Won't You Come Home, Bill Evers? Won't You Come Home?
by Walter Block
Recently by Walter Block: The Libertarian Challenge to Charles Murray's Position on Property Rights and Homesteading
When I first entered the libertarian movement in 1962 I thought that our movement would inexorably grow: after all, once a person was introduced to this philosophy, he would never renounce it: libertarianism, I thought then and still think now, it so true, so just, so beautiful that no one could ever take it up and then put it down. So, all we activists had to do was preach the good word, eventually everyone would agree with the freedom philosophy, and peace and prosperity would one day be ours.
Silly me. I was young and foolish then. (It has now been 50 years; five sevenths of my life has now been spent as a libertarian; I only wish I had come to it sooner; I greatly regret the first 21 years of my life spent apart from it.) There are people who not only were acquainted with the case for free enterprise and private property rights, who not only embraced it strongly, but even made important and even vital contributions to it, who nevertheless spurned it. One such is Williamson Evers. I would go so far as to say that at one time, he was one of Murray Rothbard's chief lieutenants. To show how far down he has now slunk, here is an article listing ex-libertarian Bill Evers as Romney appointee: "Mitt Romney Announces Members of Education Policy Advisory Group". But all is not lost. There is always hope. Bill, in the name of what you once were, one of the foremost leaders of the entire libertarian movement, I plead with you to give up the path you have taken, and once again come join us in the fight for liberty. Tell Mitt that until and unless he adopts the policies of Ron Paul and those of your old mentor Murray Rothbard, you won't have anything further to do with him.
No one can be all bad from a libertarian point of view who could write these articles:
Evers, Williamson M. 1977. “Toward a reformulation of the law of contracts,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter, pp. 3-14
Evers, Williamson M. 1977. “Social contract: a critique,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 1, No. 3, Summer, pp. 185-194
Evers, Williamson M. 1978. "The Law of Omissions and Neglect of Children," The Journal of Libertarian Studies Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 1 — 10
Evers, Williamson M. 1978. "Rawls and Children." The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 109-114
Evers, Williamson M. 1980. Specialization and the Division of Labor In the Social Thought of Plato and Rousseau." The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, Winter, pp. 45-64
Note, these brilliant contributions were all published in the early days of the libertarian movement. They helped establish the Journal of Libertarian Studies as THE place to be for libertarian scholarship. I have just reread them, all of them, and they read as if they were written yesterday, so fresh, alive and insightful are they. Bill once made signal contributions to our movement, and can do so again, if only he would. And once we land him again, there are plenty of others out there: Dana Rohrabacher, Randy Barnett…
(Walter Block is thinking of starting up a series on reclaiming long lost libertarians such as Bill Evers; if anyone has any suggestions, please share them with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Dr. Block [send him mail] is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Defending the Undefendable and Labor Economics From A Free Market Perspective. His latest book is The Privatization of Roads and Highways.