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.
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.”
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.
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.”
… 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.