The Stupidity of Hans-Herman Hoppe

Juan Perón
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Some of you might be familiar with the anarcho-capitalist "philosopher" and all-round lunatic, Hans-Herman Hoppe. Anarcho-capitalism is a moronic ideology in and of itself, but Mr. Hoppe takes it to the most mind-numbingly idiotic levels.

The errors of this unhinged fool are too many to go into, but one of the most hilarious claims he makes is that monarchy is more suitable than democracy from a libertarian, anarcho-capitalist perspective:

"A king owned the territory and could hand it on to his son, and thus tried to preserve its value. A democratic ruler was and is a temporary caretaker and thus tries to maximize current government income of all sorts at the expense of capital values, and thus wastes. Here are some of the consequences: during the monarchical age before World War I, government expenditure as a percent of GNP was rarely higher than 5%. Since then it has typically risen to around 50%. Prior to World War I, government employment was typically less than 3% of total employment. Since then it has increased to between 15 and 20%. The monarchical age was characterized by a commodity money (gold) and the purchasing power of money gradually increased. In contrast, the democratic age is the age of paper money whose purchasing power has permanently decreased." (Natural Elites, Intellectuals and the State)

This is, of course, all nonsense. And I can provide a few good examples. First off, the fact that kings owned territory as their private property does not mean that they were more likely to maximise its value. In fact, the fact that they lacked accountability to anyone meant that they didn't have to be responsible with the country's finances.

Let's look at Richard the Lionheart, who barely lived in his kingdom and spent all his time waging wars in the Middle East and spending the country's money on Crusades. When his much maligned brother, John, took power after his brother got himself killed in France, the kingdom was virtually broke, forcing John to resort to all sorts of dubious measures in order to replenish the coffers, which did not make him popular with his subjects, hence John's bad reputation in the history books. Richard had no legitimate children, and so had little incentive to preserve its value as Hans-Herman Hoppe claims. But it's unlikely that even if he had had legitimate children, it's unlikely he would have ceased his wasteful wamongering. Thanks to Richard's incompetence, John had to impose evil, un-libertarian "statist" measures to make up for it. It's unlikely that Mr. Hoppe would have approved.

Let's have a look at Henry VIII, whose breach with Rome and the subsequent Reformation led to massive socio-economic disruption and religious chaos of the type England had never seen and would never see again. All because he wanted to divorce his wife. He also wasted huge sums of money on wars with France. All of the wealth his father, Henry VII, had carefully saved up during his reign was used up on futile foreign expeditions which gained the country nothing. All this was exacerbated by the religious turmoil Henry brought about with his decision to form his own church. (Also let's remember that the Tudors helped to abolish feudalism in England, reducing the power of the nobility severely and extending the power of the central government, making it easier for property to be taxed, or "stolen" as Hoppe would see it.)

Let's have a look at James I of England, who in 1614 sponsored a crazy scheme by a merchant named Sir William Cockayne to take over the finished cloth trade from the Netherlands. The gambit failed and the cloth trade in England collapsed, causing massive unemployment. The Merchant Adventurers, who had initially had their monopoly revoked by the king, never recovered from Cockayne's stupid plan. James was also infamous for his spending habits. During his reign, the royal debt shot up to £1 million. Between 1603 and 1612, James spent £185,000 on jewels. He lavished money on his favourite, Buckingham, with whom he had a homosexual relationship. His officials, like Suffolk, the Lord Treasurer, were blatantly corrupt. He rejected a proposal known as the Great Contract, which would have seen him give up some of his feudal privileges in return for a regular income from parliament - £600,000 as a one-off measure to pay off his debt, and subsequently £200,000 a year. His son, Charles, ended up adopting similar measures to those which had gotten King John in trouble centuries before, collecting taxes without parliamentary approval and violating property rights in order to balance the books. The result was a civil war and Charles' execution, then the abolition of the monarchy and 11 years of republican rule.

And these are just English kings. I'm sure there'd be similar examples from the European continent. But this just points to the sloppy research which went into Hoppe's sorry excuse for a book. It's quite clear that monarchies were *not* less wasteful or more respectful of property rights than are modern liberal democracies, as Hoppe idiotically asserts. All in all, this moron should not be taken seriously by anyone.

He also brazenly admits that an anarcho-capitalist community would not be free:

In a covenant concluded among proprietor and community tenants for the purpose of protecting their private property, no such thing as a right to free (unlimited) speech exists, not even to unlimited speech on one's own tenant-property. One may say innumerable things and promote almost any idea under the sun, but naturally no one is permitted to advocate ideas contrary to the very purpose of the covenant of preserving and protecting private property, such as democracy and communism. There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and expelled from society. Likewise, in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin, there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal. They – the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism – will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.

So a tyranny of private property owners. How typical of this "anarcho-capitalist".

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