Einar Hoffstad (4 September 1894 – 25 July 1959) was a Norwegian encyclopedist, newspaper editor, writer and economist. He remains best known as the editor of the encyclopedia Merkantilt biografisk leksikon and the business periodical Farmand. Although initially a classic liberal, Hoffstad embraced fascism and collectivism at the beginning of the Second World War.
He was born in Sandefjord to botanist and teacher Olaf Alfred Hoffstad (1865–1943); his younger brother was Arne Hoffstad (1900–1980), who became an editor and Conservative politician. Having finished his secondary education in 1913, Einar Hoffstad enrolled at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, where he studied until 1916. He subsequently worked as stockbroker in Sandefjord for a year, before being hired as editor of the stockbrokers' periodical Norsk Aktiemeglertidsskrift and the economy section of Verdens Gang from 1918 to 1919. In that same year he married the slightly younger Edith Eckblad, the daughter of a landlord.
From 1919 to 1920 Hoffstad worked as a secretary in Norsk Næringsliv. He also began working at the economics periodical Farmand, advancing to co-editor in 1920. He was editor in chief of the periodical from 1922 to 1926 and from 1933 to 1935. Whilst having a break from his career at Farmand, Hoffstad edited the enterprise journal Forretningsliv between 1926 and 1933, which was acquired by Farmand in 1933. Hoffstad graduated from the Royal Frederick University with a cand.oecon. degree in economics in 1930. From 1930 to 1933, he was managing director of A/S Forretningsliv, and in 1934 of A/S Yrkesforlaget. He also headed the Association for the Norwegian Trade Press from 1927 to 1929 and the Norwegian Press Association in the 1930s. In 1935, Hoffstad was chief editor of the mercantile who's who Merkantilt biografisk leksikon, which was published in a second edition in 1939. He also edited Norges Næringsveier from 1935. He died in July 1959.
As editor in chief of Farmand, Hoffstad was a classic liberal who argued against planned economy and egalitarianism. He stated that every society ought to "grant great freedom to commerce", and that inequality was "the condition for economic growth and creation of the necessities of life". He was also a vocal critic of the welfare state, arguing that it "undermined the ability and desire to keep oneself entertained". Hoffstad was also vocal against parliamentary democracy, as he considered human beings "undemocratic from birth", maintaining they had an "instinctive need for a dictator". "Dollfuss, Mussolini, and Hitler are all very popular", he argued.
Despite his earlier libertarian activism, Hoffstad gradually began endorsing fascist and statist stances in the late 1930s. In March 1936, he wrote an article for the enterprise journal Norges Næringsveier entitled "Hverken kapitalisme eller sosialisme" ("Neither Capitalism nor Socialism"), where he stated that commerce should "abide by the new conditions", and that "socialism and capitalism are about to go together into a higher entity". He also voiced his support for collectivist ideas such as "the interests of the State and society should prevail over those of the individual". In the autumn of 1940, he encouraged entrepreneurs and business people of Norway to vote for the fascist party Nasjonal Samling, which he had joined on 25 September. Hoffstad also welcomed the German occupation of Norway during the Second World War, stating that "Hitler's purpose is to create a new and happy Europe". In 1941 Hoffstad issued the pamphlet Vinner England krigen? ("Will England Win the War?") together with Grundtvig Gundersen on the publishing house Heroldens Forlag, cover illustrated by Harald Damsleth. In it, the authors concluded: "There is no longer a question on whether England can win the war, England has already lost it".
- Hoffstad, Einar (1917), Håndbok for Meglere og Aktionærer.
- —— (1921), Christiania Handelsstands Forening: 1841 – 12. nov. 1921. Jubilæumsskrift.
- ——, ed. (1923), Et mindeskrift: P. Schreiner sen & Co.: 1823–1923, Øyvind Sørensen (illustrator).
- —— (1926), De tider vi gaar imøte: økonomiske efterkrigsproblemer.
- —— (1928) , Det norske privatbankvæsens historie.
- —— (1928), Kapitalanbringelse.
- ——, ed. (1930), Jubilæumsskrift: 1905 – 5.mai 1930: Kontorfunktionærernes forening.
- —— (1934), Socialøkonomi for menigmann og stortingsmenn.
- ——, ed. (1935), Merkantilt biografisk leksikon. Hvem er hvem i næringslivet?.
- —— (1935–36), Kristiania-krakket: en jobbetids historie.
- ——, ed. (1938), Jerngrossistenes forening: 1888 – 12. oktober 1938.
- ——, ed. (1939), Merkantilt biografisk leksikon. Hvem er hvem i næringslivet? (2nd ed.).
- ——, ed. (1938–40), Illustrert norsk næringsleksikon: (hvad er hvad i næringslivet?), 4 volumes.
- —— (1941), Vinner England krigen?, Gundersen, Grundtvig.
- —— (1944), Arbeidets seierherrer: små romaner om store menn, Arne Wold (illustrator).
- Steenstrup, Hjalmar, ed. (1930), "Hoffstad, Einar", Hvem er hvem? (in Norwegian), Oslo: Aschehoug, p. 185.
- Census 1900
- "Einar Hoffstad" (in Swedish), Project Runeberg, 8 November 2006, archived from the original on 22 May 2011, retrieved 22 May 2011.
- "Registrerte dødsfall", Verdens Gang (in Norwegian), 25 July 1959, p. 16.
- Pressefolk. Biografiske oplysninger om Norsk presseforbunds medlemmer 1938 (in Norwegian) (2nd ed.). Oslo: Norwegian Press Association. 1939. p. 31.
- Kjeldstadli, Knut (1994), Et splittet samfunn: 1905-35, Vol. 12 of Aschehougs Norgeshistorie, edited by Knut Helle (in Norwegian), Oslo: Aschehoug, p. 68, ISBN 82-03-22023-1.
- "Förord till den elektroniska utgåvan" (in Swedish), Project Runeberg, October 2009, archived from the original on 22 May 2011, retrieved 22 May 2011.
- Hoffstad, Einar (1935), "Planøkonomi", Farmand (in Norwegian), p. 370,
tilstå næringslivet stor frihet … denne ulikhet som er betingelsen for at det i det hele tatt vokser og gror og produseres livsfornødenheter
- Sørensen, Øystein (1991), Solkors og solidaritet: høyreautoritær samfunnstenkning i Norge ca. 1930-1945 (in Norwegian), Oslo: Cappelen, pp. 86–91, 101, 125–26 & 201, ISBN 82-02-12941-9.
- Hoffstad, Einar (1933), "En "social" skole", Farmand (in Norwegian), p. 631,
man har undergravet evnen og lysten til å underholde sig selv
- Hoffstad, Einar (1933), "Politisk virvar", Farmand (in Norwegian): p. 794,
den norske parlamentarisme er […] kommet ut i sin egen karikatur. … parlamentarismen står ovenfor en krise
- Hoffstad, Einar (1933), "Demokratiets død", Farmand (in Norwegian), pp. 649–50,
man har undergravet evnen og lysten til å underholde sig selv.... menneskene [er] slett ikke demokratisk anlagt…det er likesom menneskene har et instinktivt behov for en diktator … en Dolfuss, en Mussolini, en Hitler er alle meget populære
- Hoffstad, Einar (1936), "Hverken kapitalisme eller sosialisme", Norges Næringsveier (in Norwegian), pp. 273–75,
Kapitalismen og sosialismen er i ferd med å gå opp i en høiere enhet … statens, samfunnets interesser går foran individets
- Hoffstad, Einar (October 1940), "Til den norske forretningsstand", Norges Næringsveier (in Norwegian), p. 340.
- Hoffstad, Einar (July 1936), "Norges skjebnetime er nu inne", Norges Næringsveier (in Norwegian), p. 267,
Å skape et nytt og lykkelig Europa er Hitlers mål
- Økland, Einar (2008). Damsleth: han teikna for Norge (in Norwegian). Bergen: Vigmostad & Bjørke. ISBN 978-82-419-0417-2.
- Vinner England krigen? (in Norwegian). Gundersen, Grundtvig. Oslo: Herolden. 1941. p. 29.