At no time has Professor Block ever said that slavery was anything but a moral abomination and an economic drag on the rest of society – the long-standing view of all libertarians.
Walter Block has even said the slaves should have been allowed to sue their former masters, seek complete restitution, and that maybe the former slaveowners should have been sentenced with a time in slavery themselves.
From Tom DiLorenzo’s article, Who Do You Believe? The New York Times, or Walter Block and Your Own Lying Eyes?…:
“Those people who owned slaves in the pre-Civil War U.S. were guilty of the crime of kidnapping.”
Professor Walter Block, Human Rights Review, July-Sept. 2002, p. 55
Most readers of LewRockwell.com are probably aware of the facts that: 1) A New York Times reporter maliciously libeled Professor Walter Block in a hit piece on Senator Rand Paul by claiming that Professor Block, who has supported Senator Paul, supposedly said that slavery was “not so bad”; 2) that Professor Block sued the New York Times for libel; 3) an establishment judge (the only kind) ruled against Professor Block; and 4) Professor Block has appealed the judge’s outlandish ruling.
It is not surprising that an establishment government lawyer in a black robe would support the views of “the” establishment government propaganda rag in its quest to discredit and smear an ever-so-slightly anti-establishment politician, Senator Rand Paul, by libeling one of his academic supporters. What is surprising is how the federal judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle, did not even bother to document or support with evidence his dismissive statement that “Perceptions about Block’s notion of race related issues were largely fueled and published by Block himself,” as he dismissed the lawsuit. He either made no attempt to determine what Professor Block actually said, or he intentionally and dishonestly ignored it.
What Professor Block said to the New York Times hatchet man “reporter” was that, philosophically speaking, there is a difference between voluntary and involuntary slavery. An example of the former is indentured servitude. About half of all the European immigrants to the original thirteen American colonies were indentured servants. These were mostly poor youth who, in return for passage to America, voluntarily contracted to work for a number of years for the person or business that paid for their voyage. After the period of indentured servitude expired (five years, for example), he was usually given a stipend and became an accepted member of American society with no further work obligations to his previous “employer.” This is the kind of “slavery” that Professor Block, with tongue in cheek, said “was not so bad” compared to real, involuntary slavery. It was a voluntary work contract that was very different from real slavery, which involved the crime of kidnapping, and much worse. At no time has Professor Block ever said that slavery was anything but a moral abomination and an economic drag on the rest of society – the long-standing view of all libertarians.
The last paragraph sums up one takeaway:
Professor Block has appealed Lemelle’s ruling to another government lawyer in a black robe. One thing this whole sorry episode shows is that there is nothing the statist establishment in America hates and fears more than a well-educated libertarian with a word processor and internet access.
But I would say that the statists who are the smartest of the statists probably hate and fear a well-educated and articulate libertarian Christian with any audience. In fact, all of them. Even atheist anarcho-capitalist Walter Block, in echo of his (agnostic) mentor Murray Rothbard, that religions and families are two institutions that prove most impervious to propaganda.