But wait, there’s more: Hayek von Pinochet, Part 2

My post last night on Hayek and Pinochet is getting a fair amount of attention. But there’s more to the story that I didn’t include. So here are some additional details.

First, though Farrant et al (authors of the excellent article on Hayek and Pinochet that I linked to last night) cite from this letter Hayek wrote to the Times on July 11, 1978, they don’t cite what to my mind is the most remarkable statement in that letter:

If Mrs. Thatcher said that free choice is to be exercised more in the market place than in the ballot box, she has merely uttered the truism that the first is indispensable for individual freedom, while the second is not.

That statement is certainly in keeping with much of what Hayek wrote throughout his career, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him state quite so pungently his belief that capitalism is more important to freedom than democracy.

Second, many readers have pointed out that Ludwig von Mises held similar views on the virtues of dictatorship. Farrant et al actually cite Mises on this score in one of their footnotes, but they don’t cite the full extent of his views.  From Mises’ 1927 book Liberalism:

That [fascists] they have not yet succeeded as fully as the Russian Bolsheviks in freeing themselves from a certain regard for liberal notions and ideas and traditional ethical precepts is to be attributed solely to the fact that the Fascists carry on their work among nations in which the intellectual and moral heritage of some thousands of years of civilization cannot be destroyed at one blow, and not among the barbarian peoples on both sides of the Urals, whose relationship to civilization has never been any other than that of marauding denizens of forest and desert accustomed to engage, from time to time, in predatory raids on civilized lands in the hunt for booty. Because of this difference, Fascism will never succeed as completely as Russian Bolshevism in freeing itself from the power of liberal ideas….The deeds of the Fascists and of other parties corresponding to them were emotional reflex actions evoked by indignation at the deeds of the Bolsheviks and Communists. As soon as the first flush of anger had passed, their policy took a more moderate course and will probably become even more so with the passage of time.

This moderation is the result of the fact that traditional liberal views still continue to have an unconscious influence on the Fascists.

It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history. But though its policy has brought salvation for the moment, it is not of the kind which could promise continued success. Fascism was an emergency makeshift. To view it as something more would be a fatal error.

One of my readers points me to this blog he wrote on Mises and fascism, which also discusses Mises’ work for the Austrian fascist chancellor Engelbert Dolfuss.

Last, Farrant tells me that he and his colleagues will be writing more on Hayek von Pinochet.  So stay tuned.

Update (10:45 am)

I forgot to mention this bit from Farrant et al’s article: Hayek on South Africa.

For Hayek, the international propaganda campaign against Chile (and also that against South Africa)—the “systematic distortion of . . . [the] facts” about these countries—would have serious consequences: “politicians in Western countries. . . . increasingly bow to this false public opinion” (44) and their representatives at the United Nations had voted in favor of the international arms embargo “against South Africa” (45). This measure, Hayek argued, could ultimately lead to the wholesale destruction of the “international economic order” (45). Hayek was highly critical of the United Nations and argued that the imposition of “boycotts and similar measures against individual countries” (Chile and South Africa) had been made on an arbitrary basis rather than in accordance with binding rules that had “been set and announced prior.” For Hayek, the United Nations had been “seduced” into adopting “such measures . . . by crass vote-catching” (Hayek 1978b: 44).

And then this, from their footnotes:

For Hayek, South Africa was supposedly subjected to similarly unfair treatment: As Hayek explains, when he attended a conference on monetary policy, “someone overheard how I was invited by the South African finance
minister to visit his country and . . . someone immediately remarked that he hoped I would not . . . [accept] this invitation” (44). Hayek—noting that he deems “Apartheid’ a marked “injustice and a mistake”—explains that his negative view of apartheid has “nothing to do with the question whether it is morally justified or reasonable to impose our moral tenets onto an established population which built up the economy and the culture of its country” (1978b:45).

And this, also from their footnotes:

“I have already heard in more than one country that the danger of an arbitrary measure of the United Nations would just as well make impossible free trade and . . . the country would have to protect itself against such interventions” (Hayek 1978b: 45).


  1. BruceMajora July 9, 2012 at 10:07 am | #

    Your blog is one of the most hilariously dishonest and moronic leftover disinfo sites. Kudos for your Leni Refeinstahl nomination for the 2012 competition. Your National Socialist forebears were elected. Why leave that out kitten?

    • DavidLuebke July 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm | #

      Ah, yes, the old “Nazis were elected” meme. Hitler was not “elected” Chancellor, but appointed by President Paul von Hindenburg under emergency powers granted him under article 48 of the Weimar constitution, at the instigation of Franz von Papen, whom Hitler appointed Vice Chancellor. The best the Nazi party could manage in a free election was about 37% of the vote. To be sure, that was the largest share any party took in the July 1932 Reichstag elections. But it was no majority, and in any case governing parliamentary majorities had been impossible since 1930. Then in the November 1932 Reichstag elections, the NSDAP’s share fell to 33%.

      Hitler was never “elected.” He was appointed by conservative power-brokers.

  2. brucemajors July 9, 2012 at 10:10 am | #

    Hilarious leftover disinfo. Kudos on your nomination for this year’s Leni Reifenstahl award. Maybe a candidate will hire you to help them get elected, as your National Socialist forefathers were.

    • Jeet Heer July 9, 2012 at 11:10 am | #

      Hi Corey: you might also want to look up this little squib I wrote about Mises and fascism: http://sanseverything.wordpress.com/2007/12/15/mises-and-the-merit-of-fascism/ — also, see Perry Anderson’s fine essay on the radical right in his collection Spectrum.

      • brucemajors July 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm | #

        Mises was of course a Viennese Jew who criticized the protectionist and nationalist economic programs of the Nazis, not unlike your own economic policies, and then had to flee to the United States. Being illiterates, you would not know this without my charity.

  3. Bill July 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm | #

    I somehow clicked on the wrong post to reply and this ended up elsewhere when it really belongs here.

    The authoritarian implications of Hayek’s philosophy are nothing new. Alain de Benoist of the French New Right pointed them out in 1998:

    “Hayek’s efforts differ from classical liberalism because of his attempt to re-ground the doctrine at the highest possible level without recourse to the fiction of the social contract and by attempting to avoid the critiques usually made of rationalism, utilitarianism, the postulate of a general equilibrium or of pure and perfect competition founded on the transparency of information. In order to do this, Hayek is forced to raise the stakes and to turn the market into a global concept necessary because of its totalizing character. The result is a new utopia, predicated on as many paralogisms and contradictions. Actually, as Caille put it, were it not for “the welfare state’s failure to achieve social peace, the market order would have been swept away a long time ago.” A society based on Hayek’s principles would explode in a short time. Furthermore, its institution can only be the product of a pure “constructivism” and would undoubtedly require a dictatorial state. As Albert O. Hirschman writes, “this allegedly idyllic privatized citizenship, which only pays attention to its economic interests and indirectly serves the public interest without ever playing a direct role — all of this can only be achieved within nightmarish political conditions.”

    Read the whole article from Telos here:


    • smatthew0130 July 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm | #

      I hate to agree with someone whose writing are used enthusiastically by Neo-Nazis but in this case he is right on. I actually have an AO Hirschmann book in my hands right now. Looks like he (Benoist) was morel leftist back in the day.

      • Bill July 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm | #

        It’s no secret that Benoist had far-right connections during the 1960s and 70s, but he’s long disowned many of his views and friends from that period. That article was published in Telos in 1998.

        The “fascist” smears are usually smear jobs from people who suspect anyone who doesn’t embrace egalitarianism and agglomeration head-on of “fascist” sympathies. Benoist does not advocate deportation nor, it should go without saying, violence against immigrants or foreigners, and states that all men of quality are brothers, regardless of race. He has also denounced homophobia and antisemitism. If Neo-Nazis do namedrop him, chances are they haven’t bothered to read the books he’s published over the last few decades.

        One of Benoist’s recurring arguments is that anti-capitalists of the left and the right share many similarities and should try to find common ground. This is why he takes an interest in fascist and far right thinkers like Georges Valois, Ugo Spirito, Othmar Spann, Thierry Maulnier, et al. as well as Catholics such as Charles Péguy and Georges Bernanos, without endorsing each and every one of their positions. These authors offered sophisticated and sincere critiques of capitalism from the right which remain pertinent and often get ignored in favor of left-wingers. Likewise, Benoist’s journal Krisis publishes authors from both the left and the right.

        The article on Hayek should demonstrate that anti-capitalists of the right can indeed be sincere and thoughtful.

  4. smd341 July 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm | #

    I share Corey’s dislike for libertarian dictatorships, but there is a serious issue here that needs to be addressed, of course. Going all the way back to John Stuart Mill democratic theorists have wondered about how the will of the populace may conflict with the liberty of the individual. Consider the Islamist Gaza Strip where the democratically elected Hamas government has outlawed certain forms of music, abortion etc and severely persecuted religious minorities. The same may be about to happen in Egypt. If the choices are between Sweden and Chile, ok sure I pick the former. But the “Hayek loved dictatorships” gotcha quote isn’t capturing all the problems here.

    • swallerstein July 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm | #


      If by your analogy with Gaza, you mean to imply that Pinochet’s regime had majority support in Chile, you are wrong.

      I come from Chile and in the 1988 plebiscite, one in which Pinochet controlled almost all the media and all the television, he received 44% of the vote, surely not a majority.

      • smd341 July 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm | #

        Besides the point, I think, especially considering that in a multiparty democracy a candidate can win without a majority. The demonstration that democracies can severely restrict liberty, even in the areas that Corey has spoken about (in the family w/r/t women and in the workplace) still stands and needs comment.

      • David Luebke July 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm | #

        That percentage, funnily enough, is about what Hitler and the NSDAP were able to achieve in the March 1933 Reichstag election, by which time they had already banned the Communist party and were largely in control of the media.

      • swallerstein July 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm | #

        Let me also clarify that Pinochet outspent the opposition in campaign propaganda, that opposition demonstrations were still repressed during the campaign period often with violence, that people were afraid and in many cases probably voted for Pinochet out of fear, especially in rural regions (where a vote against Pinochet in a voting station with few voters would be noted) and that on the night of the plebiscite seeing that he was losing, Pinochet concentrated troops in order to “overthrow” his own plebiscite but was prevented by Air Force General Matthei, who refused to go along.

        • Bruce Majors July 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm | #

          Funny that Pinochet’s crimes pale beside those of Pol Pot, Castro, Chavez, Stalin, etc. and they may even number less than innocents killed by Obama’s predator drones. But you fascist disinfo sheeple want to pretend like your bilge is coherent and libertarianism isn’t, hence your vomitus contorted catechism.

    • brucemajors July 11, 2012 at 7:31 am | #

      Where has there even been a libertarian dictatorship you can point to? The majority of libertarians seem to think liberty is more likely to be achieved by the dissolution of all government, either via anarcho-capitalism and a merchant law market, or via expanded frontiers like sea steading, or via technological decentralization like wikileaks. Is this blog all grey pony tailed Trotskyites debating books they read in the 50s and 50s when at uni?

  5. Jeet Heer July 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm | #

    There’s a further twist here worth exploring. Hayek gave primacy to property rights but there is considerable evidence that he (like many other dictators) stole from the general population. See here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2134977/Chile-open-Augusto-Pinochets-stole-state-amass-15m-fortune.html — So Hayek in the name of defending liberty and property celebrated a dictator who respected neither liberty nor property.

  6. jonnybutter July 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm | #

    It certainly is a problem that democracies can restrict liberty (and I think this concern predates Mill!). I don’t see why this is appropriate to this post. No one will argue that democracies cannot err. I would say, however, that a dictatorship *requires* severely restricted (civil) liberty, while a democracy doesn’t.

    This is the part that blows my mind:

    ” Hayek—noting that he deems “Apartheid’ a marked “injustice and a mistake”—explains that his negative view of apartheid has “nothing to do with the question whether it is morally justified or reasonable to impose our moral tenets onto an established population which built up the economy and the culture of its country” (1978b:45).”

    Wow. Evidently the ‘Afrikaners’ have their own discrete moral tenants. Why? Because they have established and built up an economy and culture (a culture resting on injustice and a mistake, but never mind).

  7. smd341 July 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm | #

    @ Bill.

    I’m afraid I can’t share your interest in Benoist’s anti-capitalism. From what I’ve read of the primary sources as well as commentary by experts such as Thomas Sheehan and Roger Griffin it is in fact a novel restatement of fascism. If by antipathy to agglomeration you mean the protection of exclusionary and parochial “cultures” that can only be separated intellectually rather than functionally than I’m not on board. Like Marx I have a great appreciation for capitalism’s material benefits, its promotion of a rational way of thinking (see George Simmel), the emancipation of women and LGBT that it has accompanied etc etc. I share his dislike for wage slavery and the coercion of the workplace, and yearn for a more democratic mode of production. I think the free movement of peoples is very important as well.

    • Bill July 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm | #

      “From what I’ve read of the primary sources as well as commentary by experts such as Thomas Sheehan and Roger Griffin it is in fact a novel restatement of fascism.”

      This is straight from Wikipedia and betrays little knowledge of Benoist’s books, which should be read before one tries to claim familiarity with his thought. Griffin in particular has an axe to grind and his accusations often rely on weak guilt-by-association hysterics, i.e. Benoist takes an interest in Gobineau, therefore Benoist endorses all of Gobineau’s ideas, even though he doesn’t, and similar nonsense. (For the record, Gobineau’s works have been reissued by the prestigious Biblioteque de la Pleiade, and he’s recognized as a talented prose stylist by people who have bothered to read him, so it’s not like his work has no intellectual or aesthetic merit.)

      Benoist’s views on “exclusionary and parochial cultures” are likewise more complex, and I suggest you actually read his books before you dismiss him. His position is really more of an attempt to find a middle ground between cosmopolitanism and nationalism and doesn’t hinge on xenophobia or bigotry. Like I said, he rejects all talk of deportation of people already living in Europe, which was one of the main causes for his break with his old allies like Giullaume Faye and others who genuinely do wish to drive all non-Europeans off the continent. He refers to such people as “crazies.”

      Like I said, quit relying on second-hand sources and try reading his books. You didn’t even address my comments on Benoist’s critique of capitalism and the attention he tries to bring to other anti-capitalist rightists.

      • smd341 July 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm | #

        Thanks for your response. Which of his titles would you recommend?

  8. partisan July 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm | #

    One thing that I have never seen satisfactorily answered was Von Mises attitude towards the first world war. Hayek was only under twenty in 1918, but von Mises was well in his thirties. Two issues are of particular importance: Von Mises’ attitude towards the actual outbreak of the war, usually blamed on Austrian beligerence, and on the Brest-Litovsk treaty, in which the Central Powers decided to rape Russia for its own selfish interest.

  9. smd341 July 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm | #

    @ Bruce

    The subject of this post is the extent to which libertarianism as exposed by Hayek is opposed to democracy, not Mao or Pol Pot. I see this a lot amongst free marketers, an almost, “OK well my system sure has some huge problems but STALIN KILLED 3 MILLION PEOPLE” mode of debate, one based on fear rather than possibilities. Furthermore I ask you to perhaps count the number killed in US capitalist wars in Vietnam or Guatemala for instance, which were explicitly conducted in order to protect foreign investments and maintain open door trade policies. Or how our support for Saudi Arabia, which beheads homosexuals and adulterous women, is fundamentally designed to protect the resource on which are entire economy rests. Or maybe you’re one of those Austrians who says thats not really capitalism, in which case you are entirely irrelevant.

    • brucemajors July 11, 2012 at 7:34 am | #

      Yes libertarians absolutely disagree with your collectivist cannibalistic “morality” in which everyone being able to control everyone else’s life and consume their livelihood is viewed as “good” because it satisfies your envies. For libertarians democracy is only an instrumental value, and at that a lesser tool than a Bill of Rights, a culture focusing on the rule of law, or for that matter an armed citizenry. The ultimate political value is a system where there is no slavery, including the kinds you like where you think you will be on top, and instead everyone owns her/his own body, time, productivity, etc. Democracy is only good if it is in a form that serves to protect that.

      • LDM December 4, 2012 at 11:20 am | #

        You are, I hope, aware that the killing fields of Cambodia were done by a regime backed by the US and destroyed by the communist vietnamese. Your historical ignorance is almost as great as the ideological confusion you show by using the expression “anarcho-capitalism” – there is no such thing, except in the imaginations of a few demented reactionaries.

  10. Bill July 9, 2012 at 10:06 pm | #


    Unfortunately, some of Alain de Benoist’s more interesting books have yet to be translated into English, such as ‘Demain, la décroissance’, which is about ecology. He’s pro-environentalism, which should also appeal to leftists. Of the few that have been translated, ‘The Problem of Democracy’ is definitely worth reading, though it should be noted that Benoist does support a form of participatory democracy. If you have an interest in paganism, then ‘On Being a Pagan’ is also worth your time, though it’s not an explicitly political work.

    And for the record, this post from Benoist over at WAISWorld should clear up what his ideals resemble for those who don’t have time to read his books at the moment:

    On the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires:

    “They were not perfect, of course. But I think they constituted two very achieved examples of multinational political bodies which, through a patient process of construction, reached a good equilibrium between unity (transcending the differences) and diversity (recognizing the liberties of the different peoples living together in the Empire).”


    Obviously, this has nothing to with fascism or Nazism, and Hitler hated the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Though Benoist would probably advocate something more pagan, federalist, and less authoritarian than the Habsburgs.

    • smd341 July 10, 2012 at 1:40 am | #

      Thanks again for your response. He sounds somewhat reasonable in much of what I’ve read, but there is a tendency for me to come across these things on sites running articles on white nationalism and how African-Americans are stupid and polluting our pristine DNA. Well, I guess guilt by association ought not tarnish it, but I’m curious for your reflection on why its there (unless you share these sympathies).

      • Bill July 10, 2012 at 11:48 am | #

        From what I’ve seen of those sites, they tend to be a hodgepodge of people with radically different views whose only binding thread is that the mainstream rejects them. This can lead to lots of odd cross-pollination, such as Alexander Cockburn writing for the paleocon journal Chronicles while paleocons and right-libertarians contribute to Counterpunch. Yet Counterpunch still publishes people like Chomsky, The Nation still publishes Cockburn, and Cockburn still considers himself a radical leftist, as far as I know. He’s only willing to cooperate with paleocons and libertarians who are anti-war and anti-imperialist, and I’ve seen other people on the left suggest that sort of alliance.

        So, yeah, that’s why I’d avoid guilt-by-association assumptions. In addition, Benoist takes a deep interest in many of the Weimar Conservative Revolutionary writers such as Ernst Jünger, Oswald Spengler, Ernst Niekisch, Edgar Julius Jung, Ludwig Klages, et al. Many of these names were anti-bourgeois, anti-capitalist, and often pagan/agnostic, so mainstream conservatives have little use for them, but they remain popular among “alternative” and “Nietzschean” right-wing circles. Because these alternative right-wing groups are relatively small and lack the funding of the mainstream conservatives, they often find themselves cooperating with each other even if they have profound disagreements. So these people end up sharing a site with Traditionalist Catholics and materialist “race realists” (who are probably the types you have in mind) without necessarily sharing their views. But, as I pointed out, Benoist also collaborates with left-wing journals like Telos, so you shouldn’t assume too much about his own beliefs based on what sites his name appears on.

        I hope that clears both myself and Benoist from any lingering suspicion.

      • BillW July 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm | #

        I would keep plenty of sunshine between oneself and postmodern Fascists like Benoist. To get a handle on these creeps–as well as merchants of Muslim hatred such as the man who brought down the Dutch government recently (a political disease closely related to classical European anti-Semitism)–a phrase coined by George Mosse, who escaped Hitler as a gay and Jewish man, is of help: “scavenger ideology”. These bottom-feeders will opportunistically look for whatever has currency in specific socio-historical contexts and their power comes from their “ability to pick out and utilize ideas and values from other sets of ideas and beliefs”.

        Don’t forget the Nazis were also for another typically left project, animal-rights and were so flexible as to even label themselves “socialist”. In fact, they were anxious to have an alternate pseudo-morality, contrary to some commentators who imperiously dismiss any talk of their worldview as a farrago of half-baked homilies (“Hitler’s table talk”). It’s a shame that as people’s memories of the actual Fascists are dying away, they are reappearing in a new guise that literally denies it’s own reality, but Wittgenstein’s notion of a “game” is of help here and will remain relevant to pick out these pathological outgrowths of modern democratic politics.

        In true Orwellian fashion Benoist has rebranded himself an “anti-racist” and is not averse to quoting some left writers. This is similar in spirit to ex-John Birchers who have learned one line and one line only from MLK. I suspect most people on this site know that line by heart but for the sake of those from other shores here it is. Also, an extended excerpt from another piece published in Telos entitled The New Cultural Racism in France by Pierre-André Taguieff:

        Paradoxically, racism can be articulated in terms of race or of culture, mindsets, traditions and religions, i.e., in the vocabulary of ‘specificities’ or of ‘collective identities.’ Racism does not just biologize the cultural, it acculturates the biological. Racist thought may be developed in terms of either of these registers or may even be presented as a syncretism of genetic reductionism and absolute cultural relativism. Its most radical forms are not always the most visible, or the most easily refuted.

        There are two types of racism. A general type postulates the existence of a universal scale of values concerning races or civilizations, which are pinpointed as being suitable, less suitable or unsuitable, according to various criteria. A communitarian type establishes difference or group identity as an absolute. In this case, it is less a question of inequality than of incommunicability, incommensurability, and incomparability. The human species is broken down into self-contained, closed totalities. The differentialist imperative is the need to preserve the community as is, or to purify it. If the central obsession of discriminatory racism is the loss of rank, the debasement of superior peoples, the idée fixe of differentialist racism is the loss of what is characteristic, the erasement of the group’s identity.

        Discriminatory racism can be understood in terms of the classical theory of racial prejudice. It presupposes an imperial and/or colonial type of domination legitimated by the ideology of inequality of human types. The universalism of discriminatory racism derives from the positing of one model of hierarchical classification of races or civilizations. This formal universalism has nothing to do with the fundamental demand for universality of any ethics concerned with respect for individuals. There is no consistent anti-racism that does not postulate the dignity of every human being, whatever one’s origins. This core of ethical anti-racism escapes all possible ideological instrumentalizations.

        Differentialist racism cannot be reduced to a theory of inequality authorizing domination. Rather, it is predicated on the imperative of preserving the group’s identity, whose ‘purity’ it sanctifies. It stigmatizes the mixing of cultures as the supreme mistake, and it vacillates between a system of exclusion (separate development/rejection) and a system of extermination (apartheid and genocide). Of course, history provides ‘impure’ examples or syncretic illustrations of these ideal types of racism. But to confuse the two is a theoretical error with serious consequences both for the anti-racist struggle and for an understanding of racist phenomena.

        The latest New Right doctrine (since 1979-1980) places the utmost importance on difference. What Benoist terms anti-racism is a radical reinterpretation of ‘the right to be different.’ With racism defined by disrespect of differences, the New Right rejects the very idea of a ‘differentialist racism.’ Racism can only be an avatar of biblical universalism, an ideological heir of the monotheism that ‘reduces’ human diversity, the structure that eradicates differences. The New Right’s anti-racism is a pseudo-universalism, whereas consistent anti-racism privileges universality over particularity. The right to be different is a second implication of a well-founded anti-racism: to grant this right pre-eminent status is to accept racism’s premises. Respect for people involves the respect of their ‘cultural’ choices. Universalism is not universalist enough and thus, in its shadow, thrives a racism which is reductionist, homogenizing, and hostile to biological and cultural diversities.

        …Since 1980, New Right has reformulated its arguments for the rejection of ‘inassimilable’ foreigners, individuals of non-European origin. Because of tolerant differentialism, the New Right has had to insist on the immigrants’ own interests in returning to their own homeland…From a defense of oppressed minorities and their ‘cultural rights,’ the ‘right to be different’ has been transformed into an instrument of legitimation for exacerbated calls to defend a ‘threatened’ national (and/or European) identity. The real question of ethnocide has been degraded, after a formative period of extreme Left anti-Western rhetoric, to the level of an instrumental myth of nationalist propaganda with a certain French xenophobic (the Front National) or a Europeanist (the New Right) tendency. To the demands for exclusion in terms of differentialist justification, a master ideologue like Benoist adds many nuances, restrictions and disclaimers to seemingly innocent themes such as the ‘dialogue between cultures.’ The New Right appropriates this theme with the proviso that ‘cultures,’ in order to ‘discuss,’ must have ‘roots.’ In order to be open, a cultural system must be closed.

        • brucemajors July 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm | #

          No I don’t have to agree to anything. And any person adding this leftover backwater blog who has any intellectual curiosity can peruse books by libertarian theorists or libertarian on line discussion groups and quickly learn that Hermann-Hoppe is more mocked than studied. I note that your reply had no intellectual or substantive content.

  11. chapolescos July 10, 2012 at 1:04 am | #

    Strawmen everywhere.

  12. Gary July 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm | #

    “It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aiming at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has, for the moment, saved European civilization.”

    It seems that saving Europe from Democracy is something he can support.

    After reading Hans-Hermann Hoppe – “Democracy; the God That Failed” it’s become obvious to me just how much libertarians despise Democracy.

    “The mass of people, as La Boetie and Mises recognized, always and everywhere consists of “brutes”, “dullards”, and “fools” …Hans-Hermann Hoppe

    “There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and expelled from society. Likewise, in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin, there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal. They – the advocates of alternative, non-family lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism – will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.”
    – Hans-Hermann Hoppe

    “A member of the human race who is completely incapable of understanding the higher productivity of labor performed under a division of labor based on private property is not properly speaking a person… but falls instead into the same moral category as an animal – of either the harmless sort (to be domesticated and employed as a producer or consumer good, or to be enjoyed as a “free good”) or the wild and dangerous one (to be fought as a pest). On the other hand, there are members of the human species who are capable of understanding the [value of the division of labor] but…who knowingly act wrongly… besides having to be tamed or even physically defeated [they] must also be punished… to make them understand the nature of their wrongdoings and hopefully teach them a lesson for the future.” – Hans-Hermann Hoppe

    • smd341 July 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm | #

      Those quotes are seriously terrifying. Something that I think sheds light on these individuals is what Freud noted in his character and anal eroticism. An obsession with uprightness, solidity, and masculinity. Doug Henwood comments on goldbuggery thusly: “In contrast with the dry, tight, fixed, “masculine” aura of gold, modern credit money seems protean, liquid, and “feminine.”

      I will respect Bill (not BillWs) suggestion to read Benoist, but from what I’ve seen much of it resembles the philosophy mentioned in Fritz Stern’s politics of Cultural Despair. A deep antipathy towards modernity, and a longing for a more bloody, valiant epic. Corey speaks about this in the second half of his book.

      • smd341 July 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm | #

        *era not epic

    • Bruce Majors July 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm | #

      A little education for you illiterate trogs. Herman-Hoppe is viewed by most libertarians as a borderline libertarian at best. To use him to represent libertarianism is thus to reveal your weakness by picking a straw man. But honesty and intellect are clearly not your strengths. Secondly libertarians never claimed to favor democracy, or even constitutional republics, except as a means to and end. Libertarians believe every individual owns his or her body, mind, time, energy, thoughts, and productivity, and that no one is waned Byron a slave of another. Democracy as you idealize it is. Leary intended to be a s system of slavery in which you manipulate groups that are purportedly a majority, in order to exploit as many tax serfs as possible for your ruling class, with a window dressing of crumbs for those you have impoverished. Why would libertarians be interested in you fascist bitches and your heinous ends?

      • smd341 July 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm | #

        I guess we have to agree to disagree Bruce.

  13. smd341 July 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm | #

    @ BillW. If your interested in an excellent commentator on some of the issues mentioned in that Telos post, I refer you to Kenan Malik’s blog http://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/.

    • BillW July 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm | #

      Thanks, I’ll check out Kenan Malik’s writings.

      Also a broken link in my last post. Link labeled ‘pseudo-morality’ above should be this instead.

  14. smd341 July 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm | #

    Oh and by the way Bruce, Ron Paul’s stance on immigration is right out of Hoppe. You can see the references in his books! This kind of gives the lie to your comment that Hoppe is borderline libertarian. Paul (and Hoppe) say that in an ideal society every piece of land would be privatized, so people in the current state of Mexico would only be able to get into the US with the permission of landowners on the border. Freedom of movement for everyone else would be similarly restricted. I think Chomsky summed it up best:

    If capital is privately controlled, then people are going to have to rent themselves in order to survive. Now, you can say, “they rent themselves freely, it’s a free contract”—but that’s a joke. If your choice is, “do what I tell you or starve,” that’s not a choice—it’s in fact what was commonly referred to as wage slavery in more civilized times, like the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for example…..Now, there are consistent libertarians, people like Murray Rothbard—and if you just read the world that they describe, it’s a world so full of hate that no human being would want to live in it. This is a world where you don’t have roads because you don’t see any reason why you should cooperate in building a road that you’re not going to use: if you want a road, you get together with a bunch of other people who are going to use that road and you build it, then you charge people to ride on it. If you don’t like the pollution from somebody’s automobile, you take them to court and you litigate it. Who would want to live in a world like that? It’s a world built on hatred.

    Listen, I share your hatred for both communist states as they have existed and Nazi totalitarianism. I just think a Hayekian society as you envision is undesirable!

  15. Corey Robin July 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm | #

    Okay, everyone, settle down. The tone here is getting out of control. If it continues I’ll have to shut the comments thread down. So stop the name-calling; engage, criticize, disagree, but tone down the rhetoric.

    • liberty60Liberty60 July 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm | #

      I was going to quote FDR and call certain persons here “Republicans” but I don’t wish to get banned for uncivil tone.

  16. smd341 July 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm | #

    Sorry Corey if my tone was wrong. @ Bruce-Can you suggest a reading list for the kind of libertarianism you identify with. I’ve already read the Road to Serfdom and I think it makes some good points. Schumpeter is next on my list.

  17. brucemajors July 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm | #
    • Corey Robin July 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm | #

      Of course, if you actually go to this site and read it, you’ll see that I’ve been engaged in a running dialogue with them — and they with me (and my co-authors) — for quite some time now.

  18. brucemajors July 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm | #
  19. brucemajors July 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm | #

    And http://tomgpalmer.com/category/books/

    These are the writers, blogs, and books you should engage to actualy argue with libertarians.

  20. Random Person July 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm | #
    • Nachasz July 11, 2012 at 3:26 am | #

      In the comments section, Majors unloaded on ThinkProgress, calling us “Podesta concubines” and “little sissies.” He denied that he is a birther and noted that the real estate listings linked to above are out of date. “The rest of your article is equally uninformed and dishonest, but then you were hired to toss [George] Soros’s salad and not much else,” Majors continued, without offering specific corrections. “I suspect little ticks like you are going to have to see more fun made of Odumbie and Michelle Antoinette as time wears on. Suck it up, quislings!” he concluded.


      • brucemajors July 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm | #

        Justice to the paid flaks of the lobbyist Podesta brothers

    • brucemajors July 11, 2012 at 7:47 am | #

      If you weren’t doing the aforementioned cherry picking you could have used another piece on me, also by a leftist who writes for Talking Points Memo, but one that is more honest because the guy actually met me and interviewed me http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/08/28/bruce-majors-an-unlikely-tea-partier.html

  21. Corey Robin July 11, 2012 at 8:53 am | #

    Bruce Majors: Several of your comments will not be posted b/c of the extreme nature of the language and general nastiness; if you want to resubmit them, sans the nastiness, feel free. Others I’ve allowed to go forward. If you want to participate here, tone it down. Otherwise your comments will go into the trash bin.

  22. JCRC April 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm | #

    Great points my friend, however, one should not think Hayek’s wrong (or at list shady) positions about pseudo-libertarian tyrannies like Pinochet led Chile and Apartheid South Africa nullifies the idea and importance of real individual freedom for economic development and social advancement, some of those ideas have actually been preached by both Hayek and Mises, the fact they contradicted themselves at some point of their lives does not kill the whole forest. Plus, Hayek is not the “owner” of the fight for individual freedom and history has proven that protecting individual freedom – economic and political – is a must to steadily build a balanced society and sustainable economic development.

    Hayek was wrong when he argued that economic freedom is more important than political freedom. I do understand that transition periods tend to imply limits to political freedom (even today we see well established democratic nations imposing extreme measures that restrict freedom responding to national security threats) but one must bear in mind it is important not to commit to an unknown timetable to re-establish full blown freedom because when political power is captured by an individual or a small group of individuals it easily becomes a tyranny with all its evils.

    Economic freedom will allow individuals pursuit their economic interests using all the best means at their disposal making the society better off in the process as defended by Adam Smith while political freedom and political mechanisms of representation will allow individuals to participate in the process of designing balanced institutions that prevent abuses from individuals willing to unilaterally impose their will. The trouble with Hayek was his comfort with Pinochet’s will to the point he ignored that in a free society the right to disagree is fundamental, his aversion to communism was a bad counselor in that particular moment.

    World history is full of examples of tyrant rule that destroyed economies and pushed it to long periods of economic crisis, most of this stories are associated with collectivism Hayek opposed fiercely. On the other hand, dictators adopting more liberal economic policies usually fared better on the economic front. After a period of economic turmoil Pinochet’s economic policies actually improved the economy, in South Africa the racist and oppressive regime managed to build a powerful economy, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korean lived under dictators and grew their economies fantastically and China’s economic success can be attributed to more liberal economic policies as well, but at what cost?

    Limited freedom is good for the economy but it’s not good enough, all those economies where certainly operating below their potential. If civil and human rights were available to everybody they could actually do better economically and – more important – socially. When you limit political rights your society becomes unstable and you will need and extra dose of force to keep things “politically stable” transforming your nation into a “sleeping revolution” that ultimately pushes you away from your economic potential and drives you toward stagnation and social unrest, that’s why tyrannies are a very risky and usually stupid bet.

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