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No living writer today is more effective at stripping away the illusions almost everyone has about economics and public life. More fundamentally, Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe causes the scales to fall from one’s eyes on the most critical issue facing humanity today: the choice between liberty and statism. The Great Fiction, published by Laissez Faire Books, is an expansive No living writer today is more effective at stripping away the illusions almost everyone has about economics and public life. More fundamentally, Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe causes the scales to fall from one’s eyes on the most critical issue facing humanity today: the choice between liberty and statism. The Great Fiction, published by Laissez Faire Books, is an expansive collection of his writings centering on the theme of the rise of statism and its theoretical underpinning. Some essays have been published in mostly obscure or offbeat places, while others are new and have never appeared in print. Together they constitute a devastating indictment of the many forms of modern despotism and a sweeping reconstruction of the basis of state management itself. The title comes from a quotation by Frederic Bastiat, the 19th-century economist and pamphleteer: “The state is the great fiction by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.” He does not say that this is one feature of the state, one possible aspect of public policy gone wrong, or one sign of a state gone bad in a shift from its night-watchman role to become confiscatory. Bastiat is characterizing the core nature of the state itself. The whole of Hoppe’s writings on politics can be seen as an elucidation on this point. He sees the state as a gang of thieves that uses propaganda as a means of disguising its true nature. In fleshing this out, Hoppe has made tremendous contributions to the literature, showing how the state originates and how the intellectual class helps perpetuate this cover-up, whether in the name of science, or religion, or the provision of some service like health, security, education, or whatever. The excuses are forever changing; the functioning and goal of the state are always the same. This particular work goes beyond politics, however, to show the full range of Hoppe’s thought on issues of economics, history, scientific methodology, and the history of thought. It is divided into five sections: Politics and Property, Money and the State, Economic Theory, The Intellectuals, and Biographical. The content ranges from highly structured academic pieces to prepared lectures to impromptu interviews. Together they present an example sampling of his perspective a range of issues. In each field, he brings that same level of rigor, that drive for uncompromising adherence to logic, the fearlessness in the fact of radical conclusions. In light of all of this, it seems too limiting to describe Hoppe as a mere member of the Austrian or libertarian tradition, for he really has forged new paths — in more ways than he makes overt in his writings. We are really dealing here with a universal genius, which is precisely why Hoppe’s name comes up so often in any discussion of today’s great living intellectuals. It is true, then, that Hoppe stands with a long line of anarchist thinkers who see the state as playing a purely destructive role in society. But unlike the main line of thinkers in this tradition, Hoppe’s thinking is not encumbered by utopian illusions about society without the state. He follows Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard in placing private property as a central element in social organization. In justifying this point of view, Hoppe goes far beyond traditional Lockean phrases. He sees private property as an inescapable institution in a world of scarcity, and draws on the work of contemporary European philosophy to make his claims more robust than any of his intellectual predecessors did. The reader will be surprised at the approach Hoppe takes because it is far more systematic and logical than people expect of writers on these topics.He came to his views after a long intellectual struggle, having moved systematically from being a conventional left-socialist to become the founder of his own anarcho-capitalist school of thought. The dramatic change happened to him in graduate school, as he reveals in the biographical sections of this book. He takes nothing for granted in the course of his argumentation. He leads the reader carefully through each step in his chain of reasoning. This approach requires extraordinary discipline and a level of brilliance that is out of the reach of most writers and thinkers. The perspective from which he writes stems from a passionate yet scientific attachment to radical freedom, and his work comes about in times when the state is on the march. Everything he writes cuts across the grain. It is paradigm breaking. It is not only his conclusions that are significant but the masterful way that he arrives at them. The Great Fiction provides, perhaps better than any previous work, a full immersion experience into the mind and worldview of Hans Hermann-Hoppe.


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No living writer today is more effective at stripping away the illusions almost everyone has about economics and public life. More fundamentally, Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe causes the scales to fall from one’s eyes on the most critical issue facing humanity today: the choice between liberty and statism. The Great Fiction, published by Laissez Faire Books, is an expansive No living writer today is more effective at stripping away the illusions almost everyone has about economics and public life. More fundamentally, Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe causes the scales to fall from one’s eyes on the most critical issue facing humanity today: the choice between liberty and statism. The Great Fiction, published by Laissez Faire Books, is an expansive collection of his writings centering on the theme of the rise of statism and its theoretical underpinning. Some essays have been published in mostly obscure or offbeat places, while others are new and have never appeared in print. Together they constitute a devastating indictment of the many forms of modern despotism and a sweeping reconstruction of the basis of state management itself. The title comes from a quotation by Frederic Bastiat, the 19th-century economist and pamphleteer: “The state is the great fiction by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.” He does not say that this is one feature of the state, one possible aspect of public policy gone wrong, or one sign of a state gone bad in a shift from its night-watchman role to become confiscatory. Bastiat is characterizing the core nature of the state itself. The whole of Hoppe’s writings on politics can be seen as an elucidation on this point. He sees the state as a gang of thieves that uses propaganda as a means of disguising its true nature. In fleshing this out, Hoppe has made tremendous contributions to the literature, showing how the state originates and how the intellectual class helps perpetuate this cover-up, whether in the name of science, or religion, or the provision of some service like health, security, education, or whatever. The excuses are forever changing; the functioning and goal of the state are always the same. This particular work goes beyond politics, however, to show the full range of Hoppe’s thought on issues of economics, history, scientific methodology, and the history of thought. It is divided into five sections: Politics and Property, Money and the State, Economic Theory, The Intellectuals, and Biographical. The content ranges from highly structured academic pieces to prepared lectures to impromptu interviews. Together they present an example sampling of his perspective a range of issues. In each field, he brings that same level of rigor, that drive for uncompromising adherence to logic, the fearlessness in the fact of radical conclusions. In light of all of this, it seems too limiting to describe Hoppe as a mere member of the Austrian or libertarian tradition, for he really has forged new paths — in more ways than he makes overt in his writings. We are really dealing here with a universal genius, which is precisely why Hoppe’s name comes up so often in any discussion of today’s great living intellectuals. It is true, then, that Hoppe stands with a long line of anarchist thinkers who see the state as playing a purely destructive role in society. But unlike the main line of thinkers in this tradition, Hoppe’s thinking is not encumbered by utopian illusions about society without the state. He follows Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard in placing private property as a central element in social organization. In justifying this point of view, Hoppe goes far beyond traditional Lockean phrases. He sees private property as an inescapable institution in a world of scarcity, and draws on the work of contemporary European philosophy to make his claims more robust than any of his intellectual predecessors did. The reader will be surprised at the approach Hoppe takes because it is far more systematic and logical than people expect of writers on these topics.He came to his views after a long intellectual struggle, having moved systematically from being a conventional left-socialist to become the founder of his own anarcho-capitalist school of thought. The dramatic change happened to him in graduate school, as he reveals in the biographical sections of this book. He takes nothing for granted in the course of his argumentation. He leads the reader carefully through each step in his chain of reasoning. This approach requires extraordinary discipline and a level of brilliance that is out of the reach of most writers and thinkers. The perspective from which he writes stems from a passionate yet scientific attachment to radical freedom, and his work comes about in times when the state is on the march. Everything he writes cuts across the grain. It is paradigm breaking. It is not only his conclusions that are significant but the masterful way that he arrives at them. The Great Fiction provides, perhaps better than any previous work, a full immersion experience into the mind and worldview of Hans Hermann-Hoppe.

51 review for The Great Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eirik Bergflødt narjord

    Read at your own risk ...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Moss

    Included in this assemblage of essays are some fantastic takedowns of Nozick and Hayek! But of particular impact are the essays entitled: "The Role of Intellectuals and Anti-Intellectual Intellectuals" In this essay Hoppe wraps it up by leaving us a nice little riddle to share with our statist friends... "Assume a group of people, aware of the possibility of conflicts between them. Someone then proposes, as a solution to this human problem, that he (or someone) be made the ultimate arbiter in any Included in this assemblage of essays are some fantastic takedowns of Nozick and Hayek! But of particular impact are the essays entitled: "The Role of Intellectuals and Anti-Intellectual Intellectuals" In this essay Hoppe wraps it up by leaving us a nice little riddle to share with our statist friends... "Assume a group of people, aware of the possibility of conflicts between them. Someone then proposes, as a solution to this human problem, that he (or someone) be made the ultimate arbiter in any such case of conflict, including those conflicts in which he is involved. Is this a deal you would accept?" "State or Private-Law Society?" Scarcity leads to conflict. To minimize conflict we need conflict-free rules (property rights). People will still violate property right even with rules, therefore, we need security to enforce property rights. The traditional way of "securing" these rights is to create a state and grant it monopoly powers over security and law. Monopolies produce low quality products at above market prices. The state, being a monopoly that forces you to purchase their services, by default will cause conflict rather than decrease conflict. The solution to reducing conflicts is to allow the market to provide security and law that people are willing to pay for rather than forced to. "The Private Production of Defense" This essay is a full-frontal assault on the Hobbesian myth and the assertion that a state is necessary for a peaceful society. Hoppe shows that the state is inefficient, leads to total war, and has no way of calculating how much security people want. One of the most interesting aspects of this essay is the part where Hoppe shows how public security actually creates incentives that lead to immorality, whereas, private security would do just the opposite. As a Christian this insight really spoke to me. If we, as Christians, claim to value things like family, charity, morality, etc... then what Hoppe shows in this essay should be of great interest to us. If he's right, which I think he undoubtedly is, then we might really need to rethink our entire Romans 13 view of the state we've come to embrace. Far from being a blessing from God, the state is the antithesis of everything we stand for. "In Defense of Extreme Rationalism" I will say that much of the philosophical components of this essay can be difficult to grasp, but boy did I delight in reading this essay. Hoppe is so clear. He's a master at deconstructing opponent's arguments and illuminating the contradictions of their positions. In this essay, Hoppe destroys modern day hermeneutics, empiricism, positivism, skepticism, and, of course, relativism. But what's most interesting, is the ways in which Hoppe helped me to spot the relativism that is rampant in the Christian community, which is ironic because Christian's hate relativism. So fascinating!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mattheus Guttenberg

    Rich and juicy. The Great Fiction is a collection of essays on economics, society, and other subjects from a libertarian anarchist perspective. Hoppe, an economist and philosopher, covers all sorts of ground: private law societies with private defense, the history of the nuclear family, the arcane nuances of uncertainty and risk, and much more with his characteristically sharp and logical mind. Certainly a controversial figure (even in libertarian circles) - don't expect to agree on everything ( Rich and juicy. The Great Fiction is a collection of essays on economics, society, and other subjects from a libertarian anarchist perspective. Hoppe, an economist and philosopher, covers all sorts of ground: private law societies with private defense, the history of the nuclear family, the arcane nuances of uncertainty and risk, and much more with his characteristically sharp and logical mind. Certainly a controversial figure (even in libertarian circles) - don't expect to agree on everything (see: his proposal for a "restricted immigration" policy); nevertheless, Hoppe is a giant in the Austrian/market anarchist tradition and well-worth reading.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mateusz

    Just internet articles already available online and a bit of new racist stuff you will enjoy as much as Hoppe enjoys Somalia and African civilisation.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    A very interesting read. Hoppe is not always the best at expressing the more cold, hard philosophical sections in the middle but otherwise he presents strong, clear arguments for his beliefs.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Classical Liberal

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dustin

  8. 5 out of 5

    Miguel Cardoso

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Allison

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aloysius

  11. 5 out of 5

    Duncan Berry

  12. 4 out of 5

    Screaminjay

  13. 4 out of 5

    John

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mishal Kennedy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Albert Bifarelli

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael DeVinney

  18. 4 out of 5

    Barış

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  20. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Hammill

  21. 5 out of 5

    0

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joost Van vroonhoven

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Keane

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paul Vittay

  25. 5 out of 5

    Morris

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bill Wilberg

  27. 5 out of 5

    Spectraz

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dustin

  29. 4 out of 5

    Furbjr

  30. 5 out of 5

    Henri

  31. 5 out of 5

    J.T.

  32. 4 out of 5

    Ted Harks

  33. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Griggs

  34. 4 out of 5

    Fernando

  35. 4 out of 5

    Metiana

  36. 4 out of 5

    Werner Ende

  37. 4 out of 5

    Mohammad Uzair

  38. 4 out of 5

    Ali Don

  39. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Garnick

  40. 4 out of 5

    Whitman

  41. 4 out of 5

    Keith

  42. 4 out of 5

    Hektor Auerswald

  43. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Ford

  44. 5 out of 5

    Fuad

  45. 4 out of 5

    Bakunin

  46. 4 out of 5

    Duke Boyne

  47. 4 out of 5

    Tomáš Zemko

  48. 5 out of 5

    Kopyto

  49. 5 out of 5

    Brent Kingi

  50. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

  51. 4 out of 5

    Walter Calaza

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