Hans-Herman Hoppe is a German-born Austrian school economist and paleolibertariananarcho-capitalist philosopher. He did his undergraduate studies at Universität des Saarlandes in Saarbrücken, received his MA and PhD at Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt, and was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before earning his habilitation back at Goethe-Universität. Hoppe immigrated to America in 1986 to study under Murray Rothbard in New York City, with whom he remained close until Rothbard’s death in 1995.
A culturally conservative libertarian, Hoppe founded the The Property and Freedom Society in 2006. His goal was twofold: to explain the requirements and features of a free, stateless natural order, and to expose the state itself as “an institution run by gangs of murderers, plunderers and thieves, surrounded by willing executioners, propagandists, sycophants, crooks, liars, clowns, charlatans, dupes and useful idiots.” Hoppe leaves little to interpretation regarding his feelings on government.
Hoppe introduced his argumentation ethics theory in 1988. It is a meaty theory to say the least, but at its heart it holds that any argument against individual sovereignty is inherently unsound; that any transgression against self-ownership is unjustifiable.
In short, one who takes your property without your consent can never purport to serve a higher purpose – they are only a thief, and a thug.
In his 2011 book Democracy: The God That Failed, Hoppe details the problems which inevitably arise in a democratic government as the result of groups which pressure it for greater regulation. He advises unequivocal freedom of contract, decentralization of government, and succession in order to combat these ills.
In Democracy Hoppe also details a libertarian society in which people would voluntarily form covenant communities based on shared self-interests. This hypothetical society would place the utmost value on freedom of association and private property rather than get bogged down appeasing the left with endless concessions to social justice.
Interestingly for so steadfast a libertarian, Hoppe does believe that the state, so long as it exists, should impose some restrictions on immigration so as to avert forced integration. This view has provoked ire from the usual circles, which are quick to point out that Hoppe himself is an immigrant. Hoppe kicked yet another hornet’s nest in 2004 when he made an offhand, negative comment during a lecture about the money saving habits of homosexuals, but attempts to force that incident to color his entire academic career have proven rather toothless.
Hoppe’s other notable English language works include A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism (1989), Economic Science and the Austrian Method (1995), and The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (2006). He also wrote the 1998 introduction to Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty.
Hoppe was a professor of economics at University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 1986 until his retirement in 2008, and is currently a distinguished fellow with the Mises Institute which published much of his work. He now resides in Turkey.
An Austrian School economist, Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises devoted much of his life to writing and educating on the subject of classical liberalism. While several classical libertarians including John Locke and Jean-Baptiste Say preceded him, Mises’ revival of the ideology following the Second World War has cemented his place as one of libertarianism’s most revered figures.