Target Liberty informs us that Loyola University, New Orleans economics professor Walter Block is being boycotted by students, based on their erroneous view that he is “racist” and “sexist,” and based on his being smeared by the New York Times as “pro-slavery.” Walter Block is really anti-slavery, because he is against involuntary labor.
And Dr. Block responds to those hysterical students in this article, responding to their accusation of being “pro-slavery”:
What about slavery? My reputation in this regard is based on an interview with the New York Times. I was trying to explain libertarianism to them. I emphasized that voluntarism was crucially important to the NAP. Rape and ordinary sexual intercourse may look alike, but one is voluntary, the other is not. The same with a punch in the nose. It is legitimate in the boxing ring since both parties consented, but not otherwise. It is the same with slavery. If someone (an adult) assents to it, slavery is legitimate. Actual slavery, of course, was not voluntary, since the victim did not agree to any such thing. It was therefore evil and pernicious. Why might a person volunteer to become a slave? One possibility, extreme masochism (don’t knock this; our Jesuit tradition recommends toleration). Another, to save his child’s life. My son, God forbid, has an illness the cure of which would cost $5 million. I’m poor. If someone offers me that amount of money to become his slave, I’d willingly sell myself to him, since I value my son’s life more than my own freedom.
And in response to the students who want to boycott Walter Block and his classes at Loyola University, Robert Wenzel at the aforementioned Target Liberty writes:
The students boycotting Dr. Block will never do anything impressive on the intellectual front. They will be moved by the intellectual fads of the day. They will be anti-plastic straw today, and who knows, maybe pro-butt tattoos tomorrow. They are in an important way insignificant. The student that takes Dr, Block’s class to challenge him or learn from him is taking the first step toward deep thought, independent thought and maybe original thought. This will be the type of person that may make an intellectual contribution down the road.
Walter Block is considered by some to be a radical libertarian. He believes in the non-aggression principle. So, he’s not really radical. In my view, violence is radical. I’m sure that those who actually do have an open mind will check out some of Walter Block’s publications, which include these:
More recently, on the LewRockwell.com blog David Gordon of the Mises Institute congratulates Walter Block on his 100th peer-reviewed journal article he has co-authored with students (not including all the ones he has done alone or with other authors). And Tom Woods does a podcast with Dr. Block on his recent milestone, and lists those 100 papers.