Hoppe Coming to England

Inter-Disciplinary Symposium on Business Ethics & Business/Economic History:

“The Challenges of Capitalism for the Common Good”

This one day research symposium takes place at Henley Business School, the University of Reading on Tuesday 17 June 2014.

The symposium focuses on the evolution of relations and constructions of moral values in key social classes influencing the definition of common good, and how it affects the economy and society.

The first part of the day is a historical focus on the pre-modern, medieval and modern relations between merchants and kings and their relevance in current challenges of business ethics in a forward-thinking academic community. It explores competing and complementary perspectives on societal perceptions of virtue and morality. Distinguished speakers are Professor Agustín González Enciso, Professor Daryl Koehn, Dr Alisdair Dobie and Prof. Dr H. H. Hoppe.

The second part of the symposium critically reflects and extends current theory on organisational and individual virtue ethics to evaluate assumptions regarding how the firm is governed and managed, and the resulting habituated assumptions on its morality, work and agency of key internal firm stakeholders and individual agents. Speakers will offer thought on changes on the common good and the firm morality to address the current challenges of capitalism for the common good. In the second part of the symposium distinguished speakers are Professor Alejo José Sison, Professor Geoff Moore, Professor Ron Beadle and Dr Kleio Akrivou.

Finally, Professor Mark Casson will provide a synthesis of the accumulated knowledge, including insights from the day.

This event will be hosted by the Centre of Social and Organisational Studies (CSOS), in HenleyBusinessSchool in association with the Centre of Economic History, the University of Reading. The event is chaired by Dr Kleio Akrivou, Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Organisational Behaviour.

Book your place now

External Academic faculty – £70
Research students – £25
UoR / HBS faculty – £40

Research students within the University of Reading may have the attendance fee waived upon request. Researchers should email commongood with their request, copying in their supervisor.

For further information, please contact: commongood

Speakers’ Institutional Affiliations

Professor Agustín González Enciso, Professor of Early Modern History
Department of History and Institute of Enterprise and Humanism. University of Navarre, Spain.Professor Daryl Koehn, Opus College of Business, University of St Thomas; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Dr Alisdair Dobie, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling, UK
Prof. Dr. H. H. Hoppe; Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Distinguished Fellow, Ludwig von Mises Institute- Founder & President, Property and Freedom Society

Professor Alejo José Sison Galsim, Department of Philosophy, University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain

Professor Geoff Moore, DurhamUniversityBusinessSchool, Durham University, UK

Professor Ron Beadle, Faculty of Business and Law, Northumbria

University, UK

Dr. Kleio Akrivou, HenleyBusinessSchool, University of Reading, UK

Professor Mark Casson, HenleyBusinessSchool and School of Economics, University of Reading, UK

2 responses to “Hoppe Coming to England

  1. The relationship between Kings and merchants could be summed up by the image of a desperate person on his knees praying that the King would pay his bills. One could hardly turn down the Crown as a customer (for food for the Royal Court or anything else), but Princes (including English ones) were notorious as bad payers – with payment often coming very late (if at all).

    As for Royal interventions in the market economy (and the Medieval economy was a market economy – see even the social democrat M.M. Poston on this “Medieval Economy and Society”, let alone Alan Macfarlaine’s “The Origins of English Individualism”) – this brings us to the great divide in thought over what is “just”.

    It is tempting to think that the great debates over what is “just” are modern affairs – that in the past there was a agreement (a non contested tradition), sadly this is NOT so,

    Even as far back as the 8th century there was a massive division in legal and theological (most legal thinkers were priests at the time – and for centuries to come) over what “just” meant.

    For example, in Bavarian law “just” meant voluntary – if no force or fraud was used then a price was “just” and the contract upheld by the court.

    However, (in the same period) the judges of Charles the Great (ruler of much of what is now France, the Low Countries and Germany) held that “just” meant FAIR – and that is was the job of the state to decide what “fair” meant.

    So what is justice? Is it to each their own – and trade by voluntary agreement (as, for example, English Common Law MOSTLY defined justice to be – it did not totally stick to this), or is justice FAIRNESS – with the state deciding what a “fair” price or wage (a wage is a price) is?

    Whether the debate is in modern dress or in the clerical garb of the Middle Ages (for the debates within the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages – see Brian Tierney “The Idea of Natural Justice”, although I believe Tierney to be much too favourable to the bad side in this debate, so much so that he implies its view that, for example, the existence of wealth whilst their is poverty is “injustice” “theft” was the main view – rather sneering at Popes who did not hold this view).

    As for morality…….

    It ill becomes the Sword of State to lecture people on morality (in the any age) – the Sword of State is about killing or mutilating people, and this may be necessary at times, but one can not slit throats one minute and then present one’s self as a guide of saintly conduct the next (not without stinking hypocrisy).

    The Crown never had anything about morality to teach ordinary people. Indeed those Princes who lectured their subjects the most tended to be the worst of men themselves.

    And the Church?

    My own heretical position has to be admitted here.

    I believe that the Christian Church lost the moral high ground when it accepted FORCE (the Sword of State) in matters of faith (belief) – and that demands that the State “enforce charity” (“compulsory charity” is actually like saying “dry liquid”) are variations on the same error, even if Samuel Pufendorf (from whom John Locke got so many errors) did not grasp this.

    However, (as with Kings) those Popes who tended to lecture others on their conduct most sternly tended to be the most blood soaked in their own conduct – Pope Innocent III springs to mind.

    A Sword is not a paint brush, one does not paint a picture of a new society with a sword.

    It is terrible folly to try to paint a picture of a new “fair” society with the Sword of State.

    Whether that Sword is at the command of secular rulers – or controlled by the Church.

    One does need a weapon (a “sword”) to enforce punishment upon aggressions – against thieves and so on.

    But one does not make people better with a sword – one does not make them more charitable, more moral, people of higher virtue (via fear).

    The whole project (either religious faith by FORCE or charity by FORCE) is wrong (is evil).

    And it was as wrong a thousand years ago as it is now.

    The “historical period” does not matter – no more than the continent does.

    What was wrong for us to do was also wrong for Charles the Great to do.

    What is wrong in Europe is also wrong in Asia (or on the Planet Mongo).

  2. My apologies – I have not mentioned H.H. Hoppe

    I do not agree with his a priori history (more Rothbard than Mises – as Mises always drew a sharp division between history and economics, holding that quite different methods should be used in the two subjects) and I think he misunderstands the nature of absolute monarchies (they do NOT generally develop their Realms as a private landholding family develops their estate over generations). As well as falling for some general Rothbardian errors in the history of the conflict with Germany (I am NOT saying that Hoppe falls for these errors because he is originally from Germany).

    However, Hoppe is a interesting thinker – and a brave one (few today would stand unafraid at the dreaded charge of “homophobia”, but Hoppe is not craven when it comes to standing up the Frankfurt School “Critical Theory” crowd – perhaps because, as a native German speaker, he knows the origins of these tactics and how the Marxists do not really care about homosexuals, racial minorities, women or anyone else – how all these “victim groups” are really just cannon fodder in the Marxist drive for POWER).

    One may disagree with Hoppe about many things – but he is clear and he always makes one think.