Acton Institute Powerblog

Conservatives going wobbly on the free market should read Wilhelm Röpke

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In an age when “economics of the Left are ascendant,” conservatives should think about what they believe and why they believe it. One issue that deserves attention from conservatives deals with the market economy. Contrary to popular belief, not all conservatives support the free market, but Samuel Gregg argues that they should.

In a recent article written for the Library of Law and Liberty, Gregg introduces the German thinker Wilhelm Röpke as an exemplary free market advocate. Röpke’s defense of the free market is helpful because he “seriously engaged these issues in satisfyingly broad and deep terms.”

Röpke’s contribution to the understanding of pro-market economics should not go unnoticed and can help us regain an understanding of true conservatism.

Like many conservatives, Röpke was sensitive to many of the problems associated with modernity. This, however, didn’t stop him from stressing how market economies—as opposed to crony capitalism, social democracy, or the variants of populism that have inflicted economic misery upon many Latin American countries—can help promote distinctly non-economic goals that conservatism has always considered important.

Gregg’s article was also mentioned by Real Clear Markets. You can read Gregg’s full article here.

Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.