07 December 2004
Democracy bashing

Hans Hermann-Hoppe, the Austrian-cum-American philosopher is at it again:

…under democratic conditions the popular though immoral and anti-social desire for another man’s property is systematically strengthened. Every demand is legitimate if it is proclaimed publicly under the special protection of “freedom of speech.” Everything can be said and claimed, and everything is up for grabs.

Now, I have a soft spot for Hoppe and even more of a soft spot for his democracy-bashing.  I note that as the franchise has been extended, so liberty has been curtailed.  Being something of a monarchist (uniforms, marching bands, gongs - marvellous), I am naturally attracted to his advocacy of monarchy as a better (or less bad) form of government.

However, I am not unaware of the counter-argument: say what you like about them but democracies win wars.  Now, I can’t say in so many words why I think the ability to win wars is so important but there can be little doubt that at the end of the 20th century, after three world wars and having faced down autocracy, national socialism and international socialism; in this department, at least, democracy had well and truly earnt its spurs.

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  1. I’ve only ever read a handful of things by, or about, Hoppe, and, frankly, I’m pretty wary of him. He doesn’t seem to command much respect amongst economists.

    Read this and this, for example. In particular, do a ctrl-F search for ‘Coase’.

    Posted by Andy Wood on 07 December 2004 at 03:26pm

  2. Yes, I’ve seen both those pieces before.  I rather felt they missed the point that Hoppe was getting at.  And I’m not a big fan of ad hominem attacks รก la Palmer.

    Posted by Patrick Crozier on 08 December 2004 at 07:58am

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