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The Ordeal of Hoppe and Defend Hoppe

The Ordeal of Hoppe” (with Jeffrey Tucker), The Free Market, Volume 25, Number 4 (April 2005). See also Defend Hoppe (below), DEFEND HOPPE!, and Hoppe Victory Blog)

The Ordeal of Hoppe

The Free Market

TAGS Education

04/01/2005 Stephan Kinsella (and Jeffrey A. Tucker)

The Free Market 26, no. 4 (April 2005)

 

Has academia become so politicized that teaching good economics, and using politically sensitive illustrations, can lead to threats, fines, penalties, demotion and worse? It certainly seemed so in early February when Hans-Hermann Hoppe, a leading student of Murray Rothbard and senior fellow of the Mises Institute, received an egregious letter from the Provost of his university.

It seems that last year, a student had become upset at an illustration Hoppe used in class. The Provost sided with the student, and thereby blasted Hoppe for creating a “hostile learning environment” and further demanded that Hoppe “cease mischaracterizing opinion as objective fact.” Throughout the ordeal, Hoppe was under constant investigation and harassment, but prevented from responding.

This attack on him not only represented a violation of the contract with the University but also impinges on a sacrosanct principle of Western university life: academic freedom. As Mises said in a 1962 lecture: even though European universities were owned and controlled by the government, no one dared to interfere with what was taught in the classroom. The point is crucial to the development of the liberal idea because it permitted economists and social scientists to criticize the state and advance a body of ideas in defense of freedom.

But what European universities never dared to do, American universities are increasingly doing as a matter of habit: badger professors into adopting the latest political fashion as integral to their classroom presentations. That is why the attack on Hoppe threatens more than the interests of one intellectual; it threatens the rights and freedoms of everyone in the academic community, and of the idea of freedom itself.

Due to national and international coverage of the case—written about on the wire services and in the Chronicle of Higher Education—the entire scholarly world is watching to see how this case is resolved.

Hoppe is a world-renowned economist, author, and speaker, as well as a pioneer in the libertarian tradition of political economy. An adherent of the Austrian school of economics (leading Austrian school economist F.A. Hayek won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1974), he earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy and his Habilitation degree in Sociology and Economics, both from the Goethe-Universität in Germany. He taught at several German universities as well as at the Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center for Advanced International Studies, Bologna, Italy. In 1986, Hoppe joined UNLV’s economics department and has been a tenured full professor since 1992.

Constantly in demand for speaking engagements around the world, Hoppe is author of dozens of scholarly books and articles. His scholarly work covers areas such as money and banking, the methodology of the social sciences, comparative systems, European economic history, political ethics, the market for security, the theory of ownership and property rights, and economic institutions generally.

He is a radical thinker and a system builder of the sort that academia should treasure, for his ideas offer a relentless challenge to students and colleagues. Because Professor Hoppe enjoys an international reputation—his books and essays have been translated and published in Korean, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Chinese, French, Danish, German, and eight other languages—his case has benefited from an outpouring of support, especially from students who have studied under him both in the US and abroad.

The controversy surrounds comments made during two money and banking class lectures in March 2004, during which Professor Hoppe discussed the concept of “time preference.” Time preference is an important notion in economics, and particularly in the Austrian school of economics, because it draws attention to the importance of time in the market process, identifying individuals’ varying degrees of willingness to defer the immediate consumption of goods in favor of saving and investment.

In his lecture, Hoppe explained by way of illustration that certain demographic groups that might tend not to have children, such as homosexuals, generally do not adopt as long an economic time horizon as those that do have children. The same is true, he said, of other groups such as the very young and very old, ceteris paribus. Individuals with higher time preference such as homosexuals, he continued, might engage in riskier behaviors. Agree or disagree with his illustration of an economic principle, an illustration which is certainly subject to empirical investigation, his comments were within bounds of the topic in question.

This was the lecture that led to the complaint and the subsequent international uproar against the UNLV administration for failing to defend Hoppe’s freedom to teach. Instead of dismissing the student’s complaint, the University launched a series of menacing investigations which culminated in the February 9, 2005 letter that declared that Professor Hoppe had created a “hostile learning environment.” The letter goes on to instruct the professor to “cease mischaracterizing opinion as objective fact.”

The decision by the UNLV administration is an unfortunate and significant erosion of the academic freedom guaranteed by the University’s own bylaws, which state, in pertinent part:

“Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and is applicable to both teaching and research. Freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student in learning. … A member of the faculty has freedom and an obligation, in the classroom or in research, to discuss and pursue the faculty member’s subject with candor and integrity, even when the subject requires consideration of topics which may be politically, socially or scientifically controversial.”

The letter sent by the Provost directly contradicts this iron-clad promise of protection for the freedom to teach. It also establishes a fact-opinion dichotomy that is untenable in a university setting. An attempt to enforce it universally would lead to a shutdown of classroom life as it has been known in the whole history of academia. Professors themselves would be reduced to mere transmitters of received and accepted facts, thereby robbing the students of a serious education and an opportunity to have ideas presented and judged on their own merits. No serious university can operate under such strictures. Clearly, as the University’s own bylaws acknowledge, academic freedom permits and even obliges faculty to discuss controversial matters at variance with “common wisdom.”

The implications of the University’s new policy are made clear by comments by the complaining student, an economics major who graduated from the University last. In published newspaper accounts, Knight claimed: “When the door closes and the lecture began, he needs to make sure he is remaining as politically correct as possible.”

At stake is more than the reputation of an individual scholar, or the standing of a university that has failed to live by its by-laws which promise to protect the freedom to teach “even when topics are politically, socially or scientifically controversial.” What is at stake is the integrity of the university learning environment itself. The incident politicizes the classroom environment to the point that neither students nor teachers can pursue science and truth without fear of political reprisal.

Especially now that this case has garnered international attention, it is crucial that it be resolved in favor of open debate and the free exchange of ideas. If justice is to prevail in this case, the University should end the harassment of Professor Hoppe, retract the “letter of instruction,” and restore anew its commitment to academic freedom.

——-

Stephan Kinsella is a practicing attorney and editor of HansHoppe.com and Jeffrey Tucker is editor of Mises.org. Both web institutions have played crucial roles in disseminating Hoppe’s ideas, works, and lectures. Stephan@KinsellaLaw.com  and tucker@mises.org. 1,500+ have signed the Hoppe Victory Blog.

***

Defend Hoppe

FEBRUARY 6, 2005 by 

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Professor at UNLV, is under attack by the thought police. All scholars and academics in favor of academic freedom, and all lovers of liberty and Hoppe supporters (or do I repeat myself) are strongly urged to make big noise in support of Hoppe. Contact info on who to write or email at UNLV are below. Let the Army of Liberty mount a resounding defense of our besieged champion of liberty!

Contact info: President Carol C. Harter, Phone: 702-895-3201, Fax: 702-895-1088, harter@ccmail.nevada.edu. We have had reports that Harter’s email has been taken down (not verified), so to be sure you could fax it or cc her staff listed here:
Kathleen Robins, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to the President; Schyler Richards
Deputy to the President; Betty Hanseen, Assistant to the President. Als: Dr. Raymond W. Alden III, Executive Vice President & Provost.

Other possible contact info: http://system.nevada.edu/Contact-Us/index.htm;
http://www.unlv.edu/main/boardRegents;
http://www.unlv.edu/president/cabinet.html#charter.

Coda: Harter and UNLV are already listed at FIRE as a “Yellow Light” college: “Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application.”

Coda 2: Despite despicable comments made by one regent, that “Professors have to be careful what they say,” the UNLV Regents Chairman said stated that Hoppe’s views are correct and he should not be disclined. If this is true, it looks very likely Hoppe will win.

Archived comments (1, 2, 3)

{ 130 comments… read them below or add one }

Arman Demirjian February 6, 2005 at 2:11 pm

It appears that it is always the same with the vociferous groups who have been used to eating from the State’s trough. Their behavior is as predictable as the sun rising in the east. Is modern society doomed if they place more importance on “sensitivity” and “political correctness” higher on the altar than truth? It sickens me that there are actual students such as this who must ruin the intellectual atmosphere for some silly comments.

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jeffrey February 6, 2005 at 3:13 pm

Even the crazy Freepers, who otherwise have cheered violations of civil liberties in the last four years, and every step up in the thought police run by the feds, a clan that once jeered Clinton but has become the very embodiment of red-state fascism, seem to favor Hoppe in this one. Some decency remains even here.

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Stefan Karlsson February 6, 2005 at 3:20 pm

Had Professor Hoppe lived in Sweden where all negative comments about homosexuals (and ethnic minorities) is illegal, he probably would have been imprisoned

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Jeffrey February 6, 2005 at 3:28 pm

More here 1, and here 2, and here 3.

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John T. Kennedy February 6, 2005 at 3:51 pm

I don’t know about “champion of liberty”.

Stephan, what do you think of Hoppe’s assertion that gays (among others) would have to be forcibly removed from libertarian society:

“They – the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism – will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.”

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Stephan Kinsella February 6, 2005 at 3:54 pm

Kennedy–give it a rest. This is about Hoppe and this particular incident.

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John T. Bardacino February 6, 2005 at 4:25 pm

Dr. Hoppe is one of the most well liked professors at UNLV…among the students (in general). I know this was the case when I was there in the late 90′s… His class on comparative economic systems probably had a bigger impact on me than any other class I took, ever…
There are always a few who disagree with his views, but do the students that disagree with the socialistic teachings of other professors feel offended, no, they just respect their right to teach what they believe to be true and move on.

His lectures were always very interesting and logical, and done in a professional manner.
Even though some students at UNLV dont appreciate what they have in the economics department there,–I certainly did. I got a wide range of viewpoints on economic ideas that I didnt get at the “competitive” private school that I transfered from. There are (and have been) some very good professors at UNLV, in my opinion. I certainly hope that free speech and academic freedom are supported as strongly as they should be in this case, for the sake of all the professors there, and elsewhere….

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Boris Lvin February 6, 2005 at 4:58 pm

Well, being very sympathetic to Hoppe, I cannot help noticing that the from the libertarian point of view it is fully legitimate that the employer (in this case the university) applies to the behavior ot its employees whatever standards it sees appropriate and the state and its courts have nothing to do about it (unless the university’s actions violate some contractual obligations implied in Hoppe’s employment arrangement, but I suspect there are plenty of internal rules and regulations the university can refer to). The concept of “academic freedom” may have some sense when it is meant to limit state intervention but is totally spurious when meant to interfere in the private business of others.

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rlong February 6, 2005 at 5:06 pm

Re the Hoppe passage quoted by John Kennedy — while I strongly disagree with it, please note that it does NOT say “forcibly removed.” There is no suggestion that the removal is to be done in a rights-violating manner, and given Hans Hoppe’s well-known rights-absolutism, it hardly seems a likely interpretation.

In any case, as Stephan Kinsella notes, whatever agreements or disagreements one may have with Prof. Hoppe on any topic, the issue here is the unjustified assault on his academic freedom. The whole point of academic freedom is to protect viewpoints that people may find controversial or offensive; uncontroversial viewpoints don’t need any protecting.

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John T. Kennedy February 6, 2005 at 5:07 pm

Stephan,

Some of Hoppe’s detractors want him dismissed from a university post for what he said. In the passage I quoted above Hoppe expresses a desire to have many individuals physically removed from society for what they advocate.

I think that’s quite relevant to your call to arms in defense of a supposed champion of liberty.

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rlong February 6, 2005 at 5:15 pm

On Boris Lvin’s post, several comments:

A private university certainly has the right to restrict academic freedom; still, I think they shouldn’t, and professors certainly have a right to put peaceful pressure on them to make sure they don’t, so the concept of academic freedom still applies.

In a tax-funded university, the rights issues are more complicated, and I won’t try to plumb them here. But in any case UNLV is contractually committed to respecting Dr. Hoppe’s academic freedom, as per their own by-laws:


On Academic Freedom (from the university bylaws). Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and is applicable to both teaching and research. Freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student in learning. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth and knowledge. A member of the faculty has freedom and an obligation, in the classroom or in research, to discuss and pursue the faculty member’s subject with candor and integrity, even when the subject requires consideration of topics which may be politically, socially or scientifically controversial. In order to insure the freedom to seek and profess truth and knowledge, as stated in Section 2.3 of the University and Community College System of Nevada Code, the faculty member, as defined in Section 2.2 of this chapter, shall not be subjected to censorship or discipline by the University and Community College System of Nevada on grounds that the faculty member has expressed opinions or views which are controversial, unpopular or contrary to the attitudes of the University and Community College System of Nevada or the community. (B/R 4/02)

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John T. Kennedy February 6, 2005 at 5:27 pm

Roderick Long,

I note that Hoppe’s supposed rights-absolutism doesn’t preclude his advocacy of the violation of the rights of immigrants via state force, so why should I doubt he’s willing to violate rights in removing those he deems unsuitable for his libertarian order?

If I were associated with UNLV I’d prefer that Hoppe keep his job, but the prospect that a university might apply a standard I disfavor doesn’t particularly alarm me. Are any rights of Hoppe in jeopardy here?

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Roderick T. Long February 6, 2005 at 5:35 pm

Hoppe’s views on immigration are based on an interpretation/application of libertarian rights theory that I strongly disagree with, but I don’t think it’s self-evidently un-libertarian. Given the current system of all-pervasive state property, both an open-borders policy and a closed-borders policy are going to violate some libertarian rights. So it comes down to a question of which policy is worse.

I think closed borders are worse, Hoppe thinks open borders are worse; we both agree that ultimately there should be no state borders at all and that individual property owners should have soveriegnty over their own property, so it’s just a disagreement about the second-best solution.

Anyway, given that Mises advocated conscription, 100% libertarian purity can hardly be the standard to determine who counts as a champion of liberty.

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Karen De Coster February 6, 2005 at 6:52 pm

Of course, as Long points out, “physically removed” is not “forcibly removed”; the individual above takes the usual liberties in distorting words and meanings in order to attack and offend. By “physically removed,” Hoppe is talking about voluntary association and/or voluntary disassociation, a precept that certain adherents of the State moral code cannot comprehend.

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Roderick T. Long February 6, 2005 at 7:17 pm

I don’t think one has to be intending deliberate distortion in order to misread “physically remove” as “forcibly remove.” It’s not an unnatural interpretation on first reading. But in light of the entire context it’s not a defensible interpretation.

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Jeffrey February 6, 2005 at 7:31 pm
Stephan Kinsella February 6, 2005 at 7:34 pm

Lvin: “Well, being very sympathetic to Hoppe, I cannot help noticing that the from the libertarian point of view it is fully legitimate that the employer (in this case the university) applies to the behavior ot its employees whatever standards it sees appropriate and the state and its courts have nothing to do about it (unless the university’s actions violate some contractual obligations implied in Hoppe’s employment arrangement, but I suspect there are plenty of internal rules and regulations the university can refer to).”

Boris, as Long notes–if the university can apply which standards it wishes, others can critique it as they wish as well, on whatever grounds they want, including hypocrisy, unfairness, and other standards.

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Charles Warren February 6, 2005 at 8:12 pm

John T. Kennedy, nice of you to take Hoppe completely out of context by excluding the preceding sentences (or did you even read the book?):

“In a covenant concluded among proprietor and community tenants for the purpose of protecting their private property, no such thing as a right to free (unlimited) speech exists, not even to unlimited speech on one’s own tenant-property. One may say innumerable things and promote almost any idea under the sun, but naturally no one is permitted to advocate ideas contrary to the very purpose of the covenant of preserving private property, such as democracy and communism. There can be no tolerance towards democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and expelled from society. Likewise in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin, there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal.”

Clearly he is talking about the right of owners of private property to exclude others. This is clearly advocating liberty and the preservation of property rights.

Go peddle your distortions to the high schoolers at the anti-state.com.

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Boris Lvin February 6, 2005 at 9:09 pm

To Kinsells:

Stephan, I totally agree with you that the UNLV is wrong and we as individuals can and must criticize its actions. However, I believe that references to the “academic freedom” are not in line with strictly libertarian principles. Just like in the libertarian paradigm there is no such thing as “public property”, there is no other freedom beyond property rights, including the so called “academic freedom”.

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Stephan Kinsella February 6, 2005 at 9:15 pm

Dear Boris,

“I believe that references to the “academic freedom” are not in line with strictly libertarian principles. Just like in the libertarian paradigm there is no such thing as “public property”, there is no other freedom beyond property rights, including the so called “academic freedom”.”

I don’t believe advocating “academic freedom” is necessarily implying it is some natural right; it may just happen to be a feature of universities that one favors. If a respected private journal rejected an article because the author is Jewish, for example, one may (and should) be outraged, without implying that this is a violation of any right.

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RT Long February 6, 2005 at 10:29 pm

I’m hearing that President Harter is dropping her email address, so people wishing to protest might want to try phone, fax, or snailmail. Here’s the
info:

President Carol C. Harter
Phone: 702-895-3201
Fax: 702-895-1088
Snailmail:
Office of the President
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
4505 Maryland Parkway
Box 451001
Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-1001

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charley hardman February 6, 2005 at 10:47 pm

charles warren, thanks for quoting hoppe. now is there anybody who, were that quote to have come from some nobody, seriously wants to defend that absurdity as it stands?

 

“…naturally no one is permitted to advocate ideas contrary to the very purpose of the covenant of preserving private property, such as democracy and communism.”

says who? how did a general, example contract magically include this arbitrary restriction from nowhere, as if it’s a baseline for all who would respect private property? it sounds like something a supreme court justice would say. in the middle of making sense, he jumped off the diving board. is the statement to be defended because hoppe’s a cool, funny guy who’s helped awaken liberty in this country? i hope not.

 

“There can be no tolerance towards democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and expelled from society. Likewise in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin, there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal.”

“no tolerance” is a phrase best left in a particular contract which may then fail or succeed. hoppe presumes to write these contracts for all — in advance? isn’t that a little fatally conceited? the passage should have been written as some things a libertarian community might try. nobody knows how it would turn out. methinks hoppe has taken the monarchy advocacy a bit too far. is he running for the “office”?

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David J. Heinrich February 7, 2005 at 12:03 am

Where’s the outrage? Some people’s ignorant comments here are among the most infuriating things I’ve read.

1. Mr. Hardman, perhaps you should actually bother to read Prof. Hoppe’s book before taking quotes or passages out of context. Had you actually read Hoppe’s book, you would know that Hoppe was talking about communities he thought would develop, as voluntary property associations. By Hoppe’s principles, libertarian communities (property covenants) could naturally allow whatever they wanted to. However, Hoppe argues that there would have to be some limits on what a community (voluntary property association) could allow, were it to prosper. Of course, there could be niche communities for all kinds of peculiarities (e.g., nudists).

2. By libertarian principles, I would agree that employers can (as Walter Block argues) fire you for any reason they please, unless such violates some contractual agreement, in which case it would be a property rights violation. As Prof. Long pointed out, the University is violating its contractual obligations by trying to discipline Hoppe for exercising academic freedom. Those responsible are thus criminals, worthy of absolutely no respect at all.

3. On top of that, irrelevant of a private property owner’s right to utilize his property as he sees fit (and we could argue the status of the university as “private”), everyone else has the right to criticize them as foolish, worthless, immoral hypocrites.

4. I think that there’s nothing wrong with using force to remove anyone violating the terms of being on your property. It is one’s right.

5. Since when is saying something that may “offend” some student — if part of a Professor’s intellectual ideas — something that demands reprimand? You know, there are a whole lot of people out there — particularly Christians — who think that homosexuality is morally wrong. Personally, though I think male homosexuality is disgusting, I am not of this persuasion. However, imagine this commie-whiners reaction if Hoppe had actually suggested that homosexuality is wrong! I suppose there aren’t any Christian professors of religion who make that argument, right? Maybe they’re all going to be thrown in the bog, too, by whiney commie PC types?

6. Ya know something, I get offended too. I get offended all of the time. Every time some whiney communist loser talks about “evil” or “greedy” capitalists, or talks about how we need State-intervention to temper the free market, I get offended. A much better candidate for punishment and disciplinary action would be all of those worthless socialist “academics” who can be considered nothing more than criminals, advocating the violation of private property rights.

7. Why is it perfectly fine — even “respectable” — for whiney communist professors to slander, smear, and lie about capitalists, entrepreneurs, and the free market left and right, but not ok for Hoppe to state some ceteris paribus consequences of choosing (or living) a homosexual lifestyle? I’ll propose something. The PC-nazi’s have no problem with smearing and lying about the free market. But any statement questioning the holy sanctity of the protected groups — including homosexuals — is, apparently, the work of the devil.

8. That communist wimp who’s whining about Hoppe’s lecture is the loser here. He’s losing out on a great Professor.

9. I am disinclined to treat the members of the university responsible for Hoppe’s situation as worthwhile of respect. However, because Hoppe is such a great professor, I will try to find something practical to write.

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Benjamin Mark February 7, 2005 at 12:18 am

Hoppe throughout his career has done a great job refining and spreading the results of praxeological inquiry. He will not doubt be a bit more popular with the hype over his latest slander. For what its worth, Fox has it: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,146552,00.html.

I feel that this latest Hoppe hoopla and Hoppephobia (Rothbard’s phrase) is a worthy precedent to lodge my own complaint on the disciplinary proceedings that UNLV have embarked upon in response to one emotional student. I also wish to lodge a formal complaint for the emotional distress that UNLV’s actions have caused me. Although I have quibbles with the logic of what UNLV are doing, my overriding concern is that it makes me feel bad (sound familiar?). As someone sympathetic with Hoppe’s views, I feel that if I express them as eloquently as he does, then I may be similarly punished. (It is true that I am not employed by UNLV, but so what? Since when does logic have anything to do with UNLV’s disciplinary proceedings?) I wish to be reimbursed for the traumatic stress and lost income that this offense has caused me, or else!

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Lynette Warren February 7, 2005 at 12:34 am

Roderick Long writes:
I don’t think one has to be intending deliberate distortion in order to misread “physically remove” as “forcibly remove.” It’s not an unnatural interpretation on first reading. But in light of the entire context it’s not a defensible interpretation.

Hoppe is, himself, inconsistent throughout the text. If Hoppe is talking about a true covenant, he would be referring to a mutually agreed upon private pact among occupants of a libertarian community. Within such an agreement one could justifiably exclude all manner individuals, including not only homosexuals, but also Jews, Methodists, vegetarians, pit bull owners, anything really, but such a pact would need to be derived by mutual and explicit consent of the members of the community or it’s not a covenant.

In the following, Hoppe strongly indicates something beyond a mutually agreed upon covenant”
“They – the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism – will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.”

Saying advocates of alternative lifestyles, will have to be physically removed necessarily means that they hadn’t, in the first place, signed onto a pact excluding themselves. Why would they enter into such a covenant? And how would Hoppe go about removing a homosexual from a libertarian community in which he lived, if not by force?

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Lynette Warren February 7, 2005 at 1:08 am

Roderick Long wrote:
Given the current system of all-pervasive state property, both an open-borders policy and a closed-borders policy are going to violate some libertarian rights.

How do open borders violate rights?

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charley hardman February 7, 2005 at 1:11 am

david heinrich, that’s rich! here i quote an enhanced quote that was supposed to have restored context, and it turned out i was “taking quotes or passages out of context.” worse, i now haven’t read “hoppe’s book”, according to you. but why stop at a one-book requirement for context? let’s say that i must read his entire output for the last 20 years before i may comment on a quote which somebody else quoted as if that amount of context made things right.

i’ve read hoppe, and i liked him enough to contribute financially to his next book’s publication, when i wasn’t plugging him in articles. liked him even better in person. if his comments can’t stand as quoted, then provide the necessary context rather than making assumptions about what i’ve read, or speaking for hoppe in contradiction of what he actually wrote. however, you won’t find anything to strip that quote of its problems. i’ve seen the context, and you’re wrong. hoppe should not have written that as it stands. big fan? great. me too.

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Dewaine February 7, 2005 at 1:32 am

For those of you attacking Hoppe’s book, Democracy: The God That Failed: there can be no attacking the libertarian principle of the right an control of property he espouses therein, and in no sense does Hoppe ever assert non-contractual or forcibly-imposed agreements among property owners.

You can hate his ideas about various lifestyles, but you cannot say his principles are not libertarian.

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Paul D February 7, 2005 at 2:52 am

Having just read Hoppe’s book, I concur that his remarks are being portrayed out of context by Kennedy and others here.

Hoppe was specifically addressing so-called “conservatives”, to whom an entire chapter of his book was devoted. He was trying to show that democracy naturally breaks down kinship societies, and that by trying to use legislation to promote the family and marginalize homosexuals, conservatives are actually doing their own cause more harm than good.

He was trying to show that in a libertarian society, people who don’t approve of some group (like homosexuals) can form their own communities with covenants that ban such people. Moreover, Hoppe posited that such communities would be certain to emerge, while other communities accepting gays would also exist. Everybody wins.

Thus, the problem of not wanting to be around certain types of people would solve itself in a free society – without any state coercion required. His remarks, taken in context, are not a condemnation against homosexuals; but rather intended to show that all the current political wrangling over this contentious issue is destructive and would be moot in a free society.

Perhaps one might infer from Hoppe’s references to homosexuality that he doesn’t approve of it. So what? His comments are still correct, deeply insightful, and coercive measures against gays are the last thing he would approve of.

For my part, I’ll send an email in his support right now.

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Karen De Coster February 7, 2005 at 3:40 am

Roderick,

With THAT person, it is a deliberate distortion.

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jeffrey February 7, 2005 at 7:34 am

Professor Long and others have pointed out that the remarks quoted by Kennedy appear within a much larger framework of explaining the relationship between private-property anarchism and the current understandings of libertarian and conservative politics. Consider the entire narrative, Hoppe’s point is impossible to miss: with regard to group cultural preferences, you get what you contract for. He explains this via a close analysis of the property-covenant, an institution that is otherwise neglected within the libertarian framework. His work in this area is a genuine contribution to the literature (since covenantal property arrangements are essential to the continued growth of private communities). It is a gross distortion to quote one passage intended to illustrate the workings of one type of private community and highlight it as if it were a general apodictally true principle. Ironically, the passage appears within a chapter that includes a blistering assault on neo- and paleo-conservatism for their tendency to cultural, social, and national goals ahead of essential rights to liberty, property, and exchange.

As for Kennedy, he is the first person in the history of this blog, apart from spammers, to have his comment posting privileges removed. It’s one thing to disagree, and every user of this blog knows of its liberality in that regard, but to distort and inflame with bad faith and the intention to harm goes too far.

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Monica Granger February 7, 2005 at 7:36 am

Dear President Harter,

I am a senior undergraduate student majoring in Political Science, Economics, and Biochemistry in the Honors College at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. I have had the good fortune not only to listen to Professor Hoppe lecture on multiple occasions, but also to hold informal discussions with him. Given what I know of Mr. Hoppe, and what I also know of the way statistical aggregates are utilized in the social sciences, these recent actions of UNLV are unwarranted and unsubstantiated.

The University of Houston is one of the most diverse campuses in the state of Texas. In my political science courses, statistical aggregates are routinely used to characterize the behavior of various demographic groups–for example, Hispanics, African Americans, and “youngsters.” Never has a complaint like this been lodged against a professor who dared to cite empirical proof of, for example, low health insurance coverage among these demographics.

That a sniveling student at your school who seems unable to understand the use of statistics in the social sciences could cause so much trouble for a world-renowned economist is unbelievable! This student seems to be worried only of his pride, which apparently is easily bruised. That the student himself is taken seriously–and to this extent!–is laughable.

Please rectify this situation by vindicating Professor Hoppe from this harassment. The world needs more people like Professor Hoppe, who have the integrity to put forth their principles loud and clear. Furthermore, those who cannot deal with a logical argument on such neutral ground as a University classroom have issues with their own person, and not with the alleged source of their disagreement.

For Liberty,

Monica Granger
mgranger@sbcglobal.net
Senior, University of Houston
Political Science, Economics, Biochemistry

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Billy Beck February 7, 2005 at 7:44 am

Jeffrey: you’re dead wrong about Kennedy.

That is not and never has been his intention. I have days when I ready to tear his head off. But I’ve known the man a long time, and he is never, ever dishonest or malign.

You’re just wrong.

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Dennis Sperduto February 7, 2005 at 8:46 am

I have three young sons, and this incident at UNLV regarding Professor Hoppe again makes me wonder what the value of an “education” will be for them. As readers of the Mises Blog I’m sure know, education has become predominantly indoctrination by a collection of irrational hypocrites. Thank goodness for organizations like the Mises Institute.

I wonder what the reaction would have been if Professor Hoppe had said that the large majority of middle-aged white American males, since they eat way too many fatty foods and are generally notably overweight, are not planning for their future as well as some other groups. I can easily answer my own question: this would had been hailed as an objective and path-breaking piece of analysis.

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Jonathan C. Eschler, Jr. February 7, 2005 at 9:53 am

A couple of thoughts:

1. Was the complaintant required to attend Prof. Hoppe’s lecture, or was he in attendance voluntarily?

2. Was the complaintant offended more by Prof. Hoppe’s comments concerning the time preferences of homosexulas in general, or more by the assertion of some scholars who believe that Keynes was infulenced by his homosexuality?

OR was the complaintant offended by Prof. Hoppe’s assertion that Bush’s “Spend it now” philosophy after 9/11 was influenced by (the homosexual) Keynes?

Much like the Tootsie-Pop Quandary, the world may never know . . .

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Jeffrey February 7, 2005 at 10:21 am

It seems that the UNLV Board of Regents of UNLV will be gathering today for a previously unscheduled meeting.

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Lisa Casanova February 7, 2005 at 10:54 am

Dr. Hoppe may be right, he may be wrong, he may not want me in his ideal anarchist community, but I fail to see why any of that is relevant. I may not agree with all of his views, but I recognize a person I can learn a lot from when I see one. While his fellow professors are right to line up on his side, I think it’s vital that the students do so as well. Otherwise, we are aquiescing to the transformation of the classroom from a place of open discussion and inquiry to a place where anything that offends anyone else is off limits in the exchange of ideas. As a student myself, I find that a frightening, depressing development. I want my university to be in the business of education, not creating a warm fuzzy place where no one has to hear anything that offends them. I know professors are probably looking at Dr. Hoppe and thinking that they could be in that position someday, but it’s something the students should think about as well. What do you think will happen to you next time you say something in a class discussion that offends your classmates? (Don’t dismiss it-this happened to someone at my U). I intend to write to UNLV on Dr. Hoppe’s behalf, and I encourage other students who have had the opportunity to learn from him to do so as well.

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John Egger February 7, 2005 at 11:03 am

Dear President Harter:

The University should reconsider its response to the incident of the student complaint against Hans Hoppe.

For some years now (I have been teaching since the early 1970s) I have perceived a trend in which professional educators, including professors and
administrators, are increasingly deferring to student opinion in matters about which the educators are supposed to be, and in fact are, expert.

Perhaps it’s part of the “consumer” perspective: “we’re just selling a service, like any business, and the consumer is always right.” But our students are teenagers, or barely not, and can hardly be expected to know what educational program is best for them, so our acquiescing to their every whim constitutes a huge abnegation of our responsibility.

Stanley Fish has a nice piece in the latest Chronicle of Higher Education, on student evaluations, entitled “Who’s In Charge Here?” For some time I’d been planning a similar but more comprehensive opinion piece, with a tentative title “Where Are the Grown-Ups?” Among the points I wished to add to Fish’s was exactly the matter confronting you and Hans: the increasing tendency of adult, professional, educators to accept a teenager’s assertion about his or her feelings as not merely accusation, but as trial and conviction. The notion that Hans (who I’ve known for many years) deserves any kind of chastisement at all, even a verbal reprimand, for the comments
that hurt this student’s feelings should have been dismissed instantly.

Please consider the dreadful impact the serious treatment of such children’s emotions has on education. Some time ago I was asked to teach the economics of poverty and discrimination; after quickly thinking over potential topics, I declined, realizing that if I criticized existing institutions I’d be opening myself charges like those now facing Hans: racism, sexism, etc.
Despite lacking any foundation, these charges could be career-ending. (The course went untaught until a less critical faculty member volunteered, and our students missed some challenging perspectives.)

There may still be time for you to back out of this (sorry, I have to use the word) absurd treatment of a dedicated and renowned educator. It will take the courage of the “grown-ups” referred to above, the willingness of a professional educator to stand up to the whims of a child, but I doubt if one becomes a university president without courage.

Sincerely,

John B. Egger, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics

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Charles Warren February 7, 2005 at 11:06 am

“the passage should have been written as some things a libertarian community might try. nobody knows how it would turn out. ” – Charley Hardman

The passage is the example of the libertarian community that Hoppe believes is most likely to preserve its freedom and private property from statists. The name of the chapter is called “On Conservatism and Libertarianism” because he believes that libertarians must be conservatives in order for liberty to survive and that conservatives must embrace libertarianism if they wish for the family unit, traditional morals, etc to survive. After the quote causing all of the controversy, Hoppe states his reasons for writing it:

“It should be obvious then that and why libertarians must be moral and cultural conservatives of the most uncompromising kind. The current state of moral degeneration, social disintegration and cultural rot is precisely the result of too much–and above all erroneous and misconcieved–tolerance. Rather than having all habitual democrats, communists, and alternative lifestylists quickly isolated, excluded and expelled from civilization in accordance with the principles of the covenant, they were tolerated by society. Yet this toleration only encouraged and promoted even more egalitarian and relativistic sentiments and attitudes, until at last the point was reached where the authority of excluding anyone for anything had effectively evaporated (while the power of the state, as manifested in state-sponsored forced integration policies, had correspondingly grown).”

However, on page 212 in the footnotes, Hoppe makes sure

“to avoid any misunderstanding, it might be useful to point out that the predicted rise in a purely libertarian world does not imply that the form and extent of discrimination will be the same or similar everywhere. To the contrary, a libertarian world could and likely would be one with a great variety of locally separated communities engaging in distinctly different and far-reaching discrimination.”

He includes a quote from Murray Rothbard explaning the different types of communities that would spring up and how the covenants would deal with those who broke the agreement or were just plain obnoxious.

“How do open borders violate rights?”

They are forced integration.

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Dennis Sperduto February 7, 2005 at 11:13 am

Jeffrey, along the lines of your Hoppe posting, “Ironically, the passage appears within a chapter that includes a blistering assault on neo- and paleo-conservatism for their tendency to cultural, social, and national goals ahead of essential rights to liberty, property, and exchange.” I believe Rothbard somewhere notes that Marcuse basically labeled Mises a fascist for a comment Mises made in “Liberalism” that at least fascism saved Italy from communism. The reference that Marcuse made to Mises’s comment regarding Italy and fascism was accurate enough, except that he did not note that it was at the end of a several page severe criticism that Mises had leveled against fascism. Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with Mises’s writings knows that he was trenchantly anti-fascist. Of course, Marcuse did not footnote the page in “Liberalism” where Mises made his comment about Italy and fascism. And the point Mises was attempting to make was that as terrible as fascism is, true communism would be, from an economic perspective, even worse since monetary calculation would not be possible. Just another example of how so-called scholars have slandered those with whom they do not agree.

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Stephan Kinsella February 7, 2005 at 11:16 am
Zach February 7, 2005 at 12:40 pm

Doesn’t the state have the right (according to Hoppe) to prohibit immigrants (like Hoppe) to use ‘public property’ (such as a university)? The irony is killing me.

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David Gordon February 7, 2005 at 1:20 pm

Dear President Harter:

The attempt to subject Hans Hoppe to sanctions is a gross violation of academic freedom. He stands accused of “creating a hostile atmosphere”, owing to the complaint of one student about a perfectly innocuous remark. By this standard, who could escape censure? A student could always claim that his feelings had been hurt by a remark made in class. Students who receive low grades often are depressed: are professors who do not give everyone high grades to be brought up on charges on this account?

The actions against Professor Hoppe are especially unfortunate because he is a scholar of international reputation and a great asset to your university. His contributions to economics and political theory, in my judgment, are of the highest importance. He should rather be rewarded for his outstanding achievements than subjected to arbitrary and unreasonable hearings and sanctions.

Yours truly,

David Gordon
Editor, The Mises Review

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David Heinrich February 7, 2005 at 2:23 pm

Mr. Hardman,

You are wrong. I am not speaking in contradiction of what Hoppe said in his book. Charles Warren pointed out

However, on page 212 in the footnotes, Hoppe makes sure

“to avoid any misunderstanding, it might be useful to point out that the predicted rise in a purely libertarian world does not imply that the form and extent of discrimination will be the same or similar everywhere. To the contrary, a libertarian world could and likely would be one with a great variety of locally separated communities engaging in distinctly different and far-reaching discrimination.”I have no way of knowing precisely what you’ve read, and you are correct that I was wrong to jump to the conclusion that you hadn’t read Hoppe’s book. However, as someone who’s read his book in its entirity — including all footnotes — I can say, and the above quote supports me, that you are simply wrong. Hoppe is not presuming to write contracts for all.

You then posted an insulting entry on your own blog against Jeffrey Tucker, accusing him (or rather, the “they” who run the Mises Blog) of being as “spineless” as those at UNLV. You also slandered Prof. Long, for some unknown reason to me, since he does not manage the Mises Blog. Aside from the flagrant use of profanity and name-calling, it was particularly disrespectful to refer to Prof. Long as “‘professor’ long”, the quotes implying that he somehow doesn’t deserve the title.

The Mises Blog has no obligation to cater to anyone. It is private property, paid for by the money of those who donate to it. There is no covenant or contractual obligation with Kennedy that obligates the Mises Blog to allow him to continue posting.

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Wild Pegasus February 7, 2005 at 2:34 pm

“It should be obvious then that and why libertarians must be moral and cultural conservatives of the most uncompromising kind. The current state of moral degeneration, social disintegration and cultural rot is precisely the result of too much–and above all erroneous and misconcieved–tolerance. Rather than having all habitual democrats, communists, and alternative lifestylists quickly isolated, excluded and expelled from civilization in accordance with the principles of the covenant, they were tolerated by society.”

Which covenant is he talking about here? There is no historical covenant for legal systems in historically democratic countries. That’s why stupid myths like “We the People” get promulgated. Democrats, commies, and gays couldn’t have been excluded from some historical covenant because there’s never been a covenant.

On the more pertinent passage that JTK cites, “remove” carries with it a sinister context. Perhaps Hoppe means “exclude,” which would fall in line with the typical libertarian idea of voluntary exclusion: a private-property order committed to 19th-century Victorian Christian morals will exclude democrats and gays. “Remove” gives the idea of gangs of thugs checking to make sure everyone is suitably heterosexual and anti-democratic. I don’t know anyone who would consider that “liberty.”

– Josh

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Laurence Vance February 7, 2005 at 2:47 pm

Dr. Long remarks: “given that Mises advocated conscription.” This is the second time in recent weeks that I have seen a statement like this on the Mises website. No documentation has been given either time. I was under the impression that “Mises advocating conscription” was something only to be found in the inferior later editions of Human Action. I believe there is a discussion of this in the introduction to the scholars edition of Human Action.

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Stephan Kinsella February 7, 2005 at 2:47 pm

On the actual topic at hand, I just got a phone call from some guy in Spain, a condominium owner, who said he’s a big fan of Hoppe’s and that he just called Harter’s office and left a message with the receptionist that he is outraged.

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Roderick T. Long February 7, 2005 at 2:53 pm

Dear President Harter,

I am appalled to learn that one of your professors, internationally renowned economist Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe, is being threatened with disciplinary action for the exercise of his academic freedom – freedom which your own university by-laws oblige you to uphold. I recall your attention to the following provisions:

Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and is applicable to both teaching and research. Freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student in learning. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth and knowledge. A member of the faculty has freedom and an obligation, in the classroom or in research, to discuss and pursue the faculty member’s subject with candor and integrity, even when the subject requires consideration of topics which may be politically, socially or scientifically controversial. In order to insure the freedom to seek and profess truth and knowledge, as stated in Section 2.3 of the University and Community College System of Nevada Code, the faculty member, as defined in Section 2.2 of this chapter, shall not be subjected to censorship or discipline by the University and Community College System of Nevada on grounds that the faculty member has expressed opinions or views which are controversial, unpopular or contrary to the attitudes of the University and Community College System of Nevada or the community.

Please assure me and the global scholarly community that UNLV’s contractual obligations to Dr. Hoppe will be respected, and that he will be issued a formal apology for the shocking threats that have already been made to his academic freedom.

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Roderick T. Long February 7, 2005 at 2:58 pm

Re Mises on conscription — yes, it’s in the later editions of Human Action. Here’s the relevant section:

http://mises.org/humanaction/chap15sec6.asp

Mises initially opposed conscription and then changed his mind later in life; I don’t think that disqualifies him from being a champion of liberty, and a truly great one at that (even though I think conscription is a truly horrible violation of liberty).

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Tom Tom February 7, 2005 at 3:00 pm

Three cheers for anarchists getting paid from state-funded universities!

We libertarians need to come together to preserve Mr. Hoppe’s right to an state-collected income, stolen from the taxpayers!

Hoppe the super-anarchist needs his state-stolen bling-bling from actual workers so he can serve as past of the enlighted candre of the libertarian vanguard.

Archived comments (2):

{ 130 comments… read them below or add one }

Roderick T. Long February 7, 2005 at 3:22 pm

“past of the enlighted candre”? Truly this poster is speaking in tongues.

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Roderick T. Long February 7, 2005 at 3:25 pm

On the substantive question of libertarians working for state-funded institutions, Rothbard’s article here is helpful.

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Tom Tom February 7, 2005 at 3:28 pm

Yeah, I bet Rothbard had a lot to say about that…especially considering most of his income was ripped off at bayonet point from taxpayers. No conflict of interest there.

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Roderick T. Long February 7, 2005 at 3:40 pm

Well, either his arguments are sound or they aren’t. It’s got nothing to do with who’s making them.

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Tom Tom February 7, 2005 at 3:42 pm

His “argument” is that a state-funded parasite is not a parasite. Does this even require refutation? Especially when it was made by someone sucking on the state’s tites?

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Roderick T. Long February 7, 2005 at 3:47 pm

Suppose you were leading a rebellion against an oppressive regime, and you managed to “liberate” a cache of weapons that the govt. had been planning to use against you and your fellow rebels. Joyfully you grab them up and make plans to use them in your rebellion. Then someone protests, “wait, these weapons were produced through tax funds — we can’t use them.” Would that be a legitimate argument?

As for the “especially” — do you really think the logical soundness of an argument depends on who’s uttering it?

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David Heinrich February 7, 2005 at 3:50 pm

Tom,

It is not the fault of the libertarian that the State has wrapped its tentacles around almost every aspect of life. Prof. Long referred to an excellent article, which you should at least give serious attention. Instead, you have slandered Hoppe and Rothbard in “ghetto-speak”.

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David Dieteman February 7, 2005 at 3:52 pm

Dear President Harter,

I am writing in regard to the case of Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe as reported in the Las Vegas Review Journal.

I have attended a number of public lectures by Professor Hoppe, and have read many of his books and articles. Without any doubt, Professor Hoppe is one of the premier men in his field.

I hold a Master’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Illinois, and have completed my doctoral coursework in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America. I hold a Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University. I have myself taught as an adjunct in Philosophy at Gannon University and Mercyhurst College. Accordingly, I have been on both sides of the lectern.

I must state that I am gravely dismayed by U.N.L.V.’s actions towards Professor Hoppe concerning his lecture comments as to homosexuals.

It is simply inconceivable for a professor to be disciplined over such remarks as were reported by the Review Journal. For such remarks to even merit the consideration of discipline shows that U.N.L.V. has very little, if any, devotion to genuine academic freedom, and an inordinate, if not slavish, devotion to political correctness and the Thought Police.

Shame on your university.

Sincerely,

David Dieteman
630 Virginia Ave.
Erie PA 16505

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Tom Tom February 7, 2005 at 3:54 pm

Suppose a guy called himself “libertarian” but still hooked up with bandits to rob people blind. Who cares if he condemns banditry…HE IS STILL ASSOCIATING WITH BANDITS.

You can try to misdirect people all day, but you still can’t “magic” away the fact that Rothbard and Hoppe MADE A CHOICE to take money stolen by the State.

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Tom Tom February 7, 2005 at 3:59 pm

David: Oh really? Rothbard couldn’t have been a factory worker or janitor or worked for a private firm and still wrote his books?

Instead he chose six-figures of loot stolen from taxpayers each year. Or are you saying UNLV isn’t a state-created institution????

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David Heinrich February 7, 2005 at 4:14 pm

Tom,

Rothbard could have made a lot more money by using his substantial knowledge of economics in areas other than teaching economics at a university. People should not have to alter their careers simply because the State has monopolized certain industries and heavily intervened in almost all. No-one would be able to pursue any career they wanted, in that case.

The key question is, Would your chosen profession, qua that profession, be legal in a libertarian society? This allows us to determine legitimate jobs from illegitimate ones, and certain parts of otherwise legitimate jobs that are illegitimate. Being a police officer, for example, is a legitimate job. The libertarian should not condemn police officers. However, particular aspects of what police-officers do are not legitimate (e.g., arresting drug-users, prostitutes, and others engaging in victimless crimes). Being a tax-collector, however, clearly is not a legitimate job. Likewise, there is nothing inherently illegitimate about being a professor.

Yes, the UNLV is State-created, and many “private” universities receive State-funds. However, the question is whether being a professor, in and of itself, is an illegitimate job. Consider if a mafia organization takes over a neighborhood. They start systematically stealing from everyone. In the process of their criminal doings, they monopolize the business of road- and driveway-plowing. This doesn’t make people who choose those professions criminals. It isn’t their fault that the mafia monopolized those businesses, and these are still services that need to be provided, would be provided, and would be legitimate on the unhampered free market.

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Roderick T. Long February 7, 2005 at 4:22 pm

The question is, is it wrong to fight statism using the state’s own resources, so long as in using those resources you don’t contribute to the state’s aggression.

I think the answer is no. Tom Tom, maybe you have a brilliant argument for the conclusion that the answer should be yes. If so, let’s hear it. So far you’ve offered nothing but insults.

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Stephan Kinsella February 7, 2005 at 4:41 pm

Tom Tom:

I suggest you and everyone here (1) avoid ad hominem or personal attacks; (2) avoid ALL CAPS or multiple exclamation points!!!!; (3) stick to the current topic on this thread; (4) back up disputed substantive assertions with argument, reason, evidence.

You say,

Suppose a guy called himself “libertarian” but still hooked up with bandits to rob people blind. Who cares if he condemns banditry…HE IS STILL ASSOCIATING WITH BANDITS.

You can try to misdirect people all day, but you still can’t “magic” away the fact that Rothbard and Hoppe MADE A CHOICE to take money stolen by the State.

What exactly are you saying? Are you saying that we “should not” support Hoppe? For us it’s a simple matter of defending someone we regard as a clear ally, a friend, and an important intellectual and libertarian; against unfair, absurd, and harmful actions and charges from a decidedly less libertarian, PC-egalitarian crowd.

Are you saying that if you, “Tom Tom,” don’t agree with Hoppe’s views, then you think he should be fired? Are you saying everyone who works for a public university should be fired, or just libertarians? Why do you single out monetary compensation from the state as the one thing we are prohibited from receiving? What about other benefits such as driving on roads, eating federally-inspected meat, etc.? What theory are your motley comments based on?

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Tom Tom February 7, 2005 at 4:43 pm

So far a lot of over-inflated egos and navel-gazing by our sacred “accedemics” who make $100,000+ of stolen loot per year without having to bid their “services” out on the real marketplace.

No, you in “libertarian cadre” can’t sweep floors or work in the food service industires and sell our writings or ideas. We have to “grab the state’s weapons” and make your six-figure saleries like statist leeches. Wow, what sacrafice! Do you drive an Audi or Lexus to your cross every day? We fake “libertarians” who ply our services on the market should bow down and kiss your feet!

The ball is in your court on how showing how voluntarily taking stolen money collected by the state is not being associated with theft.

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Tom Tom February 7, 2005 at 4:45 pm

I would push Rothabard’s magic button and take away Hoppe’s state-backed income.

Would you?

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Tom Tom February 7, 2005 at 4:49 pm

I buy my meat from the grocer, not the state.

I drive my car on state-roads because they have a monopoly over right-of-ways.

Are you saying my grocery store is a state-backed instituion like UNLV? Or that the state has a monopoly over all jobs and being paid by UNLV is the only option available?

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David Heinrich February 7, 2005 at 4:57 pm

Tom Tom,

This will be my last response to you, as you have obviously refused to engage in rational debate in a respectful matter. Rather, you have stuck with simple-minded insults.

Mr. Kinsella makes an excellent point: Why do you limit it to only monetary compensation? What about roads? I suppose libertarians can’t consistently walk on roads, since they’re paid for by the State.

You, on the other hand, are engaging in sectarianism.

You complain because Professors make $100k a year? You should realize that most professors who understand Austrian economics could make much much more money elsewhere. However, they feel that their services are best used to teach, and to bring young, bright individuals into the libertarian movement.

Were it not for Prof. Rothbard and his “100,000 dollar income a year”, I would not be a libertarian today.

You then complain because, presumeably, many Austrian professors may have nice cars and nice houses. So what? Is there something about being a libertarian that requires one give up all worldly belongings to the greater cause? Were that the case, there would be very few libertarians.

I suppose, however, you would prefer that all libertarian professors live in teepees and use a horse-and-buggy?

I think that Rothbard’s criteria is a fine one:

(1) work and agitate as best we can, in behalf of liberty; (2) while working in the matrix of our given world, to refuse to add to its statism; and (3) to refuse absolutely to participate in State activities that are immoral and criminal per se.

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Stephan Kinsella February 7, 2005 at 5:10 pm

Tom Tom,

Sigh. I guess you are going to disregard at least 3 of my 4 civil and reasonable requests.

So far a lot of over-inflated egos and navel-gazing by our sacred “accedemics” who make $100,000+ of stolen loot per year without having to bid their “services” out on the real marketplace.

This drips with envy or frustration. I don’t see how that’s appropriate here. We should stick to calm, civil discussion of substance and merit.

No, you in “libertarian cadre” can’t sweep floors or work in the food service industires and sell our writings or ideas. We have to “grab the state’s weapons” and make your six-figure saleries like statist leeches. Wow, what sacrafice! Do you drive an Audi or Lexus to your cross every day? We fake “libertarians” who ply our services on the market should bow down and kiss your feet!

See above.

The ball is in your court on how showing how voluntarily taking stolen money collected by the state is not being associated with theft.

Ah. Here we have the germ of a substantive comment buried implicitly here. I take it your theory is that “taking stolen money” from the state is “associated with theft,” and I take it that you view being “associated” with theft as … bad? How do you define associated, and why do you say it’s bad? If the state has stolen money, can it, by your lights, never give it away or spend it, not even give it back to the original victims? If this is your view, it seems odd. If it’s not your view, it would seem you support the right of victims in some cases to take stolen money from the state. In this case, what principle do you adopt (and what is its justification) for distinguishing between these people and the other cases that you seem to condemn?

If you are not interested in civil, substantive discussion, and in consistency and coherency, that is your right, but probably this is not the forum for you.

I would push Rothabard’s magic button and take away Hoppe’s state-backed income.

Would you?

I will tell you I have no idea what this means. Magic makes no sense to me. I could only answer such a question if the means by which the end occurs is described. For example, if the magic button destroys all life on earth with a billion hydrogen bombs, that would be one way of achieving your proposed end result. I would not be in favor of that. Presumably you have some other meachanism in mind that achieves some defined result–could you explain the mechanism, and the result? That would allow other libertarians to evaluate whether they believe this action would be consistent with liberty or not.

I buy my meat from the grocer, not the state.

Well, these things are not 100%. The grocery store receives security protection from the state. It operates with a line of credit and employed loans from banks operating in the state-run fed system and artificially low interest rates. It sells food inspected by the FDA. It uses electricity perhaps generated by a state-authorized monopolistic electricity carrier. The food it sells was grown using water from a public utility. It was shipped there on state-owned roads. And so on and so forth.

Surely you would not suggest we have a libertarian obligation to stop eating? If not, what principle are you following, and how does it distinguish between behavior you condemn and behavior such as above that you would presumably not be willing to condemn?

I drive my car on state-roads because they have a monopoly over right-of-ways.

Does the monopoly have to literally be 100% to justify your using it? What if the state simply partly-monopolizes something like university education, so that if one wants to teach, and one eliminates all public universities, then one’s choices are radically restricted–meaning lower salary and options or possibly no job at all? Why does the professor have a duty to hurt himself financially and professionally if you have no obligation to hurt yourself by refusing to use roads? Why is it better that a non-libertarian be paid by a state university than a libertarian? If you are working in a private industry that is gradually or suddenly nationalized, partially or fully, by the state, do you now have an obligation to quit your job, even if you suffer severely for this? What about those in communist or very socialized economies, where most or all jobs are quasi or de facto state jobs–should only socialists be permitted to work, and all freedom lovers be forced to starve?

Why is a private university fundamentally different than a public one? After alll, in a public university, the students usually pay part (e.g, 1/3) of their tuition cost, while the rest is subsidized; but in a private university, for a variety of reasons, the students there are still partially subsidized by the state–some of them have student loans guaranteed by the state, or the school accepts various forms of state aid, etc. Is it just the degree that you think makes it clearly public versus clearly private? IF you are subsidized by 1/5 of the cost of your education at a private school this is okay, but if the state pays 2/3 of the cost then you have an obligation not to go there, or teach there?

Are you saying my grocery store is a state-backed instituion like UNLV?

Yes, it’s all a matter of degree.

Or that the state has a monopoly over all jobs and being paid by UNLV is the only option available?

You never have an “only option” scenario. If I want to be a policeman, my “only option” is to work for the state. If my goal is to be “in the security busienss” instead, I suppose I could work for a private rentacop outfit. If you goal is to live you must use roads; if liberty is more important to you (by your apparent view of “liberty”), then no, you should refrain from using roads. These are all matters of degree.

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Roderick T. Long February 7, 2005 at 5:22 pm

Hey, where do I go to get one of these $100,000/year state university professors’ jobs? Sign me up!

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Peter February 7, 2005 at 8:01 pm

The “magic button” thing is obviously a reference to Leonard Read’s “I’d Push the Button”, which Rothbard mentions fairly often.

Tom Tom: yes, I’d push the button, if it existed. As, I’m sure, would Hoppe himself. Contrary to your apparent belief, it wouldn’t put it out of a job, though.

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Wild Pegasus February 7, 2005 at 8:31 pm

ObTopic: I don’t think Hoppe ought to be fired for this comment. I do think that the comment is homophobic junk, and that he ought to be laughed at for making it. His comment is no different than “blacks are lazy” and “Germans are bloodthirsty.” Mocking this 8th-grade-level collectivism ought to be a spectator sport.

As others have pointed out, it’s not the time preference of gays per se but people without children. There are plenty of gay parents, and there are plenty more who would love to be parents if the state weren’t in the way of adoption. Conversely, there are plenty of heterosexual people who would rather have cancer of the pancreas than children.

– Josh

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David Heinrich February 7, 2005 at 9:03 pm

Wild Pegasus,

I’m sure that Prof. Hoppe realizes that it is people without children. There is nothing wrong or incorrect about making these kinds of generalizations. In fact, Hoppe explains his reasons precisely: “Reasons for the phenomenon include the fact that homosexuals tend not to have children, he said. They also tend to live riskier lifestyles than heterosexuals, Hoppe said.”

Certainly, to say such a statement doesn’t make Hoppe homophobic. I agree with him. Does that mean I’m a homophobe?

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Wild Pegasus February 7, 2005 at 9:33 pm

Factor in his forcible removal policy for gays in the libertarian social order, his nasty remarks about a fellow libertarian scholar’s sexual orientation, and now this remark, and you get a picture of a homophobe. In isolation, it would just be a nasty remark; in concert, it starts to look ugly.

It also doesn’t help libertarians look any better when we’re trying to point out that everyone’s an individual, and one of the prominent members of the movement is painting whole groups with a broad brush. We have to pull enough bullets from our feet as is.

– Josh

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Tom Tom February 7, 2005 at 9:49 pm

Looks like Kinsella got me. According to his “logic” there is no difference between my selling of labor on the open market and using it to buy meat (in a private transaction between myself and the grocer) and Mr. Hoppe getting directly subsidized by the State, which procures the property of others through theft. I also drive a car and pay taxes so others (such as Mr. Hoppe, who produces nothing on the market) can drive for free…which means I must be the thief. Check-mate!

You see, you can’t spread ideas without getting a state subsidized paycheck (shhh, don’t tell that to otherlibertarians that actually paid their own way without stolen loot). It’s impossible, because in the United States of Amercia (as of Feb. 7, 2005) there is no non-state alternatives to state-run universities, such as private schools, private lessons, blogs, newspapers, newsletters, private publishers, etc. Check-mated again. Damn your “logic” is sharp!

So enjoy your “free lunch” Mr. Hoppe, I am glad I bust my ass as a self-employed entrepruener so the state can take a pistol and stick it in my face to pay your salery. You are the true libertarian and so are your defenders. Defense contractors, welfare recipiants, state-university professors, it’s not theft at all…only a matter of degree.

Peter: Nope. If he would, he would. Instead he chooses to be paid with stolen loot from a state-institution.

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Louise February 7, 2005 at 9:56 pm

Is the university using this as a way to go after Hoppe? A way to discredit him because they don’t agree with his philosophy?

Or will members of the movement NOW proceed to do that all by themselves?

Discredit the messenger – paint him as a homophobe?

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Mark Odell February 7, 2005 at 10:11 pm

rlong wrote: please note that it does NOT say “forcibly removed.” There is no suggestion that the removal is to be done in a rights-violating manner, and given Hans Hoppe’s well-known rights-absolutism, it hardly seems a likely interpretation.

I still haven’t seen anyone on this thread attempt to explain, other than by quasi-Clintonian hand-waving, the alleged distinction between “physically removed/separated” and “forcibly removed/separated”.

Wild Pegasus wrote: Perhaps Hoppe means “exclude,” which would fall in line with the typical libertarian idea of voluntary exclusion: a private-property order committed to 19th-century Victorian Christian morals will exclude democrats and gays.

Would it be impertinence to suggest that, since words mean things, if Professor Hoppe had meant “excluded” instead of “removed” or “separated”, then he should have chosen his words more carefully and written “excluded”? There does seem to be a lot of backtracking in his defense along the lines of, “Well, when he said X, that’s not what he meant; what he really meant was Y.”, and I submit that the argument is in trouble when you have to pump out clouds of verbal sepia to surround someone’s poor word choice (if that’s what it was).

I also think that “Tom Tom”, with nine posts to his [dis]credit, is a much bigger troll than Mr. Kennedy, with three posts on this thread. Thus, I fail to see the reason (other than sheer arbitrariness) why, if “distort and inflame with bad faith and the intention to harm” is the real issue, Mr. Kennedy has his comment-posting privileges removed after a mere three posts — accompanied by a rather self-important public announcement, no less, instead of just doing it — and “Tom Tom” doesn’t after nine posts. Could it be that Mr. Tucker et al. regard Mr. Kennedy as a much bigger threat to interest than “Tom Tom”? If so, then why might that be? (I don’t know the answers, I’m just asking questions.)

Karen De Coster wrote: With THAT person, it is a deliberate distortion.

Did you in fact have a cogent argument to make with this remark, or did you deliberately intend to weaken your argument with personalities?

Stephan Kinsella wrote: I suggest you and everyone here (1) avoid ad hominem or personal attacks;

Precisely my point.

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John Lopez February 7, 2005 at 10:17 pm

Roderick Long: “Hoppe’s views on immigration are based on an interpretation/application of libertarian rights theory that I strongly disagree with, but I don’t think it’s self-evidently un-libertarian.”

Mr. Long, you’ve written before: “The fundamental question, then, is: what is the fundamental unit of social decision-making? Is it the individual, or is it the collective? As far as I can see, restricting immigration can be justified only if you answer “the collective.””

If advocating immigration restriction is indeed collectivism, isn’t it then self-evidently un-libertarian?

Cite: http://tinyurl.com/6uzvo

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David Heinrich February 7, 2005 at 10:19 pm

Wild Pegasus,

1. So what, he mentioned that homosexuals could be removed from the libertarian social order? He was talking about a conservative association, in a chapter addressed to conservatives. Property owners should be allowed to remove those whom they don’t like for any reason.

2. Regarding Hoppe’s “nasty remarks about a fellow libertarian scholar’s sexual orientation”, do you have any references on that? And even if so, again, how does that mean he’s a homophobe? Hillary Clinton used the phrase “Jew-Bastard”. Does that mean she’s an anti-semite? Come on. Many many people who aren’t bigots have made “nasty quips”, either out of anger or as a joke.

3. What if Hoppe had really said something that would set off a gay student? Like that homosexuality is wrong? There’s millions of Christians who believe this. There’s also professors who believe it, and can make religious and moral arguments for it. Or what if Hoppe had gone further into detail about how the homosexual lifestyle is more dangerous than the heterosexual lifestyle, for various reasons? Like that anal sex is more likely to spread STDs? (Of course, there are other options for homosexuals, and heterosexuals can engage in anal sex). Or what if he’d talked about common attitudes towards homosexuals, like whether or not different people find it disgusting? If someone says they’re physically disgusted by homosexuality, why should that be any different than saying that they’re disgusted at the thought of eating escargot?

4. And what if Hoppe thinks that homosexuality is morally wrong, and anti-productive? Does that somehow immediately make him disrespectable? Many Christians believe the very same thing. Maybe we should throw them in the bog too. I have no idea what Hoppe’s thoughts on the matter are, since his political writings do not delve into private morality, except when addressing conservatives (and then only to consider their moral views on the family, God, etc).

There is no reason why there can’t be libertarians who think that homosexuality is wrong*. What this means is they wouldn’t initiate aggression against homosexuals (qua libertarianism), but also might not want to associate with them in living quarters.

* Again, I’m not saying that this is Hoppe’s view. I don’t know. I’m simply defending the section of libertarians who happen to think that homosexuality is wrong, due to various personal reasons (such as religion).

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Devin W. February 7, 2005 at 10:38 pm

Faxed to Carol C. Harter:

Dear President Harter,

Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe is being persecuted for stating facts that are indisputable: 1. People without children save less money. 2. Homosexuals generally have fewer children. 3. Therefore homosexuals save less money.

However irritating the university establishment may find Professor Hoppe’s comments or his influential ideas in general, they must, as academics, understand the necessity of free thought and free speech in any institution that wishes to pursue truth. The attempted censorship of Dr. Hoppe is baseless, and only serves to undermine the existence of free speech at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

It seems to me that factual statements and arguments attempt to demonstrate some truth. They succeed, in which case they are true, or they fail, in which case they are false. Factual statements are not subject to an additional moral evaluation. That is, they cannot be said to be good or evil for the purpose of justifying the acceptance of truths that we find appealing and discarding those that clash with our cherished convictions. History has demonstrated the horrific political consequences of placing moral or legal restraints on scientific and philosophical inquiry.

Considering this, one would expect that an institution such as UNLV would attempt to inculcate in its students an ability to think critically about what they are taught. The actions of the student who denounced Dr. Hoppe betray a lack of critical thinking skills. Rather than objecting that Dr. Hoppe’s argument was false (which it manifestly is not) and attempting to demonstrate this to the class or to Dr. Hoppe personally, the student ignored the truth-value of the statement and resorted to disciplining the professor.

Professor Hoppe enjoys support among lovers of liberty around the world, and he even enjoys respect and tolerance from those who disagree with him. Any disciplinary action taken against the professor will not stand. Instead, our young comrade should be required to attend remedial classes not for further sensitivity training (he is sufficiently sensitive), but to acquire the critical thinking skills he has so embarrassingly failed to absorb from his education at UNLV thus far.

 

Sincerely,

Devin C. Whiting

Undergraduate Student

Georgia State University

dwhiting1@student.gsu.edu

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Jim Krow February 7, 2005 at 11:02 pm

Tom Tom is a troll. As is anyone who questions the Party Line here.

The question is “accademic freedom” not some silly crackpot idea such as living on your own merit and labor instead of collecting stolen goods paid by the State. Begone No-Treasonites, you neocon statist trolls.

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Devin W. February 7, 2005 at 11:25 pm

Jim Krow,

Your point is delivered so cleverly and sarcasticly as to be unintelligible.

 

“Academic freedom” is something I believe is useful in any university, private or state-owned. It helps students learn to think for themselves. By “academic freedom” I don’t mean the right to force yourself onto the payroll of an unwilling employer. I simply mean the policy of voluntarily allowing views one disagrees with to be advocated on one’s property. The owner of a university should not expect to attract serious students if discussion is stifled.

 

Furthermore, Hoppe, Rothbard, and Mises were not wrong in working for a state-run university. As the state grows, we will be forced more and more to interact with it in our jobs and private life. The victims of force cannot be blamed for compliance. To run from the state becomes impossible, and where running is possible it accomplishes nothing. Austrian professors with the audacity to advocate libertarian ideas in the very heart of the statist maw should be commended.

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Stephan Kinsella February 8, 2005 at 12:57 am

Odell:

I still haven’t seen anyone on this thread attempt to explain, other than by quasi-Clintonian hand-waving, the alleged distinction between “physically removed/separated” and “forcibly removed/separated”.

This thread is about defending a friend, ally, and prominent and significant libertarian theorist from attack, harm, and damage by PC, egalitarian, socialists. What has this to do with your little disagreement with one of his discussions of a practical application of libertarian theory to the issue of immigration?

What *exactly* is your point, Odell, or do you have one, other than, “I don’t like Hoppe”?

Tom Tom:

Looks like Kinsella got me. According to his “logic” there is no difference between my selling of labor on the open market and using it to buy meat (in a private transaction between myself and the grocer) and Mr. Hoppe getting directly subsidized by the State, which procures the property of others through theft.

Why, no, I admitted there is a spectrum, implied, as all of us know, that life in a statist society is complex, and asked you to make your distinction. Your scare quotes around the word “logic” don’t cut it, pal. You get a D minus.

I also drive a car and pay taxes so others (such as Mr. Hoppe, who produces nothing on the market) can drive for free…which means I must be the thief. Check-mate!

Well, by you kneejerk causation standards it could be argued that you are “associating with” the enemy, after all you are aiding and abetting them by giving them resources (your taxes) which they use to hire tax collectors and the justice system so as to extort tax money to pay public university employee salaries. I guess you should go shoot yourself!

You see, you can’t spread ideas without getting a state subsidized paycheck (shhh, don’t tell that to otherlibertarians that actually paid their own way without stolen loot). It’s impossible, because in the United States of Amercia (as of Feb. 7, 2005) there is no non-state alternatives to state-run universities, such as private schools, private lessons, blogs, newspapers, newsletters, private publishers, etc. Check-mated again. Damn your “logic” is sharp!

Thanks for revealing you have no clear, coherent, civil arguments or ideas.

–Stephan Stephan

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Tiny Tim February 8, 2005 at 7:57 am

“The victims of force cannot be blamed for compliance.”

The Slave Morality personified.

The Sanction of the Victim hailed as justice.

How sick to read this on a libertarian site.

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keith preston February 8, 2005 at 8:41 am

I am a classical anarchist in the tradition of Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin. I am also a strong admirer of Murray Rothbard. I wrote a review of Hoppe’s “Democracy: The God That Failed” which Hoppe has linked to on his own site. I also wrote a couple of other articles for anti-state.com where I criticized Hoppe’s cultural conservatism. The current academic persecution of Professor Hoppe is an outrage. The notion that professors should be barred from openly theorizing about predictable behavior based on group characteristics is nothing more that the establishment of a new caste system whereby favored groups are not only immune from criticism, but from ever even hearing points of view that they might disagree with. In the Church of Victimology, Professor Hoppe is a heretic, therefore meriting all of our rallying to his defense.

Private, non-state universities have every right to set whatever academic standards they wish. If authoritarian-multiculturalism cultism is more important to them than scholarship, so be it. Yet the academic censorship of Professor Hoppe is clearly in violation of the UN-LV’s own policy (mentioned in an above posting) on academic freedom, and given that Hoppe contracted to work for the university with the understanding that this was indeed the policy, my educated guess would be that this at the very least is a violation by the university of Hoppe’s employment contract. There is also the question to what degree the UN-LV is a state institution or is dependent upon state funding for its existence. In either case, the UN-LV is hardly a private association but an arm of the state itself. Therefore, the First Amendment principle would seem to be applicable.

I disagree with Hoppe on immigration (though he makes a good argument)and his cultural conservatism I regard as overly strident, but not inherently in conflict with broader libertarian principles. These questions are totally irrelevant to the issue at hand. Academic freedom must be fought for and preserved. The alternative is a new Lysenkoism.

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matt machaj February 8, 2005 at 9:02 am

in Poland, professor Hoppe is the most influential living libertarian and
one of the most influential Austrians. This is of course thanks to his
ignoring of mainstream and working in antistatist tradition.
Straight truth is also the best way to strenghen the movement and encourage
young people to seek the truth and fight for it.
Let’s look at Theory of Capitalism and Socialism. It’s a great book because
it is systematic and touches upon every important subject of social
sciences.
We read about methodology, about ethics, about economics and most important
we read about propaganda and the role of the state in the whole process. We
can understand why positivism wins and why certain doctrines are promoted
etc.
TSC is great because it is somehow a complete view, that simply couldn’t be
published in the mainstream. I suppose it would have to be “adjusted” to be
published.

A recent attack just shows us that we’re in the middle of intellectual
battle. Truth versus all kinds of lies. Let’s not “adjust” the truth,
because our enemies would be happier, hm?

and somehow I cannot imagine that Hoppe’s article on argumention ethics
could be published in American Economic Review (as a correct “welfare economics” from Austrian
perspective).
In fact, we have an evidence suggesting that if professor Hoppe devoted his
career to publishing in mainstream journals we wouldn’t have a correct
Austrian welfare economics at all. This is not a promising perspective, now
is it?

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Robert Lechleiter February 8, 2005 at 9:46 am

Professor Hans-Herman Hoppe is one of the very few outstanding proponents of individual freedom in the world. To attack this man is to attack liberty itself! Hoppe may be the most valuable economist of the century. Yet, he is treated as a pariah by the statists. The haters of this man are driven by crazed political agendas.

If you truly value education, you are obligated to stand up for this great man.

Professor Hoppe, more profoundly than anyone else, has given me the power to see the world through logic and facts. I owe my intellectual life to him.

Let justice prevail for Professor Hans-Herman Hoppe and everyone who stands for Liberty!

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Stephan Kinsella February 8, 2005 at 12:57 pm

Despite despicable comments allegedly made by one regent, that “Professors have to be careful what they say,” the UNLV Regents Chairman allegedly said allegedly stated that Hoppe’s views are correct and he should not be disclined. If this is true, it looks very likely Hoppe will win. Caution: I have no independent verification of the statements on this blog post.

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Stephan Kinsella February 8, 2005 at 1:02 pm

Fantastic column in Las Vegas paper defending The Hoppe.

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Roderick T. Long February 8, 2005 at 1:04 pm

John Lopez asks me:

> If advocating immigration restriction
> is indeed collectivism, isn’t it then
> self-evidently un-libertarian?

Only if it’s self-evidently collectivist. I’ve argued elsewhere that it’s collectivist, but I don’t think it’s self-evidently so. I’m not going to get into defending Hoppe’s arguments here, since after all I don’t agree with them, and that’s not what this thread is about anyway; but he does have arguments for the conclusion that libertarian principles favour immigration restrictions, and I can understand why reasonable libertarians might accept those arguments. Even though they shouldn’t!

Back in the 80s I was a minarchist, a military interventionist, and a supporter of intellectual property. Today I think all those positions are un-libertarian. Does that mean my past self wasn’t a libertarian? I don’t think so. Does it mean my past self was stupid or wicked? I don’t think so.

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Stephan Kinsella February 8, 2005 at 1:05 pm

Tiny Tim:

“The victims of force cannot be blamed for compliance.”

The Slave Morality personified.

The Sanction of the Victim hailed as justice.

How sick to read this on a libertarian site.

What is disturbing is the implicit view of hiding-behind-pseudonyms Tiny Tim that those who are the victims of aggression have an obligation to add not only insult, but injury, to injury. Shame.

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Wild Pegasus February 8, 2005 at 1:08 pm

1. Of course you could exclude gays from your social order. But that’s not going to require isolating and expelling them: they wouldn’t have joined the social order to start with. If you come up with a social order among you and a few other bigots, that has no bearing on the liberty and property of the homosexuals living next door. Try any of your pogroms on them, and they have every right to air-condition your skull. In fact, I would hope they do.

2. Reference: http://www.tomgpalmer.com/archives/018573.php#comments

For good measure: http://www.tomgpalmer.com/archives/014584.php#comments (scroll to 09/25/04 12:40 pm)

3. Lots of Christians believe that God created the universe in 6 24-hour days within the past 10k years. I respect that opinion like I respect their opinion that homosexuality is wrong, or their opinions from 400 years ago that the Earth is flat and that left-handed people tend to wickedness. Religious people believe a lot of stupid things and ought to be mocked for it.

Moreover, there is a difference between saying homosexuality is wrong and saying it destroys civilisation and must be removed from the social order.

4. Whatever Hoppe’s private beliefs are on homosexuality are irrelevant, because he publically advocates isolating them from the social order and forcibly expelling them. This moves him well out of the realm of libertarian thought. My response to #1 (which is Lynette’s argument) has yet to be explained or countered.

– Josh

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Stephan Kinsella February 8, 2005 at 1:11 pm

Josh: “Whatever Hoppe’s private beliefs are on homosexuality are irrelevant, because he publically advocates isolating them from the social order and forcibly expelling them. This moves him well out of the realm of libertarian thought. My response to #1 (which is Lynette’s argument) has yet to be explained or countered.”

He didn’t say forcibly expelled, I believe. What anyway is your point? Why is this relevant on this forum? Are you saying that in your lights he is not “libertarian enough” to deserve a defense or support? What exactly are you saying? Why is this even germane here? Who cares if you don’t agree with some of his substantive views? What does that matter?

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Roderick T. Long February 8, 2005 at 1:22 pm

Stephan writes: “I would be a bit surprised the Chair would comment publicly like this.”

Me too, and I don’t know anything about that site, but notice that the quote in question is fairly non-committal. He just says “If what he is stating is valid economic theory, then [Hoppe] should not be disciplined.” That’s the sort of weasel language which would allow him to take any position he likes later on — which does make it sound rather like what you’d expect from a Chair of the Board of Regents.

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Roderick T. Long February 8, 2005 at 1:35 pm

To Pegasus and Odell — As I’ve said, I’m no fan of that particular passage — either of the view expressed or of the words chosen to express it. But when someone has spent the last hundred or so pages arguing that nobody should ever aggress against anybody’s person or property for any reason, and has just been attacking cultural conservatives for the error of trying to impose their values by force, and has also been advocating the formation of voluntary communities etc. — and then, in the light of that context, goes on to list various groups who he thinks should be removed from society, I don’t think it takes excessive or heroic interpretive charity or “clouds of verbal sepia” to assume that exclusion via covenants etc. rather than removal at gunpoint is what’s meant.

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David Heinrich February 8, 2005 at 3:32 pm

Pegasus,

1. It is perfectly possible that those who voluntarily join a covenant violate the terms of that covenant. People are not perfect. People may join to receive the benefits. The punishment for that may not always be expulsion, but it is the maximum punishment for violating the covenant (in addition to whatever punishments may be prescribed by proportional restituion/retribution for violation of the non-aggression axiom). Actually, that covenant may specify whatever punishment’s they please for breaking their rules, so-long as people voluntarily agree to them.

2. Your “evidence” for Hoppe’s supposed bigotry is nothing more than a bunch of heresay and he-said she-said from someone who personally dislikes Hoppe. Someone there even went so far as to assert that Hoppe’s under investigation for sexual harassment. The entries on Palmer’s blog you referred me to are full of insults and slanders.

3. Mocking Christians. That’s nice. I don’t believe in Creationism, that the Earth is flat, or in witches, but that doesn’t mean that we should mock Christians. How does saying homosexuality is wrong make one a bigot?

And if Hoppe actually does “hate” homosexuals, shouldn’t he be all the more commended for not advocating initiation of aggression against them? For applying the same libertarian principles to them, as to everyone else?

Hoppe was addressing conservatives in that section. He thus had to explain to them how libertarianism is compatible with their views of the community, which do preclude homosexual behaviour.

I am not here to make the argument that homosexuality is wrong, or not wrong. However, I will note one thing: whether or not it is “genetically determined” is quite irrelevant. I should be more precise here: what hard-line Christians condemn is homosexual behaviour, not the fact that someone may be homosexual. Let me make another distinction: between child-molestors and pedophiles. A child-molester is someone who has actually molested a child; a pedophile is merely someone who is attracted to a child. All child-molesters are presumeably pedophiles, but not all pedophiles are child-molesters. Alcoholics. There is a large genetic disposition to alcoholism, yet not all people with this disposition get drunk all the time (nor do all alcoholics). There are also genetic dispositions to violence, yet not everyone with those dispositions acts on them. The point is not to say that, if homosexuality is wrong, it is on the same level as these things. The point is merely that the repression of many naturally “genetic” things to be acceptable, and morally required (an example on par with homosexuality would be pre-marital sex).

You’re right, it is different to say that homosexuality is wrong, and to say homosexuals should be expelled from society. However, Hoppe is describing how he thinks a conservative libertarian social order would operate. Presumeably, a non-conservative social order would operate quite differently, and would welcome all manner of sexual “aberrations” from the Christian “norm”. Furthermore, Hoppe explains that individuals would still be free to engage in various behaviours in their own homes, but not to go about such publicly.

4. Hoppe was addressing social and moral conservatives. Hoppe thinks that in their view, public displays of homosexuality, at least, cannot be allowed to go on. If a group of moral conservatives formed a property covenant and community, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t make one rule that they all ban public displays of homosexuality, as part of the covenant. So what? If someone violates this rule, they then become initiators of aggression, and can be forcibly removed.

Prof. Long, Prof. Kinsella,

What is the big deal with the “forcibly removed” thing? Property owners are entitled to remove tresspassers by any means the tresspassers make necessary. If I put up a sign on my property that says, “No Smoking”, and a visitor lights up a cigarette, I have the right to ask him to stop, or even to ask him to leave immediately. If he doesn’t comply voluntarily to my request, I can forcibly remove him, using whatever force he requires me to use by his level of resistance.

The same thing can be applied to homosexuals. I can throw a party at my house, with the proviso that there be no homosexual activity occuring during that party. If someone comes to the party, and starts engaging in homosexual flirting or homosexual sex, I have every right to have them forcibly removed, if they don’t leave voluntarily upon request.

I think that Pegasus has created a bunch of confusion here, and is confused, because he thinks that Hoppe wants homosexuals to be thrown off of their own property. That is, he thinks that, in Hoppe’s libertarian society, if the State disappeared tomorrow, members in a neighborhood could get together and forcibly expell a homosexual living down the street.

This is simply not what Hoppe is advocating. Hoppe starts out by stating, Prof. Long mentioned, that covenants and communities would be voluntary associations. Thus, if the State disappeared tomorrow, all of the neighbor’s of a homosexual could make a voluntary covenant, or “neighborhood”, among themselves with various mutually agreed-upon rules, including the prohibition of public homosexual displays. However, this covenant would only bind those who agreed to it. Thus, it wouldn’t bind the homosexual unless he agreed to it, which he might do if the arrangement provided various benefits.

Altertnatively, they could offer to “buy him out” of his house, so that he moves elsewhere. Or they could negotiate with him on terms that both the homosexual and his or her heterosexual neighbors could agree upon. Perhaps the gay person wouldn’t voluntarily agree to the covenant stating that only homosexual displays be prohibited, but all public displays beyond a certain level (e.g., beyond hand-holding).

It is possible that they wouldn’t be able to get him to agree to any covenant. In which case, they, of course, wouldn’t be able to expell him from his property. Prof. Block has showed that emminent domain is fraud and theft, and Hoppe has done nothing to show that he disagrees with that position. So, the covenant-contractors would have to accept it if someone in a pre-existing neighborhood didn’t join their covenant. I think that, with bargaining, or offers to buyout, there could be mutually convenient arrangements. They could also wait him out to die naturally, and see if they could better negotiate with the heirs of the property, or buy it upon his death.

Regarding emminent domain, I think that in a voluntarily agreed-upon covenant, “emminent domain” would be perfectly acceptable by libertarian principles, if specified by the voluntary covenant. A lot of interesting things could happen in a voluntarily agreed-upon covenant. If memory serves, I think Prof. Block argued that if you could get people to voluntarily go into concentration camps, there would be no violation of libertarian principles. I don’t have a reference on this, but Prof. Block’s views in Towards a Libertarian Theory of Inalienability run parallel to such.

I think Hoppe’s conception of voluntary covenants, communities, is extremely important to the libertarian. For it allows tensions to be lessened, by allowing people to associate and segregate in a mutually voluntary manner. It allows different cultures and values to thrive separately, with free trade between them (of course, again, some covenants could restrict free-trade within, or from without, but they would pay the price, and wouldn’t be able to force it on anyone who doesn’t agree with such). In one sentence, Hoppe says that segregation would allow different cultures to compete, and for people to see which ways produced what results.

So, Christian communities banning any public displays of affection could compete with fundamentalists Muslim communities preventing women from showing their faces, could compete with nudist communities, and so-on and so-forth. Some ways of life would most likely produce different levels of wealth, and to the extent that people saw that as a good, they would alter and emulate. To the extent that they value their community-style as an end in itself, they wouldn’t.

I see this as brilliant. Wild Pegasus somehow misses the brilliance of this.

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Wild Pegasus February 8, 2005 at 5:24 pm

Well, I did mean “you” in the general sense and not in the specific sense. “One” doesn’t work as well in English as “on” does in French. I meant to add that disclaimer and it slipped my mind before posting. My apologies for offending you, it’s an obnoxious quirk of the language.

1. It’s true that people may violate the terms of an agreement, but it would certainly be odd for homosexuals to join an order dedicated to Victorian morals.

2. The evidence is hearsay, but he has several examples of the same behaviour from different people, bolstering its credibility. Perhaps we could get the names of the people who told him about the behaviour, and we could ask them ourselves if Hoppe said those things.

3. It’s not about mocking Christians so much as recognising that they’ve believed and continue to believe a number of ridiculous things, and I have no reason to take their beliefs seriously because there’s a lot of them, which was the implication behind your argument.

If I’m confused about what Hoppe is actually advocating, I think the fault lies with him (or his editor, perhaps) and not me. If he’s speaking in hypotheticals, he should not be using the past perfect tense. That leads me to believe that he’s speaking of actual historical events and not hypotheticals.

– Josh

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David Heinrich February 8, 2005 at 5:55 pm

Wild Pegasus,

Regarding the comment on bigotry, I apologize for that, and have modified my comment appropriately. Obviously, I was being one of those communist whiners all-too-ready to receive offense.

1. You are right. Yet, it still could occur. Furthermore, people would also be born into such communities. So, they would “accept” them by default, until they explicitly rejected them (e.g., by leaving). Unless they do that, they accept to abide by the community rules. Thus, they could be forcibly expelled. Also, there’s the possibility of passers-through.

2. Yes, but everything is filtered through Tom Palmer, who dislikes Hoppe. I am not saying he is lying, but only that truth gets distorted. He himself did not hear it directly, but from other people. That others seem to also have bad things to say about Hoppe on that website is unsurprising, since it may attract many who already dislike Hoppe. Before attributing certain views to someone, or certain remarks, I’d like to hear it straight from their mouth (either personally, in a lecture, or written form): not from someone who was told by someone else what he said, or from someone else who told me what he said.

3. Simply because Christians may have many beliefs that seem illogical doesn’t mean all of their arguments are bad or illogical. I think the Golden Rule is a great guide for personal conduct. My point was that someone could make a Biblical or moral argument that homosexuality is wrong. Should this be prohibited as well, so as not to offend anyone?

4. I am also a little bit confused about Hoppe’s covenent in the past tense (did such a thing ever exist? Perhaps so in Ancient Ireland/Iceland, and the not so Wild Wild West). However, I was referring to your discussion of Hoppe’s views on expulsion.

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John Lopez February 8, 2005 at 10:49 pm

Roderick Long: “Only if it’s self-evidently collectivist. I’ve argued elsewhere that it’s collectivist, but I don’t think it’s self-evidently so. I’m not going to get into defending Hoppe’s arguments here, since after all I don’t agree with them, and that’s not what this thread is about anyway…”

But if Hoppe’s views on immigration are un-libertarian, then it’s quite on-topic: namely, ought libertarians “Defend Hoppe”, despite his un-libertarian/collectivist views?

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Stephan Kinsella February 8, 2005 at 10:56 pm

Lopez: “But if Hoppe’s views on immigration are un-libertarian, then it’s quite on-topic: namely, ought libertarians “Defend Hoppe”, despite his un-libertarian/collectivist views?”

Don’t be disingenuous. First, even if you disagree w/ Hoppe’s particiualr views on immigration, does not mean he un-libertarian. Second, the topics is NOT whether we “ought” to defend Hoppe. For those who don’t agree, they are quite free to join the side of the socialistic-egalitarian UNLV administration, but why are there here, I have no idea.

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Stephan Kinsella February 8, 2005 at 11:45 pm

 

Archived comments (3):

{ 130 comments… read them below or add one }

Roderick T. Long February 9, 2005 at 10:37 am

> ought libertarians “Defend Hoppe”,
> despite his un-libertarian/collectivist
> views?”

Well, for one thing I would be in favour of defending Hoppe’s academic freedom even if he wasn’t a libertarian at all.

But in any case, most libertarians regard most other libertarians as failing to apply libertarian principles properly on some issue or other (including issues of considerable importance, such as abortion and war), without thereby denying that the others are libertarians.

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Stephan Kinsella February 9, 2005 at 10:59 am

The Thought Police Strike (FrontPage Mag)

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BD February 9, 2005 at 11:24 am

Tom Said:Looks like Kinsella got me. According to his “logic” there is no difference between my selling of labor on the open market and using it to buy meat (in a private transaction between myself and the grocer) and Mr. Hoppe getting directly subsidized by the State, which procures the property of others through theft. I also drive a car and pay taxes so others (such as Mr. Hoppe, who produces nothing on the market) can drive for free…which means I must be the thief. Check-mate!

You see, you can’t spread ideas without getting a state subsidized paycheck (shhh, don’t tell that to otherlibertarians that actually paid their own way without stolen loot). It’s impossible, because in the United States of Amercia (as of Feb. 7, 2005) there is no non-state alternatives to state-run universities, such as private schools, private lessons, blogs, newspapers, newsletters, private publishers, etc. Check-mated again. Damn your “logic” is sharp!


I say:Why does Tom even use government money, roads and the like. His holier-than-thou attitude is inconsistent. A professor who works for a “private” college is getting paid by parents who are government employees, by students who are getting financial aid, etc. Tom shouldn’t even call the police when someone breaks into his business. The police are paid for by stolen money, and so is the fire department. Tom shouldn’t even use electricity, the train, the buses, etc.


Tom Said:So enjoy your “free lunch” Mr. Hoppe, I am glad I bust my ass as a self-employed entrepruener so the state can take a pistol and stick it in my face to pay your salery. You are the true libertarian and so are your defenders. Defense contractors, welfare recipiants, state-university professors, it’s not theft at all…only a matter of degree.


I say: To open any business you must get consent from the state. That means that Tom is colluding with the robbers in the state. Why can’t Tom find another way to make a living than opening a state licensed business. I must pay for the protection of Tom’s business from property rights violators. Plus, I must pay for Tom’s trash to be taken up. Also, we are to believe that Hoppe does not pay taxes himself. Hoppe has to pay income tax, sales tax and the like. As well, so-called public universities have tuition; so they are not totally supported by the state. Just like the business of an entrepreneur is not totally supported by the state. Imagine that Tom, the businessman, hires workers that were educated by the state, but he has the audacity to whine about Hoppe. If I claimed to be the owner of Tom’s building or office space he would run to the state for help. Tom’s property rights are meaningless without the state as it stands. Thus, Tom cannot survive without the criminal state, just like Hoppe. In addittion, Tom is using the government pioneered internet to attack Hoppe.

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Tom Tom February 9, 2005 at 12:12 pm

BD: So according to your (and Kinsella’s) “logic” there is LITTLE to NO difference between a welfare recipiant, tax collector, ATF agent and senator (who are DIRECTLY subsidized by the state) and a factory worker, mechanic, self-employed writer or others who sell their labor to private employers?

Or are all state-employees evil (such as the postal workers described in the post below) except for those in the enlightened Libertarian Cadre of your academic priesthood? Or that everyone (including you) is equally a statist?

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Stephan Kinsella February 9, 2005 at 12:48 pm

Tom squared: “BD: So according to your (and Kinsella’s) “logic” there is LITTLE to NO difference between a welfare recipiant, tax collector, ATF agent and senator (who are DIRECTLY subsidized by the state) and a factory worker, mechanic, self-employed writer or others who sell their labor to private employers?

Or are all state-employees evil (such as the postal workers described in the post below) except for those in the enlightened Libertarian Cadre of your academic priesthood? Or that everyone (including you) is equally a statist?”

Why, no, Tom, we are not saying that. We have pointed out that your basis for criticism appears to be self-conradictory. You are free to set forth your own theory with the proper nuances and justifications, and then apply it and explain why X is covered but Y is not.

Rothbard did a bit of it in the article referred to above; and see, e.g., Block’s seminar (not sure if it’s a published paper yet “Walter Block, Toward a Libertarian Theory of Guilt and Punishment for the Crime of Statism

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Tom Tom February 9, 2005 at 1:01 pm

How is it self-conradictory to say those libertarians recieving corporate welfare paychecks direcly from the State (such as Hoppe) are bigger hypocrites and criminals than those who do not receive payments directly from the state?

PS: Appealing to “authority” will not save you. Rothbard is not Jesus and Block is not Moses.

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Stephan Kinsella February 9, 2005 at 1:30 pm

Tom Tom Tom: “How is it self-conradictory to say those libertarians recieving corporate welfare paychecks direcly from the State (such as Hoppe) are bigger hypocrites and criminals than those who do not receive payments directly from the state?”

Oh, that’s not itself contradictory, it’s just an unsupported, not very well thought out assertion. It fails to explain why this type of state aid is somehow categorically different than other, more subtle or less direct types. That’s all.

“PS: Appealing to “authority” will not save you.”

Jesus saves, man (but Moses invests). Anyway I was not appealing to authority–I was pointing to 2 attempts to actually set forth a theoyr of various types of culpable behavior in this state-run world. You konw, just as an example of what you would need to do, if you really wanted to seriously have a serious opinion.

“Rothbard is not Jesus and Block is not Moses.”

Wow, deep man. Can you tell me next what 2 + 2 is?

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David Heinrich February 9, 2005 at 1:33 pm

Tom Tom,

Prof. Kinsella made no appeal to authority. He referred you to two excellent articles, one by Rothbard, the other by Block. Rothbard’s reasoning is sound, but your only response to it was, “I bet Rothbard had a lot to say about that…especially considering most of his income was ripped off at bayonet point from taxpayers. No conflict of interest there.”

The only one here engaging in logical fallacies is yourself.

Rothbard, Block, and Kinsella all discuss what things are appropriate to do in a State-run world, and provide some decent argument for it.

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Tom Tom February 9, 2005 at 1:50 pm

It’s categorically different because someone is collecting something directly stolen by the state. No different than a mugger handing you my money verus a mugged person walking on a sidewalk paid for with his own stolen money. Too nuanced for you?

I read through Rothbard yesterday, he does not seem to address the simple concept above. So maybe Rothbard’s reasoning wasn’t sound and maybe he just liked getting paid by the Man and didn’t mind being a hypocrite?

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David Heinrich February 9, 2005 at 2:00 pm

Tom Tom,

It may be different in that respect, but so what? Rothbard’s point is that it isn’t the libertarian’s fault that the State has heavily intervened in certain areas, and monopolized others. Libertarianism isn’t about some sort of self-imposed misery, in which we can’t allow people to engage in the professions they want to (that would be legitimate absent a State).

I suppose, according to you, Schindler was a vile evil man because he received money directly from the Nazi State, despite using his position to save some 12,000 Jewish people.

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Tom Tom February 9, 2005 at 2:17 pm

DH: Those who work for state-institution CHOOSE to do so when plenty of non-statist (or if you prefer, less-statist) alternatives exist (examples are listed above). Which means they are choosing to be more complient in the act of theft.

Privately employed people pay taxes under threat of force, which isn’t as much of a choice.

And I don’t excuse Schindler for any money that ended up in HIS pockets. Saving people is great, but that doesn’t excuse the act of pickpocketing.

PS: Oh dear, please don’t tell me you are trying to compare Hoppe to Schindler!

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BD February 9, 2005 at 6:06 pm

BD: So according to your (and Kinsella’s) “logic” there is LITTLE to NO difference between a welfare recipiant, tax collector, ATF agent and senator (who are DIRECTLY subsidized by the state) and a factory worker, mechanic, self-employed writer or others who sell their labor to private employers?

Or are all state-employees evil (such as the postal workers described in the post below) except for those in the enlightened Libertarian Cadre of your academic priesthood? Or that everyone (including you) is equally a statist?

TomTom: I am arguing that your reasoning leads us to a Reductio ad absurdum. Of course, there is some difference between the people you mentioned above. But it remains the case that they all benefit from the state in one way or the other. Thus, no one (including you) can assume a moral high ground in fact (only theory). The factory worker went to a government school. He could also be paid the minimum waged determined by the state. As well, he uses the roads, trash collection services, the water in his pipes and the like. My point was that the person who works in a position that does not aid in the unjust and coercive arm of the state is no different from any other who benefits from the state. Hoppe is neither a “welfare recipiant, tax collector, ATF agent or senator. In fact, if it was up to Hoppe there would be no state.

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Tom Tom February 9, 2005 at 6:43 pm

BD: Hoppe has his hand directly in the state cookie jar. The factory worker doesn’t. Hoppe is a bigger criminal and hypocrite.

The degree of crime is a matter of fact, as it would be comparing a pickpocket to an armed robber. Both are criminals, but the armed robber is a worse one.

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Stephan Kinsella February 9, 2005 at 8:05 pm

As pointed out to me by a reader, it is indeed ironic to note the following, from UNLV President Harter’s bio: “Dr. Harter is the author of numerous journal articles and published papers in English literature and higher education, and has co-authored two books. She has received numerous awards and honors and has published book chapters and articles focusing on equality and diversity, including “How to Champion Diversity and Avoid Being Politically Correct” and “Cracking the Wall: Women in Higher Education Administration.””

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Ryan February 9, 2005 at 8:07 pm

Good day. This is my first attempted post at the Mises Blog.

Having been a libertarian [minarchist], or perhaps more accurately a classical liberal, depending on one’s definition, for approximately two years I’ve now began to realize the near all-encompassing effect the state has on the lives of individuals, even here in the United States.

The attack upon Mr. Hoppe is of course disturbing and reprehensible, if not particularly surprising. An individual of his courage, intelligence, and scholarly achievements is a rare treasure indeed in the vast sesspool of state-enhanced politically-correctness. I would find it extremely displeasing should this absurd attack upon a man’s opinion continue unhindered and/or encouraged.

As for whether or not Mr. Hoppe could be deemed a parasite can be explained rather simply. Firstly, Mr. Hoppe did not institute the oppressive taxation as instutited by government. Is Professor Hoppe guilty of theft one might ask?

Let’s assume for a moment I had just returned home after purchasing a music-CD by a rock-artist that engages regularly in questionable activities, perhaps even legitimately illegal. Assuming I had prior indirect knowledge of these activities would it be logical to condemn me, the purchaser, of parasitic activity by financially supporting whatever habits said musician engages in or is the musician responsible for his own actions?

Considering the extensive reach of government tenticles it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to avoid not becoming an unwilling “collaborator”, if you will, of government’s nefarious deeds. Granted non-subsidized colleges remain in existence yet government has created a situation where the individual’s choices are drastically reduced in certain arenas, that of professor being one of them.

Keep in mind that if government were unable to coerce taxation out of an [un]willing populace all schools would be private as it would be impossible for the government to subsidize them to begin with. Is an individual who teaches an anti-statist doctrine a traitor if the only available jobs are subsidized by the state? For some time a great deal of the power companies are either state-run or moderately-heavily subsidized by the state. Assuming not all are however wouldn’t it be proper, according to a “libertarian absolutism” philosophy to uproot one’s self and move to an area which is strictly privatized?

Unfortunately, in a nation with an ever-expanding government bureaucracy pickers can’t always be choosers. If a libertarian wishes to achieve a state of complete privatized businesses/schools then it would be prudent to teach in a place that would reach a the greatest possible students so as to plant the seeds of liberty and individualism into the minds of our young.

In my opinion it’s more a question of reality and practicality rather than that of one’s “moral” libertarian identity and loyalties.

Professor Hoppe has my admiration and support.

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Tomas Cermak February 9, 2005 at 10:44 pm

What wrong Mr. Hoppe did? He didn`t said nothing wrong. So if I say that homosexual pairs can`t give birth to a children, I`m offending them? It`s the same nonsense like when homosexuals complains about some films where they are displayd like, for example, killers. So what about thousands of films where heterosexuals are displayed like killers? Should I complain, because I`m heterosexual? Of course not, but I`m not stupid. I have some homosexual friends and I like them but I dislike some homosexual, not becouse they are homosexual, but, guess why……. I`t nothing about your sexual orientation but about your brain.

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Stephan Kinsella February 10, 2005 at 12:47 am

Possible progress on the Hoppe front, notes Sudha Shenoy.

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Stephan Kinsella February 10, 2005 at 2:03 am

Nice comments on Hoppe by Steve Sebelius, in Doing well by Vegas.

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Hjalmar Gerber February 10, 2005 at 1:35 pm

Separation between state and anything else has become nigh impossible, because in “Free” America the sosialistic federal state has become gargantuan. Its minions, not satisfied with robbing the victims of the state, now want to reach into our minds to control every thought process.

Woe to the one who resists.

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Jeffrey February 10, 2005 at 1:57 pm

And UNLV has put out the following press release, undoubtedly addressing recent difficulties discussed on this thread.

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David Heinrich February 10, 2005 at 2:11 pm

It is unfair for the news media and others who may have read incomplete accounts of this situation to judge the university’s intentions and values regarding this matter.

Not really. Prof. Hoppe’s given the same lecture many times over again, and everyone who knows him or has heard him speak can attest to the dignity of the man. The UNLV never should have allowed this mess to reach the level it did, and never should have threatened Hoppe.

Not every hair-brained complaint by students should be fielded with an investigation, certainly not ones where students “take offense” over something like this.

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William Anderson February 10, 2005 at 2:17 pm

What the UNLV Administration does not point out is that their proceedings were something akin to a star
chamber. Furthermore, the administration was not
wanting necessarily to find what really happened, but instead wanted to make a statement about
“discrimination.”

When we see an administration placing principles of “nondiscrimination” on the same plane with academic freedom, we know just how far things have fallen.

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Raymond Fuller February 10, 2005 at 2:51 pm
Dietmar-Dominik Hennig February 11, 2005 at 8:50 am

Political Correctness is a totalitarian concept against the Freedom of Speech. I hope, that America, the land of the free, will reject the extension of this crazy intellectual epidemic!

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Wojciech Popiela February 12, 2005 at 3:33 am

Polityczna poprawność jak socjalizm – zabija napierw wolność sÅ‚owa. Później ludzi…? I zawsze jakiÅ› Pavko Morozov siÄ™ znajdzie.
Déjà vu.

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Stefan Metzeler February 12, 2005 at 8:33 am

President Carol C. Harter
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Office of the President
harter@ccmail.nevada.edu

Dear Ms President,

I just read about the incident involving a student objecting to Prof. Hoppe’s explanation of certain measurable social facts. I was quite surprised to hear that such a high-profile professor, who immensely contributes to the international reputation of the University of Las Vegas, should not get the full support of his institution against such silly attacks.

Of course it is not Prof. Hoppe who should be reprimanded but the student, for lacking the common sense to understand that his complaint is completely baseless. If it is objectionable to observe that homosexuals have a higher time preference than the average population, then it is also objectionable to notice that there are fewer women than men in politics. In the logic of the student, it appears that it is objectionable to notice any specific feature about any group of society. That would include children, the elderly, the handicapped etc. Any kind of planning or even just any attempt at understanding of individual behavior would be undermined.

To object to the fact that people are different actually denies their individuality. Political correctness is a horrible vision of humanity as this totally egalitarian construct, where no one is an individual and hence cannot be a member of any group, except the formless mass where everyone is equal in everything to everyone else. Recognizing distinguishing features that are similar among certain people does not in any way reduce their individuality, on the contrary: it simply affirms that among all the many different factors that make up an individual, some are actually shared with other people who live with a similar set of constraints.

Swiss people are different from Italians or Americans, yet “different” does not imply “better” or “worse”. To notice such differences is not at all demeaning. In fact, it is hard to understand how a higher or lower time preference could be rated “good” or “bad” at all, something you should have asked your student, just before expelling him for disruptive behavior and insufficient qualifications to achieve a degree, as is evident based on his lack of capacity for economic thinking and abstract ideas in general.

I’ve known Prof. Hoppe for many years. We’ve met repeatedly at international conferences where several participants were homosexuals. They were fully accepted and respected by all, including Prof. Hoppe. They would even agree that Prof. Hoppe’s analysis is quite pertinent. In fact, my nephew is [a] homosexual and has a much lower savings rate than could be expected from someone in his social position, having been [a] commissar in the German Federal [not Thought] Police, [and] now [a] regional manager for Mercedes.

I hope you will ask the student to apologize to Prof. Hoppe and end any procedure against him. If university professors can no longer teach facts and have to bow to political correctness instead, our civilization will collapse under the lies as did the Soviet Union.

Sincerely,

Stefan Metzeler

Ch. de la Forêt 8
1042 Assens
Switzerland

Independent IT Consultant
Co-founder of the think tank Pro Libertate
Member of the Institute Constant de Rebecque, Lausanne, Switzerland

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Simon February 13, 2005 at 5:22 pm

Sounds like a poor joke…but it is tragic :( . We are with you Professor!

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Charles Warren February 13, 2005 at 10:49 pm

Concerning the debate about fact that Professor Hoppe recieves his paycheck from the State, I think that what this topic boils down to is whether the State has any rights. Professor Hoppe does not get his check from the taxpayers. He gets it from the government.

I think it is the same as stealing from a theif. He has no claim to what you take from him because he did not bring it into his possession through legitimate. If possible, it should be returned to the original owner, but it is virtually impossible to do so in the case of taxpayer money funding UNLV. Regardless, Hoppe is no more stealing from the tax payers than a person who steals from a robber is stealing from the people the robber ripped off.

ATF agents, tax collectors, politicians, etc are illegitimate jobs because there is no place for them in a free society. Teachers, road builders, etc have legitimate jobs but the state has entered the market.

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Tomasz Szczepaniak student I roku ekonomii na WSSE Warszawa / wsse. edu.pl / February 15, 2005 at 2:59 pm

Naukowiec, przekazujÄ…cy studentom dorobek naukowy, stoi po za odczuciami emocjonalnymi odbiorców. Student przychodzÄ…cy Z WÅ?ASNEJ WOLI NA WYKÅ?ADY, nie ma prawa zaskarżać treÅ›ci wykÅ‚adu, od przestrzegania tego sÄ… wÅ‚adze uczelni!
Gdyby Profesor uczynił przerywnik w wykładzie i w trakcie tego przerywnika naruszył uczucia studenta, sprawa miała by inny wymiar.
Tomasz Szczepaniak, 05-300 Mińsk Mazowiecki, ul. Warszawsaka 180, POLSKA

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Patri Friedman February 24, 2005 at 3:31 am

I agree that JTK took Hoppes comment out of context, and that the full paragraph looks much less damning. And I agree that your blog has the right to censor its private property as it wishes. I still think that exercising that right for such trivial offenses is pusillanimous. As someone wrote in defending Hoppe:

It seems to me that factual statements and arguments attempt to demonstrate some truth. They succeed, in which case they are true, or they fail, in which case they are false.

Well, it only takes a brief comment to point out the full context from which JTK was quoting, and thus keep the discussion grounded in facts, so that JTK’s claim can succeed or fail based on their merits w.r.t. reality.

The argument that libertarians should never censor because they don’t believe in state censorship is false, as pointed out, but its not the right argument. The right argument is that libertarians should understand the benefits of free and unfettered debate, where bad ideas are debunked rather than deleted. Or put another way, one should defeat one’s opponents on the field of battle – not simply disqualify them from the lists.

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