Monday, March 31, 2014

Word of the Day: Interregnum

It's more than merely theoretical. Hoppe's book is heavily footnoted. He cites the historical record.
Having "a say in your rulers" (honestly, does anyone in the U.S. or Europe really believe this to be the case?) creates moral hazard. The rulers presume mandate. As the embodiment of Rousseau's General Will, they will allow no natural-law considerations to stand in their way.
The fundamental rules of basic human decency (e.g., "thou shalt not steal," thou shalt not kill") no longer apply. They come to adopt the most mind-bogglingly evil means to advance their ends, which they necessary identify with the Greater Good. The confiscatory tax rates (extortion), quantitative easing (counterfeiting), and collateral damage (mass murder) ensue.
In the age of Christian monarchs, wars were strictly limited. A family could enjoy a picnic on a hilltop and watch two kings' armies clash in the valley below. Non-combatants had little to fear. Democracy gave us total war between peoples. Small wonder the age of democracy has coincided with the age of democide.
I hereby close with a dose of levity. This comes from a recent (March 27) Page-A-Day Calendar entry:
An engineer, a surgeon, and a politician were arguing about which of their professions originated first. The surgeon said, “Eve was created from Adam’s rib. That’s surgery.”

The engineer chimed in and said, “But before that, the world was created out of chaos. That’s engineering.”

“But wait!” the politician said. “The chaos: That was all politicians!”
I wish you well.

-----Original Message-----
From: Anu Garg <>
To: Tony Pivetta <>
Sent: Mon, Mar 31, 2014 1:30 pm
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--interregnum

Mr. Pivetta:

Thanks for your note. Theoretical discussions aside, here's the key question: Would you prefer to live in a country where you have a say in electing your rulers, whether the president, prime minister, governor, mayor, etc., or one where a child of the current ruler becomes the next ruler and his/her child the following ruler, and so on?

All the best,


On Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 8:12 AM, Tony Pivetta <> wrote:

“The antiquated custom of royalty, with inherited offices, divine rights, and privy purses is thankfully becoming rare.”
Dear Mr. Garg:

You may want to rethink your gratitude. If you read Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Democracy: the God that Failed, you’ll see monarchy has a good deal to recommend it, at least vis-à-vis democracy. In point of historical fact, Westerners enjoyed greater personal liberty under the medieval monarchies (things changed after the Reformation, but that’s another story) than they do today.

As an economist, Dr. Hoppe posits low time preference, i.e., future orientation, as a bellwether for a civilization’s advancement. Rulers under democracy serve as mere caretakers of their domains, not owners, so they tend to have higher time preference than monarchs. They exhaust the resources entrusted to them, foisting obligations on future generations. (Sound familiar?) By contrast, monarchs seek capital preservation within the kingdom. In so doing, they best protect the inheritance of their heirs.

The phenomenon of democratic citizens’ more closely identifying with their rulers also comes into play. Democracy's “we are the government” mythology invariably takes a toll on a populace's freedom, wealth and security. In the immortal words of Goethe, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

None of this is to defend monarchy per se. Indeed, Hoppe recommends a "fully-privatized social order," also called anarcho-capitalism, over both monarchy and democracy. This missive aims only to raise studiously ignored political-economic theory to the fore.


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