Large numbers of people in the United States rather mindlessly repeat slogans they have been taught about this being the ‘land of the free,’ ‘the free-est country in the world’ or even ‘the greatest/free-est country in history.’ It’s quite common to hear refrains like this repeated on talk radio, in particular. This sort of language has persisted despite the mounting restrictions on our freedom in all areas of our lives. Philosopher and author Dr Hans-Hermann Hoppe spoke to a gathering in Florida several years ago and offered a very different perspective on liberty in the US. In his view, US history is ‘an almost uninterrupted constant increase in the degree of parasitism taking place.’ In particular, Dr Hoppe noted the (historically) extreme amount of our income which is taxed away in one form another by various levels of government, endless regulation and legislation (to the point where no person could possibly know all the laws under which they are forced to live), the elimination of commodity money and constant warmongering (‘the United States government has become the biggest bully of all bullies, trying to rule the entire world; discovering new “Hitlers” everyday that need to be suppressed’).
Hoppe went on to highlight the important role played by intellectual apologists for parasitism (a term he uses throughout the speech for the activity of those who live off the labour of others through the state). Without some level of support from the people, a large number of parasites would never be able to live off the public. The public would turn upon them and parasitism would be be brought to an abrupt end. Ideology is key for convincing large numbers of people that the expropriation of their property and destruction of their liberty is not really these things at all but is actually good for them. This is where the intellectuals come in. They are generally in some manner or another connected to and supported by the state and their role is to further the ideology which supports the parasitism upon which the entire system is dependent.
If we think in these terms that Dr Hoppe lays out then we surely gain a different perspective on the political pundits, the authors and talking heads which are brought before us on ‘news’ programs to argue in favour of this or that program or policy. Whether the pop-intellectual is Charles Krauthammer arguing for another war (which will further enrich Lockheed-Martin) or Tim Wise arguing for ‘hate-speech’ laws (which will further empower lawyers and race-industry activists), statism and parasitism are advanced while liberty is curtailed and private property expropriated.
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