The Nut Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

Make up your own mind about this young man, Marcus Epstein, and his revealed preferences. (You can search for his name on these posts: 1, 2, 3.)

I found his comments on my blog when I remembered that some folks had defended Lew Rockwell’s appropriation of “Austrian economics” for neo-Confederate revivalism, said defense consisting of pointing out that most of the sessions at a conference on “Austrian economics” were, in fact, not on the confederacy at all, which I found rather remarkable. Mr. Epstein’s name came up, so I clicked on it to see his website, which has disappeared. Then out of curiosity I “Googled” his name to find out what he is up to….and found his experiences putting Rockwell’s ideas into practice. Mr. Epstein has some serious problems and I authentically wish him well in dealing with them. A good way to start would be to stop the self-hatred and reject racial collectivism.



28 Responses to “The Nut Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree”

  1. Sandeep

    It’s a matter of putting theory into practice, alright. A little more googling and I found more evidence of how well he learned his racist lessons,
    http://abovethelaw.com/2009/06/marcus_epstein_facebook_advent.php
    http://gawker.com/5275960/hate-crime-kid-had-lovely-africa-trip
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/06/really_far_out_there.php
    It all seems sad, in a way. A white supremacist who would be ejected from the club. I wager that there are some deep issues of self-hatred involved.

    Of Ethiopian church art, he wrote: “It’s no Sistine Chapel, but you know what Samuel Johnson said about a Dog walking on it’s [sic] hind legs.”

    Samuel Johnson: “A woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

  2. David J. Heinrich

    Classless. Out one side of your mouth, you say you hope Epstein gets help. Out of one side, you uses Epstein to smear Lew Rockwell, who is a truly wonderful human being and a heroic champion of liberty. Have you ever talked with Lew Rockwell in person? It is interesting that you apparently find it ok to use derogatory terms towards someone who may have mental health problems, yet would take offense to derogatory terms about homosexuals.

  3. David,

    You say Lew Rockwell is pure and good and honest.

    Let us assume for a moment that a Martian descends upon the planet and spends his time reading Lewrockwell.com to see what the libertarian movement is up to. He will find, among other things, a home to some very creepy and un-libertarian writers. He will, of course, find the writings of the above-mentioned Mr. Epstein, who assaulted a woman while yelling racial epithets.

    This Martian will discover the works of Gary North, who has written some very nasty things, including this gem: “The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise (the right to vote). Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church’s public marks of the covenant — baptism and holy communion — must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel.” And of course the whole stoning gays to death thing.

    He will find a blend of Southern apologia, which in its wispy nostalgia, seems to give scant attention to the institution of slavery, and instead lasers in on that old Southern Charm and the South’s embrace of Judeo-Christian values.

    Perhaps the Martian will click over to Karen De Coster’s website, and read that “State-sanctioned Sainthood has been bestowed upon a woman who did not much of anything.” Who is she talking about? Rosa Parks. Yes, that Rosa Parks. The one who went to jail in order to protest the state-sanctioned ban on free association.

    And Lew Rockwell? He, as the author of the Ron Paul newsletters, had this to say: “Jury verdicts, basketball games, and even music are enough to set off black rage, it seems.” No racial stereotyping here!

    So let’s not pretend that the views of the Rockwell gang on race aren’t crystal clear. To their credit, they haven’t tried to hide them.

  4. Former LvMI employee

    Marcus Epstein has been persona non grata at the Mises Institute for a long time. He was banned from the Institute years before the punching incident.

    Lew Rockwell is a charitable man, and this sort of slight is neither accurate nor justified. In two and a half years working at LvMI and nearly ten years of close association with the people who work there, I have never once heard any faculty or staff make racist assertions. Students and faculty of all “racial,” cultural, and geographic origins are represented at LvMI events. Every conference is a joyful celebration of libertarian scholarship, not the “fever swamp” that Dr. Palmer seems to think it is.

    The fact that someone who is not even permitted on the grounds of the Mises Institute said nice things about Lew Rockwell one time is not proof of anything.

  5. Former LvMI employee, I have attended any Mises Institute events as well, and can concur with your observation that in person, I never heard a racial slur.

    But of course there is the miles long paper trail of racist, bigoted, homophobic, and collectivist writings that appear on the LRC blog and on the websites of those heavily involved with the Mises Institute.

    So the fact that no one has approached you at the Mises Institute and stated “I’m a racist” doesn’t mean that they are not, in fact, racists. What do you make of Lew Rockwell when he writes ““Jury verdicts, basketball games, and even music are enough to set off black rage, it seems.” How is that not racial stereotyping of the most repugnant kind? How can we explain Karen De Coster describing Rosa Parks as “a woman who did not much of anything”? Is it possible that a racial animus is at work here? Connect the dots.

    Martin Amis, is his wonderful autobiography, wrote that “envy never comes to the ball dressed as Envy”. The same could be said of racism.

  6. Thank you for the email, Dr. Palmer. I responded to the earlier article and saw this one, too. The more I have learned about Rockwell’s connections, the angrier I get. I heard unpleasant things when I attended their program and it made me uncomfortable then. I do not think that Ludwig von Mises would want to be connected to southern nationalism or racism or hostility to any group. He was a great Austrian classical liberal, not, if I might be so direct, an Alabama redneck. I will continue to learn from Mises and his students, but I will not associate my name with the Auburn institute.

    Respectfully,
    Drew

  7. Everyone who’s interested in this stuff knows that Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell attempted an ill-advised alliance with the populist and “paleoconservative” right in the early 90s. I don’t think anyone on either side thinks it was a good idea. It definitely bore some ugly fruit. I suspect he now thinks so, too. And it’s probably a lingering effect of this alliance that someone like Epstein would have found his way to Mises events.

    (Incidentally, I met him at a Mises event, where he stood out from the crowd because of his obnoxious and immature behavior and his bizarre and unlibertarian views. If he was looking for people who shared his views, it’s safe to say he was disappointed. I didn’t know, but am not surprised, that he was told not to come back.)

    Anyway, it’s pretty clear now, especially from the past several years of Mises and LRC stuff, that this is increasingly ancient history. If you look at the material, old and new, now published by the Mises Institute, there is no preoccupation with the South, the Civil War, race, or any of this stuff. And the Mises Institute is really transparent. These days, if anything goes on there, it’s archived online, unabridged. They don’t have anything to hide.

    I guess you can criticize LRC for publishing Gary North. But that’s not quite the whole story. Gary North has a long history of involvement with the libertarian movement, despite his peculiar (apparently unlibertarian) religious perspective. He’s published a lot in The Freeman over the decades, too, but I doubt you hold that against Paul Poirot or Beth Hoffman. Maybe libertarians shouldn’t publish, and shouldn’t have published, North. But it seems like a judgment call that reasonable people have disagreed on.

    If you look at LewRockwell.com as a whole today, it’s pretty much all about war, the Fed, the police state, and health. If Lew Rockwell hates black people, he has an odd way of showing it, since he publishes black writers and bloggers.

    So what I wonder is: How long will Lew Rockwell and the Mises Institute need to have a “clean” record on these issues before you give it a rest? What exactly would he or they have to do? Specifically renounce each and every writing you have identified as offensive? Apologize to you personally for offending you? Defecate on Sam Francis’s grave? What’s so wrong with just moving on?

    I’m not suggesting you should give up your substantive disagreements with other libertarians on important issues such as secession, foreign policy, the proper strategy for advancing libertarian ideas, the best explanation of the financial crisis, the merits of Murray Rothbard’s work, etc. And I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t criticize other libertarians when their style undermines their substance. If you disagree vehemently on that stuff, that’s perfectly understandable.

    I’m just wondering what it would take for you to lay off on the sort of attacks that suggest that the people you disagree with are not merely wrong but exceptionally indecent. I know you don’t do that with respect to most people you disagree with, no matter how much you dislike their politics, so I wonder when, if ever, your fellow libertarians will receive the same courtesy.

    Or are they irredeemably evil? Is Tom Woods to be cast out of the company of “decent people” for life because he attended a League of the South meeting as a very young man? Is the only acceptable action for the Mises Institute to shut down?

    Really. What would it take?

  8. Tom Palmer

    David Heinrich, who, like Marcus Epstein, was an exceptionally eager defender of Rockwell and Hans Hermann Hoppe (the one who wants to expel homosexuals from society and is, or at least was, close to the neo-Naz,.., er, “German nationalist” paper Junge Freiheit), going back and forth from saying that there was no racism and no unsavory connections there to saying “So what?”, has sallied forth to reveal something about his views:
    1. Self-hatred is a “mental health problem.” (I wish Mr. Epstein well in battling his demons and seeing how irrelevant “race” is to human character, but I do not consider self-hating non-white white supremacists to be “mentally ill.”)
    2. Homosexuality may be compared to mental illness.

    Interesting.

    Here is what Rep. Ron Paul’s chief of staff from 1981-1985, John Robbins, wrote about Rockwell’s authorship of the nasty newsletters that Rockwell sent out with Paul’s name on them (bad judgement on Paul’s part):

    Dear Lew,

    You have now had three opportunities –1996, 2001, and 2008 — 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 Ron’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. Paul’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 Ron’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 it’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

    It was repeated by another Ron Paul chief of staff, Tom Lizardo:
    “Last week, a statement was prepared by Ron Paul’s press secretary Jesse Benton, and approved by Ron Paul, acknowledging Lew Rockwell as having a role in the newsletters. The statement was squashed by campaign chairman Kent Snyder.”
    http://reason.com/blog/2008/01/17/ron-pauls-chief-of-staff-on-le

    What “a wonderful human being” to write those newsletters (go and check what they said; it was deeply repulsive) and then let Ron Paul twist in the wind like that. And what a service to liberty.

  9. What is the evidence on the authorship of those newsletters?

    I notice that Dr. Robbins is very careful not to actually claim that Rockwell wrote the newsletters. Instead, he says that “informed people say” that Rockwell “caused” the articles to appear in the newsletters. That seems like the kind of language one would use to avoid a libel suit. It’s not clear why Lizardo would have been in a position to know what he claimed to know.

    Rockwell’s accusers’ claims seem to boil down to “everyone knows/says he did it.” That kind of evidence wouldn’t even be admissible in court, let alone conclusive. Rockwell’s silence on the matter proves nothing. If he were to say he didn’t do it, (1) people like you wouldn’t believe him anyway, and (2) that might turn the blame to someone else whom Rockwell wouldn’t want to put in that position for whatever reason he might have. Even if Rockwell really did let Ron Paul “twist in the wind,” wouldn’t that be between the two of them? If Ron Paul could move on and be friends, does this perhaps suggest that Rockwell might not be so awful?

    It seems odd to be so personally judgmental of someone you don’t know, in a situation where you don’t know all the details. Meanwhile, everyone who actually knows Rockwell says he’s unusually decent. But for some reason, this isn’t supposed to count for anything.

  10. I’m also curious as to the basis for your claim that Hans Hoppe has at some time been “close” to the Junge Freiheit newspaper. I know that he was interviewed by that paper once. Is there more?

  11. RG,
    But it’s not all old news. If that it were. One still finds absurd comments about Rosa Parks, and every year we can expect a take down of Martin Luther King. The glossing over of the South’s crimes against humanity (i.e. slavery) are a frequent occurrence.

    (And incidentally, Tom Woods was a founding member of the League of the South, not merely an innocent bystander. In addition, he has contributed to its journal, The Southern Patriot, and spoken at its conferences. Just how odious is the League? Well, it’s president Dr. Michael Hill wrote that “white Southerners should not give control over their civilization and its institutions to another race, whether it be native blacks or Hispanic immigrants.”)

    So I wonder just how many comments it will take before you are willing to judge? Just how many creepy people have to be gathered under one tent before you decide that it isn’t a place for you? How many racist and bigoted remarks need to be strung together before you can see a pattern emerge?

  12. Woods has provided a detailed, nuanced explanation for his past involvement in the League of the South. Maybe you don’t share his perspective, but it seems extremely uncharitable, even unfair, to say, “No, that’s just cover for racism and he should be banished from polite society.”

    As for MLK and Rosa Parks, of course they were mixed bags — very heroic in some respects, regrettably statist in others. Apparently you think we should focus on the good that they’ve done and not judge them according to the worst things they said and did. I’m inclined to agree. I’m not sure why you won’t extend this approach to your fellow libertarians.

    If a fellow libertarian suggests that King and Parks should not be venerated, it seems to me that a reasonable response would be, “Of course libertarians should venerate them. Here’s why… If you don’t agree with these reasons, why don’t you agree?” And then see what their reasons are, and consider them in the most charitable light possible (as they should also do for you).

    It’s not like libertarians don’t have these debates about historical figures all the time. One libertarian thinks Thomas Jefferson is obviously heroic (despite his serious shortcomings), another thinks he is obviously villainous (despite his good work). So what? I can’t think of any historical figure who would be treated as sacrosanct at Mises or LRC. (Okay — other than Mises, Rothbard, and Ron Paul.) Maybe some people are too eager to be contrarian or politically incorrect, or to slaughter sacred cows, but that’s grounds for eye-rolling, not casting out of society.

  13. RG, is it me, or is the discourse on Rosa Parks a shade bit more sleazy than the discourse on Jefferson? De Coster again: “a woman who did not much of anything.” Please let’s not pretend that they parse the record of King and Parks in the same way they might Jefferson or Locke.

    And let me add one more name to the list of Rockwell authors: Jared Taylor. Who is that? He’s the editor of American Renaissance, which bills itself as “”America’s premiere publication of racial-realist thought”. I see that Rockwell has taken down his pieces, but I took a screen shot of a LRC webpage listing some articles he wrote, in case that disappears too.

    How many will it take, RG? Just how many instances of racist authors allowed into the LRC tent before you say enough?

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/orig-arch2.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_Taylor

  14. Bob Wolfe

    Mr. Palmer and Jude – what you are not telling you about the supposed Rosa Parks “insult” is that it was a joke, was clearly labeled a joke, and clearly credited to the famous comedian who told it in the first place.

    DiLorenzo was quoting Cedric the Entertainer’s line from Barbershop. He even specifically said he was quoting Barbershop, though that half of the quote seems to get conveniently left out whenever one of you two “quotes” it. Of course you could play semantics games about this all day long (and I suspect that you will do exactly that). By why not simply listen to the joke itself in its full and original context?

    Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvORKoSk18c

    Now answer me – is that exact clip a malicious racist and bigoted attack on Parks, as you seem to believe? Or is it simply a funny line of social commentary by a well known black comedian, as the rest of the world seems to believe?

  15. Bob Wolfe

    Come on, Jude. So your evidence against Rockwell is that he posted a single article by Jared Taylor many years ago that he has since (to his credit) taken down.

    Well it turns out that in his past, Jared Taylor also used to be an assistant editor at PC Magazine. And before that he was a news editor at the Washington Times. He’s also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun and a dozen other mainstream newspapers. In 1993 National Review even published a glowing review of Taylor’s book “Paved With Good Intentions.”

    Now Taylor is a pretty disgusting individual, but it is also true that his views have radicalized in recent years (hence the likely reason he doesn’t get published in any of these places anymore). But to pin him on Rockwell and ignore all those other outlets that printed much more of his crap than Rockwell is fundamentally dishonest. In fact, one could also say the same thing about Marcus Epstein (the original topic here), who also has a publication trail that extends many miles beyond Rockwell’s site and includes several outlets that you and Mr. Palmer still consider respectable company and do not similarly condemn.

    But that could only mean one thing. You are not so much bothered by the racist spews of Taylor and Epstein, and rather only care about if you can pin them on Rockwell. And that’s a pretty lousy and self-serving motive to have for condemning a truly vile racist like Taylor.

  16. I find Jared Taylor’s views on race and immigration (among other things) repellent. But I’m not too bothered by Rockwell’s decision to run a couple of inoffensive pieces he wrote years ago. I don’t think a decision to run a piece by a particular individual implies endorsement of everything that person thinks, says, or does. It doesn’t even necessarily imply endorsement of all of the ideas within an article itself. (Here’s an example. Everyone understands that most people at the Cato Institute — maybe everyone else, or close to it — rejects Roger Pilon’s ideas endorsing warrantless wiretapping, even though Cato saw fit to reproduce Pilon’s WSJ article on this topic on its website. One might reasonably criticize Cato for publishing it, but it would be unfair to argue that the article proves what Ed Crane, Tom Palmer, or anyone else really, secretly thinks about wiretapping.)

    Rockwell also occasionally runs articles by leftists and even by neoconservatives. Does this mean he’s actually a closet left-winger or neocon? I suppose you could cherry-pick your evidence and make those arguments, but that would be ridiculous.

  17. Bob Wolfe

    RG – I have to disagree on whether it is completely harmless to run Jared Taylor’s crap. But my point is a whole lot more people than Rockwell have run it, so it’s completely unfair to single out Rockwell alone. He wasn’t even remotely near the top of the list of people who gave Taylor the biggest dissemination. That dubious honor belongs to places like the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and National Review…all sources that Mr. Palmer and Jude seem to think innocuous.

    My other point is that when you do publish something and it turns out that the guy is a racist kook who jumps completely off the deep end several years later, the only responsible thing is to disown him. Rockwell has clearly done that by taking down his old articles. It’s dishonest to blame him for that, which brings me to my third point:

    All of this really has nothing to do with the racist trash written people like Taylor or Epstein. It’s about pinning them to Rockwell, and nothing more. Hence the inconsistency of singling out Rockwell, a minor publisher who printed a few of their articles many years ago, while ignoring much larger names and publications that had an immeasurably closer relationship to these people. The underlying goal is to use the racist so you can condemn somebody else on a flimsy past association, not condemn the racist for any of his own numerous and repugnant racist acts. And that’s a very pathetic reason to have for attacking hate-filled thugs like Epstein and Taylor.

  18. Bob, RG, David, Former Employee-

    I don’t get it. What kind of sand are you trying to kick into peoples’ eyes? How many racists have to be assembled around him for you to even suspect that Rockwell is one of them? Rockwell is a magnet for those guys. You could add Jo Sobran, Samuel Francis, Bob Wallace, Tom Dilorenzo, Karen De Coster, and a lot of others who have had their crap, either out-and-out racist quackery or mean spirited attacks on African Americans for standing up for their rights, broadcast to the world by Rockwell. Tom linked to an article by “Bob Wallace,” a Rockwell confederate and writer, defending the public display of the swastika. It’s worth another link (http://tonova.typepad.com/thesuddencurve/2005/01/a_dishonest_att.html) to remind you that you don’t find that kind of thing on National Review or the Wall Street Journal. Newsweek or National Review or the Wall Street Journal might have run an article by a racist by accident twenty years ago, but they don’t make a habit of assembling stables of racists for their writing. RG admits that ‘Everyone who’s interested in this stuff knows that Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell attempted an ill-advised alliance with the populist and “paleoconservative” right in the early 90s. ‘ But it wasn’t even paleoconservative, whatever that means; they were downright racists. Lots of people who would know have fingered Rockwell as the author of the racist newsletter that Ron Paul disowned and disavowed. To his own credit he does not want to be associated with them and did not excuse them. You can see why when you read them, courtesy of Julian Sanchez. (http://www.juliansanchez.com/2008/01/22/res-ipsa-loquitur/)

    Rockwell infected libertarianism with racism. I am ashamed that more people have not called for his public humiliation.

  19. I like how every time someone starts calmly questioning Palmer’s hysteria and attempts to have a reasonable discussion, a “new” commenter pops up to say “RACIST! RACIST!” and fling more mud and guilt-by-remote-association smears.

    Anyway, I’ve said my bit. Palmer will respond, if at all, by trying to change the subject to some other disingenuous line of attack. Oh well.

    Read and listen to the huge volume of stuff at Mises. Decide for yourself.

  20. I’m a “new” commentator on this thread, I guess. But I didn’t reference the Mises Institute. I referenced Rockwell. RG brought up the Mises Inst. I think that Tom has effectively demonstrated that Rockwell is a magnet for racism. Ron Paul disowned the newsletters because they were racist. Rockwell wrote them. What does that make him?

  21. Tom G. Palmer

    What is the evidence for Lew Rockwell’s authorship of the racist newsletters? Well, two chiefs of staff for Ron Paul said publicly that he wrote them. He was involved on a daily basis with the newsletters. The style matches. The tone matches. And the message matches.

    I agree with RG. Decide for yourself. Read the newsletters and the defenses of the swastika and the smears of Rosa Parks (note: a coarse “joke” told by a comedian that is repeated on the occasion of her death isn’t really funny, especially when combined with other attacks on the occasion of her death by Rockwell groupies De Coster and Huebert and by Rockwell himself) and the articles by “nigger” shouting assailants and the articles by holocaust-deniers and the articles by white supremacists and…and…and…and…

    RG says that Rockwell made an alliance with “populists” and “paleoconservatives.” That’s half right. He didn’t make an “alliance” with any anti-libertarian forces; he’s always been one of them and he opened the doors to invite his friends in. As a self-described “racialist” for many years, he was always one of them.

  22. Tom G. Palmer

    Oh, and Ron Paul publicly rejected them, said he didn’t write them, and said they don’t represent his own views, and not one person has ever come forth to say that they have ever heard Ron Paul express such reprehensible views, nor is there any video or other evidence of him saying them. So I believe that Ron Paul didn’t write them. Unless they wrote themselves, all the evidence points to Lew Rockwell.

  23. Tom G. Palmer

    Regarding Hoppe and the repulsive far-right “Junge Freiheit” newspaper in Germany, there is much more. His connection to the “German nationalist” scene in Germany is disgraceful. Here are a few responses by Germans who have followed the Hoppe involvement with German nationalists: http://tomgpalmer.com/2005/07/03/yet-more-german-libertarian-voices-condemn-junge-freiheit-and-hoppes-connection/

    If you want to keep bringing this material up by demanding evidence every time, be my guest. I don’t think it’s very helpful to your cause of white washing Rockwell, Hoppe, and the filthy racism they introduced into good company. (And that doesn’t even mention the utter disconnect from reality on so many other issues, as well, from truly odd conspiracy theories to endorsements of Great-Russian Fascism, the invasion of Georgia by Putin’s army, and on and on. But let’s not clutter up this discussion with those truly bizarre diversions from anything resembling “libertarianism.”)

    The pattern is quite clear. Rockwell has done his best to invite in the worst.

  24. You make a big deal about presentations on the Confederacy at the Austrian Scholars Conference.

    So I took a look at this year’s schedule, and then started going back through previous years’ schedules. There was a race-related presentation last year: “African-American Railroad Workers, 1900–1960: A Critical Reinterpretation.” What a creepy race obsession someone who would study that must have!

    To find any presentations at all about Abraham Lincoln or the Confederacy, I had to go back to 2005. No doubt they haven’t had any since then because they hide their TRUE interests.

    The presentations on those panels included such topics as “”For the Protection of Rights: The Political Philosophy of Frederick Douglass” (sounds sinister!), “The Meaning of the Confederacy in the American Political Tradition” by Donald Livingston of Emory University (is he on your list of evil people?), and “”American Empire, World State, and Hobbesian ‘Liberalism'” (all neo-confederate code words, I’m sure).

    Someone around here has an obsession with the Confederacy, but I think he lives a little further north than Auburn.

  25. anonymous

    I had several undergraduate classes with Mr. Epstein and attended several seminars at the Mises institute as well. I must say, this punching incident does not surprise me in the slightest. To be honest…well…I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name in the news again.

    He stood apart from most of the other people at the Mises Institute because he was clearly not a libertarian. In fact, he drunkenly told me one night that he doesn’t agree with everyone there, but he likes going to events because it gives him the chance to talk about “un-P.C.” things. Then he said something really racist and everyone looked at him like they couldn’t stand him.

    So yes, the point that there is something about the Mises Institute that attracts people like this antisocial kid has been made. However, I don’t think that anyone there appreciated his blatent racism. I’m glad to hear that he is no longer welcome there. To be perfectly honest, having had the displeasure of his company was enough to leave a bad taste in my mouth about the entire Institute.

  26. Tom G. Palmer

    Let’s wrap this up. Frank notes that to find much open-lovin’ for the Confederacy at conferences ostensibly devoted to “Austrian economics” you have go waaaaayyy, waaaayyy back, all the way to … 2005! That’s five whole years ago. If you’re 19, that’s a pretty long time, since it puts you back to when you were 14, the age when many people first start to think about matters political, legal, historical, and philosophical. If you’re Lew Rockwell, that puts you all the way back to when you were … 61. Of course, that’s more than a few years after the time when people first start to think about matters political, legal, historical, and philosophical. It seems likely that the attempt to attract and mobilize racists peaked around 2005 and someone decided it wasn’t really working for them. (It may also be that having it exposed by some critics played a role in that realization, but that’s just speculation.) In the meantime, we still have the lingering racism that Rockwell and Co. smeared all over “Austrian economics” and “libertarianism,” thanks to the “ill-advised alliance” that RG says everyone knows about. But Rockwell’s longer history, as also that of Woods, shows that it wasn’t merely an attempted “alliance,” since they were committed to racial collectivism and separatism from the start.

    I’m not saying people are guilty by association; Lew’s guilty for what he’s done. He wrote truly hateful and despicable articles and put Ron Paul’s name on them. (Ron Paul is responsible for his poor judgement and choice of “friends,” but there’s no evidence he holds the views over which Lew put his name. His disavowal and rejection of the articles amounts to a denunciation; moreover, no one has ever said that they heard him express such mean-spirited and hateful thoughts, which is pretty good evidence he doesn’t in fact think that way.) And there’s nothing wrong in opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on grounds of freedom of association, including for the narrow minded; but it’s surely made harder to show the wrongs of such things when Lew Rockwell associates his racism and ugliness with “libertarianism.”