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Wilhelm Ropke: Swiss Localist, Global Economist
by John Zmirak
Wilhelm Ropke is probably the most unjustly neglected economist and social critic of the twentieth century. Exiled by Hitler's regime, Ropke was a passionate critic of socialism and the welfare state who was nonetheless keenly attuned to the limits of capitalism. John Zmirak's Wilhelm Ropke, written with the touch of an accomplished writer and journalist, ably demonstrates ...more
Paperback, 229 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Intercollegiate Studies Institute
(first published December 3rd 2000)
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A solid intellectual biography, and I think quite timely, too. Many of Ropke's ideas and his synthesis of conservatism with free market liberalism have increased relevance in the current economic climate. I think in particular of his misgivings about 'proletariatisation' and his admission that this process is the result of natural market forces. Ropke rightly saw that a rootless, propertyless society of proles are not the ideal subjects to maintain a liberal order. He saw the need to rectify thi ...more
Very interesting intellectual biography of 20th-Century economist Wilhelm Roepke. There are a lot of interesting tidbits to Roepke's backstory that really piqued my curiosity, like the fact he almost emigrated to America after being kicked out of Hitler's Germany in the 30's, but soon went to Switzerland primarily because he didn't like America, the land of "big things" which did not sit well with the local-minded Roepke. Though I think that was because he never visited West Virginia. ;)
Great biography of a great thinker, economist, social philosopher, and perhaps prophet (basic thesis is that the size of government and degree of collectivism rises when the social associations or intermediate institutions like the family and the church deteriorate).