Liberty For All

Andy Duncan at Samizdata reviews self-described “libertarian” Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s book “Democracy: The God That Failed”, the thrust of which is blaming democracy for the rise in statist power and socialism. Most of the review approves of the book, but the following quote, he says, “gives him pause for thought”:

There can be no tolerance toward 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. They ? the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centred 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.

Sorry, WHAT did you say? Pause for thought is right. You’ll probably have to go read the whole article to put this in context, but how a book that makes such a patently ridiculous statement can, apparently, be taken seriously by people at Samizdata is beyond me.

First of all, where do we remove these people to? As Andy says: “There will be no fully-libertarian world, under Hoppe’s plan, because otherwise we’d have nowhere to exclude people to”. What happens if the entire world is such an enclave? What do we do with the homos then? Shoot them, I guess.

Secondly, who makes up these rules about what is or isn’t an “alternative, non-family and kin-centred lifestyle”? And who does the “physical removing” work? Here’s an idea, maybe we could have a council of people who are appointed by the community. They could decide what is or isn’t allowed, on behalf of their constituents, and they could enforce these rules. Hang on, is this sounding familiar to anyone?

Thirdly, what happens if someone’s son, who owns property in the community, comes out as a homo and a commie? Do we confiscate and redistribute his property before booting him out? Am I missing something here?

It’s dangerous to judge an entire book I haven’t read on a single quote like the above. But in this case, I feel justified. If someone is capable of saying something like the above, I’m not really interested in hearing anything else they have to say.

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