The moral and political philosophy of Wilhelm Röpke is among the finest instances of European classical liberalism in the twentieth century, and in many occasions he stated that only a society which understands the importance of markets can be reconciled with human dignity. Röpke elaborated a political theory that focused on the harmony between moral principles and economic law. In this sense, his liberalism is unique not only because it defends private property and competition as pillars of a thriving economy, but above all that it provides the preconditions of a society that can remain secure from the immorality of despotism and subsequent ethical degeneration. To that end he upheld an economic order based on voluntary cooperation as the basis for a more humane society, emphasizing the role of institutional competition and federalism. Röpke’s cultural conservatism should not therefore be misunderstood, as it is very much connected with his defense of the essential role of property. It is only in this sense that he found in liberal humanism a third way, which is not however situated halfway between the market and socialism, but which represents instead a defense of a competitive society that is aware of its own historical and cultural basis.

Lottieri, C. (2014). Ethics, Market, and the Federal Order. The Political Philosophy of Wilhelm Roepke. JOURNAL DES ECONOMISTES ET DES ETUDES HUMAINES, XX(1), 19-41.

Ethics, Market, and the Federal Order. The Political Philosophy of Wilhelm Roepke

LOTTIERI, CARLO
2014

Abstract

The moral and political philosophy of Wilhelm Röpke is among the finest instances of European classical liberalism in the twentieth century, and in many occasions he stated that only a society which understands the importance of markets can be reconciled with human dignity. Röpke elaborated a political theory that focused on the harmony between moral principles and economic law. In this sense, his liberalism is unique not only because it defends private property and competition as pillars of a thriving economy, but above all that it provides the preconditions of a society that can remain secure from the immorality of despotism and subsequent ethical degeneration. To that end he upheld an economic order based on voluntary cooperation as the basis for a more humane society, emphasizing the role of institutional competition and federalism. Röpke’s cultural conservatism should not therefore be misunderstood, as it is very much connected with his defense of the essential role of property. It is only in this sense that he found in liberal humanism a third way, which is not however situated halfway between the market and socialism, but which represents instead a defense of a competitive society that is aware of its own historical and cultural basis.
Lottieri, C. (2014). Ethics, Market, and the Federal Order. The Political Philosophy of Wilhelm Roepke. JOURNAL DES ECONOMISTES ET DES ETUDES HUMAINES, XX(1), 19-41.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/1008347
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