Hans-Hermann Hoppe is an anarcho-capitalist philosopher known for his refutations of democratic values and his use of axiomatic thinking in attempts to prove that freedom is the best option or only feasibility for human beings. Some of his work can be found in the Links and Meet Me Halfway sections of SNV (see the title bar above). Hoppe is a very original thinker, and though not mainstream, is a force to be reckoned with.
One of his articles is fascinating due to its affirmation of Marxist values, changing of the mere foundation of those values to render the conclusions nearly opposite of how Marx originally intended them. Anarcho-capitalism and Marxism are nearly opposites, but Hoppe manages to see the good in Marx’s thought and claim it as ancap territory. Without further ado, the introduction of Hoppe’s Marxist and Austrian Class Analysis:
I will do the following in this paper: First, I will present a series of theses that constitute the hard-core of the Marxist theory of history. I claim that all of them are essentially correct. Then I will show how these true theses are derived in Marxism from a false starting point. Finally, I want to demonstrate how Austrianism in the Mises-Rothbard tradition can give a correct but categorically different explanation of their validity.
Let me begin with the hard core of the Marxist belief system:
(1) “The history of mankind is the history of class struggles.” It is the history of struggles between a relatively small ruling class and a larger class of the exploited. The primary form of exploitation is economic: The ruling class expropriates part of the productive output of the exploited or, as Marxists say, “it appropriates a social surplus product and uses it for its own consumptive purposes.”
(2) The ruling class is unified by its common interest in upholding its exploitative position and maximizing its exploitatively appropriated surplus product. It never deliberately gives up power or exploitation income. Instead, any loss in power or income must be wrestled away from it through struggles, whose outcome ultimately depends on the class consciousness of the exploited, i.e., on whether or not and to what extent the exploited are aware of their own status and are consciously united with other class members in common opposition to exploitation.
(3) Class rule manifests itself primarily in specific arrangements regarding the assignment of property rights or, in Marxist terminology, in specific “relations of production.” In order to protect these arrangements or production relations, the ruling class forms and is in command of the state as the apparatus of compulsion and coercion. The state enforces and helps reproduce a given class structure through the administration of a system of “class justice,” and it assists in the creation and the support of an ideological superstructure designed to lend legitimacy to the existence of class rule.
(4) Internally, the process of competition within the ruling class generates a tendency toward increasing concentration and centralization. A multipolar system of exploitation is gradually supplanted by an oligarchic or monopolistic one. Fewer and fewer exploitation centers remain in operation, and those that do are increasingly integrated into a hierarchical order. Externally (i.e., as regards the international system), this centralization process will (and all the more intensively the more advanced it is) lead to imperialist interstate wars and the territorial expansion of exploitative rule.
(5) Finally, with the centralization and expansion of exploitative rule gradually approaching its ultimate limit of world domination, class rule will increasingly become incompatible with the further development and improvement of “productive forces.” Economic stagnation and crises become more and more characteristic and create the “objective conditions” for the emergence of a revolutionary class consciousness of the exploited. The situation becomes ripe for the establishment of a classless society, the “withering away of the state,” the replacement of government of men over men by the administration of things and, as its result, unheard-of economic prosperity.
. . . .
The paper can be found in its entirety here. Read on, dear reader, so understand why the Marxist theory of exploitation frames the issue incorrectly, while having a framework of truth to its force. I would highly recommend picking up one of Hoppe’s other works or compilations if you are a reader.
See also Hoppe’s explanation of why theories of social engagement that do not involve analysis of individual action are always destined to fail: Nonpraxeological Schools of Thought.