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Hans-Hermann Hoppe may be the most brilliant and original classical liberal alive today.  Often lumped together with the libertarians, of whom he is justly critical, Hoppe was a student of Jürgen Habermas before becoming a disciple of Murray Rothbard and, through Rothbard, of Ludwig von Mises.  Hoppe is probably the most important philosopher produced by the Austrian School.  Friedrich Hayek and Mises were primarily economists, and Rothbard, though a jack-of-all-trades and a master of many, did his best work as an economic historian.  Of the Austrians, Hoppe is one of the few to have taken political philosophy seriously as a primary occupation, and while his conclusions may sometimes take him well beyond the limits of liberal thought, his basic concepts and approach make him an authentic member of the school.  This volume, which is an excellent introduction to Hoppe’s work, is one of the very few important books produced by the American right in recent years.

In defending private property from the predatory state, Hoppe is in the mainstream of the liberal tradition, and he owes the concept of time preference, which is at the heart of much of his theoretical work, to Mises and Rothbard.  Although the theory of time preference can be elaborate, the essence is quite simple.  People can be classified as having either a high or low time preference, depending on their willingness to forgo current...

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