Why Adam Smith’s Critique of Mercantilism Matters Today

By |2020-07-01T11:45:19-05:00July 1st, 2020|Categories: Adam Smith, American Republic, Capitalism, Economic History, Economics, Free Markets, Free Trade, Political Economy|

Adam Smith, the father of the discipline we now refer to as economics, was a moral and political philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment and contemporary and acquaintance of Edmund Burke. Long heralded as a proponent of self-regulating markets, limited government, and free-market “capitalism,” Smith is often invoked by proponents of corporate capitalism as an [...]

The Journey Home: Wilhelm Röpke & the Humane Economy

By |2020-03-29T17:42:55-05:00March 29th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Economics, Political Economy, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Uncategorized, Wilhelm Roepke|

Wilhelm Röpke asked how to address the problems of social fragmentation and the loss of community feeling, in a world where the market is left to itself. Röpke’s own idea was that society is nurtured and perpetuated at the local level, through motives that are quite distinct from the pursuit of rational self interest. [...]

The “Price Gouging” Myth

By |2020-03-27T09:21:40-05:00March 27th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Coronavirus, Economics, Political Economy, Politics|

The economic ignorance makes me want to gouge my eyes out. With the coronavirus pandemic upon us, and the topic of 24/7 media coverage, attention has been given to so-called “price gouging.” Webster’s dictionary defines the term simply as “charging customers too much money.” In the context of the current coronavirus panic, the term [...]

Freedom vs. Free Trade

By |2020-02-10T15:41:27-06:00February 10th, 2020|Categories: Adam Smith, American Republic, Civilization, Economics, Free Trade, Joseph Pearce, Political Economy, Senior Contributors|

Can “free trade,” as understood by Adam Smith, bring peace among nations? Or does it just allow the strongest nations to become imperial powers? In answering these questions, we must keep in mind that Smith was an economist and not a prophet. In all normal civilisations the trader existed and must exist. But in [...]

A Balanced Position on Tariffs and Protectionism

By |2020-01-05T21:38:41-06:00January 5th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Economics, Free Trade, Morality, Political Economy, Virtue|

The trade war has ignited debate on the merits of tariffs and the need to protect the nation’s manufacturing base. Battle lines are drawn between an exaggerated localism that stresses self-sufficiency and a bloated globalism where products transit the Earth unhindered and markets alone rule. […]

Discussing “Capitalism”

By |2019-06-17T15:19:38-05:00December 16th, 2018|Categories: Capitalism, Economics, Free Markets, Free Trade, Government, Joseph Pearce, Political Economy, Senior Contributors|

Speaking personally, I’d rather discuss many things during this joyful season of Advent than “capitalism.” And yet Matthew Summers’ recent essay “In Defense of Capitalism” for The Imaginative Conservative has prompted me to comment on the topic, albeit briefly. […]

President Trump and the American Piggy Bank

By |2018-06-13T12:37:11-05:00June 13th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs, Pat Buchanan, Political Economy, Politics|

At the G-7 summit in Canada, President Donald Trump described America as “the piggy bank that everybody is robbing.” After he left Quebec, his director of Trade and Industrial Policy, Peter Navarro, added a few parting words for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages [...]

Viktor Orbán, George Soros, & the Battle for Hungary

By |2019-12-03T17:16:09-06:00June 12th, 2018|Categories: Europe, Foreign Affairs, Government, Political Economy, Politics, Viktor Orbán|

Many Hungarians clearly perceive their way of life and their country as under threat and sense that influential individuals like George Soros would like them fundamentally transformed. This is a fight between nationalists and anti-nationalists… The victory of Viktor Orbán and his party Fidesz in the Hungarian elections last month elicited the predictable flurry [...]

Cultural Debris: Two Conferences & the Future of Our Civilization

By |2019-04-04T12:47:00-05:00May 20th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Economics, Political Economy, RAK, Russell Kirk, Western Civilization|Tags: |

There still are men and women enough among us who know what makes life worth living—enough of them to keep out the modern barbarian, if they are resolute. If they are not resolute, and if they cannot make common cause, the garment of our civilization will go to the rag-bin, and the cultural debris [...]

On Straussian Teachings

By |2017-10-04T13:02:37-05:00October 6th, 2017|Categories: Economics, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Leo Strauss, Neoconservatism, Paul Gottfried, Political Economy|

The nexus between the Straussians and neoconservatives has been overstated for partisan ends, but it is still nonetheless there. Sociologically and culturally, the two movements are largely indistinguishable… The Truth About Leo Strauss by Catherine and Michael Zuckert (University of Chicago Press, 2006). In The Truth About Leo Strauss, Catherine and Michael Zuckert, both professors [...]

Wilhelm Röpke’s Conundrums Over the Natural Family

By |2019-07-23T12:38:45-05:00July 16th, 2017|Categories: Economics, Family, Political Economy, Timeless Essays, Wilhelm Roepke|

Wilhelm Röpke grew mesmerized by population growth projections which counted 300 billion inhabitants on the Earth by the year 2300. In such an anthill existence, he asked, what would happen to those “unbought graces of life”: “nature, privacy, beauty, dignity, birds and woods and fields and flowers, repose and true leisure”… Today’s offering in [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]