Happy Birthday, Hans

unnamed (2)Today is the sixty-fifth birthday of Hans-Hermann Hoppe. In the Preface to his The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, Hans says: “My largest debt is to Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard, the twentieth century’s two greatest—though much neglected—economists and social philosophers.” Hans is the worthy successor of these great thinkers; and, like them, he is devoted to freedom and utterly rejects compromise.

In The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, he argues that all deviations from the free market are forms of socialism. The choice between these two systems is no matter of arbitrary preference. It can be shown by strictly rational argument that socialism will not work. Here he follows Mises; but he goes further. He contends that libertarian rights can also be justified by reason, without any appeal to controversial value judgments.

Hans does not hesitate to challenge an idea that nearly all mainstream political philosophers accept. In Democracy: The God That Failed, he contends that the political evolution from monarchy to democracy has been inimical to liberty.  He will have nothing to do with any attempts to tie libertarianism to politically correct leftist dogmas. Dante’s words apply to him: “Come, follow me, and leave the world to its babblings.” (Purgatorio, V. 13)

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