A clear and honest but overly repetitive argument in favor of an anarcho-capitalist system rooted in pure libertarianism. I find little to argue with in its criticism of the past 200 years of social and political "de-civilization" however I find two faults with the book:
Firstly, footnotes. Literally, half of the book is comprised of small-font footnotes; footnotes not simply citing a source, but footnotes including voluminous paragraphs from the source. Some pages are comprised of nothing but footnotes
. If the information contained was so important to the work, why not simply work it into the text rather than relegate it to a secondary status? My guess is because it is easier to quote others than it is to incorporate other's ideas into one's own words. I've noticed over the years that this footnote disease is especially prevalent among "traditionalist" writers. Why?
The second fault stems from the content of the footnotes and it's tempting to say you may just as well skip Hoppe and go straight to his sources. Find a primer on Austrian economics by von Mises
, another by Rothbard
, two books by de Jouvenel
and On Power
, and Fuller
's The Conduct of War
, and you will have the "proof" of every criticism he lays out. Much of the "original" thinking he provides seems like so much cheerleading in its denunciation of what are already obvious ills of today's world.
Still, the arguments against centralized public government in the book are coherent and logical and important. But in the end, they are unlikely to be anything more than ideals to be preserved for a future more amenable to privacy.