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From PFS:

Property and Freedom Podcast, Episode 060.

This lecture is from the 2010 meeting of the Property and Freedom Society: “On Private Goods, Public Goods, and the Need for Privatization,” by Hans-Hermann Hoppe (Germany/Turkey). PFS 2010 Playlist.

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Ética rothbardiana | Rothbardian Ethics

A new and revised version in Spanish of Hoppe’s speech Rothbardian Ethics has been provided by Oscar Grau. The piece was originally published on LewRockwell.com in 2002. The old translation can be found here.

For more Spanish translations, click here.

Ética rothbardiana

Este ensayo está basado en una conferencia del Profesor Hoppe en memoria de Murray N. Rothbard en el Austrian Scholars Conference llevado a cabo en 1999 en Instituto Mises, Auburn, Alabama.

El problema del orden social

Robinson Crusoe, solo en su isla, puede hacer lo que le plazca. Para él, la cuestión concerniente a las reglas de la conducta humana ordenada —cooperación social— sencillamente no surge. Naturalmente, esta cuestión sólo puede surgir cuando una segunda persona, Viernes, llega a la isla. Incluso entonces, la cuestión sigue siendo largamente irrelevante hasta tanto no haya escasez. Supongamos que la isla es el Jardín del Edén. Todos los bienes materiales están al alcance con sobreabundancia. Son «bienes libres», como el aire que respiramos que, por lo general, es un bien «libre». Sea lo que fuere que Crusoe haga con esos bienes, sus acciones no tienen repercusión con respecto a su propia provisión de esos bienes, ni con respecto a la provisión actual o futura de los mismos bienes de Viernes (y viceversa). Por lo tanto, es imposible que pudiese haber un conflicto entre Crusoe y Viernes en lo concerniente al uso de esos recursos. El conflicto se hace posible sólo si los bienes son escasos, y sólo entonces puede surgir un problema de formulación de reglas que hacen posible a una cooperación social ordenada, libre de conflicto.

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Adrián González Fuentes has translated Hoppe’s Must Austrians Embrace Indifference? (2005) published on The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.

For more Spanish translations, click here.

¿Deben los austriacos aceptar la indiferencia?

Este artículo apareció en la edición de invierno de 2005 de The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics.

En su célebre artículo «Hacia una reconstrucción de la economía de la utilidad y el bienestar», Murray Rothbard escribió que:

La indiferencia nunca puede demostrarse mediante la acción. Todo lo contrario. Cada acción implica necesariamente una elección, y cada elección implica una preferencia definida. La acción implica específicamente lo contrario de la indiferencia. (…) Si una persona es realmente indiferente entre dos alternativas, entonces no puede elegir ni elegirá entre ellas. Por lo tanto, la indiferencia nunca es relevante para la acción y no puede demostrarse en la acción. (Rothbard 1997, pp. 225-26)

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Un mundo sin robo | A World Without Theft

This is the Dante Bayona’s Spanish translation of Hoppe’s A World Without Theft conference given at the Mises Institute in 2006.

For more Spanish translations, click here.

Un mundo sin robo

Una conferencia dada en el Instituto Mises en el año 2006.

En el Jardín del Edén hay superabundancia de bienes. En ese mundo los seres humanos no tienen razón para discutir entre ellos, ¿sobre qué van a discutir? Sólo hay dos cosas sobre las que pueden discutir. El uso de sus cuerpos, que son escasos, y el lugar sobre el que pueden ubicar sus cuerpos. Respecto a esos dos asuntos sí puede haber conflictos. Entonces, incluso en el Jardín del Edén tendrían que darse ciertas reglas para evitar los conflictos. Las reglas tienen que ser sobre el control exclusivo de los recursos escasos (el cuerpo y el lugar que ocupa).

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The Great Fiction: Property, Economy, Society, and the Politics of Decline (Laissez Faire Books, 2012)

[Note: for the Second Expanded Edition, Mises Institute, 2021, see here]

Editorial Preface

by Jeffrey Tucker

If you are unfamiliar with the working of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, prepare for The Great Fiction to cause a fundamental shift in the way you view the world. No living writer today is more effective at stripping away the illusions almost everyone has about economics and public life. More fundamentally, Professor 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 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 nightwatchman 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.

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. I suspect that this is because he came to 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.

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. 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 so happens that Hoppe is also an extremely controversial figure. I don’t think he would have it any other way. Regardless, this is always the case for truly creative minds that do not shrink from the conclusions of their own premises. 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. Just when you think you have figured out his mode of thinking, he takes it in a direction that you didn’t expect, which is why in writing this editorial preface I’m being careful not to give away too many of the ideas herein. It is not only his conclusions that are significant but the masterful way that he arrives at them.

It is my great honor as executive editor of Laissez Faire Books to be the publisher of a work of this significance. This is more than a collection in the libertarian tradition; it is a testimony to the fact that progress in ideas is still possible in our time. So long as that remains true, so long as the tradition Hoppe represents is living and improving, we have reason to believe that human liberty has not and will not finally succumb to the great fiction.


This is the Spanish translation published on Mises.org of Hoppe’s The Role of Intellectuals and Anti-intellectuals, this piece was orginally published on Libertarian Alliance on 2008.

For more Spanish translations, click here.

El rol de los intelectuales y los antiintelectuales

Este texto es el capítulo 1 de The Great Fiction y apareció originalmente en Libertarian Alliance en 2008.

El Estado es la gran entidad ficticia por la que todos buscan vivir a costa de todos los demás.

—Frédéric Bastiat.

Permítanme comenzar con la definición de un Estado. ¿Qué debe hacer un agente para ser considerado un Estado? Este agente debe ser capaz de insistir en que todos los conflictos entre los habitantes de un territorio determinado sean llevados a él para la toma de decisiones finales o estén sujetos a su revisión final. En particular, este agente debe poder insistir en que todos los conflictos que le afecten sean resueltos por él o por su agente. Y el poder de excluir a todos los demás de actuar como juez último, como segunda característica definitoria de un Estado, lleva implícito el poder del agente de cobrar impuestos: determinar unilateralmente el precio que los solicitantes de justicia deben pagar por sus servicios.

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“The Ethics and Economics of Private Property” (2004)

The Ethics and Economics of Private Property,” Mises Daily (Oct. 15, 2004; republished Feb. 24, 2022)

Archived comments from the Mises blog:


Article right on the mark about property rights. The only problem I have with it is when two parties come in conflict over violation of property rights. Say a powerplant produces large volume of mercury pollutants and these fumes are deposited downwind onto a person property. The owner of the property doesn’t care that his property and person are being contaiminated. The owner then sells the property to a new owner. The new owner, who does care about such things, doesn’t want his property right violated anymore. The power producing plant much stop such violations, or the new owner property rights are not absolute. The flaw in the article that states that who ever was first, and they have a “right” to pollute, negates the idea of the property rights of another individual were being violated in the first place.

Posted by: Curran Kemp at October 15, 2004 06:59 AM

Curran, your given situation brings up the problem of “traditional right of way”. A new owner is held to allow the same use by the community that the previous owners allowed.

I don’t know if there is a practical answer in the “common law” tradition, but the up front answer is for all such information to be made available to any prospective buyer, and therefore the prior owner will take better care of things in order to get the most money for their property when sold. I know I would consider it fraud if I bought property with such an easement without knowing it was there.

Posted by: Curt Howland at October 15, 2004 08:52 AM

I have heard Curran’s argument before, and am always struck by the same thought: who in his right mind would knowingly buy a property which had been subjected to years worth of pollution if he was anti-pollution? The scenario doesn’t make any sense logically speaking.


Posted by: Phaedrus at October 15, 2004 08:58 AM

In Curran’s example, if the factory began polluting in a fixed area before any other property was established in that area, then any future owners who established property in the affected area would have to tolerate it. In fact the act of polluting the unowned area probably should be viewed as taking posession of the area; the factory would then have ultimate say in allowing or disallowing future homesteaders to take posession of property in the region, and would have ultimate say in setting out conditions on the transferred property (such as requiring new owners to tolerate unlimited future pollution from the factory). The property rights of homesteaders in the pre-polluted area

If there were already homes established before the factory was built, or if the factory began producing pollution in a larger area, so that pollution was falling on previously unpolluted homes, then the factory would be stepping outside its rights and onto the rights of others, and would be liable for damages to those parties.

Posted by: Jean Paul at October 15, 2004 10:01 AM

Also, if the factory was established after the homes, but the people tolerated the pollution initially, the people would still retain the right, absent any other contract, to claim damages at any time. That right would transfer with sale of any property, and if the new owner wanted to take action against the factory, it would be his right. The factory would have to weigh that risk of future non-tolerance when choosing to locate in that area, when choosing to negotiate pollution rights from the established homeowners, and when choosing to pollute to begin with.

Posted by: jean paul at October 15, 2004 10:09 AM

Pollution does not resolve the paradox, simply shifts it.

First, I generally agree with the principle of original ownership for establishing property rights, but not that the principle is sufficient to define all morality nor that it doesn’t require a fair amount of further exploration in the Natural Law to define how much is owned.

If I dig a pond for some flowers next to and dependent on the river, do I now own the river, tributaries, and springs all the way to the origin insofar as it is required to maintain my pond?

Lets say there is a new land opening up. I rent a military size cargo plane and drop popup “Mine!” signs over thousands of square miles. Do I own it? Who defines “use” or “improvement”. OK, I drop some nice flower seeds.

Better yet, I drop a bunch of really smoky torches along a line near the upwind end. Now I’ve polluted thousands of square miles, so I now own those.

Lets say I die the day after (but having mailed my claim, which is found valid) and never do anything else. My will says the estate is to do nothing with the property. So I now own it forever, even though the signs will eventually rot, and/or the smokepots will go out, and the land will never find another use. Or has no one else noted that we sometimes die? What happens to ownership beyond my span of years? Is there a requirement of even maintainence much less some even trivial continued improvement?

Also Hoppe’s system would have the original owner maximize obnoxiousness. If I know that if I don’t continually blast out loud dissonant noises, I will lose the right to, and if I don’t send toxic pollutants across the entire area, I’ll lose that right, my incentive is to put up as many obnoxious speakers and toxic smokepots even if there is otherwise no benefit to me.

Another problem is the contradiction between “physical damage” and not counting value. Lets say some weed-killer flows over to your lawn and kills the dandelions. Did I cause damage or improve the land? There may be a tresspass tort, but how do we measure it? You can kill my dandelions anytime you want if it is tit-for-tat. Otherwise the value of the loss must be established.

Maybe I consider you ugly, and I didn’t have to see you when I originally owned the land – can I demand that you not be visible nor block my view of lands beyond? And that carbon dioxide you keep emiting must stop! At some point, it becomes absurd – the law needs to draw a line between ordinary or common conduct and nusiance. It is not that it can’t be drawn, but that “who’s on first” has by itself no answer.

In a post below I noted that speaking is an act. That can damage the value of property. This generally requires the act to be malicious – the specific intent is to damage the value of you or your property.

Also I will disagree with a subtlety in the characterization of “Self-Ownership” by Aquinas and the other Christian thinkers. Our minds (will, soul, spirit) and bodies are granted by God and under our guardianship – we are responsible for them. The difference is that God maintains a Lein. If you don’t, then you don’t deny slavery, as long as I am the one selling myself into slavery. Or I am selling my will, vote, body, jury finding, respect for property rights, etc. The “self” is that with the right and ability of ownership, not just another thing owned.

If I could use your body before you could take ownership (unless you agree with l4l.org) – say with an electronic implant or hypnosis or maybe just cutting out some cells like embryonic stem cells, Do I now own your body even if your “soul” shows up later?

Posted by: tz at October 15, 2004 03:46 PM

I agree with TZ, I don’t think spewing pollution onto land—damaging property but not developing it, in other words—grants one any kind of ownership.

Property rights have no meaning unless you have utmost respect for the property rights of others. And that means no pollution of anything beyond your own immediate property. And I don’t think simply “being there first” gives one ownership over land. The earth is a trust to be divided among all people present and future; it’s not something any of us created with our own effort, nor is it something we can replace if we destroy it.

Posted by: Paul D at October 15, 2004 03:53 PM

TZ is right: polluting unowned land, making it unsafe or uninhabitable by one means or another does not confer ownership. Homesteading an acre of land and then installing automatic machine guns to spray the adjoining area’s with bullets is no legitimate way to appropriate those areas.

Rothbard and Hoppe surely agree too: such activities do not come near to anything resembling homesteading.

Do such activities establish a weaker form of property (other than ownership)? After all, their point is that an “easement” is established.
However, talk about “an easement” sounds like a mere evasion.

How would a [libertarian] judge look at the matter? I suppose he would treat it as a question of nuisance, spill-over or neighbourhood effect, not as a question of property rights. Symmetry would be a relevant consideration. I do not think a judge would grant a newly established pig farmer his claim against the one who was there first: “Your pig smells no better than his.”

In other cases, if the polluter for a while profited from the fact that neighbouring land was unoccupied, without bothering to homestead sufficient land to keep the nuisance on his own property, one may wonder why he should be granted the right to enjoy that advantage indefinitely. Why should we not say that he gambled that no one would come to appropriate the land next to his — gambled and lost? I think a judge could properly rule that a new homesteader should be granted the right to force the already established owner to bring down the nuisance / pollution to some acceptable level.

Noise pollution and stench are transient phenomena, leaving rubble and toxic stuff are not.
This raises the interesting question of clean-up costs. I do not continue to own the things I throw away, yet why should this mean that I am no longer responsible / answerable / liable for the harm that they do? I exposed others to the harm by letting those things get out of my control.

I am not formulating any ‘hard rules’ here. Such cases must be judged individually, on their merits, taking into account all the relevant particular information. That is a job for judges, not for legal theorists. A sensible Austrian economist should not presume to have an economic theory that allows us to dispense with entrepreneurial judgment. For the same reason, a libertarian should not presume to have a a theory of law that leaves no room for the judgement of judges.

Posted by: Paul C at October 15, 2004 07:06 PM

If I wanted to establish an airline which would fly over a part of the world which to date never had air traffic, no doubt it would bother many people under the flightpath. What would a libertarian propose I, the prospective business do? The prospect of having to individually enter into contracts with everyone under the flight path would kill any such idea I suppose. Or could one argue that I am homesteading that airspace or that those underneath it do not own the silence they previously enjoyed? Not trying to be awkward just not sure how logically they could approach this.

Posted by: Jonathan at October 16, 2004 12:19 AM


Homesteading airspace and owning silence are not helpful concepts here. The problem is nuisance or spill-over effects. Some of these must be tolerated, up to some level, if social life (peaceful co-existence and interaction) is to be possible at all. Others, and all above some level, cannot be tolerated above some level, if social life is to be possible at all.

The issue for libertarians is whether those instances and the corresponding levels of tolerable spill-over effects should be determined by political means (via a monopolistic government or its monopolistic court system) or by economic means (negotiation, contracting, assisted if need be by technical and judicial experts chosen by those who are directly involved.)

A libertarian judge must hear all sides; he cannot escape his peculiar responsibility, which is to define acceptable standards of behaviour for the case before him and to justify those standards with arguments that are pertinent to the case. Of course, there always will be people who do not want to agree to finding a reasonable modus vivendi. There will be those who have agreed to let a judge sort out the case and then refuse to honour the standard he has defined merely because it is not what they want (without showing that his arguments were wrong). Such people may pose problems, even become dangerous, but then libertarianism — or should I say, paleolibertarianism? — is not about abolishing human nature. It about promoting standards of reasonableness within a framework of respect for persons and their property.

Posted by: Paul C at October 16, 2004 05:16 AM

Here is one escape from the problem I proposed – despoiling the land decreases its market value (I’ve already established if you can have torts for tresspass or physical damage, you must be able to set a value).

This I’m just throwing out, so it might have problems of its own, but it solves the immediate paradox.

If my overall action adds significant value to a property (or in the case of mining, extracts it), I may claim title. If my action(s) effectively despoil property, I don’t.

I.e. if I have to ruin 5 acres entirely to get less than a 500% increase on each acre I develop, I won’t get ownership and may have to compensate later owners. I would probably set the threshold higher (a 2:1 ratio or something), and require a minimal increase “per acre” to prevent my “dropping ‘my property’ signs from planes” scenario.

For the airline, I think the company might owe compensation for the devaluation of the property now that there was noise. This would also have to be a market value, and include a punative charge because if I really don’t like it and have to move (more than the average person who would set the “market value”), it would be more damaging to me. There would be incentive to minimize noise, but prevent “heckler’s vetos”.

Another example is a group of properties on a floodplain. A dam or levee would be a public good since it would prevent flooding all properties and increase their value – not just those who wanted it. At some high threshold (90% ownership or acreage), a bond could be imposed that would pay for the flood control system but only be due when the heckler wanted to sell his property, and would be effectively paid for by the increased sales price; if the price didn’t increase sufficiently there would be no incentive to build the flood control system. It is not that I desire such impositions, as I think they are violations of rights in the purest sense, but progress ought not to require unanimity. Easements are one of those relief valve mechanisms. I don’t know if these are the best mechanisms, only that some mechanism is required.

Posted by: tz at October 18, 2004 04:35 PM

The Earth (or Nature) is a trust in the sense that it does not have zero value before someone does something to it. I’ve made that point in other ways saying our bodies and souls (Life and Liberty) also function more as a trust than outright ownership, i.e. you cannot sell yourself into slavery since your liberty is entrusted to you (I’d say by my creator, but use whatever construct you like). Similarly, Life (which I measure from conception to natural death) is something else that cannot be abrogated. It is still murder even if I ask or pay you to kill me.

Some of this derives from teleological ideas – what is the purpose or end of Liberty, or property ownership. I don’t see these so much as ends in themselves which I why I think in terms of guardianship or stewardship and not merely ownership.

Property can be resold (if not despoiled). I don’t see the idea of improvement creating ownership as conflicting as trusts normally increase in value. Doing so would indicate you are a good guardian and ought to continue.

(I’d grant very wide latitude here as to what is considered “improvement” including preserving things in a natural state – finding a really nice acre, different from the hundred others and preserving its state is in a way “improving” it).

Posted by: tz at October 18, 2004 04:47 PM

I am confused about the difference between physical property and intellectual property. Rothbard seemed to imply that all issues of “property rights” are derivatives of some fundamental squatters’ rights pertaining to physical land/resources.

Isn’t the idea of “I ALREADY own that property” the idealism that led to the current plague of patent bullsh*t?

And, without patents, what would keep me from saying to everyone “I’d like to see you PROVE that you already own that property.”

btw: I disagree that forming tactics to deal with a gorilla on a desert island would not interject questions of morality. The argument of the article seems to be “If some living thing can’t reason with me, I can do with it whatever I wish.” A person could TRY to do whatever they wish with a non-human, but the hypothetical gorilla might object with an “argument” that uses no language other than brute strength.

Posted by: Omch’Ar at October 18, 2004 05:57 PM

I’m new to Libertarian ideals, so this question may seem sophmoric. Why is it reasonable to place more value in the property rights of a “first owner”, than in the property rights of subsequent “neighboring owners”? It seems to contradict the idea that every property owner has exclusive rights. In my opinion, the timing of ownership is irrelevent to the rights of the owner. The only real test is whether property has been damaged. If a factory owner polutes the surrounding area without claiming that area and then another owner claims that area, the simple fact is that further polution to that property is damage. The factory owner can protect themselves by either acquiring the property, limiting polution to a non-damaging amount or contracting with downstream owners for polution rights. Otherwise, the future rights of the factory neighbors are being altered without compensation.

Posted by: Dave N. at October 18, 2004 07:55 PM

The alternative would be allowing later owners to infringe on the rights of existing owners. For example (this is ongoing in my hometown): I move into a neighborhood next to a hospital, which I know full well is a trauma center that operates a medical evacuation helicopter 24 hours a day to airlift seriously injured people to the hospital. Do I then have a right to demand that the hospital stop doing so, since the comings and goings of choppers interfere with my peace and quiet, even though I knew they were there when I moved in? What rights do I have that are being altered? Should the hospital owe me under these circumstances?

Posted by: Lisa Casanova at October 19, 2004 04:25 PM

The difference here is that noise (at least at the levels of a trauma center) is not a property damaging polutant. If the hospital had been surrounded by unclaimed property that they routinely dumped medical waste on and then you moved in and claimed an adjacent lot, would the hospital have the right to continue dumping medical waste on your property? Property owners, regardless of order of ownership, should be liable for the physical damage they cause to the property of others. In this sense, the question becomes what constitutes physical damage?

Posted by: Dave N. at October 19, 2004 06:04 PM

I think the discussion so far shows that we should not expect a one-size-fits-all rule to solve all the problems associated with nuisance, pollution, and other spill-over effects.
These are matters that should be addressed on a case-by-case basis, by a convention of all the parties directly involved or by a judge. In these cases, the particulars matter. Casting the problem in the format “Should the first owners or later arrivals prevail?” simply makes no sense.

Posted by: Paul C at October 19, 2004 06:05 PM


Jorge Antonio Soler has translated to Spanish the Hoppe’s response to a David Conway’s piece published in the Austrian Economics Newsletter on 1990. The response is also included on his book The Economics and Ethics of Private Property. This translation was revised by Oscar Grau.

For more Spanish translations, click here.

Sobre los indefendibles derechos del bienestar

[Respuesta al artículo «A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism» de David Conway publicado en Austrian Economics Newsletter en 1990].

David Conway afirma que mi argumento que pretende mostrar la irrestricta validez del principio de apropiación original, es decir, la regla del primer-uso-primer-dueño sobre recursos no poseídos, dados por la naturaleza, es erróneo, y que puede demostrar la posible defensa de los derechos del bienestar. No me ha convencido y afirmo que es su contraargumentación la que es errónea.

[continue reading…]


Intimidación por argumento | Intimidation by Argument

Jorge Antonio Soler has translated to Spanish the Hoppe’s response to a Loren Lomasky’s piece published in the Liberty on 1989. The response is also included on his book The Economics and Ethics of Private Property.

For more Spanish translations, click here.

Intimidación por argumento

[Respuesta al artículo «The Argument From Mere Argument» de Loren Lomasky publicado en Liberty en septiembre de 1989].

Loren Lomasky se vio intimidado y enfurecido por mi libro A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism. Empezando porque el libro es más ambicioso de lo que su libro indica. «Es», se lamenta, «nada menos que un manifiesto para un anarquismo sin límites». Sea. ¿Y qué? Como explico en el libro, aunque convenientemente Lomasky no lo mencione, el anarquismo sin límites no es nada más que el nombre para un orden social de derechos de propiedad sin límites, es decir, del derecho absoluto a la autopropiedad y el derecho absoluto a apropiarse de recursos no previamente poseídos, de emplearlos para cualquier propósito que uno crea necesario en tanto esto no afecte a la integridad física de los recursos apropiados por otros de igual manera, y de entrar en cualquier acuerdo contractual con otros propietarios que se considere mutuamente beneficioso. ¿Qué tiene de horrible esta idea? Empíricamente hablando, la teoría de la propiedad constituye el núcleo duro del sentido intuitivo de justicia de la mayoría de la gente y por tanto es difícil llamarla revolucionaria. Sólo alguien que apoye la limitación de los derechos de propiedad se ofendería, como hace Lomasky, con mi intento de justificar una economía puramente basada en la propiedad privada.

[continue reading…]


Jorge Antonio Soler has translated to Spanish the Hoppe’s response to a David Osterfeld’s piece published in the Austrian Economic Newsletter on 1988. The response is also included on his book The Economics and Ethics of Private Property.

For more Spanish translations, click here.

Preferencia demostrada y propiedad privada

[Respuesta al artículo «Comment on Hoppe» de David Osterfeld publicado en Austrian Economics Newsletter en 1988].

El Profesor Osterfeld, tras reconocer de manera tan generosa la naturaleza «rompedora» de mi defensa a priori de la ética de la propiedad privada, se concentra en cuatro objeciones a mis argumentos.

Comentaré las cuatro objeciones que el Profesor Osterfeld trata. No obstante, dado que estas dependen de un correcto entendimiento de mi argumento central y su fuerza lógica, reafirmaré mi caso de la manera más breve posible.

[continue reading…]


This is the Spanish version of The Paradox of Imperialism (The Origin and Nature of International Conflict) (2006). This article is excerpted from Hoppe’s acceptance speech to the Schlarbaum Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Study of Liberty. The original translation was revised by Oscar Grau for this publication.

For more Spanish translations, click here.

La paradoja del imperialismo

El Estado

Convencionalmente se define al Estado como una agencia con dos características únicas. Primero, es un monopolista territorial forzoso en la toma de decisiones (jurisdicción). Es decir, es el árbitro definitivo en todo caso de conflicto, incluyendo conflictos que le involucren. Segundo, el Estado es el monopolista territorial de los impuestos. Es decir, es una agencia que fija unilateralmente el precio que deben pagar los ciudadanos por su provisión de ley y orden.

Como es previsible, si uno solamente puede apelar al Estado para conseguir justicia, la justicia se pervertirá a favor del Estado. En lugar de resolver conflictos, un monopolista de toma definitiva de decisiones actuará en su propio beneficio. Peor aún, cuando la calidad de la justicia caiga bajo auspicios monopolistas, su precio aumentará. Motivados como todos por su propio interés, pero equipados con el poder de establecer impuestos, el objetivo de los agentes del Estado es siempre el mismo: maximizar rentas y minimizar esfuerzos productivos.

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Lo que debe hacerse | What Must Be Done

This is the Spanish translation made by Juan Gamón Robres of a Hoppe’s speech titled What Must Be Done (1997).

For more Spanish translations, click here.

Lo que debe hacerse

[Lección impartida en la conferencia «La bancarrota de la política norteamericana», patrocinada por el Instituto Mises y que tuvo lugar en Newport Beach, California, los días 24 y 25 de enero de 1997].

Un título un poco más apropiado habría sido “Sociedad, Estado y libertad: la estrategia austrolibertaria para la revolución social“. Así que voy a animar esto un poco, después del tono moderado de todas esas charlas que Ustedes han escuchado anteriormente. Quiero terminar dando lo que serían más bien unas recomendaciones acerca de cual ha de ser la concreta estrategia a seguir, pero para poder hacerlo, antes he de diagnosticar el problema porque sino la cura podría ser peor que la enfermedad. Y ese diagnóstico implica algún tipo de reconstrucción sistemática o explicación teórica de la Historia humana.

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Hoppe en español | Hoppe in Spanish

Great news for the Hoppe readears in Spanish around the globe!

¡Buenas noticias para los lectores de Hoppe en español de todo el mundo!

Now all the translations can be found and most them read on our web site entering the brand new section called Hoppe en español. Also, for the German readers, remember that the same thing already exists for you clicking here.

Ahora todas las traducciones se pueden encontrar y la mayoría de ellas se pueden leer en nuestro sitio web ingresando a la nueva sección llamada Hoppe en español. Además, para los lectores alemanes, recuerden que lo mismo ya existe para ustedes haciendo clic aquí.

Hoppe in Spanish

Hoppe in German




This is the Mises Institute Spanish translation of Hoppe on the Lockdowns!, an interview of Thomas Jacob with Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

For more Spanish translations, click here.

¡Hoppe sobre los confinamientos!

Thomas Jacob: Profesor Hoppe, usted es conocido como un crítico del Estado y de la centralización política. ¿No demuestra el coronavirus que los Estados centrales y las regulaciones del gobierno central son necesarias?

Hans-Hermann Hoppe: Al contrario.

Por supuesto, los diversos Estados centrales y las organizaciones internacionales, como la Unión Europea o la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), han tratado de utilizar la pandemia covid-19 en su propio beneficio, es decir, para ampliar su poder sobre sus respectivos sujetos, para probar hasta dónde se puede llegar con el ordenamiento de otras personas ante un peligro inicialmente vago y luego sistemáticamente dramatizado de una epidemia mundial. Y la medida en que esto ha tenido éxito, hasta e incluyendo un arresto domiciliario general, es aterrador.

Pero si el curso de los acontecimientos actuales ha demostrado algo, no es cuán necesarias o eficientes son las autoridades y decisiones centrales, sino, por el contrario, cuán importantes son las decisiones y los responsables descentralizados.

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The GOAT and the lamb


And spicy Hoppe at the Pepper-mart:



Economia, Sociedade & História, translation of Economy, Society, and History.


This is the Spanish translation of Hoppe’s Utilitarians and Randians vs. Reason (1988) revised by Oscar Grau.

For more Spanish translations, click here.

Utilitaristas y randianos contra la razón

[Respuesta al «Simposio sobre la ética de la argumentación de Hoppe» publicada en Liberty Magazine de noviembre de 1988].

No es posible ni vale la pena responder a todos los puntos ya mencionados en la discusión anterior. Me concentraré en aquellos críticos que atacan más vehementemente mi argumento —todos ellos utilitarios de algún tipo—. Comentaré después brevemente sobre el tipo de reacción randiana.

Sorprendentemente, Friedman, Yeager, Steel, Water, Virkkala y Jones creen que no he tenido en cuenta el hecho de que todas las sociedades existentes son mucho menos que libertarias (que hay esclavitud, gulags, o que los maridos poseen a sus esposas, etc.) y que esto de alguna manera invalida mi argumento. Obviamente, difícilmente hubiese escrito este artículo si mi opinión fuese que el libertarismo ya prevaleciese en el mundo. Por tanto, debería haber sido claro que es precisamente este carácter no libertario de la realidad el que me motiva a mostrar algo un tanto diferente: por qué tal estado de las cosas no puede justificarse. Citar hechos como la esclavitud como contraejemplo está a la par de refutar la prueba de que 1+1=2 al señalar que alguien considera que 3 es una respuesta —y tanto así de ridículo—.

Para reafirmarme: El que algo sea o no verdadero, falso o indecidible; el que algo esté o no justificado; lo que se requiere para justificarlo; si yo, mis oponentes, o ninguno tiene razón; todo ello debe decidirse en el curso de la argumentación. Esta proposición es cierta a priori, porque no puede negarse sin afirmarla en el acto de negarla. Uno no puede argumentar que no argumenta, y uno no puede impugnar que sabe lo que significa plantear que algo sea cierto sin implícitamente afirmar al menos que la negación de esta proposición es cierta.

Esto ha sido denominado “el a priori de la argumentación”, y es por el estatus axiomático de esta proposición, análogo al “axioma de la acción” de la praxeología, por lo que he invocado a Mises en mi artículo. (La indignación de Virkkala con esto le descalifica porque explícitamente digo que el propio Mises pensaba que lo que yo estaba intentando hacer era imposible. Más aún, es su entendimiento de Mises el que es gracioso. Aunque es cierto que la praxeología habla sobre marginalismo, no es obviamente el caso de que la praxeología como cuerpo de proposiciones esté afectada por elecciones marginales. La praxeología contiene proposiciones universalmente verdaderas, y si decidimos o no aceptarlas, no afecta a estas en absoluto. Y obviamente no es diferente cuando se trata de proposiciones éticas. Virkkala podría también atacar a Mises por una “retirada del marginalismo” por afirmar que la praxeología es cierta).

Con el a priori de la argumentación establecido como un punto de partida axiomático, se deduce que cualquier cosa que se presuponga en el acto de hacer proposiciones no puede disputarse proposicionalmente de nuevo. No tendría sentido pedir una justificación de las presuposiciones que hacen posible la producción de proposiciones con sentido en primer lugar. En vez de eso, deben considerarse como definitivamente justificadas por todo hacedor de proposiciones. Cualquier contenido proposicional específico que discuta su validez incurre en una contradicción performativa (en el sentido explicado por David Gordon), y por tanto, también se ve falsado.

La ley de contradicción es una proposición así. Uno no puede negar esta ley sin presuponer su validez en el acto de negarla. Pero hay otra presuposición así. Las proposiciones no son entidades sueltas. Requieren de un hacedor de proposiciones que para producir cualquier proposición que alegue ser cierta necesita tener control exclusivo (propiedad) sobre algún medio escaso definido en términos objetivos y apropiados (puestos bajo control) en puntos definidos del tiempo a través de la acción de apropiación original. Por tanto, cualquier proposición que cuestione la validez del principio de apropiación original o que afirme la validez de algún principio diferente incompatible sería falsada por la ley de contradicción de la misma manera que la proposición “la ley de contradicción es falsa” se vería contradicha por el propio hecho de afirmarla. Como presuposición praxeológica de hacer proposiciones, la validez del principio de apropiación original no puede ser argumentativamente discutida sin caer en una contradicción performativa. Cualquier otro principio de adquisición de propiedad puede entonces ser entendido —reflexivamente— por cada hacedor de proposiciones como en última instancia incapaz de justificación proposicional (Nótese, en particular, que esto incluye toda propuesta que afirme que está justificado restringir el rango de objetos que puedan ser apropiados originalmente. Yerra porque una vez que se admite como justo el control exclusivo sobre algunos bienes apropiados originalmente, se hace imposible justificar cualquier restricción al proceso de apropiación original —excepto uno autoimpuesto— sin caer en una contradicción. Porque si el proponente de tal proposición fuese consistente, tendría control justificado sólo sobre algunos medios físicos que no podría emplear para posterior apropiación original. Obviamente, no podría interferir con el proceso de apropiación original de otros implemente por su propia falta de medios físicos para hacer algo al respecto de forma justificada. Pero si interfiriese, estaría por ende inconsistentemente extendiendo sus reclamos de propiedad más allá de sus propios medios apropiados originalmente de forma justa. Más aún, para justificar esta extensión tendría que invocar un principio de adquisición de propiedad compatible con el principio de apropiación original cuya validez ya habría tenido que admitir).

Todo mi argumento, pues, afirma ser una prueba de imposibilidad. No es, como los mencionados críticos parecen pensar, una prueba que pretende mostrar la imposibilidad de ciertos eventos empíricos tal que pueda ser refutada por experiencia empírica. En vez de eso, es una prueba de que es imposible justificar principios de propiedad no libertarios proposicionalmente sin caer en contradicciones. Sin importar el valor que tal cosa pueda tener (y volveré sobre esto en breve), debería ser claro que la evidencia empírica no tiene nada que ver con ello. ¿Y qué si hay esclavitud, gulag o impuestos? La prueba concierne al problema que afirmar que tales instituciones pueden ser justificadas involucra una contradicción performativa. Es puramente intelectual en su naturaleza, como las pruebas lógicas, matemáticas o praxeológicas. Su validez, como la de éstas, puede establecerse independientemente de cualquier experiencia contingente. Tampoco su validez se ve afectada, como varios críticos —como notoriamente Waters— parecen pensar, por lo que la gente prefiera, favorezca, entienda o consensúe sobre ello, o si están o no involucrados en una argumentación. Dado que consideraciones como estas son irrelevantes a la hora de juzgar la validez de una prueba matemática, por ejemplo, así también no tienen importancia aquí. De la misma manera que la validez de una prueba matemática no está restringida al momento en el que se prueba, la validez de la teoría libertaria de propiedad no está limitada a instancias de argumentación. Si es correcta, el argumento demuestra su justificación universal.

(De todas las críticas utilitarias, sólo Steele acepta el desafío que les había planteado: que la asignación de derechos de propiedad no puede ser independiente de cualquier consecuencia posterior porque en este caso nadie podría saber antes de la consecuencia si su acción está justificada o no; y que al apoyar una posición consecuencialista, el utilitarismo no es [estrictamente hablando] ético y no logra responder la pregunta decisiva “¿Qué tengo justificado hacer?”. Steele resuelve este problema de la misma manera en la que procede a lo largo de su comentario: malinterpretando lo que es. Entiende erróneamente mi argumento como sujeto a pruebas empíricas y dice erróneamente que el mismo afirma mostrar que un “favorezco una ética libertaria” se deduce de “estoy diciendo algo”, mientras que, de hecho, lo afirma de forma totalmente independiente de lo que la gente favorezca o aborrezca, “puede darse a la ética libertaria una justificación proposicional definitiva” se deduce de “afirmo tal y tal como válido, es decir, capaz de justificación proposicional”. Su respuesta al problema consecuencialista es otra “genialidad”: No, dice Steele, el consecuencialismo no debe involucrar una ética praxeológicamente absurda del esperar-por-el-resultado. Su ejemplo: Algunas reglas se apoyan inicialmente, luego se implementan y luego se ajustan dependiendo de los resultados. Aunque esto es de hecho un ejemplo de consecuencialismo, no logro ver cómo da una respuesta a “¿Qué tenemos justificado hacer ahora?” y escapar por tanto de los absurdos de la ética del esperar-por-el-resultado. El punto de partida no está justificado [¿Qué regla? ¡No sólo el resultado depende de esto!]; y el procedimiento consecuencialista tampoco está justificado. [¿Por qué no adoptar reglas y aferrarse a ellas sin importar el resultado?]. La respuesta de Steele a la pregunta “¿Qué tengo justificado hacer?” es “depende de con qué reglas empieces, luego del resultado al que esto lleve, y finalmente de si te importa o no tal resultado”. Sea lo que sea esto, no es ético).

La reacción desde el otro lado randiano, representada por Rasmussen, es diferente. Tiene menos dificultades para reconocer la naturaleza de mi argumento pero me pregunta a su vez “¿Y qué? ¿Por qué debería una prueba a priori de la teoría libertaria de propiedad marcar alguna diferencia? ¿Por qué no agredir de todas formas?”. ¡¿Por qué en verdad?! Pero entonces, ¿por qué la prueba de que 1+1=2 marca alguna diferencia? Uno puede ciertamente actuar sobre la creencia de que 1+1=3. La respuesta obvia es “porque la justificación proposicional existe para hacer una cosa, pero no para otra”. Pero por qué deberíamos ser razonables es la siguiente pregunta. Y nuevamente, la respuesta es obvia. A fin de cuentas, porque sería imposible argumentar contra ella; y además, porque el proponente que plantee esta pregunta estaría afirmando el uso de razón en su acto de cuestionarla. Esto puede que no sea suficiente y todos sabemos que no lo es, ya que incluso si la ética libertaria y el razonamiento argumentativo deben ser considerados como definitivamente justificados, esto no impide que la gente actúe basándose en creencias injustificadas en su lugar porque no saben, no les importa, o prefieren no saber. No logro ver por qué esto debería ser sorprendente o que esto haga la prueba de alguna manera defectuosa. Más que esto no puede hacerse mediante el argumento proposicional.

Rasmussen parece pensar que si puedo conseguir derivar un “debería” de algún sitio (algo que Yeager afirma que estoy intentando hacer aunque explícitamente lo niego) entonces, las cosas mejorarían. Pero esto es simplemente una esperanza ilusoria. Incluso si Rasmussen hubiese probado la proposición de que uno debe ser razonable y debe actuar acorde a la ética de la propiedad libertaria, esto sería otro argumento proposicional más. No te asegura que la gente hará lo que debiera hacer de la misma manera que mi prueba no garantiza que lo que harán esté justificado. ¿Dónde está la diferencia, y por qué todo este escándalo? Hay una diferencia entre establecer una afirmación de verdad e infundir un deseo de actuar según la verdad —con “debe” o sin él—. Es ciertamente genial si la prueba puede infundir este deseo. Pero incluso si no lo hace, este hecho no puede usarse contra ella. Tampoco le quita nada de mérito si en algunos o muchos casos unas crudas reivindicaciones utilitarias tienen más éxito que mi prueba a la hora de persuadir a alguien de las ideas libertarias. Una prueba sigue siendo una prueba y la psicología social sigue siendo psicología social.

Traducido originalmente del inglés por Jorge Antonio Soler. Revisado y corregido por Oscar Eduardo Grau Rotela. El material original se encuentra aquí.


From Professor Hoppe’s opening remarks to the recently-concluded Fifteenth Annual (2021) Meeting of the PFS, Bodrum, Turkey (Sept. 16–21, 2021).

For others, see the links in the Program, or the PFS YouTube channel, including the growing PFS 2021 YouTube Playlist. Additional media of the proceedings will be released presently.

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Hoppe on Intellectual Property

Hoppe on Intellectual Property

Hoppe Festschrift coverOn occasion a pro-IP libertarian who is also an admirer of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, the world’s leading libertarian intellectual, will express incredulity and dismay at the idea that Hoppe would oppose IP. It has been obvious to me for ten years that Hoppe is anti-IP. He welcomed the publication of my “Against Intellectual Property” article in the Journal of Libertarian Studies in 2000 when he was editor (in fact he came up with the title); and its reasoning and conclusions are based on and perfectly consistent with Hoppe’s anarcho-Austrian-Rothbardian ideas on property, rights, ethics, and economics. But some Hoppe admirers are loathe to admit this (see the comments of Dave Narby here, and Stranger on this thread, for example).

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