The Biggest Reason Why I Admire and Respect Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Besides making enormous contributions to sociology, philosophy, economics, history, and libertarianism, here’s the biggest reason why I admire and respect Hans-Hermann Hoppe:

This is an excerpt from  Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.‘s Forward to Hoppe’s book, A Short History of Man: Progress and Decline:

Hans-Hermann Hoppe is one of the most remarkable libertarian scholars of our time. He began as a prize student of Jürgen Habermas, the famous German philosopher and social theorist. Habermas was, and remains to this day, a committed Marxist. He is the leader of the notorious Frankfurt school.

Habermas was very impressed with Hans, and, under the patronage of this eminent Marxist, Hans had every reason to expect a stellar academic career in his native Germany. A problem soon arose, though, one which has had happy results for all those who love liberty. Hans soon came to realize that the leftism and socialism he had grown up with was intellectually barren and morally bankrupt. He discovered on his own the great works of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard.

Austrian economics and Murray’s anarchism were not what Habermas had in mind. By becoming a libertarian, Hans effectively ended his chances for a chair at a major German university, even though his intellectual accomplishments easily qualified him for one. Like Murray, though, Hans is a scholar of complete intellectual integrity. He would not surrender what he had come to realize was the truth, whatever the cost to his own career.

Hans decided to come to United States in order to study with Murray, who was then teaching in New York. When I met him, I was struck by Hans’s firm commitment to Rothbardian principles and his outstanding intellectual ability. Murray, of course, immediately grasped Hans’s potential. When Murray was named to an endowed chair in economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he worked to get Hans a position in the economics department as well. Together, the two of them made UNLV a major center for the study of Austrian economics; and they did so in the face of much opposition from some of their departmental colleagues.

Murray was especially intrigued by one of Hans’s main arguments. Hans’s teacher Habermas pioneered an approach to ethics based on the conditions for engaging in rational argument. In a way that Habermas would hardly approve, Hans turned Habermas’s ethics on its head. Instead of support for socialism, argumentation ethics as Hans explained it provided powerful support for self-ownership and private property.

In short, Hoppe’s commitment to truth, intellectual honesty, and logical consistency lost him a prestigious position at a German university. By turning away from Habermas’s Marxism and embracing Rothbard’s libertarianism Hoppe embodies Mises’s life motto:

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito. (Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.)

 

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Episode 3

On the 3rd episode of the Lessons in Liberty Podcast, I talk about Hoppe’s controversial talk recently released by the Property and Freedom Society where he outlined a strategy for libertarian change. I discuss the idea of open borders, physical removal, and I also talk about the horrible Harvey Weinstein scandal that has recently surfaced.

Show Notes:

Articles Mentioned:

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Why Establishment Libertarian Party People Hate on Hoppe

It is odd that establishment Libertarian Party people tend to hate on Hans-Hermann Hoppe, especially considering he is responsible for the ultimate justification of libertarian ethics. Hoppe outlined a strategy for libertarians in a recent talk. Perhaps, one of his points will shed some light on the Libertarian Party’s apparent opposition to his ideas…

“Don’t put your trust in politics and political parties. Just as academia and the academic world cannot be expected to play any significant role in a libertarian strategy for social change, so with politics and political parties. After all, it is the ultimate goal of libertarianism to put an end to all politics and to subject all interpersonal relations and conflicts to private law and civil law procedures. To be sure, under present or pervasively politicized conditions and involvement in politics and party politics cannot be entirely avoided.

However, in any such involvement, one must guard against the corrupting influence of power and the lure of money and perks that comes with it. And to minimize the risk and temptation that comes from this, it is advisable to concentrate one’s effort on the level of regional and local, rather than national politics and they are to promote a radical agenda of decentralization, of nullification, and peaceful separation, segregation, and secession.

Most importantly, however, we must take heed of Ludwig von Mises’s life motto: do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it. That is, we must speak out whenever and wherever, whether in formal or informal, in gatherings against anyone affronting us with a by now only all-too-familiar political correct drivel and left egalitarian balderdash and unmistakably so no, hell no, you must be kidding. And in the meantime, given the almost complete mind control exercised by the ruling elites, academia, and the mainstream media, it already requires a good portion of courage to do that.

But, if we are not brave enough to do so now, and thus set an example for others to follow, matters will become increasingly worse and more dangerous in the future and we and Western civilization and the Western ideas of freedom and liberty will be wiped out and vanish.”

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Libertarianism and the “Alt-Right” (PFS 2017)

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