NO! NOT THAT WAY! If that’s what I meant, he would have to “physically remove” me from his (virtual) neighborhood!
I love his intellect, the way he creates the dots that he thereafter connects, his directness, and his very dry and wonderfully refined sense of humor.
It was Hans Hoppe (more precisely, someone who challenged me to challenge Hans Hoppe) that accelerated my interest in what has become the most intellectually satisfying topic that I pursue via this blog, that of libertarians and culture. With that out of the way…
Libertarianism and the Alt-Right: In Search of a Libertarian Strategy for Social Change, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. (Speech delivered at the 12th annual meeting of the Property and Freedom Society in Bodrum, Turkey, on September 17, 2017)
You will note, sprinkled throughout my commentary are my “accusations” that Hoppe has stolen some of my material. I hope you understand my meager attempt at humor; everything I have come to on this broad subject (I truly mean “everything”) began because Hoppe set me on that path, long ago.
I recently linked to the video version of this speech, and offered a few brief comments. I purposely waited before giving more extensive thoughts as I wanted to wait for this transcript. This will be a tough post to write…or, shall I say, write concisely. Is it OK with you if I just copy and paste the entire text? You see my point. With this concern noted, I will attempt to be efficient. (Update: I failed.)
Hoppe begins with his well-known examination of the requirement for a private-property-respecting order if one wants to minimize conflict:
If you want to live in peace with other people and avoid all physical clashes and, if such clashes do occur, seek to resolve them peacefully, then you must be an anarchist or more precisely a private property anarchist, an anarcho-capitalist or a proponent of a private law society.
He contrasts this absolute requirement for respect for private property with the views of those broadly known as left-libertarians. He offers a long list of add-ons to this one, simple requirement, added by libertarians who – for whatever reason – do nothing more than destroy the powerful message of the non-aggression principle. My favorite from his list (and probably his):
[Any so-called libertarians who argue for] the existence and justifiability of any so-called “human rights” or “civil rights” other than private property rights, such as “women rights,” “gay rights,” “minority rights,” the “right” not to be discriminated against, the “right” to free and unrestricted immigration, the “right” to a guaranteed minimum income or to free health care, or the “right” to be free of unpleasant speech and thought.
Which automatically places Hoppe (and, he notes, Rothbard) in the camp of “a reactionary, a racist, a sexist, an authoritarian, an elitist, a xenophobe, a fascist and, to top it all off, a self-hating Jewish Nazi.” (That last one, obviously, applicable only to Rothbard; I think they would call Hoppe a “self-loving Nazi” and leave it at that!)
Hoppe moves to the primary subject of his speech: what is the connection and/or relationship between libertarianism and the Alt-Right? He offers various Alt-Right speakers who have attended his annual Bodrum conference; he traces the history of the Alt-Right, beginning with Pat Buchanan; he suggests that the movement accelerated with each US presidency beginning with Bush I.
Hoppe comes to the issue, the connecting point:
…the libertarian doctrine does not imply much if anything concerning these questions: First, how to maintain a libertarian order once achieved. And second, how to attain a libertarian order from a non-libertarian starting point, which requires a) that one must correctly describe this starting point and b) correctly identify the obstacles posed in the way of one’s libertarian ends by this very starting point.
Many libertarians are blind to this, because it involves some understanding and respect for a topic which they avoid, whether purposefully (because of their desire to appear “virtuous”) or out of ignorance:
Yet many libertarians and fake libertarians are plain ignorant of human psychology and sociology or even devoid of any common sense.
In other words, useful tools.
Hoppe continues: libertarians have a theory; conversely, the Alt-Right knows what they are against – but with no underlying theory:
While much of contemporary libertarianism can be characterized, then, as theory and theorists without psychology and sociology, much or even most of the Alt-Right can be described, in contrast, as psychology and sociology without theory.
And in this, one will find the reason for the connection; in this, one will see why some libertarians – those who have given more than a moment’s thought to human “psychology and sociology” – find a connection with aspects of the Alt-Right.
One of my favorite lines: