Libertarianism Wiki

Hans-Hermann Hoppe in 2005. Photo courtesy Hans-Herman Hoppe and Wikimedia Commons.

Austrian School
Born September (1949-09-02) 2, 1949 (age 72)
Peine, West Germany
Nationality German-American
Institution University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Field Austrian economics, political philosophy
Alma mater Goethe University Frankfurt
Opposed Karl Popper, Friedrich Hayek[1]
Influences Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Jürgen Habermas, Karl-Otto Apel, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
Influenced Walter Block, Tom Woods, Frank van Dun, Stephan Kinsella, Jörg Guido Hülsmann, Jeff Berwick
Contributions Argumentation ethics, Analysis of democracy and public goods theory
Awards The Gary G. Schlarbaum Prize (2006), The Frank T. and Harriet Kurzweg Award (2004)

Hans-Hermann Hoppe ( born September 2, 1949) is a prominent Austrian school economist and libertarian anarcho-capitalist philosopher,[2][3][4] although he prefers to be known as an advocate of private law society.[5] He is a Professor Emeritus of economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Hoppe is the author of several widely discussed books and his work has been translated to 22 languages.[6] He is currently living with his wife in Istanbul, Turkey.[5]


Born in Peine, West Germany, Hoppe attended the Universität des Saarlandes in [[Saarbrücken, and the University of Frankfurt, studying philosophy, sociology, history, and economics. His doctoral studies began with Marxist thought, under Frankfurt School philosopher Jürgen Habermas as his Ph.D advisor.[7] However he quickly became disillusioned in this pursuit, partly due to the influence of Eugen Böhm von Bawerk and his critique of marxism[8] and Milton Friedman.[9] He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Goethe University Frankfurt in 1974. He was then a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, United States, from 1976 to 1978. He earned his habilitation in Foundations of Sociology and Economics from the University of Frankfurt in 1981. He taught at several German universities and at Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center for Advanced International Studies, Italy.[10] In 1986, he moved from Germany to the United States, to study under Murray Rothbard.[11] He remained a close associate to Rothbard until his death in January 1995. Hoppe was then Professor of Economics at University of Nevada, Las Vegas until retirement in 2008. Hoppe was involved in the formation of what came to be called paleo-libertarianism.[12] Hoppe has served as the editor of the Journal of Libertarian Studies, coeditor of the Review of Austrian Economics, and coeditor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He is a Distinguished Fellow with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the author of several widely-discussed articles and books. In 2005, he founded the Property and Freedom Society as a more radical alternative to the Mont Pelerin Society.


Argumentation ethics[]

Main article: Argumentation ethics

In what some have described as Hoppe's most important contribution, argumentation ethics is an apriori, value-neutral justification for libertarian ethics (1988[13]). Argumentation ethics builds on the concept of Discourse ethics developed by Jürgen Habermas (Hoppe's PhD advisor) and Karl-Otto Apel, further on Misesian praxeology and the deontological ethics of economist Murray Rothbard. Argumentation ethics argues the non-aggression principle is a presupposition of argumentation and so cannot be rationally denied in discourse. Many modern libertarian scholars have accepted Hoppe's argument, among them Murray Rothbard, Walter Block, and Stephan Kinsella. Rothbard had written:

In a dazzling breakthrough for political philosophy in general and for libertarianism in particular, he has managed to transcend the famous is/ought, fact/value dichotomy that has plagued philosophy since the days of the scholastics, and that had brought modern libertarianism into a tiresome deadlock. Not only that: Hans Hoppe has managed to establish the case for anarcho-capitalist-Lockean rights in an unprecedentedly hard-core manner, one that makes my own natural law/natural rights position seem almost wimpy in comparison.[14]

Analysis of democracy[]

Main article: Democracy: The God That Failed

In Democracy: The God That Failed, Hoppe compares monarchies with democratic states. Hoppe claims that the structural perverse incentives inherent in democracy make it more prone to destroy wealth than comparable monarchical regimes. A monarch, being a long term ruler and able to further bequeath his position, has interest in the long term well being of the economy, would often be hesitant to excessively accumulate debt, or otherwise engage in large-scale short-term capital consumption compared to a similar democratically elected ruler, who is more akin to a renter, or temporary custodian of the state due to the shorter time he has to use his power for his benefit. Hoppe further notes that the theoretical possibility of entrance into government also doles the citizenship resistance to excessive abuse of government power, as compared to monarchies, in which abusive monarchs were often overthrown and killed.

Hoppe points to comparable policies adopted by existing western and eastern monarchies as well as several such past policies to empirically support his analysis. Hoppe does not put forward this criticism in support of monarchy, but rather as a critique of democracy.


Hoppe's has advanced the position that in a non anarcho-capitalist society some restrictions on immigration are a "second best" option.[15]

First, with the establishment of a state and territorially defined state borders, “immigration” takes on an entirely new meaning. In a natural order, immigration is a person’s migration from one neighborhood-community into a different one (micro-migration). In contrast, under statist conditions immigration is immigration by “foreigners” from across state borders, and the decision whom to exclude or include, and under what conditions, rests not with a multitude of independent private property owners or neighborhoods of owners but with a single central (and centralizing) state-government as the ultimate sovereign of all domestic residents and their properties (macro-migration). If a domestic resident-owner invites a person and arranges for his access onto the resident-owner’s property but the government excludes this person from the state territory,it is a case of forced exclusion (a phenomenon that does not exist in a natural order). On the other hand, if the government admits a person while there is no domestic resident-owner who has invited this person onto his property, it is a case of forced integration (also non-existent in a natural order, where all movement is invited).

Hoppe's views on immigration are controversial within the wider libertarian movement. Walter Block offered arguments against Hoppe's immigration position in a 1999 article, "A Libertarian Case for Free Immigration."[16]

Academic freedom controversy[]

During a lecture in a course on Money & Banking, Hoppe hypothesized that homosexuals will generally display shorter time preference for capital consumption because they tend not to have biological heirs, and thus have a lesser incentive to engage in long-term saving. One of Hoppe's students characterized this statement as derogatory and a matter of opinion rather than fact. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education:

In his lectures, Mr. Hoppe said that certain groups of people – including small children, very old people, and homosexuals – tend to prefer present-day consumption to long-term investment. Because homosexuals generally do not have children, Mr. Hoppe said, they feel less need to look toward the future. (In a recent talk at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, which Mr. Hoppe says was similar to his classroom lecture, he declared, "Homosexuals have higher time preferences, because life ends with them.") [The student], Mr. Knight found that argument unwarranted and obnoxious, and he promptly filed a complaint with the university. In a telephone interview on Saturday, Mr. Knight said: "I was just shocked and appalled. I said to myself, Where the hell is he getting this information from? I was completely surprised, and that's why I went to the university about this."[17]

Theses comments triggered an academic controversy which resulted in a "nondisciplinary" letter[18] being issued February 9, 2005 instructing Hoppe to "...cease mischaracterizing opinion as objective fact." The ACLU represented Hoppe, and he was defended in an editorial article in the The Rebel Yell, the UNLV student newspaper."[19] Carol Harter, president of UNLV, in a February 18, 2005 letter[20] said that "UNLV, in accordance with policy adopted by the Board of Regents, understands that the freedom afforded to Professor Hoppe and to all members of the academic community carries a significant corresponding academic responsibility. In the balance between freedoms and responsibilities, and where there may be ambiguity between the two, academic freedom must, in the end, be foremost." Following the controversy the "nondisciplinary" letter was withdrawn from his personnel file.




See also[]



External links[]


Template:Hoppe books Template:Austrian economists Template:Libertarianism Template:Ancap

  1. Hoppe, Hans-Hermann (1996). Socialism: A Property or Knowledge Problem?. pp. 143–49.
  2. Block, Walter (Mars 1996). "Review of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, The Economics and Ethics of Private Property". Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines 7 (1). Template:Citation error. "...Ludwig von Mises, Murry N RothbardThese two are truly "hard acts to follow". But with the publication of The Economics and Ethics Private Property, Hoppe bids fair to one day claiming the mantle of worthy successor to these two pathbreaking thinkers. ..."
  3. The Hoppe Effect by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
  4. Woods, Tomas E.. "Democracy vs. Civilization". "Hoppe, a professor of economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is one of the most interesting and compelling living scholars whose work I have studied. I have profited immensely from his writing"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wile, Anthony (March 27, 2011). "Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe on the Impracticality of One-World Government and the Failure of Western-style Democracy". The Daily Bell.
  7. Interview with Hans-Herman Hoppe:
  8. Jeff Tucker interviews Hans-Hermann Hoppe
  9. Juan Ramón Rallo interviews Mises Institute scholar Hans-Hermann
  10. Hans-Hermann Hoppe Bigraphy
  11. "Juan Ramón Rallo interviews Mises Institute scholar Hans-Hermann Hoppe at the Instituto Juan de Mariana's, time: 5:00".
  13. Hoppe, Hans Hermann; Murray N. Rothbard, David Friedman, Leland Yeager, David Gordon, Douglas Rasmussen (November 1988). "Liberty Symposium". Liberty 2.
  14. Rothbard, Murray N. (Article originally appeared in Liberty, Volume 3 Number 4 (March 1990), pp. 11–12.). "Hoppephobia". Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  15. Hoppe, Hans Hermann (Winter 2002). "NATURAL ORDER, THE STATE, AND THE IMMIGRATION PROBLEM". Journal of Libertarian Studies 16 (1).
  16. Block, Walter. "A Libertarian Case for Free Immigration." Journal of Libertarian Studies. Vol. 13, No. 2. 1999. [1]
  17. "Professor Who Was Accused of Making Derogatory Remarks in Class Wants UNLV to Clear His Record" The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 14, 2005
  18. (.pdf)
  19. Rebel Yell
  20. (.pdf) Hans-Herman Hoppes' Website