[Peter Brimelow  writes: Alas, I had to miss  the recent annual meeting  of Hans-Herman Hoppe’s Property and Freedom Society  in Bodrum, Turkey—for my thoughts on last year’s and earlier meetings, see here . The next meeting will be held September 19-24 2013  and I encourage VDARE.com readers to go. I’m consoling myself by posting a shortened version of Sean Gabb’s contribution, “Hans-Hermann Hoppe And the Political Equivalent of Nuclear Fusion,” to the festschrift Property, Freedom, and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe , edited by Jörg Guido Hülsmann  and Stephan Kinsella.]
I have been invited to contribute a chapter to this book of appreciations of Hans-Hermann Hoppe.  Now, he is a person of forbidding achievements. He has made important contributions to economics , to political theory , to law, and to epistemology, among much else. He is also a person of much organizational ability, and the conferences he runs at Bodrum  for his Property and Freedom Society  have rapidly established  themselves as one of the high points in the libertarian calendar.
This makes it difficult to know where to start when it comes to writing a single chapter about his achievements. What I have decided to do, however, is to try and show how what he might regard as one of his minor achievements is contributing to a new and potentially significant consensus within the libertarian and conservative movements.
The End of the Cold War: A Victory Denied
In the ideological sense, the Cold War was fought between the defenders of liberty and tradition and their most open and comprehensive enemies. Yet in the settlement that followed the defeat of Communism, the main losers have been libertarians and conservatives.
Those who still regard this defeat as one for the enemies of liberty and tradition have failed to see beneath the surface of things to the underlying reality. Orthodox Marxism-Leninism , together with its numerous heresies , was mostly important not in its own terms, but as an excuse. In every generation, there are people who want to live at the expense of others, or to make them unhappy, or both. Unless they are able to be predators by act of conquest—the Assyrians , for example, or the Mongols —these people always need arguments to persuade their victims that being robbed or murdered will make the world a better place. Most of them need, themselves, to believe these arguments.
Long before the Berlin Wall  came down, Marxism  had become an embarrassment. Its historical and economic underpinnings had crumbled. Its predictions had all been falsified . Its promises were all broken. Its body count and the poverty of its survivors could no longer be denied. It no longer served to justify the actions  or the existence  of the Soviet state. Its disestablishment after 1989 was less a defeat for the enemies of liberty and tradition than a release.
The accelerated rise of Politically Correct multiculturalism since then, and the rise from almost nothing of Environmentalism , should not, therefore, be seen as ideologies of asylum for dispossessed Marxists.  Rather, they are ideologies of transformation and control more in keeping with the spirit of the present age. Just as Marxism once did, each provides a shared narrative, a shared terminology, and shared feeling of doing good for those whose objects are anything but good.
They are, moreover, better than Marxism, so far as they are less threatening to the Powers That-Be in the West. Diversity and sustainability requirements raise up bureaucracies that allow a cartelization of costs that privilege established wealth against the competition of new entrants. They otherwise provide jobs and status in organizations that look reassuringly like conventional businesses.
The New World Order
The result has been the emergence since 1989 of a new order in which broadly liberal and democratic institutions are being transformed into the agencies of a police state, and in which traditional ways of life and real diversities are being swept aside in favor of centrally-directed homogeneity.
There is nothing unusual about what is happening. There is nothing that should not have been at least dimly perceived back in 1989 . At the end of every real war , the winning alliance tends to break up, as the often radically different interest groups that comprised it find that what brought them together no longer exists to hold them together. New alliances then form between interest groups on the winning and losing sides.
This happened at the end of the Napoleonic wars, when Britain and France found themselves increasingly on the same side  against the Central European powers. It happened again at the end of the Second World War, when the Americans and Russians fell out, and both recruited their zones of occupied Germany  as allies in the new struggle. It has now happened with the new ideological that emerged at the end of the Cold War.
Whether or not this was to be expected, libertarians and conservatives have reason to feel aggrieved. They were perhaps the two most prominent ideological groups in the battle against Communism . Libertarian economists provided the most devastating weapons of attack. Conservatives did most to articulate the revulsion that ordinary people felt when confronted with the kleptocracy  and mass-murder  at the heart of Communism . They are now jointly surplus to requirements in a world where ex-Trotskyites  and even former Communist Party members  have put on suits and become government ministers , and now sit happily at dinner with the heads of global corporations .
There are three possible responses to this state of affairs:
- Libertarians and conservatives can whine piteously about the unfairness of things.
- Or they can carry on, as if nothing had changed after 1989, addressing arguments to the same allies and against the same enemies.
- Or they can recognize that the world has changed, and that promoting the same values requires differences of approach.
New Times, New Ways
Let me now drop the impersonal tone. I will not speak directly for the conservatives. But I will speak for the general libertarian movement. There is no orthodoxy here. Libertarians disagree with each other almost as much as we disagree with our various opponents. Even so, it is possible to see an emerging consensus—first that there is need of a new approach, and second of its nature.
Everyone knows that libertarians believe in free markets. Something we have not always made sufficiently plain—something that we may not always have been clear about ourselves—is that when we talk about free markets, what we mean is markets of free people. It does not mean that we endorse markets simply because they are efficient, or even because they are creative. In particular, we have no affection for big business . Big business no longer needs or deserves our support .
Outreach to Conservatives: Old Friends in New Times
There is the matter of our relationship with the conservatives. I do not mean by this the neoconservatives. Generally speaking, the prefix “neo” has a negative meaning. And these people are less interested in tradition than in keeping up a military-industrial complex that may have been necessary to face down Soviet Communism, but which now is simply a standing danger to freedom at home and peace abroad.
No—what I mean is real conservatives in the English-speaking sense. Their defence of tradition is necessarily a defense of limited government, of due process, of civil liberty, and of market freedom. They were natural allies in the past. There is no reason why they should not continue to be in the future.
The problem so far has been that there are certain differences between libertarians and conservatives that have prevented full-hearted cooperation. With the ending of the Communist threat,  it did seem for a while as if we might go our separate ways. Even now, it is not commonly accepted that there is a new threat just as deadly and just as much in need of co-ordinated resistance.
The main difference is one of vision. The libertarian utopia is one of maximum choice in a world of rapid technological progress. What we ultimately want is an order not wholly based on this planet, in which people live for at least a very long time. We are not very interested in keeping up old ways of life simply because they are old.
Conservatives, of course, are interested in keeping up these old ways. They hated socialism as an attack on their ideal order. They sometimes regard libertarianism as barely less of an attack.
In particular, they do not believe in mass immigration, which they perceive as a threat to their organic nation state. And they are dubious about a freedom of trade that may prevent their country from feeding itself or from producing its own manufactures.
Here we come at last to what I see as the main achievement of Hans-Hermann Hoppe. I am not qualified to assess his economic work. Because my own philosophical outlook is bounded  by the Greek sceptics and by Epicurus  and the British empiricists , his epistemology does not really answer any of the questions that I have ever asked. Nor will I claim that he agrees with my own dislike of business corporations. But his clarification of what a libertarian order might be is something that I can appreciate.
And it is this that I think his greatest contribution to the joint cause of liberty and tradition.
The Problem of Immigration
Let us consider his work on immigration . Until the end of the twentieth century, there was a libertarian consensus over immigration that had emerged during earlier concerns about the entry of Jews and Irish Catholics  to England or of the southern and eastern races of Europe to America. Libertarians insisted, and gained agreement over time, that the problems raised by these immigrations were either imaginary or short term; and that policies of benign neglect would turn strangers into citizens.
With the rise of mass immigration from outside the European world,  this opinion has had to come under review. If every Jew in Eastern Europe  had moved to England  before 1906, it would have raised the population by perhaps three million. If every Slovak in Europe had moved to America before 1920, it would have raised the