Economics and Ethics of Private Property

Written in 1993 by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Economics and Ethics of Private Property Studies in Political Economy and Philosophy

In order to explain the emergence of barter, nothing more than the assumption of a narrowly defined self-interest is required. Insofar as man prefers more choices and goods to fewer, he will choose barter and division of labor over self-sufficiency. The emergence of money from barter follows from the same narrow self-interest, if man is integrated in a barter economy and prefers a higher to a lower standard of living, he will choose to select and support a common medium of exchange. In selecting a money he can overcome the fundamental restriction imposed on exchange by a barter economy, i.e., that of requiring the existence of a double coincidence of wants. With money his possibilities for exchange widen. Every good becomes exchangeable for every other, independent of double coincidences or imperfect divisibilities. And with this widened exchangeability the value of each and every good in his possession increases.

Highly recommend chapter 3; Banking, Nation States, and International Politics: A Sociological Reconstruction of the Present Economic Order.  It begins on page 77.  It contains the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of our present economic order.

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