It’s remarkable to find someone so lacking in awareness of self, or in the ability to perceive himself as others might perceive him, that he would announce an immigration policy that, if taken even half seriously, would have barred him from entering the country. For a recent example, check out the latest pronouncement from the inimitably kooky Hans Herman Hoppe, Nevada’s very own mad professor.
Professor Hoppe’s Immigration Views Would Exclude…Him
In the latest dogmatic pronouncement from the Prussian Academy of Las Vegas, Professor Doktor Hoppe calls for closing off the borders and not letting anyone enter a community unless he or she first calculates the “full cost” of his or her entry and then compensates the other members of the community. Hoppe thinks that, in the name of the “market,” the government should be treated as if it were the owner of all of the land of a country. (We used to call that “socialism.”) Thus, if I were to offer someone a job in the country where I live (or even if I were to invite someone to come and visit me), that person could only be admitted if the person doing the inviting “also assumes the full costs associated with the importation of his immigrant-employee.” (The stark formulation of the principle would require, of course, that it be applied not only to the borders of a nation state, but to a province or state, a county, a city, a neighborhood, etc. Travel would be made virtually impossible.) Thus, “Equipped with a work permit, the immigrant is allowed to make free use of every public facility: roads, parks, hospitals, schools, and no landlord, businessman, or private association is permitted to discriminate against him as regards housing, employment, accommodation, and association. That is, the immigrant comes invited with a substantial fringe benefits package paid for not (or only partially) by the immigrant employer (who allegedly has extended the invitation), but by other domestic proprietors as taxpayers who had no say in the invitation whatsoever. This is not an ‘invitation,’ as commonly understood. This is an imposition.”
A Pure Burden By His Own Admission
Let’s see now…a certain philosopher from Germany, with virtually no knowledge of economic science, who was invited to take a post at a state-funded university because Professor Murray Rothbard (who did not read German) received his dissertation and found his name many times in the footnotes, comes to Las Vegas. He does not bother to produce any work for the market, but instead is financed through taxes coerced from the productive taxpayers of Nevada. By the professor’s own principle, he has not only failed to assume the “full cost” of his or her entry, but he is a pure burden to the taxpayers of Nevada. It’s made worse by the fact that he’s defrauded the taxpayers, to boot, as his knowledge of economics is as deep as is my knowledge of Sanskrit.
If I were a Hoppeite, I’d call for running Hans Herman Hoppe out of the country.
Hoppe & Freedom of Movement
But the complete lack of any evidence of self-awareness is not the only source of fun when reading one of his pronouncements. An equally interesting part of a Hoppe rant is how he quickly resorts to arguments ad hominem, even descending into psychoanalysis to explain why people might be so depraved as to — horrors!! — disagree with him. As he opines, “They [people who favor freedom of movement] were initially drawn to libertarianism as juveniles because of its ‘antiauthoritarianism’ (trust no authority) and seeming ‘tolerance,’ in particular toward ‘alternative’ — non-bourgeois lifestyles. As adults, they have been arrested in this phase of mental development.”
Disclosure Of Interest
In the interest of “full disclosure,” I should point out that Hoppe, whom I have never met, has in at least two countries where I had lectured before him publicly attacked me in very colorful and strange terms: “Palmer is nothing but the Ambassador of Homosexuality.” I wasn’t aware that there was a country of Homosexuality and since I had not even given any talks on the subject, having focused instead on European constitutional history, rational choice political science, and other equally sexually charged topics, I found that a puzzling thing to say, as did those who reported it to me. Perhaps Hoppe thought that such a clever and witty remark was an adequate response to any substantive claims I may have made in defense of my preference for constitutionally limited representative government over monarchy, which the zany Professor Hoppe praises: (“The historic transition from monarchy to democracy represents not progress but civilizational decline.” — p. 116)
(I also sparred a bit with Hoppe’s dogmatic supporters when I responded here to some heated responses to my teasing of the Ludwig von Mises Institute for claiming the Emperor Franz Josef as a great patron of Austrian economics and all round friend of liberty.)