Libertarianism and the Alt-Right (Hoppe Speech, 2017)

Libertarianism and the Alt-Right.
In Search of a Libertarian Strategy for Social Change 

Hans-Hermann Hoppe

(Speech delivered at the 12th annual meeting of the Property and Freedom Society in Bodrum, Turkey, on September 17, 2017)

HHH.jpgWe know the fate of the term liberal and liberalism. It has been affixed to so many different people and different positions that it has lost all its meaning and become an empty, non-descript label. The same fate now increasingly also threatens the term libertarian and libertarianism that was invented to regain some of the conceptual precision lost with the demise of the former labels.

However, the history of modern libertarianism is still quite young. It began in Murray Rothbard’s living room and found its first quasi-canonical expression in his For A New Liberty. A Libertarian Manifesto, published in 1973. And so I am still hopeful and not yet willing to give up on libertarianism as defined and explained by Rothbard with unrivaled conceptual clarity and precision, notwithstanding the meanwhile countless attempts of so-called libertarians to muddy the water and misappropriate the good name of libertarianism for something entirely different.

The theoretical, irrefutable core of the libertarian doctrine is simple and straightforward and I have explained it already repeatedly at this place. If there were no scarcity in the world, human conflicts or more precisely physical clashes would be impossible. Interpersonal conflicts are always conflicts concerning scarce things. I want to do A with a given thing and you want to do B with the same thing. Because of such conflicts – and because we are able to communicate and argue with each other – we seek out norms of behavior with the purpose of avoiding these conflicts. The purpose of norms is conflict-avoidance. If we did not want to avoid conflicts, the search for norms of conduct would be senseless. We would simply fight and struggle.

Absent a perfect harmony of all interests, conflicts regarding scarce resources can only be avoided if all scarce resources are assigned as private, exclusive property to some specified individual or group of individuals. Only then can I act independently, with my own things, from you, with your own things, without you and me clashing.

But who owns what scarce resource as his private property and who does not? First: Each person owns his physical body that only he and no one else controls directly. And second, as for scarce resources that can be controlled only indirectly (that must be appropriated with our own nature-given, i.e., un-appropriated, body): Exclusive control (property) is acquired by and assigned to that person, who appropriated the resource in question first or who acquired it through voluntary (conflict-free) exchange from its previous owner. For only the first appropriator of a resource (and all later owners connected to him through a chain of voluntary exchanges) can possibly acquire and gain control over it without conflict, i.e., peacefully. Otherwise, if exclusive control is assigned instead to latecomers, conflict is not avoided but contrary to the very purpose of norms made unavoidable and permanent.

Before this audience I do not need to go into greater detail except to add this: 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.

And by implication, then, and again without much further ado: Someone, anyone, is not a libertarian or merely a fake libertarian who affirms and advocates one or more of the following: the necessity of a State, any State, of ‘public’ (State) property and of taxes in order to live in peace; or 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. The proponents of any of this may call themselves whatever they want, and as libertarians we may well cooperate with them, insofar as such a cooperation offers the promise of bringing us closer to our ultimate goal, but they are not libertarians or only fake libertarians.

Now, “a funny thing happened on the way to the forum.” While Rothbard and I, following in his footsteps, never went astray from these theoretically derived core beliefs, not just non-libertarians but in particular also fake libertarians, i.e., people claiming (falsely) to be libertarians, and even many possibly honest yet dim-witted libertarians have selected and vilified us as their favorite betes noires and incarnates of evil. Rothbard, the spiritus rector of modern libertarianism, has been branded by this so-called “anti-fascist” crowd as 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. And I have inherited all of these honorary titles, plus a few more (except for the Jewish stuff). So what funny thing has happened here?

Trying to develop an answer to this question brings me to the topic of this speech: the relationship between libertarianism and the alternative right or “Alt-Right,” which has gained national and international notoriety after Hillary Clinton, during the last presidential election campaign, identified it as one of the inspirational sources behind the “basket of deplorables” rooting for Trump (and whose leadership, to its credit, after Trump’s election victory, quickly broke with Trump when he turned out to be just another presidential warmonger).

The Alt-Right movement is essentially the successor of the paleo-conservative movement that came to prominence in the early 1990’s, with columnist and best-selling author Patrick Buchanan as its best-known representative. It went somewhat dormant by the late 1990’s, and it has recently, in light of the steadily growing damage done to America and its reputation by the successive Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama administrations, reemerged more vigorous than before under the new label of the Alt-Right. Many of the leading lights associated with the Alt-Right have appeared here at our meetings in the course of the years. Paul Gottfried, who first coined the term, Peter Brimelow, Richard Lynn, Jared Taylor, John Derbyshire, Steve Sailer and Richard Spencer. As well, Sean Gabb’s name and mine are regularly mentioned in connection with the Alt-Right, and my work has been linked also with the closely related neo-reactionary movement inspired by Curtis Yarvin (aka Mencius Moldbug) and his now defunct blog Unqualified Reservations. In sum, these personal relations and associations have earned me several honorable mentions by America’s most famous smear-and-defamation league, the SPLC (aka Soviet Poverty Lie Center).

Now: How about the relationship between libertarianism and the Alt-Right and my reasons for inviting leading representatives of the Alt-Right to meetings with libertarians? Libertarians are united by the irrefutable theoretical core beliefs mentioned at the outset. They are clear about the goal that they want to achieve. But 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. To answer these questions, in addition to theory, you also need some knowledge of human psychology and sociology or at least a modicum of common sense. Yet many libertarians and fake libertarians are plain ignorant of human psychology and sociology or even devoid of any common sense. They blindly accept, against all empirical evidence, an egalitarian, blank-slate view of human nature, of all people and all societies and cultures being essentially equal and interchangeable.

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. Alt-Righters are not united by a commonly held theory, and there exists nothing even faintly resembling a canonical text defining its meaning. Rather, the Alt-Right is essentially united in its description of the contemporary world, and in particular the US and the so-called Western World, and the identification and diagnosis of its social pathologies. In fact, it has been correctly noted that the Alt-Right is far more united by what it is against than what it is for. It is against, and indeed it hates with a passion, the elites in control of the State, the MSM and academia. Why? Because they all promote social degeneracy and pathology. Thus, they promote, and the Alt-Right vigorously opposes, egalitarianism, affirmative action (aka “non-discrimination”), multiculturalism, and “free” mass immigration as a means of bringing multiculturalism about. As well, the Alt-Right loathes everything smacking of cultural Marxism or Gramsciism and all “political correctness” and, strategically wise, it shrugs off, without any apology whatsoever, all accusations of being racist, sexist, elitist, supremacist, homophobe, xenophobe, etc., etc. And the Alt-Right also laughs off as hopelessly naïve the programmatic motto of so-called libertarians such as the Students for Liberty (which I have termed the “Stupids for Liberty” and my young German friend Andre Lichtschlag as “Liberallala-Libertarians”) of “Peace, Love, and Liberty,” appropriately translated into German by Lichtschlag as “Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen.” In stark contrast to this, Alt-Righters insist that life is also about strife, hate, struggle and fight, not just between individuals but also among various groups of people acting in concert. “Millennial Woes” (Colin Robertson) has thus aptly summarized the Alt-Right: “Equality is bullshit. Hierarchy is essential. The races are different. The sexes are different. Morality matters and degeneracy is real. All cultures are not equal and we are not obligated to think they are. Man is a fallen creature and there is more to life than hollow materialism. Finally, the white race matters, and civilization is precious. This is the Alt-Right.”

Absent any unifying theory, however, there is far less agreement among the Alt-Right about the goal that it ultimately wants to achieve. Many of its leading lights have distinctly libertarian leanings, most notably those that have come here (which, of course, was the reason for having invited them here), even if they are not 100%-ers and would not identify themselves as such. All Alt-Righters that have appeared here, for instance, have been familiar with Rothbard and his work, all the while the most recent presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party had never even heard of Rothbard’s name, and all of them, to the best of my knowledge, were outspoken supporters of Ron Paul during his primary campaign for the Republican Party’s nomination as presidential candidate, all the while many self-proclaimed libertarians attacked and tried to vilify Ron Paul for his supposedly (you already know what’s coming by now) “racist” views.

However, several of the Alt-Right’s leaders and many of its rank and file followers have also endorsed views incompatible with libertarianism. As Buchanan before and Trump now, they are adamant about complementing a policy of restrictive, highly selective and discriminating immigration (which is entirely compatible with libertarianism and its desideratum of freedom of association and opposition to forced integration) with a strident policy of restricted trade, economic protectionism and protective tariffs (which is antithetical to libertarianism and inimical to human prosperity). (Let me hasten to add here that, despite my misgivings about his “economics,” I still consider Pat Buchanan a great man.)

Others strayed even further afield, such as Richard Spencer, who first popularized the term Alt-Right. In the meantime, owing to several recent publicity stunts, which have gained him some degree of notoriety in the US, Spencer has laid claim to the rank of the maximum leader of a supposedly mighty unified movement (an endeavor, by the way, that has been ridiculed by Taki Theodoracopulos, a veteran champion of the paleo-conservative-turned-Alt-Right movement and Spencer’s former employer). When Spencer appeared here, several years ago, he still exhibited strong libertarian leanings. Unfortunately, however, this has changed and Spencer now denounces, without any qualification whatsoever, all libertarians and everything libertarian and has gone so far as to even put up with socialism, as long as it is socialism of and for only white people. What horrifying disappointment!

Given the lack of any theoretical foundation, this split of the Alt-Right movement into rival factions can hardly be considered a surprise. Yet this fact should not mislead one to dismiss it, because the Alt-Right has brought out many insights that are of central importance in approaching an answer to the two previously mentioned questions unanswered by libertarian theory: of how to maintain a libertarian social order and how to get to such an order from the current, decidedly un-libertarian status quo. The Alt-Right did not discover these insights. They had been established long before and indeed, in large parts they are no more than common sense. But in recent times such insights have been buried under mountains of egalitarian, leftist propaganda and the Alt-Right must be credited for having brought them back to light.

To illustrate the importance of such insights, let me take the first unanswered question first.

Many libertarians hold the view that all that is needed to maintain a libertarian social order is the strict enforcement of the non-aggression principle (NAP). Otherwise, as long as one abstains from aggression, according to their view, the principle of “live and let live” should hold. Yet surely, while this “live and let live” sounds appealing to adolescents in rebellion against parental authority and all social convention and control (and many youngsters have been initially attracted to libertarianism believing that this “live and let live” is the essence of libertarianism), and while the principle does indeed hold and apply for people living far apart and dealing with each other only indirectly and from afar, it does not hold and apply, or rather it is insufficient, when it comes to people living in close proximity to each other, as neighbors and cohabitants of the same community.

A simple example suffices to make the point. Assume a new next-door neighbor. This neighbor does not aggress against you or your property in any way, but he is a “bad” neighbor. He is littering on his own neighboring property, turning it into a garbage heap; in the open, for you to see, he engages in ritual animal slaughter, he turns his house into a “Freudenhaus,” a bordello, with clients coming and going all day and all night long; he never offers a helping hand and never keeps any promise that he has made; or he cannot or else he refuses to speak to you in your own language. Etc., etc.. Your life is turned into a nightmare. Yet you may not use violence against him, because he has not aggressed against you. What can you do? You can shun and ostracize him. But your neighbor does not care, and in any case you alone thus ‘punishing’ him makes little if any difference to him. You have to have the communal respect and authority, or you must turn to someone who does, to persuade and convince everyone or at least most of the members of your community to do likewise and make the bad neighbor a social outcast, so as to exert enough pressure on him to sell his property and leave. (So much for the libertarians who, in addition to their “live and let live” ideal also hail the motto “respect no authority!”)

The lesson? The peaceful cohabitation of neighbors and of people in regular direct contact with each other on some territory – a tranquil, convivial social order – requires also a commonality of culture: of language, religion, custom and convention. There can be peaceful co-existence of different cultures on distant, physically separated territories, but multi-culturalism, cultural heterogeneity, cannot exist in one and the same place and territory without leading to diminishing social trust, increased tension, and ultimately the call for a “strong man” and the destruction of anything resembling a libertarian social order.

And moreover: Just as a libertarian order must always be on guard against “bad” (even if non-aggressive) neighbors by means of social ostracism, i.e., by a common “you are not welcome here” culture, so, and indeed even more vigilantly so, must it be guarded against neighbors who openly advocate communism, socialism, syndicalism or democracy in any shape or form. They, in thereby posing an open threat to all private property and property owners, must not only be shunned, but they must, to use a by now somewhat famous Hoppe-meme, be “physically removed,” if need be by violence, and forced to leave for other pastures. Not to do so inevitably leads to – well, communism, socialism, syndicalism or democracy and hence, the very opposite of a libertarian social order.

With these “rightist” or as I would say, plain commonsensical insights in mind I turn now to the more challenging question of how to move from here, the status quo, to there. And for this it might be instructive to first briefly consider the answer given by the liberallala, the peace-love-and-liberty, the Friede-Freude-Eierkuchen or the capitalism-is-love libertarians. It reveals the same fundamental egalitarianism, if in a slightly different form, as that exhibited also by the live-and-let-live libertarians. These, as I have just tried to show, define what we may call the “bad neighbor problem” – and what is merely a short-hand for the general problem posed by the co-existence of distinctly different, alien, mutually disturbing, annoying, strange or hostile cultures – simply out of existence. And indeed, if you assume, against all empirical evidence, that all people, everywhere, are essentially the same, then, by definition, no such thing as a “bad neighbor problem” exists.

The same egalitarian, or as the liberallala-libertarians themselves prefer call it, “humanitarian” spirit also comes to bear in their answer to the question of a libertarian strategy. In a nutshell, their advice is this: be nice and talk to everyone – and then, in the long run, the better libertarian arguments will win out. To illustrate, take my former-friend-turned-foe Jeffrey Tucker’s five “Don’ts When Talking Liberty.” They are “1) don’t be belligerent; 2) don’t presume hatred of liberty; 3) don’t presume different goals; 4) don’t presume ignorance; 5) don’t regard anyone as an enemy.” Now, quite apart from the fact that Tucker does not seem to follow his own advice in his belligerent condemnation of the entire Alt-Right as liberty-hating fascists, I find his exhortations truly astounding. They may be good advice vis-à-vis people just sprung up from nowhere, without any traceable history whatsoever, but vis-à-vis real people with a recorded history they strike me as hopelessly naïve, unrealistic, and outright counterproductive in the pursuit of libertarian ends. For I (and I assume everyone else here) know of and have met many people in my life who are ignorant, who do have different, un-libertarian goals, and who do hate liberty as understood by libertarians – and why in the world should I not regard such people as fools or enemies? And why should I not hate and not be belligerent vis-a-vis my enemies?

As a libertarian strategy, then, Tucker’s advice must be considered simply a bad joke. But surely it is good advice if one seeks entry into the State as some sort of “libertarian” advisor, and this may well explain the enthusiasm with which Tucker’s “humanitarian” libertarianism has been embraced by the entire liberallala-libertarian crowd.

Outside egalitarian phantasy lands, however, in the real world, libertarians must above all be realistic and recognize from the outset, as the Alt-Right does, the inequality not just of individuals but also of different cultures as an ineradicable datum of the human existence. We must further recognize that there exist plenty of enemies of liberty as defined by libertarianism and that they, not we, are in charge of worldly affairs; that in many parts of the contemporary world their control of the populace is so complete that the ideas of liberty and of a libertarian social order are practically unheard of or considered unthinkable (except as some idle intellectual play or mental gymnastics by a few “exotic” individuals); and that it is essentially only in the West, in the countries of Western and Central Europe and the lands settled by its people, that the idea of liberty is so deeply rooted that these enemies still can be openly challenged. And confining our strategic considerations here only to the West, then, we can identify, pretty much as the Alt-Right has effectively done, these actors and agencies as our principal enemies.

They are, first and foremost, the ruling elites in control of the State apparatus and in particular the “Deep State” or the so-called “Cathedral” of the military, the secret services, the central banks and the supreme courts. As well, they include the leaders of the military-industrial complex, i.e., of nominally private firms that owe their very existence to the State as the exclusive or dominant buyer of their products, and they also include the leaders of the big commercial banks, which owe their privilege of creating money and credit out of thin air to the existence of the central bank and its role as a “lender of last resort.” They together, then, State, Big-Business and Big-Banking, form an extremely powerful even if tiny “mutual admiration society,” jointly ripping off the huge mass of tax-payers and living it up big time at their expense.

The second, much larger group of enemies is made up of the intellectuals, educators and “educrats,” from the highest levels of academia down to the level of elementary schools and kindergartens. Funded almost exclusively, whether directly or indirectly, by the State, they, in their overwhelming majority, have become the soft tools and willing executioners in the hands of the ruling elite and its designs for absolute power and total control. And thirdly there are the journalists of the MSM, as the docile products of the system of “public education,” and the craven recipients and popularizers of government “information.”

Equally important in the development of a libertarian strategy then is the immediately following next question: who are the victims? The standard libertarian answer to this is: the tax-payers as opposed to the tax-consumers. Yet while this is essentially correct, it is at best only part of the answer, and libertarians could learn something in this respect from the Alt-Right: because apart from the narrowly economic aspect there is also a wider cultural aspect that must be taken into account in identifying the victims.

In order to expand and increase its power, the ruling elites have been conducting for many decades what Pat Buchanan has identified as a systematic “culture war,” aimed at a trans-valuation of all values and the destruction of all natural, or if you will “organic” social bonds and institutions such as families, communities, ethnic groups and genealogically related nations, so as to create an increasingly atomized populace, whose only shared characteristic and unifying bond is its common existential dependency on the State. The first step in this direction, taken already half a century or even longer ago, was the introduction of “public welfare” and “social security.” Thereby, the underclass and the elderly were turned into State-dependents and the value and importance of family and community was correspondingly diminished and weakened. More recently, further-reaching steps in this direction have proliferated. A new “victimology” has been proclaimed and promoted. Women, and in particular single mothers, Blacks, Browns, Latinos, homosexuals, lesbians, bi- and transsexuals have been awarded “victim” status and accorded legal privileges through non-discrimination or affirmative action decrees. As well, most recently such privileges have been expanded also to foreign-national immigrants, whether legal or illegal, insofar as they fall into one of the just mentioned categories or are members of non-Christian religions such as Islam, for instance. The result? Not only has the earlier mentioned “bad neighbor problem” not been avoided or solved, but systematically promoted and intensified instead. Cultural homogeneity has been destroyed, and the freedom of association, and the voluntary physical segregation and separation of different people, communities, cultures and traditions has been replaced by an all-pervasive system of forced social integration. Moreover, each mentioned “victim” group has thus been pitted against every other, and all of them have been pitted against white, heterosexual, Christian males and in particular those married and with children as the only remaining, legally un-protected group of alleged “victimizers.” Hence, as the result of the trans-valuation of all values promoted by the ruling elites, the world has been turned upside down. The institution of a family household with father, mother and their children that has formed the basis of Western civilization, as the freest, most industrious, ingenious and all-around accomplished civilization known to mankind, i.e., the very institution and people that has done most good in human history, has been officially stigmatized and vilified as the source of all social ills and made the most heavily disadvantaged, even persecuted group by the enemy elites’ relentless policy of divide et impera.

Accordingly, given the present constellation of affairs, then, any promising libertarian strategy must, very much as the Alt-Right has recognized, first and foremost be tailored and addressed to this group of the most severely victimized people. White married Christian couples with children, in particular if they belong also to the class of tax-payers (rather than tax-consumers), and everyone most closely resembling or aspiring to this standard form of social order and organization can be realistically expected to be the most receptive audience of the libertarian message (whereas the least support should be expected to come from the legally most “protected” groups such as, for instance, single Black Muslim mothers on welfare).

Given this constellation of perpetrator-enemies vs. victims in the contemporary West, then, I can now come to the final task of trying to outline a realistic libertarian strategy for change. The specifics of which will have to be prefaced by two general considerations. For one, given that the class of intellectuals from the tops of academia to the opinion-molding journalists in the MSM are funded by and firmly tied into the ruling system, i.e., that they are a part of the problem, they also should not be expected to play a major if any role in the problem’s solution. Accordingly, the so-called Hayekian strategy for social change, that envisions the spread of correct libertarian ideas starting at the top, with the leading philosophers, and then trickling down from there to journalists and finally to the great unwashed masses, must be considered fundamentally unrealistic. Instead, any realistic libertarian strategy for change must be a populist strategy. That is, libertarians must short-circuit the dominant intellectual elites and address the masses directly to arouse their indignation and contempt for the ruling elites.

And secondly, all the while the main addressees of a populist libertarian message must be indeed the just mentioned groups of dispossessed and disenfranchised native whites, I believe it to be a serious strategic error to make “whiteness” the exclusive criterion on which to base one’s strategic decisions, as some strands of the Alt-Right have suggested to do. After all, it is above all white men that make up the ruling elite and that have foisted the current mess upon us. True enough, the various protected “minorities” mentioned before take full advantage of the legal privileges they have been accorded and they have become increasingly emboldened to ask for ever more “protection,” but none of them and all of them together did not and do not possess the intellectual prowess that would have made this outcome possible, if it were not for the instrumental help that they received and are receiving from white men.

Now, taking our cues from the Buchanan-, the Paul- and the Trump-movement, on to the specifics of a populist strategy for libertarian change, in no specific order except for the very first one, which has currently assumed the greatest urgency in the public mind.

One: Stop mass immigration. The waves of immigrants currently flooding the Western world have burdened it with hordes of welfare parasites, brought in terrorists, increased crime, led to the proliferation of no-go areas and resulted in countless “bad neighbors” who, based on their alien upbringing, culture and traditions, lack any understanding and appreciation of liberty and are bound to become mindless future supporters of welfare-Statism.

No one is against immigration and immigrants per se. But immigration must be by invitation only. All immigrants must be productive people and hence, be barred from all domestic welfare payments. To ensure this, they or their inviting party must place a bond with the community in which they are to settle, and which is to be forfeited and lead to the immigrant’s deportation should he ever become a public burden. As well, every immigrant, inviting party or employer should not only pay for the immigrant’s upkeep or salary, but must also pay the residential community for the additional wear and tear of its public facilities associated with the immigrant’s presence, so as to avoid the socialization of any and all costs incurred with his settlement. Moreover, even before his admission, every potential immigrant invitee must be carefully screened and tested not only for his productivity but also for cultural affinity (or “good neighborliness”) – with the empirically predictable result of mostly, but by no means exclusively, western-white immigrant-candidates. And any known communist or socialist, of any color, denomination or country of origin, must be barred from permanent settlement – unless, that is, the community where the potential immigrant wants to settle officially sanctions the looting of its residents’ property by new, foreign arrivals, which is not very likely to say the least (even within already existing ‘commie’ communes).

(Brief message to all open-border and liberallala libertarians, who will surely label this, you guessed it, “fascist”: In a fully privatized libertarian order there exists no such thing as a right to free immigration. Private property implies borders and the owner’s right to exclude at will. And “public property” has borders as well. It is not unowned. It is the property of domestic tax-payers and most definitely not the property of foreigners. And while it is true that the State is a criminal organization and that to entrust it with the task of border control will inevitably result in numerous injustices to both domestic residents and foreigners, it is also true that the State does something also when it decides not to do anything about border control and that, under the present circumstances, doing nothing at all in this regard will lead to even more and much graver injustices, in particular to the domestic citizenry.)

Two: Stop attacking, killing and bombing people in foreign countries. A main cause, even if by no means the only one, for the current invasion of Western countries by hordes of alien immigrants, are the wars initiated and conducted in the Middle East and elsewhere by the US’ ruling elites and their subordinate Western puppet-elites. As well, the by now seemingly ‘normal’ and ubiquitous terrorist attacks in the name of Islam across the Western world are in large measure the “blow-back” of these wars and the ensuing chaos throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa. There should be no hesitation to call these Western rulers what they are: murderers or accessories to mass murder. We must demand, and cry out loud instead for a foreign policy of strict non-interventionism. Withdraw from all international and supranational organizations such as the UN, NATO and the EU that intricate one country into the domestic affairs of another. Stop all government-to-government aid and prohibit all weapon sales to foreign States. Let it be America First!, England First!, Germany First!, Italy First!, and so on, i.e., each country trading with one another and no one interfering in anyone else’s domestic affairs.

Three: Defund the ruling elites and its intellectual bodyguards. Expose and widely publicize the lavish salaries, perks, pensions, side-deals, bribes and hush monies received by the ruling elites: by the higher-ups in government and governmental bureaucracies, of supreme courts, central banks, secret services and spy agencies, by politicians, parliamentarians, party leaders, political advisors and consultants, by crony-capitalists, “public educrats,” university presidents, provosts and academic “stars.” Drive home the point that all their shining glory and luxury is funded by money extorted from tax-payers, and consequently urge that any and all taxes be slashed: income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, inheritance taxes, etc., etc..

Four: End the FED and all central banks. The second source of funding for the ruling elites, besides the money extorted from the public in the form of taxes, comes from the central banks. Central banks are allowed to create paper money out of thin air. This reduces the purchasing power of money and destroys the savings of average people. It does not and cannot make society as a whole richer, but it redistributes income and wealth within society. The earliest receivers of the newly created money, i.e., the ruling elites, are thereby made richer and the later and latest receivers, i.e., the average citizen, are made poorer. The central bank’s manipulation of interest rates is the cause of boom-bust cycles. The central bank permits the accumulation of ever greater “public debt” that is shifted as a burden onto unknown future taxpayers or is simply inflated away. And as the facilitator of public debt, the central banks are also the facilitators of wars. This monstrosity must end and be replaced by a system of free, competitive banking built on the foundation of a genuine commodity money such as gold or silver.

Five: Abolish all ‘affirmative action’ and ‘non-discrimination’ laws and regulations. All such edicts are blatant violations of the principle of the equality before the law that, at least in the West, is intuitively sensed and recognized as a fundamental principle of justice. As private property owners, people must be free to associate or disassociate with others: to include or exclude, to integrate or segregate, to join or separate, to unify and incorporate or to disunite, exit and secede. Close all university departments for Black-, Latino-, Women-, Gender-, Queer-Studies, etc., etc., as incompatible with science and dismiss its faculties as intellectual imposters or scoundrels. As well, demand that all affirmative action commissars, diversity and human resources officers, from universities on down to schools and kindergartens, be thrown out onto the street and be forced to learn some useful trade.

Six: Crush the “Anti-Fascist” Mob. The trans-valuation of all values throughout the West: the invention of ever more “victim groups,” the spread of “affirmative action” programs and the relentless promotion of “political correctness,” has led to the rise of an “anti-fascist” mob. Tacitly supported and indirectly funded by the ruling elites, this self-described mob of “social justice warriors” has taken upon itself the task of escalating the fight against “white privilege” through deliberate acts of terror directed against anyone and anything deemed “racist,” “right-wing,” “fascist,” “reactionary,” “incorrigible” or “unreconstructed.” Such “enemies of progress” are physically assaulted by the “anti-fascist” mob, their cars are burnt down, their properties vandalized, and their employers threatened to dismiss them and ruin their careers – all the while the police are ordered by the powers that be to “stand down” and not to investigate the crimes committed or prosecute and punish the criminals. In view of this outrage, public anger must be aroused and there must be clamoring, far and wide, for the police to be unleashed and this mob be beaten into submission.

(Query for liberallala-libertarians and the Stupids for Liberty, who are sure to object to this demand on the ground that the police asked to crush the “anti-fascist” mob are State-police: Do you also object, on the same grounds, that the police arrest murderers or rapists? Aren’t these legitimate tasks performed also in any libertarian order by private police? And if the police are not to do anything about this mob, isn’t it o.k. then that the target of its attacks, the “racist Right,” should take the task upon itself of giving the “social justice warriors” a bloody nose?)

Seven: Crush the street criminals and gangs. In dispensing with the principle of the equality before the law and awarding all sorts of group privileges (except to the one group of married white Christian men and their families) the ruling elites have also dispensed with the principle of equal punishment for equal crime. Some State-favored groups are handed more lenient punishment for the same crime than others, and some especially favored groups are simply let run wild and go practically unpunished at all, thus actually and effectively promoting crime. As well, no-go areas have been permitted to develop where any effort at law-enforcement has essentially ceased to exist and where violent thugs and street gangs have taken over. In view of this, public furor must be provoked and it be unmistakably demanded that the police crack-down quick and hard on any robber, mugger, rapist and murderer, and ruthlessly clear all current no-go areas of violent gang-rule. Needless to say that this policy should be colorblind, but if it happens to be, as it in fact does, that most street criminals or gang members are young Black or Latino males or, in Europe, young immigrant males from Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans or Eastern Europe, then so be it and such human specimen then should be the ones that most prominently get their noses bloodied. And needless to say also that in order to defend against crime, whether ordinary street crime or acts of terrorism, all prohibitions against the ownership of guns by upstanding citizen should be abolished.

Eight: Get rid of all welfare parasites and bums. To cement their own position, the ruling class has put the underclass on the dole and thus made it a most reliable source of public support. Allegedly to help people rise and move up from the underclass to become self-supporting actors, the real – and actually intended – effect of the State’s so-called “social policy” is the exact opposite. It has rendered a person’s underclass status more permanent and made the underclass steadily grow (and with this also the number of tax-funded social workers and therapists assigned to “help and assist” it). For, in accordance with inexorable economic law, every subsidy awarded on account of some alleged need or deficiency produces more, not less, of the problem that it is supposed to alleviate or eliminate. Thus, the root cause of a person’s underclass status: his low impulse control and high time preference, i.e., his uncontrolled desire for immediate gratification, and the various attendant manifestations of this cause, such as unemployment, poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, divorce, female headed households, out-of-wedlock births, rotating shack-up male companions, child abuse, negligence and petty crime, is and are not alleviated or eliminated but systematically strengthened and promoted. Instead of continuing and expanding this increasingly unsightly social disaster, then, it should be abolished and be loudly demanded that one take heed of the biblical exhortation that he who can, but will not work, also shall not eat, and that he who truly cannot work, due to severe mental or physical deficiencies, be taken care of by family, community and voluntary charity.

Nine: Get the State out of education. Most, if not all, social pathologies plaguing the contemporary West have their common root in the institution of “public education.” When the first steps were taken, more than two centuries ago, in Prussia, to supplement and ultimately replace a formerly completely private system of education with a universal system of compulsory “public education,” the time spent in State-run schools did in most cases not exceed four years. Today, throughout the entire Western world, the time spent in institutions of “public education” is, at a minimum, around ten years, and in many cases, and increasingly so, twenty or even thirty years. That is, a large or even the largest part of time during the most formative period in a person’s life is spent in State-funded and State-supervised institutions, whose primary purpose from the very beginning it was not to raise an enlightened public, but to train “good soldiers” and “good public servants:” not independent and mature or “mündige Bürger,” but subordinate and servile “Staats-Bürger.” The result? The indoctrination has worked: the longer the time a person has spent within the system of public education, the more he is committed to leftist-egalitarian ideas and has swallowed and wholeheartedly internalized the official doctrine and agenda of “political correctness.” Indeed, in particular among social science teachers and professors, people not counting themselves as part of the Left have practically ceased to exist. Consequently, it must be demanded that the control of schools and universities be wrest away from the central State and, in a first step, be returned to regional or better still local and locally funded authorities, and ultimately be completely privatized, so as to replace a system of compulsory uniformity and conformity with a system of decentralized education that reflects the natural variation, multiplicity and diversity of human talents and interests.

Ten: Don’t put your trust in politics or 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, all-pervasively politicized conditions an involvement in politics and party politics cannot be entirely avoided. However, in any such involvement one must be keenly aware of and guard against the corrupting influence of power and the lure of money and perks that comes with it. And to minimize this risk and temptation, it is advisable to concentrate one’s efforts on the level of regional and local rather than national politics, and there 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’ 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 gatherings, against anyone affronting us with by now only all-too-familiar “politically correct” drivel and left-egalitarian balderdash and unmistakably say: “No. Hell no. You must be kidding.” In the meantime, given the almost complete mind-control exercised by the ruling elites, academia and the MSM, it already requires a good portion of courage to do so. 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, Western civilization and the Western ideas of freedom and liberty will be wiped out and vanish.




  1. My heartfelt thanks to whoever did the transcript. I find it much easier to read an essay like this than to listen to the talk. Particularly one like this, which packs a lot of punches, many of which are good points-scorers under the Queensberry rules, but some of which I feel are missing the real target.

    I’ll need to go through it several times over in order to even think about making any specific comments. Which would be a huge waste of time without the transcript. So, Keir or whoever else is responsible, thank you again for putting in the effort to do this important work.

    • [quote]”And moreover: Just as a libertarian order must always be on guard against “bad” (even if non-aggressive) neighbors by means of social ostracism, i.e., by a common “you are not welcome here” culture, so, and indeed even more vigilantly so, must it be guarded against neighbors who openly advocate communism, socialism, syndicalism or democracy in any shape or form. They, in thereby posing an open threat to all private property and property owners, must not only be shunned, but they must, to use a by now somewhat famous Hoppe-meme, be “physically removed,” if need be by violence, and forced to leave for other pastures. Not to do so inevitably leads to – well, communism, socialism, syndicalism or democracy and hence, the very opposite of a libertarian social order.”[unquote]

      Looks like me and Hoppe may be on the same page, Neil.

      • This is the passage that I find ambiguous. Based on the libertarian law code as understood by Rothbard and presumably Hoppe, it is hardly clear why there should be a difference between this situation and the previous bad neighbor example, except for the added consideration that extra vigilance might be required.

        Recall that in the previous example, it was implicitly assumed that the problematic neighbor behavior was not already dealt with in a covenant contract. Otherwise, the said behaviour might be considered as aggressive and one would perhaps not need his consent to push him out. So why is this paragraph written like this is not the same principle at work anymore (the fact that in one case the neighbour may only be shunned or ostracized and in the other kicked out violently)? Either it is part of the covenant contract that one must not advocate socialism, etc. in order to be part of the community and he can be kicked out if he does not comply, or it is not and he cannot be kicked out with violence. Unless one suggests here that the mere expression of those ideas is taken to be a coercive threat counting as aggression, which is to say the least, problematic, in light of the “clear and present danger” doctrine that Rothbard espoused.

  2. I thought this was an excellent speech when I listened to it on YouTube, and now that I have read it, I still do. I also thank whoever transcribed it. It’s essential reading. Hoppe is a great communicator – what puts him in that category is his ability to articulate essentially common-sense ideas.

    However, I have some differences with Hoppe:

    (i). Hoppe dismisses the idea of collective rights, but at the same time clearly believes that people who do not conform to the precepts of a privatised libertarian order should be removable from a community of libertarians by force (he explicitly mentions this twice). This seems to be a paradox. If a community is to remove an unwanted invader, it must have a collective sense of itself, and anyway, I regard the collective/individual dichotomy used by libertarians to be too simplistic.

    (ii). I think Hoppe is wrong in point 2 (foreign policy) of his strategic recommendations. I do agree with Hoppe that we should withdraw from NATO and the United Nations (as well as the EU of course), but I disagree with the rest of what he says. He is over-simplifying something that is complicated. First, the problem is not interventions, but intervention-ism. As I see it, the former is just reality and what realistic countries must do anyway, the latter is the doctrine of justification used to provide an acceptable rationalisation for the former. What’s needed is not interventionism but realism: we fight interventionist wars not to uphold liberal ideals – which is something statists do in order to provide cover for their thefts – but only when and where it is in our interests, whether it is to protect a trade or oil route, or defend a treaty ally against invasion. To simply oppose all foreign interventions would not be a ‘Britain First’ (or France First, or Germany First,etc.) approach, because it would ignore the fact that national defence does not just begin and end at the national border. If a Moslem army invades and topples the Belgian state, I think we will need to raise an army to invade and take back Belgium for the Belgians. Otherwise, we will have an Islamic foothold on our doorstep, which would not be a good thing for us.

    (iii). Again, on point 2, Hoppe also wants to ban the sale of weapons to certain countries: but how will that work in a libertarian order that is presumably predicated on free trade?

    (iv). I completely agree with point 3, and I would suggest we begin with an assault on the BBC: not to abolish the TV licence, but to dismantle the BBC itself. But in the long run, we would need to establish what sort of tax system (if any) could work in a libertarian order that is based on a minimal state. I doubt an organised community could work without some sort of communal revenue-collection for the purposes of funding joint services like national defence. A Land Value Tax has been suggested. I was sceptical when I commented on David Webb’s article on the topic, but I am coming round to the idea.

    (v). On point 5, I agree but would mention one semantic quibble: the problem is not ‘non-discrimination’ laws but anti-discrimination.laws. I would suggest that non-discrimination (as opposed to anti-discrimination) is an essential and good thing in a libertarian order on two provisos: first, it is confined to the essential principles of the community in question and does not infringe on personal choices, so that courts cannot discriminate for any reason, but individuals can for any reason; and, second, the community must be founded on the basis of a collective right to sustain itself, without which, non-discrimination would quickly develop into anti-discrimination.

    (vi). On point 6, I agree but would draw Hoppe’s attention to the paradox in paragraph (i) above of my comment. At the root of any free society is the paradox that the actuation and maintenance of freedom and tolerance requires unfreedom and intolerance. How will this be reconciled? Is Hoppe suggesting that we will need to use the power of states to bring about libertarianism? If so, how does this and point 7 square with a withdrawal from politics proposed in point 10?

    • @tom rogers on your point (i) I think that’s a category error on your part: individuals taking collective action in no way legitimates the absurd concept of collective rights. We can agree that a community can operate on common principles but I don’t see how you leap to personhood from that. If commies gang up on you then you need friends with guns to sort them out but that’s exercising your individual right not some commie/fascist/socialist collective nonsense. Your point (iii) isn’t relevant – Hoppe never mentioned banning or sanctions.
      I think Hoppe is talking about how to get to there from here and deconstructing collectivism which paradoxically will involve some of the collective structures that have come into existence.
      But to be clear, you’re obviously not a libertarian if you believe in some kind of collective personhood or “society”. About the only thing I could ever agree with Margaret Thatcher on is that “there’s no such thing as society” – at least in my interpretation that society has become some kind of made up person rather than what it ought to be, a description of a dynamic system with observed characteristics (which are in no way prescriptive) rather than inherent ones.

      • On (i), you perhaps don’t understand the sense in which I use the phrase ‘collective right’, but assuming you do, I still disagree in the sense that, in my view, you are ‘doing the libertarian thing’ of relying on highly simplistic distinctions that don’t have any application in the real world. If you accept that a community can act, then how do you stop that community from developing a shared identity that it seeks to protect in order to ensure the continuation of a libertarian order? I also don’t accept that the two things are in contradiction. In my view, practical liberty relies on both collectivism and individualism – and for that reason, I also reject the basis on which you restrict my libertarianism. I can be a libertarian and believe in collective rights – and I believe collectivism is inescapable in any case.

        On (ii), Hoppe states: “Stop all government-to-government aid and prohibit all weapon sales to foreign States.” That is clearly a statement calling for a ban: a prohibition. It is not made clear that this is just a means to an end, rather Hoppe seems to be disapproving of the sale of weapons per se, however I have no problem accepting that Hoppe would adopt a libertarian position in a libertarian order. I am not suggesting otherwise.

        • I still don’t agree with you on (ii) because in the context of that paragraph he’s talking about the process of deconstruction of the current system (as in my “deconstructing collectivism which paradoxically will involve some of the collective structures”) and stopping the government backed arms sales – stuff wouldn’t go to Saudi Arabia without the British Government underwriting it, so yes that does need to be banned. I would disagree with him if he means stopping private companies selling arms abroad. I doubt that’s what he’s really meaning given the context of the whole piece.

          On (i) I called you out on a category error and even went so far as to illustrate with reference to Margaret Thatcher. You can go ahead lumping people into collectives and then claiming the collective has personhood (which you are clearly doing, “community from developing a shared identity that it seeks to protect”) and that makes you a collectivist not a libertarian, IMNSVHO. Having the same aims as another individual doesn’t make me part of his collective. Being part of a state or nation means citizenship which you can’t simply renounce or take up as it takes your fancy, whereas you can leave or join a group unless it’s some kind of criminal organization that visits punishments on its followers for leaving (governments naturally evolve out of criminal enterprises I’m quite sure).

          I characterize you as a LINO – Libertarian In Name Only – analogous to RINO in America. It’s not a bad thing if you’re firmly against commies, I can accept you as a lesser of many evils. Left Libertarians are another example of LINO – their belief in the non-aggression principle takes a back seat to SJW derived desire for specific outcomes. To my way of thinking libertarianism is the basic premise of voluntary, non-violent exchange, there is no utopian end state or prescriptive set of outcomes… and there is certainly no collective.

          • As I understand it, libertarianism/liberalism is not a fixed doctrine, just a philosophy in which the individual and collective are weighed up with a view to maximising liberty.

            I have absolutely no idea if I am a libertarian, I have never called myself one (or at least, I don’t recall doing so), and whether I am doesn’t trouble me much one way or the other. But I do know that I favour maximising liberty.

            I would suggest that there is a big difference between theoretical (or geometrical) libertarianism on the one hand, and practical libertarianism on the other. One involves holding pristine liberal positions for the sake of academic consistency, the other involves acknowledging that the real world involves a trade-off between collective interests and liberty.

            I stand firmly in the latter category. In other word,s if I am a libertarian, it’s of the practical variety. I don’t dismiss the value of academic/geometric libertarianism: all philosophical positions have and need a pristine core and need high IQ individuals such as yourself and Neil Lock to expound them and tell people like me that we’re not libertarians, just like some Moslems go round telling other Moslems that they’re not real Moslems and some Catholics claim that the Pope isn’t a true Catholic. Without wishing to be disrespectful, to deny the reality of tribalism/nationalism and territorialism among human beings suggests a level of intellectual detachment that may lend itself to geometric neatness, but is of little practical value. I don’t discount it as an example of the No True Scotsman fallacy: purism has its place, but equally I don’t see how somebody who is concerned with how ideas translate into practice can ignore the reality of collectivism among human beings. At very best, and to be kind, an academic distinction is being offered that is of little real world relevance, since it ignores what we know on a common-sense level about social dynamics.

            To acknowledge the reality of collectivism does not make one a collectivist, nor does it imply any sort of enthusiasm for the tendency, nor does it disqualify one as a libertarian (unless the interest is purely in academic consistency, as mentioned above, rather than what happens in the real world).

            • I’m trying to strip libertarianism back to make it understandable to me, so bear with on that, and I welcome counterpoints to my thesis. I have no idea if I’m a libertarian until somebody convinces me it’s not just another excuse for collectivism. Already this blog has decided some kind of consensus that a land value tax is OK, which I can’t stomach – so if libertarianism allows for a land value tax I’m certainly not a libertarian, whatever I am.
              That said I think you’re obviously wrong about collectivism. I don’t disagree about the fact there are fundamental biological factors in human nature – far from it – but you talk of tribe. A tribe is roughly thirty to fifty people, that’s how many people you are able to relate to on a personal (biological) level and that also means constant interaction with them … and a bunch of other things that are nothing remotely to do with the collectivism you’re talking about.
              The reality of collectivism is that it’s a manufactured concept, like society, that is parlayed into moral imperatives by godless technocrats. It has no place in anybody’s thinking except to reject it utterly.
              Some people do understand the tribe. It’s no coincidence that a platoon of soldiers is in the ballpark of thirty to fifty strong. Look up Dunbar’s Number on the google – if you do you’ll see I’m a bit of hard-liner on the lowball estimate but nobody ventures to take it above two hundred.
              Collectivism will only ever really work at gunpoint.

              • To be fair, I think I referred to “tribalism/nationalism”. I lump them together because I am referring to nationalism in the Orwellian sense of a fundamental instinct that all human beings have to form into groups based at root on genetic self-interest. In the sense that Orwell uses the term, ‘nationalism’ can be any collective that pursues its own interests before others.

                • Yes, that’s what I thought you were saying… and I’m saying it’s a nonsense. The fundamental human instinct regards the tribe you’re talking about may be exploited by nationalists / collectivists / what have you but those confabulations of it are bogus. Your tribe, the people you genuinely know and relate to, are fundamentally important (and not having one in the real sense rather than the imagined collectivist quasi religious sense is very harmful to health and well-being) but that means a relatively tiny number of people in your life compared to even the smallest nation.
                  Category error.

                  • Just because something is socially-constructed does not make it bogus. My point stands: people form into collectives. I do not see how you have contradicted this. In fact, you have just affirmed it, only you seek to make a rather pedantic distinction, which even if we choose to accept, would still leave my point to stand. We are then left with common-sense social dynamics, which demolishes the academically-geometric but practically-useless brand of libertarianism you espouse. If people do form into collectives (and you’ve just confirmed that you think they do, so we agree), then these collectives will develop a sense of themselves and seek to defend their common understanding and way of living (culture) against outsiders. Your textbook disagrees, but the real world doesn’t.

                    • This is your dumbest reply yet. I’m older than loads of countries, by a considerable margin. I can only hope that people with more advanced critical thinking skills than you can draw something useful from the exchange.

                      Be careful of what you believe lest it enslaves you.

                    • John:

                      I feel like a primary school teacher who has just handed over a talented, but particularly rumbunctious, pupil to his secondary school. I’ve patiently been trying to teach Tom about liberty for a year or more. He has some good ideas, but some really bad ones too. Notably, about the environment.

                      While politically I’m way “left” of you (whatever that means), I do hope you’ll do what you can to help him see reality.

                    • First, I’m not, or not just, talking about ‘countries’ when I refer to nationalism. I repeat, I’m using the word ‘nationalism’ in the Orwellian sense. You clearly don’t understand what I mean by that or what I am saying. I am suggesting that nationalism is innate, and I am using the term ‘nationalism’ very generically. The problem here is that most people misread things, like you’re doing, because they allow certain hypnotic words to trigger things. The words ‘nationalism’ and ‘collectivism’ trigger you.

                      Second, I understand the distinction between nationhood as a collective interest, which you oppose, and a community of shared interests, which you would support. But you haven’t grasped MY point, which is the common-sense reality of social dynamics. The point is two-fold: first, interests will coalesce, groups will find common cause; second, in order to defend shared interests effectively, a group will develop a sense of itself that it then needs to protect in order to ensure the continuation of its culture. In other words, reality is more complicated than you – and people like you – present it.

                      You’re absolutely right – this exchange has not been useful, but only because, as with most people of your type, you enter into discussions with certain psychological hindrances. One of them is that you assume that you are in possession of greater mental capacities than your opponent if your opponent does not share your views. It’s a type of intellectual chauvinism, and you wear it proudly whenever you come on here. You’re an ugly and unpleasant person – but there again, you try your best to be politically-correct. Is that a compensator? Personally, I find integrity in truth, not in telling lies in order to avoid being called names.

                      And on the subject of name-calling, calling somebody ‘dumb’ or saying their reply is ‘dumb’ is not an argument. It just makes you look silly. You’ve lost control of your emotions here because deep down you know that I am right in what I say about the realities of race and ethnic affinities. That’s why people like you become annoyed, because you know your entire life is a lie. Your position is a social cover that allows you to come across as respectable. Meanwhile, I just tell the truth.

                    • Neil,

                      I understand your position on liberty is. I have read your book. I have read almost-all your articles, and commented on many. I agree with a great deal of what you say, and unlike some people I could mention, I also manage to disagree with you on some points without calling you dumb.

                      I just disagree with you on some things. It’s not a lack of understanding. It’s just disagreement.

                      I am allowed to disagree, you know. We’ll all over 21, we can all have our own views.

                      I do become rather annoyed, angry and hostile when people adopt this sort of arrogance that says somebody who disagrees doesn’t understand you at an intellectual level. And calling somebody dumb just out of disagreement when views have been put politely and constructively is a very dishonest debating tactic, and bang out of order – and also quite cowardly, as it’s done from behind a computer.

                    • @tom rogers perhaps I’m not expressing myself properly but I think not. I clearly laid out that I agree entirely about the biological urges you’re alluding to. I’m drawing the important distinction between that and the nationalism you’re talking about which assumes personhood to a collective which is most definitely a giant error in thinking.
                      Your comment is dumb because you insist in re-iterating a statement that I addressed carefully as if I hadn’t addressed it. You’re either being disingenuous or dumb. “Nationalism is innate” is simply bullshit, the biological urges that are twisted into nationalism and patriotism are real but nationalism and patriotism are tools of mind control. Why that isn’t blatantly obvious without me having to write it down is what mystifies me.
                      You can go ahead and die for a flag if you like, I’ll save myself for something real, like family and friends – people I actually know and care about on a personal not theoretical level.

                    • @John Pate

                      Again, you have not understood the sense in which I use the term ‘nationalism’. You have not stopped the consider that I might be making a deeper point than you appreciate.

                      I repeat what I observed about you earlier, which is that you have certain psychological hindrances that stop you from engaging constructively in debate. One is your arrogance. The other is your tendency (which admittedly you share with others on here) of succumbing emotionally to certain trigger words – in this case, you assume that I mean by ‘nationalism’ the common or colloquial meaning of the term, which I emphatically (and manifestly do not).

                      Insulting me is just an ungracious way of admitting you have lost the debate. As for your own arguments, I understand perfectly what you are saying, I just disagree with you. I am allowed to disagree.

                      If you are struggling with your debating skills or any aspect of mature/adult behaviour, or if you have psychological problems, then I suggest you seek help, perhaps by speaking to a medical doctor or somebody you trust to discuss whatever is bothering you.

                      But don’t take your personal problems out on me.

                      You will not be told again – and I would kindly ask that you now desist from responding to any of my comments anywhere on this site or anywhere else.

                      Any future requests from me along those lines will not be so polite. Like most people, I do not take kindly to being insulted.

                    • My point was, in short, that libertarianism has nothing to do with groups, nationalism, collective interest, nationhood, communities and collectives, tribes, ingroup preference based on genetic or any other common traits, and so forth. Libertarianism is the creed which holds that the property… but Kinsella explained it perfectly in the article.

                      Also see the articles “There Is Nothing Unlibertarian About White Nationalism” and “Libertarianism Is NOT Opposed To All Forms Of ‘Collectivism'” on Radical Capitalist which further elaborates on the subject:


                      Hope it clears up some of the filth that has been spread about libertarianism by the leftists fifth column within the movement.

                    • I’m sorry, my previous comment (which should be right above this one and starts with “My point was…”) got a bit misleading. What I meant is that libertarianism – strictly speaking – has nothing to say about the matter, for it is a legal philosophy of property rights. You can have a libertarian order which is nationalist, collectivist, tribal, religious, patriotic, white supremacist and so forth and be in perfect alignment with libertarianism, granted that its implementation does not contradict the libertarian private property norm.

                      Also, commenting here is completely fucked up, and why can’t I edit my comments?

                    • I have not said anything in this exchange that contradicts that article, but libertarianism is not a rigid doctrine and:

                      (i). I don’t necessarily agree with anything in that article; and,
                      (ii). I don’t describe myself as a ‘libertarian’; and,
                      (iii). it is not a crime not to be a libertarian; and,
                      (iv). believing in liberty does not require one to be a libertarian.

                      Your point again was?

                    • @Táborszki Bálint

                      With all respect,if libetarianism “…has nothing to do with groups, nationalism, collective interest, nationhood, communities and collectives, tribes, ingroup preference based on genetic or any other common traits, and so forth”, then libertarianism has little or nothing to say about human nature and is completely useless as a practical philosophy – and that being the case, I have absolutely no interest in being a libertarian as you would have it.

                      Thankfully, there are people, including libertarians, who have a wider view of things than you have and don’t just restrict their understanding of human beings to narrow economic relationships. However, I am not insulting you – you are perfectly entitled to your own view on what libertarianism is and any other subject. It’s a matter of opinion. I don’t mind disagreement. If the two of us can manage to disagree with each other without throwing insults around, then I’ll be happy.

                      Where I also disagree with you is when you go on to say that libertarianism cannot depend on collectivism. I don’t accept that individualism and collectivism (and other relevant derivations of those terms) are opposites or that one cancels out the other. I believe my liberty as an individual is dependent on my collective identity and other collectivist things. I entirely understand why a libertarian dislikes collectivism – don’t worry, there is no lack of understanding on my part here – but to me, collectivism is not a dirty word, it’s an essential element of my humanity. I would suggest that a more nuanced approach is needed where collectivism stops being treated as a trigger word.

                      On the point under discussions, I regard nationalism as a pre-rational impulse, and as I was trying to explain to the very rude person above, nationalism in the sense of a generic tendency to form into collective interest groups is a feature of human societies, and any successful political philosophy needs to take this into account. Also, there is the social dynamic that any group that forms together to defend its interests will need to develop a sense of itself, and where different groups coalesce, this is likely to become a collective personhood, which is the more formal and familiar type of nationalism. That does not necessarily mean that statism follows of course.

                      My central point is that the maintenance of liberty requires the establishment of geopolitical boundaries between these different collective identities, otherwise the identities can’t survive in discrete form. Some libertarians on here seem to think that cultural spaces can be completely open and fluid, but that does not take into account the territorial imperative and other essentials of human nature. That’s why we have borders: so that peace can be maintained.

                    • You are confusing libertarianism with a broader sociological analysis of human societies. Libertarianism is strictly a legal philosophy as it was first elaborated by Murray N. Rothbard, and then was given its ultimate justification by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. It does not include an empirical, sociological analysis of the broader human cooperation we may call society, civilization, nor does it deal with cultures.

                      The social function of libertarianism is to create a legal framework in which all human conflicts may be avoidable. Hoppe explains what libertarianism is both in the article under which we are having a conversation, and in many other works of his, including the paper Realistic Libertarianism as Right-Libertarianism.

                      To quote Hoppe:

                      “If there were no scarcity in the world, human conflicts would be impossible. Interpersonal conflicts are always and everywhere conflicts concerning scarce things. I want to do X with a given thing and you want to do Y with the same thing.

                      Because of such conflicts — and because we are able to communicate and argue with each other — we seek out norms of behavior with the purpose of avoiding these conflicts. The purpose of norms is conflict-avoidance. If we did not want to avoid conflicts, the search for norms of conduct would be senseless. We would simply fight and struggle.

                      Absent a perfect harmony of all interests, conflicts regarding scarce resources can only be avoided if all scarce resources are assigned as private, exclusive property to some specified individual. Only then can I act independently, with my own things, from you, with your own things, without you and me coming into conflict.

                      But who owns what scarce resource as his private property and who does not? First: Each person owns his physical body that only he and no one else controls directly (I can control your body only in-directly, by first directly controlling my body, and vice versa) and that only he directly controls also in particular when discussing and arguing the question at hand. Otherwise, if body-ownership were assigned to some indirect body-controller, conflict would become unavoidable as the direct body-controller cannot give up his direct control over his body as long as he is alive; and in particular, otherwise it would be impossible that any two persons, as the contenders in any property dispute, could ever argue and debate the question whose will is to prevail, since arguing and debating presupposes that both, the proponent and the opponent, have exclusive control over their respective bodies and so come to the correct judgment on their own, without a fight (in a conflict-free form of interaction).

                      And second, as for scarce resources that can be controlled only indirectly (that must be appropriated with our own nature-given, i.e., un-appropriated, body): Exclusive control (property) is acquired by and assigned to that person, who appropriated the resource in question first or who acquired it through voluntary (conflict-free) exchange from its previous owner. For only the first appropriator of a resource (and all later owners connected to him through a chain of voluntary exchanges) can possibly acquire and gain control over it without conflict, i.e., peacefully. Otherwise, if exclusive control is assigned instead to latecomers, conflict is not avoided but contrary to the very purpose of norms made unavoidable and permanent.

                      Let me emphasize that I consider this theory as essentially irrefutable, as a priori true. In my estimation this theory represents one of the greatest — if not the greatest — achievement of social thought. It formulates and codifies the immutable ground rules for all people, everywhere, who wish to live together in peace.”

                      Now, if you think, as you have said, that libertarianism “is completely useless as a practical philosophy,” let me emphasize it again: libertarianism is not the answer to a broader set of social and cultural problems. It’s function and aim is to make possible a society in which all interpersonal conflicts are avoidable, and humans may live in peace with one another. If you think it is completely useless… but I doubt you do.

                      (I also included a correction to my first comment that you quoted because I realized that it was worded poorly and didn’t convey exactly what I meant. I happen to understand what you mean when you say that individualism and collectivism are not mutually exclusive, and I tend to agree. Ultimately it all depends on how one defines those words, and defining them is often left out of the discussions. Some libertarians use collectivism essentially as the synonym of statism, while others use it to explain in-group preference, and that is the source of the confusion [and some nihilo-libertarians who just want to denounce every form of group identity because they are stuck in an adolescent rebellion]).

                      Now, seeing libertarianism as a pure system of norms whose function is to make avoiding violent conflict possible, we may take into consideration the wider sociological questions that are needed to be answered in order for libertarianism to become an actual, practially implementable doctrine.

                      You statements that “nationalism in the sense of a generic tendency to form into collective interest groups is a feature of human societies, and any successful political philosophy needs to take this into account” and “the maintenance of liberty requires the establishment of geopolitical boundaries between these different collective identities” are completely valid and sound. But the important note is that these are not strictly part of the libertarian doctrine.

                      To quote Hoppe once more:

                      “Knowing libertarian theory — the rules of peaceful interactions — is like knowing the rules of logic — the rules of correct thinking and reasoning. However, just like the knowledge of logic, as indispensable as it is for correct thinking, does not tell us anything about actual human thought, about actual words, concepts, arguments, inferences and conclusions used and made, so the logic of peaceful interaction (libertarianism) does not tell us anything about actual human life and action. Hence: just as every logician who wants to make good use of his knowledge must turn his attention to real thought and reasoning, so a libertarian theorist must turn his attention to the actions of real people. Instead of being a mere theorist, he must also become a sociologist and psychologist and take account of “empirical” social reality, i.e., the world as it really is.”

                      What fundamentally needs to be understood is that libertarianism does not have to be more than what it is: a system of norms that make peaceful conduct possible. True enough, in order to actually implement it, libertarians do need to utilize other branches of human knowledge, including and most importantly sociology and psychology. But they are different disciplines; they help one another, they complement one another, but they do not and cannot merge with one another. And successful libertarianism, libertarianism which is feasible and practically implementable is that which takes the valid statements of all these various disciplines and utilizes them in a political, dare I say revolutionary movement that aims to bring about social change.

                      To finish with Hoppe, and to make things clear once and for all:

                      “True enough, the libertarian doctrine is a purely aprioristic and deductive theory and as such does not say or imply anything about the rival claims of the Right and the Left regarding the existence, the extent and the causes of human inequalities. That is an empirical question. But on this question the Left happens to be largely unrealistic, wrong and devoid of any common sense, whereas the Right is realistic and essentially correct and sensible. There can be consequently nothing wrong with applying a correct aprioristic theory of how peaceful human cooperation is possible to a realistic, i.e., fundamentally rightist, description of the world. For only based on correct empirical assumptions about man is it possible to arrive at a correct assessment as regards the practical implementation and the sustainability of a libertarian social order.”

                      I hope it cleared things up somewhat. And I would really really suggest checking out the whole speech of Hoppe that I quoted here and there in this comment, because I believe it does validate and answer what you brought up, and indeed it integrates your objections into a libertarian framework.

                    • @ Táborszki Bálint

                      If libertarianism is just a narrow legal-economic philosophy, then somebody better tell the owners of this website, The Ludwig Von Mises Centre, since they don’t appear to subscribe to that view – or at least, not if their views and articles here and elsewhere are anything to do by.

                      Is it just possible that libertarianism is not actually a rigid doctrine and that you (and others you refer to) are not the authority on what libertarianism is or isn’t and in fact it is possible to believe in maximal liberty in different forms?

                    • Well, the people I’m referring to are first and foremost Murray N. Rothbard and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Murray N. Rothbard is considered to be the founder of libertarianism; he was the one who resurrected and developed the philosophical tradition of natural rights and turned it into the creed of libertarianism, explaining in his two monumental works: The Ethics of Liberty and The Libertarian Manifesto. He was Mr. Libertarian, the single individual whose living room was the birthplace of the movement and the philosophy. The other person I’m referring to is Hans-Hermann Hoppe, his student and close friend until Rothbard’s death.

                      There are people who try to dilute libertarianism and “thicken” it, that is to incorporate their specific political agenda into it, similarly to what is known as Atheism+. But I think this “tickening” has to be seen as what it is: a deliberate effort to change a defined and precisely circumscribed philosophy into something different, and indeed, into something which serves a specific (almost always leftist) political agenda.



  3. […] 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) […]

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