Blogs > Liberty and Power > Hoppe Attacked by Political Correctness!

Feb 6, 2005 2:56 am

Hoppe Attacked by Political Correctness!

According to an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, during March of last year, Professor Hans Herman-Hoppe was notified by UNLV officials that a student lodged an informal complaint over Hoppe's comments on time preference and homosexuals.

A series of formal hearings ensued and, at the request of university officials, he clarified in his next class that he was speaking in generalities only and intended no offence. The student then filed a formal complaint feeling Hoppe did not take the complaint seriously.

Hoppe said university officials intended to issue a letter of reprimand and dock a week's pay, but the option was rejected by his dean and by the university provost. In the end, UNLV gave him until Friday (yesterday) to accept its latest offer: a letter of reprimand and give up his next pay increase.

"I felt like I was the victim, not the student." Hoppe, who is a fully-tenured professor at UNLV, is dumbfounded by the university's response to the student's complaint. It is not his job to consider how a student might feel about economic theory. Hoppe protested that university officials declined to speak to other students in the class to find out what actually happened and even rejected letters he solicited from a half-dozen students.

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Stephan (K-dog) Kinsella - 7/14/2005

I agree w/ Justin that unless "homophobia" is clearly defined, then it's either unclear who is homophobic, or the term can be stretched way too far.

Stephan (K-dog) Kinsella - 7/14/2005

Mark Fulwiler--

I know for a fact Hoppe is not anti-gay, but need not go into personal details.

As for his quote, I have not refreshed myself in a while on the context, but lets see:

"There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and expelled from society."

So far, we are not talking about gays, but about people actively hostile to the private property order.

"Likewise, in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin,"

seems here he is talking about a private order based on "normal" lifestyles, etc....

"there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal. They – the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centred lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism – will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order."

I think what he is saying here is that as a practical matter, for traditional society to survive and thrive, this order will require a large degree of coherent agreement on certain basic standards--e.g., that the norm is a hetero-based family, along with various conservaive values that are associated therewith. this does not mean at all that gays are not tolerated or present--he is talking about those "habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal"--I take that to mean the subset of gays who are openly hostile to the norms. NOt those who mind their own business. I take Hoppe here to be saying that in a flourishing society as he has in mind, there could and would be gays, living alongside others in peace and harmony. But they would not be in-your-face, hostile to the hetero lifestyle; they would not, perhaps, even be the type who would deny that the traditional, hetero lifestyle is, indeed, the norm. They would mind their own business and live within a traditioanl society, and there would be no problems with this.

I think he is focused here more on those who would advocate or push homosexuality as if it should be the norm--as some of the lesbian groups purportedly do--with open hostility and contempt for the norm.

As an analogy, I am an atheist, living in a "Christian" country. I can be openly hostile to this reality, and even fight and deny it, but it will only harm me and make me stand out as some misanthrope. Many Muslims and other religions have flourished in this "Christian" country, and I suspect are quietly grateful for this country and the open arms they have received. These are a far cry from the radical types who with spittle on the lips and rolling, foam-flecked eyes, looking like that maniacal, wild-eyed guy on the cover of The Best of Kansas, who are openly hostile to the very society they flourish in and depend on.

And again, it reminds me of Rand's denunciation of those who would attack the creators who allow them to live. Rand had no problem with the "little guy"--witness Eddie Willers--but the good ones "knew their place," no? The bad ones are the ones who actively attack the very institutions and great men whose debt they are really in.

Just as Jews and Muslims in a peaceful, commercial setting where everyone agrees on some ground rules can get along fine and trade peacefully, evne if there is some segretation, so I think Hoppe has no problem whatsoever wiht gays per se being part of society. There are paleo gays, for example, who readily admit this is a hetero culture and if everyone were gay, civilization would die out! This is all common sense, IMHO.

Stephan (K-dog) Kinsella - 7/14/2005

Justin, you idiot. Hans is German. This of course means he is fair game. Didn't you know that? Aren't you EDUCATED?! Germans, and white male Southerners--whoopsy--are fair game. Every cocktail party libertarian knows that.

Stephan (K-dog) Kinsella - 7/14/2005

Steve, your response is amazing. Hans is baselessly attacked for bigotry, racism, antisemitism (I'm waiting for the next -ism), and when someone says he's not, you use it as an excuse to pounce, and pull the tired old "when did you stop beating your wife" card. The PC types have shot their wad. Wolf has been cried too many times.

Stephan (K-dog) Kinsella - 7/14/2005

I wonder, are gays who say "faggot" in a pejorative way like this considered "self-hating gays"? After all, there are those on this little list--who shall remain nameless--who have said, when it is pointed out that the Mises crowd can hardly be anti-semitic, their greatest thinkers are Mises and Rothbard, that Rothbard was a "self-hating Jew". In other words, admiring Rothbard doesn't get you a "get out of anti-semite jail" card. Damn. I wish someone would just tell me who you really counts, it would be useful to know.

I'm really glad I came from Louisiana where no one gave a crap about this stuff. I kind of wonder if that's actually what irks certain special interests--that far from America discriminating against them, it's worse--no one gives a damn about your silly little Moose Lodge or Elk Club membership. It's like the woman used to domestic violence disliking a regular guy who doesn't slap her around.

Stephan (K-dog) Kinsella - 7/14/2005

Hoppe is certainly not a homophobe, Mark. I believe his statements in his essay that you refer to need a bit more context and subtlety. I think he is talking about general trends and the more and more extreme opponents of the "norm" in society.

Stephan (K-dog) Kinsella - 7/14/2005

In other words, libertarians should not waste time debating. So why your post, is it exempt?

Watcher Watcher - 5/25/2005

It should be clear that Mr. Hoppe is not homophobic as Mr. Raimondo states. That implies an irrational fear of homosexuals. We do not have evidence that Mr.Hoppe fears homosexuals. But it does appear he hates them. That doesn't make him homophobic. That makes him a bigot. I am shocked to see that Mr. Raimondo, in spite of getting old, has not matured and is still using the anti-gay characatures he has always used. I have read him describing Mr. Palmer as "womanly" or such rot. Now I knew Mr. Raimondo back when he advertised his services as the "Italian Stalian" and I've known Mr. Palmer for just as long. I would think that someone living in glass houses shouldn't be throwing stones.

Hoppe is not just a bigot but a bad economist. He said the time preference issues had to do with homosexuals. But in fact it didn't. It had to do with being childless which is not exactly the same thing. If he wanted to prove his case about homosexuals he would have to show a dramatic difference between childless homosexuals and childless heterosexuals. Instead he compated childless homosexuals to heterosexuals with children. That skews the evidence. It's like proving that people named Smith are dumber than people named Jones and then only bringing in Smithians who are 5 years old and asking themhistory questions. You don't skew the sample like that. You compare for the variables.

If he could show that gays with kids had a different time preferance than straights with kids he would prove his point. He didn't try to do that. In light of his other comments and desire to exclude gays from his paradise I can only conclude he is a bigot and an embarrassment to libertarianism.

Watcher Watcher - 5/25/2005

Personally I'm still trying to figure out how, on his own theory, he even has a right to be in the US. I thought his theory somehow excluded immigrants. Now I'm pro immigrant but I'm willing to make an exception.

Tom G Palmer - 2/9/2005

This is rather far afield from the issue of whether Hoppe, despite being a bigot, deserves to be defended. (I think that he should not be punished for his reported comment, muddled as it seems to have been, or for the bigotry he has expressed elsewhere.) I'll just mention that the ruse above doesn't convince; the fact that Mr. Raimondo's instant compulsion to transform a remark about being a "bottom feeder" into a grossly sexual remark is evidence of the character of his idea of intellectual discourse. Ugh.

Gary McGath - 2/8/2005

Reading this discussion, sometimes I think that if a large group of libertarians found themselves in a house on fire, they'd burn to death while debating the morality of firefighters who accept tax money.

Justin Raimondo - 2/8/2005

Dear "Antaeus" --

Well, now that you've taken credit for your alleged "crimes," would you mind writing to Palmer and, uh, revealing yourself (so to speak), so he'll stop whinging on about how I'm writing all these "sexual things" about him? Not that I actually expect him to be a man and make a public retraction....

Antaeus Sebastian Lucas - 2/8/2005

Yes, Tom keeps attributing whatever I wrote on his blog to Justin. But it isn't so! Palmer also said that several posters all shared the same IP address [!] - then promptly banned the several posters, something one can only do by entering their various IP addresses [!], thereby revealing himself to be a liar to those he defamed (who could not then point this out on his blog) but not to his loyal claque, among whom "Brian Radzinsky" has to take first dishonors.
Tom, either you knowingly lied about that or you believe in Justin's powers of teleportation just to harass you. Then you would be both delusional AND narcissistic - and I'd never call you such things!

Antaeus Sebastian Lucas - 2/8/2005

Yes, Tom keeps attributing whatever I wrote on his blog to Justin. But it isn't so! Palmer also said that several posters all shared the same IP address [!] - then promptly banned the several posters, something one can only do by entering their various IP addresses [!], thereby revealing himself to be a liar to those he defamed (who could not then point this out on his blog) but not to his loyal claque, among whom "Brian Radzinsky" has to take first dishonors.
Tom, either you knowingly lied about that or you believe in Justin's powers of teleportation just to harass you. Then you would be both delusional AND narcissistic - and I'd never call you such things!

John T. Kennedy - 2/8/2005

Not your fault, I posted as a respnse to you, in the wrong part of the thread.

The software for this blog is terrible.

Justin Raimondo - 2/8/2005

It's great that you're disavowing your support for the war, your endorsement of public funding for "regime change," and all the other anti-libertarian positions you've taken recently -- such as banning certain political symbols and even entire political parties. But it seems to me that someone who calls another gay man a "faggot" while whining about "homophobia" and anti-gay "hate" is, at the very least, a raging hypocrite.

Your beef with Hans is that he doesn't like you, personally: and, I gather, the feeling is mutual. Does that mean he's a "homophobe"? Hardly. But there you go again, confirming yet another "anti-gay" stereotype: touchy, whiney, and womanish, personalizing everything and universalizing your petty little vendettas into some sort of world-historical crusade. But I guess you just can't help yourself.

Justin Raimondo - 2/8/2005

Oh, but it DOES follow that if someone supposedly insults a very touchy Tom Palmer that they are bigoted evil people who are just victimizing him because of his sexuality. They are Ward Churchill, Arthur Butz, and Evil Incarnate all rolled into one. It's disgusting that Tom Palmer is using the attempted lynching of Hans as yet another opportunity to smear him.

But the real question is: let's assume that Hans is right about the time-preference of the average homosexual? Would that be so terrible? It seems to me that the gay people who are in such a lather about this are trying to have it both ways: on the one hand, we are told that gay people are biologically determined and their sexuality is intrinsic. On the other hand, if someone -- like Hans -- tries to infer other perhaps intrinsic characteristics, we have this ridiculous brouhaha.

M.D. Fulwiler - 2/8/2005

Sorry JTK, I didn't read your link at first. A conservative is really suing a liberal professor. But I doubt if he'll win his case.

Tom G Palmer - 2/7/2005

Well, deploying a person's sexuality as a part of an argumentum ad hominem is quite clearly evidence of a bias against homosexuals so deep that it causes the person to lose his reason. That's not merely a preference (as in, "I just don't like to live in the same country as those people"), but a much deeper form of intellectual corruption, akin to the polylogism that dismisses arguments as "men's logic" or "women's logic," rather than examining them on their own grounds. If you dismiss arguments or evidence because of the sexuality of the person who has advanced them, your mental processes have been adversely affected by a very deep bias. Yet.....if that is only shown outside of the classroom, and not on university teaching time, then there is no reason for it to enter into a disciplinary proceeding, just as the Northwestern University professor of electrical engineering Arthur Butz should not be punished for his fervent denial of the holocaut, so long as he continues to teach electrical engineering competently and to uphold his contractual obligations to the university. Ditto for Ward Churchill of the University of Colorado at Boulder. All nasty people, but none of them should be shut up for holding nasty views.

Two invalid inferences should be avoided when discussing matters of academic freedom:

1. It does not follow that, because one holds bigoted opinions and acts badly, one should lose one's job or suffer a loss of contractual rights (unless such behavior were specified in one's contract as grounds for dismissal, which they is not the case).

2. It does not follow that, because one should not suffer a loss of contractual rights, i.e., that "academic freedom" should be upheld, that one does not hold bigoted opinions or has not acted badly.

The second is just as important as the first. I believe that Hoppe is an oddball who believes that certain people should not be heard because of ascriptive characteristics. But it does not follow that he should therefore lose his job, which is why I have written to the UNLV president in defense of his academic freedom.

Tom G Palmer - 2/7/2005

How sad that poor and befuddled Raimondo, having embraced the status of the "house faggot" (like the favored slaves of Hoppe's beloved Confederacy), is reduced to the kind of tantrum above. I should merely hope that people not be left with the impression that I favor all of the things that are mentioned above; Raimondo can't quite grasp the idea that if you entertain a proposal, admit that there are arguments for it, and then reject it for other reasons, you are not "making arguments" for the proposal. If your range of intellectual discourse is limited to the denunciation, then you can't grasp how others might actually weigh arguments and think through problems. In any case, people can check out my writings (which sometimes ask questions without providing definitive answers and even consider arguments pro and con before indicating my own resolution) on their own.

Steven Horwitz - 2/7/2005

"so I think Hoppe has no problem whatsoever wiht gays per se being part of society."

Oh well, gee, that's great. Thanks Hans. That's really, really nice of you. So glad you could find it in your heart to allow other human beings with rights to be part of your society.

Stephan, if you want people who disagree with Hoppe to at least hold their noses and defend his academic freedom, this ain't helping.


M.D. Fulwiler - 2/7/2005

Well yes Justin, anyone who thinks homosexuality is evil or immmoral or sinful has the "wrong" ideas, just like someone who think socialism is great has the wrong ideas, or someone who thinks the Easter Bunny exists has the wrong ideas. I am not, however, suggesting that "bad ideas" should be a crime---I'm a libertarian, for heaven's sake.

And I am unconcerned if someone finds gay sex personally repulsive---that makes no difference to me as it is simply a matter of personal taste. Frankly, I don't care for the girl on girl lesbian films. :-)

However, this "gays are evil/immoral/sinful" thing is very hurtful to people. Do you know the sort of personal agony most gay people go through because of these comments/opinions? I'm happy you don't care about it anymore, but do you expect that most young gay people will be able to hear these messages day in and day out and not let it affect them in a bad way? I can shrug this crap off now that I'm 44, but I couldn't when I was 17.

I personally do not believe in "medicalizing" anyone's disapproval of homosexuality, and I don't believe that disagreeing with certain homosexuals makes you homophobic. I think the designation applies to those people who think homosexuality is evil/ immmoral/sinful. If you don't like that definition, well that's fine. And I'm perfectly willing to grant that someone can think I'm damned to hell or evil and still treat me with courtesy.

Of course, there is a continuum of sexual behavior, but most people lean strongly towards one side or the other. I think that it is a myth that there are large numbers of people who swing every which way but loose. But of course, you are free to define yourself however you like, or not at all.

John T. Kennedy - 2/7/2005

That both creating a hostile environment and trading grades for sex are both considered sexual harassment doesn't mean they're considered identical.

My point was about whether Hoppe has a contractual right to protection here, as long is claiming. I think that may well not be the case.

As to your second point, there happens to be a lawsuit in a similar vein pending against a liberal professor at UNLV, brought by a conservative student.

It's not a sexual harrassment case, which may make a difference as far as contractual protection goes.

Justin Raimondo - 2/7/2005

There is no such thing as "homophobia." So let's get that, uh, straight from the start. It's an intellectual package deal, as the Randians would say, encompassing a great many ideas and reactions: in Buchanan's case, I would say that his opposition to homosexuality is rooted in his religion, Catholicism. Of course, all the world's great religions -- all the varieties of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam -- proscribe homosexual behavior. So anyone who follows them, according to you, is "homophobic" -- meaning they have the "wrong" ideas. Others are simply personally and aesthetically repulsed by homosexuality: this seems like the typical heterosexual male response, although not always. Is this yet another example of "homophobia"? If so, then most heteros are hopelessly "homophobic," even if they have homosexual friends, treat homosexuals with courtesy and even respect, and do not advocate legal constraints on the voluntary actions of consenting adults.

But what crime are all these people -- the majority of people in this country, if not the world -- really guilty of? Not approving of my lifestyle, apparently, which, according to you, is a no-no. But since when am I supposed to care about anybody's approval?

To all the whiners and wailers who desperately seek the approval of str8 society: forget it. It isn't going to happen. But so what? And the very idea of medicalizing their disapproval, and making it some sort of "hate crime" -- or even a personal failing on their part -- is beyond absurd.

This whole business of "homophobia" is dangerous nonsense: what it winds up meaning is anyone who dares disagree with certain homosexuals.

I challenge the whole idea of "homosexuality" as a socially-constructed idea that in no way describes what real sexuality -- which is based on a continuum of behavior, and not divided into gay/str8 categories -- is all about. But this either/or business is imposed on a necessarily nuanced subject because homosexuality has been politicized to mean something other than sexual acts. So we have "gay men", who constitute an official victim group, and then we have the reality of homosexual behavior, which is engaged in by a wide variety of individuals, a minority of whom identify with "gay culture."

So I think your whole paradigm is unrealistic.

M.D. Fulwiler - 2/7/2005

Well JTK, if making those remarks about Keynes is considered the same thing as saying "I'll give you an A if you have sex with me," we certainly have ridiculous political correctness ran rampant.

I wonder if leftist professors (90% of all college teachers) who say bad things about conservatives/libertarians are ever considered to be creating a "hostile environment." I didn't think so.

John T. Kennedy - 2/7/2005

I suspect the complaint about Hoppe was for sexual harassment on the grounds that he was creating a hostile environment and that the complaint was probably made by a gay student. I conclude this because the sexual harassment complaint process outlined on their web site fits well with the chronology of events.

I think people have largely overlooked Hoppe's statement about Keynes. That wasn't Hoppe speaking generally as he claims, it was calling into question the economic judgment of a specific individual based on his sexual preference. I can see why a gay student might find such an environment hostile.

Since UNLV's sexual harassment policy clearly contemplates disciplinary action against instructors who create a hostile environment it seems likely to me that Hoppe may not be contractually protected in this case.

M.D. Fulwiler - 2/7/2005

Mr. Horwitz:

The quote is from "Democracy: The God That Failed" -- I
don't know the exact page.


Well, I assume "society" refers to Hoppe's private anarcho-cap community only, not the entire earth or Northern Hemisphere. Or so I hope.

Steven Horwitz - 2/7/2005


Do you have a citation/link for that paragraph from Hoppe?

Jonathan Dresner - 2/7/2005

This does seem to contradict the administration's position, doesn't it? Rather starkly, I might add.

John T. Kennedy - 2/7/2005

Forget anarcho-capitalism, Hoppe wants gays physically removed from *society*. That's necessary for his "libertarian order".

John T. Kennedy - 2/7/2005

Forget anarcho-capitalism, Hoppe wants gays physically removed from *society*. That's necessary for his "libertarian order".

M.D. Fulwiler - 2/7/2005

Well Justin, if you have to be in favor of laws against homosexuality to be homophobic, I suppose Hoppe does not qualify, and I'm delighted to hear he was pleasant to you when you visited Las Vegas. I understand Pat Buchanan was nice to you as well. But Buchanan has spent a lot of time blaming gays for the downfall of Western Civilization, as any review of his writing will show. If you don't consider that sort of thing "homophobic" I guess we have a different definition of the term. I think anyone who thinks gays are evil, immoral and a general threat to Western civilization is homophobic, regardless of their personal courtesy.

M.D. Fulwiler - 2/7/2005

Well Stephan, maybe it's just me, but I find this opinion to be just a wee bit homophobic:

"There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and expelled from society. Likewise, in a covenant founded for the purpose of protecting family and kin, there can be no tolerance toward those habitually promoting lifestyles incompatible with this goal. They – the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centred lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism – will have to be physically removed from society, too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order."

Exactly what sort of "context" do I need to put this sort of remark into? Hoppe obviously doesn't want homosexuals in his "anarcho-capistan."

Justin Raimondo - 2/6/2005

Oh quit your womanish whining. No one cares about your sexuality. If you want to know why Hans Hoppe is not the only libertarian to discount anything you have to say, you have only to look at your own website, where you make arguments -- in the name of "libertarianism" -- against withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, for subsidizing "regime change" with government funds, for banning display not only of the swastika but also the hammer-and-sickle and for banning neo-fascist AND communist parties (so much for more than half the Italian political spectrum!). When you aren't advocating anti-libertarian positions in the name of "liberty," you're slandering real libertarians like Hans, Lew Rockwell, and anyone associated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute -- not to mention attacking in the same tone (and for the same reasons) as the David Frums and David Horowitzes of this world, and even using much the same language.

Why, after that, should any libertarian -- or any reasonable person -- take anything you have to say seriously? So stop smearing people, Tom -- and, while you're at it, stop confirming the stereotype of homosexuals as embittered, petty-minded, bitchy obsessives, because that's exactly what you're doing.

Tom G Palmer - 2/6/2005

Since I don't wish to induce Justin Raimondo to submit more information about his choice of sexual positions, I will simply answer the question posed above: "what makes a bigot?" What makes Hans-Hermann Hoppe a bigot is stating that one needn't pay attention to the ideas or arguments of someone because of some ascriptive feature, such as race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Dismissing the views of someone who has presented academic lectures by saying, "Tom Palmer is nothing but the Ambassador of Homosexuality" most clearly qualifies Hans-Hermann Hoppe as a bigot, for the same reason that dismissing the views of the present secretary of state on the grounds that "Condoleeza Rice is nothing but the Ambassador of Blackness" would qualify someone who expressed that view as a bigot.

Espousing the right of free association does not make one a bigot. Dismissing arguments and ideas on the grounds of the sexual orientation of the person who made them does make one a bigot. As to who has the right to determine that another person is a big, that's easy: everyone who has a mind can make up his or her own mind, based on the behavior or statements of the person in question. If someone has difficulty understanding that, I don't know what else one could say.

That a bigot should not be punished for classroom comments that merely indicate an inability to distinguish between primary and secondary characteristics (homosexuality seems not to cause a discount of the future, but childlessness does, and childlessness is a common feature of homosexuals) is sustained on other grounds, in this case, his contract with his university. I see nothing from the article in the paper cited that should lead to his dismissal or any other abrogation of the contractual obligations of the university. Even bigots have the right to have their contracts honored.

Dennis P. Spain - 2/6/2005

I have read a number of Hans Hoppe's essays and his book "Democracy: The God That Failed", and have found his writings very thought-provoking. I do not know the professor personally.

He has often espoused in his writings the right of free association, but does that make him a bigot?

I am a white heterosexual male. I don't want to live in an area of Chicago that is predominnantly black, nor in a barrio in LA. I wouldn't mind living in Chinatown, San Francisco as I find that culture very interesting and safer in general. I presently live in Hawaii where there are many ethnic Hawaiians and Filipinos, and I feel comfortable here. I have never lived in a Jewish neighborhood but I probably could and would feel comfortable doing so.

I don't associate much socially with homosexuals as I simply find the lifestyle too strange for my tastes, but several of my colleagues are homosexual and my interaction with them is professional and courteous, and they are outstanding talents in their lives and professions.

In every one of my individual interactions with people I try to offer respect and non-aggression, and I view the purpose of government to be the protection of the individual from physical aggression,theft,fraud, and breach of contract wherever and whenever it can.

I simply can't imagine limiting anyone's honest efforts or their displays of genuine talent in any way, based on ethnicity, sexual orientation,sex,handicapped status, etc.

So my question is this: what makes a bigot?

Surely we cannot zero out our personal preferences, as they are the result of our life's experiences and our innate proclivities. And it is also true that our preferences are subject to change as we move through life. I believe this is Hans Hermann Hoppe's position and that no external agency of force, not even the University (!) should take it upon itself to guarantee homogeneity of expression of personal preference. If Hans Hermann Hoppe believes generally that homosexuals have attitudes demonstrating more time-preference than heterosexual males and females who are fathers and mothers, then he is free to espouse those beliefs and back them up in open discussion and debate in a lecture hall at a University.

Are we not allowed to make any generalizations about different groups of people for fear of offending feelings? Who decides what is offensive or not, a well-meaning Robespierre, Hitler, or Lenin?

Our real concern should be the growing worldwide expansion of State power into the arena of homogenization of politically-correct thought, a dangerous trend showing up prominently at the university level, and one that will carry us far beyond the limits to government advocated by Frederic Bastiat in his famous essay "The Law", not a concern over Professor Hoppe's opinion that homosexuals as a group might have less future orentation than couples taken as a group who are changing diapers every two hours.

Roderick T. Long - 2/6/2005

The following passage (thanks, Stephan K.) from the UNLV by-laws might be useful for ammo in writing letters on this.

On Academic Freedom (from the university bylaws). Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and is applicable to both teaching and research. Freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student in learning. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth and knowledge. A member of the faculty has freedom and an obligation, in the classroom or in research, to discuss and pursue the faculty member's subject with candor and integrity, even when the subject requires consideration of topics which may be politically, socially or scientifically controversial. In order to insure the freedom to seek and profess truth and knowledge, as stated in Section 2.3 of the University and Community College System of Nevada Code, the faculty member, as defined in Section 2.2 of this chapter, shall not be subjected to censorship or discipline by the University and Community College System of Nevada on grounds that the faculty member has expressed opinions or views which are controversial, unpopular or contrary to the attitudes of the University and Community College System of Nevada or the community. (B/R 4/02)

Justin Raimondo - 2/6/2005

Could someone please define "homophobe"?

It seems to me that it has to mean someone who viscerally and actively hates homosexuals to such an extent that he refuses to associate with them in any way, and furthermore advocates imposing legal constraints on their behavior. But if the first requirement of true "homophobia" applies to Hans, then I have yet to experience it. Quite the contrary. Hans knows my, uh, "sexual orientation," as they put it nowadays, and yet he has always been unfailingly courteous and kind. On a trip to Vegas some years ago, he took me on a memorable tour of the casinos (I had never been) and he was witty, charming, and hospitable. Hardly the behavior one would expect of a "homophobe."

As for the second requirement, I have never heard him advocate that homosexuality ought to be outlawed, or that any sort of behavior by consenting adults ought to be the State's concern, so I guess that takes care of the stupid charge of "homophobia."

By the way: since when do libertarians give credence to this odd medicalization of cultural and political differences? The clear implication is that, if people don't like homosexuals, they must be crazy. I wonder what Thomas Szasz would have to say about this annoying practice.

M.D. Fulwiler - 2/6/2005

Hoppe is a homophobe (he doesn't want gays in his ideal anarcho-capitalist community), but I totally agree that he shouldn't be subjected to the PC Nazis.

Justin Raimondo - 2/6/2005

Look Tom, just because you believe that every nasty comment made on your site was made by me doesn't make it true. I made a few comments in my own name on your site, you promptly banned me from making comments, and that was that. Other than that, I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about. I made a humorous comment -- you remember humor, Tom -- in the hope that it might help lighten the atmosphere. But your pomposity, combined with your rich fantasy life, makes that impossible.

Jonathan Dresner - 2/6/2005

Apparently Mr. Raimondo is unfamiliar with the phenomenon of "comment spam." And with the concept of serious discussion.

Mr. Palmer: your apology is unnecessary. But your experience with Hoppe is very important information for those of us trying to make sense of the situation.

I wonder to what extent this was an incident waiting to happen: if he's been making these kinds of comments publicly for some time now, the administration may have been more than a little eager to use an actual student complaint as a way to adjudicate the broader issues.

William Marina - 2/6/2005

All of these comments about Hans are beside the point.
It is clear that academic freedom is coming increasingly under attack, and this gives us an opportunity to fight back in its defense.
For the record, I had Hans down as a lecturer in my Freedom and the Evolution of Civilizations course in Guatemala in 2001 and found him a very informative speaker.
As someone who is now completing a second history of an American university, I intend to email and call the President of UNLV about this abuse of power.
Bill Marina

Tom G Palmer - 2/6/2005

As I wrote earlier, I apologize to other readers for having gotten Raimondo's attention for this posting. I won't post any more on this issue, except to say that I agree with David Beito that to discipline a faculty member for his comments, even a homophobic scumbag such as Hoppe, is unacceptable.

As for the comments that Raimondo plastered all over my website, I leave it to the imagination of the readers as to what the tenor and content of those comments were.

Justin Raimondo - 2/6/2005

Huh? That was a joke, Tom. And, as you know, I've never sent you an email in my life, never mind a "homophobic" one: what's "sad" is you hallucinating emails from me that don't exist.

As for me being a "bottom" -- now there's where you're really wrong....

Tom G Palmer - 2/6/2005

You can always count on Justin Raimondo to raise the tone of any conversation. It's just sad that a gay man would resort to spamming people with homophobic comments (as he has me on numerous occasions). I apologize to other readers of this forum for having attracted the attentions of a bottom feeder such as Raimondo.

Ralph E. Luker - 2/6/2005

I agree with you, David. After Tom Palmer's comment, I'm willing to concede that HHH may be a homophobe, but efforts to cleanse American faculties of all their fears and provincialities would do a whole lot more damage than anything HHH has said. So, at Cliopatria, I've linked to this post at L & P and to Jim Lindgren's post at The Volokh Conspiracy.

Justin Raimondo - 2/6/2005

Maybe he was saying that you weren't the best Ambassador of Homosexuality. I mean, if we're going to have such a position, then shouldn't it be somebody ... younger? Cuter? I nominate this guy:

David Timothy Beito - 2/6/2005

We need to scream on the rooftops about this outrage. I have had my disagreements with Hoppe but during my troubles at UNLV, he strongly and consistently supported me.....even though I was not in his "faction." We need to put our disagreements aside and raise a ruckus about this.

Tom G Palmer - 2/6/2005

Now that I've read the sounds like HHH was discussing childlessness and attitudes toward the future, which is a perfectly reasonable discussion. After my brother got married and they had their first child, he stopped mountain climbing and spelunking and other dangerous sports, which he later thought about and concluded that it was because he knew that he had a wife-and-mother and a child who depended on him still being around to provide for them. It's not sexuality that matters, but a generally related condition, which is childlessness. I've noticed that homosexuals with children change their behavior as much as do heterosexuals with children.

So Hoppe certainly didn't deserve that kind of treatment. On the other hand, it's not evidence that he isn't a vicious bigot and all-round jerk. He is. His remarks (on three continents) that "Tom Palmer is nothing but the Ambassador of Homosexuality," offered as a reason to dismiss any value lectures I might have held on political science and the history of constitutionalism, is evidence of that.

Steven Horwitz - 2/6/2005

Whatever my disagreements with HHH, and they are many, he appears to be justly upset at the threats he's facing, although I personally would never have used that example in class.

For some reason, his astonishment at what happens, as reported in the paper, reminds me of the scene in MP's "The Life of Brian": "All I said was 'That piece of fish was good enough for Jehovah.'" And the stoning commences...

Bill Woolsey - 2/6/2005

What did he say exactly?

Is the AAUP taken a position?