Lesser of Two Evils

From: Gary Barnett
Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2019 10:56 AM
To: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Subject: Good day

Hi Walter,

I saw this quote today and immediately thought of you. These are prescient words.

“Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.”

― Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom

From: Walter Block <wblock@loyno.edu>
Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2019 7:38 PM
To: ‘Gary Barnett’ <gary@garydbarnett.com>
Subject: RE: Good day

Dear Gary:

A thug comes up to you, points a gun at you and says: “Your money or your life!” Do you choose the lesser evil (lose your $) or the greater evil (lose your life)? Heck, you’ve only got $20 on you. I’d give him the money. You wouldn’t?

There was this wonderful Jack Benny (his comedic persona was that of a miser) skit. A hoodlum pulls a gun on him and says, “Your money or your life.” Benny says nothing. Hoodlum replies: “Well?” Benny says, after exquisite timing: “I’m thinking, I’m thinking.”

Best regards,



12:01 pm on April 27, 2020