My views are basically the same as Hoppe’s although I am a little more “left-wing” in the sense of being much less sympathetic to business corporations whom I regard as the economic arms of the state, and a little more “right-wing” in the sense of rejecting Lockean universalism in favor of decentralized particularism. The infrastructure for what Hoppe is describing is already being developed in the form of the “big sort,” sanctuaries, startup societies, separatist movements, and the exportation of the USA’s “culture war” (traditionalism vs totalitarian humanism) on an international scale.
[Editor’s note: Earlier this month Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe appeared on SERVUS TV for a discussion “On State, War, Europe, Decentralization and Neutrality.” An English translation of the transcript was prepared by Leonhard Paul, a law student from Germany.]
Interviewer: I would like to welcome our second guest in the studio. It is the philosopher and economist with an international range Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Nice to meet you, Mr. Hoppe.
The dream of a united Europe, the eternal longing of the empire. Do you also dream this dream?
Hans-Hermann Hoppe: No. I don’t dream of this dream at all. My dream is the dream of a Europe, which consists of 1,000 Liechtensteins. I will also try to explain this. First of all, you have to realize that there is a difference between states and private companies. States are organizations that do not earn their money by producing something that people want to buy voluntarily or by offering services that people want voluntarily. States live from compulsory levies, taxes and from printing their own money. For this reason, states are institutions of exploitation. Economists have called them stationary bandits for this reason.
I.: Stationary bandits?
H.: Stationary bandits. They stay in one place. There are also roving bandits who would be …
I.: … would be highwaymen. Institutionalized highwaymen, so to speak, that’s the state?
H.: Right. They’re institutionalized. And, of course, states as bandit organizations have an interest in increasing their loot. They, including the entire public service, live at the expense of productive people. But when this exploitation becomes too severe people tend to migrate to other regions.
Therefore, states have a tendency to expand their territory. One way they will try expand is by waging wars. After all they can pass on the costs of war to the populace, whereas a private person or a private organization would have to bear the costs of aggression themselves. So states are by nature more warlike than private law organizations.
I.: If I may, Mr. Hoppe. You are basically calling for a Europe of a thousand Liechtensteins. Switzerland is probably already too big for you.
H.: Too big.