31 March 2010

Book: Property, Freedom, and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe

In July 2009, the libertarian Ludwig von Mises Institute published the book "Property, Freedom, and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe" (Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Distinguished Fellow with the Mises Institute), edited by Jörg Guido Hülsmann (University of Angers, France/Mises Institute) and Stephan Kinsella (Mises Institute).

The full text of the book can be read free of charge here:


Part Four of this contributed volume is titled "Democracy Reconsidered" and comprises of four short articles. Among them:

Doug French (Mises Institute), "The Trouble with Democracy: Maslow Meets Hoppe" (pp. 237-42).

Excerpts: "[T]o be elected and stay elected in American politics to any full-time position requires the suspension of any ethics or good sense a person may possess. [...] Democracy makes it possible for the demagogue to inflame the childish imagination of the masses, 'by virtue of his talent for nonsense.' [...] Because democracy is open to any and all who can get themselves elected, either through connections, personality, or personal wealth, it is a social system where leadership positions become a hotbed for sociopaths. [...]
[T]hose stuck on the need for esteem are drawn to it like flies to dung. [...] So while the electorate recognizes that they are electing, at best incompetents, and at worst crooks, the constant, naïve, pro-democracy mantra is that 'we just need to elect the right people.' But, the 'right people' aren't (and won't be) running for office."

Robert Higgs (Independent Institute), "Democracy and Faits Accomplis" (pp. 249-62).

Excerpts: "No institution of modern life commands as much veneration as democracy. It comes closer than anything else to being the supreme object of adoration in a global religion. Anyone who denies its righteousness and desirability soon finds himself a pariah. [...] Many people are atheists, but few are anti-democrats. [...] Although democracy made giant ideological strides in the nineteenth century, a few writers had the courage to condemn it even well into the twentieth century. [...] [O]ffice-seekers typically either speak in vague, emotion-laden generalities or simply lie about their intentions. After taking office, they may act in complete disregard of their campaign promises, trusting that when they run for reelection, they will be able to concoct a plausible excuse for their infidelity and betrayal of trust. Thus, the voters remain permanently immersed in a fog of disinformation, emotional manipulation, and bald-faced mendacity. No matter what a candidate promises, the voters have no means of holding him to those promises or of punishing his misbehavior until it may be too late to matter. [...] Contemplating this situation, one readily recalls Goethe's dictum that 'none are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.'"

Some other articles from the book also discuss Hoppe's anti-democratic convictions.

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