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A Very Unusual Letter

Dear Mark:

Thanks for this lovely letter of yours. May I have your permission to share it with others?

I don’t think Austrianism is in the dire straights you make it out to be. There are lots of debates going on between Austrians, that occur on an open and friendly manner. As I’m sure my debate with you on this matter will also be.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Mark
Sent: Tuesday, July 5, 2022 9:37 PM
To: Walter Block <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: A Plea for Help

I really can’t express my thanks and admiration for you enough, Dr. Block.  I say that not because you helped me personally in this particular situation, but rather because you are completely and fearlessly devoted to the open and free debate of ideas.  It warms my heart to know that such men exist. You are truly Rothbard’s heir in that respect, and are without equal.

I have felt for many years that the Austrian School has been moving in an unhealthy direction, and that there are professional academics at the helm now who have fought their way against all odds into academic positions, but who who now feel the need to transform the Austrian school into some sort of “respectable” school of economics like Chicago that limits the terms of debate to what is acceptable to the grey beards.  But, what that is really doing is creating almost a cult-like situation dedicated to protecting young academics with promise from real criticism and absolutely castrating debate.

We, too, need real debate.  We, too, need dissent and young Turks.  Publishing dissenting ideas should be encouraged, not stifled.

In any event, I hold you in the highest esteem for your fearless devotion to open debate. I realize that we disagree about the philosophy and definition of probability, but I am also very much open to free and open debate about this topic, and I can’t wait to read your reply to my article.

My most sincere thanks,

Mark

Dear Editor:

I urge you to publish Mark’s essay, criticizing me. I disagree with him on this matter, but I think his is a worthy critique, which breaks new ground. I promise to respond to him with a rejoinder. I think the ensuing debate between he and I would be of great interest to your readers.

Best regards,

Walter

From: Mark
Sent: Sunday, July 3, 2022 5:14 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: A Plea for Help

Dear Professor Block,

I am writing to you with what will surely be the absurdist request that you will receive all year. I am wondering if you might be willing to send a word on my behalf to the editorial committee of the journal Procesos de Mercado to encourage them to allow me to reply to your article attacking my philosophy of probability in their journal.

I fully realize the absurdity of asking you of all people to aid me in publishing a reply to your own article, but I don’t know who else to turn to in this bizarre situation where I am being barred from publishing a reply.

My reply to your article was originally scheduled to be published a year and a half ago, and then it never showed up in print. After reaching out to Sonsoles Huerta de Soto to find out what was going on, I am being told that they believe my reply should be published somewhere else and that the topic is too technical. So, I did indeed try to publish it in the Journal of Libertarian Studies, but the editor told me (rightly, I would add) my reply obviously should be published in Procesos de Mercado. 

The only reason I feel brazen enough to write to you like this is that I think know the type of person you are, and I feel that you relish free and open debate as much as any person who has ever lived.  And, I feel you would agree that it is highly unjust for a journal to allow an article to be written specifically attacking me, and then for them to rule out my ability to reply.

Sincerely,

Mark

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2:16 am on July 11, 2022

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