Ropke Gets it Right

“The questionable things of this world come to grief on their nature, the good ones on their own excesses. Conservative respect for the past and its preservation are indispensable conditions of a sound society, but to cling exclusively to tradition, history, and established customs is an exaggeration leading to intolerable rigidity.  The liberal predilection for movement and progress is an equally indispensable counterweight, but if it sets no limits and recognizes nothing as lasting and worth preserving, it ends in disintegration and destruction.  The rights of the community are no less imperative than those of the individual, but exaggeration of the rights of the community in the form of collectivism is just as dangerous as exaggerated individualism and its extreme form, anarchism.  Ownership ends up in plutocracy, authority in bondage and despotism, democracy in arbitrariness and demagogy.  Whatever political tendencies or currents we choose as examples, it will be found that they always sow the seed of their own destruction when they lose their sense of proportion and overstep their limits. In this field, suicide is the normal cause of death.”

From A Humane Economy, p.90

In one paragraph, this man has encapsulated everything I believe.

5 Responses to Ropke Gets it Right

  1. Karl says:

    And, I would guess that proponents of every radical opinion would agree on the soundness of such wisdom, would see, obviously, how this shows their detractors to be wrong and their path to be THE solution, while ultimately proceeding with their unaltered agendas.

    It is always amusing how little we are willing to empathize with those whom our beliefs and consequently our behaviors most negatively impact because we are right.

    Even the teachings of the Church are incorporated into defending our selfish sinfulness because it is “justified”, tolerated under the guise of “loving the sinner and hating the sin” and not corrected, firmly, by those who should.

    And we are where we are.

  2. Patrick says:

    GK Chesterton would point to the most obvious brute fact about mankind; attested to by all cultures throughout history. Simply put, it’s The Fall- see Gen. Chapter 3 for more details.

  3. Joe Hargrave says:


    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    “tolerated under the guise of “loving the sinner and hating the sin””

    What does that mean? That is not a “guise.” That is how we are to be.

  4. Everyone should read Wilhelm Röpke, especially Distributivists and Austrianists.

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