The Brazilian Philosophy Magazine Dicta & Contradicta Interviews Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Would the change from a statist to a libertarian society help or hinder the production of high culture?

Hoppe: A libertarian society would be significantly more prosperous and wealthy and this would certainly help both low and high culture. But a free society – a society without taxes and tax-subsidies and without so-called "intellectual property rights" - would produce a very different culture, with a very different set of products, producers, stars and failures.

You see a causal link between a society's form of government and its moral values and social development. Do you see a similar link between type of government and aesthetic standards and quality of art and entertainment? 

Hoppe: Yes I do. Democratic state government systematically promotes egalitarianism and relativism. In the field of human interaction, it leads to the subversion and ultimately disappearance of the idea of eternal and universal principles of justice. Law is swamped and submerged by legislation. In the field of the arts and of aesthetic judgment, democracy leads to the subversion and ultimately disappearance of the notion of beauty and universal standards of beauty. Beauty is swamped and submerged by so-called "modern art."

Given that libertarian communities could freely banish dissenters for disagreeing with any given opinion, would there be more or less free intellectual discussion in a libertarian world as opposed to ours? And as opposed to a world composed of traditional monarchies?

Hoppe: Private property entitles its owner to discriminate: to exclude or include others from his property and to determine the conditions of entry and inclusion. Both inclusion and exclusion have associated costs and benefits for the owner, which he weighs against each other when he makes his decision. In any case, the owner's decision is motivated by his concern for his property and by reason. His reasoning may turn out correct and he reaches his goal or it may turn out wrong, but in any case, the owner's is a reasoned decision.

The founder and developer of a private community, then, would not likely discriminate and exclude based on mere differences of opinion. Or if he did he would not likely attract more than a guru's following as subscribers. Typically, discrimination will be based on differences in conduct, expression and appearance, on what people do and how they act in public, on language, religion, ethnicity, customs, social class, etc.. The owner discriminates in order to achieve a high degree of homogeneity-of-conduct in his community and so avoid or reduce intra-communal tension and conflict - in economic jargon: to reduce transaction costs; and he does so in the expectation that his decision will be good for his property and community.

In any case, in a libertarian world there would indeed be far more discrimination than in the present statist world, which is characterized by countless anti-discrimination laws and, consequently, ubiquitous forced integration. In particular, whatever other criteria may be used for inclusion or exclusion, in a libertarian world, for instance, no private community owner would want to tolerate – and not discriminate against – communist or socialist activists on his property. As enemies of the very institution on which the community rests, they would be excluded or expelled – but they would of course remain free to establish their own communist commune, kibbutzim or whatever other "lifestyle experiment" they come up with.

In sum and to finally answer your question, then, a libertarian world would be characterized by a far greater variety of different, but internally relatively homogeneous communities, and consequently the range, diversity and vigor of intellectual discussion in all likelihood would far surpass anything experienced presently or at any time in the past.

Do libertarian political and ethical positions have any relation to certain aesthetic and artistic judgments? Is there any incoherence in a libertarian who is a lover of, say, Soviet Realism?

Hoppe: From a purely logical point of view, libertarianism is compatible with each and every aesthetic and artistic style or judgment. I am not the first one to notice, for instance, that famous libertarian Ayn Rand's artistic work displays a striking stylistic resemblance to Socialist Soviet Realism. Similarly, I have seen it possible to be a "perfect" libertarian and never aggress against anyone's person or property, and yet be an all-around useless, unpleasant or even rotten fellow.

Psychologically matters are different, however. Here, in the realm of psychology we sense that life as a peaceful bum or as a lover of Soviet Realist art is somehow incompatible and at odds with the life of a self-conscious libertarian. When we see such conduct or taste displayed in a professed libertarian, it causes us emotional or aesthetic distress and dissonance. And rightly so, I believe. Because the human experience is characterized by the integrated whole of three abilities: of the recognition of truth, of justice and of beauty. We can distinguish between true and false, we can distinguish right from wrong, and we can distinguish between the beautiful (and perfection) and the ugly (and the imperfect) - and we can speak and reflect on all three notions. A whole and complete human life, then, should not only be truthful and just, it should also be a good life. Maybe not beautiful and perfect, but a life striving toward beauty and perfection. An exemplary, morally and aesthetically uplifting and inspiring life. It is here, where the peaceful bum and the Soviet-Realism-lover are lacking.

Alternatively, does art have a role to play in shaping political and philosophical ideas? Can this be done other than as propaganda for a given ideology?

Hoppe: The purpose of the visual arts and of music is the creation of beauty in all its manifestations. It has no further philosophical implications. Yet beautiful art and music and libertarianism have one important commonality. Libertarianism, too, is beautiful. Not aesthetically, of course, but logically, as a simple and elegant social theory.

As for the wholly or partially discursive – narrative – arts, yes, they can serve as a vehicle for the promotion of political and philosophical ideas. You can call this propaganda. But these ideas can be true and good or false and evil. And although I am not an artsy person, I rather have more artists propagandizing the true and good ideas of private property and of capitalism as Ayn Rand, for instance, and fewer artists propagandizing the false and evil ideas of public property and of socialism as, let's say, Bertolt Brecht. But a philosophical agenda is neither necessary to make for art – one can also tell a story for its own sake. Nor is a philosophical purpose sufficient to make for art. To make for art, a narrative must above all be characterized by truthfulness (in the widest sense of the term), by intelligibility, logical coherence, a mastery of language, expression and style, and a sense of humanity and of human justice: of agency and the intentional and the non-intentional in life, of right and wrong, and good and bad.

Do the ideas discussed by intellectuals have any practical effect on the history of human society?

Hoppe: I am no fan of J. M. Keynes. But when he said, that "the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist," he was right. In fact, Keynes is the very defunct economist, pronouncing wrong ideas at that, to whom the practical men of today are intellectually enslaved. 

Is academic life in its present state a healthy environment for an intellectual? Can he survive as an intellectual anywhere else?

Hoppe: That depends on the intellectual. Academic life can be very comfortable for someone spouting forth politically correct leftist platitudes for years on end. On the other hand, for an Austro-Libertarian - and even more so a culturally conservative Austro-Libertarian - academic life is difficult and often maddening. With persistence and some luck you can make it and survive, but if you don't sell out or at least shut up, you should be prepared to pay a price.

Nowadays, however, thanks to the Internet, you can also survive as an intellectual outside official academia. With minimal entrance-cost the competition is fierce, but the opportunities seem boundless. Encouragingly, there are already quite a few Austro-Libertarian intellectuals today, who have earned prominence and money via this route. 

If you could magically change one belief in the minds of all people in present societies, what would it be and why?

Hoppe: I agree in this with my principal teacher, mentor and master Murray Rothbard.  I would only want people to recognize matters for what they truly are. I would want them to recognize taxes as robbery, politicians as thieves and the entire state apparatus and bureaucracy as a protection racket, a Mafia-like enterprise, only far bigger and more dangerous. In short: I would want them to hate the State. If everyone believed and did this, then, as E. de la Boetie as shown, all power of the state would almost instantly vanish.

What positive influence did Habermas have on your thought? Were there negative influences from him as well?

Hoppe: Habermas was my principal philosophy teacher and Ph.D. advisor during my studies at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, from 1968-74. Through his seminars I became acquainted with British and American analytical philosophy. I read K. Popper, P. Feyerabend, L. Wittgenstein, G. Ryle, J.L. Austin, J. Searle, W.v.O. Quine, H. Putnam, N. Chomsky, J. Piaget. I discovered Paul Lorenzen and the Erlangen school and the work of K.O Apel. I still believe that this was a pretty good intellectual training.

Personally, then, I have no regrets. As for Habermas' influence on Germany and German public opinion, however, it has been an unmitigated disaster, at least from a libertarian viewpoint. Habermas is today Germany's most celebrated public intellectual and High Priest of "Political Correctness:" of social democracy and welfare-statism, of multi-culturalism, anti-discrimination (affirmative action) and political centralization spiced, especially for German consumption, with a heavy dose of "anti-fascist" rhetoric and "collective guilt"-mongering.

Is it worthwhile to read literature? What is your favorite literary book?

Hoppe: This everyone must decide for himself. Personally, I have never read much literature. If I want to do some "lighter" reading, I typically read history, including historical novels, biographies, or literary and cultural criticism a la H.L. Mencken or Tom Wolfe.

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Joel Pinheiro da Fonseca
é mestre em filosofia e escreve no site" Siga-o no Twitter: @JoelPinheiro85

Ué, dê a notícia completa: o números gerais subiram simplesmente por causa de algumas poucas cidades, que vivenciaram um pico nos homicídios.

Quais cidades? Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, e Washington.

"Half of the entire increase in big-city homicides was concentrated in just seven municipalities — Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee, Nashville, and Washington.

And only in Baltimore was the spike in homicides sharp enough to return the city to a historically high murder rate. While Charm City suffered a historic high of 55 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2015, for the seven cities collectively that figure was 21. Which is significantly lower than it was throughout the 1990s.

Meanwhile, 70 large cities saw their murder rates hold steady in 2015, while 5 saw them fall."

Enquanto isso, segundo suas mesmas estatísticas, New Hampshire, Idaho, e Vermont, estados com as leis mais liberais sobre armas, possuem as mais baixas taxas de criminalidade. O mesmo, aliás, vale para os estados do meio-oeste.

Todos os gráficos foram compilados aqui:

Por fim, aquela estatística que um sedizente estatístico como você não tem o direito de ignorar: a taxa de homicídios nos EUA desabou 50% nos últimos 20 anos, "coincidentemente" ao mesmo tempo em que a posse de armas disparou.
Bem, a falta de manutenção, sendo esta a geradora do acidente é crime, independentemente do risco assumido pelo consumidor. O risco não exclui a responsabilidade da empresa, tanto penal como civil. Não por existir um contrato implícito, mas por existir um contrato explícito de que o avião te levaria de A para B.

A morte do consumidor só pode ser imputada a ele se no contrato ele assumiu tal risco. Se tal risco não estava previsto no contrato, não é possível responsabilizá-lo. Se estava previsto, cabe ao consumidor escolher um meio com risco menor.

Creio que entendi o seu ponto sobre "coisas implícitas". A falha que vejo nesse ponto de vista é que essas coisas não são implícitas, elas são explícitas, tanto que você, eu ou qualquer pessoa consegue perceber que essas "coisas" estão ali, pois elas representam a finalidade do empreendimento. Por exemplo, no caso da boate, quando a boate me permite entrar em seu interior mediante pagamento (contrato), está explícito que posso utilizar o local, sendo também explícito que tal lugar não é destinado a matar pessoas. Isso não é implícito, isso está escancarado. A publicidade da boate, como qualquer outra, apela para momentos de diversão e prazer e isso é algo explícito. Se vou a um restaurante, vou para me alimentar bem, isso não está implícito, está explícito. Essa é a finalidade do restaurante. Agora, se o dono do restaurante, modifica essa regra explícita e agride, implicitamente, a integridade física de alguém, deverá ser responsabilizado, civil e/ou penalmente, a depender do dano causado.

Sobre o ponto: entendo que é um valor subjetivo. Se desejo abrir uma farmácia o ponto pode ser interessante. Se quero abrir uma padaria, pode ser que o ponto não seja mais interessante. Aqui entra o conceito de utilidade marginal. Pede quem tem, paga quem quer e pode.

Dinheiro monopolístico "de verdade" não pode ser criado do nada nem lastreado em outra coisa criada do nada (dívida), pois haverá sempre o nefasto flagelo do moral hazard de para quem e em que quantidade irá o financeiro mais recentemente parido do vento em moto-perpétuo pelo "dono do morro", o que exclui daquela categoria de sound money tanto o "dinheiro de banco central" (seu passivo em fiat money no padrão atual predominante) como também os meios de pgto criados pelos bancos comerciais, cujas reservas no caso americano a propósito só se encontram em níveis elevados recordes (porém ainda assim bem inferiores aos demais agregados monetários frequentemente empregados como se fossem depósitos à vista mas dispensados de recolhimentos compulsórios, apesar de causadores dos "busts") justamente porque foram prontamente recompostas pelo emprestador de última instância via QE's (e agora c/ "hell"icopter$ ?!) após o estouro da bolha creditícia imobiliária de 2008 por ele anteriormente permitida e estimulada como saída p/ o estouro da bolha predecessora em 2000 das "" por ele anteriormente permitida e estimulada como saída p/...
Ou seja, é a eterna festa do "wash, rinse, repeat" da qual só participam permanentemente os integrantes da cabala bancária e uma ínfima parte da sociedade que consegue se aproveitar do super-privilégio de criação de moeda outorgado e garantido pelo estado (!) exclusivamente àquele cartel, sendo imediatamente criminalizado e preso como "falsificador" atentando contra a "economia popular" todo sujeito que resolver entrar na farra produzindo seu próprio "bilhete de ingresso" num fundo de quintal qualquer ! :-(

Se o governo não impôr o curso de nenhuma moeda oficial, aceitando passivamente a livre circulação de todo tipo de meios de troca na economia, rapidamente surgirão dezenas de formas de dinheiro c/ oferta controlada naturalmente pelo próprio mercado selecionando voluntariamente as melhores em detrimento das mais abundantes, configurando não um problema (conforme prega o zeitgeist keynesiano perma-inflacionista do último século) mas sim um excelente acontecimento a deflação de preços decorrente de eventual (e, neste arranjo, desejada) escassez monetária.

Vejo como o maior perigo essa racionalização do status-quo vacilando em condená-lo sumariamente e denunciá-lo como a verdadeira estrutura imoral que é.


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