Walter Block Succumbs to the Fake China Threat

by | May 28, 2024

Walter Block Succumbs to the Fake China Threat

by | May 28, 2024

34645351292 268151bb66 c

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

There are those who will say that what follows is “piling on,” or “nitpicking,” or perhaps any number of other things. It is, however, at bottom a simple matter of defending a principle and of defending the truth. And while it gives me no pleasure to write the following, such circumstances as to be described (finally) compelled me to it.

Libertarians across the internet have, of late, been treated to a veritable war of words between giants of the libertarian intellectual community. On one side, Walter Block, author of many worthy books and articles criticizing, especially, state policing of individual behavior; on the other side, such luminaries as Hans Herman Hoppe, David Gordon, and a host of others.

The topic, of course, was Block’s stance on Israel—and specifically his defense of the current Netanyahu government’s war in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Like many, I followed the back and forth without commenting publicly.

However, Block’s latest op-ed in Israel Hayom, a creation of the late Sheldon Adelson, stoops to an incredible new low: going, in the words of Mises Institute Wire editor Ryan McMaken, “Full Neocon.”

And, indeed, Block does, fulminating against the Joe Biden administration for its domestic political maneuvering, which in fact amounts to little more than show. Israel already has everything it needs to sustain its war against Gaza whatever Biden does. Block rages against the true architect of evil, “puppet master Iran,” and the “danger” Biden is placing America itself in by not giving Israel all the blank checks it needs. Block sounds as if he just had dinner with Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland after pre-dinner drinks with Bill Kristol all while listening to a combination of speeches by John McCain and Tom Cotton.

While at this far from surprising point, having written other pieces for the same outlet, what was surprising was Block’s apparently sudden about-face on an issue he had only recently given a completely contrary public statement regarding: the fake China threat.

Indeed, such Hudson Institute-esque comments being deemed insufficient to the moment, Block took up an entirely new angle in his quest to continue to shake down American taxpayers on behalf of a foreign state:

“Does the Biden Administration really want Israel to rethink its long, valued, and treasured relationship with the US? Does it not fear even the remote possibility that perhaps the only real democracy in the Middle East might edge closer to China and Russia?”

Yes, it’s “give the Israeli government and military whatever they want, whenever they want, no matter what, or else they’ll be off to Beijing and Moscow.”

This is, to put it mildly, disappointing.

For while it had necessarily to be shortened for the single page of the book devoted to flattering blurbs written about The Fake China ThreatWalter Block had wanted to contribute a lengthy one, which read in part:

“Joseph Solis-Mullen does more to undermine the claim that there is this threat in his short but elegant and eloquent book, the Fake China Threat and Its Very Real Danger, than other much longer tomes. It is thorough, it is well written, it is a pleasure to read. It will serve as an antidote to the hysteria now being whipped up in some quarters of the American polity.”

The Classically Liberal Case for Israel apparently having failed to sustain him, Block’s reach into the bottom-most drawer of American political life, to use the pretense of the fake China threat to unlock more weapons and aid to Israel, is to sacrifice all principle and truth in deference to his preferred policy towards Israel.

Frankly, there are some things that are just indefensible: stealing from Americans under threat of violence to give their money to another, in this case another state, is an outrage to libertarian principles—a likely reason Block was recently demoted at the venerable Ludwig von Mises Institute, where he had previously been a long time fellow; and to do so on the (even partial) basis of a reason acknowledged in advance to be a contrivance of Washington’s own making is to scorn the truth.

Indefensible indeed.

Joseph Solis-Mullen

Joseph Solis-Mullen

Author of The Fake China Threat and Its Very Real Danger, Joseph Solis-Mullen is a political scientist and economist at the Libertarian Institute. A graduate of Spring Arbor University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Missouri, his work can be found at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Libertarian Institute, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Journal of the American Revolution, and Antiwar.com. You can contact him via joseph@libertarianinstitute.org or find him on Twitter @solis_mullen.

View all posts

Our Books

libertarian inst books

Related Articles

Related

Rights for the Synthetic

Rights for the Synthetic

"The future of human-AI coexistence depends on acknowledging the potential for sentient machines and reevaluating responsibilities towards them. It's crucial to consider the ethical implications of creating beings that may possess their own interests, desires, and...

read more
A Critique of Pure Hasbara

A Critique of Pure Hasbara

Hasbara is a central feature of genocidal Zionism: “Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has successfully created a new illogic of its own; an illogic that has made the illegal seem legal, the immoral appear moral and the undemocratic sound democratic. It has...

read more
On Wealth Inequality, the Left Has a Point

On Wealth Inequality, the Left Has a Point

The federal government has been waging a war against the middle class and working poor since at least 1970. Wealth inequality has steadily increased since the early 1970s, and it’s not a coincidence. It’s a result of a series of policies. The government wants the...

read more
Joe Biden’s Time Interview Should Set Off Alarms

Joe Biden’s Time Interview Should Set Off Alarms

On May 28, U.S. President Joe Biden gave an interview to Time. His delivery and content were concerning for a number of reasons. Biden, at times, seemed misinformed and detached from reality. Sometimes, he seemed off message; other times, he seemed convinced by his...

read more
DOJ, Lay Off Live Nation!

DOJ, Lay Off Live Nation!

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) finally came out with their long anticipated antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment. Alleging anti-competitive practices which “suffocates its competition,” everyone’s least favorite Attorney General (since...

read more
Why Libertarians Loathe Tariffs

Why Libertarians Loathe Tariffs

Former president and current Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump loves tariffs. In his 2011 book Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again, Trump included as part of his five-part tax policy “a 20 percent tax for importing goods.” During his first campaign...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This