The Journey Home: Wilhelm Röpke & the Humane Economy

By |2020-10-27T03:22:41-05:00March 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. Two [...]

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 [...]

Economists Must Answer for More than Just Economics

By |2019-09-19T13:09:59-05:00September 11th, 2018|Categories: Books, Capitalism, Conservatism, Culture, Economic History, Economics, Free Markets, Wilhelm Roepke|

Romanticizing and moralistic contempt of the economy, including contempt of the impulses which move the market economy and the institutions which support it, must be as far from our minds as economism, materialism, and utilitarianism... Editor's Note: The following excerpt comes from Wilhelm Röpke's excellent book, A Humane Economy: The Social Framework of the Free Market, first published [...]

A Thinker You Should Know: Wilhelm Röpke

By |2020-10-09T15:13:44-05:00February 3rd, 2018|Categories: Books, Capitalism, Conservatism, Economics, History, Wilhelm Roepke|

Wilhelm Röpke infused his detailed analyses of modernity with a sensitive respect for the values of tradition and religious faith and their critical importance in building social and economic order. Born in 1899 in Schwarmstedt, Germany, Wilhelm Röpke would become one of the most distinguished economists of his age. Acknowledged as a worthy peer by [...]

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 our [...]

Ten Books That Shaped America’s Conservative Renaissance

By |2020-03-23T15:07:10-05:00March 12th, 2017|Categories: Conservatism, Economics, Edmund Burke, Eric Voegelin, Featured, Friedrich Hayek, George Nash, Ludwig von Mises, M. E. Bradford, Robert Nisbet, Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, The Conservative Mind, The Imaginative Conservative, Timeless Essays, Wilhelm Roepke, William F. Buckley Jr.|

If we are to know and rebuild a conservative civil social order in this country, then we need to “rake from the ashes” of recent American history the books that influenced a generation of conservative scholars and public figures, books whose message resonated with much of the American populace and resulted in astonishing political triumphs. [...]

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 [...]

The End of Socialism

By |2016-06-04T22:09:55-05:00June 4th, 2016|Categories: Adam Smith, Bradley J. Birzer, Economics, Free Markets, Socialism, Wilhelm Roepke|

James R. Otteson, the Thomas W. Smith Presidential Chair in Business Ethics at Wake Forest University, possesses one of the greatest minds in defense of classical liberalism in the modern era. He has authored two definitive works on Adam Smith, a clear rebuttal of the ethics of Peter Singer, and now a crucial attack on [...]

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 [...]

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