While Hoppe is correct about the political sources of mass social democracy, he may be overly indulgent when he looks at the role of the market. Granting that the free market is preferable to an economy run by the friends of John Judis does not mean that commercial activities bear no blame for the greed and moral degeneracy in our society. An economy that arouses ceaseless material desire complements and reinforces a polity that increases its power by promising material gratification. As observed by the now deceased intellectual historian Panajotis Kondylis, consumer capitalism is the economic counterpart of welfare state democracy. Both stand in stark opposition to the bourgeois Denkform of the nineteenth century , which stressed family and social order and the maintenance of taste and decorum. Hoppe’s reduction to the “free market ” of what its critics call “turbocapitalism,” a globalized corporate capitalism that obliterates regional and cultural distinctions and tries to arouse the same appetites everywhere, is not convincing.
What Hoppe is defendingmay sometimes be the lesser of two evils; but the pursuers of that lesser evil are usually ranged on the anti-traditional side of social and moral questions.
Hoppe can (and will) respond that at least on the European continent palpable alliances do exist between the critics of multiculturalisma and Euro-bureaucracy on the one hand and the defenders of a market economy on the other. Such examples, which abound on what the Western media call “ the extreme Right,” would include the Lega Nord in Italy, the Alliance of the Democratic Center in Switzerland, the Vkzarns Blok in Belgium, the various factions of the Front National in France , and the Oesterreichische Freiheitliche Partei in Austria. Though not every one of these anti-immigration and culturally traditionalist parties has represented consistently free market positions, all of them have attacked centralized administration and have been open to ideas about privatization and deregulation. Hoppe, moreover, has been affiliated with more than one of them as an advisor. It is also possible, as we learn from his book, to make a libertarian argument against immigration and in favor of a culturally stable society. If one conceives of human communities as a collection of property owners authorized to establish their own rules about who should be allowed to enter their property, then it follows that these owners should be able to exclude unwanted aliens . One might also invoke the quintessentially Lockean position, now being revived by Northern Italian separatists, that those who are members of the social contract have a right to keep others out. Membership in civil society does not require one to reach out for new members, particularly if the ensuing demographic shift is perceived as harmful to present members of the community.