While looking into the world of Rand and Ron Paul and their supporters, I came across one of the guiding lights of the libertarian movement, Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Hoppe is a leading advocate of a libertarian philosophy which can only be described as "anarcho-fascism". On his Web site, Hoppe states that he earned his Ph.D. (Philosophy, 1974) and his "Habilitation" (Sociology and Economics, 1981), both from the Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main. His thesis advisor was Juergen Habermas, the great philosopher of discursive democracy. Somewhere along the way Hoppe became disenchanted with pluralistic democracy but he emigrated to epicenter of modern democracy - America - and managed to get a tenured teaching position at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
While for Habermas reason is the foundation of modern democratic society, for Hoppe private property is the foundation of "natural law" and he founded The Property and Freedom Society which is devoted to the cult of private property.
But most of Professor Hoppe's ideas on the evils of democracy can be found in his book Democracy: The God that Failed, large chunks of which can be accessed via Google Books. Democracy: the God that Failed starts out with a revisionist analysis of World War I. If only, Hoppe writes, the United States had not entered the war the European monarchies would have been preserved. As mentioned earlier, Hoppe is an anarcho-fascist where the ideal system would be a confederation of small privately-owned units controlled by "natural elites" - i.e. Herrenmenschen. But until anarchy is possible, a monarchy is far superior to a democracy:
A king owned the territory and could hand it on to his son, and thus tried to preserve its value. A democratic ruler was and is a temporary caretaker and thus tries to maximize current government income of all sorts at the expense of capital values, and thus wastes.
Here are some of the consequences: during the monarchical age before World War I, government expenditure as a percent of GNP was rarely higher than 5%. Since then it has typically risen to around 50%. Prior to World War I, government employment was typically less than 3% of total employment. Since then it has increased to between 15 and 20%. The monarchical age was characterized by a commodity money (gold) and the purchasing power of money gradually increased. In contrast, the democratic age is the age of paper money whose purchasing power has permanently decreased. (Natural Elites, Intellectuals and the State)
Democracy, Professor Hoppe tells his readers (and presumably his students at UNLV) is nothing more than mob-rule, and has resulted in a serious decline in civilization:
The mass of people, as La Boetie and Mises recognised, always and everywhere consists of "brutes", "dullards", and "fools", easily deluded and sunk into habitual submission. Thus today, inundated from early childhood with government propaganda in public schools and educational institutions by legions of publicly certified intellectuals, most people mindlessly accept and repeat nonsense such as that democracy is self-rule and government is of, by, and for the people. (Democracy: The God that Failed)
Even worse than the statist capitalism of the United States is European social democracy and its myriad social programs. Universal health care, for example, is especially evil according to Professor Hoppe:
As a result of subsidizing the malingerers, the neurotics, the careless, the alcoholics, the drug addicts, the Aids-infected, and the physically and mentally challenged through insurance regulation and compulsory health insurance, there will be more illness, malingering, neuroticism, carelessness, alcoholism, drug addiction, Aids infection, and physical and mental retardation. (Democracy: The God that Failed)
Democrats, in this radical libertarian philosophy, are no better than communists, since democrats rely on statist solutions that are antithetical to the "natural order" and the cult of private property. So Professor Hoppe has the following words of advice for the "natural elites", the Herrenmenschen, who would build his anarcho-fascist utopia:
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." (Democracy: The God that Failed)
Of course, the "advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centred lifestyles" would include gays and lesbians - who would not find a place in Professor Hoppe's new order, and the professor did encounter difficulties at the university where he teaches with gay students who took offense at his blatant homophobia. But, in the end, the university didn't have the guts to even censure him.
Hans-Hermann Hoppe is a frequent contributor to the German neo-fascist weekly Junge Freiheit, where his anti-democratic tirades resonate with readers. In an interview there Hoppe heaps scorn on both Germany and his new home, the United States, which grants him the constitutional protection to continue his work of undermining democracy.
Hoppe: Die meisten Personen, immer und überall, sind töricht und dumm. Und der sogenannte Wohlfahrtsstaat und das "öffentliche" Bildungswesen trägt dazu bei, die Bevölkerung noch weiter zu verdummen. Sie denken nicht selbst, sondern beten das nach, was ihnen von den Eliten erzählt wird. Und die Eliten haben nur allzu oft ein Interesse daran, die Massen dumm zu halten, da sie selbst von dieser Dummheit profitieren.
(Most people, everywhere and always, are foolish and stupid. And the so-called welfare state and "public" education system serve only to make the populace more stupid. They don't think for themselves, but only blindly follow what the elites tell them. And all too often the elites have a self-interest in keeping the masses stupid, since they profit from this stupidity.)
I wonder if Professor Hoppe's students have an inkling of his contempt for them. Most are products of the "democratic" public education system he despises.