the human experience is characterized by the integrated whole of three abilities: of the recognition of truth, of justice and of beauty. We can distinguish between true and false, we can distinguish right from wrong, and we can distinguish between the beautiful (and perfection) and the ugly (and the imperfect) — and we can speak and reflect on all three notions. A whole and complete human life, then, should not only be truthful and just, it should also be a good life. Maybe not beautiful and perfect, but a life striving toward beauty and perfection. An exemplary, morally and aesthetically uplifting and inspiring life.
The purpose of the visual arts and of music is the creation of beauty in all its manifestations. It has no further philosophical implications. Yet beautiful art and music and libertarianism have one important commonality. Libertarianism, too, is beautiful. Not aesthetically, of course, but logically, as a simple and elegant social theory.
Would the change from a statist to a libertarian society help or hinder the production of high culture?
Hoppe: A libertarian society would be significantly more prosperous and wealthy and this would certainly help both low and high culture. But a free society — a society without taxes and tax-subsidies and without so-called “intellectual property rights” — would produce a very different culture, with a very different set of products, producers, stars, and failures.
If you could magically change one belief in the minds of all people in present societies, what would it be and why?
Hoppe: I agree in this with my principal teacher, mentor, and master Murray Rothbard. I would only want people to recognize matters for what they truly are. I would want them to recognize taxes as robbery, politicians as thieves, and the entire state apparatus and bureaucracy as a protection racket, a Mafia-like enterprise, only far bigger and more dangerous. In short: I would want them to hate the State. If everyone believed and did this, then, as É. de la Boétie has shown, all power of the state would almost instantly vanish.