What Must Be Doneby Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Hoppe begins by examining the nature of the state as “a monopolist of
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In this concise and ever-timely essay on how anarcho-capitalists should engage the modern state, Hans-Hermann Hoppe dissects the nature of the modern democratic state and then suggests strategies for enacting a bottom-up libertarian revolution in ideology and civil government.
Hoppe begins by examining the nature of the state as “a monopolist of defense and the provision and enforcement of law and order.”
Like all state-mandated monopolies, that state’s monopoly on the provision of law enforcement leads to both higher prices and lower quality of the service or product in question. And yet, this unsustainable and inferior state of affairs is tolerated because modern democratic states, much more so than the monarchies and princely estates of old, are seen as moral and a necessary in spite of ample evidence to the contrary.
In the minds of most modern subjects of democratic states, law and order is what the state says it is, and this has led to a long period of centralization and consolidation by states.
How can the libertarian fight back against this trend?
Hoppe offers a program for the libertarian revolution that consists of a few key tenets.
First of all, the libertarian must defend private property. Second, the libertarian must always oppose any territorial expansion of any state, and any decentralizing force, such as secession, must be supported. The third basic insight is that “democratic protection monopoly in particular must be rejected as amoral and economic perversity.”
The libertarian revolution must be founded intellectually on these three insights, but Hoppe does not stop at outlining the intellectual battle that must be waged.
He also outlines a highly pragmatic strategy of localism, self-sufficiency, passive resistance, and non-cooperation with central governments that can pave the way for a new libertarian society. Hoppe tells us that anarcho-capitalists should largely ignore the great debates at the center of major states, and instead concentrate on creating small-scale self-sufficient communities that can be in a position to assert a sort of informal independence from central government. Overt secession movements are impractical, so Hoppe suggests instead policies in which localized communities devoted to the true protection or private property can refuse to cooperate and assist central governments. Over time, and as the movement grows, the effective power of central states will decline to the point of becoming irrelevant.
First delivered as a speech in 1997, What Must be Done contains many of the themes and assertion later covered in more detail in Hoppe’s 2001 book Democracy: The God that Failed, while providing a number of insights into how libertarians can reach beyond the intellectual sphere to bring about a libertarian society.
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Awesome paradigm shift