Countering the Abuse of Power
Hans Hoppe has delivered a wonderful essay and lecture, The Idea of a Private Law Society: The Case of Karl Ludwig von Haller. Who is von Haller?
Karl Ludwig von Haller (1 August 1768 – 20 May 1854) was a Swiss jurist, statesman and political philosopher. He was the author of Restauration der Staatswissenschaft (Restoration of Political Science, 1816–1834), a book which gave its namesake to the Restoration period after the Congress of Vienna, and which Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel strongly criticized in §258 of Elements of the Philosophy of Right.
Von Haller’s work, which was burnt during the Wartburg Festival, was a highly systematic defense both of the principles of dynastic legitimacy and monarchy founded on territorial lordship, as well as of pre-modern republics like those of the Swiss city-states, and the most consistent rejection of modern political ideas of the social contract, public law, and state sovereignty.
His books burned because he rejected the social contract, public law and state sovereignty. Already sounds like a great guy.
In [Restauration der Staatswissenschaft] he uncompromisingly rejected the revolutionary conception of the State, and developed a natural and juridical system of government, arguing at the same time that a commonwealth can endure and prosper without being founded on the omnipotence of the state and official bureaucracy.
Sounds almost Hoppean. Unfortunately, it seems the book is only available in German; and this, among countless other reasons, is why we have been blessed to have Hoppe in our number. And, as I could never do justice to depths of Hoppe’s examination of the work, I will only focus on one specific point raised by Hoppe:
The stability of every society, i.e., the peaceful, tranquil and convivial association of men, is always threatened from two sides. On the one hand by the envy of the have-nots vis-a-vis the haves, and on the other hand by the abuse of power by the powerful.
We know very well the envy of the have-nots. Envy, worse than jealousy, wants to destroy. One can use the term “envy” to describe all of Critical Theory, the process of tearing down with nothing offered as replacement. It is destruction solely for the sake of destruction – seeing something or someone better, with more (wealth, happiness, stability, generosity, whatever) as nothing more than a target to destroy. Taking traditional western cultur
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