I was disappointed to see that the people below are adjunct faculty members at Lew Rockwell's Mises Institute.
No one can gainsay Ludwig von Mises' contributions to social science. He was, perhaps, the most important economist of the 20th century, a man whose contributions have been undervalued and even neglected by the mainstream profession. It is important that his work and contributions are not lost to history.
Indeed, it's fitting that an institution exists to honor Mises and educate new generations of economists about his work.
Unfortunately, that institution is presided over by Lew Rockwell, which brings me to the reason for my post:
You may have been following the news that in the 1980s and 90s Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul put his name to a series of newsletters. Those newsletters were unearthed last week by The New Republic in a detailed article available here. Whatever The New Republic's deficiencies as a publication, in this instance it appears to have given an accurate depiction of the newsletters' contents. In fact, copies of some of the newsletter have been reproduced here. I've reproduced some of the excerpts at the end of this post.
Ron Paul insists that the newsletters were written by others whom he refuses to name. Reports suggest that an aide who remains close to Paul is responsible for at least some of the comments about blacks and gays in the newsletters. Rumors on the internet suggest that that man is Lew Rockwell. Indeed, Ron Paul's former congressional chief of staff has called upon Rockwell to admit responsibility for the bigoted comments.
I make no claim to know whether Rockwell, a former chief of staff to and close associate of Ron Paul, is responsible for the content. And were this the first time Rockwell's name was linked to vile material, I would not take the time to post this note.
But Rockwell has trafficked in code words and racialist rhetoric in the past. In 1991, at the same time Ron Paul's newsletters were in print, Rockwell, in his capacity as president of the Mises Institute, wrote a letter to the L.A. Times defending the beating of Rodney King suggesting that "Liberals talk about banning guns. As a libertarian, I can't agree. I am, however, beginning to wonder about video cameras."
Anyone who had the chance to read The Rockwell Rothbard Report of the late 80s and early 90s would've read similar wink-wink rhetoric about blacks and other groups.
Others who have written for Lew Rockwell's website www.lewrockwell.com or spoken at Lew Rockwell's Mises Institute have dispensed with the winking. There's the white nationalist Samuel Francis who spent years as editor of the Informer, the publication of the Council of Concerned Citizens, the middle class' answer to the KKK.
There's Joseph Sobran, another writer who has appeared on lewrockwell.com and spoken at Lew Rockwell's Mises Institute, who has written: “Most gentiles respect Jews for their intelligence and ability, but they have also come to take certain kinds of Jewish misbehavior for granted. Israeli racial supremacism is assumed as inseparable from “Israel’s right to exist”; loose Jewish charges of anti-Semitism, especially against Christians, are likewise so predictable as to cause little surprise or outrage. In public life, at least, the Tribe has embraced this baneful form of “minority” status and the implicit contempt that goes with giving up hope of normal civility. As with other “minorities,” the Christian habit with the Tribe is simply to pretend not to notice obvious and distressing things. This, we assume, is just their nature; they aren’t going to change; maybe they can’t help being this way. ”
There’s Jared Taylor, another writer who has sometimes made an appearance on lewrockwell.com, who is publisher/editor of the white nationalist periodical American Renaissance.
I could go on – the snide remarks about Rosa Parks on lewrockwell.com upon her passing, for instance, or the reports of shameful and vile public and private comments at various Mises Institute conferences – but I think you get the point.
I understand that no individual fully subscribes to the views expressed by any organization. That’s the nature of institutions. I understand that the people listed below may fully agree with everything written above, or none of it. I understand that they may have, in fact, spoken just once at Lew Rockwell's Mises Institute and thereby earned the designation “adjunct faculty”.
Indeed, they may have been unaware until now of who else has been associated with the Mises Institute or Lew Rockwell and what else they have been writing. Having been informed, they may not mind much what has been written or who has written it.
I do hope they will reflect upon the kind of people with whom Lew Rockwell and the Mises Institute have brought them in connection. I’ve posted this open letter at misesadjunct.blogspot.com in the hopes of shining some sunlight on the people who have been associated with Lew Rockwell and/or the Mises Institute.
Sunlight is, after all, a pretty good disinfectant.
I know this at least. Ludwig von Mises was a champion of individual liberty, and a man who deserved a lot better than having Lew Rockwell sully his good name these past 25 years.