The Myth of National Defense - Hoppe

The Myth of National Defense,
edited by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.
8.5 x 11 inches, 464 pages, Large Print Edition.
Purchase at CreateSpace or Amazon for $25 $19.
Free electronic version found at
Reviews: David Gordon.
With eleven chapters by top libertarian scholars on all aspects of defense, this book edited by Hans-Hermann Hoppe represents an ambitious attempt to extend the idea of free enterprise to the provision of security services. It argues that "national defense" as provided by government is a myth not unlike the myth of socialism itself. Defense services are more viably privatized and replaced by the market provision of security.

From the introduction:

"Even aside from day-to-day security risks, the reality of terrorism and its resulting mayhem has demonstrated the inability of government to provide adequate security against attacks on person and property. The lesson of September 11 is indisputable: government had not only failed to act as a guardian of security and protection but had actually been the primary agent in creating insecurity and exposure to risk, and, moreover, did not achieve secure justice once the crime had been committed.

"However, this was not the lesson that was drawn from the affair. Instead, the political elite successfully exploited public fears to vastly increase government spending, central credit inflation, bureaucratic management, citizen surveillance, regulation of transportation, and generally wage an all out attack on liberty and property.

"Meanwhile, US foreign policy pursued in the aftermath became more aggressively interventionist, violent, and threatening (the US refused even to rule out the employment of nuclear weapons against enemy regimes) than it had been before, thereby increasing the number of recruits into the ranks of people who are willing to use extreme violence as a means of retribution.

"In the same way that government intervention in times of peace can generate perverse consequences in markets that do not tend toward clearing, in times of war, military intervention can thus have the effect of harming the prospects for peace and security and bringing about a permanent state of violence and political control. Truly, the political affairs of our time cry out for a complete rethinking of the issues of defense and security and the respective roles of government, the market, and society in providing them."