Once again, a small group of feeble-minded academic Marxist ideologues hiding behind priest’s collars have maliciously libeled and smeared one of the most honest, hard-working, principled, and freedom-loving men I have ever met during my thirty-five year academic career, namely, Dr. Walter Block. (During that time I have met such men as Murray Rothbard and the Nobel laureates F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, George Stigler, James Buchanan, Elinor Ostrom, Vernon Smith, and Gary Becker, among many others of similar intellectual stature). Walter Block has published over 400 peer-reviewed academic journal articles during the course of his career. None of his attackers, by contrast, has yet ascended to the status of a pimple on the arse of academe.
Walter Block has now been maliciously libeled and smeared by two groups of Jesuits who run two universities – Loyola University New Orleans (LNO), his place of employment, and Loyola University Maryland (LUM), my place of employment. In the latter case, Walter presented a very mainstream economics lecture to a room full of undergraduates (and three economics faculty members) on the economics of discrimination, the topic of the first book written by his old Columbia University dissertation chairman, Gary Becker (The Economics of Discrimination). In response to that outstanding, state-of-the-art economics lecture, one of the Jesuits, who really are nothing but Marxist ideologues posing as clerics, organized a smear campaign to punish Walter for the “sin” of appearing on campus and challenging one of the superstitions of the Lunatic Left – that every bit of the male-female “wage gap” (and of the black-white wage gap) is explained by discrimination and nothing else, whatsoever.
The modus operandi of these malicious smears is first to get the president of the university to write a vague letter accusing the lecturer of dark motives, and then pontificating about how truly, truly devoted HE is to racial harmony, non-discrimination, love, peace, and human warmth and kindness. The implication is that the target of his malicious attack opposes all of these things.
Second, the university administration bribes and/or threatens a group of faculty to pile on with a letter of their own that is, like the president’s letter, filled with lies, half-truths, and libels. The purpose of this letter is usually to apologize to the campus community for allowing a single smidgen of intellectual diversity to appear (by mistake, of course) on campus. The purpose of an “apology” letter is to mortify and embarrass the target of the letter. Members of the Loyola University Maryland (LUM) economics department who were not even at the lecture, and who never communicated with their fellow academic economist, Walter Block, about what he said at the lecture, happily complied. (Hey, if they didn’t it might have meant a 2 1/2% “merit”pay raise that year instead of the usual 3%).
The Jesuits at Loyola University New Orleans are even more immoral, dishonest, and totalitarian-minded than the ones at Loyola University Maryland. After one Brian Linnane, president of LUM, maliciously libeled Walter Block several years ago, the LNO Jesuits, who of course had no idea what was said during the lecture, being over a thousand miles away at the time, gleefully joined in the libel by having a letter published not in their school newspaper but in the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper denouncing their faculty “colleague” Dr. Block.
The nature of both smears was that: 1) One student (who was part of the conspiracy from the beginning and was sent to the lecture by one of the “social justice” jesuits) complained that Dr. Block’s lecture was “insensitive”; and 2) Linnane’s letter stated this, and then bloviated on and on about his devotion to non-discrimination. No mention was ever made (and has not been to this day) about what Dr. Block actually said that was supposedly “insensitive.” There is no bigger “sin” in academe today than saying something that some left-wing fanatic on the faculty claims to have hurt his or her feelings.
The more recent libel of the man known around the world as “Mr. Libertarian” was initiated by a lie in the New York Times in a hit piece directed at Senator Rand Paul. The reporter had interviewed Dr. Block, who tried to explain the libertarian non-aggression axiom to him. In the course of this phone conversation Dr. Block told the reporter that the most notorious illustration of the evil consequences of a violation of the libertarian non-aggression axiom is slavery. If the kind of work performed by slaves was voluntary, as grueling as it was, would not be nearly as hideous since human beings in such a situation would be free to walk away. The dishonest and conniving New York Times reporter translated this in the Times as “slavery was not so bad.”
The LNO Marxists swung into action with the university president, one Kevin Wildes, writing an ignorant, libelous smear similar to the one authored by Brian Linnane of Loyola University Maryland several years ago in the online school newspaper, The Maroon. He repeated the New York Times lie without even communicating with Dr. Block about it. He then did exactly what Linnane did, and organized a rabble of left-wing faculty (the “social justice crowd” as one of my students called them) to pile on with an equally-ignorant and libelous letter of their own.
Hate, Intolerance, Censorship, Character Assassination
The attacks on Walter Block are just among the most recent examples of political correctness gone wild on university campuses, which are mostly under the control now of “multicultural Marxists.” These are the sons and daughters, figuratively speaking, of the “New Left” Marxist ideologues of the ‘60s. (The New Left was no different from the Old Left, just as “post-Keynesians” are no different from the original Keynesians).
Academic freedom is no longer even a desirable institution in the minds of these communistic zealots. Like all totalitarians, they claim to possess unique knowledge about ALL TRUTH. Dissenters are not to be debated but attacked, vilified, libeled, and destroyed. As F.A. Hayek wrote in The Road to Serdom (Chapter 11, “The End of Truth,” p. 161):
[I]n the disciplines dealing directly with human affairs and therefore most immediately affecting political views, such as history, law, or economics, the disinterested search for truth cannot be allowed In a totalitarian system, and the vindication of the official views becomes the sole object . . . . These disciplines have, indeed, in all totalitarian countries become the most fertile factories of the official myths which the rulers use to guide the minds and wills of their subjects. It is not surprising that in these spheres even the pretense that they search for truth is abandoned . . . (emphasis added).
This is a precise description of why the totalitarian-minded zealots who have taken control of most universities in America work so diligently and deviously to stamp out all dissenters and dissenting opinions. It is not at all unusual for entire university administrations to use whatever powers are at their disposal to sabotage the words of any single academic dissenter who might occasionally show up on their campus (always at the invitation of students, never of the weasel-like, bureaucratic, boot-licking faculty).
The Founding Father of Academic Censorship
The real “religion” of the phony Catholics at universities like LNO is the New Left Marxism that was handed down to them by their graduate school New Left professors. This is why they are so slavishly devoted to such things as “liberation theology,” a fancy phrase for the forceful imposition of totalitarian socialism in South America that was so harshly denounced by the last two popes. (The current pope, however, is a South American Jesuit, and because he is a Jesuit he sounds like a 1920s-era Soviet propaganda minister whenever he says anything at all on the subject of economics).
The LNO and LUM Jesuits who are so quick to maliciously libel and slander any and all dissenters to their ignorant and uninformed, left-wing views of economics are carefully and meticulously following the “playbook” of the man who has been described as “The Father of the New Left,” the Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse who once taught at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. Marcuse was such a devoted communist that he urged people to secede completely from America’s “capitalist” economy. “Don’t work, have sex,” he wrote in his book, Eros and Civilization. He also believed that science is “the enemy” because “it denies the reality of utopia,” i.e., communism. First and foremost on Marcuse’s enemy list would have been economic science, especially the science of Austrian economics as taught by people like Walter Block, Murray Rothbard, and Ludwig von Mises.
In 1965 Marcuse authored an article entitled “Repressive Tolerance” that can be considered as the founding document of “political correctness.” In that article Marcuse argued that “liberating tolerance,” as opposed to “repressive tolerance,” meant “intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the left.” Thus, left-wing views should be protected and promoted on college campuses, while others should be stamped out and censored according to “the father of the New Left.”
The “liberation of the Damned of the earth,” wrote Marcuse, “presupposes suppression not only of their old but also of their new masters.” In today’s academe, the “masters” of the “damned of the earth” are defined as anyone holding conservative or libertarian viewpoints. “Powerless minorities must be helped,” said the grouchy old Marxist, and one way of doing this would be “shifting the balance between Right and Left by restraining the liberty of the Right . . . and strengthening the oppressed.” By “restraining the liberty of the Right” Marcuse meant brutal censorship of their views.
Thus, the Marxist ideologues at places like LNO and LUM rationalize their hateful intolerance and attacks on academic freedom with an ends-justifies-the-means excuse: They claim that censoring “the right” is a moral course, even if such censorship is based on vicious lies and personal character assassination, because they sanctimoniously view themselves as the sole defenders of “the damned of the earth.” In today’s academic world the “damned of the earth” seems to include just about everyone except for white, heterosexual males who are not card-carrying leftist ideologues.
Thus, they have enforced all kinds of “speech codes” on college campuses to intimidate students who might entertain diverse opinions by threatening to expel them from school for speaking politically-incorrectly. Stories of organized (by faculty and administrators) student attacks on conservative or libertarian campus speakers are legion. Faculty who publicly criticize any of the superstitions of the academic Left are often accused of being “insensitive” toward their leftist colleagues, thereby creating a “hostile work environment.” Creating a hostile work environment can then be used as a reason to fire the dissenting faculty member.
If you send your children to a school like Loyola University New Orleans and they do not stick to math, engineering, or the university’s outstanding economics department, then they will spend four or more years being subjected to a Marxist brainwashing machine that teaches them to be closed-minded, sanctimonious, intolerant, economically-ignorant, hate-filled boors, just like their professors and top university administrators. And you will hundreds of thousands of dollars (currently $52,883/year for room, board and tuition according to an internet search) for the “privilege.”
Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln; ;Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe, How Capitalism Saved America, Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution – And What It Means for America Today. His latest book is Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government.
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