01/11/Hans-Hermann Hoppe Democracy-The God that Failed is a brilliant and unflinching work that will be of intense interest to scholars and students of. Democracy: The God that Failed by Hoppe 12/04/Hans-Hermann Hoppe. The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order. The God That Failed. The Economics and PoUtlcs of. Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order. Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Transaction Publishers.
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Tags World History Political Theory. World War I marks one of the great watersheds of modern history. With its end the transformation of the entire Western world from monarchical rule and sovereign kings to democratic-republican rule and sovereign people that began with the French Revolution was completed. Only four years later, after the United States had entered the European war and decisively determined its outcome, monarchies all but disappeared, and Europe along with the entire world entered the age of democratic republicanism.
Likewise, all of the newly created successor states with the sole exception of Yugoslavia adopted democratic republican constitutions. In Turkey and Greece, the monarchies were overthrown. And even where monarchies remained nominally in existence, as in Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries, monarchs no longer exercised any governing power.
Universal adult suffrage was introduced, and all government power was vested in parliaments and “public” officials. This is true for several reasons.
First off, Austria initiated the war, and America brought it to a close. Austria lost, and America won. More importantly, however, World War I was not a traditional war fought over limited territorial objectives, but an ideological one; and Austria and America respectively were and were perceived as such by the contending parties the two countries that most clearly embodied the ideas in conflict with each other.
World War I began as an old-fashioned territorial dispute. However, with the early involvement and the ultimate official entry into the war by the United States in Aprilthe war took on a new ideological dimension.
The United States had been founded as a republic, and the democratic principle, inherent in the idea of a republic, had only recently been carried to victory as the result of the violent defeat and devastation of the secessionist Confederacy by the centralist Union government. At the time of World War I, this triumphant ideology of an expansionist democratic republicanism had found its very personification in then U.
Under Wilson’s administration, the European war became an ideological mission – to make the world safe for democracy and free of dynastic rulers. When in March the U.
With the Czar gone, the war had finally become a purely ideological conflict: Wilson and his closest foreign policy advisors, George D. Herron and Colonel House, disliked the Germany of the Kaiser, the aristocracy, and the military elite. But they hated Austria. It existed in contradiction of the Mazzinian principle of the national state, it had inherited many traditions as well as symbols from the Holy Roman Empire double-headed eagle, black-gold colors, etc.
Such a state had to be shattered, such a dynasty had to disappear. As an increasingly ideologically motivated conflict, the war quickly degenerated into a total war. Moreover, due to the ideological character of the war, at its end no compromise peace but only total surrender, humiliation, and punishment was possible. Germany had to give up her monarchy, and Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France as before the Franco-Prussian war of The new German republic was burdened with heavy long-term reparations.
Germany was demilitarized, the German Saarland was occupied by the French, and in the East large territories had to be ceded to Poland West Prussia and Silesia. However, Germany was not dismembered and destroyed. Wilson had reserved this fate for Austria. With the deposition of the Habsburgs the entire Austrian-Hungarian Empire was dismembered.
As the crowning achievement of Wilson’s foreign policy, two new and artificial states: Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, were carved out of the former Empire. Since Austria has disappeared from the map of international power politics. Instead, the United States has emerged as the world’s leading power. The principle of democratic republicanism had triumphed. It was to triumph again with the end of World War II, and once more, or so it seemed, with the collapse of the Soviet Empire in the late s and early s.
For some contemporary observers, the “End of History” has arrived. The American idea of universal and global democracy has finally come into its own. Meanwhile, Habsburg-Austria and the proto-typical pre-democratic Austrian experience assumed no more than historical interest.
To be sure, it was not that Austria had not achieved any recognition. Even democratic intellectuals and artists from any field of intellectual and cultural endeavor could not ignore the enormous level of productivity of Austro-Hungarian and in particular Viennese culture.
Indeed, the list of great names associated with late nineteenth and early twentieth century Vienna is seemingly endless. Instead, if it has not been considered a mere coincidence, the productivity of Austrian-Viennese culture has been presented “politically correctly” as proof of the positive synergistic effects of a multi-ethnic society and of multi-culturalism.
However, at the end of the twentieth century increasing evidence is accumulating that rather than marking the end of history, the American system is itself in a deep crisis. Since the late s or early s, real wage incomes in the United States and in Western Europe have stagnated or even fallen. In Western Europe in particular, unemployment rates have been steadily edging upward and are currently exceeding 10 percent. The public debt has risen everywhere to astronomical heights, in many cases exceeding a country’s annual Gross Domestic Product.
Similarly, the social security systems everywhere are on or near the verge of bankruptcy. Further, the collapse of the Soviet Empire represented not so much a triumph of democracy as the bankruptcy of the idea of socialism, and it also contained an indictment against the American Western system of democratic – rather than dictatorial – socialism.
Moreover, throughout the Western hemisphere national, ethnic and cultural divisiveness, separatism and secessionism are on the rise.
Democracy: The God That Failed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Wilson’s multicultural democratic creations, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, have broken apart. In light of these disillusioning experiences fundamental doubts concerning the virtues of the American system vemocracy resurfaced. What would have happened, it is being asked again, if in accordance with his reelection promise, Woodrow Wilson had kept the U.
By virtue of its counterfactual nature, the answer to a question such as this can never be empirically confirmed or falsified. However, this does not make the question meaningless or the answer arbitrary.
To the contrary, based on an understanding of the actual historical events and personalities involved, the question concerning the most likely alternative course of history can be answered in detail and with considerable confidence. If the United States had followed a strict non-interventionist foreign policy, it is likely that the intra-European conflict would have ended in late or early as the result of several peace initiatives, most notably by the Austrian Emperor Charles I.
Moreover, the war would have been concluded with a mutually acceptable and face-saving compromise peace rather than the actual dictate. Consequently, Austria-Hungary, Germany and Russia would have remained traditional monarchies instead of being turned into short-lived democratic republics.
Hans-Hermann Hoppe – Wikiquote
With a Russian Czar and a German and Austrian Kaiser in place, it would have been almost impossible for the Bolsheviks to seize power in Russia, and in reaction to a growing communist threat in Western Europe, for the Fascists and National Socialists to do the same in Italy and Germany.
The extent of government interference with and control of the private economy in the United States and in Western Europe would never have reached the heights seen today. And rather than Central and Eastern Europe and consequently half of the globe falling into communist hands and for more than forty years being plundered, devastated, and forcibly hemann from Western markets, all of Europe and the entire globe would have remained integrated economically as in the nineteenth century in a world-wide system of division of labor and cooperation.
World living standards would have grown immensely higher than they actually have. While history will play an important role, the following is not the work of a historian but of a political economist and philosopher, however. There are no new or unfamiliar data presented. One may, for instance, readily agree on the fact that in nineteenth century America average living standards, tax rates, and economic regulations were comparatively low, while in the twentieth century living standards, taxes, and regulations were high.
Yet were twentieth century living standards higher because of higher taxes and regulations or despite higher taxes and regulations, i. Likewise, one may readily agree that welfare payments bans crime rates were low during the s and that both are now comparatively high.
Yet has crime increased because of rising welfare payments or despite them, or have crime rhe welfare nothing to do with each other and is the relationship between the two phenomena merely coincidental?
The facts do not provide an answer to such questions, and no amount of statistical manipulation of data can possibly change this fact. The data of history are logically compatible with any of such rival interpretations, and historians, insofar as they are just historians, have no way of deciding in favor of one or the other.
In some circles this kind of theory is held in low esteem; and some philosophers, especially of the empiricist-positivist variety, have declared any such theory off-limits or even impossible. This is not a philosophical treatise devoted to a discussion of issues of epistemology and ontology.
Here and in the following, I do not want to directly refute the empiricist-positivist thesis that there is no such thing as a priori theoryi. No material thing can be at two places at once.
No two objects can occupy the same place. A straight line is the shortest line between two points. No two straight lines can enclose a space. Whatever object is red all over cannot be green blue, yellow, etc. Whatever object is colored is also extended.
Whatever object has shape has also size. Implausibly, empiricists must denigrate such propositions as mere linguistic-syntactic conventions without any empirical content, i. In contrast to this view and in accordance with common sense, I understand the same propositions as asserting some simple but fundamental truths about the structure of reality.
And in accordance with common sense, too, I would regard someone who wanted to “test” these propositions, or who reported “facts” contradicting or deviating from them, as confused. A priori theory trumps and corrects experience and logic overrules observationand not vice-versa. Human action is an actor’s purposeful pursuit of valued ends with scarce means. No one can purposefully not act. Every action is aimed at improving the actor’s failwd well-being above what it otherwise would yhe been.
A larger quantity of a hopep is valued more highly than a smaller quantity of the same good. Satisfaction earlier is preferred over satisfaction later.
Production must proceed consumption. What is consumed now cannot be consumed again in the future. If the hemann of a good is lowered, either the same quantity or more will be bought than otherwise. Prices fixed below market clearing prices will lead to lasting shortages. Without private property in factors of production there can be no factor prices, and without factor prices cost-accounting is impossible.
Interpersonal conflict is possible only if and insofar as things are scarce. No thing or part of a thing can be owned exclusively by more than one person at a time.