Open Borders; Is Reason a Libertarian Organization? Freedom and the Coronavirus

There are six back and forth letters in this correspondence. We touch upon several issues which may be of interest to libertarians.

Letter 1

From: Randy Hoheisel

Sent: Monday, April 20, 2020 7:56 AM

To: [email protected]

Subject: Freedom and the Coronavirus

Hi Walter,

I have spent the last 25 days documenting all the errors, misstatements, exaggerations, and deceptions made by the mainstream media, federal and state governments, and politicians about the severity of the Coronavirus.  For example, I have searched the Internet for scientific evidence of the effectiveness of social distancing and have found precious little out there:  See

Fortunately, I can talk to my 25-year-old son about politics; and I consider him a libertarian.  But, even more importantly, he is very independent and understands the importance of not accepting anything anyone says at face value but seeing if their claims hold up to scrutiny.  The government schools and the private schools that mirror them in philosophy have raised generations of people who are trained but not educated; so even if people question what they are being told and feel something is wrong. they do not have the skills to investigate and evaluate issues for themselves.    This not surprising seeing that 52% of Americans read at a fourth or fifth grade level or below:  See  Even worse, these school never talk about individual liberty, as the real danger tor freedom is not from the Coronavirus but from the willingness of so many Americans to accept lock downs that violate our individual rights.

Is Reason magazine, or whatever they call themselves now,” still libertarian?  Here is an article where they refer to misguided protesting efforts:


Randy Hoheisel

Letter 2

On April 20, 2020 at 11:32 AM Walter Block <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear Randy:

Reason never was pure libertarian. Still aren’t.

This might interest you:

November 1, 2016. NYC.  Soho Forum Gene Epstein [email protected]

go here,; then here: (the debate starts at the 19 minute mark) Resolved: “Libertarians should vote for Donald Trump for president.”

Debate: Walter Block, Loyola University New Orleans versus Nick Gillespie of Reason magazine; (the debate starts at around the 24 minute mark; the comedic introduction starts at about the 18 minute mark);;  Tickets can be reserved here:; [email protected][email protected][email protected] November 1, 2016. NYC.  Soho Forum ( Debate: Walter Block, Loyola University New Orleans versus Nick Gillespie of Reason magazine; Resolved: “Libertarians should vote for Donald Trump for president.”; (the debate starts at around the 24 minute mark; the comedic introduction starts near the 18 minute mark)

Here is my summary of the debate, with reasons why I think I won:

1. Dr. Nick Gillespie has his own central planning industrial policy: factory jobs are bad.

2. He thinks the supreme court is unimportant. So what that Hillary will appoint more pinkos

3. He denigrated free association as unimportant. So what that the baker had to pay a fine of $130,000 for refusing to service a gay wedding

4. In his view, the rust belt had nothing to do with labor unions

5. He kept interrupting me all throughout the debate

6. He refused to rank Hillary vs. Donald

7. He’s a thick libertarian: if you’re not wildly enthusiastic about inter-racial marriage, you’re really not a libertarian, in his view

8. He dismissed as any problem at all the rape-fugees now plaguing Sweden, Germany.

9. He supports political correctness

10. Most egregious, he refused to apologize in the venue he did this for repeating without demur the NYTimes smear that I think actual slavery was “not so bad”

I would have been DELIGHTED to patch things up with Gillespie and shake his hand. The first time he apologized to me, it was in front of 3 other people. I said that the apology had to be a public one, and in the same venue as the offense took place (he wrote it in a Reason communication). The second and third times he tried to apologize, I again said the same thing. In none of these cases did he ever LISTEN to me. Instead, both privately, in front of the three people, and in front of the big audience, he kept interrupting me, saying he didn’t really owe me an apology since he was only quoting the NYTimes, and never got through his head that I wanted (just merely the promise of) a WRITTEN, not just a spoken apology. It is difficult to talk to people who keep interrupting you, do not listen to you.

Epstein, Jim. 2016. “Should Libertarians Vote For Trump? Nick Gillespie vs. Walter Block.” November 2;;

Epstein, Jim and Nick Gillespie. 2016. “Should Libertarians Vote For Trump? Nick Gillespie vs. Walter Block.” November 2;

Gillespie, Nick. 2014. “Will Rand Paul Mainstream Libertarianism on the Way to White House?” January 26;

Target Liberty. 2016. “The Debate: Walter Block vs. Nick Gillespie on Donald Trump.” November 3;

Here is the takeaway quote: “It is shocking that Reason, the supposed magazine of Free Minds and Free Markets, did not follow up the NYT story with their own interview of Block. Apparently Reason is happy to let its readers believe that Block supports slavery and that the Mises Institute is a bogeyman that the libertarians who read that magazine should avoid. So I’m back full circle that Gillespie should apologize in print to Block and give him an interview in Reason to update on his libel case against the NYT and to set the record straight. It’s one thing for politician Rand Paul to evade and avoid ‘gotcha’ questions from nasty journalists about slavery, but entirely different for Reason magazine.” Reason Magazine, and Reason Foundation, are one of the pre-eminent libertarian institutions. The fact that even they spread the nasty rumor that I think slavery was not so bad is devastating to my reputation in the libertarian movement.

Best regards,


Letter 3

From: Randy Hoheisel

Dear Walter,

I have read or listened to some of the references you gave me (and I will be reading more of them).  Very interesting,  I agree that freedom of association is extremely important for liberty.  The current state lock downs (at the urging of Dr. Virus and Dr. Scarf — these names did not originate with me) have violated freedom of association of all people in this country and have resulted in so many problems compared to no lock downs.  For Gillespie to minimize your example of the baker who was forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding exposes his shortsightedness.

By the way, I subscribed to Reason for a short time years ago; but did not renew because much of what I was reading appeared to be halfhearted defenses of freedom with many concessions to intrusions on liberty by the state.  So, I am not surprised to hear Reason was never pure libertarian.  Now, I primarily read articles from, and The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and find them logical, consistent with freedom,  and thought-provoking.  I also read articles from other websites that, on the face of them, would appear to be definitely anti-liberty, to see what their opinions are and have occasionally found some criticisms I agree with, mostly criticisms about U.S. interventionist foreign policy.  I believe I read something by Ludwig von Mises himself were he urged people to read the works of Marx and Engels and to judge for themselves if his criticisms of communism and socialism were correct.

I want to mention that Lew Rockwell has published recently many articles by a fellow named Bill Sardi that have exposed the malarkey behind the Coronavirus hysteria.  I highly recommend them, as I have verified most of his arguments against facts and have not found one case where he is distorting the facts.

Thank you and keep up your great work,

Randy Hoheisel

Letter 4

On April 20, 2020 at 5:52 PM Walter Block <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear Randy:

I also quarrel with Reason over their treatment of Ron Paul. As far as I’m concerned, Ron Paul is a litmus test, and Reason fails this test badly. Hey, I don’t agree with Ron 100% (only 98%). But when I disagree with him, I do it with the utmost respect, as he full well deserves. Sad to say, Reason fails that test as well.

Best regards,


Letter 5

From: Randy Hoheisel

Dear Walter,

Ron Paul is the only politician I ever liked.  Whenever he speaks, he always addresses the issues.  He reminds me of how Frederic Bastiat in The Law attacks the arguments of people he disagrees but never their character.

I disagree with Dr. Paul on immigration.  I am for open borders, which I see you are, too.  I have a simplistic view that the problems that people attribute to open borders, like immigrants taking advantage of government programs that they are not paying for, are due to the programs being unethical in the first place..  Also, I hear people say they are afraid if immigrants are given amnesty and the right to vote, they will take over governments for the worst.  But federal, state, and local governments in this country are already very bad without any help from immigrants.  And if governments were limited to protecting individual rights, then it wouldn’t matter so much who was elected.  Frankly, I think all governments will become oppressive, so I favor no government at all.  I do not know what anarchy would look like, but given the ingenuity of free people, I think it would be much better than what we have now.  I believe the Children of Israel would take disputes before a council of elders.  Sounds like a reasonable idea to me.  And, I believe that when the Israelites were begging for a king, one of the prophets said all a king would do would be to tax them and send their sons to war.  How little things change over time.



Letter 6

Dear Randy:

My support for open borders is a bit different than yours:

Block, 1983A, 1983B, 1988, 1990, 1998, 2004, 2011A, 2011B, 2013, 2016A, 2016B, 2017, 2018; Block and Brekus, 2019; Block and Callahan, 2003; Deist, 2018; Gregory and Block, 2007;

Block, Walter E. 1983A. “How immigrants CREATE jobs,” North Shore News, p. A6, January 30;

Block, Walter E. 1983B. “Protect Canadian Jobs From Immigrants?” Dollars and Sense. February 7; reprinted in Block, Walter E. 2008. Labor Economics from a Free Market Perspective: Employing the Unemployable.  London, UK: World Scientific Publishing; Perspective/dp/9812705686/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336603241&sr=1-7;

Available for free here:;

Block, Walter E. 1988. Dollars and Sense: “Migration patterns tell real story.” January 12;

Block, Walter E. 1990.  “Immigration,” Fraser Forum, January, pp. 22-23.

Block, Walter E. 1998. “A Libertarian Case for Free Immigration,” Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 13, No. 2, summer, pp. 167-186;

Block, Walter E. 2004. “The State Was a Mistake.” Book review of Hoppe, Han-Hermann, Democracy, The God that Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order, 2001May 25.

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Hoppe, Kinsella and Rothbard II on Immigration: A Critique.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 593–623;

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “Rejoinder to Hoppe on Immigration,” Journal of Libertarian Studies Vol. 22: pp. 771–792;

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Rejoinder to Todea on the ‘Open’ Contract of Immigration.” The Scientific Journal of Humanistic Studies, Vol. 8, No. 5, March, pp. 52-55

Block, Walter E. 2015. “On immigration.” December 21;

Block, Walter E. 2016A. “Contra Hoppe and Brat on immigration.” Management Education Science Technology journal, Vol 4, No. 1, pp. 1-10;; (1333)

Block, Walter E. 2016B. “A response to the libertarian critics of open-borders libertarianism,” Lincoln Memorial University Law Review; Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 142-165;;

Block, Walter E. 2017. “Immigration and Homesteading.” March. The Journal Jurisprudence. Vol. 35, pp. 9-42;

Block, Walter E. 2018. “A libertarian theory of immigration.” The Scientific Journal of Humanistic Studies. March, Issue18, pp.34-42;;

Block, Walter E. and Drew Brekus. 2019. “On the Problem of 3 Billion Immigrants Crashing the Border.” April 21;

Block, Walter E. and Gene Callahan. 2003. “Is There a Right to Immigration? A Libertarian Perspective,” Human Rights Review. Vol. 5, No. 1, October-December, pp. 46-71;

Deist, Jeff. 2018. “Block on immigration.” September 4;

Gregory, Anthony and Walter E. Block. 2007. “On Immigration: Reply to Hoppe.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. 21, No. 3, Fall, pp. 25-42;;

Best regards,



2:38 am on July 3, 2020

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