Thoughts on Modern Intellectuals

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Physiocrat
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Re: Thoughts on Modern Intellectuals

Post by Physiocrat » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:40 am

Neodoxy wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:42 am
Can anyone tell me what they see Hoppe's central theoretical contributions as being? I have read almost nothing by him. I know the basic argument against democracy. Beyond that he seems to do some rear guard action for the cause of Austrianism and parts of his thought seem somewhat instrumental to the alt-right.
With respect to Austrian economic theory proper he hasn't added that much apart from rigourously defending the a priori method. He did have an interesting dispute with Block on Indifference in economics which you may be interested in.

He's best described as a political economist and an-cap theorist rather than an economist - at Las Vegas he taught comparative economic systems.

A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism splits various governmental systems up and investigates the incentive structure they bring. The most famous chapter is the one on Argumentation Ethics which Hulsmann interprets as the final logical defence of demonstrated preference welfare theory.

Following this Democracy the God that Failed is important not just because of the anti-democratic argument but that he raises the point that political institutions prior in mediaevel Europe were more conducive capital creation than the 20th century. Hence his interest to reactionary thought along with his insight that private property implies exclusion so the view of planet AnCap having free movement of people doesn't follow. Further that political institutions were effectively no better in the 18th century than the Middle Ages it undercuts the liberalisation theory of the economy in explaining the Industrial Revolution.

This leads to his final book A Short History of Man in which he uses economic tools to explain the origin of family and thence to defend the cold weather hypothesis, that people groups who survived cold climates required greater levels of intelligence. This increase in average intelligence was crucial for the industrial revolution to occur.

If you're family with the democracy arguments I would say read:

A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism

Natural Order, the State and the Immigration Problem - a paper in the JLS

A Short History of Man

Overall that's under 300 pages of reading and covers his main contributions.
The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

Yours sincerely,

Physiocrat

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Jon Irenicus
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Re: Thoughts on Modern Intellectuals

Post by Jon Irenicus » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:04 am

Good points. I think the intersection of his work with the alt right/neoreactionary movements is valuable for that reason alone, as it shows that there is a libertarian alternative to the statist measures which some in these movements favour. As someone who straddles both these ideological movements, I like him for that reason.
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Re: Thoughts on Modern Intellectuals

Post by Millennial TM » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:40 pm

Argumentation Ethics is usually seen as his biggest contribution, I think.
"And be it indeed that I have erred, my error remaineth with myself"

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Re: Thoughts on Modern Intellectuals

Post by Jon Irenicus » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:13 am

Generally, I think anything he's written on he's benefited by introducing more rigour to the subject.
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Re: Thoughts on Modern Intellectuals

Post by Neodoxy » Fri May 11, 2018 9:02 am

Does anyone actually like Robert Nozick? It really has occurred to me that after years spent on libertarian forums I've actually seen him barely brought up, even when he's considered the most respectable "mainstream" libertarian.

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Re: Thoughts on Modern Intellectuals

Post by Jon Irenicus » Fri May 11, 2018 11:10 am

I do! I enjoyed his ASU thoroughly, even if I don’t agree on some points. He’s a very academic writer, though, so a lot of the prose can be dense. His arguments against Marxism are great.
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