About Ralph Ancil

Dr. Ralph Ancil is the President of the Wilhelm Roepke Institute. He was a professor at Geneva College and received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

The Un-Burkean Economic Policy of Edmund Burke

By |2019-06-17T10:55:49-05:00June 16th, 2019|Categories: Adam Smith, Economics, Edmund Burke, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

Edmund Burke allowed his fear of the French Revolution to cloud his judgment of a fitting response to the needs of agricultural workers. He was blind to the dangers of monopoly and concentration of economic power, to the possible ways of intervening that conform to the character of a market economy. “The mistakes which have [...]

Limits of Political Discourse: Lessons from Art & History

By |2019-05-14T14:29:25-05:00November 26th, 2017|Categories: Art, Civil Society, Culture, Featured, History, Politics, Virtue, War|

In times of great social and political turbulence, when basic institutions are broken, discourse within them is futile. But it is precisely then that adherence to traditional morality is not only fitting but essential, for the virtues that establish a society are also necessary for its maintenance… In the present state of political and social [...]

Decadence, Free Trade, & Mercantilism

By |2019-07-23T13:06:08-05:00February 11th, 2017|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

That boredom, sexual perversion, consumerism, and the general malaise of the West are to a great extent the fruits of past economic growth is long record­ed… “Conquest or superiority among other powers is not, or ought not ever to be, the object of republican systems.” —Charles Pinckney of South Carolina The Rise of Neo-Mercantilism. If [...]

Humane Economy or Romantic Utopia? The Vision of Wilhelm Roepke

By |2019-09-05T11:56:02-05:00February 11th, 2016|Categories: Books, History, Political Economy, Wilhelm Roepke|

June 20th, 1998, marked the fiftieth anniversary of the German “economic miracle.” Of course, there was nothing miraculous about it. Germany’s success was not due to the hard-working character of her people, or to foreign aid, or to any other special reason. It was the natural outcome of a market economy and currency reform. And yet [...]

Morality and the Free Market System: The Humane Balance

By |2019-07-22T09:27:34-05:00January 31st, 2016|Categories: Economics, Essential, Free Markets, Morality, Timeless Essays, Wilhelm Roepke|

The effect of actions based on self-interest turned loose from any anchor in morality is not an adequate basis of economic or social organization. The sphere of legitimate market activity must be limited so that it harmonizes with the rest of the community and with other values. Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords [...]

The False God of Economic Growth

By |2020-01-14T11:42:36-06:00May 23rd, 2015|Categories: Economics, Featured, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

Let us be clear on one point: the usual defenders of the free market—the Friedmans, Hayeks and Mises—are not primarily concerned with private property or liberty. They are firstly concerned with economic growth which mainly means continuous economic, technical and social change. For example, when airplanes became popular, air travel would have been very difficult [...]

The Radical Roepke

By |2016-12-30T09:16:41-06:00May 12th, 2015|Categories: Economics, Morality, Wilhelm Roepke|

The Moral Foundations of Civil Society by Wilhelm Roepke, with a new introduction by William F. Campbell. The Social Crisis of Our Time by Wilhelm Roepke, with a foreword by Russell Kirk and an introduction by William F. Campbell. Without a vision the people perish. So says the writer of Proverbs. In both The Moral [...]

A New Take on Economic Substitution

By |2019-04-02T16:01:47-05:00May 3rd, 2015|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Wilhelm Roepke|

The concept of “substitution” is a familiar one in economics. Many products are used as substitutes for others such as margarine for butter and tea for coffee. If the price of one becomes too high the other product may be used even though it isn’t perfect. Economic substitution provides people with alternative options which make [...]

Roepke and von Mises: The Difference

By |2019-07-18T11:08:48-05:00April 25th, 2015|Categories: Economics, Ludwig von Mises, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

Some writers link the names of Ludwig von Mises and Wilhelm Roepke as if there were no important differences between them. Roepke is co-opted into the camp of more or less libertarian thinkers whose position is further enhanced by whatever weight or prestige his name may give. Since Roepke was an Austrian economist and former [...]

Taming the Beast of Economics and Trade

By |2019-07-23T14:02:23-05:00April 10th, 2015|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

Wilhelm Roepke The brass mouth trumpeting the virtues of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is Ben Wattenburg. His views display the kind of thick-headedness that Wilhelm Roepke fought against so valiantly. What’s this impenetrable cloud made of that compels him and his kind to stumble along like the proverbial blind [...]

A Humane Economy versus Economism

By |2019-07-18T12:11:09-05:00September 5th, 2014|Categories: Economics, Featured, Politics, Ralph Ancil, Richard Weaver, Wilhelm Roepke|

Introduction Contributing to the multi-faceted crisis Americans now face is the loss of those values and principles that are essential to a healthy economy. We could mention the incestuous relationships between business and politics, the avarice of large banking institutions, misguided Federal Reserve policy, the irrationality of Wall Street investors, and the Gordon Gekko motto [...]

“The Struggle against Scarcity:” Arthur Lovejoy and Wilhelm Roepke

By |2019-09-12T13:52:11-05:00December 28th, 2013|Categories: 21st Amendment, Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

During World War II, philosopher Arthur Lovejoy tried to explain the reasons for the international crisis and the totalitarianism in Germany. According to his view, the roots of the trouble could be found in the German Romantic period which ranged approxi­mately between the years 1780 to 1830. During this time certain relatively new ideas took [...]

Globalization Versus the Humane Economy

By |2016-01-16T12:52:34-06:00September 2nd, 2013|Categories: Economics, Featured, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

In educating for democracy, we must also educate for economy. This follows from the fundamen­tal truth that government and economy have an indivisi­ble relationship. We are not free to mix any form of government with any economic form. In the present context, we will apply this truth to three possible visions of economy: the globalist, [...]

Wilhelm Roepke: German Economist as Southern Neighbor

By |2016-12-30T09:41:14-06:00May 7th, 2013|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

Wilhelm Roepke How can a German economist be called a Southerner? Obviously not geographically but in the important sense that Southern Agrarians came to understand, as a possession of the mind and spirit. That Wilhelm Roepke’s mind and spirit, embodying the best of the German tradition, share significantly in the essential features of [...]

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