Monday, April 4, 2011


Ordered Liberty on the colossal Wilhelm Röpke, champion of "the natural harmony in the affairs of both men and nations that results from a right order of things, not only in the economic sphere but in all the multitudinous and intersecting frameworks—historical, cultural, political, environmental, moral, even religious—that make up the totality of human life" — Roepke and the moral imagination at work in economics.

A list of my earlier posts on the economist:

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Thanks for the link, and what a great collection of your own posts on Roepke. There's a lot of reading there!

Roepke has been a major influence on Pat Buchanan's political economy, and I think that his work, along with the work of other writers like Frank Meyer, can provide a useful perspective to allow libertarians and conservatives to speak with each other. I would disagree with you, slightly, in your characterization of Roepke as a libertarian -- he wasn't, although he was a strong advocate for personal liberty and for a light government hand when it comes to economic matters. But he was not doctrinaire, nor was he an ideologue. He was a prudential conservative, a believer in liberty within the constraints of tradition and custom.

Thanks again for the link!

12:37 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

You're welcome. Thank you for the welcome reminder of this great man. I was not aware of the Buchanan connection.

I would say any decent person should be "a believer in liberty within the constraints of tradition and custom." The question is, what is the role of the State in bringing that about?

1:41 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Buchanan during his campaigns in the 1990's expressly noted his dependence on Roepke's thought in formulating his own economic ideas regarding the need for a "humane economy," one that enables not only a managerial class but provides jobs for people of all socio-economic classes. Buchanan's critique of "free trade" is largely based on Roepke's theories (even though Roepke tended to support free trade in his academic work).

Your question hits to the heart of the differences between libertarians and conservatives. Conservatives (I would argue) realistically understanding that it is impossible to have virtue existing in a vacuum, and without virtue there than be no liberty. For virtue to exist in a society, it has to be supported and reinforced by the law. Basic social trust -- the glue that holds the common law together and the mechanism by which limited government is possible -- has to be supported not just by culture but also by public policy.

2:59 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.