Austrian economics

Hans-Hermann Hoppe: Potret Intelektual Anti-Intelektual

Jurnal Kebebasan: Akal dan Kehendak
Vol. II, Edisi 27, Tanggal 28 April 2008
Oleh: Sukasah Syahdan

alt textProf. Hoppe di Turki (1)

Sebagaimana yang juga masih ‘lazim’ terjadi di masa ini, Hans-Hermann Hoppe di masa mudanya adalah pemuda berhaluan kiri. Namun, setelah membaca kritik Bohm-Bawerk terhadap pemikiran Marx, ia segera menyadari bahaya dari ilusi besar yang selama itu merundungnya. Untuk beberapa waktu kemudian, ia menjadi penganut pandangan Popperian dan menjadi seorang demokrat sosialis; hingga akhirnya ia memutuskan untuk mendalami ilmu ekonomi dan sosiologi sekalian.

Dalam periode ini Hoppe tiba pada sebuah kesimpulan penting: bahwa ada ilmu pengetahuan yang teorema-teoremanya tidak terbantahkan, termasuk juga di bidang ilmu sosial. Penelusan ini membawanya kepada kesimpulan bahwa hukum-hukum ekonomi pun ternyata bersifat a priori, yang dapat ditelusuri melalui silogisme deduksi. Namun, baru setelah ia tanpa sengaja terpapar pada pemikiran Mises-lah ia benar-benar menyadari posisinya dan warna keilmuwanannya.

Kesadaran ini menjadi satu faktor penentu keputusannya untuk hijrah dari Jerman (negara asalnya) ke AS untuk mendalami pemikiran Mises melalui murid Mises dan ekonom terpenting pemikir Austria saat itu, yaitu Murray Newton Rothbard. Bagi Hoppe, Prof. Rothbard adalah mentornya secara langsung, yang lalu juga menjadi kolega dan sahabat. Hubungan profesional dan persahabatan mereka berlanjut hingga sang mentor meninggal dunia di bulan Januari 1995.

Begitu kira-kira evolusi “pembaptisan” akal dan kehendak sang Profesor. Prof. Hoppe adalah seorang senior fellow di Ludwig von Mises Institute. Ia penulis buku-buku seperti: Handln und Erkennen (1976), Kritik deer Kausalwissenschaftlichen Sozialforschung (1983), Eigentum, Anarchie, und Staat (1987), A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism (1989), The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (1993), dan sejumlah artikel di jurnal Review of Austrian Economics; penyunting The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics dan The Journal of Libertarian Studies hingga 2004; editor penerbitan edisi khusus dari Human Action; pengarang pengantar edisi baru buku Rothbard, Ethics of Liberty (1998).

Siapa saja yang pernah membaca tulisannya tanpa ragu akan menyebutnya sebagai salah seorang kritikus tertajam saat ini terhadap isme-isme paradigmatik seperti sosialisme, komunisme, statisme dan fasisme. Suara Hoppe adalah juga pekik lantang di sebuah “gurun” tandus yang sunyi dalam hal tilikan ilmiah terhadap empirisme. Metode ini, baginya, amat tidak memadai untuk diterapkan dalam kajian ilmu sosial.

Ketika pandangan mekanistis terhadap fenomena sosial ini telah menjadi semacam trademark bagi segolongan besar intelektual di jaman kita, Hoppe menyebut dirinya sendiri sebagai intelektual yang anti-intelektual (anti-intellectual intellectuals). Berikut ini adalah sekilas ulasan pengantar tentang pandangan sang intelektual anti-intelektual tersebut tentang ekonomi, politik dan etika.

*
Di bidang ekonomi, Hoppe sepenuhnya meyakini bahwa proposisi-proposisi ilmu ekonomi tidak perlu dan tidak mungkin diuji atas dasar data pengalaman. Baginya pengalaman dapat mengilustrasikan sahih atau tidaknya sebuah teorema ekonomi; sebaliknya, ia percaya bahwa pengalaman tidak akan pernah dapat membantah atau memfalsifikasikan teorema, oleh karena pada akhirnya validitas teorema ekonomi bergantung pada validitas tak-terbantahkan dari aksioma tindakan manusia, di samping juga pada validitas proses penerapan logika yang tepat, khususnya aturan-aturan cara berpikir deduktif dan inferensi logis. Pengujian hukum ekonomi secara empiris adalah tindakan yang sia-sia; penolakan hukum ekonomi atas dasar simpulan data empiris adalah suatu kesalahan kategoris, dan jelas menandakan kerancuan pikiran.

Mengikuti jejak Mises, Prof. Hoppe meyakini secara teguh prinsip individualisme epistemologis dan metodologis. Cuma individu yang bertindak. Atas dasar itu, semua fenomena sosial harus dapat dijelaskan—dan direkonstruksikan secara logis—sebagai akibat dari tindakan-tindakan individual yang memiliki tujuan-tujuan tertentu. Setiap penjelasan yang bersifat “holistik” harus ditolak karena hanya merupakan penjelasan-pseudo (palsu).

Bagi Hoppe, penjelasan mekanistis terhadap fenomena sosial harus dicampakkan dan harus disebut non-ilmiah (atau saintistik). Manusia selalu bertindak dalam konteks ketidakpastian yang dinamis, sementara elaborasi mekanis mengondisikan keadaan statis di mana semua variabel eksperimen dapat diketahui secara pasti atau dapat dianggap demikian. Esensi ilmu ekonomi adalah disekuilibrium. Gagasan-gagasan mekanis tentang rekayasa sosial dan keberadaan kondisi ekuilibrium hanya berguna sejauh dia memampukan kita untuk memahami hal-hal yang bukan tergolong sebagai tindakan manusia, dan memperjelas bagi kita dalam aspek-aspek apa saja tindakan manusia itu secara fundamental amat berbeda dari operasi mesin atau robot.

alt textHHH, di Turki (2)

Prof. Hoppe saat ini adalah wakil-hidup terpenting dalam pemikiran arusutama dalam ilmu ekonomi bermazhab Austria. (Barangkali istilah ”Austrian economics” sendiri sudah tidak lagi memadai, sebab pada kenyataannya para pemikir dalam tradisi ini cenderung mengeksplorasi dan menguak batas-batas baru ilmu-ilmu lain yang terkait dengan ekonomi. Dan keterkaitan antarilmu ini dapat dirasakan jelas pada rentang kekaryaan Hoppe yang cukup luas.)

Hans-Hermann Hoppe menempati posisi unik dalam tradisi intelektual ini untuk satu alasan lain: ia menegaskan sekaligus memperdalam tilikan yang dimulai sang mentor dalam menjembatani jurang Humean yang sepertinya tak terseberangi antara ilmu ekonomi dan etika. Langkah besar ini dilakukannya lewat satu mata-rantai yang tak selama ini begitu terbatas dipahami perannya, yaitu melalui hak milik (property rights). Sang profesor percaya, penegasan atas hak milik pribadi adalah landasan solusi bagi begitu banyak problema ekonomi dan konflik etis.

Dalam hal politik, Prof. Hoppe pernah menyatakan bahwa monarki tradisional cenderung merupakan evil yang lebih baik daripada demokrasi. Ia juga menolak konsep negara yang “terbatas” atau minimalis sebagai konsep yang tidak dapat bertahan. Menurutnya, pandangan demikian kontradiktif dan tidak kompatibel dengan upaya hakiki dalam mempromosikan kesejahteraan masyarakat. Pemerintah yang minimalis pun tetap memiliki kecenderungan inheren untuk menjadi tidak-terbatas, atau dengan kata lain, pemerintahan yang totaliter.

Prof. Hoppe saat ini sedang bersiap pensiun dari University of Nevada, di Las Vegas, tempatnya mengajar dalam beberapa tahun terakhir. [ ]

[Versi bahasa Inggris, terbit di Mises Institute, dapat dibaca di sini. ]

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Discussion

9 comments for “Hans-Hermann Hoppe: Potret Intelektual Anti-Intelektual”

  1. Testing

    Posted by Nad | 29 April 2008, 6:41 pm
  2. Bravo, Nad!!! I think you found the coolest new template for this site. I like the colors, simplicity, head banners (similar to your Onceuponaweblog) etc. Great job! It’ll be functional even more nicely soon.

    I’m no expert in many fields…esp. economy, geo-politics as you write here often. I don’t know many, if not almost all, of those pioneers in economy, names of ‘big’ guys, etc. Sorry for my ignorance…there are so many things to know in this world, right? But…with that said, I’ve been profoundly impressed by people in actuality nowadays esp. one in particular, Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace prize 2006!
    http://muhammadyunus.org

    I’ve been ‘searching’ and hoping for such idea to exist (social entrepreneurship, social capitalism), and he’s been testing and proving with Grameen Bank that this is the way to go…a new phenomenon. I’m sure you aware of all this already…I’m psyched! I’m reading all about him and his works plus associations.

    Take a look at some videos also on his site:
    http://muhammadyunus.org/content/view/48/80/lang,en/

    How can I not share this with you here? I hope you’re well…

    Cheers.

    Posted by Maya | 29 April 2008, 10:25 pm
  3. Mercy beaucoup, Maya! Funny, somehow I knew you'd appreciate it. Yes, there's a lot to dig out its potentials. Thanks for the links, too! I've done some research on , at least theory-wise, microfinance for quite some time, following the insight of Ms. Robinson who had learned a lot about this area exactly from our country. That said, I am familiar with Yunus enough to have serious misgivings about his endeavors.

    Cheers.

    Posted by Nad | 30 April 2008, 5:54 pm
  4. Hi Nad,
    Could you lead me more to this Ms. Robinson you have mentioned? A name that comes up in relation with Ashoka Global Academy and Yunus in Indonesia is Anton Sujarwo for Yayasan Dian Desa (he’s been selected as one of those finalists of Entrepreneur of the Year 2007).

    I read also in the newsletter in Yunus’ website that Indonesian President and his cabinet have met with Yunus in 2007. Do you know what are the plans to integrate this micro-credit practice and its fundamental principles etc. in Indonesia?

    Btw, I’m curious to know what are your serious ‘misgivings’ about Yunus’ endeavors…;-)

    Take care,

    Posted by Maya | 6 May 2008, 8:40 pm
  5. Hello again Maya, thanks for the questions. I’ll try to respond asap:

    Margareth Robinson had done extensive research projects i.e. thru BRI units in Indonesia, before she published her book, The Microfinance Revolution, which outlined the potentials of micro banking and managed to debunk some myths about the poor and, more importantly, geared tremendous interest in the area; I think it’s available online. My reading a while ago concluded that it was true that the poor need banking not only for lending, but also for saving. The crucial challenge remains: how to make microfinance commercially viable a venture. Microfinance schemes in Indonesia have a long story, and still full of hoping and wishing. With the question unanswered I doubt if more headway will be made. The danger is when some govts try to bridge the gulf, using people’s money against their will. Such schemes attract socialism very easily.

    About Mr. Yunus, my reservations were due to the little information about the “mechanics” of his system to translate his vision. He also seems to be surrounded by myths that tend to grow given his opaqueness. By what means is Yunus going to translate his grand vision? By what method is poverty eliminated? Why did he say charity is no answer?

    Here’s in more detail:

    I find his views about poverty and charity highly appealing but somewhat deluded. In my view aslong as scarcity and uncertainty have not departed from this world, and human beings are still limited in means for their also limited ends, poverty will always exist. In other words, it is impossible to eradicate poverty entirely. Trying to be after it does not make one any more moral, but of course it may be worth trying (best, imho, at a personal level, on the basis of, what else, personal satisfaction). I myself tend to grow suspicious at attempts that cannot tell what’s possible from what’s not. Some types of poverty have come about precisely because of, not inspite of, poverty reduction schemes.

    Charity is an important part of the answer to reducing poverty level; it only usually tends to get pretty nasty when governments and some humanitarian agencies take over individual drives for charity. It’s to do with a certain quality that is uniquely human; this this is to remain alive and burgeoned, it needs no institutionalization. Charity is important; otherwise Yunus himself wouldn’t have gotten funding that he needs.

    His statement on a credit as yet one more addition to human rights will only make us confused. World’s leaders have defined for us our human rights, only to consist of numerous conflicting rights that only end up with case-by-case elimination when those rights collide. I’d say of course every body deserves to have the right to credit. It has always been like that, suchas that with health or wealth, hasn’t it? Everybody possesses the right to be healthy; but it does not entail that s/he must insist on having it, especially s/he for instance pay least attention to what’s promoting her/his own health.

    Well, please let me know if you think I may be deluded myself with my own views….

    Posted by Nad | 7 May 2008, 12:03 pm
  6. Thanks, Nad…sorry to take you away from your post here 🙂 I’m learning as I go along…

    Well, as you know already, I’m new to this. There are some things that give us hopes and energy. With that said, I found recently more and more articles about Yunus…(have you at least watched his videos?). Yunus has been invited to U.S., France, more developed countries to give ideas, methods etc. in replicating his Grameen concepts/philosophies (Grameen means “for the poor”). Grameen concepts have been replicated in 100 countries, and you can search into its training and workshops through his Grameen Trust (tech assistance, training and funding). He’s working with UN, I think if I remember correctly, for Millennium Development Goals 2015 to cut poverty in half.

    Yunus has confirmed, more than 30yrs, that by empowering women in Bangladesh (it started 50-50 for men and women and ended up 96% women) and giving them credits, they have gotten out of poverty by 56% (based on 10 tough criteria), returned near 100% of the money they owed, improved family stability, cut almost half unwanted births (improved planned parenthood and health related) etc. etc. Impressive and encouraging results! 🙂

    He was interviewed by Le Monde recently, and that article caught very much my attention. He caught lots of people’s attention too…:-) Anyways, please give Yunus a chance in your book 😛 He doesn’t believe also that Gov’t should intervene here and NGOs should aim to be Non-Loss companies instead of just beneficiaries from others’ charity or donation. I think it’s quite courageous and believable (should I say convincing).

    Last but not least, Yunus is interested in creating a separate stock market out there, for social capitalism! Stock market for social businesses…WHY NOT??? I can’t wait to see the day. I hope you give him a second look, pleaseeeee.

    Anyways, I hope this doesn’t bother you and your readers. Sorry.

    Thanks for the name on top…
    ’til next time,

    Posted by Maya | 7 May 2008, 11:46 pm
  7. i hope to be pleasantly surprised here :-P, and you and i will live to see how it turns out. thanks, maya; and till next time.

    Posted by Nad | 9 May 2008, 12:40 am
  8. […] Interview with Hans-Hermann Hoppe, an Anti-Intellectual Intellectual, the English translation of Hans-Hermann Hoppe: Potret Intelektual Anti-Intelektual, an interview by Sukasah Syahdan in Akal dan Kehendak, or “Reason and Will”, an online […]

    Posted by An Anti-Intellectual Intellectual–Hoppe Interview in Indonesian | Work On Credit | 9 May 2008, 1:02 pm
  9. Just a short but important note to say that there is not a “Nobel Prize committee” to select the prize given by the Swedish National Bank (since 1969) “in the honor of Alfred Nobel”. The prize winner is selected via another committee which functions in a similar way–to help with credibility. There is NO Nobel Prize in Economics however and those economists who use discourse to suggest that they have a “Nobel Prize” know better. You will see that the Nobel website makes careful distinction as well, where they have, over the years remained gracious to the bank which has funded the prize which rides comfortably on the back of the Nobel family name despite the family’s distaste for such a prize. Even some of the prize winners themselves, including Gunnar Myrdal, felt the prize should be abolished–if not renamed.

    Posted by Mari Bebesson | 7 October 2011, 4:44 am

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