an Internet segregationist, as ridiculous as that sounds.

    I’m relatively new to libertarianism and to political thinking in general. I value lewrockwell.com and mises.org as valuable resources that have expanded my understanding of individual rights, and the fact that true freedom includes economic freedom. I have none of the formal education or social status that many of you seem to enjoy, but I love to learn, and the Internet is my method of self-education. But now I see people vowing to disassociate themselves from these resources, and even suggesting that the rest of us follow suit or else forfeit our claim to decency? I’m sorry, but I must reject that as unsound logic.

    Would Socrates reject an entire library because of a few unsound books by a few nonobjective writers? No, logic would tell him to analyze each book in that library based on its own merits. If a piece of writing is based solely on illogical, arbitrary hate, then it may be safely rejected. But what of the next piece? What if it is logically sound? Should I shoot the messenger before receiving his message? I think not. Perhaps I am in the minority there. If so, I find that terribly tragic.

    Those of you who are calling for the rejection or these resources, either directly or allusively, are behaving illogically. You are engaging in collectivist, mob-like behavior. You differ from racists only in the severity of your goals and rhetoric. Feel free to paint yourselves into a corner, but don’t expect thinking people to join you, and don’t expect us to accept whatever labels you extend onto us by whatever indirect associations we may have with objectionable individuals.

  38. phoobaar: If I understand what you’re saying, you’ve missed the point. This isn’t an attack on the mises.org website, for pete’s sakes. It includes many very nice classic texts. If that’s all they did, I’d love them.

    It’s LvMI’s *systematic* misrepresentation of people and ideas they don’t like, their own incompetent economic and political analyses, and their *systematic* support for things anti-libertarian that arouses so much ire.

  39. @A is A: No. Repeatedly suggesting that any person who wishes to present themselves as decent should disassociate themselves from certain groups is coercive use of a shameful straw man fallacy at best; collectivist and mob-like at worst. And I’m no cultist, I’m just free-thinking enough to take wisdom where I find it, no questions asked.

    @Charles N. Steele: Why does it matter what else they may or may not do? You said yourself that they provide a valuable resource; what more needs to be said? Shouldn’t I, as a thinking person, read the full content of a given text and judge its value based solely on the content therein (allowing for verification of sources, naturally)? Or should I scratch my chin and question the validity of everything an organization says or does for all eternity, because of an illogical extrapolation that the stink of a few rotten eggs has fouled the whole batch?

    Put another way, should Robert Byrd be allowed to show his face on the Senate floor without being booed and hissed at? (Pretend he isn’t one of the greatest enemies of the taxpayer in history before you answer that.) I confess to smiling when he waves his copy of the Cato pocket Constitution during his rants. (I own one, too! And I refer to it often! Call the FBI!) That doesn’t mean I agree with everything he’s ever said or done, but perhaps I agree with what he’s saying at that very moment — especially if he happens to be speaking truth.

  40. Yes, phoobaar, the efforts of LvMI in putting Austrian classics in pdf for download is valuable. So what more need be said? How about…

    The efforts of the LvMI to misrepresent good economists such as Coase and Hayek are contemptible. The incompetent attacks by the LvMI on neoclassical economics are an embarassment to the Austrian school. The version of libertarianism endorsed by the LvMI that supports C.S.A. and the like is bizarre and cranky. The willingness of the LvMI to make common cause with anti-libertarian racists and such is disgusting.

    The sum of all that is that they discredit Austrian economics, and make it more difficult for those of us who try to promote the ideas of Mises, Hayek, Kirzner, etc. They discredit libertarianism, and make it more difficult for those of us who work to promote a freer world.

    I certainly agree that you, and everyone else, should judge for themselves, on the basis of evidence. There’s ample evidence that LvMI does great harm to two important (and quite distinct) sets of ideas: Austrian Economics, and libertarianism.

    Finally, what’s your point about owning a copy of the Declaration of Independence? You are making no sense that I can see.

  41. Name withheld

    The author of most of the offending passages in the RP newsletters was most certainly NOT Lew Rockwell. In fact it is quite likely that those accusing Rockwell know this as well as Rockwell does. The dirty secret is that the author was someone whom neither side wants identified, as he was closely associated with both. Except for a bias of their own, the people at TNR could have easily figured this out on their own, or perhaps they did and are just as eager to have the real author remain unnamed as the libertarians are.

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