Voices Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - Meet The Free-Market Economist That Stood Up To Hitler

Tyler Durden's picture

In the current time of unprecedented central-planner-focused monetary-policy experimentation and a growing bias towards collectivist and socialist attitudes, the similarities to what Wilhelm Ropke - the European economist who stood up to Hitler - had some seemingly ominous and prescient persepctives in 1933 before everything collapsed:

The loss of traditional human connections, the dehumanization of man in mass society, and the corruption of the political and economic marketplaces, Röpke argued, had created the sociological and psychological conditions for the emergence of and receptivity to the collectivist idea and its promise of a new community of man, a transformation of the human condition, and a better society designed according to a central plan.


All these were false promises and hopes. Collectivism, whether of the fascist or communist sort, meant the end of a rational economic order, threatened the loss of freedom and the end to human dignity, and required the reduction of man to the status of an insect in what Röpke often referred to as the socialist “termite state.”

Any of that ring any bells? Social media? Inequality? SuperPACs? Rigged Markets? ... Bernie Sanders' Socialism? Collectivist resignation to central planner authority?

It did not end well then and will not end well this time.

Submitted by Richard Ebeling via EpicTimes.com,

Sometimes there are men of principle who live their values and not merely speak or write about them. People who stand up to political evil at their own risk, and then go on to say and do things that help to remake their country in the aftermath of war and destruction. One such individual was the German, free-market economist, Wilhelm Röpke.

Born on October 10, 1899, Wilhelm Röpke died half a century ago on February 12, 1966. It seems appropriate to mark the fifty-year passing of one of the great European economists and advocates of freedom during the last one hundreds years.

In the dark days immediately following the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi movement in Germany in January 1933, Röpke refused to remain silent. He proceeded to deliver a public address in which warned his audience that Germany was in the grip of a “revolt against reason, freedom and humanity.”

Nazism as the Destruction of Decent Society

Nazism was the culmination of Germany’s sinking into ”illiberal barbarism, Röpke said, the elements of which were based on: (l) “servilism,” a “longing for state slavery,” with the state becoming the “subject of unparalleled idolatry”; (2) “irrationalism,” in which ”voices” in the air called for the German people to be guided by “blood,” “soil,” and a “storm of destructive and unruly emotions”; and (3) “brutalism,” in which “The beast of prey in man is extolled with unexampled cynicism, and with equal cynicism every immoral and brutal act is justified by the sanctity of the political end.” Röpke warned that, “a nation that yields to brutalism thereby excludes itself from the community of Western civilization.” He hoped Germany would step back from this abyss before its people had to learn their mistake in the fire of war.

Röpke also spoke out against the Nazi dismissal of Jewish professors and students from German universities, which began in April 1933. The Nazis denounced him as an “enemy of the people” and removed him from his professorship at the University of Marburg. After an angry exchange with two SS men sent to “reason” with him, Röpke decided to leave Germany with his family, and accept exile rather than live under National Socialism.

A Man of Courage and Principle

Wilhelm Röpke was a leading intellectual figure of twentieth-century Europe. He combined conservatism with classical liberalism to develop a political philosophy he called a market-oriented “middle way” between nineteenth-century capitalism and twentieth-century totalitarian collectivism. He also became a spiritual guide and political-economic architect of Germany’s “social market economy” in the post-World War II era. As the famous Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises, wrote when Röpke died in 1966 at the age of 66,

“For most of what is reasonable and beneficial in present-day Germany’s monetary and commercial policy credit is to be attributed to Röpke’s influence. He [is] rightly thought of as [one] the intellectual authors of Germany’s economic resurrection . . . The future historians of our age will have to say that he was not only a great scholar, a successful teacher and a faithful friend, but first of all a fearless man who was never afraid to profess what he considered to be true and right. In the midst of moral and intellectual decay, he was an inflexible harbinger of the return to reason, honesty and sound political practice.”

Röpke grew up in a rural community of independent farmers and cottage industry craftsmen. His father was a country doctor. That upbringing can be seen in his later belief that a healthy, balanced, small community is most fit for human life.

The event, however, that shaped his chosen purpose in life was his experience in the German army in the First World War. War was “the expression of a brutal and stupid national pride that fostered the craving for domination and set its approval on collective immorality,” Röpke explained. The experience of war made him decide to become an economist and a sociologist when the cannons fell silent. He entered the University of Marburg, from which he earned his doctoral degree in 1921. In 1929 he was appointed professor of economics at the University of Marburg, a position he held until his expulsion by the Nazi regime in 1933.

After leaving Germany in 1933 he accepted a position at the University of Istanbul, Turkey, In 1937 he was invited to become a professor of international economic relations at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, a position he retained until his untimely death on February 12, 1966.

After the German occupation of France, Röpke was three times offered a teaching position at the New School for Social Research in New York (in 1940, 1941, and 1943) as a means of escape from Nazi-occupied Europe. But each time he turned down the invitation to leave neutral Switzerland, having decided to continue to be a voice for freedom and reason in a totalitarian-dominated Europe.

In the 1950s, after the war, he was an economic adviser to the government of West Germany. He also was one of the leading figures of a group of market-oriented German economists who in the postwar period became known as the Ordo-liberals; their purpose and goal was the construction of a “social market economy” that assured both an open, competitive order and minimal social guarantees.

Monetary Mismanagement and the Great Depression

In the 1920s and for part of the 1930s, a primary focus of Röpke’s writings was business-cycle theory and policy. His most significant work in this field was his 1936 volume Crises and Cycles. Röpke argued that a complex division of labor with a developed structure of roundabout methods of production, held together by the delicate network of market prices for finished goods and the factors of production, had the potential to occasionally suffer from the cyclical waves of booms and depressions.

The cause of such cycles was periodic imbalances between savings and investment in the economy. While not completely following the “Austrian” theory of the business cycle, Röpke’s approach moved along similar lines, arguing that a monetary expansion that kept the market rate of interest below the level that could maintain a balance between savings and investment would feed investment projects and cause misdirections of labor and resources into production processes in excess of the savings available to sustain them in the long run.

Röpke’s particular contribution to the analysis of the business cycle was his theory of what he called the “secondary depression.” When the boom ended, an economic downturn was inevitable, with the investment excesses of the upturn having to contract and be readjusted to the realities of available savings and the market-based patterns of supply and demand. But while serving on the German National Commission on Unemployment in 1930–1931, he came to the conclusion that there were negative forces at work at that time far beyond any normal type of post-boom adjustment.

The failure of cost prices to promptly adjust downward with the decline of finished-goods prices was causing a dramatic collapse of production and employment. Rising unemployment resulted in declining incomes that then created a new round of falling demands for goods in the economy, which in turn brought about another decrease in production and employment. At the same time, growing unprofitability of industry made businessmen reluctant to undertake new investments, resulting in the accumulation of idle savings in the financial markets. Such a sequence of events generated a cumulative contraction in the economy that kept feeding on itself.

Röpke concluded that this secondary depression served no healthy purpose, and the downward spiral of a cumulative contraction in production and employment could only be broken by government-induced credit expansion and public works projects. Once the government introduced a spending floor below which the economy would no longer go, the market would naturally begin a normal and healthy upturn that would bring the economy back toward a proper balance.

In 1933, when Röpke published in English an article explaining the findings of the German Commission on Unemployment, John Maynard Keynes expressed to Röpke his “great satisfaction” that German economists were reaching the same conclusions as he had, namely, that government needed to take an active role in steering the economy.

But Röpke had no sympathy for Keynes’s belief that the market was inherently unstable and permanently in need of government management of “aggregate demand.” In Röpke’s view the Great Depression represented a “rare occurrence” of an “exceptional combination of circumstances” that required “a deliberate policy of additional ‘effective demand’ into the economic system.”

But, Röpke continued, Keynes’s construction of a “general theory of employment” based on the exceptional circumstances of the early 1930s was a “counsel of despair” and an extremely dangerous one, because it created a rationale for continuous government tinkering and a strong inflationary bias harmful to the stability of the market economy in the long run. Indeed, Röpke became a leading critic of Keynesian economics after World War II.

The Crisis of Western Civilization

But the central issue that absorbed almost all of Röpke’s intellectual and literary efforts in the 1930s and 1940s was what he considered the crisis of Western civilization, the most stark and terrible symptom of which was the rise of totalitarian collectivism as represented by Soviet communism, Italian fascism, and German National Socialism.

But the heart of Röpke’s critique of the decay of Western civilization and the path for its renewal was in a trilogy published during the war: The Social Crisis of Our Time 1942), Civitas Humana (1944), and International Order (1945). This was followed at the end of the war by The Solution of the German Problem (1945). And a further reformulation of his conception of a properly ordered and balanced society was offered in A Humane Economy: The Social Framework of the Free Market (1958).

The achievements of the eighteenth century, in Röpke’s view, were the use of reason for a balanced understanding of both the natural and social world; the awakening of an insight into the possibilities of a free, spontaneous order of market relationships; a conception of man that looked at him in proportionate human terms; and a sense of humanity in appreciating and wanting to improve the human condition. One of these insights was that a free-market order that both liberated man from the status and caste society of the past and dramatically improved his standard of living; and the liberal, democratic ideal in which the individual possessed rights to life, liberty, and property, and in which peace and tolerant political pluralism replaced imperial violence and political absolutism.

But as Röpke saw it, many of these achievements and successes had been twisted in the nineteenth century. The use of reason had become “unreasonable,” as there emerged a hyper-rationalism that claimed to have the power to discover the secrets for social engineering. The triumphs of the natural sciences in mastering the physical world had fostered a “cult of the colossal,” in which there was a worship of the things of the material world and the desire for the creation of objects bigger than human life. This cut man loose from all the societal moorings of family, community, and the harmonies of local life, And the ideal of democratic pluralism had been undermined and reduced, increasingly, into an arena of special-interest political plunder.

Collectivism and the Termite State

The loss of traditional human connections, the dehumanization of man in mass society, and the corruption of the political and economic marketplaces, Röpke argued, had created the sociological and psychological conditions for the emergence of and receptivity to the collectivist idea and its promise of a new community of man, a transformation of the human condition, and a better society designed according to a central plan. All these were false promises and hopes. Collectivism, whether of the fascist or communist sort, meant the end of a rational economic order, threatened the loss of freedom and the end to human dignity, and required the reduction of man to the status of an insect in what Röpke often referred to as the socialist “termite state.”

Röpke was uncompromising in his insistence that only the market economy was consistent with both freedom and prosperity. Only the market, with its system of private property rights, provided the framework to harness individual incentives and creativeness for the benefit of society. Only the market could generate the competitive process necessary for the formation of prices that could successfully coordinate supply and demand. Only the market gave each individual the freedom to be an end in himself while also serving as a voluntary means to the ends of others through the mechanism of exchange.

Yet in Röpke’s view the market by itself was not enough. The humane society required going “beyond supply and demand,” to the construction of an institutional order that incorporated the market in a wider social setting. The market economy needed strong ethical moorings to give a sound moral foundation to market order. Röpke held views concerning the role of government in a free society that were wider than many free market advocates today might consider necessary and appropriate.

But beginning in the 1950s, Röpke argued that the growing politicization of economic and social life through an expanding interventionist-welfare state undermined the possibility for a successful international order based on peace, mutual prosperity, and a rational allocation and use of the resources of the world. International order required countries to practice sound policies at home: respect for private property, enforcement of contracts, protection for foreign investments, limited government intervention, and non-inflationary monetary policies.

Networks of international trade and investment would then naturally and spontaneously connect the world through private market relationships. For this reason, Röpke was doubtful that European economic and monetary integration could be successfully imposed as long as the member states were unwilling to follow the necessary domestic policies of limited government and open, competitive market capitalism. Tensions and conflicts were inevitable in an age dominated by collectivist and interventionist ideas.

A Voice of Reason in an Unreasonable World

Wilhelm Röpke was more than just an economist. During some of the darkest decades of the twentieth century, he sounded more like an Old Testament prophet warning of the dangers from a loss of our moral compass. Collectivism had few opponents in our century with as much of a sense of ethical purpose.

Precisely because he was an economist by training, Röpke understood the indivisibility of personal, political, and economic freedom in a way that many other critics of socialism in its various forms could never articulate. The appreciation of history and the historical context in his analyses only enriched the persuasiveness of his message. The rebirth of the market economy in Germany and in other parts of Europe after 1945 owes a great deal to his intellectual efforts and legacy.

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TeamDepends's picture

And of course he was right, as the National SOCIALISTS were rising to power.

Bananamerican's picture

is this another Trump is Hitler post?

NidStyles's picture

That the Jewish influence and the leftists always decry Nationalism and tribal identity for Europeans while promoting it for the non-Europeans should be a clue that they aren't doing it out of concern for violent states. They doing it out of concern that you would oppose foreign rule and their states from imposing their will upon you.


Never trust an alien people to look out for your best interests. Especially not the ones that are responsible for World Wars and Bolshevism.

How odd that it's always the Jews whom live in a National tribal identity that tell Europeans to not live in a national tribal identity.


maskone909's picture

I never knew hitler and his army were essentially a bunch of tweakers. Im talking massive amounts of crystal meth. Makes sense tho. I wonder what our gov is shooting in their veins? Our tax dollars are certainly their toilette paper

SFopolis's picture

Yes, massive amounts.  The German army used it to great effect in the Blitzkrieg.  Hundreds of thousands of Nazis eating little red pills.  How's that a good idea?....

Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) SFopolis Mar 6, 2016 4:25 AM

Seig Ice!

VinceFostersGhost's picture




is this another Trump is Hitler post?


I thought Bush was Hitler...


All I know is someone is responsible for this crap......and it can't be Hitler.....cause he's dead.



SmackDaddy's picture

You still think Hitler started it?  You think the Nazis were "Socialists"?  Hitler knew he had to scale shit up to fight the Bolsheviks.  It was a matter of survival.  He was an agrarian idealist (blut und boden).  

Please step outside the box of your jew programming.

DownWithYogaPants's picture

Well trying to take a country drive in Russia during winter proves Hitler was mad as a hatter.  Seriously dumb idea no matter the season.  Russia is BIG.  As the German generals found out.  Hitler could have left well enough alone and he would have come out far far FAR ahead.  But he couldn't because there was something broken in the man. Had to be.  He made unforced error after error.  And not SMALL errors.  I mean really fucking dumb huge errors.

frankly scarlet's picture

Downwith yogapants: Hitler was planning a thousand year Reich and wanted to expand Germany's boundaries - Lebensraum - and his "master race" pogrom meant he also wanted to enslave-exterminate the Slavic peoples (more Slavs were killed than Jewish by far) where Germany was to expand into....kinda like Israel wants to expand its boundaries and remove - kill any Arabs in their quest for Lebensraum....bad mistake for Nazi Germany as you pointed out, and most likely bad for Israel.. Germany finally has found the way to dominate and has conquered all of Europe economically...she just needs the courage to throw off her American overseer and the future for Germany will open up for German know how and her quality manufacturing and should before she gets dragged down with the US-Central bankers collapse.

gezley's picture

Makes you think someone was setting Germany up for the loss, doesn't it?

Question I keep coming back to is this: who really was Hitler working for?

LA_Goldbug's picture

I see it the same way.

There is something we are not being told. I have read the "Stalin was planning to attack Germany.", "The Germans were confident they would take Russia in no time" etc But that makes no sense anyway you dice it. Going in all directions and thinking you will succeed makes not sense unless you have factory making combat robots. The "fix" I suspect is on the inside and dammned close to Hitler, but documents showing this will not surface quickly.

This reminds me of the sucker move by the Brits to lead up to WW I where a hint was given Germans that they have an open field. Then the famous back off at  Battle of Dunkirk. This smells any way you wanr to look at it. You don't let your enemy off the hook without FIRST having something on paper. There was nothing thus I think it was behind the curtain moves.

VWAndy's picture

Kinda like how the US is being set up to lose WW3 badly.

LA_Goldbug's picture

That is the heart of their "Game Plan".

The Afroamerican community learned this (or maybe they didn't learn it) lesson the hard way in the 60's and 70's. They were discarded like a used condum as it started to look like they were rocking the boat a little bit too much.

Firepower's picture

Ah, jewPROP MSM pronounces nazeez wuz enemy of reason, freedom and humanity. So, today's thumb-sucking Germs are pals to it - with their fellating muzz Miggers in FFOL Liberal NAZISM: http://wp.me/p2kmGE-h4

justdues's picture

More racist "Germans are evil" crap, more "Nationalism is evil" globalist propaganda. Give it a rest ZH , we expect better of you than this kind of MSM rubbish.

PeeramidIdeologies's picture

That is what you took away from this article? That's too bad.
It is no wonder you don't understand the how the club of nationalism is used to beat you into line.

jaxville's picture

That is ridiculous.  These days it is internationalism which is being used to oppress us.

Vendetta's picture

I guess the push for globalism for the last 24 years has failed to catch some people's attention... the govt only resorts to nationalistic fervor when they want to send the sons of the people in the military to some foreign country for nefarious reasons that serve the internationalists interests.

Croesus's picture

@ Justdues: 

Exactly. All of the examinations of the NS regime are superficial at best, and rarely written by anyone who does anything other than bleat out the same tired narratives. 

Free-thinking people should question who the "Good Guys" really were, in WWII, in consideration of the following 2 facts: 

1. The same people who "won" WWII, are the same people who are in charge now. 

2. The people in charge, have brought us:

a) Endless (and pointless, for us) warfare

b) Mass-surveillance

c) The abrogation of our Rights

d) The welfare state

e) Globalism (i.e. bringing down the First World to the level of the Third World) 

f) Mass-immigration, wherein the immigrants have more Rights than the citizens

g) Destruction of the nuclear family

h) Destruction of our health, for the purpose of propping-up a medical industry which they control

i) Loss of racial identity, through the continual promotion of interbreeding with other races. 

But....but...Hitler killed the Jews, they say...

To that, I reply the following: 

If that's the only bad thing you can say about the man, perhaps you should stop looking at him, and start looking a little more carefully at these supposed "good guys". 

As for me, I cannot ignore the fact that MY society didn't get fucked-over by a bunch of "Anti-semitic Nazis who lost WWII"...and when I look at WHO is doing the fucking, it's the same people (same families) over, and over, and over again. It's those same people who keep telling me how bad the Nazis are. 



SmackDaddy's picture

Bottom line- Soviets started and ended war with more tanks than the rest of the world combined.  Everything Germany did was in self defense.  Traitorous jews got what they deserved.

Stares straight ahead's picture

"is this another Trump is Hitler post"

Of course not! What the author is saying, by showcasing Ropke's tremendous view that smaller, close knit societies are necessary and more harmonious with free-market capitalism, is that huge societies are not conducive to man's natural history and instinctive make-up.

See here for more: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NHxqAxNU3Is

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

"is this another Trump is Hitler post?"

No.  The post celebrates an economist, Ropke, who railed against collectivism, central planning and big gubmint.  Trump on the other hand talks about eliminating entire gubmint agencies such as the Dept of Eduction and putting federal power back to states.

Full Nelson's picture
Full Nelson (not verified) Mar 5, 2016 10:30 PM

every website ya go to lately is "Hitler this" and "Hitler that". Has he been spotted recently or something?


TeamDepends's picture

It is no coincidence. The proglodytes of the world have seized control, or they think they have, and are trotting out their FINAL SOLUTION. Never trust a hippie.https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HWMIwziGrAQ

Normalcy Bias's picture

Don't forget the 'micropenis' story they trotted out a week or so ago. Why don't they give it a rest already? The guy's been dead for over 70 f'ing years!

The older I get, the more I suspect that many of the things we've been told about Hitler simply aren't true.

Volkodav's picture

They are not true. It is not difficult to research past the lies.

"Count Your Dead  They Are Alive - A New War In The Making"

                    -Wydham Lewis-

Ms No's picture

It is funny how it is always about Hitler being used as the example of the great monster.  Monster he was, but what about the other 60 murderous psychopaths that have come and gone since.  Shit, Russia lost between 20-60 million (depending on the source) when the foreign funded Bulsheviks hit.  You never hear anything about that.  Just by numbers alone that should be one of your top monster stories.  And almost all of them were communist or "socialist".  That went down the memory hole too. 

Hitler was a classic example of a politician buying people off with free goodies and promises of strength.  He instituted all kinds of social welfare.  Welfare is a trap and people never learn.  I thought this was a really interesting article though. 

NidStyles's picture

How was he a monster? Because he stood up for his people? If that is the case then every Jew that speaks against him should be hung or shot on the spot.


Grimnir's picture

Look, I don't believe most of the bullshit about Hitler. My own research on the Holocaust has led me to conclude that the whole gas chambers thing was a total crock of shit, and the war was a lot more complicated than "Hitler wanted to take over the world". I'd even say that thing probably would have been much better off if he did win the war. And not only Stalin, but compared with shitbags like Roosevelt and Churchill, he was a much more noble person.

Still, we need to be careful about venerating him as some sort of fallen angel that could do no wrong. He wasn't perfect and he still did some shitty things. The National Socialists were pretty damn brutal to their opponents by any count. Look up White Rose, for example. I know that we have to consider the historical context and blah blah blah so maybe "monster" isn't appropriate, but things are still not as black and white as some Hitler supporters make things out to be.

LA_Goldbug's picture

 "Hitler wanted to take over the world"

and the melody continues ......

"Saddam is evil "incubator" killer"

"Khadaffi is a monster"

"Al Assad is a gasing monster"

and on and on .....

PeeramidIdeologies's picture

Exactly. "We" stopped "Hilter" from taking over the world. Then what happened? "America" took over the world. Glad to see some people looking beyond the curtain.

SmackDaddy's picture

I'm assuming that your quotes around America mean that you understand that it was the Jews in America that took over the world.  Go ahead and say it though.  Only way to take back this country and reclaim our first amendment

PeeramidIdeologies's picture

It was more of a suggestion towards the utilization of labels to create false identities which are used towards the means of divide and conquer.

I don't chase racial bogeymen.

I will agree that would be a start.

LA_Goldbug's picture

Major-General Ulysses S. Grant on December 17, 1862 understood this very well.


Grant expels Jews from Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi

On this day in 1862, during the Civil War, U.S. Army General Ulysses S. Grant, the future 18th president of the United States, issues General Order No. 11, expelling Jews suspected of engaging in war profiteering from a region occupied by the Union Army."


Now pay close attention in stories that fly out in Google

"General Grant's Infamy | Jewish Virtual Library"

"Grant's Anti-Semitism—And Tolerance - Culture – Forward"

"Ulysses S. Grant's greatest regret - The Boston Globe"

And !!!!! They want me to believe that it was all about JUST COTTON !!!

"This order expelled Jews, as a class, from Grant’s military district, in reaction to illicit activities of overly aggressive cotton traders in the Union camps, who Grant believed were interfering with military operations."

Anyone have a $3 dollar bill and I will ship FEDEX the London Bridge to them.

DanDaley's picture

Irony of ironies, the DNA of Hitler's living relatives has haplogroups identical to Ashkanezi Jews and Berber tribes of North Africa...but of course, everyone comes from Africa if you go back far enough genetically, but very few are Ashkenazi.



Volkodav's picture

The monsters of WW2 gathered sat three together at Yalta...

Germony was targeted cos becoming too much free and productive...

LA_Goldbug's picture

How true !!! But the average American will not understand this.

VinceFostersGhost's picture



I understand this.....but I got out before Common Core.

4freedom78's picture

Right, and why not also Mao zhedong and the decade of cultural revolution madness.

onthesquare's picture

when it comes down to numbers you may as well throw Abe Lincoln in the frey.  Amercian Civil War.  What was that all about? 

Zero Debt's picture

Think of it as a migration project. When you are busy upgrading the state from Weimar Republic 3.0 to 4.0, as of 2016 edition, one of the proven ways to make customers switch is to demonize and ridicule Reich 3.0 which was released in 1933 to replace Weimar 1.0. This is based on the common misconception that the problems in Weimar 1.0 were accidental and not by design, whereas a closer look tends to reveal the contrary. Nobody will bother to check their assumptions about version 1.0 and assume that the latest Weimar runs better than anything and that any issues is merely due to not running the latest version. Best of all, upgrades are promoted as free (not as in beer or speech, but as in vendor liability).

Overflow-admin's picture

Yeah, Godwin this and that ^^

By lack of argument.

Cabreado's picture

And now Control, not ideology of any sort, reaches another head in the grand cycle...

This is why Rule of Law is the holy grail; humans cooperate, or they Control, eventually by brute force.

Too simple, eh?

VWAndy's picture

I wonder why they let him live?

Milton Waddams's picture

“We asked him – do you know anything about political issues? And he said no, I majored in economics.” - Hitler

Vint Slugs's picture

A Voice of Reason in an Unreasonable World

Ayn Rand was more than just a novelist. Collectivism had few opponents in the 20th century with as much of a sense of ethical purpose.

Precisely because she was a novelist who used reason as a means of interpreting reality Rand understood the indivisibility of personal, political, and economic freedom in a way that many other critics of socialism in its various forms could never articulate. The appreciation of history and the historical context in her novels and nonfictional analyses only enriched the persuasiveness of her message.


jaxville's picture

  Ive read Atlas Shrugged three times but the last time (about five or six years ago) left me wanting.  How could she not account for the "J team" in her novel? 

  I don't buy into libertarianism or anarchism anymore because those ideologies only work when society at large shares common values and goals.

  If you have a group conspiring to undermine societal values of decency in order to cover their own behavior how does the free market stop them?  What happens after they entrench themselves in even the most limited of governments then corrupt the judiciary as a group effort.  What if they work together with their brethren in education, media and the financial sector?

  No society with any real liberty has a chance against that crew.  As I have said before, it is one of the saddest paradoxes of our age that we will not know decency or freedom until a certain group is forceably removed from our society.

CC Lemon's picture

I tend to disagree. So long as you have various different groups, the TOP group will always do whatever it can to project a disproportionate amount of power over lower gropus.

(Leopold and the Congo come to mind).

Libertarianism, anarchocapitalism ONLY work in not only homogeneous groups, not only CERTAIN homogenous groups but small, homogenous and of maximum average time preference.

Knock of the top, some other group will replace it.

Very large societies (>>10,000,000) AND advanced weaponry / technology haven't been around long to tell if they are inherently stable or not. I suspect not.