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Portuguese Translation of Hoppe’s Festschrift + Preface

Professor Hoppe’s 2009 Festschrift, Property, Freedom, and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe (Jörg Guido Hülsmann & Stephan Kinsella, eds., Mises Institute, 2009) (PDF, epub, and print versions) has been translated into Portuguese by Fernando Fiori Chiocca and published in Brazil as Propriedade, Liberdade & Sociedade: Ensaios em homenagem a Hans-Hermann Hoppe (Rothbard Institute Brasil, 2022). An English translation of an excerpt from the Preface is provided below. Online version.

Hoppe and the current stage of Austro-libertarianism in Brazil

[This article is excerpted from the preface to the Brazilian edition of the book Property, Liberty & Society: Essays in honour of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, just published by Rothbard Institute]


The present Festschrift was attended by 35 authors who gave testimonies about their friendship with Hans-Hermann Hoppe and/or took the opportunity to comment on or develop some of his theses. Among these authors are the world’s greatest libertarians and economists, such as Lew Rockwell, Walter Block, Jesús Huerta de Soto, Joe Salerno and Guido Hülsmann. The book was published in 2009 and given to Hoppe in celebration of his 60th birthday. Today, 13 years later, I take the opportunity of publishing the translation of the work to modestly insert myself among these great authors.

I became interested in the ideas of liberty in the early 2000s, and at the time there was no work by Hoppe translated into Portuguese; thus Milton Friedman’s books were my ‘gateway’. A little later I came across Ayn Rand, then Mises and other Austrian Economists who had their works translated by the Instituto Liberal. And I arrived at the dead end of Classical Liberalism, since the libertarian content in Portuguese was practically non-existent. That’s when I started reading the Mises Institute’s English-language articles and books, which made me a libertarian in a short period of time.

The Austro-libertarian content had a very strong impact on the formation of my ideas, and I felt an urge to spread them to the Brazilian public. It was to supply the lack of Austro-libertarian material in Portuguese that my brothers and I founded the Instituto Mises Brasil, in 2007, which was renamed in 2015 as Instituto Rothbard, after disagreements with other founders who wanted to change this original mission. I will come back to that later. And in the midst of such a rich content of brilliant authors, it soon became clear to me that one of them managed to stand out, with deep erudition in many subjects, a clear and direct expression of ideas, and seminal contributions to the advancement of theories; clearly, Hoppe was the living successor to the tradition of Mises and Rothbard.

As a translator of many of Hoppe’s works, something that caught my attention was his precision in the use of words and his refinement in the construction of sentences; Hoppe says exactly what needs to be said and in the way it needs to be said, not a comma too much or too little. Something like the precision of German engineering in the construction of machines. I believe he must think in German and write in English, and in that process, voilà, the magic happens. However, prior to this perfection in writing there is his intellectual rigor, which, without making concessions, does not let the slightest detail of an idea to escape, and builds his thought in solid blocks, one on top of the other, making sure there is no defect in the lower block before placing the upper one. In this way, with ideas consistent as a bunker and clear as crystal, Hoppe profusely developed Austro-libertarianism while demolishing many adversaries, gaining many admirers as well as many enemies along the way.

Being one of those admirers, I had the opportunity to meet my idol in person in 2011, when I organized the Second Seminar on Austrian Economics, in Porto Alegre, in which we were honoured to have Hans Hoppe as keynote speaker at the event. And I was able to confirm that all the testimonies you will read in this book about Hans’ personal charisma are true. Nice, good-humoured, helpful and kind to everyone, he is almost always willing to answer from the simplest to the most complex questions. ‘Almost always’ because before the two speeches he gave at our seminar, he asked to remain isolated while getting ready, focusing on the presentation. And what presentations were those! One on the Austrian Theory of Business Cycles and another one on Private Law[1] left the public stunned. One story of the effect of Hans’ lectures on the public is worth telling here.

We had set up a shop in the lobby of the theatre to sell books during breaks, and minutes before the Q&A session – that would end Hoppe’s first lecture – was over, I headed to our little shop to prepare to serve the customers who would soon be arriving there. When I got there, I ran into one of the other speakers at the event, Professor Ubiratan Iorio—an Austrian Hayekian economist, but also heavily influenced by Mises. Iorio was there alone and had already made a pile with all the Hoppe books we had available and asked me, flustered, as I rummaged through the shelves, if there were any other books of his or if those piled up were all. He told me that this was the first time he had heard Hoppe, that he was not familiar with his work; and he was so impressed that he wanted to make up for the lost time as fast as possible.

Another example of such impact was when I started reading the book Economic Science and the Austrian Method, which is composed by a series of lectures that Hoppe delivered at the Mises Institute and that later were compiled into this volume. After reading the first chapter I stopped reading and was impelled to promptly start translating the work; I had been dominated by a strong conviction that the Portuguese-speaking public could not go another minute without access to this precious gem. And it was also a way for me to spend more time on each paragraph, on each sentence, to try to better absorb all the knowledge compressed there. In these lectures Hoppe explained praxeology amazingly well and made important advances on Mises’ Human Action. Since then, it has become a habit; I have been translating all the texts by Hoppe that I can.

Hoppe is not just the leading exponent of Misesian economics and Rothbardian Austro-libertarianism; he is also, like his masters Mises and Rothbard, the heir of an uncompromising spirit in the pursuit and dissemination of truth that never relativizes its principles to conform to the Zeitgeist. And like them, he also paid a price for it. By challenging the tenets of mainstream academic economics, all three lost many opportunities, with denied positions and reduced earnings. Even so, they never altered or watered down their views to please anyone. In the days of the Political Correctness Empire, Hoppe faced serious problems while he was a professor at the University of Nevada: a battle against the Thought Police[2] cost him an enormous amount of time and energy. In the end Hoppe ended up winning and keeping his job, but losing the desire to continue in an academic environment without liberty.

But if this radical stance is the cause of the loss of prestige, influence, fame and money, it may ultimately be the cause of the victory of the Austro-libertarian ideal, as Philipp Bagus explains in Chapter 12 of this book, ‘Uncompromising Radicalism as a promising strategy’, and that was one of the things that Hoppe inspired in me. Basically, it was this attitude that caused the split in our Institute in 2015. Back in 2007, when my brothers and I were looking for some form of funding for our idea of translating and disseminating Austro-libertarian content, we found the magnate Helio Beltrão who liked the idea and agreed to be that funder, founding the Instituto Mises Brasil together with us. Everything was going well; as we made Austro-libertarian books and articles available in Portuguese, the institute gained many followers. But, increasingly, Beltrão interfered against this radical intransigence, making concessions and bowing to the mainstream. The breaking point was in 2015, shortly after Dilma Rousseff was re-elected president of Brazil, winning in some states and in others being overwhelmingly defeated. The moment was very propitious for us to further publicize the Hoppean idea of secession, but Beltrão used his funding power to ban the subject, claiming that the idea of secession was not very well regarded and could generate associations of the institute with xenophobia, extremism etc. Of course, this association was made by the mainstream media and the academic mainstream, and Beltrão chose to bow to them instead of pursuing the defence of the truth. At that moment, we gave up the substantial funding and preferred to continue on our original path, without resources, but with uncompromising radicalism guiding us in the renamed Instituto Rothbard. Today, seven years later, the other side has grown a lot in audience and we, after a restart with many difficulties, continue with a small reach. But as influence is not our parameter, we consider that we are being much more successful. In this regard, it is worth making a statement here of the current state of some people who were linked to the institute in its early years. In the early 2010s Joel Pinheiro da Fonseca was a Master’s student in Philosophy at USP, a member of Students For Liberty, used to write articles for our institute and participated in libertarian meetings in São Paulo. In 2013, Joel interviewed Hoppe for his magazine Dicta&Contradicta[3] and asked the following question:

Joel: Is academic life in its current state a healthy environment for an intellectual? Is it possible for him to survive in any other environment?

Hoppe: It depends on the intellectual. Academic life can be very comfortable for someone who spews left-wing politically correct platitudes for years on end.

Perhaps Joel is the person in the world who took Hoppe most seriously, as he followed his advice to the letter. Today Joel is a columnist for the Folha de São Paulo newspaper and a commentator for Jovem Pan radio and TV who daily ‘spews out politically correct leftist platitudes’. A comfortable academic life goal successfully achieved. Of course, only someone who reaches a high level of intellectual depravity can become a Folha columnist. Worse than Joel is Helio Beltrão, who, today, in addition of being a columnist at Folha, is a commentator at Rede Globo, an absolute demerit. This fact alone shows how much he had nothing to do with the institute we founded. The case of Kim Kataguiri is also noteworthy. A regular reader of our institute, as a teenager, he began to gain fame by making liberal/libertarian videos on YouTube. Kim was such a fan of the institute that during our 2014 Austrian School Conference he wittily asked to take a picture with my mother, as she was the one who gave birth to me and my siblings. However, his intellectual evolution passed far from uncompromising radicalism; today he is a Congressman defending the worst types of atrocities, such as lockdowns, mandatory masks and vaccination, and even a rigid Orwellian Ministry of Truth with prison time from 2 to 8 years for spreading ‘fake news’.

In addition to these execrable developments there are others a little better. Rodrigo Constantino was part of the small virtual Austro-libertarian circle since the mid-2000s, on the late social network, Orkut. He wrote articles on his personal blog and also for our institute, where he published a book—a collection of reviews of the works of Austrian economists.[4] Although he was not a libertarian, we thought that he was close enough to the Austro-Libertarianism that we invited him to be a member of our institute. In no time, our assessment turned out to be completely wrong. If before he seemed to be getting closer and closer to Austro-libertarianism, after he became part of the institute he began to move further and further away from the libertarian ideals. We began to have long and heated discussions on topics that were once peaceful points, to the point that culminated in his expulsion from the institute after a discussion in which Constantino defended democracy. Indeed, he had nothing to do with the institute itself; he was neither libertarian nor Austrian. And he clearly was someone who sought a large audience, and he found it advocating a mainstream classical liberal democratic statism. He even wrote a book entitled ‘Confessions of a Former-Libertarian: Saving Liberalism from Modern Liberals’, in which he attacks anarcho-capitalism and radicalism, a book that I have not read and will not read simply because it already contains a lie in the title: Constantino was never a libertarian, and of that I am a witness. Furthermore, I have suffered for months in the institute’s internal discussions refuting all his puerile arguments against anarcho-capitalism. I can bet that beyond the title, everything else in his book must be painful.

Today, Constantino is a famous bestselling author and TV channel commentator. Despite being a statist, his stance is not as vexatious as that of the three mentioned above and Constantino is among the best commentators in the current mainstream media, which nowadays has a group of classical liberals/conservatives that had no space in the media until a little while ago. The recent emergence of the Jovem Pan News television channel and programs such as the one by journalist Luís Ernesto Lacombe on Rede TV! put an end in the complete left hegemony in the mainstream media, which had lasted decades. However, despite giving voice to right-wing opinions, the left still has a presence and influence in these spaces, which are fundamentally guided by leftist political correctness. Furthermore, of course, a step to the right does not mean much for liberty, and statist hegemony remains unshakable—there is no room for those who challenge the institutionalized aggression.

Another person who is now also a commentator for TV Jovem Pan News and has had relative success in his political career is Ricardo Salles, who was a partner of our institute during the many years that we carried out the Tax Freedom Day campaign together, where we promoted the sale of gas deducted from taxes, that is, at half price.[5] Although he has some positions close to libertarians, Salles has always been a statist classical liberal and saw the event—which has always received wide media coverage, including television network helicopters flying over the gas station—more as a platform to defend the reduction of the state than as a means of stating a philosophical objection to taxes and the state. For example, he preferred the distributed bumper sticker to have the more generic phrase ‘ENOUGH OF TAXES’ instead of the one that I preferred: ‘TAXATION IS THEFT’. In the following years he followed the path of politics. He lost some elections for Congress, but he became the Secretary of the Environment of the State of São Paulo and later Minister of the Environment of Bolsonaro’s government. Far from being a principled politician like Ron Paul, Salles is also far from being a nefarious politician like Kim Kataguiri, even though Salles also defends some atrocious ideas.[6] Taking into account the current political scenario, Salles would be what libertarians who defend the political way call ‘the lesser evil’. I am not one of those libertarians, and I consider this path innocuous. Henry David Thoreau said that ‘for every thousand men dedicated to cutting the leaves of evil, there is only one attacking the roots’, and although a pruned evil tree is preferable to a leafy one, only uncompromising radicalism can bring it down. Or, as Hoppe puts it, ‘Theoretical compromise or gradualism will only lead to the perpetuation of the falsehood, evils, and lies of statism, and only theoretical purism, radicalism, and intransigence can and will lead first to gradual practical reform and improvement and possibly final victory.’.[7]

These examples serve to show that uncompromising radicalism comes at a price, while malleable condescension can pay off, depending on the point of view of what success would be.[8] Not that I, myself, would be a TV commentator or newspaper columnist or politician today if I weren’t an uncompromising radical. I don’t think I have a vocation or talent for any of these things. But certainly, other intransigent radicals have such talents, and even then, that is not the reward they get. In Brazil, today, the only uncompromising Austro-libertarian with this vocation would be the conservative Austro-libertarian economist Paulo Kogos, who until today has only been once on a major mainstream media show where he could expose his ideas,[9] and is unable to reach a wider audience, not even on the internet, due to the constant censorship of the Big Tech. Despite this censorship, a good evangelist for libertarian ideas who is usually on the right side of issues, Peter Turguniev, has grown in reach online; however, it is Raphael Lima, a progressive multiculturalist democrat – and therefore immune to politically correct censorship – who calls himself a libertarian, is the one who has the greatest reach on the internet, which represents a major setback for Brazilian Austrolibertarianism. Even more serious is to see what our old institute has become after we left. Taken over by classical liberals, Randian objectivists, Hayekians and statist conservatives, it has become can of worms that accepts just about anything. Today we find there the books by Hoppe, Rothbard and Mises of our time mixed with new publications praising Ayn Rand,[10] a book extolling none other than the genocidal, arsonist and occultist Churchill as a hero of liberty,[11] and even a book by a congressman glorifying democracy.[12] [13] The sad debacle of Instituto Mises Brasil could be noticed from the time of the split by anyone who was paying attention, but a recent episode can sum up all these degrading years. It is enough to compare the performance of the Rothbard Institute and the Mises Brasil Institute during these two years of the terrible sanitary dictatorship that shattered freedom in a way never seen before. While we have published incessantly, since the 1st of scamdemic, articles defending freedom against government assaults (480 articles to date, 84 of which are focused on facemasks), they have been silent in the face of Covidian tyranny, capitulated with the mainstream narrative issuing a note supporting shelter-at-home and even became personalized facemask sellers.[14] Evidently – someone who refused to defend secession for fear of being considered xenophobic by the mainstream would never have the courage to face the scamdemic tsunami and be considered a “granny killer” denialist by this same mainstream that tries to please.

Nevertheless, we understand that the primary factor that limits our scope is the very content of the authentic libertarian message, since it is a constant finger in the wound of the “statist quo”; it’s the boy telling everyone, all the time, that the king is naked.

Hoppe himself shows us what an uncompromising radical on a TV show is about. Hoppe is an academic intellectual who, in addition to preferring written communication, considers that his scarce time would not be well spent on the never-ceasing repetition of the same ideas that constant television appearances would require. But even though television is a totally inappropriate place for serious intellectual discussion, such the ones Hoppe is used to, in 2019 he agreed to participate in a program on the Austrian channel Servus TV, Conversations in Hangar 7,[15] only because he knew the host and it would be a live show, that is, with no chance of being edited. Hoppe unloaded a truckload of truths that left the other guests on the show shocked and outraged, among them a judge and member of the European Parliament, who was not happy with Hoppe mentioning the fact that she has lived parasitically off the state her entire professional life. He also released truths such as these: ‘The European Union is a continuation of the victorious forces of the Second World War to weaken the German currency’, ‘The state is a group of thieves that takes from the productive people and gives to the unproductive, including their unproductive friends’, ‘Despite the migration policies of the EU, Europeans do not want their borders open to all types of immigrants’, ‘Bavaria must be able to separate from Germany’ and ‘The idea of a centralized Europe comes from conquerors like Charlemagne, then Napoleon, then Hitler; It’s a fantasy nobody wants’. It is easy to see why the mainstream media closes its doors to uncompromising Austro-libertarian radicalism.

Although in Brazil these doors are still completely closed, in other parts of the world the situation is a little different. The author of one of the chapters in this book, Remigijus Šimašius, follows a political career: he was Minister of Justice of Lithuania from 2008 to 2012, and since 2015 he has been mayor of Vilnius, the capital and largest city in the country; and others often participate as commentators on television, such as Lew Rockwell and his many appearances on the Russian international channel, RT News. However, these closed doors are increasingly irrelevant as the relevance of mainstream media erodes. The circulation of newspapers and magazines and the audience of the large networks are plummeting every day, although they still have a lot of strength in Brazil and in the world: see of the mass formation psychosis that they managed to create and maintain through the population during the Covid-19 scamdemic. Other means of reaching the masses and shaping public opinion are increasingly available, and shaping public opinion is the path Hoppe points out in his strategy for achieving a free society.

Like La Boétie, Hume, Mises and Rothbard, Hoppe understands that the legitimacy and power of the state depend on public opinion. And as Ortega Y Gasset puts it, this public power exists even without a state:

‘the form of social pressure that is public power works in every society, including those primitive ones in which there is still no special body in charge of managing it. If this differentiated body to which the exercise of public power is entrusted is to be called the State, let it be said that in certain societies there is no State, but do not say that there is no public power in them. Where there is public opinion, how can a public power be lacking if it is nothing more than the collective violence provoked by that opinion?’[16]

The state is just the institutionalization of a public opinion that supports or tolerates the initiation of violence. A common but incorrect perception is that being libertarian is all about being against the state. In fact, to be libertarian is simply to be against initiated violence, whether collectively or individually initiated. The state is simply the incomparably greatest initiator of violence in society, so libertarians focus their efforts on fighting the state. Considering that public opinion is shaped by intellectuals, Hoppe called his strategy ‘anti-intellectual intellectualism’. It consists of bypassing the academic world and reaching the public directly, using moral arguments rather than utilitarian ones.[17] Uncompromising Austro-libertarian radicalism, embedded in anti-intellectual intellectualism, is what inspires Instituto Rothbard to join the Mises Institute and the Property & Freedom Society in ‘developing an anti-statist intellectual counterculture.’[18] The publication of Property, Liberty & Society in Portuguese, in addition to being another addition to this development, is a way of indirectly participating in the tribute paid to Professor Hoppe 13 years ago, and of gratitude for having provided us not only with knowledge and strategy, but also a model of intellectual posture for life. Thank you, Hans.


Fernando Fiori Chiocca

São Paulo, the 21st of January, 2022


Translated by Lucas Nunes from Libertarian Europe


[1] Hans-Hermann Hoppe, “Economic Crisis: How to Cause Them and How to Make Them Worse by ‘Curing’ Them.” and “State or Private Law Society?”, available on https://rothbardbrasil.com/ii-seminario-de-escola-austriaca

[2] Hans-Hermann Hoppe, ‘My battle with the Thought Police’, published on Instituto Rothbard on https://mises.org/library/my-battle-thought-police

[3] ‘Culture and freedom – an interview with Hans-Hermann Hoppe’, available on https://rothbardbrasil.com/cultura-e-liberdade-uma-entrevista-com-hans-hermann-hoppe

[4] Rodrigo Constantino, Economics of the Individual: The Legacy of the Austrian School, available on https://rothbardbrasil.com/economia-do-individuo-o-legado-da-escola-austriaca

[5] Available on https://youtu.be/kir9hy20Opk

[6] Politicians who cast themselves as liberals are nothing new in Brazil. The economist and writer Roberto Campos (1917–2001) who called himself a liberal and always quoted Hayek and even Mises was a minister, a deputy and a senator. And among his atrocities are the creation of the BNDES and the Central Bank. Another more recent politician who was once a minister, a deputy and the mayor of Brazil’s largest city, started out as a defender of Liberalism; in his first campaign as a city councillor, he distributed pamphlets with liberal texts in which he recommended reading Hayek’s books. His name: Gilberto Kassab.

[7] Hans-Hermann Hoppe, ‘Rothbardian Ethics’, included as chapter 15 of The Economics and Ethics of Private Property.

[8] An appropriate measure of success can be obtained by comparing the libertarian movement with the abolitionist movement. Slavery and the State are millenary institutions of aggression that have accompanied humanity since its beginnings. Abolitionist ideas emerged many centuries ago and abolitionism as an intellectual movement extinguished slavery globally by changing public opinion, which took over a hundred years. Modern libertarianism began with Murray Rothbard, and as a movement it is far from achieving its goal, but if public opinion ever turns against the institutionalized aggression of the state, this success will be credited to thinkers like Hoppe, while all intellectual statists, no matter how much recognition they have today, will be forgotten by history.

[9] Programa Pânico, from the Jovem Pan Network, the 6th of November, 2020, available on https://youtu.be/1S26h6Ez7O8

[10] Dennys Garcia Xavier, Ayn Rand and the daydreams of collectivism: Brief lessons, Editora LVM, January 2019, and Ayn Rand’s Pharmacy: Doses of Anti-Collectivism, Editora LVM, February 2021.

[11]   Ricardo Sondermann, Churchill and the science behind speeches: How Words Become Weapons, Editora LVM, January 2018.

[12] Marcel van Hattem, It’s us with a voice: From the megaphone to the tribune defending freedom, the rule of law and democracy, Editora LVM, April 2018. The publisher of Instituto Mises Brasil even released a book by the politician who created the Central Bank and BNDES, Roberto Campos, cited in note 6 above: The constitution against Brazil: Essays by Roberto Campos on the constituent and the constitution of 1988, Editora LVM, January 2018.

[13] Faced with this editorial catastrophe of the Mises Brasil Institute, and with the Rothbard Institute without resources managing to publish new books only sporadically, it is initiatives of austrolibertarian enthusiasts that are helping us in the mission of making Austrolibertarian works available in Portuguese. Editora Konkin and the Hoppe Institute have already translated important works such as Rothbard’s Man, Economy and State, Mises’ Socialism and The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science, and The Myth of National Defense, edited by Hoppe, among others.

[14]   To be fair, in April and May 2021, perhaps not to look too ugly and try to claim that they were always against the sanitary dictatorship, they published two books on the subject, one by our former friend Jeffrey Tucker, Liberty or Lockdown, and another by Jay W. Richards, William M. Briggs, and Douglas Axe, The Price of Panic.

[15] Available on http://www.hanshoppe.com/2019/01/hoppe-on-austrian-tv-on-brexit-and-the-eu

[16] José Ortega Y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses, foreword to the French edition.

[17] Hans-Hermann Hoppe, ‘Rothbardian Ethics’.

[18] Hans-Hermann Hoppe, ‘The Property and Freedom Society—Reflections After Five Years’, available on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOn-DIl0CV0s