Ralph Ancil

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.

Wilhelm Roepke and the Liberal Ideal

By |2016-12-30T09:51:12-06:00March 24th, 2013|Categories: Economics, Liberal, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

Wilhelm Roepke Much of Wilhelm Roepke’s work can be understood as an exposition of the essence of Western, Occidental thought, a contribution to civilization that can be summed up in the word “liberal” properly understood. It means balanced respect for all the spheres of human personality and activity, multiplicities that can only [...]

Economy of the Tao: Wendell Berry & Economic Health

By |2019-07-23T13:05:48-05:00December 30th, 2012|Categories: Agrarianism, Economics, Featured, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wendell Berry, Wilhelm Roepke|

Berry’s economic program, what he calls the “little economy,” is a smaller wheel in the larger motion of the “Great Economy.” To understand the former, it is vital to grasp the latter. In the following, then, Berry’s vision of the broader drama of human action is set forth, followed by a presentation of his [...]

Roepke: The Well-Ordered House

By |2019-07-30T15:31:31-05:00November 2nd, 2012|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

What constitutes a well-ordered house from the national perspective? How do we know what order it is in? According to the conventional wisdom we need the statistics of aggregate income, spending and output. We need, in other words, the GNP approach whose figures bombard us whenever we read something about the national economy on [...]

Morality and the Free Market System: The Humane Balance

By |2020-01-02T14:19:13-06:00October 21st, 2012|Categories: Economics, Featured, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

Nikolai Lenin said that when the time came to hang the capitalists, they would trip over each other to sell the communists the necessary rope. One is remind­ed also of the similar case of a Canadian mining firm whose owner in order to keep the business worked with Castro and generously donated money to [...]

Roepke and the Restoration of Property: The Proletarianized Market

By |2019-10-12T00:02:05-05:00October 9th, 2012|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

In a discussion with another famous conserva­tive, Richard Weaver objected to the view that the solution of our problems lies in following in the foot­steps of “our ancestors.” This was not enough, he argued, for we must ask “Which ancestors?” After all, some were wise while others were foolish. In a similar manner we [...]

Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom: Fifty Years Later

By |2019-07-18T15:52:46-05:00August 27th, 2012|Categories: Books, Economics, Friedrich Hayek, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

Introduction Mark Twain tells us in his book Tom Sawyer that when Tom was punished by having to whitewash his Aunt Polly’s fence, he tried, as was his custom, to shirk the obligation. By making the work look fun, however, he interested the other boys in painting the fence. After arousing their interest, he [...]

Humanitas and the Limits to the Free Market

By |2014-01-31T11:38:30-06:00August 15th, 2012|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

The essence of humaneness is limits which themselves reflect the hierarchy of enduring values. Humaneness in public affairs is characterized by the recognition and application of proportion and balance to the various needs of mankind. Often, though, decisions are made on the basis of a single principle adhered to regardless of other principles. In [...]

Economy and Transcendence: Laissez-faire and the Nature of the Market

By |2014-05-30T17:55:39-05:00July 31st, 2012|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians, Wilhelm Roepke|

In this paper I argue one cannot be a Christian and libertarian with any pretense of consistency. The argument comes in three major parts: the theological, the logical and the historical. The theological argument identifies and examines the significance of the concept of transcendence underlying three major social encyclicals that deal with economic matters, [...]

Wilhelm Roepke: Public Good vs. Public Choice

By |2017-07-28T23:04:26-05:00July 19th, 2012|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

With the present cancer of decay infect­ing the body politic, a virulence so debilitating that it induces complacency in the face of not only flagrantly unconstitutional acts of the national government but even of murder, it is an under­statement to say that the “com­mon good” is threat­ened. To deny, in the face of angular [...]

The Ideal Economy of Wilhelm Roepke

By |2020-02-28T14:59:49-06:00July 6th, 2012|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

Wilhelm Roepke’s vision of economic and social order while offering us a “third way” forces us to choose between the path of pragmatism and pluralism on the one side, and that of loyalty to ideals that transcend the material and the utilitarian on the other side—between a capitalistic economy of fragmented special interests, technologism, [...]

The Legacy of Wilhelm Roepke: Essays in Political Economy

By |2016-12-30T14:25:52-06:00June 28th, 2012|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

[This essay serves as the introduction to The Legacy of Wilhelm Roepke: Essays in Political Economy series by Dr. Ancil that we will be publishing on The Imaginative Conservative. The essay was originally published in 1998.] Most folks missed an important date: June 20th, which marked the fiftieth anniversary of the “German economic miracle.” [...]

The Third Way: Wilhelm Roepke and his Vision of Social Order

By |2016-12-30T13:40:11-06:00May 15th, 2012|Categories: Economics, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|Tags: |

Wilhelm Roepke More and more people no longer know what it means to put first things first and to think in terms of the principles involved. Consequently, only very few still have a real philosophy which separates the essential from the accidental and which puts everything in its place. We lost sight [...]

The Economics of Prudence: Roepke, Ricardo, and Free Trade

By |2019-07-16T21:16:36-05:00August 13th, 2010|Categories: Economics, Free Trade, Political Economy, Ralph Ancil, Wilhelm Roepke|

Prolonged, widespread joblessness, collapsing real estate markets, and lower economic growth are a few of the many headline issues about the economy. Recommendations range from more stimulus to denying unemployment benefits but there is little in these discussions that convinces us policymakers know what they are talking about and there is much that is [...]