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The Intellectual Cover for Socialism

by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Originally published in
The Free Market, February 1988.

Compared with life in Western countries, where the socialist sector is sizeable, life under total socialism is miserable.

The standard of living is so deplorable that, in 1961, the socialist East German government built a system of walls, barbed wire, electrified fences, minefields, automatic shooting devices, watchtowers, watchdogs, and watchmen, almost 900 miles long, to keep people from running away from socialism.

The empirical evidence shows that socialism is an obvious failure. And the cause of socialism’s failure is crystal clear: there is almost no private ownership of the means of production, and almost all factors of production are owned in common in precisely the same way that Americans own the Postal Service.

Why, then, do seemingly serious people still advocate socialism? And why are there still thousands of social scientists who want to put more and more factors of production under social instead of private control? Read the rest of this entry


This was written on April 27, 1997, by the great Australian commentator Viv Forbes.
Looking at Hong Kong today and the direction of progress, what do you think of this essay?

I was saddened to read, last week, that the first Red Army soldiers had slipped into Hong Kong, like Jackals in the Night.

This marks the end of a huge social experiment lasting for decades and involving millions of people — a contest between the command society and the contract society, between socialism and free enterprise, between the closed economy and free trade. Read the rest of this entry