The State is the Health of War (Full Speech)

by | May 27, 2023

First, we should recognize that institutions such as states show a natural aggressiveness. The explanation is very simple. If you have to fund your own aggressive ventures yourself, out of your own pocket, that will somewhat curtail your natural inclination to fight other people, because you have to pay for it yourself. On the other hand, if you imagine that if I want to fight some of you guys and I can tax him or him or him and ask them to support me in my fighting endeavors, then whatever my initial aggressive impulses might be, are certainly stimulated because I can externalize the cost of war onto other people. I don’t have to bear the cost myself. Other people have to bear the cost. This explains why institutions that have the power to tax, and also institutions that have the power to print money, in later ages, have financial abilities that make it more likely that they go to war than you would go to war if the power to tax was lacking or the power to print money was lacking on your part.

– Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Economy, Society, and History

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About Keith Knight

Keith Knight is Managing Editor at the Libertarian Institute, host of the Don't Tread on Anyone podcast and editor of The Voluntaryist Handbook: A Collection of Essays, Excerpts, and Quotes.

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