What’s with the socially conservative strain of anarcho-capitalism coming out of the Mises Institute and Hans-Hermann Hoppe?

If you’re an outsider to the libertarian tradition you might be baffled by some of the positions of some of the libertarian anarchists like Hans-Hermann Hoppe at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Liberty is about the emancipation of humans from oppressive forms of organization, so what is the deal with someone who claims to support liberty but thinks queer influence is a net negative for society?

Imagine anti-authoritarian politics as consisting of two levels: at the foundational/methodological level we are all unified by a commitment to create space for diverse decentralized communities to make value decisions for themselves. Above this foundational level are the ideological preferences of the community one would like to be a part of.

As Ross Kenyon writes, “Some communities will operate within the gender binary, be strictly vegan, be members of a certain religion, be different or no degrees of collectivized, allow or disallow firearm possession amongst countless other value decisions. This is the beauty of the voluntary association principle enacted: no one person or group of people has all the information necessary to coordinate everyone else. We’re still growing, learning and developing. Systems which allow innovators to prove to us their ideas in practice without forcing it on everyone else is a fundamental concept of liberal inquiry and an open society.”

For this process to work successfully one must acknowledge a vital feature of market anarchist thought: choice is more than a nominal choosing. By rendering more autonomy to the individual in putting their values into place on a decentralized scale and experimenting we aim to out-compete exploitative or unjust forms of social organization. With this ability also comes the responsibility to create ontological entities (other humans) with the ability to fully comprehend the systems which they are participating in.

If one violates this principle it may become acceptable to intervene physically, for example if one raises children to accept sexual exploitation which they nominally choose to remain under such conditions because they are incapable of the analytical power necessary to understand what they are participating in. However, so long as humans are being developed to understand what orders they are participating in for what they really are we should respect individual choice, autonomy and the evolutionary arc toward justice that such an experimental system would foster.

If you believe queer individuals have much to teach humanity about who we are, like we here at C4SS do, we should try to convince participants of Hoppe’s community that they are complicit in their own and/or others’ oppression and to leave such unjust social orders, but we don’t support legislating or ruling them into more progressive values.

In short, not everyone will share one’s values in a free society. Some people are going to retain traditional values with regard to the family, sexuality, religion, etc. So long as they don’t purposefully constrict their offspring so that they are unable to make value decisions regarding how to live (possibly providing a rumspringa, etc.) we should essentially respect the discovery process inherent in decentralization while encouraging those we view as oppressed to reject the social relations they are participating in.

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