Monday, April 23, 2018

Mindful of Gratitude

Property, Freedom, and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, edited by Jörg Guido Hülsmann and Stephan Kinsella.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe is one of the most important scholars of our time.

So write the editors of this volume in the introduction.  Regular readers here know that I wholeheartedly agree.

The book is a collection of essays written in honor of, in tribute to, and in the spirit of Hoppe.  The book is divided into five parts, with a total of thirty five essays.  I will not examine each essay, instead just touching on some, going into depth on others…perhaps skipping a few.

Grato Animo Beneficiique Memores

This section includes essays of gratitude.  A few key highlights, to which I will add little comment as about all I could do is wholeheartedly agree:

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.:

There aren’t that many thinkers who have this kind of effect. Mises was one. Rothbard was another. Hoppe certainly fits in that line.

Often times when you first hear a point he makes, you resist it….He argued that [the US Constitution] represented a vast increase in government power and that this was its true purpose. It created a powerful central government, with the cover of liberty as an excuse. He used it as a case in point, and went further to argue that all constitutions are of the same type.  When he finished, you could hear a pin drop.

I’m speaking for multitudes when I say that he helped me understand democracy as a form of nationalization of the citizenry.

Sean Gabb:

Let us consider his work on immigration.

What Professor Hoppe does is to ignore the polarity of the debate as it has been set up. Those who want an anarchist order have so far had to accept the legitimacy of mass immigration. Those who have been worried about mass immigration have had to accept the need of a state to control the border. Professor Hoppe walks straight through this debate.

Hoppe offers private property and covenant – fully libertarian – and in which case there would exist no such thing as free immigration; every property owner or community would decide requirements for entrance.  Borders would be managed in a libertarian society – “open” only to the extent that the owners approve.

He regards the mass immigration of the past half-century into western countries as an instance, not of libertarian open borders, but of “forced integration.”

Paul Gottfried:

Recognizing the area of consensus for libertarians (and the leading role played by Hoppe in this) – that of coming down against the state, Gottfried offers:

But beyond this area of consensus, there is an obvious gulf between left- and right-libertarians. This area of disagreement can be seen in a wide range of cultural, social, and historical issues, and the dividing line among self-described libertarians may be even more important than the consensus duly noted above.

Yuri N. Maltsev:

Hans-Hermann Hoppe is the most ardent advocate of liberty in our time.

Regarding his essay “Marxist and Austrian Class Analysis,” Maltsev offers:

His twenty-two page contribution is the most devastating critique of the Marxist belief system ever written.

He was also the first to systematically demonstrate that democracy inevitably leads to the growth of socialism and the omnipotence of big government.

Jeffrey Barr:

My advisor counseled against taking Professor Hoppe, stating, “Many students find him to be…unorthodox.”

After knowing Professor Hoppe for nearly twenty years, I confess that I remain in awe of his brilliance so much so that I still feel a bit awkward addressing him as anything but “Professor Hoppe.”

Lee Iglody:

… Rothbard was always willing to entertain even the most foolish questions with his characteristic cackle and an explanation of the way things are. Professor Hoppe, on the other hand, had a much more methodological, Teutonic way of dealing with stupid inquiries, a form of Socratic dialogue with a lot of “ja, so” thrown in to punctuate the conversation. (“Government provides goods that the market cannot produce? Ja, so what do you mean by ‘goods’?”)

Ludwig von Mises is said to have regretted, not the times he stood fast, but the times he compromised. By this standard, Professor Hoppe will have but few regrets.

I salute you, Hans.


As do I.


  1. Hear, hear BM!

    He regards the mass immigration of the past half-century into western countries as an instance, not of libertarian open borders, but of “forced integration.”


    And perhaps even more important, for this Dutchie at least, is that Hoppe emphatically rejects the Cult of "Diversity" and the immigration of non-Westerners into Western nations:

    "These observations alone should be sufficient to reveal any libertarian advocate of “free,” unrestricted and non-discriminatory immigration of non-Westerners into the countries of the West as a fool. Every such immigrant – not to speak of mass-immigration – poses the risk of further diminishing and undermining the already limited freedom and private property protection presently still enjoyed in the West.
    To prevent this, any libertarian worth its name must instead advocate the strict and utmost discrimination vis-à-vis any potential immigrant – he might be an avowed communist or socialist or import his familiar hell-hole culture into one’s own midst – and from the very outset he must be strictly opposed in particular to any form of mass-immigration."

    For me the one essential Hoppe article in the present age: On Getting Libertarianism Right

    I noticed that there seem(s?) to be quite a number of libertarian opinion leaders who can more or less agree with Paul Gottfried, describing Hoppe's take on mass migration as "forced integration".
    But what Hoppe advocates in the abovementioned passage goes quite a bit further than just that. He explicitly targets immigration of "non-Westerners" (in itself still a rather generic term and as such a possible euphemism i.m.o.).

    It might prove to be a tad bit more difficult for those libertarians who'd agree with the "forced integration" statement to yet completely divorce themselves from the idea that, still, diversity and multiculturalism are somehow inherently good and ultimately beneficial to society.

    Kind regs from Amsterdam,

  2. Hoppe is in a league of his own. I believe Stephan Kinsella was right when he said that Hoppe was the first libertarian in history to get it completely correct. Rothbard was close, but he erred in favor of copyright IP law.

    I don't know that Hoppe added anything to the economics of Mises and Rothbard, but he certainly contributed to political ethics, offering a more hardcore justification than even Rothbard for the ethics of self ownership and liberty (Rothbard himself praised Hoppe for making his own justification look wimpy in comparison).

    Hoppe's concept of private law societies and covenant communities (and voluntarily accepted positive law), his deep understanding of democracy as not an inept agent of liberty but rather an outright totalitarian opponent of it, and his recognition of the importance of a strong moral culture to the attainment and maintenance of a libertarian order have all had profound impacts on my intellectual development.

    To Hans Hoppe! Prost!