This should ruffle some feathers.
I should qualify that I am not necessarily taking Hoppe’s side in this argument, which is a growing argument in libertarian and anarchist milieus, concerning whether anti-statism is more compatible with a leftist or rightist worldview. As those who are familiar with the entire body of my work would know, I am generally to the left of Hoppe on both economic and cultural issues, but to the right of “left-libertarians, bleeding heart libertarians, and humanitarian-cosmopolitan libertarians.” I think the economic status quo deserves far more criticism than what right-libertarians are usually prepared to give, but I have little patience for the politically correct progressive moralism of the left-libertarians, which tends to bend easily into nanny statism.
Beyond that, I am far more concerned with what I believe should be the principle concern of anarchists and libertarians, and indeed all political radicals of any kind, and that is the unprecedented centralization of political and economic power on a world scale, and with unprecedented weapons and surveillance technology.
Like Hoppe, Kirkpatrick Sale, Alain De Benoist, Troy Southgate, the late Murray Bookchin and other radicals advocating decentralization, I wish to see political and economic power devolved to the lowest level reasonably possible, such as provinces, cantons, city-states, villages, towns and neighborhoods. However, I am infinitely flexible when it comes to the specific makeup or content of such communities. Among libertarian communities, there would no doubt be those with a rightist orientation, and those with a left-libertarian, bleeding heart, humanitarian, or cosmopolitan orientation as well, and realistically speaking, there would probably also be quite a few non-libertarian communities.
By Hans Hermann Hoppe
“Libertarianism is logically consistent with almost any attitude toward culture, society, religion, or moral principle. In strict logic, libertarian political doctrine can be severed from all other considerations; logically one can be – and indeed most libertarians in fact are: hedonists, libertines, immoralists, militant enemies of religion in general and Christianity in particular – and still be consistent adherents of libertarian politics. In fact, in strict logic, one can be a consistent devotee of property rights politically and be a moocher, a scamster, and a petty crook and racketeer in practice, as all too many libertarians turn out to be. Strictly logically, one can do these things, but psychologically, sociologically, and in practice, it simply doesn’t work that way.” [my emphasis, HHH]
Murray Rothbard, “Big-Government Libertarians,” in: L. Rockwell, ed., The Irrepressible Rothbard, Auburn, Al: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2000, p. 101
Let me begin with a few remarks on libertarianism as a pure deductive theory.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.